Because I feel a tremendous responsibility to my readers -- many of whom, I know, hear of a current event or a piece of news and immediately find themselves wondering, "What Does Gwen Think about this?" -- let me give you a run-down of my opinions and feelings on a few items:
- Ritchie Incognito and the Miami Dolphins. As far as what went down with Incognito and Jonathan Martin and whether Martin's departure was justified, who really knows. But I have been shocked by what this incident has revealed about the culture of football in our country. Former players and coaches keep being interviewed on the matter, and they all seem to say the same thing: yeah, Incognito got carried away, but this type of behavior is just what happens in the NFL.
So, we pay grown men OBSCENE salaries (players and administrative types) to play a game violent enough to require so much safety equipment covering their bodies as to completely hide their natural body shapes (and they still have horrible -- even life-threatening -- injuries). We encourage this violent attitude to the extent that behavior and conversations which the rest of society would find extremely offensive and which might land them in jail are normal among these men. And we allow our boys to idolize and try to emulate these men.
And we allow it all to happen for the sake of being entertained by the game. Are we really that much better than the Romans with their gladiators?
- Black Friday. I've never shopped on Black Friday because I hate getting up early on a holiday, I hate big crowds, and I don't enjoy shopping in general. But it has gotten a bit ridiculous how early stores are opening. I'm not so upset about the employees having to work on a holiday -- there are thousands of people out there who have to work on holidays. But it just cheapens Thanksgiving Day to make it about shopping now. Nothing is meaningful anymore.
The thing is, the only reason those stores open so early is because they know somebody will show up to shop -- scads of somebodies, in fact. Kind of like how the politicians only use dirty tactics because they know they work. We get what we deserve.
This is related to the football item. The Marketplace is morally neutral, but it makes our societal moral weaknesses so apparent.
- Kennedy and Lincoln. Both on my mind lately. I've read Bill O'Reilly's books about them this year (yes, Killing Jesus is on my Christmas list). Excellent, excellent books -- whatever you think about O'Reilly. The Kennedy movie being on the National Geographic channel (and all the other discussion about the anniversary of his assassination) has led to talk with my daughter about marriage fidelity, communism and the cold war, presidential safety . . . good discussions. (The book is very frank about the president's affairs, but interesting to note, it also says that the Cuban missile crisis struck such fear in him about losing his family that the other women lost much of their appeal.)
The Lincoln book I read a while ago but has been fresh in my mind because my daughter is memorizing the Gettysburg address for school, and they are going to film the class reciting it at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery for a presentation at the Christmas program. Such an amazing speech.
- The Obamacare ads. You know, the ones with the women excited to get birth control so they can hop into bed with the guy they just met. Seriously. I mean . . . ugh. It's just . . . it's so . . . I'm sorry. I can't even find words to communicate my contempt and disgust for this.
- Texas weather. It got down to freezing here the other night, which is apparently extremely unusual for around here this early in the season. My daughter's math teacher had frost on her windshield in the morning and had to sit and think what to do about that. It really has been quite chilly, which is refreshing. My new Texan friends tell me that we have cold spurts like this once in a while, for a few days, all winter long, but then it warms up again. I'm curious to see how we like the winter weather in Texas. Part of me thinks I'm going to miss having at least some snow. I'll just pray for a white Christmas so I get my snow fix when we're in Kansas for that.
- The President's speech yesterday. Refreshing to hear his more humble attitude. Unfortunately, I don't think this fix is going to fix a thing. And that's all I'm going to say about that.
There you go, friends. This is what I'm thinking these days. Go forth and think likewise. ;)