Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hannity, Monopoly, and the Solution to our Problem

Sometimes I listen to the Sean Hannity radio show on my way home from work. Not because I like the guy, mind you, because I really can't stand him. I'm not normally a violent man, but if I ever meet that guy in a dark alley...

Anyway, I digress. So I was listening to the insanity of Hannity earlier this week and he was talking about how the government will never do anything to help the people, and that it's the wealthy and the innovative that create jobs and make America the great place that it is. As an example, he pointed out how the board game Monopoly was invented by a normal Joe named Charles Darrow in the 1930's, who of course went on to make tons of money and pull himself out of the depression. Now, never mind the fact that Hannity had the history of the game wrong: it's not like the guy never tells lies or fails to do proper research on his show, so no big surprise there. (Darrow put together the whole Atlantic City connection to the board, but the game was being played in similar versions for almost 30 years before he sold the idea to Parker Brothers in 1934. A simple Google search would have given him the facts in seconds, but when you're a Conservative you don't bother with the facts.) What I wanted to discuss here today is not whether or not Hannity is a huge piece of shit; what I wanted to discuss was Monopoly and how it relates to the basic ideology of our two major political parties. (By the way, Hannity is a HUGE piece of shit: no need for discussion.)

Monopoly got me thinking. You've played the game before, right? It's a pretty simple concept: get land, develop it, get people to stop by and stay in your hotels, and collect major amounts of rent. But have you ever played by the REAL rules before? Of course not! I don't know ANYONE that even knows the real rules. Everyone creates their own variations, the most common one being that you can "trade" real estate with others in the game to help yourself create your monopolies. Many times these trades include free rent and other such deals between the traders. Why is it that everyone changes the rules? Because if you don't, the game will last for eons. No one will ever win and no one will ever lose. Everyone will just go around the board fluctuating at about the same amount of money until everyone finally gets sick of playing.

And that, my friends, is exactly my point. Let's take a look at the current political spectrum in our country. Democrats favor government rules and restrictions to be placed on corporations so that they cannot take advantage of the market or the public. Republicans think that government should stay out of it and let the "free market" regulate itself. And what has become the result of the previous 12 years where the Republicans have been making up their own rules? The rich have gotten richer and the middle class and poor have gotten poorer! Just like Monopoly played with your own set of rules: someone eventually wins and someone loses. But if you played with the real regulations in place, it's not so much that no one wins as it is that no one ever loses! We've gone too long allowing the market to regulate itself. It's time to set regulations and make sure that everyone is playing by the same set of rules.

That's how you build an economy: create a level playing field where everyone gets the chance to continue to go around the board. When Charles Darrow sold "his" idea to Parker Brothers, he found himself a rich man that no longer had to worry about the Great Depression. But what good did it do anyone else? What good does it do our nation for one guy to win while the rest of us lose? Wouldn't it be a better world if we were all able to stay in the game?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Original Schwa indoor net poles

These super unique indoor net pole stands have been recovered by The Man With The Plan, Scot Hansen. Originally created back in the Schwa days and creatively decorated with all sorts of Schwa tags and interesting stickers and footbag artwork. Nice work Scot for recovering these and getting them back to the Rectangle.

Zeke Bitches About Net, Spring 09

Ok, so technically it's still winter. Sure as shit feels like winter around here. Those long weeks of near or below zero temps makes the 34f feel like 60f! I took advantage of the last 3 days by biking to Welles Park to do some solo wall ball to help scrape off some of that winter rust. I'm so fucking outta shape. Wall ball is better than nothing but wall ball with no focus is not nearly as effective as it could be. Some short term goals for the season; keep working my left side and get my basic kicks solid and consistent, buy more net bags before summer, try as hard as possible to go to next Memphicago and The Mud Island Belt events.

Vince gave back that loaner court before he moved out west and I live closer to 2 parks now. Here's an overview of how I would like to see things work out for the next year. Weekdays will be left fairly open. I'll try and see if Tommy or Carrie would want to kick at Welles after work. If neither are available I could also try the twins and see if they want to play at River or Peterson park. If all else fails I'll just hacksturbate against the wall. Saturdays I would like mixed sessions at Welles with any available net players and the dying (seriously) shred & squares scene. Sundays are strictly reserved for full net sessions with CLCK. I know I need to play as much as possible but it's also hard to stay motivated throughout the year.

There are still a couple of possible new players I keep in contact with that I think would like net after trying it. I've tried on multiple occasions to bring them out with no success...yet. I'll keep trying. We met another new guy at the past New Years Jam who said he would be interested in at least trying net. Seems pretty cool. Been hacking for a long time and is fairly athletic from what I've seen. He took gymnastics as a kid. The freestylers haven't quite sunk their girl nails into him. I think they underestimate my limitless charisma and my uncanny jungle good looks!


So, I'll be posting practice sessions as I have them and maybe the occasional video. Feel free to offer any tips, advice and be brutally honest about my technique (as you see them in vids, rare spring sessions or even what you may have witnessed the past season) as I can't always spot what I'm doing wrong. Laterz.