Andy wonders why Michael Vick is routinely called a "thug" and Chris Benoit not? While I think Vick merits -- even embraces -- the label, Benoit killed his wife and young son yet still has been typically depicted as a tragic figure. You know, the 'roids made him do it.
Maybe the Falcons QB was suffering from 'roid rage when he oversaw the murders of countless canines? Would make that make him less culpable ... less dastardly?
I'm not making light of what the Falcons QB allgedly did. Unless this indictment turns out to be a replay of the Duke fiasco, I ain't going to feel comfortable rooting for the dude. If guilty, he should go to jail. But the Benoit comparison does lead one to question the media's lack of context.
So ethnic profiling has made it to high school. I'm guessing it's no mere coincidence that Allen Lee, whose father was a Chinese emigre, was arrested for an essay in which he shot people then had sex with their dead bodies.
Police Thursday released portions of an essay used to charge a Cary-Grove High School student with disorderly conduct, leaving several experts puzzled at an arrest based on such schoolwork.
Asked to write about whatever he wanted in a creative writing class, would-be Marine and honors student Allen Lee, 18, described a violent dream in which he shot people and then "had sex with the dead bodies.''
A second disorderly count accuses Lee of alarming first-year teacher Nora Capron by writing that "as a teacher, don't be surprised on [sic] inspiring the first CG shooting,'' an apparent reference to Cary-Grove High.
Disturbing, maybe, but this was a creative writing class. What would happen to a young Stephen King today? Would he be institutionalized? Are we really living in a country where people are arrested for what they write?
Reuniting to play at Al Gore's Earth First concert is a bad idea. Is the faux heavy metal trio going to mock Gore, or environmentalists? According to the former veep, Spinal Tap will be helping "deliver this message about why we have to respond to the climate crisis and how we can do so successfully."
I'm already not laughing.
Blame Rob Reiner, director of "This Is Spinal Tap," for this ill-conceived reunion.
"What I think is going to be nice about this whole effort is there will be marching orders for people," said Reiner. "Not only from a personal standpoint of what individuals can do in their lives, but a macro perspective with respect to the public sector and government."
The person being quoted is the Rev. Susan Verbrugge of Blacksburg Presbyterian Church, addressing her congregation in an attempt, in the silly argotof the day, "to make sense of the senseless":
Ms. Verbrugge recounted breaking through the previous week's numbness as she stopped on a morning walk and found herself yelling at the mountains and at God. Though her shouts were initially met with silence, she said, she soon was reassured by the simplest of things, the chirping of birds.
"God was doing something about the world," she said. "Starting with my own heart, I could see good."
Yes, it's always about you, isn't it? (By the way, I'd watch that habit of yelling at mountains and God in the greater Blacksburg area if I were you. Some idiot might take it for a "warning sign.") When piffle like this gets respectful treatment from the media, we can guess that it's not because of the profundity of the emotion but rather because of its extreme shallowness. Those birds were singing just as loudly and just as sweetly when the bullets were finding their targets.
The Stella Award -- named after Stella Liebeck, who collected $2.9 million from McDonald's for spilling hot coffee on herself -- for the most frivolous lawsuit of the year goes to:
Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City ,who bought a new Winnebago Motor Home. While driving home on the freeway he engaged the Cruise Control and then left the driver's seat to go back in to the motor home to make a cup of coffee... He received $1,750,000 plus a new motor home ... and an addendum in the Winnebago owner's manual advising owners not to leave the wheel after engaging Cruise Control.
The runner-up: Carl Truman of Los Angeles, who was compensated $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over Carl's hand with his Honda Accord. Carl didn't know his neighbor was in the car when he started to steal the hubcaps.
What's a bigger threat to the planet: global warming or those who advocate against it?
Don't get me wrong, I'm a believer, but I wouldn't want to get within 50 carbon footprints of the "Stop Global Warming Tour," headlined by Sheryl Crow and Laurie (wife of Larry) David, otherwise known as Shrill and Shriller.
Crow (4/19, Springfield, Tenn.): I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required.
Does Sheryl not go Number Two? I don't know how anyone finishes that business with only one square. Must we forsake cleanliness?
Crow (4/19): I also like the idea of not using paper napkins, which happen to be made from virgin wood and represent the height of wastefulness. I have designed a clothing line that has what's called a "dining sleeve." The sleeve is detachable and can be replaced with another "dining sleeve," after usage. The design will offer the "diner" the convenience of wiping his mouth on his sleeve rather than throwing out yet another barely used paper product. I think this idea could also translate quite well to those suffering with an annoying head cold.
Coming soon: the Abercrombie and Fitch dining sleeve.
David (4/20, Charlottesville): Tonight, I spoke outside the gorgeous Charlottesville pavilion, in front of a couple of thousand slightly inebriated college men (there to see the wonderful Robert Randolph and the Family Band) who were forced to sit through the opening act . . . me. Truly, it was one of the most challenging 20 minutes of my life. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw guys yawning, I heard kids saying "where's the music?" and I think I heard the "b" word. I rushed through the speech and when I walked off the stage I immediately burst into tears. Not because I took anything personally but because it was so clear how much work is still to be done. Tonight served as a stark reminder that social change is a journey and I learned tonight that not every stop is going to be easy.
One day we'll live in a world where people will prefer lecturing to live music. Until then, I must persevere. So hard, so overwhelming, yet I must.