Any of you in Los Angeles the 80's or 90's? Did you listen to sportscaster Jim Healy? His 30 minute radio show was a highlight of my drive home many days, 5:30 to 6 pm. He made that solid mass of metal called a drive-time freeway survivable. Healy would intersperse his commentary with a lot of audio tapes, like of Tommy Lasorda, manager of the baseball Dodgers, off on one of his frequent foul-mouthed rants. This one was after opposing hitter Kingman blasted several home runs: "What's my opinion of Kingman? Fbleep Kingman. What's my fbleepin' opinion of fleepin' Kingman? Fbleepin' Kingman can bite my Fbleepin' Ableep!"
I'm not sure if I got the quote exactly right, but it is close, and is in the appropriate mood.
The show was hilarious, and all of mass-media Los Angeles, and the sports world, mourned when Jim Healy died in 1994. He was one-of-a-kind, an institution. For 43 years he labored behind the microphone in LaLa Land.
Another one of his oft-used quotes was great, by a manager whose name I can't remember. But he was all teary and choked up, maybe on resigning or something. San Diego's manager? I dunno. But he said, in a chokey way, to his men . . .
Snort, choke . . ."I love youse guys . . ."
Well, it was a rare glimpse into the softer side of the athlete's heart, which, behind all the beating and thumping and chest-puffing, is pretty sentimental. These guys do battle together, 100 percent most days, giving their bodies, minds and spirit to the team. You don't do that without sentiment. No matter how well hidden it is.
So, ummmmmmm, that's kinda how I feel about people who comment on my blogs. Snort. Snuffle. Like, I appreciate y'all. Because (1) you are intelligent, and (2) know the difference between issue and personality and (3) stick with my commentary, which can be bizarre at times. Sniffle.
So thanks for giving me occasionally the 1.3% of your brain that it takes to keep up with things hereabouts.
Take brianitus. Now he and I are on opposite sides of the thinking fence regarding President Aquino. When I try to drag people to my side of the fence, he articulately drags them back. And he makes me think about what I am saying.
For instance, consider my recent blog about President Aquino's sledge hammer approach to corruption. My article seemed to take a sledge hammer to people who criticize the President. But that was not my intent. Indeed, when writing the article (or most articles) I did not have a clear grasp of exactly why I was writing it, it just came off the keyboard that way.
brianitus challenged. I had to state what I was really driving at.
I re-state it here, because I think it is more meaningful than the original article:
I suppose there are two points I am making, brianitus. One, is that there is a middle ground between love and hate of the President, that is called reason. I think too many people on either side of the spectrum are overly strident because they are not arguing about the President, but about their own stance . . . for or against the president. There is a middle ground. The middle ground should start with an understanding that the president was elected to do a job on corruption, and that is what he is doing.
The second point is to emphasize the intricacy and demands of the job. I don't expect people to go light on the President and not criticize when it is warranted, for a specific act. But to take a specific act where a mistake has been made (by a subordinate, probably, as in the bus massacre), and to declare the Presidency a "failure" is unreasonable.
It is this 100% black or white I have problems with.
When you argue, say about President Aquino, do you argue about him explicitly? Or do you argue in part, or wholly, to defend your opinion of him? That is, does the argument become shifted in a really slippery way to be about you instead of the President?
Or when you argue about any one or anything? How much of YOU is in the argument?
I think a lot of arguing in the Philippines is about the person arguing, not about the supposed subject. That's why views are 100% for or against. Because they are arguing about their own intellectual integrity, or self esteem. Seldom do you see a T-chart listing pros and cons, with a well-rationalized conclusion. You get all the reasons for one view. Or you get all the reasons for the opposing view. You don't get much reasoning in between.
So when you visit a blog site that is decidedly one-way, you know that either: (1) they have an agenda to push, or (2) they are self-involved and possible low of self-esteem. They aren't solving any problems or providing any honest analytics because that is not their motivation.
Yes, yes. Joe Am also gets personally involved in his issues sometimes, too. We all do it. But I argue that we should STRIVE for reason, both in how we think about things, and what we say about them. Few issues are black and white, and simplifying them to be so is not very respectful, kind or intelligent.
Also, we shouldn't have to defend ourselves or apologize for a mistake if our views are honest. People can just tell us why we are wrong, and we should be big enough to recognize when we are. Being wrong is no big deal in a world as intricate as ours, as imperfect.
Any way, snort, snuffle . . . Men (and the rare and therefore highly respected women who occasionally drop by) go out there and argue your best for the Gipper!
(In my mind, the Gipper will always be Ronald Reagan, who played Knute Rockne on film; the case of a future great President play-acting as a great coach.)
And, as the ref tells boxers, "gentlemen, keep it above the belt".