When trees become flowers and flowers become trees

I am not trying to be amusing here but there are some limits to physical abilities. Flowers can produce nectar and trees can produce nuts. (not all but you get the idea) I’m not talking physical laws of nature here but there is a point where one naturally just sticks with what one knows, or does best. And when they don’t some peculiar things take form.

Not so in the realm of human beings though. We’re more complicated than that. Psychologists will give you a soliloquy about the way humanity works — or reasons for our actions and/or emotions. But those can sometimes dismiss the stupid things people can do on a moments notice that appear to be unwarranted. Oh, we can go on indefinitely with examples of mistakes or misspeaks a person has done. Sometimes ridiculous, often absurd, and sometimes downright horrible. And in many cases, one should just stick to what one knows or does best. I’m not a psychologist, nor is this an attempt to play one.

But there are a few examples worth mention, in case you haven’t gotten my drift so far. One is the racing accident where Kevin Ward was killed by Tony Stewart’s car. Another is comments after the recent suicide of Robin Williams sparked public comment.

First up is the Kevin Ward accident. Everyone knows what happened by now. Then you have an ESPN ‘mic jockey’ making an outrageous analogy of those events with a larger chip he seems to have on his shoulder with Southerners.

“The sport has a unique culture that I’m not part of,” Cowherd concedes. “I’m not a gearhead. I’m not from the South. I’m not an eye-for-an-eye guy…. It’s a Southern delicacy. It doesn’t get ratings anywhere outside the South in the major cities.” — Breitbart

In the second, Gene Simmons of Kiss — rock and roll fame — lays into depression and suicide with his aggressively sharp tongue, without fear of offending anyone. He told listeners that he shared little compassion for their plight to harm themselves:

“For a putz 20-year-old kid to say, ‘I’m depressed. I live in Seattle.’ F–k you, then kill yourself. I never understand, because I always call them on their bluff. I’m the guy who says ‘Jump’ when there’s a guy on top of a building who says, ‘That’s it, I can’t take it anymore. I’m going to jump.’ Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut the f–k up, have some dignity and jump! You’ve got the crowd,” Simmons said. “By the way, you walk up to the same guy on a ledge who threatens to jump and put a gun to his head, ‘I’m going to blow your f—in’ head off.’ He’ll go, ‘Please don’t.’ It’s true. He’s not that insane.”–Rolling Stone

He was roundly and thoroughly rebuked from other rock stars to advocates for mental illnesses. An apology followed but that is not always the chosen prescription.

In rubbernecking the fatal Ward accident, whether speaking as a fan or family member, Ward’s aunt rants on the cause of Kevin’s death.

“Thanks for thinking of our family tony Stewart when you decided to be a d***!,” said Wendi Ward, aunt of driver Kevin Ward Jr., who was fatally struck when he exited his vehicle to confront Stewart during the caution flag of a dirt track sprint car race in upstate New York on Saturday.

Well, blaming Tony may substitute for blaming her nephew, or his actions. Much easier to lambast Stewart for his actions. Colin Cowherd blamed the Southern mentality of “eye for an eye”. (I think the phrase was around long before the South was settled)

But Cowherd’s statement is not a new phenomena, it has become increasingly common from ESPN, or sportscasters in general, to offer their opinions on all kinds of things from unemployment, to Southern philosophy, to Bob Costas’ rant about gun control. To Costas’ comments, Herman Cain tweeted:

“You tune in for a football game and end up listening to Bob Costas spewing sanctimonious dreck. #Terrible”

Amy Kremer said: “So I guess Bob Costas created a firestorm. Should have stuck to football.”

But no, I guess we are human beings, after all, and with that some feel an insatiable desire to venture outside their boundaries of expertise. Though sometimes caution is warranted.

Maybe they do it for ratings or the effects. Maybe it’s intentional, maybe they’re trying to be something they aren’t. Sometimes it seems a habit. Often they excuse it under the guise of widening awareness and public debate. Sometimes they apologize, as Simmons did, and other times they just dig in their heels to further expound on their intellect. I know, maybe if a race car mechanic opines on cross-dressing pseudo-lectuals, it will bring awareness to the problem or issue? Maybe…and maybe it will just make a fool out of himself, too?

The point is that sometimes people should stick to their abilities. No doubt its a phenomena that drives publicists and agents up a wall. And it would probably drive horticulturalists mad if it frequently occured in nurseries and greenhouses.

Sure, some may think I’m engaging in what I’m criticizing. But it is clear some of us should stick to what we know, and avoid reflexive pontifications — tempting as they might be.

What’s that, “want more cowbell” you say? Fine, then lets make it a trifecta.

We have Rob Reiner doing his impersonation of a DNC strategist. The master of political hackery masquerading as a Hollywood celebrity compares the Tea Party and Hamas.

“You look at the Congress right now in the United States. You’ve got a strong Tea Party group controlling the whole country, because they have a gridlock, they have a gridlock stranglehold on [Republican House Speaker John] Boehner. Boehner can’t make a move, and so for that reason, nothing gets brought up in the Congress.

So anytime you’re dealing with an extreme group, you cannot negotiate with them, and the way to do it is to eliminate it. With the Tea Party, you have to go through a political thing; you have to wait till 2020 to redistrict, but, uh, that is really tough stuff.”

Tough stuff? What is “tough stuff” is his twisted comparison. But that shouldn’t matter to the prescient politico, Rob Reiner. He can be forgiven as a Hollywood celeb from making such analogies. In fact, it is now almost as commonplace as sportscasters’ commentary about front-page news events. Sometimes nectar and nuts are just a bad combo.

RightRing | Bullright

12 comments on “When trees become flowers and flowers become trees

  1. peppermintfarm says:

    Excellent post Bull.

    I think these people who are expertise in say sports should leave their comments to experts. We don’t need people like Costa going after guns and we don’t need Simmons going on about suicide. I get pretty angry over people who say dumb things and don’t have a clue about them.

    I guess these are the nuts falling from flowers.

    I’m sick of their stupid remarks that offend so many people. It’s harmful in some ways like on the suicide rant. That one hits me hard. I know more about that subject than Simmons will ever know, but I don’t go around making stupid statements about his rock band because I don’t know a thing about his kind of music.

    It would just be nice if they shut their pie holes up.

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    • Bullright says:

      Pepp, very well said. I guess they see celebrity as a license, that what they say suddenly means something and should be influential . Well that is hogwash, or should be. It should be but so many people give them that license and take their opinions that it does matter. I know the suicide thing does bug people. But his opinion should be meaningless on it too. But sadly, I think we have a generation that does listen to these people on things they don’t know anything about. Now I know Simmons had a main point which was lost in it. And here is the ironic part, he wanted people to pay attention to it because he said it. But then he doesn’t expect, at the same time, that him telling someone “go ahead and do it” will have any influence on them. On one hand they want to be influential, on the other they act as if they have none.

      But I think it is just too much of a temptation. Look at Jesse Ventura being a big mouth but then goes after someone who offended him,

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      • peppermintfarm says:

        Bull, i sometimes think these so called celebs just pop off to get attention on themselves and harm others when they do it. I don’t find it very ethical for them to make ridiculous opinions about things they don’t know about. But we see if all the time. To me it’s sickening.

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        • Bullright says:

          Pepp, I know what you mean, if Simmons wasn’t so emphatic it wouldn’t have been as bad. But it seemed dismissive of real problems of real people. Sure he had a right to say it. I am not politically correct but it lacked any sensitivity.

          Yea I often wonder what the motive is. Or maybe its just self-evident, they want to have something to say about it….and they want to be relevant.Then they criticize someone like Jon Voight who does it with reason and thinks about what he says.

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          • peppermintfarm says:

            Bull, yeah they have the right to say whatever they want, but as you mentioned Jon Voight, he thinks deeply before he presents his opinion. I was particularly offended by Simmons I suppose because it hits so close to home for me. And I know that is not how real suicide happens.

            People who suicide and really mean to do it, don’t announce it and call people to watch them do it. Perhaps Simmons knows people like this, but I have not. Usually a person who suicides hides it, acts like there is nothing wrong, seems happier, because they have already made up their minds that is what they are going to do. They don’t tell people. They enter what is called a suicide trance and never come out of it. Then the suicide happens and everyone is shocked.

            Suicide is the result of someone in so much mental pain they can’t take it anymore. There are no thoughts about anything else, but getting rid of the pain that is intolerable.

            As far as Southerners and what they think or act, that is so biased to be laughable. .Most people who make these kinds of remarks have never met a real Southerner and experienced the kindness and hospitality they have.

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            • Bullright says:

              Pepp, I know it hits. One can criticize addicts or others for making irresponsible choices, but its not the same with this depression. Williams pretty much showed that. But I routinely condemn suicide bomber mentality and terrorists culture of death, but that is completely different. We should too, it deserves mockery. They celebrate death, its an ideology. Where these people are fighting a battle.
              More below

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            • peppermintfarm says:

              Bull,

              Right suicide bombers are a different animal. I can’t imagine raising my child to be a method of death blowing up people. It’s heinous. I condemn it too. I just wish we’d hear more from our so called leaders condemn it.

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  2. Bullright says:

    On background in the RS article, Simmons’ critics took the position that people could be encouraged by what he said and it would lead someone to say, “he’s right I should do it”. I don’t see that as accurate. A person has his mind made up from inside. Whatever factors it wouldn’t be from something he says. He doesn’t seem to understand it any better than his critics. He seems to be taking an agreement position which psychologically may talk them out of it, or make them think and argue against what he is saying. All I know is don’t put Gene Simmons in charge of a suicide hotline.

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