Is the steroid scandal good for baseball?

Note: This article was published on the Huffington Post on July 24th, 2013

Every time I hear news about the steroid scandal’s impact on the game of Major League Baseball I cringe. I don’t know why, but even after all of the revelations I still find it shocking. Call me a purist. The latest news involves Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun who was suspended for the remainder of this season for his violation of the league’s drug policy. This action clearly demonstrates that the league is not going to turn the other cheek, and is getting serious about cracking down on the steroid issue that has plagued the game for the past decade or so.

Allegedly, from what’s being reported, Braun cut a deal with the league to attempt to preserve his career. According to USA Today, the suspension will reportedly cost him about $3.85 million dollars in income this season. The suspension will be for 65 games. Baseball wanted more than 50 games for his ‘first-time’ violation of their drug policy because his actions went beyond simple abuse. It appears the league wasn’t too pleased with Braun’s conduct amidst the scandal. Braun had initially stated that the league’s drug collector was out to get him.

After hearing, and reading, all of this news, I wonder what the ripple effect of Braun’s actions will be. How have his performance-enhanced-accomplishments tainted the game? How many games have been impacted by his swing of the bat? Should he have been the National League Rookie of the Year in 2007? Should he have been the NL Most Valuable Player in 2011?

Many people believe that Braun should be punished for throwing the drug collector under the bus. They say that his lies raise questions about his character. They also say that his future as a professional ball player should be in question. These are probably valid points worthy of being explored and examined further.

As for those people who love the game this has got to be a dark day. I know that this isn’t a new issue, but it’s still a developing story. For me personally, I have had a love of the game since my father took me to see my first ballgame at Fenway Park when I was a young boy. My passion for it led me to attempt to pursue a career in the sport. I pitched a no-hitter in high school, played college ball and was fortunate enough to be scouted by the Major Leagues. But, never during my time playing the game did I ever think that steroids were a part of it. In fact, I thought PEDs were just used by weight lifters and some football players. So I was blindsided when I first learned of the drug’s use in the sport was of epidemic proportions.

On a side note, I ponder the fate of the players who were passed over in the minors, or even at the high school level, in favor of the sexy ballplayer who looked like a freak and was juicing. I saw many great players who never made it to the show. Might they have made it to the majors if the playing field was level? Did they end up like Crash Davis in Bull Durham because they weren’t juicing? If that’s the case, then this issue is even more tragic than we ever imagined.

In January it was reported by the Miami New Times that the league’s marquee player Alex Rodriguez was linked to the Biogenesis Clinic. Then in April of 2013 the New York Times published a story that A-Rod had purchased documents from Biogenesis. Two months later, the league announced that it would be investigating the matter and suspending players linked to the clinic and guilty of taking PEDs. Baseball has significant evidence in the Biogenesis scandal against numerous players.

The baseball purists will say that this has been a long time coming. They will say that the day of reckoning has come for the abusers. So, getting back to my original question; is all of this good for the game of baseball? Only time will tell if the game can recover to rise above this devastating scar on its landscape. As Walt Whitman once said, “I see great things in baseball. It’s our game – the American game.”

Comments { 0 }

Love is elusive

Love is elusive. Or, should I say, love can be elusive. I’m not speaking of love for a family member or friend. I’m talking about romantic love. I’m talking about the rare, coveted experience that two people are fortunate to share. I’m talking about deep, spiritual love that takes your breath away.

I started to ruminate over the subject of love while developing a concept for a new story which I intend to write. Of course, in exploring the subject of love, I’m referencing and including my own personal experiences with it during my life. And, although this is my own perception, I feel like it’s a universal perspective.

I believe that love can be like a rare, exotic butterfly. It’s beautiful and alluring yet not easy to capture or obtain. The essence of it is a mystery.  It entices, confounds and frustrates us. Even when we catch it, become involved with it and wrestle with its complexities we’re still aware of its indefinable impermanence.

Love. The mere mention of the word piques our attention. What is love? What is it about it that attracts us to it, and sometimes repels us at the same time? It’s impossible. It’s intangible. It’s beautiful and brilliant and puzzling.

We try to reach out and grasp love, but it slips through our hands. We try to love each other the best we can, but like a distressed fabric we come apart at the seams. There is nothing to hold onto to allow it to exist past its inherent expiration date. The transparency of its inevitable demise is ever present in our lives, threatening to win in the end and make us face our fragile mortality.

Yet, aware of its intricacy, we bravely march on, ignoring its betrayal in hopes that we can capture it in its purest form. We dance with it, sing along with it, embrace it, and masquerade as infallible beings with it, in order to attempt to possess it.  We are noble and courageous souls on a solitary journey to obtain the unattainable.

Sure we may have our precious little time with it. We may have great experiences that last much longer than expected.  We may have surprised it, and grasped it in our hands. And we may have had more than our fair share of it. But what we might not realize, whether we’ve been fortunate enough to indulge in it or not, is that it’s literally beyond our reach. We may fail to understand that its beauty can simply be found in its enigmatic elusiveness.

The feeling of elusiveness I believe is best illustrated in one of my favorite novels, “The Great Gatsby”. If you saw the movie you might remember the image of Robert Redford’s character Jay Gatsby reaching out for the green light on Daisy’s dock across the harbor from where he lived. The author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, wrote, “He (Gatsby) had come such a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close he could hardly fail to grasp it. But what he did not know was that it was already behind him, somewhere in the vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.”

In the movie “Moonstruck”, Nicholas Cage (Ronny) tells his love interest Cher (Loretta) what he thinks about love. The following edited dialogue is from when they’re standing outside of Ronny’s apartment in the cold and snow…

Ronny

“Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is and I didn’t know this either. But love don’t make things nice, it ruins everything, it breaks your heart, it makes things a mess. We’re not here to make things perfect. Snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. We are here to ruin ourselves and break our hearts and love the wrong people and die! The storybooks are bullshit. Come upstairs with me! Don’t try to live your life out to somebody else’s idea of sweet happiness. Come upstairs with me and get in my bed! Come on! (pleading) Come on…”

That kind of says it all, don’t you think? Beautiful…

 

Comments { 0 }

Why Did Aaron Hernandez Fumble It All Away?

“When All the Laughter Died in Sorrow,” an autobiographical book written by troubled Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lance Rentzel in 1972, seems like the perfect title for the story of former Patriots football star Aaron Hernandez.

The daily news that keeps unfolding regarding Hernandez has led me to ponder his sudden and precipitous fall from grace. How does a guy who seemingly had it all; good looks, charm, charisma, talent, a star tight end in the NFL, receiving passes thrown by Tom Brady, a huge contract, and family, decide to embrace the dark side and flush it all down the toilet? I’m flabbergasted by how a person in his position could act in such an irrational manner to jeopardize the dream life that he had built for himself.

I’ve racked my brain trying to figure out why. I also know that this kind of thing has happened many times before. I know that O.J. Simpson’s presumed actions in Brentwood, California in 1994 bear a similarity. I know that former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth was found guilty of conspiring to murder the woman who was carrying his child in 1999. It’s just hard, knowing about these past crimes, to comprehend the rationale behind someone following suit, ignoring good fortune and allegedly committing cold-blooded murder.

Does this man truly know what he has done? Does he know that he had it all and just fumbled it all away? Did he know, before his alleged poor judgment, how lucky he was? Did he know that he had been handed the key to the kingdom and rudely threw it away? I’m assuming that he will probably be found guilty and spend a long time in jail, although the possibility of his lawyers working miracles, to dare I say, have him acquitted, has crossed my mind. I mean, stranger things have happened, right?

I know that there are star athletes who have made the mistake of falling in with a bad group of people. For whatever reason they would rather socialize with the wrongdoers than mix with a better brand of people. They’re use to a certain way of life and can’t abandon it no matter the level of their success. They become victims of past associations, unable to leave their old street life behind. So, instead of doing something beneficial, or productive with their lives, they end up being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or become an accomplice to some sort of illegal activity.

However, you can’t apply this type of scenario to the Hernandez situation. From most accounts reported by the Boston media it appears that Hernandez wasn’t the victim of being pulled or lured into a bad situation. He ostensibly invited it. He apparently was the bad person. He was the one who purportedly orchestrated the execution of Odin Lloyd in North Attleboro, Massachusetts on June 17th.

This clearly didn’t jive with the public persona of Hernandez, who looked like a well-mannered, nice, fun-loving guy. People around the team knew him as a polite, likable and courteous guy who was accommodating to the news media and fans. That’s why when news of Hernandez’s possible culpability in the murder of Lloyd came to light it was such a big surprise.  In a flash, a seemingly decent man with a promising, bright future became an alleged violent criminal right before our eyes. The gridiron god was now being painted as a villain, a murderer, a sociopath. And, just like that, as a bewildered Robert Kraft stated at a news conference, “We were all duped.”

It was fascinating watching the image of Hernandez transform into one of a monster as evidence began surfacing of his unscrupulous behavior. There were photos of him dressed like a gang-banger while proudly wielding a firearm. But nothing beats the image of a defiant looking Hernandez being led from his house in handcuffs with a white T-shirt haphazardly draped over his arms and torso.

Of course, the media, doing its due diligence, wondered why the Patriots organization didn’t properly vet the player before signing him to such a high-priced contract. There was news that other NFL teams took Hernandez off of their 2010 draft boards because of his questionable background. But who can fault the Patriots for taking a gamble on such a talented player with the 133th pick in the fourth round whose only real negative trait seemed to be that he smoked a little weed?

Last week the Patriots let fans swap their Hernandez jerseys. According to Will Brinson of CBSSports.com, 1,200 Hernandez jerseys were returned, costing the Patriots $250,000. The team plans to destroy the jerseys by grinding them up so they can donate the material for recycling purposes. When I heard about this I felt like Hernandez-the-player had been extinguished, erased from existence.

All of this brings me back to my original question: Why would someone like Aaron Hernandez allegedly commit a violent crime and throw his great career and life away? I’m sure we’ll probably never know the answer. And, that is all so terribly puzzling, sad and tragic.

Comments { 0 }

Find diversity in your writing

A few months ago I had the distinct privilege and pleasure of speaking about the subject of writing (and politics) with Professor Caroline Heldman’s Elections and Campaign class at Occidental College. While I clearly expected the discussion to be centered around politics, especially the campaign process, I didn’t expect that the students would have such an interest in the art of writing. They peppered me with questions about the craft of writing during and after my presentation. It was a real gratifying experience for me, interacting with such eager and passionate minds. I was extremely pleased to see that these college students were interested in the art of writing and how they might utilize the written word to express themselves and do something productive and positive with their lives.

Professor Heldman’s class is focused on being an agent of change in the world, and how everyone can make a difference with the choices that they make. It is refreshing to see that a teacher like Professor Heldman is educating college minds about the potential of being an advocate for social change and a combatant against injustice in the world. She understands that a sea change can develop and evolve when a single individual decides to improve the world by being an agent for change. It doesn’t matter what the cause is, as long as it is aimed at fighting inequality and social injustice. At the very least one’s interests should be geared toward trying to make the world a better place.

This brings me to the subject of diversity in writing. I think as a writer you should strive for variety in the subject matter of your writing. It doesn’t matter what your interests are, as long as you have some to write about. If you’re a political, creative and business minded individual like me then you will appreciate this discussion. I started out writing short stories when I was younger from pure imagination. As I grew older I started to understand the value of writing about something of substance. I think that happened to me when I began working in the broadcast news business.

Find value in writing about different subjects. Believe me everything you learn will serve to inform, or educate you, making you a much more evolved writer.

Recently, I contributed some movie news articles to Examiner.com. You can find them here.

Comments { 0 }

Kraft gave me Super Bowl Ring too!

Cash, Kraft & BLING

In light of the recent news that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin allegedly took Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl ring I thought I’d share my own Kraft/Ring story with you. It involves my encounter with the Patriots owner in Las Vegas some years ago. See, I met Kraft at the Stardust hotel after seeing Don Rickles’ show. It was seemingly the unlikeliest of introductions with the affable, extremely hospitable Patriots owner.

To provide some back-story, and context, I was in Vegas for a friend’s bachelor party. The best man was John Stamos, so the weekend was his creation, and had the feeling of an episode straight out of the hit TV series Entourage. It was a good time, filled with gambling, drinking and clubbing. Maybe looking back on it now, I should have been expecting the unexpected, like meeting Mr. Kraft. In fact, the weekend turned into my ultimate Patriots experience. I’ll explain….

As part of our scheduled entertainment, Stamos arranged for us to go see Don Rickles’ comedy act at the Stardust. It was a great show. Rickles was on his game and hilarious. At the conclusion of the show, Rickles addressed the audience, thanking certain notable individuals for coming. And, to my complete surprise one of the people he thanked was Robert Kraft, who was there with his wife, Myra. In fact, Kraft was seated in the booth right next to ours. All of my friends knew that I was a Patriots fanatic, and nudged me to go say hello. However, as I started toward Kraft, I was informed that we were heading backstage so that Stamos could say hello, and introduce us to Rickles.

A few minutes later, while we waited outside Rickles’ dressing room, Kraft arrived with Myra in tow. So, of course I approached him. I told him I was from Massachusetts and a big fan of the team. He and his wife were very nice. The Krafts and I spoke for a minute, mostly about the team. Then Mr. Kraft told me that he had to go visit Don Rickles in his dressing room and would speak with me later. I thought he was politely giving me the brush off and I would never see him again.

A short time later, we were ushered into Rickles’ dressing room. We went through the pleasantries with Rickles. We took a few pictures. Rickles was very accommodating. Moments later, Kraft approached me, holding out his fisted hand. At the time, I didn’t even know that Kraft was still in Rickles’ dressing room. Kraft was grinning proudly as he held out his hand. I didn’t know what to do. So, I opened my hand. That was when he gently deposited his shiny Super Bowl ring into my hand. BLING!!!!! My jaw dropped. Wow!

I stared at the ring in utter disbelief. When I came to my senses, I slid the ring onto my finger. My friends snapped pictures. One of them is included in this blog. The ring is an awesome piece of artwork. It was heavy, big and really shiny. Can you say “BLING”!!! My friends and I stood there admiring its luster. After our curiosity subsided, I looked around for Kraft, but he had completely disappeared. I think he had stepped away to chat with someone. But I had no idea where he was. So, I just stood there wearing the Patriots’ owner’s Super Bowl ring. It was pretty cool. Then it struck me… Had Kraft gifted me the ring? Did he want it back? I was secretly hoping that he didn’t want it back. I mean he was gone, and the ‘BLING’ was in my possession. I asked my friends if I was supposed to keep it. They didn’t know. They joked that Kraft had gifted me the ring. I wanted to believe it. And, so, there I stood, perplexed by Kraft’s extremely generous gesture. I mean, just trying the ring on was a really cool experience.

Unfortunately, ( I say unfortunately because I secretly hoped as anyone would that I was being gifted the ring.) Kraft finally reappeared and retrieved his ring. No. I wasn’t going to pull a Putin and keep it. I was happy for my fifteen minutes with his prized possession. Btw, it fit my finger really nicely. :)  After some more conversation about the Patriots, Mr. Kraft and I parted ways. I thanked him for letting me try on his ring. We shook hands, and he smiled, and disappeared with his wife into the night.

You would have thought that this would have been the highlight of my evening, right? Guess what? Not even close. A few hours later, we went to the club Tao at the Venetian, and that’s where I met Tom Brady. That’s right. I met Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady. Actually, he introduced himself to me. Crazy, right? I know. It was like some Patriots fantasy come to life. I not only got to wear the Super Bowl ring, but I got to meet the man who was the architect behind winning that esteemed ring. What prompted Brady to say hello to me? Apparently, someone in our party had learned that Kraft and Brady were in a private room in the club and notified them of my fanaticism for the team.

Meeting Brady was like something out of a daydream. I was standing at our private area near the dance floor and Brady appeared out of the artificial fog, stuck out his hand and said hello. It totally caught me off guard. I think I was practically speechless. My friends were in shock as well. There we were… Brady and me chatting by the dance floor. At least I think we were chatting, because I felt like I was at a loss for words. I was so off kilter that I forget to ask someone to take a picture. Brady and I spoke for several minutes. I told him that I had met Kraft, and got to wear the ring. Then Brady politely excused himself, turned around, took a step and literally disappeared back into the fog.

So that’s my Patriots story. It was quite a night, and quite an experience. It’s certainly an experience that I will never forget.

Comments { 4 }

The Great Gatsby

great_gatsby

Writer/Director Baz Luhrmann’s captivating rendition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby takes you on a ride and never let’s go. It is quite simply a beautiful cinematic picture. I saw it in 3D and the story just popped off of the screen right into my lap. While I prefer the 1974 Robert Redford version written by Francis Ford Coppola, which was filmed in Newport, Rhode Island, this latest incarnation was very well done. A small caveat is that Luhrmann’s adaptation is slightly more style over substance. What the picture lacks in story narrative it most capably makes up for with dazzling cinematography by Simon Duggan. It is a vibrant, brilliantly photographed portrayal, yet highly stylized version of Fitzgerald’s 1925 masterpiece.

While this isn’t necessarily a negative and I thoroughly enjoyed the picture, I thought that Luhrmann was a little heavy handed with his stylistic approach. You sometimes forget the main thrust of this romantic love story because you’re so caught up by the vivid colors and non-stop action bursting and exploding all over the screen. However this also serves to keep the picture from being weighed down by the heavy dramatic moments. After all this is a serious tale about hope, love and loss. Yet, this is a dangerous pitfall that Luhrmann sidesteps masterfully. His practically perfect pacing and attention to detail is superb, right down to the iconic 1920′s costumes altered from the Prada and Miu Miu fashion archives.

Some of my favorite moments were the accurate depiction of the period; the flamboyant Jazz Age, fancy cars, lavish parties, elaborate costumes, ornate and extravagant estates and bleak looking undeveloped geography. Luhrmann does an adequate job of luring us into the story and taking us back in time. That being said I also felt that the Special Effects and CGI made the real ‘imaginary’ world melt away at times and transform into a surreal plastic landscape rendering it as artificial and unbelievable. The original picture kept its drama anchored and rooted within a genuine and realistic context which made the story seem more authentic.

All of the actors seemed to hit their marks with credible and well crafted performances.   Leonardo DiCaprio stepped nicely into Jay Gatsby’s shoes, bringing a compelling intensity to the role. Tobey Maguire was also very good as Nick Carraway. Carey Mulligan brought a subtle sensitivity and was perfectly suited for the Daisy Buchanan role. And I thought that Joel Edgerton had a scene stealing turn as the arrogant Tom Buchanan.

I highly recommend Luhrmann’s Gatsby. It is an entertaining dramatic thrill ride worthy of the price of admission, even in its steeper priced 3D version. I think that Fitzgerald would have enjoyed this adaptation. I would suggest seeing this in the theater rather than waiting for it to come to DVD, PPV or cable. The scope and breadth of this period piece is well worth seeing on the big screen. You can find Baz Luhrmann’s narrated ‘Anatomy of a Scene’ here.

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures.

Comments { 0 }

Do You Love Your Smartphone?

Galaxy S4 vs. iPhone 5

Who doesn’t love their smartphone, right? Although, did you know that 9% of all Americans don’t even own a cell-phone. Hard to believe, huh? But it’s
true, according to a Pew Research Center survey. I write about that new survey, as well as other tech/gadget devices as a contributing writer to Examiner.com. If you’re into learning a few things about technology, and the tech world, then feel free to check out the following articles I’ve written:

You can learn more about the top dogs in the smartphone arena, where I pit the Samsung Galaxy S4 against the iPhone 5.

And, if you’re looking for a good, long-life battery case for your smartphone see my article on the mophie.

 

Comments { 0 }

Black List Script Has Hollywood Buzzing

The Hilary Clinton story has come to Hollywood. The project entitled “Rodham” is currently in development. My good friend, manager and producer, Richard Arlook is producing under his banner, The Arlook Group, in association with producers, Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, and their Temple Hill Entertainment.

When Richard Arlook told me over the holidays that he was going to be the shepherd behind the movie I was surprised. I wasn’t even aware that the project was on Hollywood’s radar. I’ve been in the film business long enough to know that some of the best projects are carefully concealed, kept under tight wraps as the players jockey for position in securing film rights while hammering out contractual issues regarding the picture. That seems to be the reason why a lot of film projects seemingly emerge from obscurity. They’re suddenly announced in the trades as if they were just packaged and delivered to the media at a moment’s notice.

If you work in the film business you know that this is far from the truth. The reality is that it takes many years to get a project into development, preproduction, and then production. I have learned from my time in the business that it takes several years to produce a feature film. The consensus among industry professionals is that it takes a long time to get a film in the can. The expression ‘film-in-the-can’ means that you have gone through all of the necessary steps; from securing the film rights to the scripted material, known as the intellectual property, to developing the script, to attaching talent, to financing and physical production of the picture.

During the development, preproduction, and sometimes even the production process many things can go wrong setting the filmmakers back, and putting the project very much in jeopardy. For those people living outside of Hollywood’s film industry, who don’t understand the nuts and bolts of the movie business, this reality can be hard to comprehend. I’ve often heard industry outsiders say, “How hard can it be to make a movie? You just get a camera, and start shooting.” I chuckle under my breath when I hear these kinds of remarks. Unfortunately, it’s a business, albeit the film business, so it’s not quite that simple, as I’ve mentioned above in this post.

So, when Richard Arlook told me news of the project was in the trades I spent some time on Google reading about it. I learned that the project was written by a South Korean newcomer named Young Il Kim, whose “Rodham” script was number 4 on Hollywood’s Black List in 2012. The Black List is an annual poll of approximately 300 film executives. Some of the past films that have made the Black List were “The Social Network,” “Juno” and “The King’s Speech”. The premise for Kim’s “Rodham” script involves a fresh faced 20-something Hillary Clinton as she’s trying to decide between her Washington career and boyfriend, Bill Clinton, during the days of the Watergate scandal. Director James Ponsoldt, who directed the Sundance hit, “The Spectacular Now,” will direct the picture. The producers are currently seeking to cast the role of Hilary Clinton before approaching the studios for a deal. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for more news regarding the project.

Comments { 0 }

Back to My Theater Roots

News flash… I’ve gone back to my roots and have written a full length, two-act stage play called “Deep.” Writing the piece, which is a family drama about marital strife, has caused me to become sentimental about my career in the theater. Outside of working on my new play, I’m not sure of the reason for this sentimentality; I just know that I’ve always loved the theater. The love affair began when I saw plays at an early age. Some were local school theater productions which had me on the edge of my seat. Others were full-fledged, big budget shows in large, notable venues, and on Broadway.

When I was a young boy, around eight years old, I would sometimes coerce my parents into assembling in the living room in our house to watch a haphazard skit that I had thrown together with my two brothers. They were terrible, ill-conceived sketches that had no meaning or structure, and rarely told a coherent story. More often than not they dissolved into mere folly, with my brothers and I rolling around like wild animals on the floor. My parents were troopers for enduring those listless productions.

It’s funny how at a young age I had already been bitten by the directing and storytelling bug. At summer camp a few years later, I wrote, produced and directed a skit in a sketch contest. The play was a parody of the camps’ officials, counselors, and campers. I remember the laughter from the audience. Although I’ve never considered myself a comedy writer per se, I guess the skit was funny, and good enough to win first place in the contest. The reward was a pizza and ice cream party in the mess hall. Ah… the simple pleasures in life.

In college I acted in an assortment of theatrical productions; everything from West Side Story to some original works. Subsequently, I spent several years in New York City, where I wrote, directed, produced and acted in a Theatre Row company. Taking residence on famed 42nd Street, I spent most of time, playing in the Nat Horne and Samuel Beckett theaters. I even had the distinct privilege of work shopping some productions in the notable Playwrights Horizons space. I also performed in numerous venues in Manhattan that didn’t even have a name, but were home to some pretty interesting architecture.

As a resident of the LoveCreek Theatre Company I thoroughly enjoyed exploring and creating original works. The theatre company was a strong proponent of fostering and nurturing original work. In a short period of time we would conceive a production, and stage it with very little rehearsal. It was fun watching the shows evolve and grow on the stage performance by performance. And, the best part was being a part of the process every step of the way. I can distinctly remember that building the sets in the theater were like an event. If you didn’t have anything to do you would congregate at the theater to pitch in. It was a good time.

So, while I prepare to introduce my new play, “Deep,” with a staged reading set for Thursday, May 30th at 7:30pm at the Elephant Theatre, I’m guilty of some reflection about my theater roots. I love the process of conceiving an original work, and watching it come to life before your eyes. I began my career in the broadcasting news business, so I know what it means to tell a good story. I guess we’ll see next Thursday if I succeeded with my latest endeavor. The reading is free, so feel free to check it out. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Comments { 0 }

#BostonStrong

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing this past Monday I’m left wondering why such senseless tragedies occur. I’m also confounded by how a single decision can have a profound impact on someone’s life. And I’m amazed by the resilient spirit and resolute character of a community which banded together to lift the human spirit to admirable heights.

If you missed seeing the graphic video of the tragic explosion at the finish line on Boylston Street, here it is courtesy of a Boston Globe reporter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myfivKMhqyg

Why did this tragedy happen? This is the question that so many people have asked in the aftermath. It is the question that has been bandied about between me and my family and friends ever since. Why would these two young men, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, commit such a horrendous act? I’m quite sure we will never know the good reason, or get good answers as to why these men decided to do what they did. By the way, for the morbidly curious, there is a grisly and gruesome death photo of Tamerlan Tsarnaev which has been circulated on the internet.

I learned in the news that the younger suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, had been attending my alma mater, the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. In fact, the day after the tragic bombings occurred he was reportedly back at school in Dartmouth (which is my hometown), going through his normal routine, attending classes, and parties. He seemed to be going about his life as if nothing had happened, and incredibly weighing in on the matter by Tweeting about it on Twitter:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/this-might-be-djohar-tsarnaevs-actual-twitter-account

As for me, since I’m a native of Massachusetts, and consider Boston my hometown, I have a special connection to, and affinity for, the setting where this tragedy occurred. Over the telephone, or via email, or messaging, various family and friends recounted their close calls, or horrific tales to me. One friend of mine lives a few blocks from the finish line. Fortunately, she did not attend this tragic event. Another friend told me how her daughter, and her friends, had attended the Red Sox game at Fenway Park, and after considering going to the finish line to cheer the runners on, chose not to at the last minute, the decision possibly saving their lives.

I watched and read various news stories about the heroic efforts of the law enforcement community who acted admirably.  I also followed the extraordinary and brave story of Watertown native Dave Henneberry, who stepped outside of his house for a cigarette and what he encountered seemingly defied explanation. He found injured bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding in his boat:  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/watertown-man-finds-bomber-holed-boat-article-1.1322387

I was also touched by the heartfelt ceremonies of tribute that followed the event. One ceremony in particular practically moved me to tears. It occurred at the Boston Bruins game two days after the bombings, where the crowd joined together to sing the national anthem loudly, emotionally, and in unison. You can find the emotional ceremony here at the following YouTube link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TXPgMmzveo

After pondering what occurred in Boston this past week I have come to believe that no matter how unspeakable the horror, the tragedy, that has been perpetrated on society, on humanity, that good does prevail over evil.

I noticed while creating, writing, this blog that I could not escape using the word tragic, or tragedy, numerous times throughout its composition. I apologize for the redundancy in my writing, but not for the accuracy of its reporting.

This blog is written in memory of an 8-year-old boy named Martin Richards, who had been waiting at the finish line to give his father a hug. This is also written in tribute to all of the innocent souls who were injured, or lost their lives, as a result of this tragedy.

#BostonStrong

Comments { 0 }