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NFL and MMA and Bears. Oh my!

During a long-winded, dreary, and boring acceptance speech for a meaningless award of some sort or another, actress Merryl Streep, best known for movies that will make you want to open a vein so you can see color again, quipped that if you got rid of all the ‘creative’ people in Hollywood, all that would be left would be NFL football and mixed martial arts fighting to entertain us.

I won’t comment on Streep’s career, even though the only movie she appeared in which I enjoyed was “Death Becomes Her,” which is older than any of my children and to be honest, I watched for Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis.  I will say that for someone who has made a pretty good living out of mouthing words written by someone else in the manner another person told her to do it, after an army of make-up, lighting, costume, editors, special effects, CGI specialists, and dark mages have poured their souls into making her look human, she’s got a lot of nerve to look down upon us unwashed masses and tell us we’re lucky we have her and people like her.

Now, let’s for the moment assume that we all wake up one morning and rejoice to find that the oasis of distraction that is Hollywood, along with everyone who works in it, has mysteriously disappeared in the night.  After the fireworks and parades, along with long bouts of celebratory drinking, have subsided, whatever shall we do with ourselves?

I mean, it’s not like there aren’t centers of music, art, culture, and just plain fun scattered across this great land.  Whether your tastes go towards Shakespeare, Shelly, Shecky, Shakur, or Shania, there’s something for everyone. You just have to turn your face away from the trainwreck that is California and look around you to find entertainment in your own back yard, or at least closer than Los Angeles.

“But, DaddyBear,” you object, “where would we get our films, movies, and video games?”

Why, gentle reader, fear not. There’s nothing a market likes as much as a vacuum to fill, and many entertainment companies, long oppressed by the torrents of titilation tumbling from the towers of Tinseltown, will rise up to continue the stream of remakes, reboots, rehashes, and re-do’s that Hollywood has been flooding our cinemas and televisions with for years.  Super hero, car chase, sparkly vampire, and suburban housewife escapist movies will be made, television from my childhood will still be raped reimagined, and we shall all go on taking our digital soma with or without the perfumed princes of Pacific Palisades.

Ms. Streep, it’s not we who are lucky to have you and your ilk. Rather, it’s you who are fortunate that so many people have been willing to subsidize your forty-plus year game of ‘let’s pretend.’  When you are gone, some of us, not me, but some, will feel bad for your passing, then will shrug and get back to work.

In the meantime, as a lifelong consumer of film, TV, and digital content, all I can say is this:  SKOL VIKINGS!

Morning News Summary

Woke up listening to the local morning news.  Here’s basically what was discussed:

  • Holy Cow!  Did we get a lot of rain or what?
  • If you’re driving to work, be careful.  Road conditions are atrocious, and there are a lot of idiots on the road.
  • The university is delaying classes today because most of its streets are underwater.  Just like it does every time it rains.
  • A local man has been seen building a rather large boat and gathering examples of all the local animals.  County inspectors plan to visit him today if they can get their truck out of the water.
  • Did we mention that it’s still raining?  
  • Local high school kids have learned how to dribble a basketball and throw it at a hoop. 
  • We have flash flood warnings for all of the places that usually get flash flood warnings, but we’re going to tell you so that you know.   
  • The Secretary of the Treasury is coming to town to discuss the President’s proposed jobs bill with people who already have a job.
  • In supposedly related news, one of the local large employers is hiring a good chunk of people.  Here are a few interviews with folks who hope to get some of those jobs.
  • Just to recap before we repeat this in the second half of the hour:  It’s been raining hard for about 8 hours, driving to work is taking your life in your own hands, university students have a couple extra hours to sleep it off this morning, something about jobs, and did we mention it’s raining?

Hyperbole, anyone?

A town in northern New York apparently has a problem with Canada geese, and has acquired a license to hunt and kill 85 of the flying raccoons over the next year.  Apparently some of the residents of Clarence have a problem with that, which should come as a surprise to no-one.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the property owner and the city probably took steps short of killing the geese before applying for the permit.  Scarecrows, labrador retrievers, and disturbing nests are the usual methods and are much easier and cheaper than shooting.  But apparently that didn’t work, and hence the license to kill off a small number of geese. 

What really caught my eye was this quote:

“If genocide is the answer, they got it,”

OK, kids, the humane culling of 85 geese out of a flock of at least several hundred is not genocide.  Genocide is where someone wipes out an entire population of PEOPLE for some reason.  That’s people, which starts with P, which rhymes with D, which stands for Dingbat, which is how I characterize this person in my mind.

Just to be clear, let me state my position plainly:  Animals Are Not People!  Animals have no rights!

We, as stewards of both the domesticated and wild animals with whom we share this planet, have a responsibility to be humane towards animals, but they have no rights.  If we are responsible for the care of an animal such as livestock or a pet, we must provide them with food, water, shelter, and other things that we took away from them when we domesticated them.  When it comes to wild animals, we have a responsibility to not destroy their habitat, to interfere with them as little as possible, and to not kill them indiscriminately or in a way that causes undue suffering. But that doesn’t mean that we should live with a nuisance caused by any animal, no matter how cute or clever.

In this case, there is a need to cull a few geese.  The town of Clarence and the landowner are not trying to destroy all geese.  This limited kill off will probably be done in such a way that other geese will be discouraged from coming back to the pond for a while.  The citizens of Clarence who call this managed culling a genocide and wring their hands over the death of a few birds that will be quickly replaced by normal goose breeding next spring need to get a hobby that doesn’t include annoying the neighbors. 

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