Monday, March 31, 2008

UT men's basketball team had a terrific year

Well, the Tennessee men's basketball team had its season come to a screeching halt last Thursday when it lost to Louisville 79-60 in the NCAA tournament.

It would be easy to write about the disappointment of that game, but now that I am a few days removed from it, all I can think about is how great a season this was.

Yes, I used the word "great." That word is one of the most overused words in America, but I believe it applies here.

In sports, I think a person can only use that word when a team wins a championship, and the Vols certainly did that. This was the first time we have won the outright conference championship in more than 40 years (though we have shared the title several times since then).

Additionally, we set a school record for wins (with 31) and achieved our first number one ranking in the national polls ever.

The sting of the Louisville loss eases a bit when we put the entire season in perspective.

Though we lose some key players (primarily Chris Lofton and JaJuan Smith), next season looks bright, especially if Tyler Smith does not declare himself eligible for the NBA draft.

Congratulations to the Vols for a great season.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

China a lousy choice to host Olympics

For better or worse, the Olympics remain a premier event on the global sporting landscape.

Every four years, the best athletes from around the world come together to compete for pride, country, and medals.

The event has lost some of its luster in recent years because Olympic organizers have allowed it to become more and more commercialized.

It is no longer as special as it used to be.

Despite this fact, the competition between cities to host the event remains fierce.

Beijing, China, was selected to host the event this summer, which proves once again that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) cares little about how abusive a country is regarding human rights.

Make no mistake, this is all about money. China's population is more than one billion, and the IOC must be absolutely giddy about the opportunity to tap into that market.

However, in doing this, the organization is closing its eyes to the Chinese government's abuse and persecution of its own people.

Recently, the U.S. State Department released its annual report about human rights practices around the world.

The report labeled China as an authoritarian human rights abuser and cited as examples alleged torture of citizens, state control of daily life, and tight control on religion, according to multiple media outlets.

The State Department’s report included details about alleged torture techniques including electric shocks, beatings, and use of shackles. The report included a graphic account of the "tiger bench" form of torture that forces a person's leg to bend sometimes until it is broken.

Of course, reports like this involving China are nothing new. These types of abuses have been known about for years.

Despite this, the IOC rewarded China with the Olympics, and if we know anything about the Olympic stage, it is that it will give the host nation the opportunity to drown the world with propaganda regarding how great their culture is.

Expect no different from the Chinese. The big question is whether or not the world media will have the guts to put the Chinese government under a microscope and provide a well-rounded idea of what it is like in that country.

The answer to that question is not easy because China continually clamps down on freedom of the press.

The selection of China as the host country has generated considerable controversy and some athletes may boycott the event. However, that would be a mistake.

When it comes to sports, boycotts just don't work. In 1980, the United States led a boycott of the summer Olympics that were being held in Moscow.

Though some other countries joined the boycott, it really didn't affect the event.

The Soviet Union and other communist countries retaliated in 1984 when Los Angeles hosted the games, but their presence was not missed.

Of course, the selection of Moscow as an Olympic city was another example of the indifference the IOC has shown through the years toward governments who mistreat their citizens.

The most infamous example of this was when the games were awarded to Berlin in 1936, and Adolf Hitler attempted to exploit the event for propaganda purposes.

However, the great U.S. track star Jesse Owens completely upstaged him by winning four gold medals.

Regarding this year's games, the bottom line is Chinese officials will attempt to exploit the event in a vain attempt to show the world that they really are good guys.

I sure hope the world won't be gullible enough to buy what they are selling.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Quote of the day

"Conscience. That stuff can drive you nuts." -- spoken by the character "Terry Malloy" as portrayed by Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront.

He's right. And if you don't know that, you will someday.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wal-Mart becoming a good resource to get inexpensive, excellent DVDs

At my local Wal-Mart, there is a large bin that is filled with discounted DVDs just outside the electronics department.

In the past, I haven't bothered to look in it much because it usually had films like Stroker Ace and other two-star movies. However, last week, I decided to check it out and was stunned at the quality films they had for low prices.

For example, I picked up Martin Scorsese's brilliant Raging Bull for only $5. It is a brutal and savage film that is not for kids, but it is remarkable. Robert De Niro won an Oscar for his portrayal of boxer Jake La Motta. It was the first time in years that I had watched it, and it surprised me how much La Motta's character reminded me of Othello. The downfall of La Motta and Othello can be traced to their suspicious and paranoid state of mind regarding the women in their lives.

Also, I picked up a three-DVD set of Gene Hackman films for only $13. The films were The French Connection, Hoosiers, and Mississippi Burning.

So, what is the point of this? If you like movies, check out the bargain bins at your local Wal-Mart. You might find gold there.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Vols face big challenges if they want to advance in the NCAAs

Though it wasn't pretty at times, the Tennessee Volunteers men's basketball team took care of business in Birmingham over the weekend and scratched out wins over American University and Butler.

Fortunately, we don't have to worry about style points in the tournament. All teams have to do is survive and advance, which is exactly what the Vols did.

This week, the competition remains stiff. On Thursday, we play Louisville who demolished Oklahoma on Sunday. The Cardinals have played extremely well in the second half of the season, and because of their whitewashing of Oklahoma, I expect most of the national media to pick them.

The analysts at ESPN (especially Dick Vitale) are infatuated with Italian coaches, so expect them to be slobbering over Louisville coach Rick Pitino all week.

This is okay with me. The Vols are at their best win they can play the "no respect" card, and trust me, Louisville will be the trendy upset pick of most commentators.

If we get by the Cardinals, we will play the winner of the North Carolina/Washington State game.

We have never advanced passed the round of 16 in the tournament before. This team has a good chance to make history on Thursday.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Actions of a few validate Christianity

Today, millions of Christians worldwide will celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus.

While I may be stating the obvious for many of us, the results of a Gallup Poll I read this week reminded me that not everybody understands this holiday's purpose. According to the poll, 25 percent of Americans don't know why Easter is celebrated.

However, for Christians, the Resurrection is the pivotal event of our faith. If it were not for this event, Christianity would crumble and could easily be classified as the biggest hoax of all time.

Without the Resurrection, Jesus would have been just another false prophet who did not deliver on what He promised.

I know these are strong words, but it is impossible for me to over-emphasize this holiday's importance.

For all the hype that Christmas receives, the Resurrection's importance dwarfs it and then some. Simply put, deciding whether Jesus rose from the dead or not is the most important question a person will ever answer.

Obviously, there have been an uncountable number of debates over the centuries regarding this event. However, when analyzing whether Jesus rose from the dead, one of the most compelling pieces of evidence supporting this event is the behavior of those closest to Him.

When Jesus was arrested and crucified, His disciples ran for their lives. They were terrified, and Peter went as far as to publicly deny Him three times.

Some are quick to criticize Peter, but we should all know better. When the heat is on, it is part of our human nature to want to save our own skin, and that is all he was doing.

We have all denied Jesus only it was not documented in the best-selling book of all time so people could read about it throughout the centuries. Jesus forgave Peter and that is good enough for me.

The main point here is that the disciples had hit rock bottom. Their Master was dead, and they were terrified for their lives because of threats from religious leaders, Roman authorities, and the public in general.

The situation was desperate.

However, compare their behavior at this point to their behavior only a few days later. Not only did they stop running, but they began to actively proclaim the Gospel, knowing it would bring them suffering and hardship.

What could have caused such a reversal in just a few, short days? They met the resurrected Jesus.

As previously stated, they had all demonstrated the human quality of wanting to save their own skin because they knew what awaited them by being associated with Jesus. It would have taken a supernatural event to turn them back at this point.

This is exactly what happened. The reality of the Jesus’ Resurrection hit them right between the eyes. Despite the torture and hardship that awaited them, they willingly took the Gospel into the world.

Consider for a moment what these men were undertaking. These men were basically peasants with no power, and they were going to challenge the most powerful empire in the world.

The message they would carry would rattle society, and if nothing else, history shows us the Romans were not patient when it came to events that caused instability within their empire.

Again, why would they do this? Because they were absolutely certain what they believed in was true. The reality of the Resurrection of Jesus cemented His teachings in their hearts.

People don't suffer and die for something they know to be a lie or a hoax. Our human nature does not work that way. A person would be insane to willingly suffer in the ways these men suffered if they knew it was all a lie. These men faced public humiliation in ways that have been rarely experienced.

History is littered with people who committed to a cause but then jumped ship as soon as it got tough. We read about it every day in the news. We read about groups that are committed to a cause, but as the justice system closes in on them, they quickly cut deals to testify against others to lessen their jail time or suffering.

However, it did not work that way with the disciples. They did not compromise. They knew what was true, and their commitment impacts us thousands of years later.

Perhaps that should make us consider our own commitment.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Make sure to wear pants when visiting Yorktown, N.Y.

Police in Yorktown, N.Y., recently charged John Greco with a count of misdemeanor public lewdness when he allegedly ordered doughnuts in the drive-through lane of his local Dunkin' Donuts without any pants on, according to the Associated Press.

A worker at the store noted Greco's license plate number when he drove away, and it was reported to local police.

There is no way I can know this for sure, but this has to be a big misunderstanding. After all, didn't stores and restaurants begin adding drive-through lanes so it would be more convenient for their customers? What can be more convenient than not wearing pants while driving around town?

Especially during the summer, I try to avoid wearing pants as much as anyone.

Who knows? I may not be wearing pants right now as I am typing this. Try really hard not to get a mental picture of that.

Poor John Greco. Will the assault on our personal freedoms ever stop?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Seeing old friends good for the soul

I recently spent an evening with a couple of friends that I don't get to see nearly enough. It reminded me how important friendship is, and that we all need to do a better job of staying in touch with our friends.

We all have busy lives. The most convenient form of communication these days seems to be e-mail. However, that is no substitute for sitting down with somebody and chewing the fat over what is going on in their lives.

So, here is a personal challenge. Think of somebody you haven't seen in a while and give them a call. Set up a time to meet with them and reminisce about old times while discussing what is going on in their lives now.

I guarantee it will be a great experience.

Monday, March 17, 2008

UT's number two seeding a disappointment, but life goes on

In my posting last Thursday, I advised Tennessee Volunteer fans not to worry because the Vols likely had already locked up a number one seeding in the NCAA tournament even if they lost early in the SEC tourney.

Obviously, I was wrong. The NCAA wasn't as impressed as I was with Tennessee's overall body of work that included playing one of the toughest schedules in the country and having a high RPI ranking.

Even though that was disappointing, the Vols still earned a number two seed. In looking at this weekend's games, I see some good and bad.

The good: Tennessee gets to stay close to home. The Vols only have to travel down to Birmingham for their games, which should make it very easy for a lot of fans to drive down and cheer them on. Additionally, their opponent in the first round, American University, should be a fairly easy game. Assuming the Vols find their defense (which they seemingly lost in the SEC tournament), they should advance to the second round with little difficulty.

The bad: The second round match up will be a challenging one. If we beat American University, we will play the winner of the South Alabama/Butler game. If South Alabama wins, we will be playing them in their own backyard. Expect a significant home court advantage for them. As for Butler, this is a talented team that beat Tennessee at the start of last season in the pre-season NIT tournament. They will be filled with confidence and won't be intimidated by Tennessee.

I'm sure this will surprise no one, but I expect Tennessee to win both games and advance to the Sweet 16. If that doesn't happen, it will be a disappointing end to a tremendous season.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ode to snow

There are not many things that can make an adult act like a child, but I believe snow is one of them.

A little over a week ago, Coffee County got its first good snow in a while. I don't define a "good snow" as some of the dustings we have gotten so far this season.

I define a good snow as one that is at least three inches, which is what I got at my house.

Watching snow fall from the sky can be truly hypnotic. Even if I am involved in some activity at work or at home, I can't stop pausing to look out the window to see if it is still falling.

This probably goes back to my childhood. Back then, it took a lot more than a dusting to get school cancelled for the day. These days, some school systems will call off school before the first flake falls.

So, as a boy, I took great interest in how hard the snow was falling and if it was sticking to the streets. If it stopped snowing early in the day, I would begin to sweat it out because I knew the sun would come from behind the clouds and start melting it.

What made this recent snow so unusual is that it happened in March. Once February ended, I thought our chances for a good snow were gone until next winter.

After all, how often do we get measurable snows in March here in Tennessee? Not often. However, one of the largest snows I can remember happened back in March of 1993.

The folks at The Weather Channel refer to it as the Super Storm of 1993, and more than 10 inches fell here locally. This happened on the same weekend that the Coffee County Lady Raiders basketball team won the state championship.

I didn't make the trip to Murfreesboro for the game because of the snow, which was very disappointing. However, I got to enjoy a good snow and a state championship on the same weekend, so I have no complaints.

My infatuation with snow is primarily because of how little we get of it. I'm sure my tune would change if I lived in a location where snow fell all the time.

For example, during the recent storm, the people in Cleveland and Buffalo got buried in it. Those folks really get it from both sides all the time.

They get buried when strong storm systems like the one we experienced come through, plus they get lake effect snows because they are located by the Great Lakes.

As much as I enjoy snow, I believe I would go crazy if I had to deal with as much of it as they do. I suppose that is something the people up there get used to, but I believe I would quickly tire of it.

From a weather perspective, this is part of the reason I like living in Tennessee so much. Most years, we get a little bit of everything.

In the winter, we get cold snaps and light snows that are here briefly then go away.

Most summers, it is hot during July and August, but it quickly fades into autumn. Of course, last summer was an exception. It was extremely hot and dry for a long period so maybe we were just experiencing the opposite of what the people in Cleveland and Buffalo go through.

I've never been to Cleveland and Buffalo, and I am sure they are fine cities.

But I love living here in Tennessee, and it is here I will stay.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Don't sweat it if Tennessee loses early in the SEC tourney

Historically, the Tennessee Volunteers have not done well in the SEC tournament. In past years, that would have been something to worry about, but this year's success guarantees the Vols will be a very high seed in the NCAA tournament.

Even with a loss on Friday, we should be a number one seed. However, it wouldn't entirely surprise me if we are not. I think there are five teams competing for the four number one seeds in the tournament: Tennessee, Memphis, North Carolina, UCLA, and Kansas.

However, we have played the third toughest schedule in the country but have remained near the top of the polls all year. In comparison, Kansas' schedule is ranked around number 80.

So, there is no need to be on pins and needles in the SEC tourney. If the NCAA selection committee does its job, we will be a number one seed.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Don't buy the hype regarding Georgia winning the 2008 college football national championship

Almost since the end of the 2007 college football season, a lot of experts have been touting the Georgia Bulldogs as a national championship contender in 2008. The Bulldogs completed last season with a flourish and stomped Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl.

I concede the Bulldogs will enter the 2008 season with a lot of momentum, and they also have the luxury of having most of their starters back from last year. However, they will not win the national championship.

Why? Because their schedule is too tough.

Here it is:

August 30 -- Georgia Southern
September 6 -- Central Michigan
September 13 -- at South Carolina
September 20 -- at Arizona State
September 27 -- Alabama
October 11 -- Tennessee
October 18 -- Vanderbilt
October 25 -- at LSU
November 1 -- Florida (at Jacksonville, Fla.)
November 8 -- at Kentucky
November 15 -- at Auburn
November 29 -- Georgia Tech

That is a brutal schedule, and it is not set up for a national championship run. There are at least two losses on that schedule. I know LSU won the title last year with two losses, but that was the exception rather than the rule. It won't happen again soon.

Six of the Bulldogs games are against teams that have head coaches who have won national championships (South Carolina, Arizona State, Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, and Florida). The Bulldogs picked the wrong year to have LSU come onto their schedule. In consecutive weeks they play at LSU then must play Florida.

Sorry, Georgia fans. Your team may be great next year but you will be lucky to win the SEC championship much less the national title.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tennessee is truly a hotbed for men's college hoops

If a person needed more evidence proving that Tennessee contains great men's college basketball, all he would have to do is look at the number of schools the state is sending to the NCAA tournament.

Over the weekend, both Belmont and Austin Peay earned berths in the tourney by winning their conference tournaments. Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Memphis are guaranteed to make the big dance so that means five schools from the Volunteer state will play deep into March.

If there is a state that will be sending that many, I am unaware of it.

Too bad the big boys at ESPN don't recognize this.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Will we elect a rock star as President?

There have been a lot of interesting story lines to emerge during the presidential campaign so far.

Last year, pundits and pollsters said Arizona Sen. John McCain had no chance to win the Republican nomination, but he has pulled off a remarkable comeback to earn that party's nod.

Also, many believed former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson would become a frontrunner in the Republican race as the choice of the conservative wing of the party. However, he spent too much time deliberating about whether to run, and when he finally joined the race, his campaign generated little momentum.

However, the most interesting story line is easily the emergence of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. Whether a person supports him or not, the hysteria his campaign has generated is something that is not often seen in the political world.

I don't believe 'hysteria' is too strong a word. According to some who are covering his campaign, he is generating the type of emotion that is directed toward rock stars and not politicians.

It seems like in every election cycle there is rhetoric about the need for change, and at this point, many Democratic voters are looking at Obama as the person who can bring that change.

It's no secret that people are fed up with what is coming out of Washington. President Bush and the Democraticly-controlled Congress both have terrible approval ratings.

Obama has been able to tap into that discontent, and it is serving him well so far.

However, recent history shows that other presidential candidates have been able to successfully exploit this dissatisfaction.

For example, when the 1976 presidential race began, Jimmy Carter was nothing more than the obscure former governor of Georgia. However, he had good timing because his candidacy came when America was emerging from the stench of the Watergate scandal.

The fallout from the scandal was that President Richard Nixon resigned and several from his administration went to prison. Gerald Ford became president after Nixon left and alienated a lot of Americans when he pardoned Nixon for any crimes he might have committed.

Nobody will ever confuse Carter with a rock star, but he was able to use the discontent in the country to his advantage. He beat Ford in the '76 general election.

Unfortunately for Carter (and America), there was no happy ending during his presidency. The economy fell apart during his tenure, and terrorists raided the United States embassy in Iran and held Americans hostage for more than a year.

The general consensus about Carter when he left office was that he was a nice guy but a bad president.

Other recent Democratic presidents also had the ability to touch the hearts of voters in a deep way. For example, there can be no questioning that President John Kennedy did that.

However, I believe his presidency has been romanticized through the years because he was assassinated. After all, he won the election in 1960 with only 49.7 percent of the popular vote. He was far from a landslide choice.

The same goes for Bill Clinton. He won the 1992 election against incumbent George Bush and Ross Perot with only 43 percent of the popular vote. In '96, he was re-elected with only 49.2 percent of the vote.

As for Obama, it will be fascinating to watch how his candidacy plays out. He communicates well and has charisma. While those may seem like superficial qualities to consider when electing a president, there can be no doubting that America is superficial in many ways.

It is part of our human nature to be attracted to what is pleasing to the eye without considering the content of what we are pursing.

That is not meant to be a slam of Obama. It is meant to be a slam of voters.

Too often, voters take the easy way out when casting their vote. They don't study candidates closely and then complain when the results are not up to their satisfaction.

Regardless of who a person votes for in the general election in November (whether it is Obama, McCain, Hillary Clinton or whoever), my challenge to you all is to cast your vote based on the positions candidates take on the issues.

Don't take the easy way out.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bob Knight is being hypocritical by taking ESPN job

There is no question that college basketball coach Bobby Knight knows a lot about his sport. Additionally, when he was coaching, he always ran a clean program, and his team had good graduation rates.

As most know, Knight has a lot of negative traits, most of which I will not re-hash now. However, I have to take him to task for his recent acceptance of a job with ESPN as a commentator/consultant. For years, he has been critical of the media, but only weeks after quitting at Texas Tech, he has accepted this cushy gig.

Of course, we see this all the time. Athletes and coaches are quick to tell the media that they don't know what they are doing, yet they accept jobs with them once their playing/coaching days are over.

Howard Cosell used to refer to this influx of athletes into the media as the "jockocracy." Many times, these folks have no experience and qualifications to have these high paying jobs. Most turn out to mediocre at best.

However, there are exceptions. During his prime, Pat Summerall was one of the best play-by-play announcers in the business. Also, even though he tends to be over the top, John Madden is still a good analyst.

As for Knight, he has sold out. He thinks most in the media don't know what they are doing, but money talks, I guess.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bruce Pearl continues to own Billy Donovan

Back on February 4, I suggested that Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl owns Florida coach Billy Donovan. Pearl ran his record against Donovan to 5-1 tonight as Tennessee went to Gainesville and beat the Mighty Gators 89-86. The Volunteers overcame a 16-point deficit in claiming the win.

However, the most important thing to come out of this game is that the Vols clinched the SEC regular season championship. Vanderbilt helped out by beating Mississippi State in overtime to eliminate the Bulldogs.

Congratulations to Coach Pearl and the players. Well done.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Hank Steinbrenner should provide us years of quality entertainment

Let me say right up front that when it comes to baseball I am an Atlanta Braves fan, but I have always been a Boston Red Sox sympathizer because of my intense dislike for the New York Yankees.

I just don't like the Yankees style. They are one of those teams that you either love or hate.

In recent years, the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry hasn't quite been the same because owner and team patriarch George Steinbrenner has faded into the shadows because of his age and health issues. George always ran his big mouth and personified all the things I disliked about the Yankees.

Now, his sons have taken more control of the team, and his son Hank seems like a chip off the old block.

He recently had this to say about the Red Sox and their fans:

"Red Sox Nation? What a bunch of (expletive) that is...That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans...Go anywhere in America and you won't see Red Sox hats and jackets, you'll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We're going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order."

I will give the Yankees credit for one thing. They were the best baseball team of the 20th century.

However, we now live in the 21st century, and the Sox have won two World Series' titles and the Yankees have won zero. The score is 2-0.

Go Sox!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Hollywood doesn't interest me much these days

Last Sunday, I tuned in to watch the Academy Awards so I could see who the folks in Hollywood thought produced the best films of 2007.

I tuned in more out of curiosity than anything else. I enjoy well-made movies, but last year I went to fewer movies than I have in all the years of my adult life.

Many of the movies made today do not speak to me. They don't touch my heart in the ways they did when I was younger.

Maybe I've reached the age where I am no longer included in the demographics that Hollywood executives consider when deciding on which movies to make.

It seems like most films are targeted toward a younger audience than me. There's nothing wrong with that. The people in the 18 to 35-year-old age group have a ton of disposable income, and it makes sense that Hollywood would want to exploit that.

Still, it is frustrating that there are few films that interest me. Many of the big budget films seem to get made for reasons other than having an interesting story to tell.

Marketability plays a big role in determining which films get the most funding. For example, Spider-Man 3 and Shrek the Third were both fairly bland movies, and the studios making them had to have known that as they were being made.

But each got tens of million of dollars pumped into their budgets not only because they would likely attract a big audience to theaters, but because they could sell a lot of merchandise. In these cases, the films were nothing more than a successful franchise like McDonalds or Burger King.

Much like the food served in those restaurants, people knew what they were going to get even before they watched the films. Obviously, the people who went to see them did not care because Spider-Man 3 made $336.5 million and Shrek the Third made $322.7 million.

Maybe this is just an example of the downside of capitalism. Like any industry, the motivation of Hollywood moguls is to make money so when a formula is found that works, it gets flogged to death until the marketplace won't buy it anymore.

Again, there is nothing wrong with that. If films don't produce a profit, then the movie business will shut down. However, this does create an environment where artistic ambition is pushed to the side.

As for the Academy Awards, it interested me that most of the films nominated were not the big blockbusters that the Hollywood marketing machine crammed down our throats.
Several of the films nominated only performed modestly at the box office and were not part of the action-adventure genre. Films like Michael Clayton and There Will Be Blood dealt with serious themes but as I am writing this, neither has come close to making $100 million.

The idealist inside me wants to believe that the critical acclaim those two films received will encourage the major movie studios to make more films like that instead of trotting out the predictable stuff they do over and over again.

However, the realist inside me understands that those studios will make more thought provoking movies only when more people go to see them.

From a business point of view, that make sense, but we live in an age where there are a lot of important subjects to ponder. Movies are often an important way to do that, but movie goers seem more interested in silliness these days.

Movies have always been a way to escape from the pressures of every day life, and the silliness of our movie landscape is likely a reflection of this.

I am as silly as the next guy, but I would like to see more films that tackle the serious issues of our time.

However, that's not to say that movies can't be silly and thought provoking at the same time. For example, Charlie Chaplin made his brilliant film The Great Dictator back in 1940, and it was an obvious spoof of Adolf Hitler.

Chaplin's silliness in the film lampooned Hitler in a way that showed how ridiculous tyrants are.

I don't expect anything like this from Hollywood these days, but would it hurt to try?