Wednesday, September 21, 2016

NBA 2K16-10: Eastern Conference Finals, Roanoke Railguns v Chicago Bulls

To begin the Eastern Conference Finals, Chicago was a 92 overall; the Roanoke Railguns were 77. Perhaps the team got some rest after their sweep. There is not much talk of repeating such a feat in this round.

Game 1, at RoanokeRoanoke wins, 93-54So... the Bulls seemed dangerous on paper. And not only because they have one of
our doppelgangers, Panthro Wang. But the team was fired up to start well. Alexandr Vikayanov was most ablaze, with 20 points, 3 reb 3 assists. Our Panthro was not far behind, as usual. He had been upset since the Joe Johnson trade, which knocked him out of the lineup. But the anger had translated into strong play on the court.

Game 2, at Roanoke.  Roanoke wins, 82-64. Joe Dumars's return signaled better things than anticipated. Another time for clobbering... even though the Bulls defense was supposedly set at 99 for today's game. Might be a sweep after all, was the thought in the locker room. But no one wanted to speak too soon...

Game 3, at Chicago.  Roanoke wins, 86-57. The Railguns broke out to an 18-4 lead. Big mistake--the boys got lax, and soon the score was 20-15. Sloppy passes. But they were reminded of the mission at halftime. Dumars had 13 and 7, steady as usual. Stevens
put in 19 including four threes. Derrick Rose had us shook with some of his dribble stutter-steps but he got stuffed a few times and finished with 8 points...

Game 4, at Chicago. Roanoke clinches, 80-56. Oklahoma City was up 3-0 in the Western Finals, against the West's #8 seed New Orleans. Plan was to dead this series in a sweep so we could practice and rest... The Bulls were tough early. But Stevens had 18 at the half on 8-10 shooting and the Railguns were up 49-26. We had more in the first quarter (28) than Chicago's first half... Not much to see. Motivation and execution and another sweet win.

The Thunder swept the Pelicans over there. So on to the Finals. Our team had just about mastered the shooting stroke (except for the Rodmans and Hansbroughs of the world). Coach aims to keep the team in season for the last series of the season.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Political Distractions: Is Donald Trump our Lex Luthor?

Presidential candidate Donald Trump confounded lots of people during the run-up to the 2016 election. The focus on Trump never waned as waning as so-called political experts thought it might.

Media consumers see pundits smirking at the mention of Trump.
Perhaps this eye rolling is an affectation by political talking heads, so we will think they feel cheapened; that Trump makes a mockery of their jobs.

However, most of the public has already lost faith in media and in politics, knowing the mainstream is laughing all the way to the bank.

Donald Trump is an entertaining and profitable distraction. Here are a few ways they are similar.

They’re billionaires. This is obvious and rightfully first on the list. Trump and Luthor have more money than you and me. Love makes the world go ’round, but money greases many a wheel. The first incarnations of Lex Luthor showed him as a fully-coiffed mad scientist. Over time, he became a power-hungry businessman, which is how the casual fan knows him today. And, in one Justice League animated series, Luthor angles all of his resources to run for president!

They’re ruthless. Goes along with having money. Maybe there have been a few extremely righteous, sweet men and women who’ve made huge fortunes and amassed power on many levels. However, that just isn’t the norm. “I'd trip my mother (to win),”
said baseball legend Leo Durocher. “I'd help her up, brush her off, tell her I'm sorry. But mother don't make it to third.” To succeed in the world’s systems, Luthor and Trump long ago decided what was important. That decision to win the competition is reflected in their bearing, and what they say and do.

They are surrounded by beautiful women. When Trump said that long-time model Heidi Klum was ‘no longer a 10’, he gave us a clue as to his lofty standards. He has been married to and dated many, many beauties. The women will keep coming as long as he is Donald Trump. Yet Lex Luthor trumps Trump. Not only does he marry and date goddesses, two of them (Mercy and Hope) are his deadly bodyguards.

Their heads command attention. Much is made of Donald Trump’s ’do. But many people don’t know the twisty history behind Lex’s slick-bald head. The story goes that an artist forgot to draw Luthor’s hair a couple of times, and to cover, the producers of the comic created a backstory where the permanent baldness is Superman’s fault. Multiple versions aside, we do know that Luthor and Trump are instantly recognizable because of their noggins. For very different reasons.

Your opinion doesn’t register. Lex’s rudeness is legendary. He once told Superman, “They say ‘Keep your enemies close’… in your case, I’m willing to make an exception.” Not many people get the last word with Luthor.

Neither is Donald Trump a shrinking violet: He infuriates people from Fox News to The View to Congress to Mexico, and everywhere between. “We are led by stupid people,” Trump told CNN once. ‘Trump Won’t Apologize For (fill-in-the-blank)’, trending headlines keep telling us. Does he seem worried that you’re angry? No. Luthor doesn’t care, either.

Unlike Lex Luthor, Donald Trump doesn’t pilot experimental planes nor encase himself inside battle exosuits. He is certainly not a crazed, villian with plans to subjugate the world.

But, if Superman existed, Donald Trump would probably try to humble him, too.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Batman: Our favorite psychopathic narcissist

“I’m the only one who knows what you lost and found in that dark alley,” psychiatrist Hugo Strange told Batman, during a chase through a booby-trapped mansion. “You lost two lives and you found double-hell… lost your old innocence and found new obsession… lost security and stability and found chaos and insanity.”

At base, our reasons for liking Batman are simple: He’s not super-powered, but is at his peak physically and mentally. He has a toy for any occasion, and as Bruce Wayne, anything he wants is within reach.

But all of that came at a price made of much pain for Batman. He transformed into something new; rather, he split himself like an amoeba. Think of all the people who have been through tragedies. How many of them, even given the means, would do what Bruce grew to do?

Psychologists use a label which might fit Batman/Bruce Wayne: Psychopathic narcissist.

“It is largely considered to be a myriad of areas working together involving early childhood trauma,” claims the WiseGeek website. “Psychologists have theorized that severe traumas during the early years can prompt children to create a way of coping, developing another reality in which they maintain control.” Sounds familiar, eh, master Bruce?

There is something about the make-up of a person who would do what people like Batman do. Over the years, we’ve seen him do things like remove evidence from crime scenes before police arrive, or with Commissioner Gordon’s approval. Because he is a genius detective, and almost always gets his man, the tampering is accepted in the name of justice (and entertainment). Pop culture is so saturated with superheroes it’s not easy to see the big picture.

Almost all of us think of ourselves as “good.” The movie villain has his backstory that, in his mind, justifies his actions. The line You’re not that different from me has been uttered many times from bad guy to hero. The next dialogue is usually I’m nothing like you…

Unfortunately for Batman and all the other vigilantes we enjoy so, that common villain line contains some truth. Even the Joker often mocks Batman’s emotional demons. If that isn’t a sobering bit, nothing is.

*quoted from Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #141.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Stuffed with Lurv #15: Pure Milk

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

1 Peter chapter 2