Hot Air

School Games

If bureaucracies make you break out in hives, you’d better pull out that old bottle of calamine lotion for this one.

The Monroe County Community School Corporation has eliminated the position of “talent and diversity specialist,” a job it created less than a year ago.

The reason the MCCSC created the position was to get itself out of hot water for not promoting one Diane Hanks to be principal of Tri-North Middle School because, some hinted, she is dark-skinned. The system had to chill Hanks as well as a coterie of community activists who hollered that the MCCSC’s principal ranks were disproportionately white. So they gave Hanks a shiny new title and a bump in pay.

Hanks

Diane Hanks

As the MCCSC’s talent and diversity specialist, Hanks traveled far and wide to convince teachers of color Bloomington would be a dynamite place to work.

The question of how a person who was passed over allegedly due to her skin color could persuade people with that skin color that the MCCSC was the place for them has never been fully explained. The MCCSC will not release figures showing how many non-white teachers have flocked to our fair town since Hanks started recruiting last October.

Now Hanks has been given the job of principal of Bloomington Graduation School for the school year starting in two weeks and — voila! — the MCCSC suddenly realized it doesn’t need a talent and diversity specialist anymore. School superintendent Judy DeMuth sez the task of convincing “diverse” teachers to come here will fall back to Bev Smith, director of school and community services. Smith handled the chore before the Hanks flap.

As it was way back when I was a recalcitrant student, school is a very confusing place.

Sports Sickness

I love sports. I hate sports.

No, I’m not losing my mind. This holy land, though? Oh yeah, it’s been losing it’s mind over sports for some few decades now. Our obsessive infatuation with sports dovetails nicely with two disparate historical events.

◆ The birth of free agency and the subsequent elevation of pro athletes to the plutocracy. We can complain all day long and deep into the night about how unfair it is that certain guys have all the dough and the rest of us can’t seem to find a way to pay the cable/internet bill but the truth is the vast majority of us secretly dream we’ll be rich big shots one day. And if we can, say, shoot baskets and get paid $10 million a year, well hell, we’ve died and gone to heaven. Guys who earn millions a year are deemed worthy of our attention and love even if they have the morals and ethics of hyenas.

Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez (r) Exits A Limousine

◆ The rise of ESPN, its imitators, and the 24-hour, wall-to-wall coverage of every conceivable atom of minutia about players, fans, managers, agents, sportscasters, peanut sellers, players’ girlfriends, team owners, strength and conditioning coaches, sports psychologists, announcers, fanatics in bars, and even the occasional innocent bystander who happens to be walking near the stadium on the day of the big game. The only things America loves more than millionaires are people who are on TV. Witness the number of people waving at the camera behind the street reporter who’s telling us how many people were killed instantly in the rollover crash on the Interstate. Being on TV makes us nearer to god. And since pro sports guys are on TV 24 hours a day, they must be divine.

Manning

What Are Your Thoughts On The Middle East, Peyton?

We’re so taken with sports guys that millions of us spend hundreds of dollars on jerseys that bear their names.  Your next door neighbor who wears Andrew Luck’s jersey honestly believes you’ll think slightly more of him because of it. And if Andrew Luck should somehow enter his life, he would overturn heaven and hell for his newfound friend.

Some folks swoon so much over present and former sports guys that they get screwed. Badly. On several levels, including the most vulgar.

To wit: The story of former so-so baseball player Mel Hall.

I call him a so-so baller because he never amounted to too much in the Major Leagues. OTOH, as a major leaguer, he was one of the 750 finest baseball players to emerge a pool of tens of millions — perhaps even hundreds of millions — who played the game around the world. And, as such, he made himself a comfy pile of dough — acc’d’g to baseball-reference.com, Hall earned more than $6 million in his nine years in the bigs.

Hall, even after he retired from baseball, was esteemed, idolized, trusted, treated like royalty, honored, and adopted by countless families and individuals. Donald Trump even set him up in an apartment on the very floor of Trump Tower that The Donald himself called home.

All this despite the fact that Hall was usually broke, a fraud, a mooch, homeless at various times, a serial impregnator, a predator, a statutory rapist, and a child molester. None of these facts was too hard to unearth at the time Hall burned through numerous families and ruined the childhoods of a passel of talented female athletes who’d been entrusted to his care.

He’d been a Yankee, he was rich (for a while, at least), and he’d been on TV — the American trifecta. Why wouldn’t any right-thinking father and mother allow him to sleep with their 14-year-old daughter in the master bedroom in exchange for his promise to take care of them financially for the rest of their lives? One did.

Hall

Trust

An unconscionable number of parents were swayed enough by Hall’s purported outer trappings to allow him to essentially take their daughters from them so he could teach them how to be big, rich sports stars just like him. Their underaged daughters, I might stress. These parents put said spawn in a peril most other parents would sever their arms to ward off.

Hall is now serving a prison sentence of 45 years for his sins. His story is told in a lengthy article entitled “The Many Crimes of Mel Hall” by Greg Hanlon in sbnation.com.

The parents who put their daughters in his care have not been jailed, although that’s where they belong.

I follow my beloved Chicago Cubs religiously and fret over their antics as if they were my own children. I celebrated loudly and deliriously when Chi.’s Bulls and Blackhawks won their championships. I was curious as to where LeBron James would play this coming season and turned up the car radio when it was announced he’d signed a contract with a new team. I’m pulling for the Oakland Athletics to win the World Series this fall. I even sort of know who Johnny Manziel is. In that, I love sports.

But when it comes to Mel Hall and the veneration too many people held him in, despite his monstrous ways, my love for the games quickly turns to hate.

Self-Improvement

A couple of emailers seem to be confused as to who or what I am.

One advises me I can fit easily into my bikini again. The other offers me penis enlargement pills. Frankly, I don’t know which product to send away for first!

Bathing Beauty

Me At The Age of 30

Danger!

Bob Schieffer of CBS News made news himself the other day by telling an interviewer the planet is more dangerous now than it was when the USSR and this holy land hand tens of thousands of thermonuclear-tipped missiles pointed at each other. This follows on the heels of Sen. John McCain’s pronouncement earlier this month that he has “never seen the world in more turmoil than it is in today.”

Both fellows are full of horseshit.

McCain/Schieffer

McCain & Schieffer: Chickens Little

Schieffer’s mis-take on the world situ. has been trumpeted in all the conservative news mags and sites. McCain is a Republican, meaning that although he’s not riding the farthest Right wave on the spectrum his worldview is decidedly starboard. The Right loves these observations because they can now say, Look how Barack Obama has screwed up the entire globe!

Admittedly, McCain wasn’t allowed access to the daily papers while he stayed at the Hanoi Hilton and other N. Viet. hideaways back in the late 1960s and early ’70s but in the ensuing years since his release, he’s had ample opportunity to learn how freaking dangerous this weird world was back then. Israel and Egypt were stewing between two major wars, each of which threatened to become nuclear, the nascent nation of Bangladesh’s civil war cost some three million poor souls their lives, the Nixon Administration was seriously considering a plan to bomb the dikes of North Vietnam which would have meant several millions would have perished in the ensuing floods and from starvation, Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia to crush a popular uprising there, here in the US, hundreds of cities erupted in rioting for at least four straight summers, leading many to fear the outbreak of a general insurrection or even a second Civil War, the USSR and China faced off in a border war that (pardon me for sounding repetitive here) threatened to go nuclear at any moment, the Khmer Rouge fought the government of Cambodia in a bloody civil war, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and George Wallace were cut down by assassins’ bullets, Greece was taken over by a military junta, a riot during a soccer match led to a war between Honduras and El Salvador, North Korea seized the spy ship, USS Pueblo, and kept its crew prisoners for nearly a year, bombings occurred at university campuses and department stores around the world, French students and laborers went on strike and millions took to the streets throughout May, 1968, effectively shutting down the entire country, huge oil spills occurred seemingly monthly, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland burned, the 1968 Democratic National Convention was marred by rioting, and…, and…, oh, just STFU, John McCain.

Prague Spring

Prague, 1968, Specifically; Anywhere In The World, Generally

And, as for Bob Schieffer, in the year 1968, the United States possessed more than 30,000 nuclear weapons and the Soviet Union boasted nearly 10,000 of them. Even though today some observers say the concept of Mutually-Assured Destruction prevented the leaders of the two countries from embarking on a course that would lead to a nuclear exchange, many of the tactical nuclear weapons on both sides were under the control of field commanders who could have elected to launch at any given time, leading to an escalation in hostilities that could have wiped out a billion or more human beings, not to mention bunny rabbits, puppies, and pigeons. Cockroaches, I understand, might have survived such a holocaust but that probably would have been scant consolation for the grateful dead.

So, you too, Bob Schieffer, STFU.

One thought on “Hot Air

  1. Montana Man says:

    Concerning Monroe County schools and the Diane Hanks incident, a bit silly to try for ‘diversity’ in relation to the percentage of minorities. In that case, one position filled by a black would be close to the max for that county. To further the comparison, a good 20% should be filled by Asians which would overwhelm any black representation. I wonder if 30% should be gay… Instead of focusing on the color of our skin or the preference of our sexualities, how about hiring and promoting those who are good at what they do? Now that is an idea worth discussing.

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