United States

Thought of the Day: 7/4/2014 – Recording the Boom

Independence day Fireworks over the Navasink R...

It’s just not the same, is it? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A public service announcement from Feit Can Write:

When you’re out watching fireworks tonight, resist the urge to record them with your phone.  Seriously, don’t.

  • The resulting video almost always sucks, and never approaches the awesomeness of being there live.  Never.
  • Unless redneck Uncle Wayne is lighting them off, the odds of capturing a viral moment are lottery-esque.
  • You’re never going to watch that video again.  Seriously, how many times have you watched that video from Independence Day 2011?

Instead, put your phone/camera down.  Enjoy the night air.  Breathe in the childhood memories triggered by fireworks smoke.  Think of the men and women who have served and sacrificed for your freedom.  Appreciate the irony of celebrating the quintessential American holiday with fireworks from China.  Or just get lost in the sensory delight of bright colors, loud noises, and James Brown’s “Living in America”.

What I’m saying is live in the moment.  You’ll enjoy life a lot more if you do.

And if you really, really need to see a video you can find several thousand on YouTube tomorrow morning.

Dear Soccer Fans (from a non-fan)

An open letter to fans of soccer and the World Cup,

Dear Soccer Fans,

I apologize for the lateness of this letter, as you are probably already enjoying the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  But before you get too far into the month-long tournament, my non-soccer-loving friends and I would like to come to an agreement with you, our futbol-loving friends and neighbors.  Think of it as an agreement of mutual respect to get both of us through the next month.

World Cup (image from Wikipedia)

Here is what we propose:

  • We, the non-soccer fans, promise to respect that the month of your life is going to revolve around soccer, if you, soccer fans, promise to respect that, for us, this next month is the sporting equivalent of having your mother-in-law perform dental work on you.
  • We promise to let you call it “football” without telling about where the “REAL football” is played on America, if you promise to not correct us when we refer to your sport as “soccer”.
  • We promise to not call you a douche, if you promise that only fans of Latin descent should say “futbol”.
  • We promise to go easy on bashing soccer and pointing out the lack of scoring, the flopping, and the weird rules if you promise to limit the breathless descriptions of how the “beautiful game” was played in a 1-0 match.
  • We promise to not judge you when you tell us how you’re rooting for some country you have no affiliation with, if you promise not to judge us when we jump on the U.S. bandwagon should they win a match or two.
  • We promise not to unfriend you or block you on Twitter, if you promise to take it easy on the social media updates.  Surely there cannot be 50 tweet-worth items in a 2-0 match.
  • We promise to be accepting of World Cup-themed promotions, commercials, and marketing, if you promise to not cite a Coke can or McDonald’s commercial as proof of soccer’s growing influence in America.

In general, we promise to stay of your way and let you enjoy the Cup if you promise to allow us to ignore it completely.  We won’t bash on soccer like we usually do, but we ask that you don’t try to make us care.

Because we really don’t.

It’s nothing personal.  Soccer just isn’t our cup of tea.  We know this puts us in a vast minority amongst the world’s population, but we’re cool with that.  Please, enjoy the World Cup.  All we ask is to be left alone.

We feel these mutual agreements are in everybody’s best interests as you would certainly like to enjoy the world’s biggest sporting event with billions of other fans, and we want it to be over quickly so ESPN will spend more time talking about NFL training camps.


People who don’t care about soccer

Four More Years, But A Life Long Lesson

Today is the inauguration of President Obama’s second term in office.  For a sizable chunk of the country (including a vast majority of my Big Red home state*), the start of Obama’s second four years in the White House is a cause for trepidation, not celebration.

*How deeply Republican is Nebraska?  In the 2012 election, Mitt Romney won 92 of the 93 counties in the state.  In 43 of those 93 counties, Romney received over 75% of the vote.  The lone victory for Obama came in tiny Thurston County, where Obama won by 308 votes.  In Nebraska, Obama yard signs were about as common as folks flying Texas Longhorns flags on fall Saturdays – you could do it, but it’s a great way to alienate your friends and neighbors.

But setting aside the President’s politics, I am thrilled to see him get another four years.  Why?  It’s not because I’m a card-carrying liberal or have a strong connection to any of his policies.  The reason is much more personal.

We adopted both of our children through an agency in Florida.  My son is African-American, and we believe our daughter’s birth father is black.  We know that the color of their skin is going to stand out here – it does almost every time we leave the house – and there will come a day when they are treated differently because of their skin.  I know that some day they will have doubts on what they can achieve, or if the color of their beautiful skin will be a hinderance to their hopes and dreams.

When those moments occur, I will remind them that for the first four and eight years of their lives, a black man was the President of the United States of America.  And with the proper motivation, dedication, and passion there is absolutely nothing they cannot accomplish.

For me, having a positive role model like Obama for my children trumps any concerns my fellow citizens may have about his policies and views.

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