The Mr. Nice Guy Show Blog

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My thoughts on what's goin' on in the world,

just like years ago on the radio.

Thursday, April 07, 2005



Way back, over 25 years ago, I'd go to Saturday morning services at a synagogue in Syracuse. The rabbi, who is still there - and, presumably still a jackass - would introduce the memorial prayer near the end of the service by mentioning the names of those who were recently "called back to God's heavenly academy."

I thought it odd, but nice. An academy.
In library school, we learned not to use euphemisms for this.

Either way, a lot of people have "gone there" in the past few weeks...

•Terri Schiavo
She and her entire family endured an awful 15 years. A terribly sad story. My conclusion is that she really hadn't been "alive" in many years. Alive means the ability to smell fresh spring air, to see another human being's smile, to hug and be hugged, to taste something sweet. My understanding is that she couldn't do any of those.

It must've been awful for her parents and we can understand their refusal to let go, but they should have. I sided with her husband and a nation of laws. We should also note that she may have done all this to herself, since it all came about as the result of an eating disorder.

The real villians in this are the politicians who rushed to use her as an example of their so-called "pro-life" stance, unless they're talkin' about the delight they take in sending people to prison death chambers or how they absolutely want to get the government off everyones backs. And...of course, the media, who will take anyone's tragedy, anyone's misfortune and make it a circus for their profits as the over-hairsprayed ringmasters feign concern.

•Johnnie Cochran
I once walked into a bookstore in Cincinnati a few years ago, glanced at their calendar, and saw that just a few hours earlier, Cochran had been there signing/shilling his new book. I wondered if I could've had the guts to show up then if I had known and spat right in his face and told him how repugnant and vile I found him.
While we all pray for the strength and comfort of his family at a difficult time, we shouldn't forget that, apparently for ten years, he kept a mistress and a whole 'nother family. He made a circus out of the OJ trial, taking advantage of a star-struck judge and, again, media bastards. I don't care how many "regular" people he defended, I found him to be a very sad man.

•Mitch Hedberg
An incredibly clever, unique comedian - throwback to the 1960s "beatnik" days - who came up with some brilliant, funny observations. Apparently, he had congenital heart problems and used illicit drugs at points in his life, too. He was only 37. Even I, knowing his work only from snippets played on the Sirius comedy stream, will miss him a lot. He made many people smile. May his memory be for a blessing, as we say "in my neighbourhood."

•Pope John Paul, II
He was obviously a great, great man. I mentioned a rabbi above who I regarded as a jackass. Here's one I have tremendous respect and admiration for, who does an excellent job of also expressing my feelings about the Pope.
For some, his conservative outlook on many issues (women, celibacy, etc.) was problematic. Not for me to comment on, really. Again, the most troubling aspect of this for me is how, yet again, the media goes way beyond their job to tell us what's going on...and turns the coverage into a greedy death-a-thon.

Hopefully, we can learn lesons from all of the above and go out and really live.