The Kavanaugh Hearing Was a Mess

For me, I originally felt he had been treated unfairly, as any other Republican President would have nominated him. However, after watching the hearing today, I have become convinced that at the very least the vote needs to be delayed. It was incredibly troubling watching the demeanor of Kavanaugh who was incredibly defensive throughout was horrific to watch from someone looking for a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court. Watching Blasey-Ford berated with questions and struggling to recount her own have caused me to believe her. I can understand the need for more evidence, but when someone decides to yell about how his character being assassinated while one recounts the events with poise it tends to lend itself one way.

I hope that senators take the time to delay the vote and really think about who should represent us on our nation’s highest court. To me, Kavanaugh sounds like a frat boy who got his way and was able to get away with more than most. I will not deny his legal mind and talent, however his background certainly made his path to Yale and the District Court easier.

Today was a sad day for everyone involved. I hope that we can move past this. I said in a previous post that this was the moment that our country had been building towards for the past few years. Hyper-partisanship, the #MeToo Movement, and President Trump’s nominee all coming together to in an ugly collision. This was far worse than I could have imagined, and I can only reiterate that we need to delay the hearing and do our best to come together.

 

BoJack Horseman is Back

After having watched two episodes of Season 5 I am pleased to confirm that BoJack Horseman is back with all of its punches. In the second episode “The Dog Days are Over,” Diane comes to terms with her divorce and reconciles with her feelings toward Mr. PeanutButter.

BoJack Horseman has always been a tear-jerker, but it is not just in sadness that this show finds its brilliance, but it is in the way it articulates feelings and actions. Diane here is dealing with pain, still having feelings for her husband and not entirely sure how to go about fixing her sorrows. So she decides to go to Vietnam to try to get away and “reconnect with her roots”. However, the episode quickly unfolds into something darker, as you begin to realize that she is denying something caused her to take a spontaneous trip out of the country. The reveal is tremendous, and the way her pain and reasoning is articulated is beautifully done.

Sometimes, we do things to distract ourselves from the pain we feel, and we find ways to justify it. For Diane, “reconnecting to her roots,” really has to do with her struggling to cope with jealousy and heartbreak. How can we be honest with ourselves to how we are feeling while also attempting to solve the problem? It is so hard to do this properly and so often I act as Diane would and just try to do something else to avoid the problem entirely.

This episode, combining beautiful narrative structure along with heartbreaking truths showcase what BoJack Horseman does best. This show has continued to wow me, and while I hope to have a review of the full season later on, I highly recommend everyone give it a chance in the meantime.

Tottenham and Caitlin Flanagan

My beloved Spurs seem to be in some weird holding pattern, as they fell short to Inter Milan who came roaring back in the last ten minutes. Suddenly, the momentum we had earlier in the season has diminished, and Mauricio Pochettino losing his cool certainly does not help things. This could be a challenge, as the criticism will begin to come if the losing continues. With the new stadium still on hold, and now the winning spell drying up, the criticism will come. How Spurs will respond remains a question, and my hope is the ship can be righted. It is a long season, but this does not look good.

She’s telling the truth, I said to myself, in a way that was neither outraged nor political, just matter-of-fact. The event she described is completely believable, but the psychologists’ notes sealed the deal. Maybe some new piece of evidence will come to light to change my mind, but with the facts on the ground as we now have them, I believe her.

This is from a wonderful article by Atlantic staff writer Caitlin Flanagan, who has written beautifully on the #MeToo as well as numerous other pieces of political commentary. This one is particularly striking, detailing the change in how sexual encounters was thought of and her conclusion that this could have happened. I have been ambiguous about my feelings toward the confirmation, as Kavanaugh is and still seems like the Conservative Justice other presidents would have appointed. However, that will all come into question if this is true, and now the nomination has the potential to become the supernova everything in our political sphere has been building towards. Folks, this is going to be a bumpy ride.

Is Boxing a Sport?

Laugh at me, this is a very serious matter. The Canelo-GGG fight was apparently incredible although I did not get to watch it. Whilst many thought the fight was close, a large number of people disagree with the decision to give it to Canelo. The first fight I did watch and thought the GGG should have won the fight. However, by what measure, and how do we even score this?

Judging has been boxing’s biggest problem, and to me the reason while it may very well not fit the category of sport. To me sports, regardless of the level of physicality, have clear winners and losers that are decided in the respective game or competition. So then can we say esports is a sport? I would say so, even if there is not serious “physical activity” the winner is clearly decided upon by what happens within the game. Gymnastics, Diving, and others are harder to justify. How can it be a sport if judges all with different backgrounds are assigning scores? Are these competitions incredibly difficult? Of course, but it is still not a sport in my book.

Boxing is an interesting case, as it for me depends on the situation for whether or not we can classify it as a sport. If a knockout occurs, then yes I would call it a sport. If not, I would call it an “athletic competition”. Maybe I am crazy but I think I am on to something here. Stay tuned for more in the future.

Liverpool Tottenham Reaction and School Motivation

Tottenham lost to a better team in Liverpool 2-1 at home, they got dominated in the middle of the field and even with a Liverpool offense not exactly on the top of their game, Spurs got beat all over the field. Two straight loses after three straight wins is a tough reality check, but many members of the team looked sluggish and still seem to be recovering from the World Cup. The new stadium still not ready only adds insult to injury. However, I predicted this Liverpool side would win the Premier League, and there is no questions that this a very good team. Defensively, Liverpool are tough and they dominated a very good Tottenham midfield. Unfortunately, it game at the behest of my beloved Spurs.

I also had some thoughts regarding school and my motivation toward it, as I seem to have forgotten what it feels like to be staring work in the face without the energy or motivation to complete it. It is interesting how things that are “assignments” suddenly become tasks where reading for fun seems constantly engaging.

How do we fight this? Well try to treat certain assignments like you would if it were for fun, and focus on finding whatever is interesting about a specific subject. I throughly believe every subject has the capability of being interesting to everyone regardless of what your strengths and weaknesses are, so find it. Do not give up and if you are going insane, change it up. A different colored highlighter, maybe different music or no music at all. Keeping yourself motivated is one of the hardest challenges, but it is certainly surmountable. I hope that helps, and even despite the loss, Come On You Spurs!

Advice for Lecturers

School has started, and that means bad lectures have only begun. I am a student and so I do not pretend to understand the difficulties in being a lecturer. However, it is annoying as a student to put hours of work in to receive something lackluster in return.
Here are a few points to remember if you are ever a lecturer:

  1. Powerpoint is a tool not a necessity. If it will not help, do not use it. It is incredibly frustrating to see slides with gigantic blocks of text, with absolutely nothing being added by the lecturer. If you read to me I will stop paying attention as will most people in the classroom.
  2. Have an argument. It allows for class to become engaging, and brings out questions and points of contention. College is about challenging yourself, and the best way to do that is through discussion and argument. When nothing is challenged and everything is just assumed, it becomes hard to care about the even the most interesting subjects.
  3. Have Passion. If you seem bored or disinterested, the class will feed off of that. Try your best to love the material, as it makes for class to be more engaging.

 

20 years later

On Thursday, I turned 20 years old, which is incredibly meaningful and meaningless all at once. Age is a construct, we are growing older all the time, becoming wiser, so why one day specifically has always been a mystery to me. Who cares how old I am? I wake up and do my best to learn every day, why does this day matter above all others? Who is to say that age is all that determines maturity and experience? There are 17 and 18 years olds who have dealt with and experienced so much more than I have.

At the same time, it is incredible to think of 20 years. 20 years is all I know, it feels like a millennia of life yet my time here has only been a blip of time in human history. How can something so short feel so long, so full of meaning, so incredibly precious and yet so volatile? At any moment it can end, and that end scares me, even though I know deep down that it will come regardless. Why is life worth holding on to above all else, and why do we choose to hold onto it regardless of the consequences or seeming inconveniences it holds?

There are no good answers to any of these questions, but I know that the small joys of life have been worth the long periods of pain and displeasure. My experience has been shaped by perseverance and self-acceptance, from my Learning Disability to my time in sports and school. I was born with a family who gave me opportunities, but that does not mean anything was handed to me. I worked for everything, because my setbacks forced me to. I frankly was lucky, the human spirit always seem to surprise and amaze, so many find meaning out of so little. In 20 years there are some people I can only hope to emulate, finding joy in the harshest of circumstances.

So, in my first 20 years of life, is there anything I can suggest or think of as advice? To me, perseverance and perspective are crucial. Each life is nothing but a speck of dust, a blimp in time, so trying to make important meaning on a huge scale is tiresome and not worthwhile. Do your best to make changes where you feel are needed, and never forget who brought you up and where you came from. Life is short, and we should all strive to do the best we can in the limited time we have. We will screw up, make mistakes, do and say things we regret, such is the mess we called life. However, the will to continue, to strive, will be rewarded with something incredibly meaningful. 20 years later my life feels more meaningful than ever before, and I cannot thank everyone who has helped me throughout the first 20 years of my life to get me here. Here is to the next 20, and to the unflappable determination of the human spirit.

Brett Kavanaugh

The Kavanaugh hearing began and with it, utter chaos. While much of it dealt with delays Kavanaugh delivered a very good performance albeit with one exception. He did not shake the hand of a Fred Guttenberg, a father who lost his child at Parkland. It is a sad moment, and so I find it hard to discuss the loss of a child, however I do not believe Brett Kavanaugh to be in the wrong. Multiple angles show security beginning to approach him and frankly he did approach the table when he was supposed to be on break. He was tired from a hearing that many people would not have lasted five minutes in (including myself), and I think many people just want to destroy his character.

While many will disagree with his jurisprudence, including myself, that does not take away from the fact that Brett is a man of character and we should treat him as such. Would Republicans do the same thing if the situation were reversed? Potentially, but that does not make it any better. I think Brett will be confirmed, and while for many it will be a sad day, I think it is good to have a man of high honor and integrity on the court. There is no question in my mind that Merrick Garland should at least have gotten a vote, but this is the hand that has been dealt. Instead of lashing out and complaining that the other side has done worse, maybe we can compromise and learn from each other. Perhaps that is naive, but it is still my hope nevertheless.

Does Louis CK deserve our attention?

Recently, Louis CK did his first stand up routine since the allegations of him masturbating in front of women were revealed last year. I loved Louis CK, and as a result it is hard for me to know how he should be treated and what we should do as a result of his comeback attempt.

He apologized in a letter and admitted his mistake, which is honorable in comparison to how others acted in the face of allegations. Regardless, what he did is creepy beyond belief, and would at the very least make someone feel incredibly insecure. His actions were also not one of a monster like Harvey Weinstein, they were rather actions of weird, creepy, isolated older man. The difference here is that he is a hero to many of comedy, and that gives him more exposure to a downfall.

I think we must rely on the power of free speech, as Louis has a right to continue to be a comic after his downfall. Personally, I think it is up to the fans to decide how he gets treated. It is up to those who do not want him back to not listen, and those who want him back to go and watch. This should be something free of judgment and rather focused on each individual’s judgment of the situation. This is one of the more convoluted cases to come out of the #MeToo movement, and it should be treated with nuance and care.

If you are looking for a good discussion of this issue click here.

Son escapes military duty and Michigan’s first loss

The beloved Tottenham Hotspur player Son Heung-Min escaped mandatory military service after he helped his home country of South Korea beat Japan in the final of the Asia Games in Indonesia yesterday. It is a great for Son, as he is a hardworking joyful player who now gets to live out his career without having to worry about 22 months away from the game. Regardless, the rule for mandatory military service seems slightly ridiculous out of context.

If I ran a country, I would make sure mandatory military service is not a thing to begin with. Why? People should be able to choose their career paths, regardless of some of the practicalities that mandatory service may serve. Countries like Israel and South Korea may indeed need mandatory service but again you have the right to choose what work you want to pursue, and to me mandatory service gets in the way of that. However, if you are going to have the rule, it is strange that you would make exceptions for Football players after they win a tournament. What did they do for their country that someone else did not? Why are athletes allowed to get special treatment if they do well? Is representing your country only about the result? To me, it is brutal for all the players involved that their futures hung in the balance over winning a football game. While I do not know what I would say in its entirety, however I can say that this pressure was unnecessary and unfair to someone like Son and the rest of the South Korean national team.

Yesterday also featured Michigan’s very first football game of the season, which they lost by a final score of 24-17 to Notre Dame. It was great to see both teams back on the field, as it is one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports. It is also good to know that Michigan is not hiding from difficult opponents, when we push our players it makes our program better as a result. However, Notre Dame were simply the better team, and we deserved to lose by more than we did.

Jim Harbaugh came into Michigan and seemed to be able to do no wrong. Now, the questions will begin.  I personally do not think it is fair to put him on the hot seat yet, as this is the first game of the season and we have a long way to go before we truly know what kind of football team we have. It is still reasonable that Michigan wins nine games which for any school would be a fine season. However (uses James Earl Jones voice), This is Michigan, and Michigan will not be happy with good enough. He has turned our program around since the Brady Hoke and Rich Rod days, however his novelty to make any team incredible is beginning to fade. Questions remain and by the end of the season, I hope for Michigan and Jim Harbaugh’s sake that the team plays better than it did last night.