Saturday, February 18, 2012

Thoughts on Linsanity

    I love me a good underdog story. I mean Since my youth I've rooted for the Cleveland Browns, it doesn't get more underdog than that. With that said, seeing the electric rise of Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin has been nothing short of amazing these past 2 weeks. Now I'm definitely not the first person to have some words on this story and I know I wont be the last but I just found this whole thing too intriguing to not say anything. Now if theres a chance you've been living under a rock for the past several days you may have no clue what I'm talking about, so for the courtesy of educating your ignorance, I am sharing the below link to get you caught up.....go ahead watch away....I'll go make a sandwich or something.....

...okay, there you were all on the same page. So lets discuss. Here we have this fantastic story about an undrafted basketball player who struggles getting into the NBA but gets his moment to shine (one of those moments in life where you either step up or regret not having done so for the rest of your life) and he makes every second count so far. Its just joyous to watch and by the mood of fans and the country in general the consensus seems to be that they are enjoying it as well.

...Ohh by the way there is one other thing that you may have casually observed in the nice video above. Have you guessed it yet? Let me help. You see this guy, Jeremy Lin......[whispers] He's Asian (American of Taiwanese descent to be exact)...... Yup, I can here it already. The sirens of the PC police are on their way to my house for daring to publicly notice that someone is of a different race than myself. Its funny how every story I've seen on Lin walks on eggshells when mentioning his race. Now please understand I am as horrified as anyone when people like Floyd Mayweather run their mouths claiming Lin's hype is only due to him being Asian or the geniuses who run the MSG network find it okay to show a graphic of Lin's face coming out of a fortune cookie (my eyes are still rolling especially at that one), but I just think as mature adults we should be able to recognize what Lin is doing on behalf of Asian Americans and appreciate it for the positive thing that is.

   What Lin is doing currently is remarkable regardless of his race. Hes come out of seemingly nowhere to lift a team that has been severely under performing in what most had hoped would be a year of resurgence for the team.Hes inspiring, humble and a marketing dream come true. BUT...... to not say his race has even slightly helped his appeal is ridiculous. Now I know I may have lost some of you with that statement, but please, here me out if you will. Jeremy Lin is doing something groundbreaking and that's a positive thing. Besides all of his on court heroics he is breaking the stereotype for what makes an NBA player. An excerpt from a study published in Slam magazine from 2011 shows the following:

"–In the NBA, 83 percent of the players were people of color, an increase of one percentage point from last year’s totals. This represents the highest percentage of players of color since the Racial and Gender Report Card began reporting the composition of the NBA teams. The percentage of African-American players increased by one percentage point to 78 percent, equaling the highest since 2001-02. The percentage of Asians remained constant at 1 percent. The percentage of Latinos increased by one percentage point to 4 percent.  The percentage of people of color classified as other was slightly under 1 percent. The percentage of international players decreased by one percentage point to 17 percent, the lowest percentage since the 2003-04 season. 
–At 17 percent, this was the lowest percentage of white players since the Racial and Gender Report Card began reporting the composition of the NBA teams."

Those facts alone show that what Lin is currently doing IS unique & theres nothing wrong with recognizing it. I applaud J-Lin (clearly were friends by my casual nickname) and the fact that hes given so many people who don't usually connect to the game of basketball something to cheer for. You cant say the fact that there will be a generation of young Asian American kids who have a new role model to look up to is a bad thing (If there was a large, out of shape Irish-American man with a red beard currently dominating the league, Lord knows I'd be on his bandwagon). Diversity is a beautiful thing and I for one have never subscribed to the "theres only one race, the human race" nonsense. Lets recognize each other's differences, learn from them and be better people for it (yeah even my teeth hurt after typing that one, lol). So calm it down everyone, Jeremy Lin is Asian and he's also awesome. I say hooray for that.

      To end this pile of nonsense I call a blog entry I'll say I look forward to seeing where his career goes from here. I also look forward to seeing how other teams adjust to defend him (New Orleans did enough of it to pull off a win against the Knicks tonight) & just how he'll fare with a healthy Carmelo Anthony back on the floor. All in all its a fun time to be watching the Knicks play ( a statement no one has been able to say for quite some time now) and that's good for any real basketball fan regardless of their ethnicity.

See ya when I see ya folks.....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Episode 1 Dilemma

Dear friends and lovers..... I must assume at this point if you still follow me its your own fault if you get disappointed in my horrid lack of updates....truly I am a master of slackery (not a word) and all things it encompasses and I realize now that apologizing for it every time I decide to finally post something would just be insulting to us with that said I will simply say hello and hola (German) and I truly hope you are all well....with that ugly business out of the way lets get onto more pressing matters:

    I recently ran into a conundrum..... My daughter, an extremely sweet and funny 8 year old, came to me and asked the question any nerd parent dreads.....that question of course was "Daddy, can we go see Star Wars Episode 1 in 3D?"..... It was like all the air was taken out of the room and I forgot how to speak for what felt like I recovered from the question I simply said "sure sweetie" and then left her presence to return to my own world of inner turmoil over this series of events that had just unfolded.

Let me say before anything else, I DO NOT HATE EPISODE 1..... Don't get me wrong, I get all of the hate and I fully understand the many reasons nerds around the world gather in unison to loathe this film.....but still for me it wasn't that big of a deal.

I love STAR WARS.....Always have and always will....and though EPISODE 1 is without question my least favorite of all, I still cant find it in myself to say I hate it....this sentiment alone will make many a nerd furious as its become widely accepted that you cant be a real STAR WARS fan anymore without hating EPISODE 1... I say that's nonsense...hogwash even if you want me to get vulgar.....

I've never fully understood all the hatred because so much of it could be applied to any entry in the of the biggest complaints I always here is that the dialogue is terrible and wooden at times (which i fully agree with) but has there ever been a STAR WARS movie that hasn't had wooden dialogue? For all of his achievements, George Lucas has never been the best at writing things people would actually say....I mean most of the star wars movies dialogue is laughable at the least when compared to other solid franchises......but this is all beyond my point, lets get back to that shall we...

...So after running these thoughts of nerd rage towards EPISODE 1 through my head I realize the whole argument is ridiculous....the point of the matter is I have standing before me an 8yr old girl who is excited to go see a STAR WARS movie. In a world where we now have pink Lego's (because apparently regular color Lego's are just too much for girls to handle) and millions of other stupid barriers that are set up to morph my daughter into a brainless clone of a living Bratz doll, here she is simply asking to share in an experience that I grew up with as well (I was a child who grew up with the Original trilogy and the prequels in my late teens/early twenties) and because of the horrible cynicism that our geek culture uses as its lifeblood I had for a second considered not taking her. But alas, that second passed and I decided there was no way we wouldn't be in attendance.

...After a week of her behaving at school to make sure I didn't cancel our trip we were off to see the movie. Her excitement was infectious, She couldn't wait to see if we got the special 3D glasses and toy our theater had advertised as part of a STAR WARS kids event day and I was excited for her. We got to the theater and had the fun of seeing a line full of parents and kids (some of whom were in full costume) all excited to experience the event together. We watched the movie, she participated in some of the free events after (face painting, Lego building..etc) and all in all we had a great day.


The one thing I think I took most from this was seeing how many parents and kids were out enjoying the movie together. Sure I still think EPISODE 1 is terrible in so many ways ( I literally cringe when I here the racist Asian accents of the trade federation and pretty much every time Jar Jar Binks is on screen) but it doesn't really matter. STAR WARS was never made for adults who nitpick every scene of a movie. In all honesty the prequels probably should have never been made because they re not meant for today's society. All 6 of the films thrive off the viewer either being a wide eyed child or an adult who can relate to that. These movies were made for children who don't notice the terrible parts in the world but simply see the fun and beauty of it.

So for 2+ hours I got to see the world through an 8yr olds eyes again and it was a lot of fun. It didnt matter that we already own this movie at home (on more video formats than Id like to admit). It didnt matter that the movie was in 3D (it added nothing to the film). All that mattered was that we had a fun time at the movies. Thats all STAR WARS has ever been about and that's all it ever needs to be. Also, I dare say one hasnt lived until they see an 8yr old girl ask to have her face painted like Darth Maul, while other kids run around pretending to be warriors from another Galaxy.


Ill see ya when I see ya folks