Friday, August 17, 2007

Answers I don't have

I heard an old Depeche Mode song the other day (to pre-empt your jokes no, I didn't borrow Emmanuel Sandu's iPod).

"What makes a man hate another man?"

This got me to thinking. How am I going to answer these questions when the kid grows up? I'm completely devoid of insight into these sorts of philosophical issues. "Why is the sky blue?", "Why do bad things happen to good people?" and "Are there really only four or five qualified actors available for all Canadian commercials and if so why did they pick this group of losers"? Crap, I have no idea especially in regards to the last one. Maybe it's some sort of reaction against the Perv from the Alexander Keith's commercials whereby the background checks are so onerous that only the two dudes from the listerine ads, the redhead and the annoying blonde passed. That would also explain why Snake from Degrassi no longer shows up in Canadian ads. My gut tells me that a search for skeletons in his closet turned up a few things...a few very disgusting things. This is about a nanosecond away from turning into a rant against the Canadian advertising industry. All I ask is that anyone who's ever done any work on a Tim Horton spot have their advertising licenses revoked. Send them to rehab where they'll have to watch all the Holiday Inn commercials with the three business travellers in order to discover what funny is. So far they've got "irritating" down pat, let's see if they can learn "funny". (Note: do yourself a favour, go to YouTube and watch the Holiday Inn ads including the pre-quel job interview. Very little in the world is funnier than that. If I knew how, I'd include the links)

Let's get this back on the rails. I need to prepare myself for the inevitable day when little BankAtlantic Bancorp (they won her naming rights just beating out Red Bull and Grey Power Insurance. We call her BA for short) starts to wonder aloud about the great mysteries of life. I've never had any interest in tackling these subjects but presuambly she'll be much more thoughtful than her old man, at least I hope so. Let's start with a handful of question that I can work through. Let me know if you have anything to add.

"Why is Ultimate Fighting so popular?"

Great question, BA. This is one I had to reflect upon for some time. My initial thought was that the "sport's" popularity was simply an illustration of a bloodthirsty society craving senseless violence. That's probably too simplistic as there is already plenty of violence out there. What is it about UFC etc. that has so captured the male 16-30 demo? Finally I figured it out. There are two things that it has that comparable sports/entertainment lacks. First is complete randomness. In boxing, for example, strategy, skill, training and heart play a big part in determining who wins. How boring is that? People don't line up at casinos because strategy, heart and training pay off. They want randomness. In UFC a couple roided-up dudes grapple, one guy lands a lucky punch, the other guy falls back, the lucky guy jumps on top of him and it's over. 50:50. That's entertainment! It's like roulette without the zeroes. The second and biggest draw is clearly the homo-eroticism of it all. Male-only adult films are obviously out of the question for the vast majority of North Americans. Instead, Joe and John Camaro can spend the night watching a couple of dudes in underwear rolling around on the ground together with a fair amount of groin on face contact. Don't worry guys, we won't judge.

"If you could go back in time and kill someone because you knew they would commit atrocious acts against mankind would that be justified?"

Another toughie. I wondered this myself the other day while listening to an easy listening station. About five years ago I was at some corporate schmooze fest in LA where David Foster was showcasing his latest crop of "talent". Amongst a handful of soon to be obscure acts was Josh Groban and Michael Buble. Imagine the pain and suffering I could have saved the world by taking out Foster (the guy responsible for bringing Celine Dion to the masses), Groban and Buble! The debt of gratitude owed to me by the world would have been immeasureable. I say, go for it...unless that person is me or your mother, or Bills' Quarterback JP Losman. Also, if you build that time machine let me know. I forgot to take out the garbage last week and your diapers are piling up.

"Is there a God?"

Well, one day I guess we'll all know for sure but you're here so I'm going to say "I think so".

Quite clearly I've got some work to do to get ready for these conversations. I'll probably screw it up but hopefully she'll be happy that at least I tried and if nothing else, I can always teach her how to golf.

Have a good weekend.

1 comment:

Ron Tugnutt said...

Q: Why is the sky blue?
A: The blue color of the sky is due to Rayleigh scattering. As light moves through the atmosphere, most of the longer wavelengths pass straight through. Little of the red, orange and yellow light is affected by the air.

However, much of the shorter wavelength light is absorbed by the gas molecules. The absorbed blue light is then radiated in different directions. It gets scattered all around the sky. Whichever direction you look, some of this scattered blue light reaches you. Since you see the blue light from everywhere overhead, the sky looks blue.