Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Of Michael Vick and Tucker Carlson

I don't think there's any sane person who can disagree that dog fights are cruel and that it's only right and proper for them to be declared illegal. I also don't think Michael Vick would second-guess that statement anymore.
Vick is a screwball. But he earned a second chance.
Before his sentencing in 2007 for leading an interstate dog fighting operation, Vick agreed with the request by federal prosecutors to open an escrow account of $1 million to care for the surviving dogs. He then served 18 months in prison and lost his salary and endorsement deals, declaring bankruptcy in 2008. In 2009, he revealed on 60 Minutes that he cares about animals and was disgusted with himself. "I encourage you to love that animal," he told schoolchildren with regard to pets. Even Wayne Pacelle, the CEO of the Humane Society, defended Vick.
If Vick had been unapologetic and stubborn about his sordid past, that would be one thing. But he accepted his fate and was pretty humble and classy about it.
It's fair to say that Vick paid a considerable price and we should be satisfied with the punishment that was dealt to him. Let's see what he does with his redemption and how he carries himself from this point forward.
And to be fair, although Americans accepted Vick's mea culpa, they still took a poke at him via a popular t-shirt that announced "Vick's an Eagle, Hide Your Beagle." A great way of letting Vick know that although we've forgiven, we won't forget.
However, there are some who won't forgive Vick, and that includes Tucker Carlson. I like Carlson because he's got an independent mind and is his own conservative—as am I. Admittedly, I'm at my wit's end over his bizarre statement, delivered on FOX News, that "personally, he should've been executed for that [killing dogs]."
Carlson then opined, "[T]he idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs? Kind of beyond the pale."
Beyond the pale? Like suggesting that someone involved with dog fighting should be executed?
Carlson prefaced his call for Vick's execution by calling himself a Christian who "fervently" believes in second chances. Jeez, Tucker, was this satire on your part? If you're that upset by Michael Vick, arrange a meeting with him and talk this out. Listen to what the man has to say, let him explain himself. I know Carlson's upset at the Prez for personally congratulating the Eagles for making Vick their starting quarterback—Obama would not have done it had Vick been white—when there are more pressing issues at the White House.
But I think I can explain Tucker Carlson's wild pronouncement. He's the same age as me (41), and some people—guys especially—in their early 40s tend to dip back into attention-getting in order to hang on to whatever youth they have left. You calm down around the age of 35, spend five years in a relative state of placidity, then you hit forty and think, "Oh no, I've got to re-assert myself." And you go a bit off the wall.
Let's just hope Michael Vick doesn't crave notoriety once he achieves the big four-oh. Then we just may have to execute him. But, for now, let the man try to play good and entertaining football on the strength of the redemption he earned.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Let's all celebrate the number 2011!

Well, happy new year, dear reader.
Allow me to ask some questions: Did the sky turn green? Did conifers turn red? Were humans suddenly able to sprout wings and fly? Did solar panels and wind turbines miraculously provide all the power we require?
So, essentially, you celebrated a number—"2011"—at midnight on Saturday morning? Well, golly gee for you. I hope you had fun.
I'm more excited by the fact that it's the month of January, because we cannot possibly get through this miserable season known as winter until the new year is in effect. I'm counting the weeks, then the days, till I no longer have to worry about slipping on ice during a run and suffering from SAD.
So, as the entrails of that big number in the sky that doesn't exist dissipates in the cold, dry air, I wish you a happy new year. For what it's worth.