Some moments to write, finally. It's just been that kind of couple of weeks. But enough chit-chat...on to the issues.
Issue 1: Barry, We Hardly Knew Ye
So now we find out Barry Bonds took steroids. Who would have thought it? It's a sad day for baseball, of course, but an even sadder day for the legions of young boys and girls who look up to sports figures like Bonds and believe in their young hearts that if you work hard and never lose sight of your dreams, it really is possible for anyone to grow large muscles and increase their head size in a matter of weeks.
In Tom Wolfe's great book about the American space program, The Right Stuff, he describes the mindset of a group of test pilots whenever one is killed in a testing accident. They're saddened, of course, but each man's mind also invariably finds all the reasons he wouldn't have crashed the way the doomed pilot did. I think a similar thing can happen when someone is too long on the pedestal of public adulation, thinking that the laws (of man as well as physics) only apply to regular people.
The charges against Barry Bonds aren't for taking steroids per se. Rather, they are for lying about it under oath. It's the same kind of thing that sent Martha Stewart to the big house when she decided to mislead investigators looking into those insider trading allegations. I've never agreed with those who said she was sent to prison because she's a celebrity. First, since when has that ever gotten anyone hard treatment in court? Second, taking it upon yourself to hamper a criminal investigation is a serious matter, sometimes more serious than whatever the original investigation was about. Where do these people think they are, FEMA?
Nixon lied about Watergate and became synonymous with political evil. (Considering our politics and politicians, that's really saying something.) Conversely, Reagan owned up to Iran Contra and ended up all but beatified. Clinton...well, he's Clinton.
With Bonds being a free agent I have to think no team will sign him with this indictment hanging over his head. We'll see how it all plays out, but it's starting to look like we won't have Barry Bonds to kick around any more.
Issue 2: This Will Sleigh You
A news item today reported that some Santa's (Santae?) in Australia have been directed not to say "ho ho ho" because it could be considered offensive by some women. Even if Santa were pointing at the perp walk from a brothel raid when he said it, I'm not sure the average three or four year old would get the inference. (Though I've known a few who probably would.) I think when someone created the expression, "You can't make this stuff up," this is the kind of thing they had in mind.
Issue 3: Residential Demolition, While You Wait
This is the latest photo of Willie (on the right) and Lily (on the left). (Yes, we decided to fix the spellings of their names.) Pulling clothes off hangers, throwing laundry around the bedroom and running around in a way that recreates the sound from every cowboy movie ever made wherein a herd of horses gallops in from the plains is hard work, and they need to rest sometime. Seeing them this way makes me think of a lot of things. Mostly about how witnessing life in its pure, innocent form underscores how very badly we've screwed up everything else.