Monthly Archives: January 2012

On the State of Our Union (2012).

As I watched the State of the Union address delivered by President Obama Tuesday night, I noticed something that, I thought, was really interesting. This observation might be the most important issue in our country that absolutely nobody talks about, and it’s likely at the center of most of the political movements we’ve seen in this country over the past few years. This observation has nothing to do with party lines – in fact, it might be the most bi-partisan thing about Congress. What I noticed was that our Senators and our Congressmen are old as fuck.

I don’t mean old, like athlete-old, or too-old-for-this-club old – I mean serious fucking geriatrics. Did you know that (according to Wikipedia) the average age in the House of Representatives is fifty-eight years old? Or that the median age of the U.S. Senate is sixty-two?* John McCain is actually senile, and he’s a U.S. Senator. There are three Senators and one Congressman who are older than my 86-year-old grandfather.

*Wikipedia didnt have the mean, just the median, and apparently no mode, and I wasnt going to add up and divide the age of each of our U.S. Senators. Im a loser, but I dont have that much time on my hands.

It’s not that I have anything against old people – Golden Girls fucks my shit up, every time – it just seems curious to me that a bunch of people who (if they were in the real world) should be set to retire are making decisions that don’t affect them, but the generations after them – namely my generation. If you were buying a car that you would have to drive for the next decade, would you let your grandfather choose it for you? No – because you’d be stuck driving a Chevy Fucking Malibu for the next ten years. So why are these assholes deciding our futures?

The issue I have with this is that people, at that age, care about two things: 1) their estate, or their money; and 2) not dying. Thats it. Do your parents or grandparents give a shit about climate change or renewable energy? If they actually do, they’re the exception – and you likely listen to a lot of Phish and smoke a lot of weed. Do we really think that Orrin Hatch or Herb Kohl give a shit about what they do to the environment? Of course not – they dont have to deal with the consequences.*

*I imagine voting in Congress is a lot like a trip to Vegas, or Cancun. The reason why so much crazy shit happens there is because you never have to see those people again. So you do whatever the fuck you want because you don’t ever have to deal with the consequences of your actions. These Congressmen don’t give a shit about what they’re voting on; as long as the lobbyists are paying them, they’d vote for anything – they don’t have to live to see whatever the fuck they did.

This isn’t to say that they’re all bad – Bernie Sanders is 70 years old, and Al Franken is 60, and they’re two of the best Senators we have. This also isn’t to say that being younger is better – Rand Paul is 49, and Paul Ryan is 42, and they’re both batshit crazy. But what I am trying to say is that it’s clear that there is a misrepresentation of the younger segment of our population – the segment of our population who is most affected by their decisions.

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My Mother and Carmelo Anthony; or, Why Tebow Matters

At the beginning of this NFL season – as most of my close friends know – I made a principled stand against the league by refusing to watch any of their games (or any of their coverage).* It seemed a bit of a fool’s errand; after all, it was impossible to not check the Giants’ box score on Sunday nights – I still had an allegiance to the team, whose owners (I must add) were very much against locking the players out of their facilities. It proved a tough task but, for the most part, I abstained from the NFL.**

*Long story short, I was pissed off at greedy owners who made $9 billion in profit and wanted more. Owners who, during the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, threatened to black out games in their local markets if they werent sold out. Owners who dont care for retired players whose careers they have profited from. Owners who see the livelihood of their players slowly decaying due to concussions, yet manage to do nothing to remedy the situation. Im a man of principle, and these things, to me, were – and are – wrong. This wasnt – and isnt – a system I could support.

**I must say, though, that it was difficult to not come across an NFL highlight while watching TV (at the end of the day Im still a sports fan) or hear a call from an angry Jets fan on talk radio during my daily routines. Not to mention my Facebook and Twitter feeds which were constantly filled with updates from Giants, Jets, Eagles, Niners, Steelers and Ravens fans every Sunday. In this way, the NFL is like an ex-girlfriend; youre trying to avoid her, but, no matter what you do, you see her everywhere.

Still, by mid-season it was becoming tough to ignore certain things. I still wasn’t watching the Giants’ games – or whole football games, for that matter – but it was becoming difficult to not watch the 4th quarter of the Denver Broncos’ game each Sunday. Everyone knows the story, so I won’t repeat it, but every Sunday – almost without fail – Tim Tebow would lead the Broncos to some form of an amazing comeback (or come up just short). Tebow was now becoming the league’s, and perhaps the country’s, most polarizing figure.

I had become fascinated by Tebow and the resulting culture surrounding him, which was about as divided as Congress. It seemed you either loved or hated Tim Tebow and there was no middle ground, no grey area. When analyzing his merits as a quarterback the argument was either “He sucks! He’s just lucky!” or “All he does is win football games!” Most of the vitriol towards, and adoration of, Tim Tebow, however, was not because of his play on the field, but because of his actions on it (Tebowing), and his comments off of it. Each post-game interview began in, essentially, the same way: “I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

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