Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Vick & Belichick | Crime & Punishment

You know what I like? The idea that the punishment should fit the crime. And I don't mean in the dull, don't-send-the-person-to-prison-for-too-long kind of way. No, I mean that the punishment should, essentially, exact upon the criminal's person and/or life what the criminal did to... whomever/whatever. And I don't mean eye-for-eye kind of punishment, either. The idea is that the punishment should abuse your life in a way that relates to how you abused someone/something else. I haven't fleshed all this out in my head yet, and I'm sure it'd be ridiculously hard to do so, but here's how it relates to a couple of recent events:

1. Michael Vick, the dogfighter

The crime: He fought dogs against each other and systematically killed them. Fine. Yet another rich person abusing a lifestyle billions of people would kill for.

The punishment: force him to live out his days working in an SPCA shelter. No 2 year prison term and a slow return to the football, world which has been predicted by some. You take your lifestyle for granted, and it gets taken away. End of story. He never touches a football competitively again. (Same goes, by the way, for other sports stars who do worse things, such as–HELLO–rape women or kill people. Of course, I'm not sure what the rapists would be made to do for a living, instead. Perhaps work as janitors in hospitals or clinics for abused women, something like that.)

2. Bill Belicheck, the spy

The crime: videotaping opposing teams' signals for use gaining unfair advantage regarding called plays (by the way, those 3 Superbowls are, in my opinion, legitimately in question. Read this if you don't get why.)

The punishment: He can still coach–indeed, he will be required to stay in the profession–but for no team more prestigious than, say, a NCAA Division II school. As an assistant.

I guess I'm just sick of watching famous people get out of trouble as easily as they get into it. If you or I were to abuse and kill people or animals, or flagrantly defy the clearly defined rules of our profession, we'd have a helluva time getting the same kind of work again, let alone making enough money to make anyone jealous. "You want to make a lot of money? Fine. You want to kill people or animals or break laws? That's fine, too, but you won't make a lot of money anymore, and no one is going to read about you in the papers ever again." Does that seem like an unreasonable message for the justice system to send? Not to my ears.

And you get the point. Movie stars who seem to enjoy getting arrested for for the publicity of it would be, at a certain point, removed from show business and made to work at Blockbuster. The big executive who embezzles millions would find himself working in a cubicle for 8 bucks an hour.

Don't get me wrong, I have no particular grudge against people who are rich and/or famous (despite how this post may read). Money & power corrupt, and I want nothing to do with that; indeed, I'm almost certain I couldn't handle it and would end up in bad shape, myself. What I want to retain is the self-awareness and presence of mind to try not to be the kind of person for whom success–or money or fame or power–is so important that the I allow a goal of attaining it to change who I am for the worse.

I could keep going, but my point is simple, and simply made: You abuse your lifestyle, your lifestyle would be made to abuse you in kind. The punishment fits the crime.

Just a thought.

Why I usually prefer not to talk about my job



Don't get me wrong: I am thankful for my job. It pays the bills, gives us health insurance, buys food, and provides shelter. But when I forget to think about those benefits, I can almost see the abyss rushing up to meet me. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: people were not made to spend 8 hours a day in a cube with gray walls. Fortunately, we were created with a sense of humor.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

5 Things I Think

1. For reasons unbeknownst to me, I still think lists are somewhat bothersome. Still, since I'm just as rotten with perfection as the next guy, I do find they can be useful from time to time.

2. Children thrive on structure, but I think many adults (myself included) seem to enjoy perpetuating the sense that such rigidity of life is entirely distasteful. I think we learn from TV and movies, from the "stars", from the pundits, from the LOUDEST VOICES, that life is about the here and now, that life is organic and therefore above our silly attempts to name and contain it. There's some truth there, to be sure, but as we get older (at least, as I get older), it becomes apparent that success, almost any way you define it, follows those who recognize the challenges and obstacles and plan accordingly. I think structure, though less than perfect and easily abused, sure beats the alternative (ok, so that's not exactly the opposite of what I'm talking about here, but I just had to link to something).

I think, perhaps, structure is difficult for a reason.

3. I think the sermon I heard this Sunday, entitled "True Christianity" and delivered by a layman, was fantastic and sobering. I think that if this passage doesn't make you think, nothing will. I think Christianity is a terrifically difficult proposition, also for a reason, and I think I've got lots of work to do.

I think, perhaps, rather it's God who has lots of work to do on me.

4. I think cubicles make for depressing landscape.

5. I think connections define the vast majority of life. Family are connections whose importance is second to none. I think I'll be damned if someone tells me my closest friends aren't my family, but blood trumps everything. My small family of man, wife, & child, is priority 1; I think that upon my death, if my marriage was strong and my child(ren) love God, I will know I could have done no better.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Miscellany

I haven't posted in over a week, and a busy week it has been. It continues to be so, which means this post will be short. Here are two things that caught my attention recently:

Worldmapper: The world as you've never seen it before. For example. Explore the many, many maps; they are illuminating.

Mandel makes an argument with which I'm inclined to agree, tongue-in-cheek though some of hsi points may be. Being a Big Ten man, I definitely wouldn't mind Notre Dame signing on. Sadly, even given how this season is going for the Irish, I'm not holding my breath.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Not too shabby

(And no, Lisa, I didn't say "not too shitty", so get your mind out of the gutter.)

I'm writing this post using Windows Live Writer Beta, and I'm impressed. I'm seeing the post as it will appear, as I'm creating it.

Just for fun, let's upload a picture, from the newly discovered (by me) white ninja comics:

image

Excellent.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Two Poems

From "When Ecstasy is Inconvenient", by Lorine Niedecker

Know amazedly how

often one takes his madness

into his own hands

and keeps it.

and "From A Little White Shadow", by Mary Ruefle

"Get Stella!"

I am not making this up: that's what Lisa shouted out the other day, for no apparent reason. I am beginning to think she has PG-rated Tourette's. Granted, we had seen, a few days previous to her outburst, a few minutes of A Streetcar Named Desire – you know, the film with Marlon Brando before he turned into an amorphous blob – so she already had Stella on the brain, but still. Very strange.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

It's not worth it

Indeed. I just can't get enough Wondermark.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I am so getting an Appy State t-shirt

Now that's what I'm talkin' about.

So much time, so little to say

Read somewhere this morning that apparently, some people think bloggers are only good for opinions and news aggregation. That's stupid, so check out these links:

Ha! Just kidding. Seriously, though. Left a comment on Peter's blog in which I said I wasn't sure just where this blog is going, yet. That's definitely true, but I hope my opinions and things I find interesting don't vacate the premises permanently. Also, I'd like to incorporate CommentPress at some point, but we'll see. (Except that there's the whole WordPress problem getting in the way...)

Oh, and there's this.

Ok, one bit of news: Jerry Lewis dropped an f-bomb (no, not that one); let's all run for the hills and await the end times, shall we? Now, I'm not sure if I'm even old enough to remember when such comments weren't met with immediate and public condemnation, but as long as the ACLU & company are "protecting" our rights or whatever it is they think they're doing, I'm going to feel compelled to play devil's advocate and say that pouncing on every little thing like this really means we're losing more than anyone is protecting.

On a lighter note:

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Back from the dead

I've been away for some time; I've been busy. I had ear surgery last Thursday, and this is why. Everything seems to have gone well. I have an appointment with the doctor on Friday, and I expect to return to work immediately thereafter.

Today, in my first real period of sustained, concentrated thought, I made some significant changes to LaffertyWhistle.com. Do take a gander, and validate me.

I hope to get myself back in good blogging form before too long, but there's also work to consider. I'll be returning to a situation in which two very new people will have been handling my work for about a week, and there could be plenty to clean up. Still, I am not down for the count, and I hope to prove it in the not-so-distant future.

That is all.