Thursday, October 8, 2015

Weighing-in on 5 of the Most Pressing Issues of the Day

Dear Readers,

In past columns I have tried hard to research and fully thrash out one perspective of a complex issue.  You will get none of that today.  Instead, here is my short 'take' on five really, really important issues that everyone has been talking about (I think).  


Let’s start with the biggest story of the year.  It has been mostly resolved, thank goodness. Yet, there are still lingering questions.  Like why was it the biggest story of the year?  Fear not, I have the answer.  Ready?

Football is fun, and anything to do with football is fun.  And lots of people found it really fun to make up clever double entendres about Tom Brady’s, ahem, balls.  Besides, reading about truly important, horrific stories like the onslaught of ISIS is depressing.  

Anyway, here is a simple solution to avoid any more deflating-football controversies for those of you who are intent on taking the fun out of the news:  

Allow each team to inflate their football as much as they want, but insist that they use the same ball for the entire game.  Here is what would happen:  Each team would default to a similar level of air pressure.   


If the ball is too deflated, it would compromise the distance it could be kicked or the speed it could be thrown.  On the other hand, if the ball were too inflated, it would compromise the quarterback’s control or the receiver’s ability to catch it.  So take away the rules and each team will self-regulate the football pressure just fine on their own.  

End of problem.   

Let’s go to another big issue, shall we?  


What kind of food should you eat?  Whatever you want!  It’s a free country, right?  Oh sure, we could have a long in-depth discussion about what is the best food to eat if your goal is to maximize your health.  But that wouldn't be any fun, and besides nobody would listen.  Any author of diet books worth his weight (in salt) knows that people will only follow your advice if you can regurgitate "studies" that prove that the bad food you eat is really good for you.  But don't worry, no regurgitating is allowed here.

Instead, as a public service, I would like to share with you a simple method for perceiving the eating experience that should simplify your food choices for the rest of your life.  I call it The Gilfix Food Grid.

Please note the chart below:


Like eating
Hate eating
Like having eaten


Hate having eaten



Let’s start with box “C” These are foods that taste great but make you feel awful afterwards, like hotdogs at a baseball game.   

Box “B,” on the other hand, is food that taste awful but makes you feel great after eating, like kale without the seasoning.  This would include any kind of food that is healthy but repugnant to your palate.  

Box “D” is food that is both unhealthy and untasty, like two-week old chicken covered with mold.  Don’t worry about these foods; you’ll never eat them unless you are feeling suicidal.   

Finally, Box “A” is foods that are both healthy -- so you feel great after eating -- and tasty -- so you enjoy them while eating.  Obviously, these are the foods we all should be eating most.

But what if the foods you ‘like having eaten’ because you think they are good for you are really bad for you?  Ah, a very good question!  Of course, in that situation you will still “like” having eaten but your health will decline.  However, you will not attribute your declining health to your diet, so you will stay happy.  

Regardless, the Gilfix Food Grid will help you in your food choices for the rest of your life.

Let’s move along.


Take those Doritos. Just take them and walk out of the store.

What? That's dishonest!

Oh great, now I have to deal with honesty? Well let me ask you something: You know that nobody is watching and you know that the surveillance cameras aren't working, right?

Yeah, but -

Shhh. You're in a rush and you're hungry for junk food. Just take it.

But that's dishonest.

There you go again. Look!  What if I can guarantee you that no one will press charges even if they find out.  Hmm?  You know, everyone does it. (Besides, the Doritos company is rich and doesn’t need your money).

I just can't do it! I wasn't raised that way.

Oh great. I found me a modern day Horatio Alger, Richie Cunningham! Hey listen, I've got just one more question for you.  Have you ever copied a CD that you did not buy?

Huh?  But that’s different.  


Absolutely! Oh sure!  It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes millions of dollars, to create a professional music album, and many people contribute their time and expertise including the composers, arrangers, performers, producers, recording specialists, and marketing group (everyone knows that).   But so what?  Let’s face it, copying CDs and downloading music illegally is widespread because everyone knows that copying isn’t really stealing.  Right??

Of course!  Taking a bag of Doritos isn’t really stealing either.  I mean, you’re just going to eat them. 

And now, another important issue ...


Everybody needs a cause.  Mine is to help those anti-steroids enforcers in sports find a new cause that is more worthy of their time and energy.     

Why am I for steroids?  Well first, they help athletes who were not born with top athletic physiques.  Second, most of the arguments against them are really flawed.

Superiority in sports is mostly about luck of the gene pool.  Think back to your school days.  Do you remembers that kid, or a few kids, who were better than everyone else in whatever sport they were playing?  These athletic stars didn’t work harder than everyone else, they were just better naturally.  But why give nature the final say?   Those who were born with great sports physiques didn’t do anything to deserve their luck.  Steroids help to even the playing field.

By the way, I am only advocating that adult athletes be allowed to make their own decisions about steroids.

But steroids are unhealthy.  Sports are supposed to improve your health, not to cause health problems.

Ah, cut it out!  Boxing and football tend to cause brain damage, and car and motorcycle racing cause heart damage (race car drivers  have a nasty habit of dying in crashes - which is definitely bad for the heart); hockey causes irreparable teeth damage; and sumo wrestling is known to cause serious digestive issues.  

Besides, if steroids were legal then probably they would be safer; doctors would be able to help athletes administer them in safe doses, and drug companies would likely create drugs that were less deleterious.

Yes, but steroids are unnatural.  

So what?  Unless you are a practicing Christian Scientist you probably accept unnatural interference in sports, already.  It is “unnatural” to do complex arthroscopic shoulder surgery on a baseball pitcher who has a torn rotator cuff, or knee surgery on a hockey or basketball player.  Years ago such injuries would have ended the athlete’s career.

What about our students? This could have a bad influence on them.     

So are hotdog-eating contests.  And the television.  And almost all news about celebrities.  Perhaps you think that those examples are not comparable to a "bad influence" that encourages students to undertake greater health risks.  Fine.  Then let's also ban boxing, car racing, deep water diving, football, hockey, and climbing Mount Everest. 

And finally...


Since we are now immersed in another nauseating election cycle full of distortions, fabrications, conflations, stupidity, and outright lies – all of which are still better than not having an election cycle, I would like to offer the following advice (as a public service, of course):

Please Don't Vote! - (if you have to be convinced to vote).

I'm committed to voting, as are most of my friends.  But I don't want to convince people to vote who are too tired, too busy, too undecided, or who would rather watch TV.

I like the idea that people who don't care enough to vote should be allowed to decide not to vote.  It's the right decision for them.

Of course, if you promise me that you’ll vote for my candidate then maybe I’ll drive you to the polls.


Unknown said...

I really enjoyed the column and did some laughing. You are a very good writer.
Have you thought of submitting some of your work to the Beacon? You might not get
paid right away but with the kind of work you produce there might be something there
for you if your work is published in all of the editions. Example: Peter Costa---
Cost of Living or Richard Holmes---social, political, or economic issues of the day.

Just a thought. Thank you for doing this.

Anonymous said...

I agree...These are great arguments and they are entertaining as well.
Kol ha kavod!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading this blog. A little tongue in cheek, but worthwhile messages below the surface as well. Particularly the Don't vote one.

Sanch said...

Finally - A commentator who makes sense!

Unknown said...

nice to see you have a funny bone!

Unknown said...

Great column, David. One alternative suggestion as to why deflate gate was the biggest story of the year. The reason is because the NFL manufactured and sold it to the media in order to take the heat off their mishandling of several internal scandals, including the assault by former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice on his fiancee.