And One More Thing…

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As a life-long Dodger fan, I’d like to add my voice to the many people, columnists, broadcasters and concerned citizens alike who have commented on the vicious beating of a man (who has become brain-damaged) at Dodger Stadium by gangbangers or gangbanger wannabes. Things really need to change at Dodger Stadium; and it’s not about the beer — it’s the whole experience. What used to be a peaceful day at the ballpark in times past, has become an assault to the senses that has little to do with baseball and is more like a rave party with its loud, thumping noises, flashing graphics and kiss cam/dance cam: encouragement to the audience to “act up.” You can’t really blame the ushers for not confronting the thugs, after all; who wants to be killed? But this element needs to be kept out of the ballpark or normal families will stay away in droves.

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A couple of columns ago, I wrote of how “fashion” has divided our culture by making everything “fashionable.” Much more than clothing, all aspects of our lives are driven by what is “in” or “hot” at any given time. Even the food we eat has become a fashion statement. A case in point is a recent article in the food section of the paper entitled, “The Year of the Pie: Could the Reign of the Cupcake Be Waning at Last?”

A decade or two ago, the “in” dessert were cookies. Suddenly, cookie shops like Mrs. Field’s sprouted up all over the place. Then it was cinnamon buns, after that came muffins and muffin tops, then cupcakes and now we’re told it’s all about pie. Now as for me, I don’t care: I’ll go on eating whatever dessert I jolly well want to eat. But lots of people will follow the trend simply because it is fashionable.

So all those cupcake shops will soon go under and soon we’ll be seeing new pie shops opening in every mall from coast to coast. I don’t feel sorry for the cupcake shop proprietors, however; those who live by fashion, die by fashion. What I don’t get is why so many are willing to go along with the trendy dessert. Are there really so many people who are so insecure that they can’t even make up their own minds what dessert they like without being told by the “in” crowd?

Sadly no one will believe me now, but pie has always been my favorite kind of pastry well before it became the “in” thing to eat. As a matter of fact, I devoted an entire column to it a year or two ago. But now I’m tempted to avoid eating pie just out of spite. I’d like to find a dessert that is so “out of it” that nobody will be eating it except me. Apple pan dowdy might work.

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“Show me your friends, I’ll tell you who you are.” That was one of my mother’s favorite expressions and it usually tends to be a pretty good barometer of how a person thinks and who he admires. That is why it always gave me pause when Obama was running for president and it came out that two of his close associates in Chicago were ‘60s radicals Bernadette Dohrn and Bill Ayers, the Weather Underground terrorists. Then it came out that Obama’s “mentor” (his own words) and pastor for over 20 years was the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who spewed black liberation and America-hating rhetoric from his pulpit on a weekly basis.

Well guess what? Two unrelated stories have come out this week about a couple of other “friends of Obama.” According to The Associated Press, one of Obama’s close friends in Honolulu has been arrested on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute. He was arrested as part of a sting operation with four other men.

This guy, Robert “Bobby” Titcomb, has been a pal of Mr. O’s for many years going back to their school days. Obama and “Bobby” regularly play golf and basketball and go to the beach and dine together when the president returns to Hawaii on his vacations. The Obama family has also attended barbecues at the Titcomb’s home and spent time together over the last Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

And then we have a personal letter from a major head of state sent to Obama just this week wishing him good luck in his bid for re-election next year. Oh, did I mention that the head of state is Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi? That’s weird; I thought we were at war with him, you know, trying to get him ousted from power? I thought he was an enemy. Hmmm. I wonder if Roosevelt ever got a letter from Hitler wishing him good luck.

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