Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wait, that's not what I meant! Contributed by Pamela Matlack Klein

These misguided headlines have been making the rounds forever, and you might have already seen them. But they give me a chuckle every time, and I thought it might brighten your day. Thanks to member Pamela Matlack Klein for contributing.

"Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Experts Say."

"Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers."

"Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over."

"Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter."

"Miners Refuse to Work After Death."

"Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant."

"War Dims Hopes for Peace."

"If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile."

"Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures."

"Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges."

"Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge."

"New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group."

"Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft."

"Kids Make Nutritious Snacks."

"Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half."

"Hospitals Are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors."

"Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead."


To that, I can add a couple of my favorite quotes from my days as a sportswriter.

1. The University of North Carolina football coach, reflecting back on a disappointing season:
"If we had started out the year 4-0, I guarantee you we wouldn't have finished 3-9."

2. The manager of the Lynchburg Mets, a minor league baseball team, on a bright young prospect:
"The thing I like about this kid is that his whole future is ahead of him."

3. A Virginia Tech football play-by-play broadcaster after the teams came out for the second half with Tech trailing Miami 28-0:
"If Tech is going to win this game, they're going to have to put some points on the scoreboard."

And to follow up with the "stating the obvious" theme, I heard a classic on my local TV news the other day.

After describing a "home invasion" robbery in which a man broke into a house at gunpoint and robbed the occupants, the reporter noted: "Residents say that's not the sort of thing they want to see in their neighborhood."

Monday, December 6, 2010

What I Believe, From Neil Bohnert

I Believe . . .

. . . there is no place like home, no time like the present, no fool like an old fool, no news is good news, and no man is an island.
Money doesn’t grow on trees; you can’t see the forest for the trees; the acorn didn’t fall far from the tree; and a tree grows in Brooklyn.
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence; good fences make good neighbors; and it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
I believe you are what you eat; you are my sunshine; and you are not alone.
It’s the Pepsi generation and Coke is the real thing.
I believe it’s a small, small world and that it is not worthwhile to go around the world to count the cats in Zanzibar.
Seeing is believing; don’t believe everything you see; and I’ve seen it all.
I am convinced that prosperity is just around the corner; that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself; that this generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny; that the world must be made safe for democracy; that you should ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country; I would rather be right than be president; and if nominated I will not run, if elected I will not serve.
I believe time flies; time stands still for no man; time is money; and if you’ve got the money, honey, I’ve got the time.
A stitch in time saves nine.
A cat has nine lives.
You only live once; once is enough; and once upon a time.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush; anything worth doing is worth doing well; and twice done is well done.
Walk softly and carry a big stick.
You’ll never walk alone.
It’s a long way to Tipperary and you can’t get there from here.

I Also Believe . . .
Love is blind; love is a many splendored thing; love conquers all; love is never enough; love is wasted on the young; and you always hurt the one you love.
All is fair in love and war; war is hell; and hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

I believe it’s not what you know, it’s who you know; you never know ‘till you ask; and it takes one to know one.
I believe there’s a first time for everything; for everything there is a season; and everything in its place.
Never put off ‘till tomorrow what you can do today; never a dull moment; never on a Sunday; never, never, never give up; and never say never.
Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill; don’t count your chicks before they’re hatched; don’t bite the hand that feeds; don’t put all your eggs in one basket; don’t give up the ship; don’t make waves; and don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
A penny saved is a penny earned.
A rolling stone gathers no moss.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Remember the Maine, Remember the Alamo, and I Remember Mama.

Put on a happy face; put your heart into it; put your best foot forward; and put your money where your mouth is.

I believe life is just a bowl of cherries; the best things in life are free; and there is no such thing as a free lunch;
I believe every dog has his day; every cloud has a silver lining, every rose has its thorn; and every day is a new day.

● ● ●

I truly believe it is impossible in the course of human thought to avoid invoking a tired cliche.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jump Rope With a Muslim (From Tom Gerdy)

(Previously published in the Huffington Post).

I recently was able to hang out with Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert in Washington, DC. According to Fox News (and Personal Opinion), I was there with a couple dozen of my young lily-white liberal friends to bash the right wing. If you believe the right-wing accounting of the event, at age 57, I was that creepy old guy in the corner of the party.

Luckily, for my psyche, Glenn Beck and Fox weren’t the only people counting and cataloging the crowds. According to other reports of the event, I spent that Saturday between the Capitol and the Washington Monument hanging out in a very diverse crowd of between 200,000 and 250,000 people.

As I revisit my memories of the group assembled on the mall at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, I didn’t feel old or young. I saw people who could have been my kids, and I saw people who could have been my parents. I didn’t feel particularly white or liberal. It was a beautiful fall day, and I felt good just being there.

I felt proud as an American that we could gather for such an event. As I sat on the mall looking over the thousands of people at the Capitol, I couldn’t help but think that the people who gave birth to the United States had this in mind when they talked about freedom of speech. The rally was a powerful symbol of freedom and America. A couple hundred thousand people from every point on the spectrum of life gathered on a sunny October day. I met people from all over our country. I sat with fellow citizens from Ohio, California, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia. The skin colors were as diverse as the changing leaves on the trees. I think I even saw an orange-skinned Jersey Shore Snookie wannabe, but it might just have been a Halloween costume.

This strong collection of people came to join hearts and hands. They came to laugh together. They came for inspiration, and they came to make a statement. This gathering was not about religion, color, or heritage. This gathering was about our future. The media and the politicians both are spending a great deal of time attempting to drive us apart. The rally made it clearer to me than ever before, that we must work to eliminate the hate and the polarization our current system is cultivating.

Two strong images of the event stand out as reminders of the lunacy of hate. At one point in the rally, Jon Stewart introduced possibly the tallest Muslim American, Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Kareem was admired and respected for his basketball ability. As an NBA pro, his religion meant nothing to America. He was just another tall American playing hoops, and he was good at it. Kareem told the thousands at the rally, “We’re all on the same team.”

Four rally attendees supplied the second image. Two women held the opposite ends of a rope. Two young men held up signs. One said, “Don’t jump to conclusions, just jump rope.” The second sign said, “Jump Rope with a Muslim.” I watched many different types of people jumping rope and grinning. As I started to leave the area, I saw a young man dressed as Jesus (yes, complete with the crown of thorns) start to jump rope. Watching spectators and participants alike grinning, I thought how, sometimes, the best ideas are simple. It’s hard to hate when you are jumping rope. Maybe we should all jump rope with a Muslim, a Republican, a Democrat, a Christian, a Jew, a black, a brown, or even the creepy 57-year-old guy in the corner. As Kareem said,
“We’re all on the same team."