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The Potato Salad Incident

Today's blog post was supposed to be about potato salad.  I had written some early drafts about this Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a better potato salad that had contributions upwards of $20,000.  I had a little trouble finding an angle on this post because I'd recently written a blog about Kickstarter and crowd funding in general (http://jrhask.blogspot.com/2014/05/kicksts.html).  I understand that this current campaign involving a better potato salad may have started out as a joke (which I applaud the kid for), but why have people continued to donate?  Is it partly because they want to be part of something hip and trendy? (Yes)  Aren't there better ways to contribute money, say five dollars to the Veterans or ten dollars to cancer research? (Of course)  Sure, at this point the kid that started the campaign will be using the money to feed the homeless, but that is far from the issue at hand.  I wanted to make a statement on the downfall of society and how the lack of individuality has become the new hip and trendy thing to do.  This entire blog could have turned into a 20 page dissertation on the fall of the American Empire.

Instead, I was distracted by the World Cup yet again and the magnificent game that was being played.  In the span of twenty five minutes, the Germans scored five goals against Brazil and the route was on.  The great Brazilian massacre of 2014 or "O grande massacre brasileiro de 2014" as Google translate tells me they say in Portuguese.  Not since my days of youth soccer had I seen anything like this in soccer.  Brazil was shell shocked and Germany looks like nothing can stop them now.  America losing only 1-0 to Germany should be considered a victory at this point.  I was fascinated by this game and could not look away from the train wreck.  In those first forty-five minutes of soccer I'd forgotten all about potato salad.

Maybe that's wherein the problem lies.  With the beauty of the internet and technology, people will have forgotten about this potato salad campaign and moved onto the next fascinating  story of the world.  Or in the case of this potato salad fiasco, the ridiculous nature of today's society.  I mean, does anyone remember the missing plane from Malaysia?  Some people do, but it hardly is mentioned in the American news anymore.  I mean, come on, they lost a plane!  Are people not interested anymore in how they lost a plane of this size?  Even a week ago, America had a sudden infatuation with soccer.  Now, many of those same fans probably couldn't even tell you what teams were playing in the semi-finals of the World Cup.  (Argentina plays The Netherlands in the other semi-final.)

As it is, there was one other piece of news from yesterday that had me rolling my eyes.  A man is suing Major League Baseball and ESPN for 10 million dollars for emotional distress, having his career derailed, etc., etc., etc.  The man happened to fall asleep during a nationally televised baseball game.  The game's announcers, John Kruk and Dan Shulman, made a few quips about the man, but nothing was disparaging or bullying in any manner (See clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FDrcWTSczs ). End of story?  Nope.  People in society (not everyone) have become overwrought with sensitivity and some have lost the ability to laugh at themselves.  Did people stop coming to see this guy at this job of being a used car salesman (as per reports on the internet) because of ESPN?  No.  If anything, due to society's YouTube/15 minutes of fame obsession, this man might have seen an uptick in sales the next week or two just because people wanted to buy a car from the "sleeping man at baseball game" guy.  I don't have any data to back that up.  It's just a guess.  If anything, this lawsuit can be traced to the person who successfully sued McDonalds because her coffee was hot and she burned herself.  Now, the coffee may have been a little scalding, but usually when I order a hot coffee, I'm pretty damn careful when handling it.  Because, you know, hot coffee is usually hot.

I feel I have covered a lot of ground today.  I wish I had more answers to the questions/problems I've posited here today but I do not.  I believe people should take more responsibility for their actions, give money to charitable organizations, donate that extra dollar to the arts (and not potato salad), laugh at moments of embarrassment, better yourself because of it, be yourself, and never root for Brazil when they play Germany.

Now, if you excuse me, I'm about to try the new recipe for potato salad.  I sure hope it's good.

"To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity."- William Arthur Ward




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