It’s been three weeks that I haven’t written an OpinionList. Did you miss it? It’s almost always the top post during the week. This makes me wonder why I don’t abandon the longer post format and stick with this multiple-post short reviews. What do you think? Think about it, and while you’re at it, you can read this week’s OpinionList.
An Instant Quadrillionaire: Imagine getting an email that shows your PayPal balance to be $92,233,720,368,547,800, making you the richest person in the world. This is exactly what happened to Chris Reynolds from Pennsylvania. However, when he checked his PayPal account, it reflected his usual zero balance. Someone’s mistake (or prank) made him an instant quadrillionaire, but only for an instant.
Cover Down! Rolling Stone’s latest magazine cover featuring accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has sparked a social media firestorm as well as strong backlash from businesses which have decided not to sell this issue in their stores: CVS pharmacies, Stop & Stop, Tedeschi Food Shops, 7-11, Walgreens and Rite-Aid, so far. Critics claim that Rollings Stone is being insensitive to the people of Boston and glamorizing a terrorist. In the meantime, Rolling Stone issued this statement: “The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day,” adding that Tsarnaev is the same age as many Rolling Stone readers and that it’s important to study how someone like him can be radicalized. What do I think? I don’t think that the magazine is glamorizing Tsarnaev, but I admit that seeing his face on the cover of Rolling Stone is somewhat disturbing. However, I would not dream of condemning Rolling Stone for its cover. It smells too close to censorship, and damn it, I’m a liberal.
From Glee To Gloom: One of the saddest news of the week was the death of Glee’s main actor Corey Monteith (Finn) from a toxic mix of heroin and alcohol. I was a Glee fan for three seasons. I decided not to come back for the fourth season after realizing that I spent way too much time fast-forwarding through the musical numbers in season 3. Still, I was shocked and saddened to read about Monteith’s death. It’s always horrible to hear about the death of a young person, especially when his future looked so bright. But apparently, it was the past that he couldn’t escape. In a 2011 interview he admitted having a “serious drug problem,” that dated back to his teen years. I was further saddened to read that he was in a real-life, off-screen relationship with his co-star Lea Michele (Rachel). I’m curious to see how the show will handle his death. In the meantime, one thought keeps running through my head, ” What a waste.”
Zimmerman’s Verdict: I wrote a long post on my thoughts about the Zimmerman verdict. But here’s a short version. I don’t think that Zimmerman is a racist. From Wikipedia: “Zimmerman had been one of the few to take any action to protest the 2010 beating of Sherman Ware, a black homeless man, by the son of a Sanford police officer. Zimmerman reportedly distributed fliers in the black community trying to get others involved too, and helped organize a January 8, 2011, Sanford City Hall community forum to protest the incident.” However, I do think that his depiction as a wannabe cop is accurate. More importantly, the moment that he decided to leave his car, with a gun, to pursue Trayvon Martin, he launched a series of events that led to Martin’s death. Therefore, he should have been convicted of manslaughter. In any case, I believe that all the anger we feel against the verdict needs to be channelled against Stand Your Ground laws and against the NRA actions that make them possible to exist.
McConnell Filibustered: Under the leadership of Harry Reid, Democrats scored a big win over the GOP on the issue of Presidential nominations this week. Seven nominations that have been blocked by the Republicans will be finally presented for a vote. But the sweetest aspect of the victory was the total neutralization of Mitch McConnell who did not succeed in getting a single one of his demands, thanks to the intervention of John McCain (yes, he still does the right thing once in a while). If only Democrats would get this tough more often. If only Republicans would compromise more in turn.
Obama Cares, Damn It!: NPR is reporting that the White House can’t seem to get their messaging right on Obamacare. Well this has been happening for years. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if many of the law’s provisions are popular but the law itself isn’t, there’s something wrong in the message delivery. From the very beginning, they should have appropriated the name Obamacare. From the very beginning they should have said, Obamacare? That’s Right, Obama Cares!
Note: Original Publication Date: 7-19-13. Publication date has been changed exclusively for display purposes.