The retirement of legendary athletes, such as Kobe Bryant and Derek Jeter was inevitable, and while athletes of the past have generally faded into obscurity, these two are dead set on keeping their names in sports. Once Derek Jeter retired he created a publication that is basically an open forum for athletes to voice their opinions and beliefs directly to fans. The Player’s Tribune, gives professional athletes unlimited space to speak on whatever topic they feel is important, but as we have seen with Twitter, that is not always a great idea. So far little controversy has come from the Tribune, but since players now have their own forum to address fans, they are starting to lock out sports media. The lockout of sports writers is in effect is taking a massive toll on what we consider legitimate writing, and giving rise to sites like TMZ. What was once a case of a reporter walking up to an athlete and asking a question has now been reduced to tabloids speculating on what players do with their nightlife, and this is all due to the fact that some of these athletes have become too pompous to speak to a reporter. I am not fully on the side of reporters because they can sometimes create a story that is not there, but when athletes make a reporters job difficult, sometimes the only way to get a story is to make one up. I understand the idea behind The Player’s Tribune, and now that it is being backed by both Derek Jeter and Kobe, it will get more publicity, but I think athletes should be careful about locking out reporters. Reporters may have a reputation to uphold, but when they start losing their jobs to a player run site, they may start using some underhanded tactics to break that big story nobody should have heard about.
Last night’s CNN debate reminded me more of a school yard argument than of an actual political debate. I have said before that I don’t enjoy political talk, so I will keep this short and be sure to stay away from declaring any of my personal political views. My issue with the debate that took place last night was not the candidates, but the extreme lack of professionalism by the moderator. I have seen debates in which candidates attacked each other, but this is the first debate in which I have seen a moderator calling up the barbs aimed at each candidate in an effort to instigate arguments. There were a couple of times in this debate that it seemed like the candidates would come to blows, and while that would have made for some intriguing television, that is not the proper way to vet a possible presidential candidate. I understand that CNN is currently in a ratings battle, but I think they should stick to reporting news, and keep the sensationalization of the presidential debates to the tabloids. I would love to see the future president stick to the issues, but unfortunately it seems that childish arguments are the only way the media knows how to raise ratings. The President of the United States, is a highly revered and prestigious position, in the months leading up to the next election, I would love to see more serious conversation about where the candidate wants to take the country and less name calling.
Dope was an interesting movie to say the least. I went into the theatre expecting to see a slightly cheesy comedy, but I was met by an interesting drama with some surprising social commentary. This film follows a young African American boy named Malcolm as he navigates life as an intelligent young man in the “hood.” Malcolm is faced with many trials and circumstances that are uncommon to an average high schooler, but he manages to use his intelligence to his benefit and get the best out of his environment without compromising himself. The writing in this film was brilliant, with enough humor mixed into the story to keep me laughing, but not so much that it detracted from the serious issues of the drama. The story flowed seamlessly and the characters in the film were all connected in unique ways that kept each scenario interesting and relevant. This movie had a very satisfying ending, and while some elements were slightly outlandish, the film asked serious questions about our country and how we view culture. This movie had quite a bit of vulgarity, so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone under 18, but it was definitely well written, and perfect if you want to watch a thought provoking narrative of the life of the youth of America.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is a famous astrophysicist who has seemingly brought the exciting world of physics to a generation that no longer cares for the subject. In this era of pop culture kings and queens, it is important to have a voice that provides education while the rest of the world seems to be running from it. Today I read an article from about a year ago, in which Tyson was asked about his stance on religion, a topic he generally stays away from. He basically stated that he is fine with it, but he just doesn’t want it taught in science classrooms. I respect the answer Tyson gave, since to be honest, science is much easier to understand than faith, but the author of the article seemed to miss the point. The article was written by an atheist writer, who would be considered a “militant atheist,” these individuals attack faith and religion as though it is hurting them, rather than ignore it like other atheists. The author stated he wanted Tyson to completely denounce the idea of religion and take a stance against it, rather than give his non combative opinion on the mater. I think Tyson gave the best response that he could have, since he doesn’t study religion, and he doesn’t want to make it his job to tell others what not to believe. The author of the article ended up sounding like an upset man looking for others to join his crusade against people who are not fighting with him. I have not read many of Tyson’s works, but I am fully aware of his contributions to physics. Tyson considers himself an educator, and the primary job of an educator is to enlighten and foster discovery by experimentation. I hope Tyson continues to educate in the same non combative way he has in the past, since there really is no reason to alienate an entire group due to small differences.
The broken narrative of the news media in the midst of the civil unrest in Baltimore is extremely alarming. For those who are unaware of what is going on, there was a young man who was fatally injured while in police custody, his death has lead to protests and riots throughout the city. The young man, Freddie Gray, was arrested by police officers under what they called normal circumstances but was then hospitalized with a severed spine, which lead to his death. My stance on this as an American is that nobody deserves to be punished before a trial, and my stance on this as a human is that nobody deserves to die in such a brutal way. The news media is showing a picture of brutality and war in the streets of Baltimore that has only lead to extreme reactions from the many who are too ignorant, or too preoccupied to look into the situation as a whole. The fact of the matter is that a young man is now dead, after being simply taken into custody, and many people are taking action rather than asking the necessary questions we all have about the situation. I have an eclectic group of friends, and just seeing the varying views on social media causes me to believe that this issue is much bigger than Baltimore, and the news media is doing nothing more than causing widespread separation in a country that ironically has the word “united” in its name. In the midst of the wild riots of confused and at times foolish young people, there are large united groups of all ages and ethnicities peacefully trying to quell the confusion, and air their grievances. The news has refused to cover any of the peaceful protests or any of the peaceful crowd interactions with the police, and this is really causing me to question just how united the news producers want this country to be. I understand that two wrongs will never make a right, but when all we are shown is turmoil, there can never be progress. I hate what I am seeing on the news and I am even more upset that many people are not taking the time to fully understand what is going on all around Baltimore. The only thing I have learned from the news that I will agree with is that peace must be brought back to that city, and the road to peace starts with the media giving some airtime to those advocating it.