Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Ugliest of Trolls

   America's favorite troll is at it again, and I do not mean the cute ones with blue frizzy hair that stands on end. I am talking about the woman who is so possessed with empty anger, rage, and decay that you cannot feel anything but pity for her. That is right, I am talking about Ann Coulter. If you have not read her gem of an article yet, here is a link to it.
If I get a little "upset" while writing this, I have to apologize. You see I just spent the last hour and a half on me feet, cheering, clapping and in general willing USA to victory. Though we did not come out victorious, we did earn, and I mean EARN our spot to move one! YEAH! So I am more than slightly offended by this article. I am absolutely abhorred, more so than the fact that she is actually a syndicated columnist. Which I did not think was possible.
      She starts her incredible un-American rant by stating, "I've held off writing about soccer for a decade-" Great, because she clearly knows nothing about the sport, which is evident the more you read the column. It is also incredibly irrational and by her logic, then yes, anytime America gets behind its national team (of course except when it is Football, not a international sport anyway, basketball or baseball, the only 3 acceptable sports) competing in a world event it screams moral decay. Anytime you cheer on Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps and the hordes of American athletes who devote entire lives to representing their country with pride, you are contributing to the downfall of our society. If that is the case, then please, I will be in line first.
       As an athlete it is also clear this woman has probably never held a ball that was not old and wrinkly. If Ms. Coulter was ever an athlete then she would know that individual achievement is not why you compete. Individual achievement does not, will not, and never has won a team sport. I have proudly bled, sweat, cried and rejoiced with my teammates. THEY ARE MY MOST TREASURED MEMORIES. Not a single basket in a basketball game and not a single kill in a volleyball game. Though, since she expounds on individuality as crutch to protect her insecure nature when it comes to relationships with other human beings, again I have to have pity in that, she has probably never hugged her teammate after a clutch three pointer, never slapped hands so hard with her setter for stuffing a giant middle blocker. Never felt the magical shift in an intense game that starts to go your way because your teammate did something fabulous.

    In addition Ms. Coulter is incapable of parsing out anything positive in general about anything, she is the ultimate Debbie Downer. (She probably just needs a hug, can we start a campaign to raise money to pay someone to hug her?) But, more so she is wholly incapable of see the skill, beauty or cunning that is displayed in soccer. It is a sport where the biggest and baddest does not always win. Skill, wit, and drive out play the physicality, which in my opinion makes the game fantastic. Any brute can put on pads and slam each other over and over and over again until they are incapable of sadly completing a coherent sentence and drooling, which is not funny. They are killing themselves for our pleasure. What is so special about that? Oh of course, in her opinion it is the brutality. The injuries. In a woman whose dogmatic nature is going for the jugular and the weakest always first and foremost, of course that is what would appeal.

    Apparently, Ms. Coulter does not know that our team captain broke his nose in the first half of the first game. She is also unaware that they set the break on the field, he got up, spit out blood and has been playing ever since. Can we name a basketball player or baseball player that has done that lately? So apologies form the soccer world to Ms. Coulter if you do not fancy the game violent enough for your bad self. Not enough head trauma or compound fractures for her. It seems she would prefer the Roman Colosseum over any sport, and if that is the case then please, Ms. Coulter, you go first. Put your money where your mouth is. If you are too scared, then let me challenge you to a basketball on one. No one in America has ever or will ever be force fed to watch soccer, furthermore. Anyone who is remotely interested in the sport actually knows how difficult it is to watch it. (I am not even going to get into the salaries and incarceration rates, or preposterous behavior of a majority our professional athletes)

     Of course Ms. Coulter has to turn the sport into something political. She mistakenly believes it is her wheelhouse. But, I do feel we can forgive this because, lets face it, her demagoguery has created a nice little niche market for her. Something along the lines of what Huey Long and Charles Manson were able to create, mindless followers who fed off negative filth. Ugly people only have ugly words. If one her biggest complaints is that is is foreign, then please, she needs to give up on her conservatism. Any good conservative knows the basic foundation was founded from the likes of Edmund Burke and he was foreign. Not to mention Ayn Rand...yep she was  RUSSIAN which means she was FOREIGN. Not to mention our good old Democratic government. Yep, a foreign idea as well.

   She ends her little ditty with a gem of a quote, "No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer." Ms. Coulter is false, totally false and pompous and 100% ignorant. (again why syndication??) I am as American as they come. I am also an athlete and here is what I can tell you, which is the truth. Again, I apologize because this is where I am going to get emotional. There was nothing more American than watching my American team fight. They fought from a bad position, from an underdog status. Nothing screams USA like overcoming the shit thrown at you and rising above it to succeed. Those 23 men, they exude what it means to be an American. Being able to watch some of my favorite players come home and fight with glory, defiance and pride for our country is something I more than cherish. I am American, and I am bursting with pride for Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson, Kyle Bekerman, Mix Diskerud, Chris Wondolowski, DaMarcus Beasely, DeAndre Yedlin, Graham Zusi, Omar Gonzalez, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis, Timothy Chandler, Alejandro Bedyoa, Matt Besler, Brad Guzan, John Brooks, Julian Green, and Nick Rimando. If Ms. Coulter can not muster the goodwill to have respect then she should do what my mom always said, "If you can't say something nice, then DO NOT say anything at all." I am just gonna say....GO USA USA USA USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Transcending #Blessed

      If you know me, the fact that I absolutely hate "#blessed" is not new. Aside from the fact it is a humble-brag in its most basic form, it is also the implication that a higher power chose you over countless billions to bestow some sort of greatness or a general good feeling. You are "oh so lucky" to have something others do not. In addition to this unfortunate trend, another thing that really grinds my gears (If I can take a page from Peter Griffin I will any day!) is the obsessive talk about diets, non-diets, work-outs and non-work-outers. You know the ones who either state, "OMG am totally going gluten free/vegan/paleo/clean eating, to lose weight and get healthy!" Or the, "Totally ran 6 miles, then did bikram yoga, now I can't wait to swim 5 miles. #Tri-athleteforever!" Then the ever present, "I totally love my body, why would I waste time working out when I can spend hours cuddling under a blanket fort with Jack and Jill!"
      What all this probably relates down to is every Tom, Dick, Harry and Sally feeling the need to update the world on every poo, snack, push-up or church service attended. Despite the fact that it also implies, in a passive-aggressive way that what you are doing is better than others, for me it goes deeper. I consider myself pretty reasonable and laid back. I eat what ever I want within reason. I work out, unless something fun comes up. I am not one to care what other people think of me, ahem, apparently after this blog that point is moot. But, what I am trying to sum up, is that we are so anxious about what we are doing and why we are doing it, it drives little ol' pragmatic me absolutely nuts. In not knowing why this was driving me nuts, per usual routine, I self-reflect on it. It has to be something wrong with me, I am the common denominator = Me as the problem. But then, as I read the greatest article written in a long time an idea struck me.

     You see, as someone who has always struggled to "fit into things" because I am rather large, physically and personality wise, I just stopped trying and started to count my #blessings for all that is good. It as been amazing. Part of doing that required me to figure out my general preferences in life and learning about what I believe and why. This might sound condescending, but part of doing that was realizing that the largess of our world transcends anything even remotely related to us. The little tiny human beings on a giant world, with billions of other tiny little human beings, making said giant world smaller by the day. Aside from the stark realization that our actions do in fact have a reaction that definitely effects others, in the grand scheme of things we are completely insignificant when we act alone. So why the anxiousness? Why no moderation?

      This my friends is what bothers me. You see I have a dirty little secret that I learned years ago from one of my favorite professors. When I say I transcend modern day politics, I truly transcend modern day politics. My confession is that the giant conservative streak that runs deep inside me desperately clings to moderation and tradition. Not in the sense that I actually believe gay marriage is bad, or that it is any of my business what my neighbor lady does with her who-ha. Totally socially liberal. It is my pragmatic nature that just wants people to chill out, just be. This could be my crippling inability to deal with other people's anxiety, but dudes....just chill out. Do what humans always do and survive.

    What I am saying, if you are lactose intolerant, just cut out dairy. No need to go full paleo. Clean eating? What the hell does that even mean? I hope you are washing your fruits and veggies, even they are organic. Is that what it is implying? Or folks, could it be someone branding a term to make money off you? How about we say, we are cooking the traditional way with whole ingredients, just like my mom or grandma used to do.We are so anxious to be on trend, on point that our anxiety seeps through our pours. If you furiously trying to obtain a beach body, awesome, but how many people are going to notice? How many strangers and why?  If you do not want a beach body, then go put on your swim suit and quite bitching about how free you are feeling about your post baby body. See above comments about the person who only eats chicken breasts and drinks water to obtain the beach body. Who is going to care? Why do we care about what strangers think anyways? I am going to drink my wine with another hunk of cheese on gasp! a french baguette, probably followed up by escargot soaked in butter.

     I swear on all that is holy, if  we can't just relax and accept we are in for a world of hurt. Happiness and acceptance comes through us. Not a specific workout your cousin Vinny told you to do. Not a diet touted to clear up every problem you have ever experienced. The world is best experienced through living and trying. Try everything once, do everything once. Do not let the anxiety of fads or trendy social ventures get to you. If wine gives you a headache, it is simple, just do not drink it. But damn girl, we can still go out for a margarita! (Or tea if guess if you do not drink) If you think someone is watching you, I guarantee they are not. Do not let insecurities rule your world and most of all instead of counting and displaying your blessings, be gracious and grateful. Just do not deprive yourselves of things that give you joy and do not rely on cheap gimmicks to ease your pain. I understand very clearly that the world gray, but there are something that are just black and white. The world is hard enough without us making it harder for ourselves.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Wow...I Can't Believe She Said That: Every Four Years....GO USA!!!

Wow...I Can't Believe She Said That: Every Four Years....GO USA!!!:       There are few things in life that we as a society are not forced to consume, be exposed to, or generally jammed down our throats. Poli...

Every Four Years....GO USA!!!

      There are few things in life that we as a society are not forced to consume, be exposed to, or generally jammed down our throats. Politics being one of the main offenders, our consumer culture and object of the ever present "15 Minutes of Fame." In our country Baseball lasts April to October (though I can't complain about that one), NBA from end of October until June, the NHL October through at least April, and the dreaded NFL (the one I actually despise) from August to January. I am not sure about NASCAR or Golf, but it seems they are on almost every weekend. Every four years we have the winter Olympics, the summer Olympics, the America's Cup, and the World Cup. For many of us, those moments are magical.
      In the Olympics, you have mostly amateur athletes who have dedicated their lives to a sport they will received little glory in, after the competition is over. It is a moment for America to stand with pride behind these individuals as they fight on in the name of honor for our country, the most important if only accolade they will receive. The America's Cup an event for rich people, attractive mostly to the few who understand the excitement, concepts, and intensity of sailboat racing. But the World Cup. The World Cup is the WORLDS foremost sporting event. Revered by soccer loving nations everywhere. Now if you are a soccer loving American, it is easy to follow your teams, leagues and favorite players with minimal effort, but you still have to make an effort. It is not like you can turn on Fox, NBC, ABC or even ESPN on a Sunday morning and see the La Liga or the Bundesliga. The MLS might be featured on your local station,  but if you live in Chicago and want to see the Seattle Sounders play LA Galaxy, you have to make an effort to make that happen. So, I am going to implore two simple things of you, my fellow Americans.
       First and foremost, these games are on ESPN, ESPN2, they are available channels on almost every television set in every bar in America. Like almost every other sporting fan in this nation, soccer fans love to watch their game with a cold beer in hand. Did I mention this only happens every four years?? So please just give us one television set with volume in your humble establishment. If our crowd outnumbers the space, give us two television sets and we will reward you in the form of payment for excessive beer drinking and an atmosphere of merriment, especially if our team is winning. Please, have mercy and patience for all of our cheers and shouts of,  "OOOHHHS!", "AHHHHHS!", "OOOOMMMMGGGS!" or "YYYEYEEEAAAHHH" and in general any loud noises we make because, this is the World Cup! We patiently wait through every NFL season listening to the same things. Please do not act offended or scared because we are making loud noises...This has been pent up for four years! You can catch the golf scores later, we can turn it to the baseball game at halftime so you get the highlights. This only happens every 4 years!!
        The second and final thing is to remember that we are Americans and unfortunately more partisan and nasty than ever. We have team and a pretty decent one this year. We are the nation of underdogs in this sport. The US loves an underdog, lets get behind these boys. They are unlike most professional athletes we are used to seeing. They don't make millions, very few have endorsement deals and the ones that do are not as lucrative as other sports or soccer players form around the world. These guys play for love of the sport and are representing our great country. This is the month that we show our appreciation for the great U.S.A! Lets get behind our boys!
          So please, when you are sitting there bashing soccer, just remember this is our one month out of four years. Please have pity on our lot as we embark on the one of the greatest months in our sporting repertoire. When you get "scared" by our random shouts of ecstasy or despair, just remember what it feels like when the Packers win or lose, or your emotional investment in the Chicago Blackhawks. Most of all, give our boys a shot. They play today at 5pm central standard time. They have worked hard and deserve for everyone to stop for a second and check them out. They play Ghana the team that knocked them out of the tournament 4 years ago. The game was ugly, brutal and the boys played their hearts out. Most importantly it is an opportunity for us citizens to get behind a team that can unite us again, if only for 90 minutes. No US politics in soccer. We are one country, one team! Go U.S.A!!!!!