Sunday, February 4, 2018

Sunday Potpourri

It has been a while since I last did a Sunday Potpourri, and I apologize to readers who expect better of me.

Let's talk about the Super Bowl (am I allowed to type that, or do I need to pay a royalty?). My interest in the Big Game generally, and in pro-football generally, has waned in the past few years. I suppose it is a bit Druidical for me to not be too concerned about the concussion issues (grown men are hurling themselves at or near the heads of other grown men for great sums of money--what did we think would happen); my growing disinterest in the pro game is entirely due to the on-field celebrations (yes, I'm a curmudgeon. Haven't we been over that?), the ridiculous rules (what exactly is a catch?) and overall poor quarterback play even though the game has sought to put an electric fence around them.

But I am a tad bit interested in this year's game, and it is due to an awakening of -- dare I say it -- pride in where I grew up. You see, I don't have a favorite pro team. But I do always hope the Eagles do well because so many people I know from South Jersey are so invested in their success. My Facebook timeline is awash in Eagles boostering, and I suppose I'm getting a little swept up in it. And so I will watch the game and pull for the Eagles.

But back to really important matters--college basketball. My Wahoos (#2 in the country--root for Seton Hall today at Villanova--please!) went up to Syracuse yesterday and beat them soundly before the largest college basketball crowd of the year. From the sounds I heard when UVA's defense drove Syracuse in to a shot-clock violation, it sounded to me like the Hoo's traveled pretty well. I've begun to arrange my schedule in a manner that provides the time and space for me to attend post-regular season games. I've got a room at a hotel in Brooklyn for the ACC tournament, and I've blocked out (for planning purposes, of course) time later in March for possible attendance at NCAA tournament games. This has been a very fun season--don't know how far they can go, but I know that no one wants to play them.

The big MEMO was released this week, and while it was obviously a partisan, political hack job designed to cast the FBI and Justice Department in the worst possible light to discredit ongoing investigations into the President's shady past, it also raised for me some concern about the degree to which arguments against it were wrapped in "national security" language. Don't get me wrong--the political impact of the memo--targeting as it does the credibility of law-enforcement and intelligence agencies--is threatening to national security. But the information contained in it -- originally classified as "TOP SECRET" reflects the troubling tendency in the US to dramatically over-classify things. Even so, the MEMO stupendously undercut the goal that it was intended to carry out, in that it clearly established the chronology of events which indicated that Trump campaign officials were under investigation (in some cases for years) long before the FISA warrant was pursued. And so, the GOP happily continues with its slash and burn attacks on the institutions that guide civil society in order to prop up a man who is presiding over the diminishing of the party's reach.  Nice trade.

It was interesting to watch the coverage of the Grammy Awards recently--wherein the music industry came together for a night to virtue signal as one in its condemnation of sexual assault, sexual harassment, discrimination against women, dating, flirting, saying hello, and casting a quick glance (which are increasingly confusing acts, apparently) --all the while celebrating "rap" and "hip-hop" for several hours -- musical traditions that aren't exactly the purview of "woke" feminism. Hypocrisy marches on.

Enough for now. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You may be correct in your description of The Memo as a "partisan political hack job". But had the partisan political hacks not published it, it is likely none of the abuses of law (perpetrated by our own law enforcement and intelligence agencies against US citizens) pointed out therein would ever have come to light. Our healthy distrust of federal agencies has no doubt been sharpened since 2001 and rightly so, it turns out.

C.Lynch/Greenville SC

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