Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Most, Best and Worst

Yes, we do deserve a break from the election, held yesterday, but still not quite concluded, since there are always a handful of ultra-tight races yet to be determined. Here's one little note that helps us put some things in perspective. When Barak Obama, the president-elect's father, and his mother were married in 1961, the law in Virginia, carried by Obama by about 3% in 2008, would not have allowed a marriage between people of different races. That's how far we've come in just one lifetime.
But this week we deserve a little fun. A magazine I used to take, American Heritage, publishes one issue every year now which allows experts on different subjucts to weigh in on over and underrated things in obscure categories like Broadway musicals or luxury liners. No one has any special reason to care about my opinions, but, hey, it's my blog, though people are free to disagree.
Most influential movie character of the past 20 years - the Terminator, although no one has ever explained to me why if, in the future, they can make these perfect cyborg-assassins, why they all speak with a thick German accent.
Worst new sport - I actually think that all those extreme sports guys with the bikes and skateboards are pretty cool. Therefore, I nominate the gory spectacle that goes by the name of mixed martial arts - especially when it's women pounding each other to hamburger. Yuch!
Best singer (white guy) - uh, Frank Sinatra. I think my favorite is "Summer Wind".
Best commercial sign - Not far from here, there was a sign near the top of an enormous lumber mill that said "The Pacific Lumber Company" about a hundred yards long and 20 feet high. Now it's gone, along with the company. Too bad.
The athlete as changer of the world - Take your pick of two Americans, Babe Ruth or Muhammed Ali, both to be admired, but for very different reasons.
Athlete's NAME (just the name, not the person) - There are several nominees - Joe Montana, Golden Richards, Mickey Mantle and the guy whose name describes what a quarterback does, Chuck Long.
Presidential campaign - OK, we're not talking politics today. But am I talking about the greatest RACE? There have been many close ones, OR am I speaking of the greatest campaign run by a single candidate? If it's the latter, then it's Truman in '48, who came from way, WAY down to defeat the hapless Dewey, whose advisors convinced him to stay home and take it easy.
The 21-month marathon just concluded would, I think, put Obama's '08 run in the top three.
Soul singer - Maybe it's not fair to Otis Redding, whose life was cut tragically short, but my vote goes to Marvin Gay. And where does that leave non-rock guy Nat King Cole? In a class by himself.
coolest national flag - Brazil's, which not only uses colors in an unusual way, but shapes as well. Brazil is probably also the coolest country, since we seem to always be or about to be at war.
worst country to live in - probably North Korea, since it's islolated, cold and without some of life's basics. Zimbabwe wouldn't be a picnic either, but at least you wouldn't freeze.
Best place to give an important speech - A building at BYU has been remodeled over the years to now include a kind of miniature lecture hall, fitting in no more than 50 seats. Now, if they'd just let you say something!


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