It’s a New Year and I’ve got some new questions:
• When the economy is roaring along (as we’ve been told), why would the stock market go down? It’s never been a secret that I prefer real science and math to economics.
In physics, if I drop a ball, it's always going to fall toward the center of the Earth. In economics, the ball might go left or right or it might hover in midair. I seriously don't understand and this isn't a shot at the Liar-in-Chief (who likes to take credit when the market goes up but is strangely silent when it plummets). If we've got record-low unemployment, high productivity, a tax cut, and America as the largest oil-producing country in the world, why would the stock market lose 5.6 percent of its value and have its worst year since the Great Recession? Any reasonable explanation would be greatly appreciated.
• Why would the University of Arizona women's basketball team play the music of an admitted woman beater during timeouts?
This one drives me crazy. UA Coach Adia Barnes has the women's team rolling. There's a chance they might even crack the national Top 25 this year. Fans are starting to notice and crowds are starting to show up to the games. So I took my high-school girls basketball team to a game. The Cats are winning big, All-Everything guard Aari McDonald is putting on a show, and the Friday-night crowd is into it.
NAU calls a time out and what comes blaring through the PA system but a song by convicted woman beater Chris Brown. I absolutely couldn't believe it. There are more than 30 million songs on Spotify and a women's basketball team with a largely female audience is playing the music of a remorseless piece of crap who severely beat a woman and then used his money to dodge any punishment.
What bothers me the most is that I have this discussion with my girls all the damn time. When you coach at a small school, the road games are really ROAD games, with some if the opposing schools three or more hours' drives away. Music gets played and I'm pretty easygoing about it. However, there are rules. I'd rather not hear repeated use of the N-word. (I can't be a hypocrite because I listened to Curtis Mayfield use that word on the "Superfly" album nearly 50 years ago.) Absolutely no slang terms for female or male anatomy. I don't want to hear anything that's demeaning to women and nothing by R. Kelly or Chris Brown.
That last one is a real sticking point. Apparently the top 20 songs in the country this week are Ariana Grande's really cool "Thank U, Next," followed by 19 variations on the theme of "smack that b—-." I don't want to hear it and they shouldn't want to hear it, and yet they do. It's like the Chris Rock comedy bit/social commentary about going to the club and seeing women dancing to songs with incredibly distasteful lyrics about violence towards women. When Rock asks a woman how she can dance to something so demeaning, the woman responds, "He's not talking about me."
Well yes, he is.
Now I can't tell black people how they should feel about racism nor women how they should feel about sexism. But I can make sure that kids don't listen to that stuff when they're under my supervision.
It's 2019, 100 years since women got the right to vote. (Congress passed it in 1919 and it was ratified in 1920). We have a record number of women in Congress and the MeToo and Time's Up movements are shining a cleansing light in some very dark corners. What I don't understand is how people can claim to be against violence toward women and then make exceptions. "I hate all abusers of women...unless they can sing." It doesn't make sense.
C'mon, UA women basketballers. You can listen to that butthole on your own time, but when you're in McKale, you're serving as role models for a whole lot of young girls who look up to you and maybe even want to be you. Next time there's a TV timeout and they need a song to play, find one of the other 29 million-plus songs that don't glorify violence toward women.
• Do Trump-supporting Republicans who tout his "accomplishments" lament what could have been?
You have both houses of Congress and the White House and all you get in two years is a tax cut for the rich and the gutting of environmental regulations? Do these people realize that they could have gotten so much more with just a generic Republican in office? Heck, they could have gotten more with an empty chair in the White House. And it could have been done without splitting the country in two and stamping the Republican Party with the stigmas of racism and complicity with criminality.
• How long will it take the average UA football fan to get over last year's crushing loss to Arizona State?
I think about it at least once a day and I kick the dirt every time. And yes, just like that poor kicker (whose fault it was not), the dirt goes wide right.
• Is Regina Romero actually going to be mayor of Tucson?
Lord help us.