35 thoughts on “It’s Heeeere…The Friday Open Forum!

  1. I’m sorry. I confess. I’m unethical. I’ve enjoyed far to much the recent meltdown by the left after this series of SCOTUS rulings with the *big one* still to come (and hopefully with the correct ruling also)

  2. Interesting conversation yesterday with a colleague about summer reading lists. Turns out I’m not the only one who thinks that Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins sucked. The similar Call it Courage is much better, but that book has a male lead and much more action (including a frightening fight with an octopus) Can’t have THAT.

    I wonder what teacher first got the idea that kids should be made to read four, five, sometimes more boring, depressing books during the summer and be tested on them when they return to school. I also wonder who came up with the idea for some of the books read DURING high school. Who in their right mind wants to read the diary of a neurotic kid who can’t get his act together (The Catcher in the Rye) or a complete depresser in which the good die young and the old are left to simmer in hate (A Separate Peace)? Then we complain that people don’t read enough. Who can blame them? Because of some neuro issues I always had terrible penmanship, especially when it came to cursive writing. The teachers chalked it up to laziness and made my life miserable as a result. I haven’t written a single stroke of it since I left 8th grade. I can’t blame someone who’s tired of reading depressing books if he says once he walks out of school that he will never read anything longer than a magazine article again.

    • “Catcher in the Rye”: inexcusably terrible, as is “The Great Gatsby.” Nor am I a fan at all of anything Hemingway did. I’m still reading the books I never read on our summer reading lists in grade and high school, Steve. Finished “Two Years Before the Mast” not too long ago. A pretty interesting book and Dana was an interesting guy. A lawyer who, among many other things, militated for better working and living conditions for sailors. Died in Italy working as a diplomat or something, as I recall. Also finally finished “A Tale of Two Cities” recently. Tough going. Not sure why “David Copperfield” or “Great Expectations” weren’t on the lists instead. Dickens is … Dickens. Incomparable. I wonder whether summer reading lists are a thing of the past. They are certainly white supremacist and meritocratic and oppressive and don’t speak to the lived experience of high school students of color.

      • From my experience, graduating High School in 1993, I either didn’t have any assigned summertime reading or totally blew it off. I was an unrepentant little bastard back then.
        I’m absolutely sure that summer reading lists do not exist in today’s public schools. For some, mere literacy is barely mentioned.

  3. Perhaps some of the commentors here have some thoughts on the LIV golf tour financed by the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. They offered many golfers, including Phil Mickelson, a lot of money just to play on the LIV tour. Several golfers have resigned from or suspended from the PGA tour for their participation in the startup LIV tour. I don’t know if it’s a question of ethics and the players certainly have the freedom to chose but it seems like somewhat of a betrayal to me. And, I only watch golf if it’s a major and Sunday; however, I’m disappointed that Phil and others went over to the LIV tour.

    • Me, me, me, me!

      There’s a lot going on in this story.

      Number one, the idea that golfers shouldn’t take money from the Saudis is ridiculous. Everyone buys Saudi oil. Saudi sheiks own soccer teams all over the world. Those leagues are perfectly happy to take their money and inflate the value of their franchises. The World Cup will be contested this winter in the United Arabe Emirates, or some other Arabian fiefdom. Formula One holds a race somewhere in Saudi. The European Tour holds its crowning event in Abu Dahbi.

      This is a classic conflict of organizations versus their members. It’s always dicey. I worked in a law firm, was even a partner (hah), that was run by a guy who had a habit of proposing things in partners’ meetings that benefited him and only him, but he’d say the proposals were “for the good of the order.” Hah!

      The PGA Tour makes a LOT of money and controls even more. Greg Norman has always been militating for the golfers, you know, the people who actually provide the entertainment, to have more say in how the money is divided. I’m pretty sure he also believes there are too many mediocre players on the PGA and European Tours who simply clog things up and take money away from the stars who drive interest in the sport and TV ratings and money. People forget what an exceptional golfer he was because he always spoke his mind and didn’t bow down to people like Dean Beamon and Tim Finchem and Jay Monahan. I suspect Norman looked at those guys and said, “Who the hell are you guys?”

      I’m pretty sure Norman has been pitching a World Golf Tour for quite a while. I’m sure he also compares what basketball and baseball, and football players make under guaranteed contracts to what golfers make. Golfers are not set for life and do not receive quarter of a billion-dollar contracts. They don’t even get appearance fees or guaranteed minimum payouts except in Abu Dhabi.

      This situation is analogous to the Super League that was attempted by some American owners of elite, really valuable, European soccer clubs. It made sense and people would surely watch it, but the fans opposed it and the owners backed off.

      I find this terribly interesting. Personally, I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong here. All three of the LIV, PGA and European Tours are simply interested in making money off of ridiculously talented golfers. All the huffiness and “holier than thou” stuff is preposterous. I think the PGA Tour expelling members for playing in the LIV tournaments is, frankly, childish. And isn’t it interesting that the PGA Tour is all of a sudden raising prize money in its events. I am shocked, shocked I tell you.

      “It’s nothing personal, Edward. It’s just business.”

      • Thanks. After reading your comment, I came away with a different point of view. (as Johnny Cash once said in a famous song) :).

        • Speaking of Johnny, I was horrified to learn yesterday that Johnny and June Carter Cash issued a version of “Jackson” at the same time as Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra’s version, and the latter, by two mediocrities, outsold it. Of course the Cashes’ version is superior, fierce, tougher, funnier. Of course, the listening public picked the whitebread version.

          • Hardly surprising, given that pop music in the mid-1960s had a lot more listeners than country and western music. That was during a kind of a lull in the country genre, the British Invasion having taken up most of the oxygen in the mainstream music world and pushed much of the country and western influence out of rock music. It wouldn’t be until the early 1970s that country would recover in popularity, thanks in no small part to Cash and the other “outlaw” artists.

        • You’re very welcome, E. I wasn’t trying to sway you or anyone. I just leapt at the opportunity you provided to articulate just a few of the thoughts that have been rumbling around in the attic on this issue. Hypocrisy, particularly when it rears its head in matters financial, is one of my hobby horses. Thanks.

          And by the way, if I were advising Rory McElroy or otherwise had his ear, I’d urge him to just keep his mouth shut for at least the time being and see how this all plays out. Surely, Rory’s one of the LIV Tour’s major targets for recruiting going forward. At some point soon, the money may be too massive for Rory to pass up.

    • I saw this too, mixed feelings.

      I’m also overweight. A fatty fat who fats. No shame. It depends on your horse. I have a 20 hand, 2000 pound Clydesdale. Rule of thumb is that a horse can carry 20% of it’s weight. Me at 270 plus tack at maybe 50 is still pretty safely under the “max load”.

      That doesn’t mean I’d get on a 15 hand, 1000 pound Quarter Horse. If the Ranch says their horses aren’t big enough to handle you, this isn’t a conversation about “fat rights” it’s a conversation about animal cruelty and a lesson in calling ahead of time with disclosures.

      I remember when I went to Vegas, a buddy of mine, “Bubba” was 400 pounds of man. He was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to keep up with us while we walked the strip:

      Me: “I dunno man…. We could get you a Segway or something?”
      Him: “I think they’re rated for like 200 pounds.”
      Me: “Well, we could get you one for each leg?”
      Him: “I don’t think they’d appreciate that….”
      Me: “Probably not. Might as still see if they got a big boy model though, can’t hurt to ask?”

      They didn’t. He ended up walking. We were fine. My point is that these aren’t tough conversations. We live in the real world. Some things aren’t built for us. That’s OK. I’m not going to get bent out of shape if Segway doesn’t want me breaking their shit, this is worse: Animal abuse dressed up as affirmation.

      • As I heard the owner of a famous German piano company explain to a delighted woman customer why his 9-foot piano she had just played sounded more wonderful than his seven-foot piano, “Is simply physics, my dear.”

      • Makes total sense. You have a healthy perspective. She does not. Her point that the ranch maybe should’ve been more informing about the weight of a rider might have some merit, but there’s also a degree of common sense that should play out. Does a ranch need to issue a disclaimer that horses can’t be ridden by people above a certain weight? I don’t know.

  4. This has absolutely nothing to do with ethics, but in Harrison’s song “I, Me, Mine” is “Flowing more freely than wine” grammatically correct? It sounds correct but lots of times, grammatically incorrect sentence structures or phrasings sound better.

    By, the way, McCartney is a musical genius but I prefer Harrison’s musical sensibilities.

    jvb

  5. Here’s a good “Okay explain the rules to me again” story: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-10948687/Tennis-superstar-Naomi-Osaka-SLAMMED-new-project-LeBron-James.html

    A Japanese American woman tennis star wants to name her business venture “Hana Kuma,” which evidently means “flower bear” in Japanese. But “hanakuma” means “woman who has no vagina” in Swahili. And evidently two hundred million People of Color speak Swahili.

    Here are a couple of nice, self-indicting reactions: ‘If you speak Swahili, you felt the shock when you saw this,’ one person commented on Osaka’s Instagram post announcing the company name, while another added: ‘This concept would never get approved in Tanzania.’

    Wouldn’t the answer to those comments be along the lines of “And so?”

    And isn’t having a term for a woman with no vagina kind of helpful? It seems better than “trans gender woman” to me. I’ve always wondered, does that term mean a person who started out as a guy or as a woman? And who decides whether Swahili gets precedence over Japanese. Do East African people of color outrank Japanese, in terms of cultural gravitas and deference? I guess so. Japanese people tend toward being pale. They may even be white these days rather than yellow?

    • Reminds me of my favorite story, somewhat misstated, about some signs advertising Coca-Cola in Chinese creating a combination of symbols that sounded like “bite the wax tadpole” when read.

      • Then there’s the Chevy Nova being marketed in Spanish speaking countries where “no va” means “it doesn’t go.” Probably my personal favorite.

          • It’s a myth that “no va” means “it doesn’t go?” See, eg., Carlos Santana’s “Oye Como Va.” Maybe Chevy never marketed the Nova in Mexico but I’m sure they did all along the border.

            • Mexico had a chain of gas stations called Nova at the time Chevy introduced their car there. Seems unlikely they’d think the car meant doesn’t go when the gas station means new in Latin.

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