The Masada Option? No, not quite yet.

April21/ 2016

We are soooo “screwed” as a society.   I do not have (1) enough “influence” and, even if I did, not…. (2) enough “time left” to “fix” the global insanity pandemic.  Approaching Life’s 16th Green means I’m about done with this foolishness. ….. This week’s two cases in point:

Whoa!  This is NOT BobLee’s Doomsday Column.  I am NOT suggesting THE MASADA OPTION…. YET!  Huh?  BL, what’s “The Masada Option”?

Google Masada.  The least I can do here is expand your knowledge of famous Judeo-Roman sieges.

IF the Cubs had swept My Cardinals 3-0 @ Busch III, I might be down in the dumps, but that did not happen.  But something did happen in St Louis worthy of national concern…. well, actually what DID NOT happen in St Louis but was reported as happened….

The Cubs came into St Louis for a M-T-W series marking the return of ex-Cards Jason Heyward and John Lackey who free agented to the Cubs much to the chagrin of Cardinal faithful.  John Lackey being “a white guy” doesn’t figure into this.

BACKGROUND: “Cardinal baseball fans” are routinely touted by national media as “the best fans in baseball”.  They merit this acclaim for decades of loyalty to “their Cardinals”, their appreciation of the nuances of the game of baseball, and for the majestic presence of The Arch rising high above center field.  This national media acclaim is, of course, a source of great consternation for less heralded fans of every other baseball team on the planet…. especially those on Chicago’s North Side.Chicago+Cubs+Photo+Day+Uh6MWM_QGYOx

Jason Heyward  is of AfAm persuasion” but NOT a “dabbing”…. “don’t be disrespecting me”…. Black Lives Matter kind of “black guy” at all…. but “a black guy” nevertheless.  He bats second in the Cubs’ order.  When he came to bat in the first inning Monday night he WAS met with “boos” from the 48,000+ on-hand.  His departure (to the Cubs!) in the off-season had been rancorous so “booing” was expected.   Heyward is struggling at the plate but made several outstanding plays in the field over the three games each one of which elicited some boos too.   The booing did subside in volume over the three games.

The Cubs shut out the Cardinals Monday night in rather dominant fashion.  At some point Tuesday “a Tweet” appeared in the Twitter-verse claiming “at least FOUR racial epithets including “the dreaded N-word” were hurled at Jason Heyward. Uh oh!

…. In a stadium of over 48,000, FOUR epithets were, “supposedly”, hurled according to a Twitterer…. and THAT “cyber-fact” immediately made it to the pages of The New York Daily News.

“a random Tweet” now constitutes “a verified reliable source” for a large metropolitan newspaper to “run with”.   I go back to my opening sentence above – “we are soooo screwed as a society”.

Jason Heyward says he never heard any such “epithets” and not one “dreaded N-word”.   He says he fully expected the booinMrs Oleary's Cowg, understood the passion of Cardinal fans and was not at all concerned by any of it.

The NY Daily News story, of course, hit Chicago like Mrs O’Leary’s cow kicking over the lantern in 1871.  KABOOM!   Chicago sports fan operate in a permanent “knee-jerk” mode even when not provoked by a totally BS story. ….. so “a random tweet” blows up into a national story and within 24 hours the myth of Cardinal baseball fans is exposed and – shades of Ferguson – St Louis Is A Racist City….. and THIS coming from CHICAGO of all places…. where blacks kill other blacks with the nonchalance of baseball fans eat peanuts.

Within the second 24 hours after “no epithets”, employing the very latest in audio technology, “experts” somehow examined every word said over the 2+ hours by the 48,000 on-hand and discovered nary “an epithet” hurled or otherwise.  I don’t know how “they” did that, but apparently “they” did.

The original random tweet the NY Daily News “ran with” was BOGUS.   Didn’t happen ….. but no one ever sees “retractions” of course especially Chicago Cubs fans.

Former News & Observer Publisher Frank Daniels “supposedly said” (I think it was apocryphal) – “If we admitted all of our mistakes, it might affect our credibility.”

It is 2016.  The words “media” and “credible” don’t exist in the same dictionary.

The VERY VERY SCARY lesson here is that “a random tweet” posted by any totally insane goober hiding behind a keyboard anywhere in cyber-space can easily be Tomorrow’s Headline or lead story on whatever news channel you agree with.

“Twitter” is now the #1 source of NEWS…

Be very afraid my friends.

You may not care about Jason Heyward, The Cardinals, or even Baseball.  But you do care about “something” don’t you?   Besides TGU of course.

Rule of Thumb:  ANYTHING you read or hear that is NEGATIVE about a person or institution or political party or religion or fan base or elected official that you already harbour unfavorable opinions of IS ASSUMED TRUE ….. BECAUSE it reinforces your pre-existing negative opinions…. which you knew where true all along because YOU are more discerning than all those idiots on the Internet. …… a bazillion Internet idiots all more discerning than one another.   What are the odds?



Meanwhile…. also baseball-related.   Curt Schilling was fired on Wednesday as an ESPN baseball analyst.   …. after the latest in a Curt Schillingrather long series of:

Curt, dude, you can’t be saying stuff like that and remain employed by ESPN.

Since Curt Schilling and I probably “vote” along the same ideological lines, you might expect me to go all Freedom of Speech ranting defending him.   SURPRISE!…. I ain’t doing it.  Curt Schilling “had it coming”.

From all I have observed over the past several years…. Curt Schilling has at least one, probably multiple, loose screws.  Socio-political Tourette’s Syndrome?    If ESPN can be criticized on this, it is for “what took’em so long…. DUH!”

Curt Schilling has been a serial provocateur for several years on assorted socio-political issues.  It takes one serial provocateur to know one.   I am a serial provocateur too; but I am not an employee of anybody’s certainly not ESPN… and it’s waaaay left-leaning CEO John Skipper (UNC’75).

One of Curt’s rants a few months ago included “Hillary should be buried under a jail….”.  That got him a short suspension.  Duh!

Yes…. Schilling, the private citizen, is entitled to his opinions however “radical” they might be and however “offensive” they might be to those with opposing POVs.

ESPN, and similar image-conscious (PC-obsessed?) companies, are entitled – IMO – to protect their image as manifested by their employees.  Many of you won’t agree with my POV on this.  That’s OK.

This straw that led to his firing yesterday was his reposting on his personal twitter feed of a derogatory cartoon lampooning transsexuals… as part of the on-going Global War on HB2.   AgentPierce posted a similar cartoon several weeks ago as The Global War on HB2  was ratcheting up.   AgentPierce is not employed by ESPN.

When I was approached four years ago to do The Good Sports on WCHL, I brought up the fact that “BobLee” is an on-line provocateur…. and many of those opinions are in direct conflict with (1) the on-air programming of WCHL… and (2) the vast majority of WCHL’s audience.  Both are “left-leaning”…. waaaaay 179 degrees “left-leaning”.

The WCHL’s suits and I agreed that shocking WCHL listeners on-air with my contrarian socio-political POVs would serve no useful purpose. A rash of cardiac arrests along Franklin Street perhaps, but no other useful purpose.

It is pertinent to note that I was never an employee of WCHL…. my compensation coming via gift certificates to local eateries and comp tickets to UNC FB.

Even “treading softly” I managed to “light up the board” on several occasions over the three years.  Asking if Carol Folt was a midget or a dwarf “did it” and some comment I made got interpreted that I “advocate violence against women”.  Huh?

EVERYTHING is “political” these days.  EVERYTHING!  Especially in an overt ideological minefield  such as Chapel Hill.  Had WCHL had a more mainstream audience, the show would have “been spicier” ….. a LOT “spicier”.  Hehehehe.

I enjoyed those three seasons of The Good Sports and enjoyed working with “my buddy” Art Chansky and the WCHL staff.  It lasted two and a half seasons longer than I thought it would.   The show ended due to issues related to WCHL ownership, having nothing to do with my provocative POVs.

There are multiple reasons I am not aligned in any way with WRAL or The N&O.  Severe ideological incompatibility being high on the short list.

Yes…. ESPN has no problem with it’s on-air personalities routinely advocating controversial “left-wing” POVs on-air much less in their personal twitter-feeds, facebook, et al.   Is that HYPOCRITICAL?  Well…. sure it is. Being hypocritical is not a crime.

Are Schilling’s media critics (and they are numerous and voracious) guilty of wearing their own “politics” on their sleeves and regularly in their columns and comments.  Absolutely….. so?

Will Curt Schilling resurface somewhere else?  I doubt it unless it’s on Sirius.

Will Schilling’s overt political POV keep him out of Cooperstown?   Possibly.  Is that “fair”?   No.  The “fair” bus left the station a LOOOONG time ago.

Now go look up “Masada”.


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