Random Contrarian Thoughts About the News

THE SUSPECT IS ARMED, ARE YOU SURE?  I read recently that authorities were investigating the murder of a woman in unincorporated Lake County near Antioch. Police were in contact with the suspect in the slaying, who was barricaded in a trailer near Westlake Avenue and Beach Grove Road. And the officer said the suspect appears to be armed.

Wait, someone is in a trailer or house in rural America and appears to be a suspect in a kidnapping, armed robbery or murder and the article quotes a law enforcement official stating that the suspect is armed. No duh! Thanks Mr. Captain Obvious. Would it be any other way in America?

First, don’t many Americans who live in rural areas hunt at the very least so he may have a shotgun or rifle? In addition, at last count (which I’m sure has increased with the anti-gun hysteria), there are over 300,000,000 guns in this county; I suspect a high percentage of those who live in rural America own a gun. So to conclude that a suspected felon is hiding in a barn or shed or trailer or home with a gun goes without saying (from what I can see).

TEAR DOWN THE WALL? I read last week that a group of Berliners want to preserve the remaining parts of the infamous Berlin Wall that came crashing down over 20 years ago. Are these preservationists some of the same Berliners who years ago wanted to unite the East part of the city with West Berlin by tearing down the wall? First, some of them want to destroy and now they want to preserve. On one level it makes sense and on another, does it not sound counter intuitive?

IS ROCKY MORE OMINOUS THAN BRUTUS? Why the change in the Weather Channel approach where winter storms now have names, such as Winter Storm Brutus, Winter Storm Rocky or Winter Storm Triton? I understand hurricanes which can be incredibly destructive and deadly but the idea of naming winter storms? Why the added hype? Certain areas in the Northern Hemisphere where I live have seen incredible blizzards over the years – whether they’re named or not will not affect my approach to these sometimes paralyzing weather phenomenon. Naming them will not impact my driving, my snow removal approach or my psychological approach to help this pass as painless as possible.

Is there a meteorological method behind calling the next winter blizzard Brutus or Rocky? Or is this strictly a marketing ploy by the Weather Channel?

THIS FILM HAS NOT YET BEEN RATED – GIVE ME A BREAK!!! Sometimes movies that are ready for public consumption arrange ads to be shown to generate a certain buzz to help make the box office attractive on opening weekend. Sometimes these ads state that the movie has not yet been rated.

Sometimes, these movies currently without a rating show inappropriate or risque reviews during these ads – in other words, the movie most likely will be rated ‘R’ as represented by the preview ad.

One clear example of this scenario is Hangover III – according to the commercial, it’s not yet been rated. Wait, we see the preview for this movie which really suggests it’s not intended for kids and will probably be rated ‘R’. Moreover, what about both Hangover and Hangover II? These movies clearly and easily earned the restricted rating, so how can the last Hangover movie not receive the same rating?

If there’s some genuine discussion on how the advertised movie will be rated, I don’t have a problem with the statement, “this film has not yet been rated.” But to use this often solely for marketing purposes to generate more interest, I’d rate that ‘M’ for manipulative.

DE MORTUIS NIHIL NISI BONUM…When a famous pianist, sportscaster or diplomat passes on, how do we describe their greatness and contributions to society? How will their obituary read? It’s incredibly tempting like a boy in a cookie jar for many to say the deceased musician or sports announcer was the greatest ever. I get it, we don’t want to speak ill of the dead (de mortuis nihil nisi bonum) but is it true? Is it necessary?

If the famous person was really good at what they did, why not say they were extraordinary at their craft – one of the all-time greats. Why get carried away now that they are passed? It feels contrived and self-indulgent to say they were the best musician or sportscaster just because they recently passed. How could one refute that statement and why would one want to so near their passing? If the recent deceased was the greatest at what they did, why wasn’t that mentioned among many before they passed?