A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003 :::
Johnny and John...1 Simple Reason to Hate 8 Simple Rules...Women's Soccer, RIP...

There's One Big Difference. A Mind That Suits was sitting in his usual pool hall the other day when one of the other bright regulars announced he had a "what's wrong with this picture" moment. The Washington Post Style section had run two huge appreciations of Johnny Cash, next to which was a straight new story on how ABC (I think it is) was struggling to decide what to do with John Ritter's TV show following that star's sudden death.

Now, the one thing about Mr. Ritter's passing is that it was so shocking, whereas Johnny Cash's hardly was. Ol' Johnny got off the drugs long ago, but they took their toll, and he apparently never once thought of exercising or cutting down on what he ate. He was gigantic in every sense. Mr. Ritter had no known history of such behavior and obviously lived a healthy life.

As it happens, A Mind That Suits has a young doctor friend who has written a superlative book on going through med school, a book which should do for med school what One L did for law school and Scott Turow's writing career. It opens with just such a heart problem. Apparently, your aortal artery can get clogged without giving you any outward symptoms: no shortness of breath, no chest pains, no nothing. And then suddenly it ruptures, and you die. This is one reason you need to have regular heart check-ups once you get older, and the young Mr. Ritter was well into middle age at 54. A very sad business.

But John Ritter deserves the same press coverage as Johnny Cash? John Ritter, it must be admitted, was not even really that great. He had an appealing personality that could be stuck in endless situations for comic effect, but his delivery was always exactly the same, and tended toward mugging. John Ritter was likable. Johnny Cash was epochal.

A Mind That Suits is happy to report that the few people at a bar on Monday night all looked at my bright friend as if he were crazy.

Another Wretched Commedy Continues. ABC has announced that it will continue with 8 Simple Rules,the TV show that had returned John Ritter to stardom. This is a wise decision, and it may redeem what was simply another blot on the landscape. A Mind That Suits watched it exactly once, long enough to determine that it was yet another assault on men. You know, these days, the women are all wise, and the father is either abusive or hapless. Mr. Ritter's character was, of course, hapless, because Mr. Ritter was always the same.

As it happens, A Mind That Suits knows a number of young men who have simply checked out of life, and one reason commonly given by people who have studied them is that they are told early on that they are simply supernumerary, remoras riding along on the whale of female greatness. This is most emphatically NOT the reverse of what girls used to get told. The traditional role for women is challenging, demanding, and, from what most women say, endlessly fulfilling. Boys don't have that option. A Mind That Suits knows a number of families that have been ruined by female sin and kept together by masculine strength, just as he knows plenty of families ruined by male sin and kept together by female strength. It would be nice if half the TV shows allowed that women were human, and showed men doing something constructive.

Now, without Mr. Ritter, of course the wife's character is going to be even stronger. But at least the situation will be interesting, and allow all of the characters to deepen. The near universal testimony of people who go through something like this is that boys have to become men a lot faster. It would be nice if the producers decided that there were some virtues in men, and let the son's character explore them. Since they had no use for John Ritter's father except as a comic foil, that may be expecting too much of them.

Speaking of the Women. It is with some sadness that one notes the passing of the WUSA female soccer league. But it also worth noting that all the female leagues are suffering financially, due to simple lack of interest.

There is a fundamental failure in the organization of such things, of course. WNBA players, for instance, play with a smaller ball, but they should also play on a smaller court. Same with women's tennis, and women's soccer. Women are forever forced to go to a power game because they can barely cover the playing field. This makes the sports much less interesting. Golf makes that allowance, and the LPGA is doing pretty well, at last report, though the entire golf tour is suffering from bloated purses.

But at least all the gassing off about how women's sports are coming of age will at least lessen. A Mind That Suits knows one young man who epitomizes the distinctly young male problem of excess energy. One term, he decided to forego sports, and his grades started to plummet, prompting a conference between A Mind That Suits and the young man's father, and a conspiracy to force him back on to some team. He never made that mistake again, but A Mind That Suits never shot pool with said young man without asking, 'What are you doing to dissipate all that excess energy?"

The point being that this young man went to an excellent but hopelessly trendy prep school, and did not know one simple fact, memorably stated when Chrissie Evert simply ripped the mask off the whole gender-equity scam. "The 250th seed on the men's tour could beat any woman on the tour," she said. My young friend was mystified at the notion that even the Williams sisters probably pose no threat to a man, having failed to notice how exhausted they look after 3 sets. And this from the mouth of a young man who could not have been more masculine, without even trying to be.

This does bring to mind a conversation with another teenage son of some other friends. As a teacher, A Mind That Suits knows that most kids hate summer, because it is boring. And so he asked one high school junior if he had gotten bored yet, two short weeks after school was out. "I'm so bored, I was reduced to watching the WNBA." Ouch.

A Mind That Suits will be interested to see how many casual readers of this blog will interpret today's blog as anti-female, when a simple scan will tell anyone that it is quite even-handed. As most casual readers continue to find their way here because they used a search engine looking for "Joe Don Rooney naked" or some such, he entertains some hope that they will admit that men have some virtues.

In Mr. Rooney's case, those particular virtues cannot be found on this website. Search engines make interesting connections, as in the persistent visits from people looking for "mermaid tail swimming suits." The only time those words have appeared in that order on this blog is in saying that you can't find them here.

Have a good one.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 11:00 AM



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