I have written about this line from the movie Midnight Run. Once again:
Jonathan Mardukas (played by Charles Grodin): There’s good and bad everywhere, Jack.
Jack Walsh (played by Robert DeNiro): There’s bad everywhere. Good I don’t know about.
This recent piece from the Philadelphia Inquirer is about a very bad person, Pete Rose. I have had the misfortune of interacting with him on more than one occasion. It is difficult to imagine a more immature, more self-absorbed person, although such people do exist, sadly.
From the first time I became aware of Rose as a young baseball fan around the age of 10, something about him rubbed me the wrong way. I started calling him Pete Blows when I was a teenager. I do not claim to be clairvoyant, so-called psychics are charlatans (talk about bad people), but everything about him has proven my initial feelings to be correct.
I don’t think he should be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but don’t really care that much about the issue. So many unworthy players have been enshrined that it doesn’t matter who’s in and who’s out. The lifetime hits record? He was a below average offensive player for at least the last five years of his career, far below the average for a first baseman, his position by then. Guess who his manager was the last two-plus years of his playing career? Pete Rose. He put himself in the lineup, to the detriment of his team, so he could break the record. To paraphrase Shakespeare, there is nothing good or bad but context makes it so.
During my 20+ years in baseball I formed the very strong belief that except for their ability to play baseball (that includes their competitive nature), most baseball players are entirely unremarkable people. While a few were exemplary as far as I could tell, Trevor Hoffman comes to mind, some were like Pete Blows. My good friend Bob wanted to know why I didn’t reveal the identity of the person who played a major role in my being fired by the Orioles in 1994. I told him that he is not a public figure and that almost no one reading this blog would recognize his name. I will not reveal the names of some of the other awful people I encountered in the game, but I’ll offer their initials: RJ, DW, and JL.
No one should be worshiped, whether they are an athlete, an entertainer, a politician or whomever. There’s bad everywhere. Good I don’t know about.
Speaking of bad people and influences: I recently received an email from my brokerage company about the increase in financial scams. As I have written before, I believe that in most cases the success of a scam depends less on its cleverness than it does on the greed and ignorance of its mark. This CNBC article reports on younger people receiving financial “advice” from social media and why that it so dangerous. From the piece:
“Nearly half of Gen Z social media users (those aged 18 to 25) say they’ve felt negatively about their finances after seeing posts from others, according to a recent survey from Bankrate.
Frankly, it’s kind of by design; 46% of Gen Zers in Bankrate’s survey admitted to posting things to make themselves look more successful in the eyes of their followers. “And those numbers are likely higher,” says Bankrate analyst Sarah Foster, pointing out that 62% of all survey participants said they thought people they followed did as much.”
In the ultimate example of Captain Obvious, the author of the article writes that you can’t always trust what you see on social media. However, no matter how outrageous or how false something posted there might be, Pareto’s 80-20 rule suggests that at least 20% of people reading it will believe it. With the way platform algorithms work, I suspect that percentage is, sadly, much higher.
I did not forget the significance of today’s date and of August 6th in world history. Of course, the latter was the day in 1945 that the United States military dropped the first atomic bomb used in combat on Hiroshima. Today’s date was the day an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.
Historical revisionism is everywhere. The truth is that even after both bombs were dropped on Japan and even after the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, the Japanese Supreme Council could not decide on whether or not to accept the Potsdam Declaration. Prime Minister Suzuki, in an unprecedented step, asked Emperor Hirohito to break the deadlock. He decided to surrender in large part because he wanted to spare the country further destruction from atomic weapons.
If Japan was really begging to surrender, as is so often said by revisionists, then why was the Council deadlocked? Why was Japan massing hundreds of thousands of troops on the main island in advance of a potential US invasion? Too many people refuse to let the facts get in the way of their opinions.
I have not stopped all automotive content, but as I have written on more than one occasion such content will be less prevalent. I DO NOT have to join the crowd and buy an electric SUV.
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