Mail Bag Rip Off

As I have posted before, one of my favorite on-line columns was Bill Simmons’ mail bag where he would answer actual questions sent in by his actual readers. It ran on ESPN for a number of years and always was a must-read for me when it came out.

Now, since I don’t have that many readers and none of them actually ask me questions, for me to do a similar blog post, I have to make up the questions. Which is fine because then I get answer questions of my own choosing and I can cover several topics that I might have a thought or two on, but that don’t warrant a full blog post.

So, to be clear, all questions and questioners below are products of my own making. And further, this is not my original idea. It has been completely ripped off from Bill Simmons. Nevertheless, off we go.

Should they fire the radio host who called Tom Brady’s five-year-old daughter an “annoying little pissant?” –

I’ll admit that when I first heard the basics of this story, I was on the side of Tom Brady. If a radio host decided out of the blue to call my kid an annoying little pissant, I’d be cutting ties with the radio station that employed him as well. However, as I learned more details of the story, my feelings have shifted.

Tom Brady has allowed cameras, and thus the world, into his personal life to film a new “docuseries” called Tom vs. Time. This “docuseries” explores the personal life and sacrifices of Tom Brady has he…lives his life while going to work at a job that just happens to be playing football.


That is what we are apparently calling reality television shows now. Docuseries. What a crock! In my humble opinion, Tom Brady’s latest media endeavor could just as easily have been called, Keeping Up With the Caucasian Kardashians, or Mama Giselle: From Hot to…Still Hot, I Guess.

It’s a flippin’ reality show. And if you have the gall to cash-in (for reasons purely related to vanity, because heaven knows the family Brady does not need the money) on your fame by letting America into your home via the medium of non-(if you say so) scripted reality (massive eye-roll) entertainment, guess what? You own whatever criticism comes your way regardless of how rough it might be. And sadly, through your own choices, that includes your children…whom you are exploiting…for no logical reason that makes any sense to a person with even the slightest connection to reality.

So sorry, Tom. That radio host may have been wrong, but you were so much more wrong first.

Do you intend to perform your civic duty and watch the State of the Union tonight? –

No. I much prefer to spend my Tuesday evenings in pursuit of happier, more joyful entertainment…like watching Jack Pearson die in a house fire on This Is Us.

Are you going to throw your Crock Pot away in solidarity with those of us who are so distraught over Jack Pearson’s death in This Is Us that we now believe this household appliance to be an immediate danger to our family? –

When I saw that the CEO of Sunbeam had to issue not one, but three statements in support of their extremely well made Crock Pot appliances, I wanted to shed many a tear for and in behalf of all humanity. The PR problem for Sunbeam got so bad that they had to find a way to share empathy with all of the This Is Us viewers while still pointing out that “…for nearly 50 years with over 100 million Crock-Pots sold, we have never received any consumer complaints similar to the fictional events portrayed in last night’s episode. In fact, the safety and design of our product renders this type of event nearly impossible.” They further had to call upon NBC to help them spread “factual information” about Crock Pot safety. To point out that This Is Us is simply a television show and not real was of course never a rational course of action for Sunbeam.

HOLY CRAP!!! Is this really where we’ve arrived in 2018? The whole concept is mind-boggling. But in answer to the question, if we threw out our, not one, but two crock pots there is a slight chance our family would never eat again. We live off those things and they’re great. So no, we will instead continue to put our safety, and the safety of our children at risk and keep those flaming death traps in the house. And I, for one, will not lose one wink of sleep over it.

Have you purchased the new iPhone X yet? –

Let me see, one thousand dollars for a phone that let’s me morph my face and voice into a talking pile of crap? Nope, I think I’ll be giving that one a pass for the time being at least. When the day finally arrives that I see the light and understand how truly vital it is that I exist as a virtual talking pile of crap, I suppose we can revisit this question.

What do you think about Rep. Gosar (R) from Arizona demanding that any illegal aliens attending the State of the Union be arrested and deported? –

Yet another stellar Arizona politician to represent our state to the rest of the world.

If a person thinks that someone who came to this country as a child, through no choice of their own, should be thrown out of the country and sent back to a place they don’t know or understand, then I don’t know how to talk to them on this issue. There’s no funny retort, no witty quip, no…nothing that makes this okay. We should be humans first and Americans second. If anyone disagrees, then we probably have a basic differing world view and there’s not really not much more to talk about here.

Are you outraged that Ed Sheeran won Best Solo Performance at the Grammy’s instead of any one of the four capable women nominated in his category? –

With all due respect to the many women who have been mistreated in any way since, well, quite literally the beginning of time, this one bit of irony that played out at the Grammy’s actually made me laugh.

Just a little bit.

And certainly not a full belly laugh that could possibly be construed as insensitive to the actual plight of thousands, if not millions of women who have faced actual mistreatment at the hands of a man.

I mean, c’mon. If we can’t find a little humor in the fact that the music industry awarded a Grammy to a man (a white man at that) who sings about lusting over a girl’s body contours in a club…in a category whose other nominees were all women…in 2018, with the backdrop of the #metoo and #timesup movements raging all around…then I think we’ve truly gotten to the point where we take ourselves too seriously.

See here’s the problem. For heterosexual men, attraction is largely based on appearance. For heterosexual women, it frankly does not seem to be as important. I’m not a heterosexual woman, so I can’t speak to this personally, but based on observation, I think my deduction has merit. So with that understanding, it’s not outrageous that a male performer wrote and performed a song about a woman’s appearance. It’s been happening for centuries. And no matter how our culture changes in the coming years,  (unless of course we ban all heterosexual male performers from the marketplace of artistic expression) they will continue to do so.

But no one forced the industry to nominate that song. Certainly not Ed Sheeran. (As an aside, is Ed Sheeran becoming the male version of Anne Hathaway? The guy everyone seems to hate for no discernible reason that can be articulated?) And certainly no one forced voters to vote for the song. That it won is not Ed Sheeran’s fault. So…lay off the dude. Were the other songs more deserving? I don’t know. Does it really matter? No. They are awards that mean nothing. No Kesha fan has deserted her for Ed Sheeran based on that Grammy vote. I guarantee it. Don’t get me wrong, I think her message is one that should be heard. The movement is one that has merit. But shaming everyone who happened to like Ed Sheeran’s performance better? Sorry, to me it hits the wrong note.

But to a bigger issue, my worry is that we might be getting to the point where every vote for every artistic award is going to be required to take into account the cultural sensitivity of the “movement of the moment” rather than focusing solely on the value of the performance or the material? I hope that’s not true. For one, I believe that flies in the face of what artistic expression is all about.

But even more worrisome is that it plays into the notion of a politically correct police state where all thought and belief must be universal. That only those of a similar mind are allowed, and that those who cannot comply must be shunned. It lumps true villains and harmless bores together and demands they be viewed the same. That kind of thinking is dangerous. Plus, at it’s worst, it can create a severe backlash which can undermine and threaten not only all the gains achieved by any movement in the first place, but also the basic tenets of goodness and decency in our society.

Think I’m overstating it just a tad? Do me a favor. Take a moment and think back to just two years ago and what we as a culture considered moral and decent behavior by those who would desire to lead us. Now, check the White House twitter feed and think long and hard about where we are now.

—–And thus concludes the first, and maybe last, mail bag of 2018.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s