Reading “Underbelly Hoops,” following a season in the CBA (minor league basketball). It’s an enjoyable book and a funny story I read in it overnight: a player has too much to drink and passes out on a night off, and as a prank some of his teammates deposit him under the Christmas tree (like a gift) at the police department.
The writer of the book played ball at Purdue before playing minor league basketball. I read that he is now a professor at DePaul (which ironically was my favorite college basketball team in the early 1980s, when I was in junior high school and Ray Meyer was coach), which is impressive.
I’ve been entertaining the idea of working with Microsoft. But I dread checking their career site more than any other site. Why? It is clunky and their Job Descriptions are excruciatingly long and boring. It is a huge investment in time and energy just to read a rather dull job description, like reading a long drawn out description of what a tire is, how great that tire is, and every single component that is needed to make a tire rather than saying “We need someone who can change a tire with proven experience and refernces to attest as such.”
I love movies (like Moonlight) where the director believes in the intelligence of his/her audience while telling a powerful story and delivering a powerful message. For me, “Fire at Sea” was that way. It was a movie that was comfortable delivery subtle comments and with letting a scene slowly unfold, where it is comfortable showing the doctor give an ultrasound for five minutes or just showing four workers stare out at sea. It is a wonderful, powerful movie and the most beautiful film that way since “The Great Beauty.” Some observations (with some spoilers):
- The beginning of the movie we see the boy making a weapon and hunting birds, but at the end of the movie he is merely singing to the bird – shows our ability to change our ways.
- The doctor makes a comment that it is the responsibility of all of us to help the immigrants (who are dying).
- The doctor, during the ultrasound, can’t make out the sex of the second child since they are too intertwined. “But don’t worry, we’ll get it.” He patiently, patiently seeks the sex. I see that scene as stating we are all intertwined and too intertwined, and it will take patience and diligence and care and perserverence to resolve our/this problem. I also see the scene later in the movie where the woman takes a full five minutes to carefully make her bed as again emphasizing that things take time and persistence and patience.
- The boy is having struggles rowing – his friend throws his a lifeline so he is not crushed by the boats, then rows him to safety. That is, we all need a helping hand and we need to offer a helping hand.
- The boy has a lazy eye, so he works to correct his vision from 20/100 to 20/30 by wearing the eye patch. Later, when he is sea sick he is told to to go the sea when there are high waves to get his sea stomach. That is, we have a problem (the refugee crisis) but we can fix it with work.
- The woman wishes for a little health that day, like we all want to be healthy and happy (including the refugees). It’s not too much to ask.
I’d love to watch this movie again – these are just a few observations off the top of my head a day later and I am sure there are more.
It is a tragic tale but one that also offers help and a nudge for us to help. I wish we in the US were helping more (at a time when Donald Trump wants to do less!) – I am going to write my congress person about that. Those poor souls – and the scene of the people dead at the bottom of the boat was awful but moving, like watching the Holocaust images in some ways (and to the people who died in such misery, the result is the same).
The movie makes me want to move to Sicily 🙂
Finally, it has been a great year for documentaries. OJ: Made in America, 13th and I Am Not Your Negro were all wonderful and deserving; my vote for Oscar this year though is this one (“Fire at Sea”).
We watched the Oscar Nominated documentary shorts yesterday, and 3 of the 5 films were about Syria. In one of the films, the Greek coast guard is helping rescue the boatload of Syrian refugees risking their lives to cross the Aegean Sea towards Europe. In the second, we see a family whose father is killed and migrates to Turkey then Germany. In the third, we see the volunteers who rescue people whose buildings are blown to bits by the airstrikes.
This compelled me to read about what is happening in Syria. From what I see, in 2011 Syrians rose against their restrictive government. Soon, a full blow Civil War materialized. There are government loyalists, Free Syrians who want a free Syria, ISIS, and other groups all fighting. And, of course, other countries such as Russian and the US are contributing. Syrians are getting killed, buildings are getting blown to bits and it looks like an absolute war zone, with the people of Syria caught in the middle.
What I saw from the movies and what I sense from my reading is that the Syrians are not diabolical terrorists but people fleeing a worn torn country much as people fled Europe in the 1940s. Why the heck aren’t we the US not allowing them in? We took in countless Vietnamese in the 1970s, which is great – why won’t we take in the Syrians now? Might there be a terrorist or two in them? Sure, maybe a bad apple or two. But we have domestic terrorists, too (Boston Marathon bombers, the many school shooters, etc.). For god sake, let the people in. Show some compassion like I’d love to have compassion if Trump Supporters and Hilary Supporters were blowing up my neighborhood.
I loved those three films. They showed the humans behind the news headlines. And if we want to make America great again, instead of blowing the heck out of neighborhoods how about we show a little compassion.
The past week and a half I’ve been exhausted. I hate getting out of bed in the morning, and dread looking for work during the day. Why? I don’t know. I just am. It might be a cycle in my chronic health issues and fatigue, or it might not be – I just have to continue to fight through it, althought it is exhausting fighting through exhaustion 🙂
P was a kid from another neighborhood but who’d we bump into from time to time in sports. THere were a million such kids who were long ago forgotten but P was memorable because he was a plus-sized kid (had metabolic issues) who was a fantastic athlete. He scored every point on his basketball team because of a deadly shot and hit long home runs in little-league baseball. When we were adults we played softball with him; he was still plus-sized and still a great athlete – he was a great infielder and hit long towering home runs once or twice every game. Later, he helped lead another team to a state softball championship… He wasn’t a happy-go-lucky guy, but *was* easy going and pleasant to be around, and I never remember him being angry or frustrated, not once… Just learned he is battling cancer that is likely terminal. Bleh. And double bleh.
I’ve gotten hooked on the show Ballers. I like the storylines, the characters, the performances and the idea of living in the Miami Fast Lane; I also love the opening song and highlights. I watched a few episodes months ago and liked it, but not enough to stay with it, but picked it up again last weekend and ended up watching through Season 2 so am caught up. Am looking forward to season 3.
I really truly enjoy watching football and love the strategy behind football, but do wish they’d find a way to eliminate head injuries (e.g. take away helmets, even playing flag football, which seems sacrilegious but then again if it’s causing head injuries then the sport needs to change. I no longer watch boxing – which I also love — for that very reason).