The Difference Between Nice and Good

the-difference-between-nice-and-good

Nice is nice. Good is good.

Nice is cool. Good is warm.

Nice is meek. Good is humble. Continue reading

Advertisements

Adam Silver and the economics of morality

adam_silver

So Adam Silver unloaded the banhammer on Donald Sterling yesterday — preventing the Don from ever getting within two zipcodes of Staples Center or any NBA entity. You probably heard that already.

It was the right call, and, really, it was the only call. Anything less than that would’ve resulted in outright mutiny. Hell, the money already ran scared for the hills.

And this is what makes the decision to dump Donald by the side of the road seem so disingenuous. This was no heroic claiming of moral high ground. This was a decision to save face, a swift rip of the band-aid to let the wound heal in the open.

Mr. Silver, and, particularly, his predecessor of 30 years, Mr. Stern, had numerous chances to oust Sterling in the past for his litany of racist, sexist, bigoted offenses that did real, actual harm to real, actual people.

But it was only when faced with financial peril — when doing business with Donald Sterling was no longer good for doing business — that the NBA chose to sever ties. Donald Sterling’s evil actions and disgusting demeanor (not to mention his asleep-at-the-wheel and offensively penny-pinching ownership) wasn’t enough of a debit to his character until the Association faced financial and public humiliation.

If the NBA really, truly wanted to take a stand against racism within its ranks – on both a personal and institutional level – then the NBA would do better to hire more minorities beyond the workers in the fields on the court. Front offices, broadcast booths, sidelines, league offices and marketing departments are chock full of ivory skin and ivory tower mentality, despite the cherry-picked figures that caused The University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport to award an A+ for racial diversity hiring. (Head coaches? Players? That’s what you’re rolling with as outstanding examples of “diversity” in hiring?)

If Adam Silver truly wants his league to serve as a shining beacon of promoting racial equality, there would be no dress code decreed by the white ruling body enforcing its predominantly black “talent” to dress in semi-formal attire when sitting out full games. There would be no age limit set by the white ruling body deciding when its predominantly black workforce is “mature” enough to start earning grown man paychecks.

And, if the NBA really, really wants to be subversive and forward-thinking in their morality, they would strike the title of “Owner” from their lexicon. I don’t think you need me to tell you why.

Make no mistake, Adam Silver made the right call, and sending a gross dinosaur of a human being to the NBA tar pits is a welcome first step. But it was a convenient first step – one that came adorned with all the trappings of a warm-and-fuzzy feel-good sleeper hit. There were website takeovers and Staples Center billboards (probably not designed by one of the 1-in-20 ‘creative industry‘ workers that’s non-white) and a sweet commercial tailor-made to tug at your heartstrings (the odds of an African-American actually playing any part in the creation of that commercial, by the way? One-in-100.) but to truly turn this into any kind of moral crusade will require more than just savvy marketing and swift justice.

The spotlight shined brightly on Mr. Silver, and boy did he deliver. But, as Donald Sterling knows as well as anyone, character is defined by what we all do with the lights off, long before we’re saddled with the burden of cleaning up the messes of our making.

 

There’s no such thing as a free drink.

whiskey-shot

Some minor history was made last night. I did something I’ve never done in 31 years.

But, before I get to that, I should inform you that I’m (mostly) Sicilian. You’ve met Central Casting Dagos like me before. Sexy. Loquacious. Pretty big into artichoke. If you’re ever at an epic bash at a Sicilian’s household, you know damn sure to do three things: Continue reading

What Can We Learn From This? What if the answer is “Nothing?”

We’re human. We struggle with tragedy. We grasp at slippery straws and they slip through our fingers. We hash over it. We re-hash. We hash again. We reach out to those in need and we send our prayers when we don’t pray, our thoughts to the unthinkable and we process that which does not compute.

It’s natural. It’s human. Our brains are wired for empathy. We respond to social and environmental cues and it’s hard not to be moved. But then we always ask ourselves what the life lesson is. What’s the moral of the story? How can we prevent this in the future?

And we run through all the potential factors to try and find the most direct correlation to what went so notoriously haywire.

We blame guns. We blame parents. We blame music and movies. We blame victims. We blame genetics. We blame the environment. The economy. The political climate. My GAWD to we love to blame. Because somewhere, somehow, there must be an underlying cause. There must be a way to rectify a tragedy, an injustice, a crime against not just the dead but of humanity as a whole.

But the answers aren’t so simple. Continue reading

To Lorrie Goldstein, F**k You. Love, Sanity.

Lorrie_Goldstein

Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with Lorrie Goldstein. That’s fine. We’re not here to skewer his career.

Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with gang violence in Canada’s largest city. That’s fine. We’re not here to skewer Toronto.

Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with the specifics of how the Toronto Sun commissions and crafts opinion columns. That’s fine, too. We’re not here to skewer The Sun.

We’re here to talk about this. We’re here to talk about a flaming pile of editorial panda-shit dropped by The Sun, showing a complete lack of education in pre-cursors for societal ills and also exhibiting scathing shreds of racism, sexism, xenophobia, bigotry, self-righteousness.

If you’re unfamiliar with how we do this, we basically ripped this idea off Fire Joe Morgan. So, I’ll be signing my $4 in royalties over to them immediately.

Italics are his words. The rest are mine. Let’s go: Continue reading