Saturday, November 23, 2013
I am an ardent fan of the cinematic arts. Although I have certain genre preferences, I don’t let that stifle my curiosity and close myself to different flavors of entertainment. That said...I am a huge fan of science fiction, super hero and action movies! Please visit my other blog The Boxed Office for reviews, exclusively, on these types of movies.
Domhnall Gleeson plays Tim, red-haired and eager for a girlfriend, but lacking the skill to make his desire reality. Turning twenty-one and learning the family secret gives him hope that his circumstances will change. Gleeson is excellent in pulling off the awkward, yet sincere, role of a man looking for love and trying to help those he loves. Rachel McAdams plays Tim’s wife Mary, and compliments Gleeson very well. Bill Nighy is excellent as the father passing on the family secret, enjoying life and ultimately personifying a father’s love for his son.
Tim has just turned twenty-one and inherited the family secret. The males in his family have the ability to travel back in time. Of course the revelation of this news from his father is taken quite lightly at first, but Tim soon discovers that it is indeed a serious development.
Tim decides that with his newfound abilities, he will achieve the one desire that has been eluding him…a girlfriend. Unfortunately, he learns fairly quickly that time travel will not make a girl like you. That said, it can be used to make a favorable impression on a girl that is already interested…or at least open to being interested.
After Tim meets Mary, he sets out to win here heart, and seems to have plenty of time to do it. Eventually Mary becomes the girlfriend Tim has always wished to have and as far as dreams go, don’t get much better than when they get married.
Along the way, Tim learns some very important limitations to his power as he tries to help those closest to him when they are in need, and only a quick jaunt through time seems to be the remedy.
As life moves forward, Tim is faced with life situations that even time cannot fix, and learns some of the most important lessons, about love and family, that only living life can teach. What follows is a film that tickles the soul and touches the heart in a profoundly rare way.
This is one of the best films I have ever seen. I know that’s a terrible way to lead off the verdict, as there is no build up…but I want you to see this film as quickly as possible as it was a complete surprise to me that it would be so funny and moving.
The film doesn’t rest its weight on time traveling, but instead uses it as simply a way to advance the story and get its message across. That message is peppered with some very funny scenes and situations that reflect the witty mind of the writer and add a comedic element that perfectly offset some of the more serious parts that inevitably come in a film about living life and dealing with everything it throws at you.
The film also opens up the mind to the possibilities presented to us every day, but in a way that conveys the idea that a “do over” isn’t always what we think it would be, and probably very rarely what we think it should be. Life is unscripted, and the idea that this film can present it otherwise speaks volumes…especially when that presentation reveals and reinforces the fact, that life is unscripted.
I was unsure of this film, but intrigued enough by the time travel aspect to give it a try. Not sure that it would be my cup of tea, I am elated I gave it a shot as it went back in time, and delivered four cinnamon sticks, out of five…and generated a flavor that can only be described as one of the best.
Friday, November 22, 2013
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I view family as the most important establishment today. There is no unit of measure more important to our wealth, health and well being than family. You can’t choose them, but they wouldn’t be that special unit if you could. Where you come from is an important component to where you’re going, and how you’re getting there. Those that turn their back on their past, risk depriving themselves and their future generations access to the sources of the very codes that define who they are. See, family isn’t just those people that congregate in your home with what seems like the sole purpose of consumption (those would be locusts), but it’s also everyone that came before you, having a hand in your production…and everyone that will come after, produced by those same hands plus yours.
I recently had a personal revelation that clearly demonstrated how incredible the human story can be. Like most everyone at some point, I asked the million dollar question: What am I? The experiences of childhood and social developmental paradigms beg that such a question be asked sooner or later. What makes us who we are? Where do we come from? What are our genetic origins? In my case, being brought up by a single mother, such a question spiraled off into who my family was…my entire family.
So, the question is asked and the answer varies for all of us. Our parents tell us where we come from, what racial mix congregates within our DNA, and the adventure begins. I remember one day boarding the school bus and revealing that I was part Native American. To my surprise, everyone on the bus was Native American as well…and all shared the same tribe, Cherokee. I laugh now at the childhood memories, after all, it was the only tribe that anyone could remember from class, and sans any specific tribe mentioned in the telling from parent to child, Cherokee filled the void. In my case, my mother was very specific though…I was Cree.
The interesting thing about the times we live in, is that science has come such a long way, that it has taken much of the mystery out of our personal history. So while we are told we are this or that, science can now confirm the telling. In my case, Portuguese and Irish went along with the Cree (and obviously my African origins). In taking a recent DNA swab, the possible countries in Africa were reduced to just Cameroon, and Germany popped up on the radar (which probably explains why I’ve bonded with my Audi). It should be noted in DNA testing that the larger the database, the better the results. So if you’re going to do it, use the company with the biggest database you can find.
Leave it to the family genealogist (thanks Tiffany!) to add to the massive and ever expanding family tree that reveals the incredible story of my family, as followed through my father’s bloodline. My family tree is on Geni (highly recommended) and I check it often. Recently I saw the addition of a new name…Sullivan. Always one to get to the heart of the matter, I went to the oldest male in the line and read the profile.The beauty of Geni is it maps out your relation to whatever profile you are looking at. As it were, John Sullivan was born in Ireland in the 1800’s, as was his wife…and they are my fourth great-grandparents (say what?).
Let that sink in.
Two kids in Ireland meet, fall in love and start a family. Now I don’t know what Ireland was like in the 1800’s, but I’m sure it was distracting enough that those two kids never gave a single thought that six generations from their union, they would have a Black grandson living in America. It’s incredible and speaks volumes about how truly connected we can be.
Who are your family? An easy enough question until you consider that all it takes is one person to marry outside their race, and their offspring to marry within the race of their spouse for a few generations, and you’ll have people of two different races, looking radically different from each other…yet related by the blood in their veins and DNA in their body. So, how expansive are our families…really?
Consider also that for anyone practicing a policy of hate based on racial differences, could very well be doing so against someone whom they think is far removed from them, but is in actuality…closer than they think. It’s something to think about the next time you’re dealing with someone whom you consider impossible to be related to, because the true origins of who you are and where you come from could reveal that your family might be a lot closer than you think they are, especially when you’re among people you think are so very far removed from you.
Fast forward and say hello to my great-great-great-great-great-grandson…a Chinese man living in Brazil.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Dating is many things to many people, but it’s highly unlikely that people date for the express purpose of failing to meet that special someone, or to not have fun, or to fail at whatever their goal is for subjecting themselves to that entire situation. If you’ve read my first installment of the subject (The Good Side of Dating), then you know it started off by saying:
Dating: Two actors coming together for one night to put on a show...for each other.
…and ended by proclaiming:
Dating: two people presenting themselves honestly to each other for one night...and either having a good time, or learning a valuable lesson.
Now it’s time to add to all that since humans are so complex, and matching up with the right one seems to be about as easy as hitting a moving bullet, with a bullet. Not to say it’s an impossible task, but those odds aren’t the kind I’d go betting the mortgage on. The question that should be asked (you would think) is why is it so hard to find that right person? However, the real question is much more complex than that. We assume it’s hard to find Mr. or Mrs. Right because the search seems so tedious, but perhaps it’s not as hard as we make it out to be. Perhaps we should be asking ourselves why we make it so hard to find that special someone.
Before we dive into this pool of reflective analysis, let’s quickly examine why we call it (dating) a game and what, if any, significance there is to the label. Firstly games are usually fun (unless you’re the one with no money in Monopoly rolling the dice from Hell). So too is dating usually fun, but again, there are those bad Monopoly instances. In games there are usually winners and loser (as oppose to the unrealistic games of today where everyone is a winner). So too in dating will we find someone that thinks they’ve won (and might have) and someone that thinks the other is a loser. Good games have excellent replay value. Dating is replayed as well, even to the extent that it takes on different venues than the traditional night out to dinner and a movie (again, haven’t yet touched on internet dating). So it’s clear that the dating scene being compared to a “game” is not entirely without merit. Now the question is how you win at it.
Earlier I stated that we make it hard, in contrast to the belief that it’s just hard, plain and simple. I’ll tell you now, if you’re the kind of person that goes for a certain “type,” you might be falling into a trap of your own design. Think about it, if you are not having any luck whatsoever with the type you are responding to, then perhaps the problem isn’t them, but you. You are going for (or falling for) the wrong type. Whatever type that is, you should re-label it “incompatible.”
Stepping outside our established norms or comfort zones is not the end of the world. Indeed, the act of dating is just such an occurrence (a step out of the norm and comfort) and an expansion of this might just net some unexpected gains. This is especially important for those entering the dating scene after long or bad relationships…or worse still, bad relationships that lasted a very long time. There is a bit of institutionalization that has happened and breaking what has been established as normal isn’t always easy.
Everyone is not going to react or approach things in the same way. To hold a new love interest to an old one’s standard is unfair and probably self defeating for the purpose of why the date is happening to begin with. To cling to “a woman should know this” or “a man should do this” is just casting a net that will only catch the same fish you have been throwing back into the ocean. If you’re into pointless cycles, than stop reading and continue the circle of disappointment.
As if all this isn’t controversial enough, let’s push the envelope a bit and talk about sex. Just the very mention of the word is probably enough to start a riot and unleash a plethora of questions, not the least of which will probably be when to have it with the new person you’re dating. My answer is whenever you want since the “right” time is the time it’s happening (or else it wouldn’t be happening). Some will undoubtedly argue this point and cite the reason being that they had bad sex…so it was obviously the wrong time.
Well, being a guy, I can’t say I’m on board with the idea of bad sex (ouch), but I can say that like dating, sex is a learning process which encompasses learning what your partner likes and dislikes, as well as exploring new possibilities. I’ll never understand how some will accept the laborious search for that special someone, but reduce sex to a moment that must move mountains. As if the idea that two people learning each other in a relationship and thus have steadily improving sex is just some silly notion pulled out of the anus of this weeks tabloid quack.
Winning the dating game may not be easy, but we don’t have to make it any harder. The world is a big place filled with lots of great stuff. Mixed into all that stuff are people just trying get along in a life they are willing to share. Nobody is perfect (although now that I think about it, changing my name to “Nobody” might be a step in the right direction), but if we take a small step outside our self-built bubbles, we might finally discover a relationship that is good enough to call “winning.”
Sunday, November 17, 2013
There are many metaphors used to describe life, and all of them are accurate at some point in time. Find any one of them you like or think sums up the totality of life, and you can probably find some instance in your life experiences where it proved true…at least at the time. I find that instead of applying or trying to live by words of wisdom (although the application of such does have its moments), reflective analysis does wonders to put things in perspective and paint the bigger picture.
People live by different beliefs and philosophies and what works or doesn’t work depends entirely on what is working, and what has not. Simply put, if its working for you, then it works. Now the question of it working for the next person can only be answered by the bravery of the next person to try it. That all said, everyone has a plan…even if that plan is no plan at all. This is important to establish early on in this post because the revelation that life doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your plan is crucial to making your plan work…for you.
We’ve all been there. Plodding along in life with our best laid plans guiding us to tangible goals and milestones by which we are measuring the progress of our lives. Life decides, for whatever reason, that your plan needs altering, and off the rails you go! Suddenly things are way tougher than you’ve ever expected them to be and although time is ever moving forward, you feel as though you are in a rut…stuck in time with nothing but headaches and pent up anger readily available for placing blame.
One day you’re on top of the world or at least riding high enough not to care to make the comparison and the next you are starting over…and because it’s hard, you view it with negativity. Now, consider that starting over is sometimes the best way to get ahead. Think about it. If the path you were taking was headed to where you wanted to be, then you probably wouldn’t be derailed. Instead you’d be still steadily headed forward. The fact that it ended is proof enough that an alternative is required. I say that with such surety, but that’s because I’m of the belief (again, it works for me) that there are no coincidences in life, just plans…most of which aren’t controlled by you.
Let’s continue with an example to highlight the idea that going back is also going forward. A man and woman meet and merge to journey life together. For whatever reason (because it really isn’t important in the big picture, just the smaller details), they separate and go back to journeying alone (or even perhaps with someone else). Now this can be viewed as a step back, but as the motto of this blog (Every angle cannot be seen until there is commitment to turning the shape) applies here…especially here.
Seeing a chance at a “do over”, getting an opportunity to get it right, is only viewed negatively when one is not turning the shape of their life around, and seeing the unseen angle of a second chance for what it really is. It’s an opportunity to apply what you have learned from the derailment of you first plan, in order to come up with a better second plan. Now let me be clear, the use of the terms “first” and “second” are used only for example purposes…and it may take several more plans before the right one is formulated that works (for you).
I tend to think of it as the ebb and flow of life. Like the ocean (ah, you didn’t think you’d escape this post without a metaphor did you?) , it flows and floods the shore, but then ebbs a bit before rushing forward again, deeper inland than the first push. Understand, going back a bit isn’t the bad part, it’s staying back and not pushing forward again that seals the deal unfavorably.
Taking the previous example, suppose that after the split, he or she meets a much better companion, form a more effective plan, and make strides and gains previously not seen in all the struggles of the former arraignment. Would starting over be such a bad thing after all? I’ll even go further and say that the best case scenario I just described doesn’t come to pass. Would starting over still be such a bad thing over prolonging an arraignment that no longer benefits or supports the established goals? What good are goals that you aren’t trying to reach? They might as well not even exist…and then you really have entered into the “rut” stage of life.
Everyone has plans that come apart at the seams and understanding that life does this often and without mercy (The Universal Plan) is key to understanding that such occurrences are also part of the plan…it just wasn’t your plan. Accept the ebb, embrace the new plan, and flow forward once again.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
I am an ardent fan of the cinematic arts. Although I have certain genre preferences, I don’t let that stifle my curiosity and close myself to different flavors of entertainment. That said...I am a huge fan of science fiction, super hero and action movies! Please visit my other blog The Boxed Office for reviews, exclusively, on these types of movies.
Michael Shannon portrays mafia hitman Richard Kuklinski in this retelling based on true events. Shannon is superb, both menacing and sinister and seems right at home in this role. Ray Liotta plays Roy Demeo, the boss of Kuklinski and seems to just get better with these types of roles the more he does them. I suppose they have become second nature to him. Winona Ryder is the unsuspecting wife, Deborah Kuklinski, and plays her role of ignorant homemaker very well. Chris Evans is Robert Pronge, another mafia contract killer that befriends Kuklinski (as much as anyone can be) as well as temporary partner. James Franco plays the fleeting role of Marty Freeman...and delivers in one of the best scenes in the film.
From 1964 to 1986, Richard Kuklinski killed well over one hundred people. This is the story of what this man was...although we may never understand who he was.
The film starts by showing Kuklinski in reflection of his recent life. A life that starts out with him very much in love with his wife and very much involved with making and maintaining a family. He has friends, neighbors...a complete picture of normalcy when viewed by the uninitiated. It doesn’t take long for the audience to get initiated though as something as simple as a few insults levied about his wife during a game of pool, quickly leads to a swift and brutal murder.
When Kuklinski’s job as a porn film editor comes to an unexpected halt, he is offered alternative employment for which he seems to be naturally suited. His job is simple...follow the orders given to him. The fact that those orders more often than not involve ending someone’s life doesn’t even seem to register anywhere on the emotional spectrum for Kuklinski. It was noted by his boss Demeo, while holding a gun in the face of Kuklinski, that nothing but ice water must be flowing through his veins...as his eyes reveal nothing, but worse still, reflect nothing either.
Things begin to take a bad turn after Kuklinski leaves a young woman alive after completing a job (the infamous James Franco scene), sighting the fact to his displeased boss that he doesn’t kill women and children. Around this time is when he meets Robert Pronge. Because of the rash actions of another one of his crew, Demeo shuts down all his dealings, effectively putting Kuklinski out of work once again. To continue his lifestyle and the charade of investor to his wife, Kuklinski partners with Pronge, against the express orders of Demeo to do no work (related to their criminal business).
As the body count continues, Kuklinski’s alternate employment is eventually discovered by Demeo setting into motion a series of events leading to his eventual capture. Kuklinski, feeling desperate in the face of his family being in danger and daughter being attacked, begins to tie up his own loose ends...none of which can be tied, without a plethora of bodies being involved.
This film is cold...and I’m not just making a pun (but there it is nonetheless). As I watched the story unfold, the depravity of Kuklinski really sinks in as kept reminding myself that this was not just some fictional film, but acts based on real life events. People really died in the horrible and gruesome ways shown. This man was really remorseless and ruthless, and yet, tender and gentle with his family. The mask he wore was flawless...to his family, who didn’t understand the signs of a broken mind displayed right in front of them at select occurrences.
The expectation of this film being the kind of film a person would write for entertainment using organized crime as the backdrop is ill advised. It’s not like that, even though it feels like that. The plot is simple: presented before you is Richard Kuklinski. The acting is superb by everyone and is a saving grace for the pace of the film which tries to delve into a mind no sane person wants to experience. I kept waiting for Kuklinski to explode as Shannon plays him to be a ticking time bomb. I wasn’t disappointed in that regard, there are quite a few “explosions” in this film.
The thought you put into combing your hair or making a sandwich has more feeling and connectivity than any murder Kuklinski committed, with the possible exception of the James Franco scene...where he entertained the idea of God personally intervening to save Franco. It’s this type of disconnection, while committing the ultimate act of ending life, that makes this film so unhinging...and yet, so engaging. By the end of the film, all I could do was reflect and continue to process everything I had just seen. This alone adds quality to any film rating, and this film murdered three and a half, out of five, cinnamon sticks, in my cup of tea.
There are several videos of the real Kuklinski...making this film no less of what it was.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Recently I have become a bit of a television turtle. I use that term because I realize that every time I sit in from of the small screen in my living room, like a turtle, life moves in slow motion...and I’m not really going anywhere. Call it one of my failings...such is my mentality to hold television in such low esteem. That said, they (the Network Nitwits) have managed to hook my imagination on a few shows (smh).
After hooking me, I suppose they think it’s funny to subject me to stress and see me squirm. In truth, they probably aren’t thinking about me at all...and that’s a huge mistake. I’m not alone. In fact, I’m part a huge and influential group called “the viewers.” See, we are the people that decide, by way of viewership, which shows stay on television and which don’t. I enjoy the power, it’s...liberating. I detest the nitwits that run these networks taking that power into their own hands. I mean, things really aren’t that complicated...until you complicate them.
So the nitwits want to be “number one” and want their show to trump all others. I don’t see anything really wrong with that, but I think there are better ways to go about it than the way they do. Let me get specific. I watch “Arrow” on the CW network on Wednesday at 8 p.m. It’s one of the best shows on television. I happen to watch another show that is also one of the best on the small screen...”Revolution,” on NBC. Safe to say, someone interested in “Arrow” and that genre will likely also like “Revolution.” So why did NBC decide the best move for that show was to broadcast it opposite “Arrow?”
What nitwit decided to derive pleasure from creating such a conundrum? Why did they think it was such a great move to make watchers of both shows choose one over the other? I’d very much like to know who was responsible for this idiocy, and have my viewership registered on that day so that it can be documented and understood how bad that decision was.
If there are one million viewers of these shows (and let’s lump them together since folks that like comics often like science fiction as well)...what sense does it make to get a portion of that total viewership, instead of all of it? The options are simple, show it on another day or show it at a different time. Ok...so it may not be that simple, but moving it to directly compete with a show that likely shares the exact same audience is just...dumb.
Take “Elementary” (CBS) versus “Scandal” (ABC). I hear the latter is all the rage, being talked about in every social media medium available. I’m happy people are enjoying it. For me there are no issues since I’m not just a pop culture and sci-fi geek...but a very cerebral one at that. My choice is obvious and you don’t have to be the world’s second greatest detective to deduce what I’m watching at 10 p.m. on Thursday night. I even doubt both shows draw the same type of crowd.
I’m not gonna pretend there isn’t a lot I don’t know about network television, because there is. The one thing I’m certain about the business is that it’s driven by money, and that’s the bottom line to what we watch on television. That said...give a shout if you find yourself among the minority of viewers that have seen a great shows leave the air...presumably because nobody was watching it with you. I have a theory about that, and it goes something like this: the show doesn’t reach projected viewership numbers even though it has a large audience. Somebody enlighten me if I’m wrong.
It seems to me that despite what I don’t know about the business, it does seem to be inundated with nitwits that make decisions counter to those of us with taste. Decisions that see great shows like “Stargate Universe,” “The 4400,” and “Journeyman” go the way of the Dodo. Perhaps one day the nitwits will learn, in the meantime I’ll remove myself from the madness and stress...and embrace the wisdom and comfort of watching my shows “On Demand.”
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Too often all that is ever reported or featured is the worst humanity has to offer. Some act of violence or senseless depravity seems to always shine in the spotlight and it doesn’t matter the medium. Television, computer, radio...it’s become nauseating to think this is the sum of who we are...the totality of what it is to be human. Fortunately, I’m not easily swayed by all the hoopla and happen to know better. I know firsthand that the nature of being human is more than the constant negative news feed of the hour.
Recently a very touching story was impressed upon me that left me speechless and had me reevaluating my contribution to making this world a better place to live. It isn’t the first time this has happened to me, nor do I expect it will be the last. The subject of the situation, however, has twice given me pause about my effort to make a positive effect upon it.
I know there are people of compassion that meaningfully contribute their time and/or money to making life better for someone living in hardship. After all, there are numerous programs abound that are dedicated to helping people in need...and those programs operate with the influence of other good people. There are many reading this now that have at one time or another, donated money to a charity or program with the intent that those funds be used to help another. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say that most people involved in helping others probably help in this way.
As I said earlier, a recent event brought the notion of helping someone else into sharper focus, while also reminding me that there are people that contribute in a very personal and intimate way regarding the issue of homelessness and poverty. I’ll get to the reminder in a bit, but first let me retell a situation that, had I been present for, would have effected me as profoundly as the person that was touched by a life less fortunate.
A woman and her mother ordered some food from their favorite Mediterranean restaurant and sat down to enjoy a meal both had been looking forward to all day. Eating as much as the could or wanted to, they packed up their area and threw away their trash. Just as they were departing to continue their day’s activities, they witnessed something most of us don’t see on a daily basis. A young man, probably in his early twenties, had dug their trash out of the barrel and went about eating whatever scraps he could find on their plates.
The woman, completely stunned, was cascaded by a maelstrom of emotions, for she had sons the same age as this homeless man. Her first thought was to give the young man money, but with only $5 in her pocket, felt it was inadequate to the situation at hand. Instead, she approached the man and offered to take him into the same restaurant and have a meal. Feeling the eyes of all the patrons on them, she told the man to order anything he wanted...including a drink and dessert. She was short on cash, but long in credit, and charged the meal. As the man began to take his meal outside, she impressed upon him that he need not battle the elements while eating his meal. It was paid for like anyone else, and like anyone else, he had the right to sit in the warmth of the restaurant. He thanked her avidly and it was an emotional moment for both of them. As he began to eat, she left and continued her day...making sure the $5 she had, found it’s way on his table.
I can only imagine how charged this moment was, but I know it was powerful from the telling as was told to me by the woman, with tears in her eyes. It was powerful for me to hear it...from my wife, about the day she had, out with her mother.
We all see people on the street holding signs and asking for spare change. As humans, some of us give some of the time, and some of us don’t. We are aware of the homeless, but rarely do we have an encounter where our scraps are made into a meal right in front of us. I am told it was a humbling and heart-wrenching experience.
Now I said earlier that this situation was not the first time I’ve been spurred to evaluate my societal contribution with this subject. I’ve had the honor of spending much of my youth with a man named Jamarhl Crawford, who is currently running for the District 7 seat of the Boston City Council. Anyone wishing to talk about service to the community would be hard-pressed to find someone more committed. Long before community residents pressured him to run, he was actively addressing the problem of hunger for those without a home.
I often ask myself if I am doing enough, am I doing all I can to affect this issue, the community, in a positive way...and the honest answer, after watching the video below is...no. Why do I say that? Because the video is an example of something I am perfectly capable of. Even if I site time constraints for the shopping and preparation aspects, there is still no excuse for me not to be along side Mr. Crawford handing out plates to those in need of food. I know this because the time it took me to write this post is time I could have spent engaging in an act of humanity.
In the time it took you to read this post, you could have done the same. In a world where food is abundant, but not accessible to everyone...here is some food for thought: Are you doing enough?
Friday, October 25, 2013
I don’t eat meat anymore. There is more than ample evidence showing how dangerous our food has become and I refuse to subject myself to something, within my power to control, that is dangerous to my physical health. I take this stand with our society as well. The difference is that the “power” is a collective one, made up of enough people with the same opinion and the willingness to see that opinion manifest so that we (society/community/neighborhood) are not subjected to a dangerous condition.
Recently, the story of Erin Cox has gained national attention, and make no mistake...her story represents a dangerous condition within our society. Called by a friend that had too much to drink at a party in Boxford, but thankfully was cognizant enough to realize this fact, Erin drove to the party to provide safe transportation. If there is nothing else about this story that strikes you, let this simple fact be it.
It is said the road to hell is paved with good intentions...and that no good deed goes unpunished. I’ll just chalk it up to more shenanigans by the universe, and say it was simply bad timing...or good timing if you set your watch to the tenets of Murphy’s Law. Whatever philosophy you ascribe to, mere moments after Erin arrives and enters the house to retrieve her friend, the police make their entrance and go about the business of upholding the law.
Now the next part of this story is where I can see how things went wrong, but still see no excuse after the relevant facts have become known. Erin Cox, was not arrested, but was given a summons to appear in court for underage possession of alcohol. I’d say the picture here is obvious, although I loathe assuming, but it seems that sans the kids that got arrested, everyone else probably had to furnish their identification so the summons could be sent later. I think that was the time to head all this off...by not giving Cox one since she was not drinking, but things happen in situations like these and sometimes minor details that become major headaches later on, slip through the cracks of the moment.
Back to the baloney...North Andover High responded to this (which they didn’t have to) by suspending Cox for five volleyball games and demoting her from team captain. Let me interject, Cox is an honor student...that clearly cares about her piers by demonstrating a level of responsibility not common among them.
North Andover High has a “zero tolerance” policy with underage drinking...and I applaud that. I just think they should execute it against students that actually break the policy. Even the Boxford police have come forward as witnesses supporting Cox’s version of events. She was not drinking, didn’t have alcohol in her possession...and didn’t have a hint, smell, or show any sign of having consumed any alcohol...unlike the friend she came to help.
If it isn’t clear by now, let me spell it out. North Andover High is sending the wrong message to young adults...and by sticking to their erroneous decision to punish Cox for demonstrating responsible behavior, have set up a dangerous condition that could have future teens not call for a ride, and others not respond to a call for help...all of which could cause a tragic situation.
I think having authority should automatically dictate you use it responsibly and in a world where details matter, blanket policies that are blind to facts will have us all stumbling around wondering where we went wrong.