Well, with 24 hours
passing by, I can look back and say my favorite time of year is now
over. Yes, I like the NFL, but I live for the weekends (Thursday
games are stupid) when the Seahawks are on the field. The game in
Atlanta left a whole slew of "what if" scenarios. What if the
Seahawks took a field goal on either failed 4th and shorts in the
first half? What if Chancellor was covering Gonzalez in the final
Atlanta pass? What if Lynch didn't fumble? What if the bad calls
didn't happen? What if the kicker was not iced? What if Seattle won
one more game and then would have been the 2 seed with home field?
There are a ton of these.
I think the only "what
if" I am caring about right now is a bit simpler; What if next
season grows from this season? If Seattle has Lynch healthy (his
foot looked like it was bothering him and taking a step from his
game yesterday), Russell Wilson continues to mature, Seattle has its
secondary as strong (maybe one new safety), and if Golden Tate and
Sidney Rice continue to develop, then next season will be a hell of
a great ride. Seattle does need some help with the O-line. Maybe
they can draft someone like Mac Strong or Hutchinson who can open
some routes for Lynch. Imagine how tough Lynch would be with a
little extra blocking help. Yeah, Seattle just needs to continue how
they ended the season, and add one or two pieces, and this will be a
team to fear on all fronts.
In fact, I would not be
surprised to see the Rams also develop what they were finding at the
end of the season and the playoffs next season having three NFC West
teams. In the span of a couple years, the nickname NFC Worst has
become nothing but a faint memory. Yeah, the Cards will continue to
flounder for a couple seasons (they need a completely new team, with
the exception of one highly underutilized Fitzgerald), bare minimum.
However, the Ram are looking like a 6 seed, and the 49ers and
Seahawks look like some powerful number 1 and number 5 seed teams.
Which is which? Depends on the unknowns, like injuries. Either way,
one is getting a playoff bye week and the other is going to be a
monster of a number 5 seed.
For once, I don't feel
angry about the season ending without a ring. No, I feel excited for
September to come back around. For being a young team with a third
round rookie "short" QB leading the charge, they did more than
anyone, even most optimistic fans, could see coming. I mean Seattle
even came back from a 20-0 1st half blowout yesterday to a final
score of 28-30. Tell me this is not a team to feel excited for.
I suppose it also takes
the sting off of the end of the season when some ass ran over my
mailbox yesterday and left me trying to make a fix in frozen
How to stop violence is
an interesting dilemma in modern America, and the world at large. I
mean there is a lot of thought and a lot of realizations that have
to be reached before one could even begin to tackle the subject at
hand. For example, one would have to look at what societal issues
are in hand that may contribute. Also, the minds of people who
commit acts of violence have to be investigated to find what may
have caused such a problem to arise.
The truth is,
violence is not a simple thing. There is no real easy answer to what
might cause a person to act out, and beyond all, there is never a
one-size-fits-all answer to the cause. One person may have had a
violent upbringing that brought out problems such as post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD). When you have such stresses on you, it may
be harder to find a way to release, in a constructive way, the
angst, rage, and confusion welling up within your head.
On the other hand,
someone may have been brought up in an environment that encouraged
or glorified violence. If you are raised in an environment that says
might-makes-right, then it becomes harder to see that maybe other
solutions to your problems exist than to exert your own will on
others through pure force.
There's also the
issues of mental illnesses. If one has a deep psychological issue,
reality can become a blur and it's then harder to see not only right
from wrong, but also real versus fictitious. If what is inside your
own idea of reality is not in line with the real world, it can be
more than acting in violence; it can be you don't even understand
when you go from the world inside your perception to the world that
we all share.
countless other causes and potential causes for inflicting of
violence and damage upon the world around us. It also can be easy to
point our fingers at what we see causes the problem. However, trying
to finger a single cause is not only futile, it's another form of
inflicting your will on others without their consent. It's a level
of psychological might-makes-right.
This is one of my
large problems when I hear fundamentalists and lawmakers trying to
pull the violent TV or games card on this issue. Just because these
people have a level of power (be it through position in government
or through having a large enough media outlet to get the attention
of others), it doesn't mean you can abuse this power to control
those you consider below you. In the first half of the 20th century,
jazz music was seen as a cause of societal woes. It, supposedly,
made kids more likely to take drugs and have sex, which, in this
poorly conceived idea of reality, in turn caused crimes and
violence. If we look back, we now see jazz as nothing more than one
style of music...not as the root of all social issues. The same
could be said of TV when it first entered into American homes. The
same was even said by some about radio when these magical boxes
brought voices into the American living room.
Of course, the
current target, for the last couple of decades, has been video
games. In particular, violent games. Once again, this seems like
trying to find a one-size-fits-all cause of the worlds ills. It's
silly to think on simple form of media can cause the world to be in
a state of panic and fear. However, that is where the shoe has
landed, for now. If a new form of media came along that was "all the
rage with the kids", it would probably be the object of scorn by
authoritative, be it real or self declared authority, individuals.
Why? Because kids commit the worst violence and kids are the first
to give in to the latest and greatest new fads...or so the illogical
thinking through the issues of what may cause or incite violence, we
have many people telling us that it is violent games. Now, to avoid
thinking things through any further, it's time to magically define
what a violent game is. I mean there are different levels of
violence, right? In Sleeping Dogs, Wei (the protagonist) gets
tortured with a power drill in one scene. Of course, in Doom you
shoot zombie soldiers. In Super Mario Bros you jump on animals, like
turtles, and can throw fireballs at them. So, are all of these
violent games? Where does the line lie, since many people would
argue Mario is not true violence. Maybe cartoon violence, but not
graphic violence. Hence, Mario games tend to get E (for everybody)
ratings from the ESRB.
Maybe the answer is ratings. That is what Representative Diane
Franklin (Missouri) thinks. Hence, she wants to put a tax on all
games rater T, MA, or A. Yeah, that makes sense. As the link
mentions, this makes such a violent title like Guitar Hero finally
get classified as violent like it was always meant to be. Of course,
that would be sarcasm on my behalf. However, it would make Rock Band
violent. It would make Leisure Suit Larry violent in classification.
It would make countless RPGs violent, including a lot of turn based
ones that lack any visuals of violence. It would make any game that
has slight swearing violent in name.
While I cannot
offer a solution to the root of violence in the world, I can offer
some advice. Before you try to act in a psychological violent
method, like forcing your will and ideals on those who have
entrusted you to power, think the problem through. More people play
violent games who don't commit acts of violence than the opposite.
The problem is real, and it's a problem that goes beyond my role in
life to solve. However, if you really want to face this problem with
a true intent of solving or mediating the issue, take the time to be
rational and logical in your approach. Trading physical violence for
emotional or psychological force is not going to solve anything.
Possibly, depending on where all the true causes of violence lie in
this world, it may even cause some. I'm not saying it will
definitely cause violence...but I'm willing to not draw any
conclusions before giving some time to thinking the problems