Friday, March 13, 2015

The Lattanzi Ten - 3/13/15

On this Friday the 13th, we take a look at some of the stories that have popped up, as well as ones that have staying power. I am feeling a tad satirical and sporty today...and in some cases satirically sporty, or is that sportily satirical, I can never figure it out. -- J.L.

College basketball conference tournaments are some of the most exciting and wonderful sporting events known. I actually prefer it to most of the NCAA Tournament, for the reason that conference play is more personal and ugly. These are all teams that know one another and loath one another. Games tend to be close and physical and demonstrate some of the greatest rivalries sports have ever given to us. The first four days of the NCAA Tournament are exciting as well, but for a different reason: the upsets and the low seeds acting like six-year old kids at Christmas. I am watching Maryland and Indiana play in the Big Ten tournament right now, and will later flip to ACC games after this one is finished. It's good to have cable.

Martin O'Malley really wants to be the nominee. I did agree with something I heard him say about people "inside the Beltway" being the last to know about how political races shape up, but he also said it without any trace of irony. It's generally a rule of thumb that liberals and Democrats will tell you what they're afraid of by seeing/reading a) what they attack and b) what gets leaked. We'll keep reading stories about donors getting jittery as the "inevitability" of Hillary Clinton is continuously questioned. Stay tuned. This is far from over.

Prince George's County is considering opening a couple of schools to help transition Spanish speaking kids into English-speakers, and the NAACP is throwing a fit:
Ross believes the proposal to open two new schools violates the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision that ruled separate schools for black and white students violated the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“It risks turning Prince George’s County into a segregated school system,” Ross said, adding that he realizes the need for better education in the county but believes it should not come at the cost of existing students.
This is an interesting development, and it is demonstrative about taking the privileged status as the top minority group for granted. I do find it humorous in its own way that the local NAACP chapter president's name is "Bob Ross." But somehow I don't think we'll be seeing happy little trees and clouds by the time this painting is done. On a related note, it may get ugly in Gorgeous Prince George's, as Executive Rushern Baker has advocated a property tax increase of 15%. This should easily drive property values down, but we shall see...

Let's see, Presidents who go read tweets on Stoner TV late-night talk shows, incompetent and impotent Congressional leaders, judiciaries that are extensions of political parties, agencies that usurp Congressional authority to legislate and tax, and record tax-receipts with record deficits along with dishonest baseline budgeting. Gee, I wonder why trust in government is at an all-time low?

Are there any adults in charge?

This quote from John Henry Cardinal Newman really came back to me for two reasons...I read the linked article (although I disagree with the conclusion), and a lesson I taught my students today about Roman attempts in the second and third centuries to cut Christianity off from respectable society by spreading falsehoods about doctrines and practices. 

One of the accusations I brought up was the charge that Christians were cannibals, due to the practice of the Eucharist and the Mass, and one of the great ironies this is that some fringe fundamentalist Christian groups will on occasion write a tract accusing Catholics of the same. The group will then act in a very self-congratulatory way about they stuck it to the heathens in the Vatican while ignoring the fact that the charge is a plagiarized one. 

Qoheleth said "nothing is new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9) and had there been any attempt at knowing history, not only would they have realized the charge is a) close to 1900 years old and b) that the Eucharist, which is derided as an "invention," was at the heart of Christianity from the very beginning. Alas...

This is a consequence of the "everyone needs to go to college" mentality. We have a bunch of useless degrees and an inherently unskilled workforce. Judge Smails said in Caddyshack, "the world needs ditch diggers too!" and he wasn't wrong. Instead of proposing free community college and overemphasizing STEM, how about vocational or trade school? Or does the Lattanzi Corollary apply?

Actually, I don't believe that the making of an all-female Ghostbusters ruined my childhood. Just my adulthood, thank you very much. In another example of the lack of Hollywood creativity, they are rebooting (in multiple forms, no less) a beloved franchise. As per usual, I will wait until I can rent it out of a RedBox machine in front of the local 7-11 to see if it horrendously awful, or just merely bad.

I like Will Ferrell in small doses (absolutely cannot stand him as a feature-length actor), and I loved his jaunt between all the teams in the Cactus League. Look at the transaction set at the link. Utterly hilarious. 

Where players freely move between division rivals. I bet many of you didn't know that Jackie Robinson retired rather than report to the hated New York Giants after being traded to them from Brooklyn. There was a time when rivalries mattered to players as well as the fans. Now it is only the latter, except in college, which is pretty much the only redeeming factor of their sports. Anyway, the Eagles signed DeMarco Murray, the current NFL rushing champ who played the last several years for Dallas. 

One of the brilliant pieces putting everything together that has recently happened came from one of the best Philly satirists, an author pseudonymously known as "FakeWIPCaller." The rep of Philly fans (fairly or not) can sometimes be pinned upon the complete morons who call into WIP (610 AM) and whine about this and that. It's worth the read, and quite frankly, I fear for the future of America when people can't tell what satire is. Maybe Swift and More need to be taught again in schools, rather than graphic novels about Marvel characters. But what do I know? I'm just a religion teacher...

1 comment:

J.M. Lattanzi said...

So I have Disqus integrated into Lattanzi Land now. Awesome!