Tuesday, January 12, 2010

No Heroes Please

I was never a great listener to Talk Radio.

I like music. End of story.

Since leaving the world of Talk Radio, I have listened to almost zero minutes.

I like music.

But, of late, if I am in the car in the morning, I will tune in to The Jim Rome Show or Dan Patrick in the early afternoon.

Last night coming home from dinner at a restaurant, I heard someone else's show. I am sorry but I don't know the fellow's name. He was very good at engaging with callers.

The subject, of course, was the amazing (both of my forked tongues are in all of my cheeks) revelation from Mark McGwire that he set his Major League Baseball records while on...yes, shocking, I know...steroids. AAArrgggghhhhhh.

Yes, Mark. We are all blown away by this confession.

So, a caller calls up the radio show and he does this monologue about heroes.

What is he going to do about his six-year old daughter and her apparent God-given need and right to have heroes?

What, indeed, knucklehead from Tallahassee, Florida.

This conundrum brings to mind the old therapy saw that "we are trying to stop thinking of ourselves in terms of being the giant of our dreams or the monster of our nightmares."

Believing that your six-year old needs or will find heroes in professional sport is as much "stinkin' thinkin'" as embracing the tooth fairy and heroin.

What about you, Dad?

Might you consider being your child's hero? If, in fact, he or she needs one?

Of perhaps you might consider raising your child such that he or she becomes his or her own hero?

Or lives without the fantastical notion of heroes.

Below is a song by Marvin Gaye.

Marvin Gaye's teenage wife says that in their last years together - before he was shot and killed by his own father - that she and Marvin were "seriously addicted to drugs and alcohol."

There is no question that Gaye was a seriously gifted and fascinating man and musician.

Those who knew him well still feel the crush of love and disappointment that came with Gaye's descent into personal and public hell. They still care deeply about this man because of all the good that he brought with him.

But he was entirely a human being...good, bad and all things in between.


I don't think so.

Mark Sluggo McGwire? He of the Popeye arms? Bad choice.


We can all learn from Tiger's fierce determination and above all preparation for his golf game. Apply that focus to almost any activity and you should be the better.

Well, almost any activity.


Who am I to speak? Hardly the Father of the Year in any year.

But I say this.

Raise your kids to notice the world around them.

To appreciate and cherish so many things.

To be appalled by the appalling.

To laugh and to disagree and to find their own ways.

Be your own best version of a mother or father as often as you can remember to be.

NBA stars with guns. Rapper with guns. Singers, actors, football players on coke...

Get serious.

Because a guy can tackle another guy and send him to the hospital is hardly reason for your kid to call this one-note johnny a hero.

The paradigm needs some serious shifting.

The Costs of Learning

A friend has asked me to comment on the Harper government's cutting off funding for the Canadian Council on Learning.

I told him that I was yet qualified to offer an opinion because I didn't really have a good clear picture of what the CCL did to earn its $85 Million start-up grant.

Today, the Globe & Mail editorial tries to answer this question.

While I don't know that they've covered all the bases here, I tend to agreeing with their take on the matter.

Do you know anything about the CCL? Has it earned its keep? Will it?

The Title Alone is Worth the Price of Admission