Addition By Subtraction

Charles Barkley is one of the greatest basketball players ever. He’s also hilarious. His one liners (Sam Cassel looks like Gollum!) are rivalled only by Shaq for their ability to be simultaneously offensive and endearing.

Sir Charles is charming in a way that makes you take notice of his positive attributes while ignoring his less than savory characteristics which include, but are not limited to, a painfully bad golf swing, massive gambling addiction, and eyebrows that look like Little Richard’s mustache.

Charles Barkley made headlines  on Wednesday by revealing that he hasn’t spoken with his good buddy Tiger Woods since that ill-fated Thanksgiving weekend in 2009.

“You think you’re friends with a guy. You talk to him once a week for 15 years. You’re like, this dude is my friend, we do things, we have fun together… I haven’t talked to him in two years and I’m wondering what the hell is going on.”

Charles denies any knowledge or involvement in Tiger’s nearly 10 year binge with women and prescription drugs, even though he maintains that the two were close. He can’t fathom why Tiger isn’t interested in hanging out with him and other celebrated gambling womanizers like Michael Jordan.

While there are many possible reasons for the lack of communication between the two, something obvious should be jumping off the page to Barkley. Continue Reading…

It’s Worse Than Universalism

I hate Superman.  I think he’s a terrible superhero and here are three ironclad reasons:

1.)  Superman isn’t actually super.
He’s just powerful, too powerful to be exact.  When you posses capabilities far beyond that of any of your opponents, and the only thing that can actually harm you isn’t even found on our planet, you aren’t taking any risks to do what is right.  Worse yet, your victory is never in doubt because you are never in any credible danger.  As a comic book character Superman is way too potent to actually build any dramatic tension around.

2.)  Superman isn’t actually a man.
He’s an alien.

3.)  Superman is the ultimate individualist. 
Whenever he’s around, there’s no need for anyone else.  The police, the army, and other Superheroes are a complete waste of time and effort in the presence of Superman.  He is completely self-sufficient and if you don’t think so consider this: When Superman needs to think or pout where does he go? To his Fortress of Solitude so he can be alone with his principles.

As a hero, Superman is the Narcissist’s fantasy come to life.

Do you remember the Superfriends cartoon?  It was a show centered around a “Hall of Justice” where various D.C. Comics characters sat around waiting for crimes to happen… so they could teach kids about cooperation.

The first thing that happened in every episode was that Superman had to leave right away to do something very important (away from the action) so that he could return in the nick of time to save all of the other superheroes who just failed miserably in their attempt to stop the super villain.

The Superfriends cartoon was terrible because the writers had to work around Superman to make the show exciting.  Lex Luthor and the Riddler may have been the enemies of mankind, but the enemy of the Superfriends show was Superman.

You probably didn’t notice this because you were so focused on the random bad guy that the heroes battled each week, which brings me to this;  While having a common enemy is a fantastic way to make friends and get cooperation, it’s also a great way to keep people from noticing your own flaws.

Christians wring our hands quite a lot about the spiritual threat of Universalism, the Idea that “all spiritual roads lead to the same place” and that a “Loving God” accepts us as we are.  Recently Universalism made the headlines as Christians debated the reality of a hell that no one goes to… not even Hitler, Stalin, or the secret government cabal that created the Teletubbies.

Continue Reading…

Covering The Field

This week is the most important week of the NFL preseason.  Forget the preseason games and training camps, with the lockout ended and the new franchise regulations firmly in place, teams and players can finally get down to the business of reorganizing their rosters and signing their free agents.

This is the week that teams stock their shelves for the long war of attrition that is the regular season.

The most coveted free agent is a player you’ve probably never heard of (because he languished in obscurity for the Raiders) with a name you probably can’t pronounce (because it looks like someone just got a bunch of new scrabble letters).

It’s Nnamdi Asomugha.

Mr. Asomugha is a cornerback.  During the game he guards the other team’s best reciever.  His job is to make sure the opponent’s fastest player is never without a companion, and never catches the ball.  In household terms he’s like your lightswitch,  you don’t think about him unless he isn’t doing his job.

The cameras never follow a cornerback unless he’s just made a big mistake.

Since the cornerback spends the majority of his time far away the action, you pay him for his reliability.  You don’t want to have to think about how quickly a game can go badly if he’s negligent in his duties.  When you find someone who can make big problems go away, you pay them well and highly esteem them… even if no one else notices.

Yesterday, a 90 year old pastor and theologian passed away.  If  you’ve never heard of John Stott you aren’t alone.  John Stott was the silent partner to Billy Graham in the evangelical revolution that took place in Christianity during the second half of the 1900’s.

Continue Reading…