Jul 12, 2011

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like plotting my child’s cultural education. I just DVR’d five of the six Star Wars films and found myself thinking how cool it will be to introduce our child to these movies. It was interesting to note that Spike TV aired the movies in the storyline’s chronological order. Should I follow this route or let the child get the same experience we all had by watching Episodes IV-VI then following up with Episodes I-III? These are the decisions I have to make with this baby on the way. I won’t spend too much time dwelling on the cultural elements that our child will be exposed to because let’s face it – the kid will be spending most waking hours at the driving range or on the golf course beginning at age 2. But I will have input and I will regulate the amount of culture that the child receives. I will also be fair in what is covered and include variety to prevent overkill, thus insuring that society will not have to tolerate another one of these:

This week, I love Shaquille O’neal. I’ve been meaning to mention my affection for the greatest center to ever play the game since he retired in early June. There are so many things that distinguish Shaq – from the length of his career (19 years!!) to his goofy personality displayed on and off the court. I’ll always remember him for being tall AND thick. Many pencil-thin 7-footers have come and gone but Shaq was the first big man that actually filled out his frame (almost too much towards the end of his career). He was tall, strong and nimble. You just don’t see that combination every day. Shaq’s star was first beginning to shine in the NBA while I was finishing my high school basketball career. I was a HUGE basketball fan then and Shaq was my guy. He was larger than life and seemed to be everywhere. I’ll even admit to buying his first rap album. ESPN televised Shaq’s retirement announcement. The event was held at his home. He spoke for 10 minutes and answered questions for an additional 20 minutes before inviting all members of the media to a catered lunch. How’s that for class? Very soon, he will be addressed as Dr. O’neal after completing his PhD in Human Resource Development from Barry University in Miami. I’m going to miss Shaq on the court but look forward to what will surely be an entertaining NBA commentating career.

This week, I don’t like America’s come-and-go love affair with soccer. The women’s US soccer team recently saved the planet and won some big game, or something like that. Just like when the men’s team made a decent showing in last summer’s World Cup, many Americans are now certified soccer fans. Really? This again? Americans are not soccer fans and these fleeting moments of interest are very telling of the times: there’s nothing else going on and we’ll take ANYTHING to get our minds off the slumping economy and other problems in our lives. It’s plausibly impossible for Americans to enjoy soccer. Why? Because the sport requires constant movement and yields very little excitement. It totally goes against our instinct to be as lazy as possible while unfulfilling our ever-shrinking attention span. The worst part is listening to morons that have never cared about soccer suddenly become experts and have discussions about their long, lasting love for the game. Will the women’s team please lose their next match so that we can all go back to reality? This kid's actions sums up our true passion for soccer.

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