Friday, May 25, 2007

Please Make An Example Of This Guy

St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Josh Hancock was killed in an auto accident on April 29. Sad times all around for the Cardinal franchise, Major League Baseball, and of course the friends and family. Further investigation revelaed that Hancock was intoxicated when he smashed into a staionary tow truck and broken down vehicle on I-64, and he died almost instantly.

There's more - from the story on
Authorities said the 29-year pitcher had a blood content of nearly twice
the legal limit for alcohol in his system when he crashed into the back of the
tow truck. He was also speeding, using a cell phone and wasn't wearing a seat
belt, Police Chief Joe Mokwa said after the accident. Marijuana also was found
in the SUV.

What is the relevance of this post, then? Seems like a pretty clear cut case of one person being completely responsible for the actions which led directly to his death, right?

Wrong. His dad is suing just about everyone in sight.

I don't know what's more disturbing: the fact that such an obviously frivolous lawsuit would even be presented, or the fact that Mr. Hancock seemingly cannot accept the fact that his son did some pretty stupid things which ended up killing him. Seems that Josh was a pretty habitual drinker, which is by no means uncommon for someone his age. It's likely that he could pound down several drinks and not appear drunk - yet the suit names the restaurant (ironically owned by Cardinal broadcaster Mike Shannon) as liable for feeding him booze. Plus, he had weed in the car, was using a cell phone at the time of the crash, and wasn't wearing a seatbelt - all items that are clearly the reponsibilty of the driver.

Dean Hancock's suit also names the tow truck company, since the truck didn't so a good job of avoiding being drilled by Josh's car, apparently. It is unclear whether God has been named for making it dark at the time of the accident.

I can understand being distraught over losing a child - there is no greater tragedy than a parent outliving any of his or her offspring. This, however, is one of the most egregious examples of how screwed up our legal system is. This wouldn't go forward at all unless there were lawyers willing to present it, knowing that if they throw enough things at the wall something will eventually stick. Doesn't personal responsibilty mean anything to anyone? Josh Hancock was completely and totally resposible for his own death. Who is to say that if he didn't crash into the tow truck he wouldn't have hit something else?

It's going to take a judicial system willing to penalize lawyers who specialize in garbage lawsuits like this before this practice goes away once and for all. It's high time a judge stood up and made an example out of someone who would have the audacity to bring a lawsuit like this.

Let's start with this guy.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I Don't Get It

Welcome to a new recurring feature, called simply "I Don't Get It" It's pretty self explanatory, though it could almost be subtitled "Get off my lawn you goddamned kids!", particularly this entry.

Guys who wear wool caps when it's 75 degrees outside. I don't get it. While typing this in a public coffee shop, I saw a guy walk in, about 30-ish. Since it's about 75 outside, he's got a T-Shirt and jeans on. So far, so good....except for the wool winter hat.

Is it fashionable? Maybe. If it was 1996, and you were 14.

Comfortable? I don't see how. The guy's head must be hot as hell. does it smell in there? My God, it must be awful once that knit cap finally comes off your head. Is it worth the alleged cool factor to smell like the inside of a gym sock? Ladies, help out here, do you find this sexy in any way?

By the same token, I see many of these same guys wearing shorts and tee shirts when it's 40.

They must be weather proof somehow. That is the only rational explanation.

Now, get the hell off my lawn!

Friday, May 11, 2007

24 Circles The Drain

It pains me to say this, but it looks as if 24 has finally jumped the shark. (On a separate note, has "jumped the shark" now jumped the shark as well?)

The Fox show has never been more popular, and before you accuse me of going off on one of those "the show was awesome when only a few of us cool people watched, but now that the masses are hip to it it sucks" elitist rants, hear me out. Let's go through this point by point:

1. Real time no longer
The original gimmick on the show was a unique one - the entire season took place in real time. It didn't take long for that to be ignored, to the point now where every single location in Los Angeles is roughly 10 minutes away from CTU. Unless CTU Headquarters is on some sort of floating base, this makes no sense. Not to mention how hair doesn't get mussed, facial hair doesn't sprout, and painful injuries seem to heal quickly without the benefit of medication. I don't know about you, but if someone put a 10 inch drill into my freaking shoulder, I don't think I'd be well enough to go back to work for at least a week.

2. Recycled plot points
CTU is compromised, again. Someone wants to take out the President via the 25th amendment....again. Someone wants to kill the President, again. Another CTU employee with a speaking role is shockingly killed....again. You get the idea.

3. LA - Center of Doom
Since the show is based mostly in LA, the vast majority of terror activity is centered there. This way, Jack Bauer and company are always 10 minutes away from locating and stopping said terror.

4. Hanging plot points
Former President Logan is suddenly shoehorned back into the story, as is his crazy wife Martha and ex-Secret Service agent Aaron Pierce. Within two episodes, after stretching the plot enough to make it so Martha has to stop being batshit crazy long enough to talk to the Soviet first lady, which in turn will prevent an international incident (don't ask), Martha goes off the rails and stabs her ex-husband in the chest. As the clock ticks down to close out the hour, Charles is in the ambulance, crashing, and utters a plaintive "Maaaarthaaa..." as he flatlines. This has never been mentioned since, even in a passing manner, by any character, which makes it seems as if the entire thing was dropped in afterwards for pure shock value. Now, there are still three "hours" left, but by now if anyone brings up the Logan's it will be a clumsy attempt to tie up the numerous loose ends.

The whole thing has been very sloppy, and it is at the point now where most viewers can see things coming a mile away (who didn't call Gradenko's arm being chopped off the minute they placed a tracking device in it?) Word is the producers plan on blowing up the format for season seven, and not a moment too soon. Speculation is perhaps the show will span a 24 day period, which at least opens up some possibilities for the characters to travel.

Please, Fox, rescue this show!