"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A house reminding of U.S. Civil War - morris mn

A house reminding of U.S. Civil War - morris mn
Click on the image to read about the historic Stanton house of west Morris.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tigers have ACGC's number in 4/26 play

The onslaught of harsh weather made the weekend baseball/softball plans a no-go.
So, the most recent action to catch up on, is the MACA victories over ACGC on Thursday (4/26). Baseball and softball went well for Morris Area Chokio Alberta. Both of these affairs were Tigers vs. Falcons.
The cats ruled. 
  
Softball: Tigers 9, ACGC 5
The softball story included a very clutch hit by Holly Amundson. Amundson waved her stick at the plate with the score tied five-all. It was a prime RBI opportunity.
The fans in Grove City held their breath as they watched Falcon outfielder Paige Wilner try to catch up with a drive off Amundson's bat. It was hit authoritatively. Wilner made a game effort to snag the ball and register an out. The ball glanced off her glove.
Amudson ended up at second base with a double. She had cleared the bases, giving her team an 8-5 lead. The Tigers went on to win 9-5 in this WCC-South action.
Amundson's hit came in the sixth inning. Those runs were added to one in the first and two each in the second and third. The Tigers' final run was scored in the seventh.
The MACA line score was nine runs, 12 hits and three errors. The ACGC numbers were 5-2-1.
ACGC had one big inning offensively, the fourth, in which all five of their runs scored. A dropped third strike and an error helped ACGC in that fourth inning. Also, Hanna Lang connected for a two-run single.
McKenzie VanBatavia pitched the whole way for MACA, fanning six batters, walking two and giving up just two hits. Lang and Sydney Larson were the Falcons hitting safely. Two of the runs VanBatavia allowed were unearned.
It was Larson pitching for the host Falcons, route-going, and she had her share of rough spots, giving up 12 hits and walking four. Three of the runs she allowed were unearned. She struck out four batters.
VanBatavia was a factor offensively with a hit and two RBIs. There were four Tigers with multiple-hit games: Tracy Meichsner (two-for-five), Sadie Fischer (two-for-three), Steph Hennen (two-for-three with an RBI) and Olivia Reimers (two-for-four). Amundson had that one decisive hit.
Brooke Johnson hit safely as did Nicole Strobel with a triple.
  
Baseball: Tigers 13, ACGC 2
The Tigers' bats were smoking in the MACA Tigers' baseball win over ACGC Thursday. The Tigers pulled up to .500 in conference won-lost, at 3-3. Their 13-2 win over the Falcons, here, saw all nine starters connect for at least one hit.
There was no better way to enjoy an April afternoon in Morris.
The game was supposed to be a prelude to a weekend full of home action. Alas, the weather dealt a roadblock. It seemed almost wintry on Saturday. Such is the nature of a Minnesota spring: unsure of itself.
The first two innings were pretty quiet offensively. The Tigers found themselves down 2-1.
The complexion of the game changed markedly in the third. The Tigers teed off vs. David Kinzler, who would take the loss. In all, six runs came home for the orange and black in the third.
It was ditto in the fourth with six more runs coming in, setting the stage for the ten-run rule, keeping the game to five innings.
The Tigers' game-total 13 hits were complemented by a nice big "zero" in the errors category. The ACGC line score was two runs, seven hits and five errors.
The ten-run rule made the work easier for MACA pitcher Mac Beyer. Beyer pitched the full five to notch the 'W', striking out three batters, walking two and allowing seven hits. The two ACGC runs were earned.
ACGC's Kinzler got the hook in favor of Jordan Nelson.
A whole lot of Tigers can be reviewed in the hitting category. Beyer made his presence felt going two-for-four with both his hits doubles. He drove in two runs and scored two.
Brody Bahr socked a pair of hits in three at-bats, plus he drove in a run and scored two. Chandler Erickson had a two-for-three afternoon scoring two runs and driving in one. Jake Torgerson picked up an RBI while going two-for-three.
The hit parade was joined by: Tom Holland (one-for-three, two RBIs), Tanner Picht (a double in three at-bats), Tyler Henrichs (one-for-two, two runs and an RBI), Jordan Staples (one-for-three with an RBI) and Lincoln Berget (one-for-two, two runs and an RBI).
Dylan Hoerchler had two hits for the Falcons.
Satisfying as the Thursday win was, the Tigers realize they need more of same to get to .500 in overall won-lost. They owned a 3-5 overall mark coming out of Thursday.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Boys win, girls defeated vs. Sting of YME

Baseball: Tigers 8, YME 4
Chandler Erickson wielded a hot bat Tuesday (4/24) in the MACA baseball team's home success.
The Tigers, who have sputtered through much of early-season play, looked quite healthy with their caliber on Tuesday. It was a most pleasant April day for the diamond sport.
Erickson and Tanner Picht attacked the YME pitching for three hits each. They put on an offensive clinic in MACA's 8-4 win over the YME Sting.
The Tigers had 12 hits total. Just as pleasing was the mere one error. YME was hurt by four fielding miscues.
One of Erickson's hits was a triple. He had a three-for-four showing in the boxscore with five RBIs. Picht rapped his three hits in four at-bats and crossed home plate twice.
Tom Holland went two-for-four with two runs scored. Brody Bahr connected for two hits in three at-bats and drove in a run.
Tyler Henrichs picked up an RBI in his one-for-four showing. Jake Torgerson came through at one-for-three.
The score was 1-1 when Erickson strode to the plate and singled with two outs to give Morris Area Chokio Alberta the lead at 3-1. The Tigers broke the game open in the fifth, again with Erickson having an instrumental role. This time he tripled to drive in two runs.
In all the Tigers scored five runs in the fifth, seizing an 8-1 lead. YME scored one run in the sixth and two in the seventh.
Jake Torgerson came on in pitching relief for starter and winner Sam Mattson. Torgerson struck out the side in his one inning as the closer, despite the fact YME pushed two runs in. He allowed no hits and walked one.
Mattson hurled for six innings and had to deal with baserunners a lot. Fortunately the Tiger offense gave more than ample support for the hurlers. Mattson struck out five batters and walked four in his six innings. YME hit safely off him eight times, and the four runs they scored were earned.
Aaron Zieske struggled as YME's starting pitcher and he was relieved by Brendon Steckelberg.
Austin Thorstad highlighted YME's offense with a two-for-three line and three runs-batted-in.
  
Softball: YME 2, Tigers 1
The MACA girls were dealt their first defeat of the 2012 spring Tuesday (4/24). They had won five times previously.
On Tuesday the pitching of YME's Allie Trudel was just a little too commanding. The only run that Trudel allowed was unearned. She struck out four Tiger batters, walked one and allowed five hits in YME's 2-1 win in Granite Falls.
The Tigers outhit the Sting 5-3. Each team committed three errors.
Trudel out-dueled the MACA ace, McKenzie VanBatavia. VanBatavia fanned five batters but showed some wildness, walking five. She gave up three hits in her six innings.
One of YME's runs was unearned.
Trudel and VanBatavia battled through 3 1/2 scoreless innings, before YME got untracked for what would prove to be the decisive rally in the fourth. Angie Scheffler singled off VanBatavia. Kendra Sander walked.
VanBatavia was then able to get two outs before things unraveled a little for MACA. An infield error was costly. Other damage was done by Nena McCall's single to right-center.
The Tigers showed signs of fighting back when, in the fifth, Tracy Meichsner connected with a Trudel delivery to single, driving in Nicole Strobel who had gotten on via error.
The Yellow Medicine East fans endured a little suspense in the seventh when MACA threatened with two runners in scoring position. Trudel bore down and got a strikeout for the game's final out.
Holly Amundson seemed to have Trudel figured out as she rapped two hits. The other Tiger hits were by Meichsner, Sadie Fischer and Brooke Johnson.
The YME hits were by McCall, Courtney Hinz and Scheffler.
The Tigers and Sting are both members of the WCC-South Conference.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tigers of MACA down Tigers of Marshall

Softball: Tigers 8, Marshall 2
Friday was a day to cheer for followers of the MACA softball Tigers. It was an afternoon of non-conference diamond action.
Coach Mary Holmberg's Tigers kept their record unblemished with a nifty 8-2 win in front of the home fans. The Tigers' line score in this April 20 showcase was eight runs, eleven hits and two errors. The Marshall Tigers posted 2-2-2 numbers.
It was truly an afternoon for the MACA Tigers to roar.
The first two innings were scoreless after which the MACA engines started humming. First there was a one-run rally in the third. Then, a big four-run fourth. And after that: two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Again, McKenzie VanBatavia had an instrumental role. (This is the spelling I will now opt for, after seeing her name in the Morris Area honor roll. I had seen it spelled differently in some other credible places. I sent an email to coach Holmberg regarding this but she didn't answer.)
McKenzie had things totally under control from the pitching rubber through six innings. She flirted with a perfect game.
Marshall was finally able to tee off a little vs. her in the seventh. That's when Marshall pushed its two runs home, but no way would Marshall summon enough momentum to come from behind. The Marshall bats did produce a double and triple in the seventh.
Marshall came out of the day still seeking its first win.
VanBatavia was a force offensively with a hit and two RBIs. Tracy Meichsner was likewise a major force, going three-for-four with two RBIs and four stolen bases. Her two-run single provided key spark in the fourth inning rally.
Sadie Fischer was aggressive at the plate and went three-for-three with two RBIs. Holly Amundson had two hits in four at-bats and drove in a run.
Steph Hennen went one-for-three and Jaimie Bergerson one-for-four.
On to pitching: Here, VanBatavia was only slightly nicked by the seventh inning, and picked up the win with a seven-strikeout performance. She walked zero.
Her pitching rivals were Miranda Fischer (the loser) and Callie Graff.
  
Tigers 10, Benson-Hancock 1
The run total of ten looks impressive from MACA's Thursday softball action at home. Another stat that might be deemed just as significant was the zero errors.
Indeed the MACA Tigers played an all-around game to delight the home fans. This game ended in a 10-1 triumph for coach Holmberg's orange and black squad. It was a WCC-South game that had rival Benson-Hancock as the opponent. The MACA line score was ten runs, nine hits and no errors. B-H had a 1-9-4 line.
McKenzie VanBatavia had her typical important pitching role. She struck out nine Brave-Owl batters while walking just one. She scattered eight hits. She allowed the one earned run.
On this day the ace was spelled for one inning. The ball was handed to Brianna Abril who pitched a solid frame, fanning a batter, walking none and giving up one hit.
The Benson-Hancock pitching duties were divided between Kayla Jones, who was tagged with the loss, and Kendra Schmidgall. Jones pitched five innings and couldn't cool the Tiger bats. The Tigers achieved nine hits and drew three walks vs. Jones.
Schmidgall allowed no hits in her one inning, but MACA was able to push across an unearned run. Schmidgall was hurt by some wildness.
Benson-Hancock wasn't able to push across a run until the sixth.
The Tigers got busy scoring in the second inning with three runs and went on to add one in the third, five in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Steph Hennen zeroed in on the B-H pitching to go three-for-three. Brooke Wente picked up two RBIs as part of going one-for-two.
Jaimie Bergerson joined Hennen with multiple hits, fashioning two-for-four numbers.
Other Tigers hitting safely were Sadie Fischer, Holly Amundson and Brooke Johnson.
The Brave Owls had three in their ranks posting a multiple-hit game. They just couldn't parlay this into much run-scoring. McKenzie Jensen, Kendra Schmidgall and Alissa Hughes each had two hits.
Brave Owls with one hit each were Kayla Jones, Jenna Hanson and Abby Tollefson.
  
Baseball: Benson 5, Tigers 2
The MACA baseball Tigers succumbed to a big inning by Benson, the fourth, Thursday (4/19) at Benson.
The Braves plated four runs in that rally, lifted especially by a timely and decisive blast off Morgan Staton's bat. Staton sent a drive down the left field line. It was like a dagger for the Tigers, who were trying to work out of a bases-loaded situation.
That rally began with Brady McDonald and Tyler Krienke singling. They were joined on the basepaths by the walking Matt Ahrndt.
Staton's blast cleared the bases and he ended up at second. He then arrived at third thanks to a Tanner Mikkelson sacrifice fly. He crossed home plate, firming up Benson's lead, on Anthony Berreau's single.
The damage had been done from MACA's standpoint. Benson won in the 5-2 final.
The Tigers scored one run each in the third and fifth innings. Tanner Picht picked up the RBI for each of these, singling each time.
Mac Beyer pitched four innings and was tagged with the loss. He gave up five hits and five runs (all earned) while striking out one and walking three.
Jake Torgerson succeeded Beyer on the hill. He allowed one hit and no runs, fanned three batters and walked none.
Beyer and Torgerson were up against Luke Schwarz in the pitching department. Schwarz did a workmanlike job, pitching a complete game, fanning four batters and walking three. He gave up six hits and two runs (earned).
Picht finished two-for-four with those two RBIs. Tom Holland rapped two hits in four at-bats. Beyer and Lincoln Berget each enjoyed a one-for-three afternoon.
Staton with his three RBIs stood out in Benson's boxscore. Krienke rapped two hits in three at-bats. Berreau stole two bases on his one-for-three afternoon with two RBIs. Brady McDonald and Luke Schwarz both went one-for-three.
The line scores were as follows: Benson 5-6-1 (runs-hits-errors), Morris Area Chokio Alberta 2-6-1.
The Tigers came out of the day at 1-3, searching for some momentum.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Language evolves but not always swimmingly

(Image from "Open Library")
  
I'm taken aback every time I see the words "convince to." This is a testament to the power of the books written by Edwin Newman many years ago.
Edwin is no longer with us. He was a television journalist back when the leading "network news" filtered out most that was silly, fallacious or provocative. He was also a wordsmith.
Today I'm rather certain Newman would consider his battles to be lost. College English teachers might be in a like situation.
The idea of a complex system of rules for carefully grooming the English language might be dated. This is an age now where a U.S. congressman might send a text message that seems like caveman talk. Brevity and directness are everything.
There has always been something to be said for brevity and directness. When I was young those goals had to be pursued under that complex umbrella of rules Newman subscribed to.
The newsman wrote two books that noted breakdowns in handling of the English language. Manual typewriters were still the norm. People wrote a lot of their stuff longhand with ink pen. People were far less inclined to write things impulsively or to get attention for their material immediately.
Email made communications instantaneous. The speed of communications is something we take for granted today. Young people have grown up in such a world. It seems a miracle we have totally conquered boredom.
I wouldn't trade today's environment for that of my youth. But we are, after all, human. We cannot perfect our environment. Communications are instantaneous but they can be sloppy. I'm not sure kids would be receptive if they were told they need a little more discipline.
And they would certainly view those old (1970s) books by Edwin Newman as quaint. Newman was addressing a world where writing seemed a refined and exclusive craft. He put much stock in how the New York Times handled things.
We were a much more New York Times-centric world then. The political conservatives didn't like that but they were much more confined to a limited space. The explosion in electronic media is what empowered political conservatives.
Newman shamed the New York Times on what he considered rule-breaking with "convince to." We should be so lucky as to be able to focus on an issue like this today, when people type "2" for "to" and don't get laughed at.
I was reminded of the "convince to" thing lately when I saw an informational flyer around Morris. Here's the quote: "Stevens Forward! has teamed up with UMM students to find out how well Stevens County meets the needs of retirees - what would convince you to stay in the county post-retirement, or why you have chosen to stay."
Convince. . .to.
Ahem.
This construction appeared to stick in Newman's craw.
"You may convince that," Newman wrote. "You may convince of. You may not convince to."
So the appropriate wording would be? It would be "persuade," according to the conventional rules. You may persuade someone to act but you convince someone of the truth of a statement or proposition.
It seems silly to assert in this age of "caveman" text messaging (which I don't use), but "convince" should not be used with an infinitive. "Persuade," meanwhile, is quite acceptable with both an infinitive or a "that" clause in both active and passive constructions. As if anybody cares anymore.
Our language is fluid. What starts out as rule-breaking creeps into the norm. We have seen the classroom understanding of "convince" and "persuade" break down. It hardly seems a biggie.
People associated with our august U of M-Morris have no problem "convincing to."
Oh, and there's another nitpicking observation I might make: "Stevens Forward!" has that exclamation point which was omitted in the flyer's text. There is a logo on the flyer that has the exclamation point.
Why would retirees want to stay in Stevens County? I don't know, but our county has lost about 2,000 in population over the last 32 years. I'm skeptical this trend can be blunted by anything like Stevens Forward! or the UMM Office of Community Engagement.
I put a post on my companion website ("Morris of Course") this morning which shares my general assessment of Stevens Forward!
Great ideas to be sure, but perhaps a deficiency with practicality. I invite you to read that post by clicking on the permalink below:
 
UMM came into being when every little town around here had its own football and basketball teams. Middle-age families with kids were in every neighborhood. It seems to me we need to preserve such families as a bedrock for our community life.
Retirees? They appear to be doing well financially relative to younger categories. Is that why we're prioritizing retaining them?
We of course want everyone to stay. But I'm not sure I understand the special concerted push for retirees unless it's that money factor. And that could change if Republicans advance to really seize the reins of government.
Republicans will make austerity more of a shared thing, not just a burden for young people who are coalescing in "Occupy."
That flyer around town asks for volunteers to submit to an hour-long interview by a UMM student. Maybe us older folks should be interviewing them. We could ask if student debt is going to stay manageable, and whether their degrees can truly be parlayed into the intended rewards.
Life is going to be a slog for all age groups, I predict. And it won't be hard to CONVINCE everybody of the soundness of that suggestion.
PERSUADING people to stay here, or to come here to study, may become daunting.
Newman's books were entitled "Strictly Speaking" and "A Civil Tongue." The fact I can remember these titles so long after the fact is a tribute to the late journalist's wisdom. His jaw would drop if he could see the world of cable TV news today.
Not too civil.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Thursday, April 19, 2012

MACA girls, boys turn back Eagles on diamond

The spring sports slate didn't miss a beat Tuesday as the MACA girls visited Lac qui Parle Valley while the baseball Tigers hosted the LQPV Eagles.
It was mission accomplished for both squads in terms of garnering the win.

Softball: Tigers 17, LQPV 1
Coach Mary Holmberg's Tigers scored early and often in getting an advantage vs. the Eagles in the usually-windy Eagle country.
Lifted by a big second inning in particular, the softball Tigers assumed command, winning in the end 17-1.
The second inning rally generated six runs. By itself that rally was enough to back the pitching of Mackenzie Van Batavia who is getting established as the MACA ace.
The ten-run rule kept this game shorter than the standard length. So, Van Batavia taxed her pitching arm for just five innings.
On this day she allowed a mere three hits while amassing a fine strikeout total of eleven. She walked five batters, and the one run she allowed was earned.
Her pitching opponent was Alyssa Harms who worked the full five despite getting roughed up. Just eleven of the 17 runs that Harms allowed were earned.
Lac qui Parle committed three errors.
The MACA line score was 17 runs, eleven hits and no errors. Errorless ball at this early stage of the season puts a smile on fans' faces to be sure.
The Tigers scored in every inning.
Van Batavia missed a shutout in the fifth when the Eagles pushed home their lone run. She wielded a potent bat to complement her pitching work. She pounded two hits in four at-bats and scored two runs.
Steph Hennen was a perfect two-for-two and crossed home plate three times. Tracey Meichsner was busy on the basepaths too, recording two hits in three at-bats and scoring three runs.
Olivia Reimers made noise with her bat, finishing three-for-four.
The LQPV hits were by McKenzie Long, Questa Stensrud and Kaylee Holtz.

Baseball: Tigers 5, LQPV 3
The baseball Tigers entertained fans at home with a 5-3 win. The Tigers outhit Lac qui Parle 9-4.
Pitching was at centerstage with Sam Mattson accomplishing a gem on the hill. Coach Mark Torgerson had to beam as Mattson set down 15 Eagle batters on strikes. Mattson finished with a four-hitter in this WCC-South triumph.
Not only is the 15 (K's) stat significant, Sam had a skein of eleven consecutive outs via strikeout. This began after LQPV got a run pushed across via wild pitch in the first.
Don't get the impression this win was a cakewalk. The visiting Eagles led 3-2 in the top of the fifth. Sam Haas, who wielded a potent bat for the visitor (two triples), raced home from third on a squeeze bunt, gaining LQPV that one-run edge. Colby Siegert was the Eagle who laid down that bunt.
Morris Area Chokio Alberta scored a run in the bottom of the fifth to tie things up.
The sixth inning proved pivotal, as Mattson bore down to get a goose egg on the scoreboard and MACA rallied for two runs in the bottom. There would be no further scoring.
Jacob Torgerson gave fuel in the sixth rally, singling and then coming around on Bryce Jergenson's double. Tom Holland hit a fly ball deep enough to get a run in via sacrifice.
The MACA offensive highlights included a solo home run off Mac Beyer's bat.
The MACA line score was five runs, nine hits and two errors.
Holland had a two-for-three afternoon with two RBIs at Chizek Field. Chandler Erickson's bat resounded with a double as part of going two-for-three with an RBI.
Jacob Torgerson scored two runs to go with his two-for-three numbers. Tanner Picht had a one-for-four line in the boxscore.
Beyer with his homer and Jergenson with his double rounded out the hitting attack.
Mattson issued just one walk. He gave up four hits and three runs (two earned).
The losing pitcher was Brandon Bornhorst who worked the whole way, fanning five.
Haas had all but one of the LQPV hits. His three-for-four stats were complemented by two runs scored. Nathan Kelm had the other LQPV safety.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It's time to focus on MACA spring sports

Sports fans may not talk about it, but I think there's always a bit of a letdown going from winter to spring. The weather just doesn't seem quite ready, on a lot of days, for this move.
I learn today (Tuesday, 4/17) that the Tiger softball game scheduled for yesterday was postponed. That surprises me. Sure, the weather was like hell on Sunday but it wasn't nearly so bad Monday.
Yes, there was a somewhat harsh wind. But I really expected the game to be played.
The Morris Area school calendar announced that the softball Tigers would play at New London-Spicer. I also think I spotted (yet another) school calendar mistake. I made note of such mistakes last winter and wondered why District #769 couldn't push a primarily online way of reporting school schedule information.
The system should encourage the habit of people simply going online.
Our school calendar reported that the MACA baseball team would be playing at New London-Spicer Monday, just like the softball team. It says "BB-NLS-A-5 pm."
Subsequent to seeing that, I could find no other confirmation this game was in fact on the slate. In fact, I learn from a media source that New London-Spicer was scheduled to play Montevideo on Monday, April 16.
I'll ask again: Why have a school calendar, and why pay to have it published and distributed, if fans find they have to confirm this information elsewhere?
The school calendar is printed to be used. Perhaps it's a complete waste of money.
The online world is a panacea in connection to all such issues. This is why we have the "virtual community" listed as a "Destiny Driver" for "Stevens Forward!"
Remember Stevens Forward? I'm hearing there is a new push to make the program effective as opposed to just an on-paper, hot air, fogbound listing of platitudes or whatnot - the kind of vacuous happy talk that tends to come and go in the bureaucratic world.
Stevens County may have lost as much as 2,000 in population since 1980. So, we don't need empty platitudes. Let's make this "destiny driver" really work!
So when I talk about how it's time to move away from ink-on-paper media to the new frontier, maybe you all should start listening and not just stare at me with blank eyes and a weak smile. OK?
I am pleased to report today on both softball and baseball - the Tigers' first games of 2012. I hope I have all the names spelled correctly, especially the MACA softball pitcher. Don't ever hesitate to get in touch with me.
I'm starting to wonder if I was misled by a girls basketball game program last winter that included the name "Tracey Meichsner" (with the possibly superfluous "e" in the first name). I am proud to get the "chs" letters in their proper order in this student athlete's last name.
My baseball coverage (a twin bill loss vs. BOLD) is on my companion website, "Morris of Course." Please click on the permalink below to read about Tiger baseball:
http://morrisofcourse.blogspot.com/2012/04/maca-boys-come-up-shy-in-twin-bill.html

Softball: Tigers 10, Montevideo 7
The MACA softball girls hit the ground running on Tuesday, April 10, winning with a double digits flourish in the 2012 season opener. The Tigers scored ten runs.
The big inning was the sixth when the eager Tiger offense rallied for seven runs. The foe was Montevideo. The action was here. The final score was 10-7.
Mackenzie Van Batavia was the MACA pitcher and she also had a hit in that big sixth inning.
Olivia Reimers drew a walk to begin that sixth inning outburst. Successive hits resounded off the bats of Nicole Strobel, Megan Mecklenburg and Van Batavia. Adding to the mix, by the time the rally finally subsided, were hits by Sadie Fischer and Steph Hennen and a fielder's choice.
Van Batavia was a standout in the boxscore with two hits and two RBIs, plus she pitched the whole way. She struck out four Thunder Hawk batters, walked two and gave up eight hits and seven runs (five earned). Her pitching rival was Ashley Hoehne.
Van Batavia went two-for-three including a double in her offensive showing.
Fischer's hit was a double and she drove in a run. Hennen finished one-for-three with an RBI. Nicole Strobel went one-for-three with an RBI, and Reimers and Mecklenburg both finished one-for-two.
The Morris Area Chokio Alberta line score was ten runs, seven hits and three errors.
Danielle Emkes led Monte's offense at three-for-three.

Tigers 8, BOLD 0
The Thursday (4/12) story for the MACA girls was more of same: winning. Again the home diamond was the site. The foe this time: BOLD.
Van Batavia's pitching arm was again showcased. Working seven innings again, this Tiger tossed a three-hit shutout in MACA's 8-0 win.
She fanned six batters and walked three. She easily out-dueled the BOLD pair of Emily Wallert and Paige Larson.
Fans at the local diamond cheered as MACA showed its decisive burst in the first inning: four runs. The Tigers led 4-0 after four innings after which they plated three runs in the fifth and one in the sixth.
The MACA line score was eight runs, seven hits and no errors. Van Batavia's bat resonated with a double. Fischer rapped two hits in three at-bats. Tracey Meichsner had a double as part of going two-for-two.
Olivia Reimers went one-for-three and Holly Amundson one-for-two.
Taylor Ebnet had a hit in her only at-bat for BOLD.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cooper's laugh episode breath of fresh air

Anderson Cooper follows in the footsteps of David Brinkley. Cooper "cracked up" on the set of CNN when reporting a story the other night. He was reporting about an obscure Polish-American post-Lenten holiday.
"Dyngus Day" struck Cooper as having some oddities. Was it "pussy willows" that sent him over the top?
I like the holiday because this often-drab time of year could use some enlivening. Cooper found it charming. He also couldn't stop laughing for a spell.
While it may seem unprofessional, who could possibly object to the little incident? It was a total breath of fresh air in the often-turgid world of cable TV news.
Cooper has now been invited to a main "Dyngus Day" celebration next year. He would be given a royal designation.
Cooper "got the giggles" on CNN where a few wasted moments are hardly an issue.
CNN was the pioneering 24/7 news network but has fallen into a non-descript category. "News" has become such a ubiquitous commodity. A network can't sell itself merely being a news source. CNN has become upstaged by partisan TV.
The partisan networks really seem to "have teeth." They do purport to be news networks. They do in fact dispense news but are defined by their partisan personalities and sharp-edged commentary, often done to caricature.
The old reliable 5:30 p.m. broadcast news seems vestigial.
David Brinkley was on the "evening news" back when broadcast TV had primacy. He worked with Chet Huntley for a long time. This was the only newscast available to many of us here in western Minnesota once. That's because KCMT TV of Alexandria was affiliated with NBC.
We only heard about Walter Cronkite, or James Arness of "Gunsmoke."
We had Huntley and Brinkley, and Lorne Greene on "Bonanza." Let's not forget "Trampas" on "The Virginian" (Doug McClure), who must have driven James Drury crazy by upstaging him.
Brinkley was a long-time pillar in television news. He had a halting delivery sometimes that ended up getting parodied on "Saturday Night Live."
He belongs to another age, when the power of TV journalism was concentrated in the hands of a few. So the time Brinkley exhausted by getting "the giggles" was more of a story, and perhaps more of an internal issue, back then.
This was post-Chet Huntley. Brinkley was working with John Chancellor on the NBC evening news. Chancellor had just recited a seemingly routine story about the banning of red dye #6 and the possible effect on the Maraschino cherry industry.
I was too young then to realize the role Maraschinos played in adult social life. It was an era of social drinking acceptance.
Chancellor laughed just a touch. Apparently what set them off was the reference to the Maraschino Cherry Association of America. The camera went back to Brinkley. Brinkley was unable to get focused for the next story. He tried getting control of himself to start over.
It was to no avail. This could truly be a panic situation. Unprofessional as it could have been judged, only a total grouch could have found this objectionable. Brinkley had to be relieved by the network going to a commercial.
Most of us feel laughter is a great remedy and reprieve from life's grind. Most of us would have wanted to join in with Brinkley. Ditto when Anderson Cooper experienced the exact same episode.
Cooper went on to apologize to the people active with Dyngus Day. It's centered in Buffalo, New York, but given its newfound notoriety, thanks to Cooper, it could branch out. I would welcome it.
This is a drab time of year when the weather can often not make its mind up. We establish a mindset for warmer weather only to get a roundhouse punch of the colder stuff. I have joked with people that it "must be like a Missouri winter."
I heartily welcome Dyngus Day to our calendar. It's obscure but real, not like St. Urho's Day. St. Urho's is good for prompting a hearty laugh on its own. It exists partly to irritate those who think St. Patrick's Day is special.
We like to think we know what makes us laugh. As we think back to those things that have given us the "giggles," though, they might seem not that funny in the abstract.
Entertainment that is clearly scripted as comedy might leave us flat. The things we judge as truly funny might come out of nowhere. They're incidental and unscripted. Cooper was reciting a story that had no intent of being funny. Again, I think it was something about the "pussy willows."
Brinkley seemed the kind of guy who maybe enjoyed his share of beverages adorned by the "crop" in his story. That was the "Mad Men" era. Drinking alcohol was a most approved adult activity in the 1960s.
We laughed at references to excessive alcohol consumption. It was a time when you could drive 70 MPH on the state highways too. My father had a Buick station wagon and availed himself of this. He did not drink alcohol.
Being a non-drinker might stigmatize yourself back then. For my generation, choosing not to smoke marijuana would do the same thing.
My generation laughed at "Blazing Saddles." The "Blazing" movie launched the Mel Brooks franchise of comedies that entranced the boomers. I saw it at our Morris Theater where there was considerable laughing out loud.
This movie had its moments, like with the Count Basie band, but I considered it somewhat overrated. Del Sarlette of Morris would roundly disagree with me on that.
I thought Brooks' "Young Frankenstein" was a more solid and consistent piece of work.
Comedy is a very fragile entertainment form and the Brooks franchise dropped off. "History of the World Part I" was a great name but this movie went flat. The highlight at the end was Brooks' previews for "History of the World Part II," including "Jews in Space" and "A Viking Funeral."
The Brooks series of movies beginning with "Blazing Saddles" was right in line with the boomers' irreverent outlook on life. I consider the most underrated movie to be "Silent Movie." It was a true comedy silent movie, an authentic tribute to the genre, and it was fueled by Dom DeLuise in his prime. Marty Feldman was back from "Young Frankenstein."
I have told Del the hardest I have ever laughed during a movie was when the three heroes - Brooks, DeLuise and Feldman - put on medieval knight armor and sought to take a seat at the same table as Liza Minnelli at a Hollywood movie set deli. The sound effects were metal-on-metal "crunching" as the three tried the simple act of sitting down - impossible as it turned out.
Also greatly funny was the scene where the three heroes chased Paul Newman with all of them in motorized wheelchairs.
People who create comedy must be very nervous. It's hard to know what will come across as truly funny.
We laugh at little things that perhaps reveal something about the frustrating nature of the human condition.
Also, "pussy willows."
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Thursday, April 12, 2012

UMM supplies diamond thrills in April

This spring has been a very cooperative one for getting the diamond sports in. The Cougars have been busy.
The men and women came out of April 10 (Tuesday) with reason for satisfaction. Both played a twin bill.
The men had a split, winning game #2 of their competition vs. the Presentation Saints. Game #1 got away from everyone in terms of fragile defense, as UMM lost in a football-like score. UMM dropped game #1 in a 21-10 final. Whew!
Then came game #2 in which the Cougars bore down in a more conventional type of game, winning 3-2.
The softball women were on the road against Bethany Lutheran on the 10th. This location was Mankato. The women won throughout this competition, 7-2 in game #1 and 7-3 in the closer.

Baseball
The men, playing at home, completed a demanding stretch of seven games in six days. They have a breather now and will return to the diamond Friday, 4/14, against Northwestern. Game-time is 3 p.m. Friday against the Eagles.
The same two teams will vie beginning at noon Saturday, this time to play two.
The UMM men remain in the hunt for qualifying for the UMAC post-season tournament. The Cougars and Presentation are both 4-5 in league.
The 4/10 twin bill began with the players getting perhaps a little taxed circling the bases. You might say it wasn't a showcase for the best baseball. The Cougars would have felt better about this had they won. The two teams combined for 37 hits.
UMM plated four runs in the bottom of the first to take a 4-2 lead. A three-run rally in the second was good for giving UMM a one-run advantage, 7-6. Presentation was on the attack pretty effectively too.
It was Presentation shining in the fourth and fifth frames, plating 13 runs to three by the Cougars.
Eric Terres was a bright spot with his acceleration on the basepaths. He built his reputation further in this category, stealing two bases to make his season stats 14 of 16.
Mike McGill showed a robust bat with four hits in five at-bats and four RBIs. Jordan Gegen drove in two runs.
Jake Johnson was given the pitching assignment for game #2. Johnson tossed his fifth complete game of the season in as many starts. He allowed four hits and two runs in UMM's 3-2 win.
McGill's bat stayed hot, this time with three-for-three numbers and two RBIs. So for the day, this Cougar was a sizzling seven-for-eight with six RBIs.
The offense of both teams was much more restrained than in game #1.

Softball
Mercedes Klimek was a standout at bat for the UMM women in their sweep over Bethany on 4/10. Klimek's bat resounded with five hits in eight at-bats on the day. She crossed home plate three times and drove in five runs. Her hits included a home run and double.
Six total Cougars had multiple hits, helping the squad to its 7-2 and 7-3 wins. These were UMAC games.
The Cougars pounded out 20 total hits - their season-best for a twin bill.
Jordan Iverson got back in the groove after having a hitting streak stopped. Against Bethany she had a hit in each game, making it seven of the last eight games in which she has hit safely.
The two wins got UMM back over .500 in UMAC play.
The success was made especially sweet by remembering the sweep loss UMM was dealt last season by Bethany. It was UMM's only such sweep setback of the 2011 spring.
The Vikings were humbled this time around.
The Cougars came out of Tuesday at 4-12 in overall and 3-2 in league.
The all-important starting pitching duties were handled by Mariah Essig and Kelli Hamilton. Both went the distance. Each picked up her second pitching win. They did well scattering hits (nine each by Bethany Lutheran in the two games). Essig fanned six batters in game #1.
Hamilton notched a career-best five strikeouts in game #2. The hurlers allowed just two earned runs between them.
UMM broke open game #1 with a six-run fifth, buoyed by six hits including a Klimek grand slam.
Game #2 was tied 3-3 after three innings. In the fourth, Klimek connected for a two-out double down the line, scoring Heather Brown. Up to bat came Molly Olson who hit UMM's second home run of the day.
UMM is part of a logjam in the UMAC standings.
More action on the road is presented Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14, with Northwestern and Crown to provide the opposition.
Viva UMM Cougar softball and baseball!
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Monday, April 9, 2012

UMM baseball well into new campaign

There are altogether too many L's on the schedule/results page on the UMM baseball website. "L" stands for loss of course.
Getting under the Florida sun might have been a pleasure in many ways for our Cougars, but the competition wasn't kind to them. The Cougars came up empty.
So when the squad was able to go 3-0 in a recent stretch against Crown College, it was most satisfying.
March came to a close with the UMM student athletes hosting Crown in the three games over two days. It was a romp for the Cougars.
First they took care of business with a 5-0 win on March 30. This was the UMAC conference opener. It had Jake Johnson in fine form on the pitching rubber.
Throwing his third complete game of the season, Jake scattered eight hits in recording his first shutout in a Cougar uniform.
It was a classy conference debut to be sure, and it had the six feet-four Johnson setting down 12 Crown batters on strikes - his career-best.
Eric Terres didn't exactly knock the cover off the ball in driving in UMM's first run, but his grounder to short pushed in a run. Mike McGill was perched at third for that grounder. He had been advanced there by a Jordan Gegen double.
Nick Perrotte's bat resounded with a well-timed single in the fifth, a single good for scoring Scott Peterson and Neil Arvold.
Johnson had his only rough inning in the sixth but bore down to fan a batter for out No. 3. He got three straight strikes to get that final out, a dramatic moment reviewed in a colorful way by the individual writing on UMM's website. Johnson left the batter "staring into the bright blue Morris sky."
Kudos to the writer. The people behind Morris' tourism push would appreciate such descriptions.
The UMM offense tacked on single runs in the sixth and eighth, thus we get the 5-0 final. Johnson fanned at least one batter in each of the last four innings.
The boxscore shows Perrotte and McGill each with two hits. For Perrotte it was his fifth multiple-hit game. His bat produced two RBIs.
The Cougars were out on our local ball diamond again on March 31, ready to hopefully notch more success vs. Crown. Eric Terres was primed for a memorable day. He had four hits in as many at-bats in this doubleheader. Plus he worked the Crown pitchers for two walks.
The Cougars won each game by a 7-1 score.
Terres crossed home plate four times and he drove in two runs. Just as notable was his savvy on the basepaths. He sprinted to steal five bases in as many tries. He upped his season stolen base total to 13, having been caught stealing just once. The freshman came out of the day wielding a team-best .371. His runs-scored total: 9.
UMM pitching shone. The starting nods went to Logan Orazem and Ted Gray. They allowed a mere one earned run on the day (two total). They fanned eight batters and walked four.
Each notched a complete game - a "first" for both as collegians.
Everyone in the boxscore had at least one hit. Mike McGill, Nick Perrotte and Chris Thompson joined Terres with multiple-hit games. Perrotte came out of this series at .341 which was third-best, and his hit total of 14 was team-best.
Kyle Glaser had three RBIs in the doubleheader.
Orazem pitched the first game and was untouched through four innings. He ended up allowing five hits. He nearly finished with a shutout but allowed Crown to sneak across a run in the seventh with two outs.
Gray's pitching arm was put to work in the second game. He survived a jam in the fifth and was bailed out partly by a Terres fielding gem. UMM preserved a 3-1 lead and eventually notched their second 7-1 win of the day. Terres worked in deft fashion to chase down a baserunner and tag him.
The Cougar bats achieved a four-run rally in the bottom of the fifth. Crown's fielding lapses helped. The rally was achieved on five hits and three errors.
Gray allowed but one hit over the last two innings.
The success over the two days helped negate any residual sting from the Florida setbacks.
April did not start out well for the Cougars. They dropped four games between 4/3 and 4/7, playing Presentation and St. Scholastica.
Fans can come to the home diamond on Tuesday, April 10, for an abundant day of baseball: two games, set to start at 2 and 4 p.m. The foe is Presentation.
The University of Minnesota-Morris home diamond is to the east of Big Cat Stadium.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Just when color-blindness seemed attainable

A new generation lives in a world that in many ways can be scarcely understood by the older folks. This is true in many ways, one being race consciousness.
The young seem to hardly notice race. At least this is my perception. I'm writing this as one of the older folks.
My fellow boomers and I dreamed of a world like this. Our desired world is one in which race-based terminology seems hardly needed. People are people. We have the Martin Luther King holiday as a backdrop of inspiration.
I have wondered in the past couple years (I believe even on this site) if the MLK holiday is even desirable. Perhaps it reminds us of things that are best left relegated to textbooks. I have suggested it might be patronizing.
It even seems to be morphing into something different than the original intent. It has taken on a sub-name of "Day of Service." This is something young people can attach themselves to.
I grew up when the term "Negro" had currency. Race seemed more a question of white and black. Today the race spectrum has so many who are away from the extreme. The laws are pretty firm against any sort of discrimination. Asians have more of a presence.
We are rapidly destigmatizing the gay community whether Rick Perry likes it or not. He will want to forget about his dated views just like he seems to forget about other things. A little more painkiller might help.
Race and lifestyle have rapidly faded as ways of labeling people. Our youth grow up in a diverse and liberated world. They're smart enough to see something can still be amiss at times. Like, the unreasonable hatred vented by a segment of our society toward Barack Obama.
Young people see this and I hope they know where a lot of it comes from. It spews from older people who grew up in a more race-conscious world. Is the president a Negro? I would say not. Is "Negro" supposed to be capitalized? I'm only following an instinct.
When I was a kid I heard the term "Mulatto." We were supposed to attach it to people "who seemed sort of black." There was a time when part Native Americans were called "halfbreeds." The very need for such terms would befuddle today's young. Or at least this is how I size things up.
Then we get the Trayvon Martin (alleged) murder. It's a wakeup call for kids who might need a reminder on how things used to be. In just a few seconds, a guy who seems to have psychological problems undertook an impulsive act that has gripped the media. It has become a mega story along the lines of Chandra Levy and Terri Schiavo.
The Martin execution seems troubling from several angles. As we digest this story we realize that "suspicious behavior" comes in many forms. I'm sure we have all recalled times when we were accosted by law enforcement for groundless reasons.
George Zimmerman was "law enforcement" in only the most quasi way. He was a "neighborhood watch captain." I have not heard of such a thing among our small communities in western Minnesota. Nor do we have "gated communities."
Charles Bronson made the "vigilante" seem glamorous. I was troubled by the appeal of those movies. They seemed totally unrealistic. The "bad guys" were bad in a totally Hollywood type of way.
The way Bronson wasted so many people would never be given a pass by real society. I hope people realize it's totally make-believe.
Look at the huge swirling tempest over Zimmerman taking one life. Trayvon Martin appeared to be walking along minding his own business. But he was black. He was young. He wore an article of clothing apparently associated with shady activity, although when I was young, bluejeans were considered a little subversive. Today people wear them in church. Men wear them with suitcoats.
Judging people by articles of clothing can be totally folly. In Martin's case we have the "hoodie." In Minnesota we have hoods available to keep our ears warm.
Being a black young man apparently has its hazards around a gated community. He might steal something. Even if he did, is this cause to "waste" him Bronson-like?
Zimmerman behaved in a way that showed he had confrontational intent. He has a history of anger management issues. He has a history of getting lenience from the legal system. Is this because he's from a family that works in the legal/law enforcement system?
I would suggest the earlier leniency is the biggest angle we might have to look at here. More appropriate intervention at an earlier time could have prevented this. Now we have a festering mega story which focuses on much broader issues than one unbalanced person "freaking out." We're back on the fundamental topic of race.
The only good thing that can come out of it is greater racial sensitivity and enlightenment. Oh, there's something else: We can discard this "stand your ground" law and other such right wing-inspired legislation, much of which may have been progressing under the radar. It passed without Jeb Bush paying much attention.
Young people are far more enlightened, not like politicians who are listening to sources of special interest money. The young shall lead. Hopefully they'll extinguish vestiges of racism and the kinds of proposed legislation coming from the likes of the tea party, NRA and ALEC.
We can only pray. And let's pray for justice in the horrific Martin-Zimmerman case.
Rick Scott is the governor of Florida and don't look for him to be a leader. We are reminded of the Deep South and its traits. Let's remember that when it comes to the Deep South and its historic defining traits, it is never the winner.
We have a captured Confederate flag in Minnesota as an artifact. It was kept through some sort of slip-up. It's from the battle of Gettysburg.
"They lost," Governor Jesse Ventura said (re. the South) in his classic non-subtle style. This was when the question arose over whether we should "return" the flag to a reenactors group in Virginia. The state of Virginia wants nothing to do with it.
We progress from race consciousness in fits and starts. I think we know what way destiny will take us.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Can religion rein the "nones" back in?

C-Span2, otherwise known as "Book TV," can absolutely come to the rescue on weekends when cable TV seems so weak.
"Book TV" at its best is the absolute best TV you can find. It completely contradicts what Newton Minow once famously said about television, that it was a "vast wasteland."
C-Span2 allows you to sit in on lectures and discussions that you might consider driving a fair distance to attend. They'll just set up a camera at a bookstore or lecture hall and let the event unfold. They aren't scared of an occasional minute of "dead time" when nothing is happening and people are just milling about in the room.
That's a trademark of the C-Span channels. Chris Matthews of MSNBC talks about how "incremental" it is.
When a book author is discussing something of particular interest to me, I sit transfixed. It makes you think, analyze and want to raise your hand to ask a question yourself.
On Sunday (4/1) there was a fellow talking about the increasing number of people who identify themselves as nonreligious. The analysts call these people the "nones," not to be confused with "nuns," because they answer with "none" when asked what religion they subscribe to, the speaker said. The number is getting up close to 20 percent.
I suspect the term "atheist" isn't used because atheism denotes an active doctrine, whereas the people answering "none" really aren't pressing the matter at all. They probably wouldn't be any less irritated (not much anyway) by PZ Myers than anyone else.
Myers is one of those academic atheists. Academia has plenty of its own problems without concerning itself with, or confronting, organized religion. We only listen to Myers because he has a position in academia.
For those of you not familiar, he's associated with our own University of Minnesota-Morris. I wouldn't be surprised if he has caused considerable hair-pulling among administration. We hire people like Myers, academicians that is, to help shape young minds.
The speaker on Book TV reported that the apparent flight from religion is especially marked among the young. He used the term "millennials." He had a theory about this that I respect, but I personally think at least one other strong force is at work.
The speaker talked about the blending of religion and politics.
When did this begin? Was it when Republicans started taking over the Deep South? As a kid I remember hearing the term "the Democratic solid South." Today the region with all its evangelical Christianity is quite Republican, Jim DeMint-style.
Can we suggest that Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority got the ball rolling?
I remember a very nice Baptist couple in Morris, very well-intentioned, who dug in their heels as members of the local Republicans. Nice they were, but they were hard right-wingers.
I find it hard to say anything disparaging about the locals as long as they never did anything that was really in-your-face. Still, the type of people I once associated with the local Republicans - temperate folks - drifted away. These were your typical middle-aged people who were business-oriented and cautious in their sensibilities. Paul Stark wouldn't mind if I typed his name here.
These people had an ideology but it wasn't flaming. Evangelicals decided it wasn't enough to just profess their beliefs in the church pew. If they were real believers, or so they felt, they had to get engaged in politics.
Non-white religious leaders still felt comfortable in the Democratic Party. But the whites gravitated Republican, or they sure made the most noise. The fellow on Book TV suspects this says much about the drift away from organized religion among the young.
Many of the young who are alienated by the chief tenets of the far right have their attitudes about religion colored. They aren't in the pews as much. The people who make their living in religion have seen this. That is why there is a current effort to gain more separation between religion and politics, from people inside.
Is it too late? You see, I think other forces are at work too. We live in a totally knowledge and information-driven age. Allow me to explain:
Church has historically been an important way for people to "network." The World War II generation was great for believing in clubs, organizations and churches giving great fulfillment. Bless them.
They did believe in the aims of these groups. But there was also a self-interested base in their activities. Belonging to the Elks Lodge or veterans club was a way to keep your place in the community, enhancing basic job security. "Who you knew" was important.
Today the criterion of "what you know" is absolutely paramount. As the number of menial or tedious jobs goes down, the need to master new data management tools takes over as whether you sink or swim.
It doesn't matter so much what church you go to. It doesn't matter if you drink to excess at an Elks club on Saturday. It won't get you anywhere. It's bad for your health and safety, which it always has been.
Better to stay home, get your proper amount of sleep and be absolutely certain you keep up with all the tech-driven changes that are most certainly affecting whatever occupation you're in.
There's no guarantee you'll survive. But the old-fashioned way of networking isn't likely to help you at all. It isn't who you know, it's what you know.
This also explains why it's less important to dress in a "formal" sort of way.
The decreased emphasis on dressing "formally" in church has been noted for some time. People my age discuss this with amusement. We'll make note of some people dressing "grubby" for church, which in a previous age (like in our youth) would have brought great disapproval.
As the "information age" began cutting its swath in our society, the mere act of choosing how to dress became less important. We were no longer putting on airs of being a certain type of person. Again, knowledge became everything. Adjusting became everything.
People who understood and could manage complex data systems landed on their feet. They "got it." Dressing formally or belonging to certain groups would become totally secondary.
I remember the character in the movie "War Games" who was the total computer nerd of his time. The hero went to him to consult, remember? He had the sidekick named "Melvin," a nerd to the point of eccentricity. Melvin's little quips got the Ally Sheedy character smiling.
The moviemakers were trying to tell us something - I have no doubt. The computer mavens paid no mind to their appearance or behavior and maybe not even to their hygiene. But we were supposed to admire them. They were on the cutting edge of what was coming for our society.
The Matthew Broderick character was able to stop a world conflagration and he of course showed up a lot of clueless and pretentious older folks in the process. Remember the general who talked about "pissing on a sparkplug?"
The young will always lead.
The fact that around 30 percent of millenials are "nones," professing no meaningful tie to religion, is interesting. That presenter on Book TV was fascinating, just like a later speaker in the day who had written a book about the final surrender of the Confederacy - all the twists and turns.
Book TV can rescue a blah weekend. My friend Glen Helberg is a big C-Span fan.
It's ironic we get bored by TV when so many channels are available. Sometimes I'll be channel-surfing and stop to watch one of those half-hour infomercials for a Time-Life music CD collection. Have you caught those? I'll often stay on that channel for the rest of the half-hour, even if it's a show I've seen before. I like the one with "Bowser" and the 1950s collection.
It says something that this programming often seems like the best available. Weekends are the "wasteland" as pointed out by Newton Minow, even though he was thinking more of shows like Gilligan's Island, and not "Huckabee," that strange Fox News prime time show that presents politics in a Tonight Show-like format.
The Huckster is a conservative Republican from the Deep South (Arkansas).
When will the conservatives' reign in the media finally end? One thing is for sure: Young people find the blending of right wing activism and religion unacceptable.
Hence they are "nones."
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com