Wrapping Up The Week That Was

Between my battle with the flu and my longer-than-expected look back at the Buster Douglas-Mike Tyson fight from 1990, there wasn’t a lot of time this week for much else — but that’s what Fridays are for, right?

— My thoughts this week will be brief, as I have a wake to attend to tonight and the funeral tomorrow of one of my uncles who passed away yesterday.   This uncle was the husband of my aunt who had passed away almost a year ago exactly (I talked about it then here and here), and he’s going to be missed greatly by us all.

I’ve attended far too many funerals lately — such is the case when you’re one of the younger members of a very large family — and as I usually do at these times, I question my own place in the world and wonder about my own mortality.  As always, the lesson for me is to live every day as if it’s my last and with no regrets — and hope I make the world a little better place at the end of that day than it was when it started.  My late uncle certainly did that, and we were all better for having had him in our lives as a result.

— The big news story from yesterday was the suicide attack of  Texas man Joseph Stack,  in which he flew a small plane into the Echelon building in Austin, home to almost 200 IRS employees.  Stark had apparently had problems with the IRS over the years, and the attack — which so far has taken only the life of Stack himself — appears to have been directed at them.

Obviously, no matter what Stack’s problems might have been — whether real or imagined — his course of action was reprehensible.  I noticed that his rambling “manifesto” — a six-page letter detailing all of his grievances — was being posted in its entirety on a number of news web sites, including MSN’s, as of yesterday.  My question is a simple one — why?  Even if there’s a kernel of truth in anything he said, why would any news organization give a platform to a terrorist (and that’s exactly what Stack’s action makes him)?  In doing so, all these news organizations are doing is adding fuel to the fire of the next person to try something similar, comfortable they will be in the knowledge that a violent act at innocents will result in their “message” gaining a widespread, national audience.  Better for such messages to be tossed into the fire where they belong instead.

— Today’s other big news was the press conference by Tiger Woods — and if someone can tell me what the point was supposed to be behind it, I’d sure like to know.  Woods doesn’t owe anyone an apology for his actions — except for his wife and family — and maybe his sponsors.  His behavior was certainly reprehensible enough, but he didn’t say anything today that anyone in the public eye needed to hear — or that surprised anyone in the slightest (if he had come out today and said instead, “Screw it — I’m rich and famous and plan on getting as much tail as I can in the future” — then it would have been noteworthy).

Today’s press conference — with no questions allowed — was a sham and little more than a carefully, crafted public statement.  The only thing that might have been of interest to the sporting world would have been if Woods had announced a upcoming return to the Tour.  Instead we got a whole lot of nothing — and a waste of time for anyone who bothered watching.

— That’s it for my abbreviated take — I’ll be back on Monday.  Enjoy the upcoming weekend.

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