Wednesday, March 29, 2017

et ceteras

In case you missed it, the most gruesome injury of the hockey season happened to Ottawa's Marc Methot last week courtesy of Sidney Crosby's stick. You might say it's only a fingertip, but fingers are important and his looks like a popped-open water bottle.

I am looking forward to the playoffs, even though my Lightning would be on the outside looking in if they started today.

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Switching to hoops, I am also looking forward to the Final Four. Although North Carolina is a perennial power, this marks the first time South Carolina and Gonzaga have made it this far, and the last time Oregon reached the Final Four was in the very first NCAA tourney 78 years ago.

In fact, until a couple weeks ago South Carolina had not won a tournament game since 1973, but here they are. And while Gonzaga has recent tradition and is this year's top seed, it is still a David among Goliaths when you consider that it's a small school and its arena seats only 6,000.

I do not have a horse in this race, but there's something I like about each school. No matter who wins, I'll see something positive in their triumph... But come on, how can you not root for a North Carolina versus South Carolina showdown for the national championship? There would finally be some enmity between two big schools that should have been rivals all along.

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Chuck Berry has gone to the great beyond. He was truly an American original, and I have long thought that he rather than Elvis should be called "the King of Rock."

There's no reason to mince words: The primary reason for giving the royal title to Elvis is that he was white. The polite (and much more common) way of making that claim is to say that it took Elvis to make the new musical genre popular with white kids, but that simply isn't correct: Berry's first national hit ("Maybellene") was released in 1955 and went platinum, while Elvis's ("Heartbreak Hotel") came out in 1956. Berry achieving success with white audiences prior to Elvis puts the lie to the notion that rock "needed" a non-melanin face to become popular with the masses.

They were both talented, but Berry wrote much of his own material and little of it feels dated all these decades later. His guitar licks, especially the frenzied intro to "Johnny B. Goode," are outright classics that axemen to this day feel compelled to try their hands at.

He was a mixed bag, to be sure. I heard one radio commentator wax poetic that Berry left behind a wife to whom he was married for 68 years. As remarkable as that sounds, it shouldn't blind us to the fact that during those 68 years Berry spent a year in a half in prison for having sex with a minor (February 1962 to October 1963) and in 1990 was accused of installing a hidden camera in the women's restroom of a restaurant he owned. The restroom case never went to trial because he agreed to a legal settlement with 59 women who brought charges against him; and while he said he didn't know who installed the camera, he did admit to its existence and to its being used to film illicit videos.

And there is this interesting tidbit: On July 1st, 1979, he performed a concert at the White House -- and nine days later was sentenced to four months in federal prison and 1,000 hours of community service for tax evasion. (This one doesn't bother me, but still.)

Sure, Chuck Berry was no saint, but he was an original. When he died the day after St. Paddy's Day he was 90 years old and had just finished recording an album. I have a sneaking suspicion it sounds good.

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Let's see. Hillary Clinton opened her tenure as Secretary of State by authoring a "Russian reset" that softened our Russia policy and ushered in an eight-year era of allowing Putin & Co. to do whatever the hell they want. And during the run-up to the 2012 election, Barack Obama was caught colluding with Russia when a hot microphone recorded him relaying a message to Putin about how he could be even more accommodating to the Kremlin after he got reelected and didn't have to answer to the voters any more.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump became a presidential candidate without having any ties to Russia, business or political or otherwise. And one of his major pledges was a major buildup of our military, which is something Russia does not want us to do. And since he became president, the person he appointed as our UN ambassador has been particularly tough on Russia.

Yet we are supposed to believe Putin wanted Trump to be president and not Clinton? And we are supposed to believe that Russia was working with Trump & Co. to achieve that end? And we're supposed to believe it because Democrats say there was/is an "investigation" about whether things they won't identify were done by people they won't name? We're supposed to believe it because the vagueness (but still not any specifics) was affirmed by the same James Comey who cited a non-existent legal standard to justify letting Clinton off the hook for actions that would have landed you or me in prison for years?  The same James Comey who absurdly suggested that no one should "draw any conclusions" from his statements that were obviously intended to lead people to draw conclusions? Oh-kaaaaaaay, yeah, sure, whatever.

I did not support Trump during the election season, but it's obvious that this whole story is one big smokescreen designed by the Left so that it -- not Trump, not Putin -- can retroactively "meddle with" our election and overturn its 100% legitimate result. Then they can go back to swooning over the schoolboyish manifestos of Bernie "Honeymooned in the USSR" Sanders and licking the Kremlin's boots like they've done since the days of Lenin. I am sick of having my intelligence insulted by the Left, the media, and the appratchiks of DC's increasingly despotic culture.

But what's truly disturbing is that so many Democrat voters American citizens are perfectly happy to have their intelligence insulted, so long as it's insulted by being told the kind of lies they wish were true. Regarding them, I feel like repeating what the great patriot Samuel Adams said to the royalists back in the day: "May posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

On that note, I will close by quoting the great Eric Cartman: "Screw you guys, I'm going home."

But I'll be back soon, and hopefully in a better mood than I am right now!