Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Birther, A Death Wish, A Wedding? That's Nice

This has been such a crazy week in the news, I'm not sure where to start:

With the release of President Obama's long-form birth certificate last week, one must hope that the conspiracy theorists will shut the hell up once and for all. In spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the "birthers" continued to nag to the media, derailing common sense in some hairbrained attempt to defame the president or remove him from office. There is no doubt in my mind that the birthers' intent was drenched in prejudice and light on patriotic duty, and that Obama was essentially bullied to prove his citizenship. I'm ready to move beyond all this silliness as soon as everyone else is.

In my mind, this non-controversy plays out like a standard episode of "South Park." For the uninitiated, two of the main characters are Stan, a sensible everyman and Cartman, an overweight, blustery bigot. One of the standard story arcs involves Cartman tinkering with some asinine conspiracy or scam that he's dreamed up in his head, and Stan has to play the voice of reason. Cartman calls Stan a pussy and a coward until Stan lets himself get dragged into his obese friend's latest mess. Ultimately, Stan uses reverse psychology to make Cartman look like an idiot, pretending to play along with Cartman's stupid little game until the conspiracy or scam collapses on its own weight. As you might've guessed, the birthers in my parable are Cartman and Obama is Stan.

So naturally, this brings me to the other major news story of the past week. I was watching an episode of "The Simpsons" on the DVR in my bedroom when I heard my parents raise the volume on the living room set. When I saw the caption on CBS News read "Osama bin Laden Dead," I could barely form a sentence. Like any American, I was absolutely ecstatic; this is a signifigant moment for our lifetimes, I thought, an event that many of us never expected to happen. Like President Obama said, justice will always and inevitably be served, and bin Laden's death --the apparent result of a rain of bullets in a Navy SEAL commando strike-- was well worth the wait. (If I may ask, where were you guys when you first heard the news?)

Nearly 48 hours later, I have mixed emotions. When I first saw news coverage of the various riots and celebrations across the country --including one outside my old dorm at Illinois State University-- I smiled and wished I was there high-fiving and fist-pumping. When I woke up Monday morning, it occured to me that this was the exact same way our nation's enemies reacted on September 11th. This momentous occasion also had a sad feeling of irony; did America finally find closure, or did bin Laden nab the martyrdom he desperately craved? What is more important to us as a nation, seeking unity or pausing to reflect? Plus, there's also the big picture to look at: Osama's death does not automatically end the War on Terror. The head is chopped off, but the snake continues to aimlessly slither. We are now fighting a war with no face, no borders, and fewer tangibles. We need the protection of our military now more than ever, because retaliation seems to be a perpetual option.

Given that, I tip my hat and owe an immense debt to everyone involved in the operation, from President Obama (who greenlit the mission) and Gen. David Petraeus (the soon-to-be head of the CIA), all the way down to the intricately assembled "Team 6" and their seemingly superhuman feats. Long- or short-term, this was the morale booster our country needed.

Other notes:

+ Yes, the media coverage of the royal wedding was a tad over the top. You could even argue that it bordered on obsessive. However, with all the crap going on in the world, maybe we needed that pleasant distraction. Alas, Time magazine rushed out their May 16th issue to present up-to-the-minute coverage of the ceremony. Does that mean the inevitable "bin Laden caricature under a red painted X" cover will have to wait another two weeks?

+ Fantasy Update: one month into the season, both of my teams are just barely over .500. In the wake of several crippling injuries (Ryan Zimmerman, Josh Hamilton, Pablo "Panda" Sandoval) I overhauled the roster of my TV.com team. I suppose it could be worse; though I have Juan Pierre in platoon, at least I'm not the guy that drafted Adam Dunn or Edwin Jackson.

+ Improv Update: last week I began Level 5B at iO, and this week I start Writing 4 with Nate Herman. This is the last class for both programs, so by mid-June I'm practically done. With the last level of improv, our class is split up in two and performs as teams of ten for an eight-week run Sunday nights beginning June 19th. As for writing, this particular level covers scripting an original pilot, and without being too toward I'm already dreaming up ideas.

+ Finally, to appease several comments made on last week's 1976 blog, here is my official honorable mention for the best music video of that particular year. Bismillah, they will not let this go... ;)

1 comment:

  1. Did you see Rashard Mendenhall's comments about how he "has a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style" ?? Where the FUCK was HE 10 years ago?? Proving once again NFL players are the stupidest of all athletes. And major blunder by your boy Robbie Gould - taking down Virginia McCaskey like that. Total ungrateful meathead that was working remedial construction before they made him a multi-millionaire. I will never cheer for him ever again.

    The Royal Wedding? Who gives a shit about that. Tho Kate is way hotter than Di ever was.

    Don't know why the Twins are sucking - I opted out of Fantasy BB & they shouldn't be sucking so bad since none of them are on my team (unlike last year). Oh and if the White Sox have a second consecutive game being no-hit, I will literally dance on the roof because Ozzie & his staff's firing will be imminent! :D Liriano has NEVER thrown a complete game in any level in his career. (lol)