America Offers Its Best

•September 18, 2010 • 1 Comment
America's Got Talent

America's Got Talent?

I watched the finals of America’s Got Freaks Tuesday night.  Not by choice, mind you; I was visiting Mom, and she insisted on watching for the first time only because she wanted to see the 10-year-old opera singer.  I proceeded to warn her about what she was about to see, and as the program started, I explained the viewers’ interest in the show a little further.  I think she believed this circus was some sort of musical talent showcase, and it’s not, as we saw in the season highlights at the beginning.  Drilling things through their heads and igniting explosives in their pants…talent?

None of the judges, I also pointed out, were qualified to judge musical performances, particularly classical music.  Sharon is Ozzy’s wife, Howie is a comedian…and Piers is a former editor of British tabloids…isn’t even an American judging America’s talent!

Prince Poppycock…perhaps the most freakish of the finalists we watched.  “B” for makeup, costumes & fantasy.  Voice was pleasant, but far from operatic caliber.  A bit deep & delusional when attempting to sell to the general reality-programming-addicted, simply-entertained public.

The little opera singer, Jackie Evancho, mimics developed opera singers’ voices, and did a good job.  A couple breathing & control issues, and a pitch concern near the end of her performance, but overall, a good job.  Her mass appeal, however, has more to do with her peculiarity.  How many, do you think, will buy tickets to the opera to see her perform in 10 or 15 years?

Saw the singer Grimm, and he was the most average of them all, turning in a Percy Sledge soundalike performance.  A much better shot, though, since he’s got the woeful backstory & tears-on-command going for him.  People still feel quite guilty about the whole New Orleans/Katrina episode.

That was it for us, though.  Mom couldn’t handle any more of the constant football stadium cheering and screaming, along with seizure-inducing lighting effects.  Besides, an entire hour spent on 4 two-minute performances?  You do the math.

And perhaps even more importantly, after the winner was announced the following day, the top ten start preparing for their tour!  Starting in October, 25 cities, with a host that lends a most appropriate level of substance and credibility – JERRY SPRINGER!

So, America – this is really the best you got.


Burned Up On 9/11

•September 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment
Rev. Terry Jones

Press feeding frenzy.

No book burning today in Florida, I suppose.  It must be a little disappointing for some of my relatives who live and die by the Constitution.  Not so much that Rev. Terry Jones decided to forego delivering his message to the muslim extremists; instead, that those who stood so relentlessly with the Constitution and the freedom it guarantees appear to have withdrawn from their position.  Beat a rather hasty retreat, once every shaking politician in the country denounced the proposed act.  Even termed expressing their freedom this way an “un-American” act.  Sounds a bit contradictory, even hypocritical, doesn’t it?  Isn’t this the same freedom Americans continue to die protecting?  And thank goodness for freedom of the press!

Yes, Americans are still free in today’s world, only in a very different way now.  Free to commit stupid, disrespectful and insensitive acts without regard for consequences, both intended and unintended.  Free to disregard the importance of understanding long-term effects and their impact.  And free to choose to be ignorant of reality, to block any awareness of how the world is changing around them and be blind to the truth.

Unfortunately, there are no effective systems in place to protect ourselves against this type of freedom.

Many will not be too disappointed, though.  There were other notable burnings.  Be certain to read the comments below the videos for additional cultural insight, as well.

Mosque Near Ground Zero…or Not?

•August 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I’ve not agreed with Obama on many issues.  I did, however, when he insinuated it would be unwise to build a mosque near Ground Zero.  “I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there (near Ground Zero),” Obama said. View the video.

My opinion is quite simple and, I believe, well-reasoned.  Let’s set aside the ancient, purist American philosophy and consider the reality of the 21st century:  A mosque will be a target.  Not only will it stand as a symbol of victory for the muslim extremists, some fanatic – or relative of a 9/11 victim – will either blow it up, burn it down, or drop in for a suicide shooting spree.  Those who desire this mosque claim it would be peace-promoting; however, the impassioned anger and bitter controversy the mere proposal has brought has already defeated this purpose.

Of course, most Americans are not reflecting on any of this, as they are only concerned about Snookie, and getting their own reality show.

Now it’s your turn.  Make your vote count and take the poll below.  Please, only one vote per household or office, so take your own poll and vote accordingly!

CNN: For Entertainment Only

•May 23, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Why can’t I find anything on regarding Campbell Brown’s departure?  Although it may not be “newsworthy”, I think an online explanation might be appropriate.  Brown was one of the few anchors still working hard to do her job, even as CNN insists on moving to a CNN/E! format.

How are there still CNN on-air staff who are unable to properly deliver the news?  There was a time when, if you made a couple of errors in one broadcast, they yanked your microphone. Most CNN anchors and reporters cannot make it through one news item without editorializing, uncomfortable, misplaced laughter, or getting their tongues twisted while reading. It’s getting so I’ve switched to MSNBC in the mornings now. Count how many times Kyra Phillips corrects herself each day with a “…rather…”.  I’d like to believe she just needs an eye examination, and this is really no true reflection of her reading skills.

Fredricka Whitfield & Rick Sanchez, with their uber-personal, free-form manner and ceaseless giggling, may do well competing with Regis & Kelly.  (That was neither a suggestion nor flattery.)  James Carville might be better placed as an Obama administration spokesperson; and I see Soledad O’Brien hosting a successful talk show on BET in the near future.  Even Larry King…poor Larry.  Had a good show awhile back.  He now offers us virtually unrecognizable guests, from reality shows or YouTube videos.  Apparently he is competing with Maury.  I can just feel it.  Paternity tests are coming soon on Larry King Live.  Anderson Cooper was one of my favorites, and now is treading water; hope he doesn’t sink any further.

Programs such as Fareed Zakaria GPS, State of the Union, and Your $$$$$, and anchors like Wolf Blitzer & John King I still enjoy watching.

I remember a gentleman named Walter Cronkite.  He could accurately deliver facts without imposing opinions.  He and other anchors of his time allowed viewers to absorb the facts in order to formulate their own opinions. Isn’t this what truly defines news reporting?  CNN might just enjoy being different than the rest.  Take the high road, cycle back to first-rate, true news reporting and leave the others in the dust – at the shady, unsavory entertainment level.

Stupid People Come In All Colors, Don’t They?

•September 16, 2009 • 1 Comment

It was brought to my attention by a comrade that there are, “Plenty of stupid white people out there to make fun of, too.” Well, I wasn’t really making fun as much as I was trying to be light about a very real – kinda frightening – issue we face in society. The matter being…numbers of incredibly stupid people in our society are growing exponentially, will bring our culture to shocking new lows, and have the potential to make decisions that affect all of us.

However, to imply some sort of discrimination here is more than a bit of a stretch. The articles were posted as they came up randomly in a search. And I do believe one of the reports I posted – the woman who power-washed her 2-year-old – was a white woman. However, it was a bad couple of days for American-Africans*, what with Serena’s blow-up and Kanye’s disturbing, disrespectful display. Bad timing, I suppose?

So I wondered why the message was lost, and how the focus became race for this person. And how many others saw it this way? What does it mean when an individual sees color first, as the primary factor, and misses the real meaning?

It certainly is easy to find signs of racism when you’re looking for them, and then use it as an excuse – but let’s not stop there and ignore the truly important concern.

Mark Twain put it best…

To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

*Since high school I have detested the fact we insist on putting Americans second to all! We are American-Polish, American-Irish, American-African, American-Mexican, and so on. The fact it is difficult to say it this way is a truly sad statement regarding our patriotism. Let’s put America FIRST!

Why shouldn’t Obama embrace an opportunity to be honored at Notre Dame?

•May 16, 2009 • 1 Comment

President Obama & Cardinal Francis George

An understanding of the strong emotions of practicing Catholics regarding abortion and the rift this political tribute would exacerbate among those Catholics should have been enough to prevent him from being invited and honored.  However, the same understanding and a moral conscience would have guided Obama to graciously turn down the invitation.

“It is clear that Notre Dame didn’t understand what it means to be Catholic when they issued this invitation,” said Cardinal Francis George, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  And Cardinal James Francis Stafford, one of the highest-ranking Americans at the Vatican, has declared Obama an unfit honoree because his statements on abortion reflect “an agenda and vision that are aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic.” A decided majority of practicing Catholics disapproves, according to the latest Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life Poll.

The president is merely taking advantage of a mistake made by the Catholic University.  As he finds it is necessary for him to continue to sell himself, he will use the words that have been written for him to discuss compromise, the importance of open dialogue…and to urge the graduates to do their part, move forward and use their religious passion to make a difference in the world.  It will be powerful, well stated, and will undoubtedly reinforce the warm feelings of those in attendance who care only to have a celebrity president at their commencement.  Many of the students are there only to obtain a degree from the prestigious Notre Dame, thoughtless of the Catholic Church affiliation.

I do not believe there is a politician who acts entirely on behalf of or in alignment with the teachings and beliefs of the Catholic Church.  I do not believe anyone with a political agenda should be invited to speak at a Catholic institution, let alone be honored with a degree.  In fact, it seems quite simple, doesn’t it?  The Catholic Church should never consider honoring politicians.



Stop Obama at Notre Dame

The Catholic Exchange

Michelle Malkin:  Showdown at Notre Dame

Rev. Pfleger Turns His Church Upside-Down

•May 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Muted Pleger

Flying the flag upside-down as a last resort distress signal for vessels is antiquated procedure, and is no longer used.  Most Americans would not understand or make a logical connection to youngsters dying in Chicago.  In fact, I would believe most patriotic Americans would never understand a comparison of distressed vessels to murdered Chicago teens; indeed, they would more likely feel insulted and take offense to this inappropriate use of the national symbol.

Yet again, the thoughtless Rev. Michael Pfleger does before he thinks.  After being suspended for making thoughtless racist remarks during a sermon at Rev. Wright’s church, he now “gives the order” to take an inappropriate action in an attempt to call attention to what really amounts to be his own failures.

You see, these slayings are not being ignored because the victims are minorities.  Rather, the youngsters have become victims because they have been ignored and neglected by their parents and guardians.  In turn, Rev. Pfleger and his “chorus of weary Chicagoans” have ignored the parents of these children, and failed to provide the proper spiritual guidance necessary for them to grow into faithful, vibrant Catholic families.

In place of racist sermons, he might have taught parents in his congregation the importance of accountability for their children’s’ well-being.  The parent’s obligation to teach, by example, how to make the right choices and to harshly warn their children of the often-fatal consequences of choosing the wrong path could have been valuable information to communicate. Their duty to teach their children how to take responsibility for their own lives, in alignment with the teachings of their Catholic faith might have saved some lives.

Senselessly drawing attention to the slayings with improper, irrational acts will not help to begin turning this around-in fact it may have the opposite result and increase the numbers.  Gang-related killings are worn as a badge of honor, and the media hype boosts their pride.

Rev. Pfleger is an embarrassment to Catholics around the globe.  He leads by bad example, and is shamelessly drawing his followers away from the most basic principles of Catholicism.  Unfortunately, the church continues to show its debility and is still unwilling to discipline its clergyman gone astray.  He seems far too interested in political involvements, inflaming racial tensions, and creating mindless – often offensive – controversy to get face-time.

Concerned Catholics everywhere can pray that soon the right teacher will be sent to guide those who are in need of uplifting.  Someone who genuinely believes in addressing the real issues with appropriate actions, leading by good example, arming the people of these communities with the knowledge and faith they hunger for in order to move their communities forward in a positive direction…just might do some good.

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