Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday Broadside




A Weekly look at the top (and bottom) five in the world of culture, politics, and sports

Hits

1. American Idol fans finally voted Sanjaya off the show. I know that there were a bunch of young teenagers who probably voted for him because he was cute, but to be the center of web sites like votefortheworst.com or the subject of Howard Stern’s push to make Idol a “mockery” at seventeen years old is unhealthy. What a terrible thing to watch this kid ‘blossom’ from a shy, humble kid into something else entirely. I feel sorry for him, and I hope that no permanent damage has been done. At least the Idol fans got it right this week… For the record, I'd pay to see Melinda do a concert right now, but the real win was seeing Martina McBride. Is she single? Man, what a lady...

2. The Ottawa Senators polished off the Pittsburgh Penguins in five games, and dominated all but two or three periods the entire series. I honestly don’t recognize this team. As much as it pains me to say it, I’m sticking with my earlier predictions. Senators will make their first Cup appearance (since their re-entry into the NHL) and will lose in the Cup finals in six games.

3. The Toronto Raptors made their first appearance in the post-season in five years. And the last five years they have been truly brutal at times, the laughingstock of the league. Although they lost the opener to New Jersey, they deserve full credit for bringing excitement back to Toronto basketball fans. I've truly enjoyed watching them this year. Great job, guys! (They won't win the series though. Nets in five.)


4. Better do this now before the Raptors are out of the playoffs. A special mention to the coach, Jack Armstrong, the long time Raptor colour analyst who provides wonderful commentary for Raptor games and terrific insight on the Raptors network. Armstrong, who coached at Niagara University, also travels and gives talks to minor basketball organizations. He was a guest speaker for Welland Minor Basketball’s yearly awards banquet. My dad has been part of Welland Minor Basketball for over twenty five years, and he raved about 'The Coach'. Welland is a small town in Southern Ontario, and Armstrong provided the same warmth, humour and charm for them as he does for his work on the Raptors. Always great to find someone you admire on TV is actually consistent in real life. Thanks, Coach.

5. The world of politics, which actually felt quiet this week. (It wasn’t of course) That’s always a bonus, and it makes me think they’re actually working. Of course, it could be that I just tuned out. I did read that Harper’s government is doing good work on the Vancouver ports, injecting another 50 – 100 million dollars into upgrades. Martin did a good job on this file, and Harper is expanding it. If we want to compete internationally, this has to get done (especially in trade with China). What I like most about that is simply hearing that the government is working. Most of the time we don't give politicians credit for trying (and you will read some blasts in this column), but many of them are working hard. And so when we hear good things, we need to praise them. So for every one in gocvernment who is trying to make a difference, thank you. Your hard work is appreciated.

Misses

1. The Ottawa media, specifically the Ottawa Citizen, for posting that ridiculous picture of dejected Penguin players and looking for a caption. At some point, Ottawa fans and media need to show some class. Ottawa fans should be writing in and telling the Citizen to pull something like that. (Note: It was a die hard Senators fan who pointed this out to me. So I’ll leave the blame on the media for now. But Ottawa fans shouldn’t accept this stuff. Take the high road Ottawa fans.)

2. Women. Okay, I was going to make this 'women who talk out of both sides of their mouth when it comes to relationships', but I’m not sure it’s that specific. Here it is: women should be going after the feminists. For all the good they’ve done, they’ve really screwed the rest of you ladies. (and us men) In our culture, a woman says that she wants a nice guy, a sensitive man, someone tender and loving, blah blah blah. Right, except that’s a load of crap. She will always check to make sure her friend’s boyfriend is ‘nice’, but THEY aren’t interested in nice guys. They blow off guys that are nice, look twice at the jerk, and then will tell you that they’re attracted to ‘confidence’. Huh… This deserves more than a paragraph in the Sunday Broadside, but I’ve seen about six examples of this type of double talk this week. So, when a woman now tells me what she’s looking for, I no longer believe her. Seriously, how can I? This week I’m going to work on being a better ‘jerk’. I’ll keep you updated on how it affects the dating life…

3. Men who send obscene messages. This is happening far too often. Believe me, you'd be shocked. Okay, I understand that being a man can be a little tough (see above) but sending obscene messages by text or MSN to a woman you just met is brutal. At what point in the morning do you wake up and think a woman will be interested if you tell her every sexual thought and activity you’ve had over the last thirty minutes. Being confused doesn’t mean you have to become a jerk. You’re a disgrace to men everywhere, so stop it. Being male doesn’t make you a man. (And women, by looking at the jerks, you’re encouraging this behaviour)

4. Passive aggressive people who are resistant to change. Okay, this one is particular to church sub-culture, but it happens in every organization. I witnessed a couple examples of that this week, both in the church and the school. At times, the fear in both institutions is so heavy I feel like every one’s been chomping on the weed. Wow. Listen, just because you’ve never done it that way before doesn’t make it ‘wrong’. It just makes it different. Especially in the church. Why in the world do we grasp so tightly to these cultural idiosyncrasies like somehow they’re part of our faith? And for those of you paying attention, here’s your question for the week: Did Jesus have a beard? (If you answer yes, and don’t understand why I’m asking whether or not the Son of God had a beard, let me encourage you to think about it. I’ll post the reason behind the question next week.)

5. The amount of noise pollution and society’s continual need for sound. Have you noticed how loud our society has become? I was sitting on my balcony yesterday morning, trying to read, and instead of enjoying the quiet sounds of a warm spring morning, I was blasted by Arabian dance music from the first floor and Usher from above me. The people seemed oblivious to the fact that the entire block had to listen to their noise. How can we expect to grow if we don’t have solitude, and how can we find solitude if every one is so egocentric they have become oblivious to the people around them. Frustrating. No wonder we have become such a shallow culture. Sigh. Lord, give me patience.

An unexamined life is a life not worth living, it's true, but try not to get buried this week, and find the good. God loves you, even if your neighbours occasionally forget you exist. Have a nice week everyone.

-Steve