The Non-London Experience and Some Random Thoughts

22 10 2011

Hello, dear readers.

Today is Saturday (because yesterday was Friday!  Friday!  Ahem.)  Like Rebecca Black, I was looking forward to the weekend, weekend.  I had decided earlier in the week that I would be going to London on Saturday.  I’ve been here for three full weeks and the time that hadn’t been spent in Cambridge had been spent alone in my room.  I wanted to experience some other parts of England. I assumed someone would go with me because there were plenty of people from Jewell alone here in England.

So, I asked 8 different people about going with me to London.  Eight.  Including, I might add, two of my new horn player friends.  All eight of them either did not respond or were unable to go with me because of various other reasons.  So, here I sit in my room at Cambridge.

I know you’ll probably say, “But Matt!  Just go by yourself!”  This is true.  But I’d feel like a big loser, and London is a big place and I don’t want to go by myself.  Who will take pictures of me by Big Ben or by Platform 9 3/4?

There is no train for Hogwarts. But there is a Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station.

So I’m bummed about the whole non-experience.  I realize I have no control over the amount of other people’s work, but its just discouraging.  If I can’t find anyone to go to London with me for one day, what are the chances I find someone to go multiple places in Europe with me over a couple weeks in March?  Ok.  Disappointment over.

Since I obviously have nothing new to show you, I’ll quickly talk about a couple of random things.

1.  Money in Sports

I don’t understand athletes sometimes.  Here’s why.  They sign big, multi-million dollar contracts.  Then, when that runs out, they look for marginally bigger multi-million dollar contracts.  Here’s the thing:  if you make $5 million per year, you are rich.  If you make $15 million per year, you are still rich.  Frankly, I’m confused why athletes almost always place money before comfort or happiness.  You’d think that they would be more loyal to their fans.

Case in point:  Albert Pujols.  The future hall of fame 1B for the St. Louis Cardinals’ contract runs out this year.  He has made $14.5 million per year for the last 8 years (more or less; baseball contracts are often weighted back-heavy, but this is the average).  The Cardinals were willing to pay him $200 million over 8 years ($25 mil/year).  Pujols was reportedly looking for a 10 year, $300 million deal ($30 million/year).  After the World Series ends, Pujols becomes a free agent.

The weird thing is that everybody (especially Cardinals fans) think Pujols is the best person to walk this earth in addition to one of the best players of all time.  The latter is true; the former most certainly not.  Pujols is another money-grabbing baseball player.  If he really wanted to stay with the Cardinals (like he professes), he knows they can’t give him a deal like he is asking for without crippling their spending ability for the next decade.  If he looked past the extra $5 million/year that he would be making, he’d probably see that no one in St. Louis wants him to go.  Heck, I don’t want him to leave St. Louis and I don’t like the Cardinals.  He still could resign with the Cards, but the damage has already been done.

Politics

People are often stupid.

Honestly, we all are pretty dumb quite a bit of the time.  But there are some things that bring out the worst in us.  Politics is one of these things (Arguing about religion is another).

In the United States, the Democrat/Republican dichotomy just makes things painful.  An awful lot of people in America (and the world) are very, very bad at reasoning without emotion.  Comments like, “Republicans have no idea what they are talking about” or “Liberals are deliberately ruining America” or some variant of the thing are common everywhere.  Intelligence or coolness is never a good thing to include either.  “Candidate X is obviously the worst; you are stupid if you vote him” or “Candidate Y is cool and hip; I’m going to vote for him because that’s what everyone else is doing” are very bad.

Even very smart people that reason effectively get caught in the trap of accusing the other side of being stupid or inherently wrong.  Frankly, immediately accusing the other side of being a particular way is offensive.  I’ve found that the best thing is to not associate yourself with a particular party.

This all being said, I’m going to comment on something that relates to politics.  So don’t kill me for it.  This is Herman Cain:

He’s one of the Republican nominees running for President, and the media has absolutely no clue how to deal with this guy.  On a whim, I looked up who was running a couple of months ago, and have kept tabs on the race since.

Cain has ran for elected office twice before, but has never held public office.  Rather, he’s a fantastically successful businessman, best known for his CEO work at salvaging Godfather’s Pizza from the brink of bankruptcy in the 90s, but he has also been CEO of other food companies and was head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City for a few years.

The media doesn’t know what to do with him.  This is due to a number of factors.  First, he’s not a politician, and his political correctness is practically zero.  The media goes nuts sometimes over things he says.  Second, because of his non-politicianness, his answers are honest and straight-up; mispoken statements are really just that.  The media, used to the normal sliminess of politicians, tried to infer things from what he says and assumes that he means things other than what he does says.  Third, he’s a black conservative.  The vast majority of blacks in the U.S. vote Democrat, so the media’s just not used to this.  Also, he normally wears yellow ties.  Not sure how much that affects anything.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with Cain, I think the country would be a lot better if more people like him ran for office.  The leaders of the U.S. at every level should be honest and experienced outside of the bubble-world of politics, regardless of their status as Republican or Democrat.  The country needs people who are in touch with reality.

That being said, remember to vote LaMar 2036.

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