Category Archives: Entertainment

We’ve never met, but my all-time favorite athlete thinks I’m a racist. Because I’m white.

Hopefully you are already catching on to who the real racist is.

I have so many great memories of watching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar play basketball.  What he did to Boston in 1985 is possibly my favorite sports memory (and I have a lot of fond  memories, considering I’ve been a Lakers & Steelers fan since the 70’s).  He was such an amazing athlete to watch — so thoroughly gifted and disciplined and a great player in the clutch.  I was the little white boy working on his “sky hook” in the driveway over and over.

Unfortunately, too many stars ignore the “shut up and sing/dance/act/play” advice and tell us what they really think.  And in Kareem’s case, it is that he hates me because I’m white.

To Kareem’s credit, he did see some awful racism in his youth.  But he never got past projecting the actions of a few onto everyone who is white.  Using his logic, we should look at how black-on-white crimes absolutely dwarf the reverse and conclude that all blacks are criminals.  Fortunately, most of us can see past that and just judge individuals for their actions.

It is sad how unbelievably tone-deaf he is to his hypocrisy.  He was with his agent and a New York Times reporter doing a phony fluff-piece showing how fun and whimsical he is, and in the midst of this he is unspeakably rude to a father and his child (the dad was telling the kid how great Kareem was).  So while strenuously pretending to be a fun-loving guy who cares about his fans he shows his utter contempt for them.  You know, the ones who cheered for him and made him rich.  If that isn’t hypocrisy then nothing is.

And note how racist he is when accusing others of racism:

‘‘I understood why people liked him [Magic Johnson],’’ Abdul-Jabbar told me. ‘‘He had that great smile, so white people thought his life was O.K. They thought that racism had not affected him. They were wrong, of course. But that’s what they saw when they saw him. Magic made white people feel comfortable. With themselves.’’

Uh, no.  Not at all.  I wasn’t racist when Kareem became my favorite player, and I wasn’t racist for watching Magic Johnson enjoy his craft so much.  But Kareem attributes it solely to the racism of all white people.  He can’t see that he’s the real racist.  How sad.  This guy has been given such great gifts and opportunities yet he is still miserable.

The good news is that this has further cemented my belief that watching and following sports is — for me — generally a grand waste of time.  I only watch them now if it is a group setting sort of thing such as the Super Bowl.  If others find it to be a good stress relief or source of entertainment, then good for them.  But I refuse to let my weekend be ruined because a bunch of 18-22 yr. old “student athletes” — who couldn’t care less about me — didn’t win a game.  Same thing for the pros.  I cut way back on sports in the 90’s when my kids were young and didn’t miss a thing.  One of the downsides to the Internet is that today you can learn literally 100 times more about the worst team in the league more than you could have about the best team in the 70’s.  There is nonstop coverage on sports sites, blogs, etc.  I have recommitted to avoiding all of those and it is saving me a lot of time.

And the NBA is dead to me with their pathetically hypocritical actions in North Carolina.  Let’s see, they grandstand and move the All-Star game from Charlotte because NC isn’t forcing organizations to go along with the “trans” bathroom portion of the perverted LGBTQX agenda — yet they have an entire league just for women!  There is no way I’d spend hundreds of dollars to take a family to just one game of this or any other sports league.

The less you know about what your favorite players think and how they act, the better.

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Yet another reason to like ballroom dancing . . .

Ballroom dancing has been a great empty-nest hobby for us.  Lots of fun, challenges, meeting new people, good exercise, new experiences, etc.  One of the side reasons that I like ballroom dancing is that it is now wildly counter-cultural.  Why?  Because it still has unique roles for men and women.  The LGBTQX movement will probably start to attack Planet Ballroom, Fred Astaire, etc. for being such haters, but for now it is fun going to a place where people are still sane.

Examples: In group and in private classes they always teach unique roles for the men and for the women.  Go figure!  Men always lead, and, other than the women needing to keep there feet from being stepped on, mistakes are always the responsibility of the guy.  Or so they say.

I did see a gay couple come into a studio once.  The poor instructor — who was probably Leftist himself — was tied up in knots trying to explain the roles without saying “man’s part,” “women’s part,” etc.  Sorry, dudes, someone has to lead.

Our main instructor in our prior city was gay, but even he had no issues with the specific male/female roles.

Pandora > Sirius XM

My wife had Sirius XM in her car for a while but we didn’t use it for more than a few things.  They were allegedly commercial free, but had plenty of plugs for there own stations — which were just as much commercials to me as a pitch for laundry detergent would be — and they had some inane chatter at times.

We tried Pandora and I like it much better.  You can play it in your car and at home.  It uses some data when you aren’t on Wi-fi, but not that much.  The (really) commercial-free version is $5/mo, which is much less than Sirius.  Nothing but music.  And you can skip songs!  Though not too many, or you get the “our copyright only allows limited skips” message of shame.  I get that several times per day, but you can just switch stations and start over.  That is, until they give me the message that I’ve used up my skips for the day.  Ouch.

The variety of stations is fun.  I have ones for 80’s pop, Ballroom dance music, the Beatles, Christian contemporary, Classical, and more.  My wife found some fun ones like the Italian Cooking Music Radio and played it through the TV when we had family over for Italian food.

I like the variety of stations you can get with Pandora, as well as being able to give songs a thumbs up or down so you’ll get more or less of that type.

Do you use either, or anything else like Spotify?

Portlandia: A show by Leftists that actually makes fun of Leftists

I was a little leery when I heard about the TV show Portlandia.  I watch very little TV (key success factor in life!) and don’t need to give Leftists more time to mock my worldview.  But these folks are actually pretty funny with their sketches and they constantly skewer Leftists.

Here are a couple samples.  I’ve shared this before, but it is a phenomenal send-up of the transanity movement.  I’m surprised they haven’t been destroyed as “haters” for this.

And note the name of the bookstore: Women and Women First.  What a perfectly devastating indictment of feminism!  Instead of the classic “women and children first” mantra of the West (Islam never picked up on that concept), feminism devalues or ignores men completely and would rather crush and dismember children than consider them valuable.  Therefore, it is always and only about women.  That’s the completely malignant narcissism of feminism.

This is a funny one about the challenges of finding a decent phone plan.

I had an experience in a coffee shop today that reminded me of that one.

Me: What bagels do you have?

Guy that looked and sounded like the guy in the video: Plain, sesame and Everything

Me: What does the Everything have?

Guy: Everything.

I admit that I sort of walked into his response.  I should have asked if he had an Everything Plus.

If you have Netflix, check it out sometime.

Skip Windows 10 (not worth it) and Apple Music (really, really terrible)

My tech recommendations are to avoid Windows 10 upgrades and the Apple Music program.

Even if you get a free upgrade from Windows 8.X, I don’t think it is worth it.  I haven’t seen any real benefits in speed or reliability.  And I have seen lots of annoying things, such as the file shortcuts (when you right click on tray icons) disappearing randomly.  Hopefully they will fix these with updates.  Whatever you do, don’t pay for an upgrade.

Apple Music is far worse.  Seemed like a great idea at the time: Unlimited music downloads, “radio” stations with unlimited skips, etc. for only $10/mo. individual and $15/mo. family.

The problem?  It doesn’t work and destroys various things.  Even after re-downloading some songs they still won’t work.  My audio Bible didn’t play any longer and I had to re-do that.  It ruined some complicated playlists.

Worst of all, it wouldn’t let me load the songs on my iPod Shuffle — an Apple device!  Hey, that’s great.  Unlimited music that you can’t play where you want it.

Apple is really going downhill.  It is hard to believe they could come up with such a lousy product.  They really blew it on this one.  They would have had a consistent revenue stream from me for the foreseeable future.  Now they will get nothing.

The Giver: Two thumbs up

Note: Spoiler alert

I hardly see any movies, but we went to see The Giver and I was pleasantly surprised.  It was family friendly and life affirming.  An overview via The Giver | Movie Review | Plugged In:

Imagine a place nearly free of all pain and suffering, where people are truly equal and everyone gets along. Imagine a place where hatred does not exist, where minds are not clouded by confusion or suffering, where the sun always shines and no one ever lies.

Jonas actually lives in such a world. He’s never known anything but. If there was ever another way, lost as it is in the folds of distant time, it’s best that it’s forgotten.

Well, forgotten by most.

 

Jonas dutifully bikes to the current Receiver of Memory’s house, built at the edge of the known world—quite literally on a cliff that plummets down into who-knows-what. He walks in and sees walls full of what the Receiver calls “books.” For the first time in his life, Jonas is encouraged to ask questions. And then, when the older Receiver—now called the Giver—clasps Jonas’ arms, the boy collects his first memory …

… of snow, fluttering and cold. Of a green fir-forested hillside wrapped in white powder. Of a sled careening down. Of wind-whipped hair and thudding heart and laughter and—

The memory ends. Jonas is back in his safe and serene, black-and-white world. But he’s been given his first glimpse into something that was lost, something both beautiful and terrifying that was banished so long ago.

. . .

 

Specifically, at the core of this story and at the core of the Community is the issue of euthanasia. Few seem to understand that “releasing” people (from the elderly to the not-quite-perfect babies) to the so-called Elsewhere is actually killing them. . .

 

Religion is among the many things eradicated in the Community, and when Jonas is receiving memories, he sees depictions of unfamiliar expressions of worship: a Christian infant baptism, Muslims bowing to Mecca, paper lanterns rising into the sky as part of an Eastern religious ceremony. And when he rides the sled in his first new memory, he slides toward a picturesque cabin where we hear people singing “Silent Night.”

. . .

I kinda feel for the founders of Jonas’ Community. Their intent, after all, was to create a grand and enjoyable utopia, not a devastatingly grayscale version of an Orwellian dystopia—a land so drained of real life that the world itself has lost its color. They just wanted to live someplace nice. They felt the same frustration that we do when we look at this fallen world of ours. They saw too much brutality. Too much hatred. Too much instability. With every generation, we find new ways to hurt each other and the world we live in. Every day, we find new ways to hurt ourselves.

The Giver believes that if humanity’s given another chance, we could do better. We could make better choices. But the Chief Elder isn’t so sure.

“When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong,” she says. “Every single time.”

She’s right more often than not, of course. We do choose wrong. We, as individuals and as a society, almost always choose wrong. It’s in our nature, a nature that’s overwhelmed with sin.

. . .

There’s no foul language in it. No sex scenes. No crude jokes. No gratuitous drug abuse. Hints of youthful attraction and snippets of violence are both restrained in their depictions and used fully in the service of the larger story and moral lesson.The Giver is a challenging film, to be sure. It deals with life, liberty, free will … and euthanasia, after all. But it never once wavers in its responsibility to escort moviegoers onto solid moral ground, to give them loads of positive material to think about and talk through afterwards.

The film focused more on euthanasia than infanticide, but you couldn’t miss the pro-life themes.   I understand that Meryl Streep is pro-choice, so I was surprised to see such life-affirming themes with her in the film.  Perhaps she doesn’t realize how the anti-euthanasia and anti-infanticide themes would apply to the unborn as well?

The approach of the leaders reminded me of Communism (Theme: Hey, once we kill the tens of millions of people who disagree with us, things will be great!).  They identified a problem (people sin) but came up with a solution that made things even worse. Sure, things were better in their world, as long as you stop considering infanticide, euthanasia, drugging people daily, etc. to be wrong.

I loved how it ended with Jonas coming upon a house with people singing Silent Night.  I think Christian films could learn from this.  They often suffer from stilted Gospel presentations, where they might have done better to do something more subtle, natural and artistic.

I also like how the Jeff Bridges character brought back the concept of love, then noted that with love come faith and hope (yes, that’s right out of 1 Corinthians 13).

If you are a movie-goer I encourage you to go see this.

Amazing Grace – the story of William Wilberforce

wilberforce2.jpg

Here’s a great overview of his life and the movie.  As a wealthy young Englishman he was going to be a preacher but instead went into Parliament and successfully dedicated his career to abolishing the slave trade. 

He did other notable things as well, such as helping found the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, creating schools that the poor could attend and opening up missionary routes to various countries.  What a hero of the faith! 

I heard that at some point in the movie John Newton (former slave trader and writer of the song Amazing Grace) says this famous line:

When I was young, I was sure of many things; now there are only two things of which I am sure: one is, that I am a miserable sinner; and the other, that Christ is an all-sufficient Saviour. He is well-taught who learns these two lessons. 

Go see the movie when it opens on February 23, 2007.