1. Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    a trio of Ask Tony questions appeared on my Facebook 

    jack and cokechris asks, Whats the protocol for calling BS on friends of friends racist posts? 

    it’s so interesting that you ask this because im about to finish reading the bible for the 3rd or 4th time (but who’s counting?) and Sunday i read this line in 2 Timothy that totally reminded me of Facebook

    23Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

    Here St. Paul (the author of the letter to Timothy is Paul) starts off by saying “just totally ignore the haters because you’ll end up in a flame war, and those are for sucker MCs.” but then he says if we are really going to try to be good Christians we have to be super chill with everyone, totally patient, and if you are going to correct someone do it in the smoothest way ever. which in a way is the opposite of a flame, and eventually it’ll work out.

    Personally i have never seen a racist stop being a racist because of words on a Facebook wall. my experience of racism is it is the culmination of years and years of ignorance that starts with someone’s parents and friends and is fertilized over time by a fucked up environment. so i dont see where even the coolest exchange of facts, hyperlinks, and well-turned phrases could undo what years of bullshit formed. so i don’t even try very much any more, even though it can seem so tempting to jump in there.

    Instead I think there are far better places to place ones energies within Facebook, namely the good people in your life who, for whatever reason, Facebook hides from you because you haven’t engaged with them very much. Chill with them instead.

    Peter asks: Is it too soon for Brangelina jokes? 

    on one hand, it is super sad whenever any couple breaks up, especially those with many kids, because divorce affects some kids very emotionally – not to mention the once-happy couple.

    on the other hand, Comedy Is Not Pretty. some of the funniest jokes are dark, tasteless, rude, foul, biting, and OMG WHAT?comedy is not pretty

    but we need comedy, particularly when we see ourselves in others who apparently are having it worse than we are.

    the problem with bashing on Brad and Angie is for all apparent appearances they’re really sweet people. Brad built houses in New Orleans for the poor after a couple of those hurricanes. he produces films that tackle tough issues in artistic ways (The Big Short, 12 Years a Slave, The Normal Heart, Selma, etc)

    And Angie’s list of charitable endeavors was so long that the Academy gave her a humanitarian award a few years ago where even her acceptance speech was selfless, touching and inspiring, focused on her mom who taught her early on that all of us who live a safe, healthy life are extremely fortunate and downright lucky because we could have just as easily been born in another part of the world devoid of clean water, plentiful food or peace. so those of us whose head is above water should help those who aren’t.

    so since there are plenty of more deserving people to make fun of, i will be aiming my barbs at those who are far more selfish and foolish and worthy of my incredible barbs. perhaps you will feel the same way.

    Asher asks: If Tony is at Wrigley Field for the Word Series, how does he react to the national anthem?

    First of all, aint no way I’m going to be at Wrigley for the World Series. The cheapest tickets are going for close to $9,000 and even though i love the Cubs with all of my heart and wear a Cubs hat almost every day and have dozens of Cubs gear, and have lived this way my whole life, i’ve never had $9,000 laying around for such a thing and i sure as hell don’t now.

    But let’s say a miracle ticket comes my way and there i am in the bleachers and someone great like Billy Corgan or Cheap Trick or Bruce Springsteen starts singing The Star Spangled Banner: as much as i am angry and dismayed by so many innocent victims of the police murdering black men, i don’t see how one blogger in a sea of 40,000 Cub fans kneeling or raising my fist would impact anything in the slightest other than making my fellow Cub fans around me feel uncomfortable.

    What has made this protest so fascinating and powerful is it is coming from the players, most of whom have the cameras pointed at them. Because of these players the protest has gained momentum and kept the conversation going. Even if 1,000 fans knelt, the odds of the cameras catching it are minimal, especially on Fox, who will be broadcasting it, who care so little about the game or the viewers that they insist on having Joe Buck ruin it for everyone.

    So no, for once in my life, I would not be trying to change the world. I would be entirely focused on watching my little Cubby world change.