Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, March 6, 2019

  • Ah, the Lenten season. Some of you may remember that year I decided to give up blogging for Lent. You may recall not only did I stop blogging, but I also went so far as to take the entire website down.
  • DaughterGeeding got a new set of braces yesterday and chose the green version. Her sole reason, so she doesn’t have to wear any green clothing on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • BoyGeeding is a first-grader. Nine weeks ago he had a reading assessment and scored on the second-grade reading level, which isn’t bad. He was assessed again last week and his teacher was impressed at his improvement, he’s scored above a fourth-grade reading level.
  • I’m sure most folks would think that the Star-Spangled Banner has been our national anthem for over a hundred years, but you’d be wrong. It only became the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover. I also bet most folks aren’t aware it has four stanzas and that we only sing the first stanza, which I always found odd. It’s not that I don’t like the song, just odd that we only to choose a part of it. We celebrate and honor our country by only singing a quarter of the anthem. Some folks prefer America the Beautiful and wished it was our anthem. Only recently, I found out that song has more than one stanza as well.
  • The colors are very off-putting – Heinz releases new mayo-hybrid condiments: Maymust and Mayocue
  • Newsweek – Texas Judge Publicly Warned After Telling Jurors God Told Him Defendant Was Innocent
  • That new Micheal Jackson documentary is in the news. I only watched about 15-minutes of it. Other than emotional testimony and graphic descriptions of the accusations, I’m not aware of any new evidence and don’t understand why many think this is the documentary which will tarnish his legacy to the point of no return. I’m not defending the man. I’m not saying he didn’t do anything illegal and grotesque. I simply don’t understand what new evidence or facts make this documentary more credible than everything else we’ve already heard, whether it’s true or false.
  • Who sings the best version of I’ll Fly Away? I’m going to say either Johnny Cash or the Soggy Bottom Boys. I’m not partial to the Steve Goodman version, but like what he says about it, “This is the song that proves you don’t have to know very much about Jesus to like spirituals.”
  • Coming later this month from a company named August, a new battery-powered smart doorbell with a 1440p camera.
  • People Define Their Age in One Word | 0-100
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7 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, March 6, 2019

  1. barry says:

    In regard to the Leaving Neverland documentary, it’s not a this side says this, the other side says that kind-of-thing in an attempt to present who has the most evidence. That question really gets left behind early on because of the weight of Wade Robson’s and James Safechuck’s experiences. It’s an incredible delving into child abuse – the lengths the perpetrators go in order to do it and the incredible, incredible lifelong impact it has on its victims. The only new “evidence” is that instead of seeing the summary of court room testimony, you’re able to literally step into the experiences of these two gentlemen. Even the Oprah 1-hr follow-up was excellent.

    I think one of the more excellent points that Dan Reed (the director of the documentary) made was in response to the charge that he didn’t give the Jackson Camp a chance to respond – he didn’t interview them. To that, Dan Reed said this: there is no dispute that Michael Jackson spent countless nights with children in his bed. Michael Jackson, himself, admitted that during his life. Parents of many children testify to that, and, of course, many children testify that they’ve spent the night in Michael Jackson’s bed. No one has denied that. In regard to the experiences of Robson and Safechuck, no one else was ever in the room with them and Michael Jackson. So, Dan Reed has extensively interviewed two of the people (each individually) who were in that room. The Jackson camp can say he was a good guy; he helped people all over the world; he loved kids – but none of them were in that bedroom. The other guy that was in the room is dead. So, Dan Reed is presenting the stories two eyewitnesses have to tell. And they were not compensated for being a part of the documentary. Oh, and Safechuck has rings he showed at some point during the documentary that were bought for him by Jackson (no longer fit him because they were sized for the child that he was), one of which was a wedding ring because they had a little ceremony between themselves. Which was just one of countless facts I didn’t know.

    I used to believe that Jackson was just a bit different. That he really did love children in the true sense of the word and wouldn’t have ever abused them. But as more evidence mounted over the years, I fell away from that position. The documentary lifts the veil altogether. I highly, highly recommend it and the Oprah 1-hr follow-up.

    • Geeding says:

      “barry”, I really appreciate you taking the time to break this MJ thing down and clarifying there’s no new “evidence”. That helps me with my thought process. I know the man was never found guilty by the courts, yet I feel like he’s guilty and got away with it, and that’s an injustice. I’m embarrassed to admit that I still don’t understand, and I guess I’m doing this from a logical perspective, how this documentary may change the tide. Maybe I have to watch the documentary in full as well as the Oprah interview. But I’m afraid even after doing so, I’ll still be left relying on the testimony of two men (who I understand were interviewed separately) telling their version from childhood memories. I have doubts about how accurate their stories may be, as there were times I remembered a childhood event one way but an adult told me it occurred differently. I’m afraid I’m coming across as insensitive and not an advocate of victims of sexual assault. Perhaps the documentary provides some accounts witnessed by adults which adds validity to their story and I need to see that, to rule out they are doing this for attention and/or their childhood memories are accurate. That sounds like it would be hard to do because I heard they were the only ones with him behind literal closed doors. Everyone is emotional about this (at least the guys on The Ticket) and I’m frustrated that I’m not, I think I should be, and I think something isn’t clicking with me but clicking with everyone else. I also can’t rule out that I’m simply an insensitive idiot.

      • barry says:

        Thanks very much for that response, Keith. 🙂 on the insensitive idiot thing – I love humility (and humor) which are partners.

        The documentary allowed me to immerse emotionally and intellectually into understanding the perspective of child abuse victims to the extent that’s possible. I cried during the Oprah follow-up — her entire audience was child abuse victims. Hearing and seeing Anthony Edwards (fame from ER cast) and ex-Philly linebacker, Al Chesley, put themselves on display as fellow child abuse victims melted my heart.

        And Oprah is really the only one in the world who could do the follow-up. Being a victim of child abuse herself, she has credibility to present the “anti-Jackson” side in a way no other person does. And she wasn’t “easy” on Safechuck or Robson. In fact, some of her questions came off as insensitive to me.

        But, it is a 4-hr documentary and a 1-hr Oprah show. That’s a HUGE time investment – especially for someone with a young family. So, feel free to blow-it-off… the things that are for you to invest in will come your way!

  2. JayF says:

    Excellent question of whose version of I’ll fly away is better. Alan Jackson does a pretty good job as well.

    People will always defend Michael Jackson, he was (is) the King of Pop. Your damn right I think he is guilty and was a pedophile. I can’t stand the guy. A lot of his songs are still hits and people love him, but personally I can’t get past the things he did to young boys. Nobody should be able to get past that! Corby on the Ticket, had a good point…”The evidence is overwhelming, as soon as one radio station takes a stand and says, we aren’t playing his music anymore, other stations will do the same”. Will they? I doubt it, but they should.

  3. Ben W. says:

    CBS Sunday Morning had an interesting story on documentaries (linked above), spurred in part by the Finding Neverland documentary. It asked the question, in part, “Are documentaries supposed to be ‘truthful’ and ‘fair’ and give both sides a voice?” Ultimately, I think that answer is “no.” A documentary tells a story – from whatever perspective it chooses. It is then up to the viewer to decide what to do with that information. They can do more investigation and see what the other side’s story is, or they can walk away. But documentarians are not journalists – there should be no underlying goal of reaching an objective truth.

    The problem we are facing, though, is that people are increasingly unable to use logic and reasoning to differentiate between objective truth and subjective bias. It’s the reason why “fake news” is a thing, and why certain segments of the population (particularly those over 50) are practically incapable of identifying what an objective fact is, and how to test what they see/hear to determine if it’s factual or “factual.” Compounding that issue is the fact that cable news has a horrendous practice of creating false equivalency by setting up panels of “experts” to debate things like climate change, where the “liberal” side is represented by an actual scientist and the “conservative” side is represented by a former governor or member of congress who has no scientific background but is an ardent denier of climate change. But they sit there, one on each side of the host, and the viewer gets subtly tricked into thinking, “Oh, these two are the same.”

    I’ll finish with a great Isaac Asimov quote on the subject:
    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

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