Top 5 Heroes Of The Week

This week’s Heroes post is an abbreviated version on account of the government shut down. See, not all services are running at full capacity. And that includes yours truly, who is a tad bit under the weather. I didn’t number my top five, since there is no particular order to ’em anyways.

Let’s go weekend!

A bulldog and a steer walk into a bar: College football has never been confused with the Mensa society. It’s a minor league football league where academics are a suggestion, not a prerequisite. Of course, this fact makes it fun as hell to watch. And not simply because of the play on the field.

Prior to Monday night’s Sugar Bowl tilt between Georgia and Texas, a meeting of the mascots was organized. Georgia brought out its mascot Uga while Texas trotted out Bevo. One problem. Uga is an English bulldog and Bevo is a steer. And, oh yeah . . . they’re real.  What in the blessed fuck did the thumbtacks who planned this meeting think this was going to happen? At the very least, put bumpers on those fucking horns! Uga is the only one with sense in this entire episode. She was like Fuck this! Stubs don’t fail me now . . I am outta here! 

Win or Lose, DeAndre Hopkins is a Champion: Fret not, because not all Texans wear wear ten gallon hats to hide their ten cent brains. Take DeAndre Hopkins for example. The Houston Texans star wide receiver is donating his game check to the family of 7 year old Jazmine Barnes, who was killed on Sunday in a random shooting. The donation will help cover funeral expenses as well as assist in the search for the killer. It’s worth noting that for every bad act in professional sports, there are way more good guys like Hopkins.

Super Size This!: Okay, I got turned on by this video just a little bit. But lemme ‘splain. The female in this video defended herself and then some, so all’s well that ended in a TKO. Yasmine James has attitude and game . . how can you NOT dig her?

She best not be fired. Listen, I get it . . the optics aren’t ideal when an employee is laying a beat down on a customer. But the only time I grimaced during this video is when those piping hot french fries fell off the counter. James kicked the shit out of this guy, and guess what? He fucking deserved it.

Man of Steel . . . Umm, No: Trump’s campaign promise for a concrete wall, paid for by Mexico has turned into a steel wall paid for by American taxpayers. He’s claiming the government shutdown is a conspired effort by Democrats to win the White House in 2020. He’s pulling stunts in the White House briefing room. Basically, he sounds just like this guy.

So props to CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins, who refused to play the Mystery Woman from that Blues Brothers flick. All Trump could do was offer a fake response to a real news reporter’s line of questioning. Shocker.

President Tom Kirkman Returns: The show Designated Survivor will be returning for a third season, leaving ABC for Netflix. And what am I doing tucking this four month old story into my Heroes of the week post? Welp, as far as I’m concerned, the government shutdown ends as soon as Kiefer Sutherland strolls into the Oval Office. Trump voters can have their fake President.

I’ll have the real deal.

 

 

 

Top 5 Heroes Of The Week

Christmas week is in full swing, with a new year warming up in the bullpen. Of course, our collective dream home of 2019 is going to be filled with a lot of the same furniture, like . .

  • A partial government shut down thanks to a wall that has absolutely nothing to do with Pink Floyd.
  • Historic stock market rallies that fail to assuage investors, who’ve seen this roller-coaster act plunge off the tracks before.
  • Concern that the Russians have developed a hyper-sonic missile that travels faster than Kim Kardashian’s credit card.
  • The burrito of a federal deficit which stood at $779 billion on October 31st- the end of the fiscal year. Administration officials attribute the seventeen percent spike in one calendar year to fake news, fake fur, fake grass, fake breasts and CNN’s Jim Acosta.
  • Security breaches are the next gen pickpockets, only much more insidious. The good news is that nobody was affected by the K-Mart and Sears breaches since nobody shops there. The bad news is plenty of peeps shop Whole Foods, Saks Fifth Avenue, Best Buy, Under Armour and Forever 21. Those brands are but a few of the more than two dozen that were tapped.

But never mind all that shit, there’s a celebration to be had! Because it’s Friday, and that means I’m doing a Heroes post. And okay . . that’s not really cause for celebration. Anyways, cheers for the weekend!

5- The Andy Griffith Show called . . They want their hokum back- I’ve become dreadfully indifferent when it comes to politicians, seeing as how they’ve transformed the tenets of democracy into a private porn stash. But this Mike Huckabee, he really pisses me off.

Huck went and did it again this week when he blamed the press for bashing Trump’s Christmas Eve phone conversation with a seven year old girl. During the call, Trump asked her if she still believed in Santa Claus “. . . because at seven, it’s marginal . . right?”

The press reported on the Trump exchange, after which social media moved the needle. Huckabee’s disingenuous assertion that the press weaponized the comment is dumber than Cher’s next boyfriend (That’s not a knock on Cher. It’s a knock on mimbos). “You never can find a way that President Trump will make some of the people in the press happy,” He said.

The Foxies and Huck chuckled over how Trump didn’t “boil a bunny” whilst ignoring the fact this wasn’t a navigated conspiracy, it was a democratized response. I can imagine that Huckabee would’ve been calling Obama a Christian bashing progressive for saying the same fucking thing.

4- 200 Yutes Sing Songs of Love –More than 200 youths in Roanoke, Virginia were involved in a brawl as the result of a song that ignited local gang tensions. My first thought: Kids still roller skate?

3- Alex Bregman: Drive Thru King- Bregman is an outfielder for the Houston Astros who went around to fast food joints in the Houston area on Christmas Eve and gave tips to all the workers. Some would say Well sure, he makes a video where he’s Top Hatting his pin money. Big whoop!. But I say Dude could be making it rain in a strip club, but instead he’s penning a Dickens vine. Don’t hate the player, love his game.

2- His Very Own Truman Show- Trump says if he doesn’t get funding for his wall, no deal. He also says federal workers support his decision to furlough their asses if he doesn’t get funding for the world’s longest handball court. He also says Harrison Ford was the second best President ever.

Seeing as how Trump’s ability to appreciate the greater good is smaller than his hands, Chuck Schumer should choreograph an agreement. Enlist fuzzy language assuring Trump that he will receive ‘A Vermilion Dollars For Completion of Wall’. He’ll have no clue that this means monopoly money. Next, arrange a face to face with the United States Superintendent of Walls, Clark Griswold, who will present Trump with a lifetime pass to Wally World. As they dine on KFC, Griswold will present ‘live footage’ of the wall under construction- which, in actuality, will be a scale model built with Lego blocks.

Government shutdown over.

1- Yes Dayami, there is a Santa Claus- A week and a half before Christmas, Randy Heiss of Patagonia, Arizona was out for a hike when he spotted a red balloon strewn across the grass. Upon closer inspection, he found a note attached to the ribbon of the balloon. It was a Christmas wish list for Santa, written in Spanish.

The town of Patagonia is located near the border to Mexico, and eventually Heiss was able to pin down the coordinates of the balloon’s flight pattern to Nogales, Mexico- some twenty miles southwest of his ranch. With help from his wife and an AM radio station in Nogales, they found the author of the wish list: An eight year old girl named Dayami. A meeting was arranged with Heiss and his wife making the forty five minute drive to Nogales to deliver Christmas presents to Dayami and her little sister. Since the little ladies still believe in Santa, the Heisses introduced themselves as his ‘helpers‘.

The Wall could not be reached for comment.

Top 5 Heroes Of The Week

This week’s “Heroes” are a mixed bag of goodies, in keeping with the season. There’s some kitsching, some bitching and a goodbye to a Hollywood legend. All wrapped up in a cute little bow with time to spare before the big guy (Jeff Bezos) arrives.

5- Show Me The (Facebook) Money!- The world’s largest photo album is a guilty pleasure to the tune of more than two billion users worldwide. People love their Facebook, and people love to hate their Facebook. And some people are even willing to quit Facebook, if the price is right.

FB thumb

In a recent study, 1,278 participants said they’d be willing to quit Facebook for a year. But unlike the service they’ve been milking for almost fifteen years, they ain’t gonna do it for free. These straight cash homies optioned out in the hypothetical to the tune of a thousand bucks.

I mean . . really. If you got business on FB, you just chump changed your brand. And if you use the site for the infinite string and tin can symphony it affords family and friends alike, you’re okay with putting a price tag on a priceless commodity? Either way, it’s pretty lame.

4- No . . Not Yo-Yo Ma- City Council meetings have never been confused with cupcake parties. And yet, as contentious as they tend to get, most of ’em are drier than Mitt Romney’s New Years Eve. So thank God for Memphis Council Chairman Berlin Boyd, really. I don’t know his politics, because that’s not why I picked him. I chose Double B because he reminded me that as buttoned down as we want to be . . we all have our moments. Being the snarky fuck that I am, I have no problem with it.

3- If It’s Good Enough For Michael Stipe, I’m Listening- Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors is the first two time news maker on my “Heroes” list. You may remember he made the list originally after replying to nine year old Riley Morrison’s letter about girl’s sneaker sizes. It was sublime.

This latest Curry dig on the moon landing? Silliness.

Recently, Curry made an off the cuff statement about the moon landing being a hoax. The backlash was ridiculous and the all world point guard walked back his comments soon after. This one hits me in all the wrong places, because if Curry was jiving . . why not say so right then and there? And if he was serious about it, why take it back? He’s a got a brand to protect, I get it. But he also has everything he could ever want, and if he truly has questions about the moon landing . . there’s nothing wrong with saying so. I might be wrong, but this feels like a league decision. And for a league as progressive as the NBA, that would be a shame.

2- Who’s Saving Who?- Look at me, being a comic fan boy. I’m so proud of myself! Okay, this has more to do with comeuppance for my son and his pals, who have given me shit since forever about my favorite DC comics character. They say Batman, or Superman and sometimes both. Me? I’m all about Aquaman.

Here’s the thing. I swam as a kid, like, all the time. It’s one of the reasons that my on again/off again relationship with the smokes didn’t slow my athletic endeavors down as an adult. Thank you Aquaman! And here’s hoping the newest addition to the DC movie franchise can give the more heralded Batman and Superman a boost at the box office. Because those two dudes ain’t exactly scaring Marvel as of late. Hell, without Wonder Woman’s help, things would be downright bleak right about now. And while Aquaman’s 68 percent take on Rotten Tomatoes is a far cry from Spider Man’s 97, the flick has some serious upside.

1- The Angels Always Win- When somebody like Penny Marshall leaves us, we’re left with memories and a crater sized void that will never be filled. We become the heirs to all the great many things she accomplished in an extraordinary life. Because there was an equity to her gifts, and she bestowed it upon us with every turn in front of the camera and behind it. It wasn’t the awards or the acclaim we take with us. It was her innate ability to do what only the great ones can. Make us believe.

She was a Bronx born gal whose BFF was Carrie Fisher and I happen to love those two facts every bit as much as the movie whose title actually fits them to a tee- A League of Their Own. One of my favorite lines comes from Tom Hanks, who plays Manager Jimmy Dugan. His catcher Dottie Hinson has decided to quit and go back home to Oregon because, as she puts it, the game “just got too hard,”.

Good thing for us Marshall didn’t quit before her directorial career moved into a different stratosphere with the 1988 motion picture Big; a movie in which she became the first female director to top 100 million at the box office. She was a known commodity who went blockbuster with that one, and she would do it again four years later with League. And oh by the way, the film also happens to reside in the United States National Film Registry. Good thing for us Marshall never gave in to the idea that the Hollywood game just got too hard.

In that 1992 classic about an all female baseball league, Dugan tells Hinson that baseball is supposed to be hard or else everyone would do it.

It’s the hard that makes it great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Five Heroes Of The Week

Reading up on the news is like receiving a personalized greeting card from Nietzsche in that there’s a one hundred percent chance you are gonna be exposed to some truly depressing shit.

Unlike with old Friedrich, most of the news ain’t worth the time spent teasing the abyss of our very souls. Like, I’m trying to be sympathetic to the ‘worst year’ of Ariana Grande’s life . . but she’s like twelve . . so there’ll be better years ahead, okay? And when Trump Jr. says the socialists are gonna have us eating dogs, I feel as if the boy needs to go back to Finishing school. Then there’s the recent survey which reports that seventy seven percent of millennials would give up booze and forty four percent would give up sex for an entire year. In favor of Amazon. Which means that if Ian Dury had been a millennial, he would’ve penned one of the all time most forgettable songs of a generation.

So when the news gives you lemons, tell the news to go fuck itself. Which is what I did this morning when I culled five good feels stories from the dumpster fire of breaking bad news that predominates our frequencies. I am calling it my Top Five Heroes Of The Week. The order I have followed here is for the purpose of dramatic crescendo only, because all of these stories rocked my casba equally so.

That’s the problem with good news, it ain’t need headlines.

5- A Tyler Perry “Lay” Up: Lord knows I have panned this dude countless times for that whole unfunny Madea series of movies. But this thing he did recently, where he paid off more than four hundred and thirty thousand dollars in Christmas layaways? Is the reason for the season. Righteous!

4- The “Advent”ures of The Notorious Q: Her real name is Dale, and her blog, A Dalectable Life, is like a supper table where everyone is invited and the stories are always entertaining. She’s doing a series of Advent posts this month in which she ‘calls out’ a different blogger every day. Yule love it!

3- A Champion Off The Court Too: I figured the only person Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors had to listen to these days is his accountant. Turns out the two time MVP and three time NBA champion also listened to 9 year old Riley Morrison when she wrote to tell him that girls sizes in sneakers do matter. This is a sneaky great story from a really cool cat.

2- Home Is Where His Heart Is: What if you don’t have a big Under Armour deal like Curry? What if you have nothing at all, and you find $17,000 dollars? Kevin Booth answered that question when he found a bag full of cash that was just begging for the homeless thirty two year old to take it. Instead, he handed it over to a volunteer at the food bank he visited. I can’t pun this one, I got nothing.

1- A Lesson In Civility: I wouldn’t have blamed the Bush family for playing keep away with President Trump this week. The passing of their family patriarch, George H.W. Bush, was a time for family and friends; of which Trump is neither. Yes, he’s a sitting President, but he’s also a purveyor of pissed off rants, many of which have been directed at the Bush family.

No matter. Because sometimes, doing the right thing matters more than doing what is understandable and justified. The Bush family provided a much needed lesson in civility to a boss who doesn’t behave like a leader. And while it’s certain the lesson won’t stick with him, it sure does with me. Because sometimes, the best revenge is not wanting revenge at all.

Go in peace, look for the heroes.

Speaking Of . . .

Before we get started, I should warn you, this post is sports heavy. You might want to sit this one out if that’s not your thing. Oh, but wait . . sports isn’t really about sports any longer, I forgot. So umm . . if sports is your thing, you might want to sit this one out. But the video at the end of this post . . you should check it out.

  • Classy move by SNL in paying tribute to George H.W. Bush. It’s ironic how peeps on both sides of the political aisle look upon former Presidents now, with a richer appreciation. Bush wasn’t the most popular of Presidents, but he served with dignity and grace; two elements that have gone missing since 2017.

Anime Illegal

  • Speaking of classless, the Washington Redskins signing of Reuben Foster would apply. Foster was released by the 49ers last week after he was arrested on domestic violence charges, and the Redskins were only too happy to swoop in and sign him. Foster majored in criminal behavior at Alabama and he continued his lawless ways in two seasons with San Francisco. He can play some football, which is all that counts as far as the Redskins are concerned. How sad.
  • And speaking of the Redskins  . . lemme see if I got this straight. Their starting quarterback- Alex Smith- goes out with a season ending injury a couple weeks back and they don’t even put in a phone call to Colin Kaepernick because he questions allegiance to the flag. But . . Reuben Foster, he’s okay because he just beats the shit out of women. Got it.
  • Speaking of men behaving badly, Kareem Hunt was released by the Chiefs after TMZ released a video of Hunt shoving and kicking a woman in Cleveland back in February. In a recent interview, Hunt said he isn’t the type of person to lay his hand on a woman. Son, you did just that, and admitting you were in the wrong and that the Chiefs did the right thing in releasing you is a constructive first step. Admitting you are the type of person who would lay his hand on a woman is the next step. Get help. 
  • And speaking of help, why doesn’t the NFL hire the TMZ peeps to score these videos? The same league that can bring mountains of evidence against Tom Brady for allegedly deflating some footballs, somehow can’t find a fucking video of Hunt hitting a woman? Get Roger Goodell on the phone . . I got some WMD’s in Iraq I wanna sell him. Cheap!

Well Shit

  • And speaking of paper mache bosses, I’m glad the semi-pro Ohio State Buckeyes won’t be attending the College Football playoffs. Maybe all those Buckeyes fans who thought defeating Michigan absolved Coach Meyer of aiding and abetting a wife beater can take that imaginary chip off their shoulders now and grow the hell up.
  • Speaking of imaginary, I know the NCAA couldn’t do it because they have a convoluted methodology to abide by in filling out their final four, but there is no way in hell Georgia ain’t a top four team. In my humble estimation, the Bulldogs are a top two team.
  • Speaking of fantastic beasts and where to find ’em, it seems the probe into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election might finally be coming to an end. What? Somebody found the TMZ video?
  • Speaking of probes, Target Tammy doesn’t take kindly to sex talk of any kind. Methinks the two minute video is the most sex talk Tammy has had in a long time.
  • And speaking of twits, a Rudy Guiliani tweet mistakenly linked to a screen which read “Donald J. Trump is a traitor to our country”. Awkward! And while I don’t take Twitter seriously, I do happen to take the fact that Rudy is morphing into the Penguin very seriously.
  • And speaking of WTF? I’m issuing a cease and desist to Walmart for using the classic song Help Is On Its Way by the Little River Band in its commercials. Yep, they framed this ditty into the come on for their failing grocery app; which has proven to be a shit show because the only thing this schlock house retailer is good at is low prices. Stop fucking with good music, Walmart!

And speaking of good music . . check out Pink doing it up in her best Freddie Mercury. It’s a six minute dose of pure sugar.

 

 

There’s a time for kneeling, and a time for standing up

Nike Ad

I am totally down with the new Nike ad campaign that features former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, even if I’m not sold on the feng shui of this union just yet.

Let’s chill with this idea that Kaepernick is this generation’s Muhammad Ali. This, ain’t that. I’m not talking about what each man risked in their respective protests, because each did result in a loss of employment. No, I’m talking about the dialogue that was culled from it.

Kaepernick is the face of a movement that is still struggling to define itself even now, mostly because you hardly ever hear the man speak. Silence does not a movement grow, and it’s one of the many reasons the anthem protests have stuttered and stalled.

Granted, this isn’t all the young man’s fault. We do live in an age where every particular is dissected and disseminated until its original intent is no longer the conversation. Problem is, his polarizing moments have followed the precepts of Instagram in that they provided optics without saying a word. Wearing socks that depict cops as pigs, sporting a Che Guevara t-shirt and touting the qualities of Fidel Castro makes Kaepernick look like one of those Hollywood fools. It sure as hell doesn’t further a movement that is in dire need of a driver.

All due respect to Kaepernick, but the anthem protests needed an Ali; it needed a voice that wouldn’t shrink under the scrutiny, a presence whose conviction would augment the steep and bumpy road to progress. I realize movements don’t work that way and that to wish for such a thing is to mitigate the organic qualities that make a cause worth fighting for. Rosa Parks didn’t choreograph her bus ride home, after all. She was just tired of the way things were and decided to do something about it.

Kaepernick is the accidental social activist. People forget that in the genesis of these anthem protests, his football career had suffered a downward trajectory. Defensive coordinators had figured him out; his statistics and his team’s record bear this out. Long gone was the shine of that Super Bowl ride he took San Francisco on a few years earlier.

It made his banishment from the league that much easier to justify, because owners could point to the numbers in explaining why he couldn’t latch onto another job after his team cut him loose. This ignores the fact that Kaep was still a better option than a bunch of quarterbacks who were still drawing paychecks from NFL teams. Not to mention the fact that my Miami Dolphins paid Jay Cutler- a quarterback with nothing left in the tank- 10 million dollars to come out of retirement for what amounted to a four month Florida vacation. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that one of Kaepernick’s former teammates and a fellow protester, Eric Reid, is still looking for a job. Reid is a twenty six year old all-pro who just so happens to be in his prime, so I’ll let you connect the dots on that one.

When you do the math, the anthem protests have resulted in jobless brothers and a shitload of rhetoric and double talk from both sides. From President Trump to Serena Williams to the NFL cutting a big check to various social causes as if that makes up for the fact they just don’t get it. Call me a cynic, but that doesn’t feel like progress to me.

The Nike ads speak to us in the language of our times. It’s a glossy meme that basically tells us to pick a side, theirs. It’s a ballsy move by a company that practices its Just Do It preach. Bringing Kaepernick into the fold was provocative, not to mention, good business sense.

Because it’s the bottom line that is driving this, not the company’s social conscience. This is, after all, a company that made its bones on three hundred dollar sneakers made in third world countries for pennies on the dollar. Phil Knight is a brilliant businessman who will never be confused with Mahatma Gandi.

There are going to be plenty of people who slam Kaepernick for getting in bed with a company that doesn’t give a fig about social justice. But not me. I never begrudge a man for making bank, it’s un-American. I simply hope that with this new platform, he is able to grow into the job of social activist. He proved that he’s invested in furthering his brand. Now I want him to use Nike the way they’re intent on using him. Use this spotlight to mobilize, challenge and yes, speak out.

Just do it.

 

Bread and Circuses

We Love Urban

I get it.

The ongoing Urban Meyer investigation is nothing more than a PR campaign. When Ohio State officials issued a statement in which they promised a decision within “fourteen days”, it meant they plan on bringing him back, unless more damning evidence comes out before then.

So of course, a hundred or so clueless individuals showed up for a rally in support of Coach Meyer last Monday. And so I composed a letter to them. To the vast majority of Ohio State peeps who get it, please understand that I bear no ill will to you, your school or your sports programs. This is for the small minority of fools whose priorities should be questioned, not simply by yours truly, but by anyone who knows them.

Dear Ralliers,

I’m writing to you on behalf of all the battered women out there who have more important things to do than post a blog. Important things, like survive. They don’t have time to ask Urban Meyer why he would aid and abet a known abuser over all these years. They don’t have time to ask why you thought it was a good idea to hold a rally for someone like Urban Meyer.

Nut

Thing is, you were probably quick to slam Penn State. Michigan State too. And you were right on both counts, of course. Because the respective administrations of those two schools needed to be held accountable for horrific cover-ups. Problem is, your indignation seems to have been more about conference affiliation- The Lions and Spartans are Big Ten rivals- than about concern for the victims.

Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t expecting much from your small (thankfully) contingent. And yet, you managed to give us so much less anyway. Because wins and conference titles and playoff appearances are what matter most to you. Because you let us know that when you held a rally for a coach who is still employed because he can supply those things to your fan base.

If Urban Meyer was anything less than a great coach, he would’ve been gone by now. You would have been plenty fine with doing the right thing . . in that instance. But in this one, Meyer did wrong, and then he perpetuated that wrong by keeping an abuser on his payroll, and the only reason you’re okay with that is because of his 73-8 record.

What does it say about you . . that you would stand behind a bad guy like Meyer? That you would rally for his job when the facts demand that he be gone? What does it say about you that wins matter more than Courtney Smith’s well being? That wins matter more than the women who are being abused every single day? What does it say about you that, when you had a chance to do the right thing and demand that Meyer be fired immediately, you chose to hide behind his 73-8 record? What does it say about you, that you chose cult behavior over courage and compassion?

Me Too!

You should be ashamed of yourselves. But as that rally you held for Urban Meyer shows us all too well, you have no shame. Because the truth is, you might have been able to make a real difference in the interim. As your school waits it out in the hopes they won’t have to fire Meyer for his transgressions, you could have stayed neutral to the decision while still making a statement of hope and change. Because while an independent panel of investigators that includes three Ohio State trustees conducts its sham investigation, you could have issued a preemptive warning to Meyer’s second act, which seems more likely by the day. You could’ve put Meyer on notice.

You could have gotten together in support of all the women who are abused every single day. You could have gathered to remember all the women who have lost their lives to their abusers. And in so doing, you could have sent a message to this big name coach and his big deal program that by helping one abuser, they do an injustice to all those who are abused.

Because your cowardly rally comprised of weak minded individuals? It was the stuff of lemmings. You trashed journalists for uncovering the truth. You belittled a movement that is trying to move out of the dark ages. You defended a coach who hides behind bible study sessions and plausible denials. And why? You did so in the name of trophies.

I thought you should know that since you held your little rally on Monday? Twelve women have been murdered by their current or former male partners. And by the time this investigation is completed by that other Urban Meyer fan club? Thirty more women will have been murdered by their current or former male partners.

Your football coach is part of the problem, and so are you.