1st and Ten - The Weekly Tendown October 3-9 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dear Internet:

Would you like to own official Tendown mechandise?

Merch!  Like t-shirts and mugs and bumperstickers!  So you can represent!  Maybe calendars!

Or posters!

Tendown isn't just a quick Sunday read - now it's a lifestyle!

None of this is true.  I have no mechandise.  Who has merchandise is my Lady Type Friend.

And you should buy some.

Here's Tendown 47

First: You Know Something I Don't Know

Most of the Tendown readers pick this up over the course of the week; that means you know something I don't - as Game 3 of the NLDS, the first pitch of which is 5 and a half hours from the time of this writing, has ended in your world.

Sort of a big week.  Tim Lincecum threw one of the great games in postseason history in Game One, 2 hits and 14 strikeouts.  And we took a 4-0 lead deep into Game 2, which we frittered away in a typicially torturous SFG postseason performance.  Our last 4 playoff games were decided by one run, and 3 of those games were losses (two of which I attended).  In one of my forecast posts, I noted our tremendous success in games in which we've homered this year, and our being the best team in baseball when we score 3 runs - so the early 3 run homer by Burrell certainly looked for all the world like we were taking a 2-0 lead into Atlanta today.

But that wouldn't be Giants baseball.

Sanchez/Hudson today, and the slight lean goes to the bad guys.  Hudson's all ground balls, we led the league in hitting into double plays this season; the closest comparable to Hudson's style is Lowe, and we couldn't touch him in Game one.  Sanchez needs to stay near the plate, his pitch count can get away from him quickly, and it would be good to avoid a deep bullpen game.  A loss doesn't end our season; I forecasted we'd win the series in 5, and the scenario where we bring back Lincecum on 3 days rest down 2-1 to force a game 5 seemed a not unlikely occurrence.

I think we're going to win this series, and think so with the same level of strength as did I before game one.

Even if, as you're reading this, we lose(lost) on Sunday; I still think we're going to win this series.  Although I'm not looking forward to white knuckling both a game 4 and a game 5.

If we lost the series I was wrong.

But you should still buy some merchandise.

After the jump, the rest of the Tendown.  It's an 8Down this week.  I'm going to my mom's to watch the game.  A game to which you know the result.  People in the future!  People in the future - tell me of your many wisdoms and lottery numbers!

Edit - Make that 5 straight one run games.

Did anyone else know it was allowed for SFG to win a playoff game like that?  Someone really should have mentioned that before.
1. It Gets Better

In response to the recent run of suicides by young homosexual men and boys, Dan Savage has launched the It Gets Better project.  It's good.  Worth taking a look at.  Individual acts of bullying that lead to an individual gay kid's view that life is not worth living are a good granular place to consider homophobia.  Telling a teenage kid that his world is not the world is a reasonable message well delivered.

It's not entirely a true message.

Here's South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, a week ago, saying gays shouldn't be schoolteachers.

In Oregon, a teaching intern was removed from class when he responded to a 4th graders question "Are you married" with "gay marriage isn't allowed in Oregon."

Here's Bryan Fischer, of the American Family Association, saying that Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers freshman who killed himself after being taped in his dorm room, killed himself because being gay was "contrary to his deep sense of right and wrong".

David Barton, Glenn Beck's chief "historian" said that gay sex should be regulated.

Focus on the Family arguing that anti-bullying measures in schools violate the religious liberty of Christians.

Here's the Minnesota Family Council saying that the suicides are caused by an unhealthy sexual identity and lifestyle.

Here's Carl Paladino Sunday saying that we shouldn't "brainwash" kids into thinking homosexuality is acceptable.

The bully in a high school in Minnesota is emboldened by the Senator in South Carolina.  It Gets Better shouldn't be limited to a conversation between adults and high school students; it should be between Americans in 2025 and Americans in 2010 - because in 2010, there is no viewpoint so noxious, so hatefilled, that it can't find a home in the mainstream Republican Party.  Jim DeMint is going to win re-election next month and win it by 40 points.  Jim DeMint proudly says gays should be teaching in schools.  In the way that the guy shooting an abortion provider in Florida is emboldened by O'Reilly's constant reference to him as a "baby killer" the degree to which the right wing message that gay lives are immoral, that gay lives are worth less than straight lives, that gay rights lead to a decline of the moral quality of the US has the direct result of promoting, encouraging, emboldening the actions that lead to those suicides.

A Christian in 2010 who wants to argue that homosexuality is immoral, that gays should not receive equal treatment under the law should be treated in exactly the same way as a Christian who would argue (as many did, for decades) that anti-slavery movements were immoral, that anti-segregation movements were immoral, that interracial marriages were immoral and that government remedies of these wrongs were themselves immoral.  An argument against same sex marriage in 2010 is the moral equivalent of an argument against interracial marriage in 1969. An argument in favor of Don' t Ask Don't Tell in 2010 is an argument against the integration of military troops in 1948. A sitting United States Senator saying a homosexual should not be teaching school should be treated in exactly the same way as if he said a Jew should not be teaching school.  He should be Rick Sanchez-ed.

It might get better.  History suggests a sweep to the just.  But we actually do have to lift the brooms.

2. What Would It Look Like If...
Donald Duck joined the Tea Party. 

3. Hidden in Plain Sight
A strong Slate piece about the hard right wing turn of the Supreme Court.

4. Socialism for Tea Partiers
Here's a look at how much government money is received by the people trying to take yours away.

5. Climate Change
Here's how we blew our last chance to save the planet.

6. Is Brett Favre the next Tiger Woods?

What's the mainstream media tipping point on the Brett Favre story?

7. Only In Mississippi

A disgraceful story from a Mississippi courtroom.  A lawyer thrown in jail for refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

Compulsory flag salute, as regular readers will know, is a two decade long interest of mine; it's been unconstitutional since WWII, but periodically, a school district (such as the one in which I live) will suspend a kid for refusing to say the Pledge.  And they'll get sued.  And they'll lose (or settle out of court, as happened here).

But to be thrown in jail for refusing to say the United States represents "freedom, liberty, and justice for all" shocks the conscience.

8. I Read the Books
 I made like a million blog posts this week - the baseball forecasts, all the football picks, my countdown of the best NFL players ever - and I also read two books I can recommend:

I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President a light, funny enough read by a Daily Show exec. producer.

Onward Christian Athletes: Turning Ballparks into Pulpits and Players into Preachers a terrific look at a longstanding topic of mine, the degree to which sports is utilized as a forum for conservative Christianity.  Expressions of belief, and conservative political consequences of that belief, are expressly welcome in locker rooms, clubhouses, huddles, end zones, and stadiums, really from high school all the way through the professional ranks - while progressive political sentiment (and any expressions of non-belief) are viewed antagonistically.

I didn't love Glee's look at religion this week.  Non-belief, while portrayed as understandable, is required to have a cause.  Kurt doesn't believe - and we understand why, he's been bullied by those who believe - there's an old joke about a black Republican being like a chicken who supports Colonel Sanders that applies here.  The show, of course, portrays each and every one of its Christians (even those at the all-black Ohio church Kurt eventually visits) as loving and tolerant and without a bad word to say about gays; which helps protect the show from criticism, but is only a partial picture.  And Sue - the show's antagonist - doesn't believe - and doesn't believe because of the condition of her Down's Syndrome sister (and the way she's treated because of it.).

Because that must, of course, be the reason for atheism.  Bitterness.  Anger.  Disappointment.  Hurt.  Resentfulness.  We, the audience, understand all of these as reasonable causes for the atheism - the show takes a benevolent "love the sinner, hate the sin" approach toward atheism in a way that, it loudly doesn't take about homosexuality.

There's value in coming out.  Just as Kurt's coming out as gay shouldn't be looked at as due to something that happened to him - his coming out as an atheist could have been viewed as a triumph of free thought over superstition.  Like being done here, in Richard Dawkins Out Campaign.

It's a scarlet letter I'll wear with pride.

That's this week's Tendown - I'll be back next time...if there is a next time...

Your pal,


1 comment

Kirk said...

Why are you watching Glee? No one who watches Glee is allowed to start a sentence with, "I'm too busy..." until he/she recommits that hour to something else.

Also, Favre does not owe the husband of this massage therapist any apologies.

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