Thursday, March 10, 2011

shameless promotion (2.0): March 10, 2011

Note: In the ongoing effort of this blog to get its primary author firedpromote its primary author's failingcareer as a writer, we present this week's column from the St. Clair Times. As always, feel free to add your own thoughts, either here or on Twitter. We thank you in advance for your feigning of interest.
We could all stand to shed a tear or two every now and again

Among the many classic scenes in the history of the TV show “Seinfeld,” one seems to keep coming to mind this week.

It’s a later episode — entitled “The Serenity Now” — in which Jerry — generally portrayed as aloof, snarky and emotionally detached — learns to tap into his emotions. After losing an argument with his girlfriend, his eyes begin to water, and he’s informed that he is “crying.”

“This is horrible,” he says. “I care.”

The scene, like much of the rest of the episode, is intentionally absurd. But the issue of crying continues to be a pervasive and divisive one in society these days.

A few days ago, the NBA’s Miami Heat lost a tough game at home to Chicago. Afterward, head coach (at least for now) Erik Spoelstra said the loss hurt his team badly.

“There are a couple of guys crying in the locker room,” Spoelstra reportedly said (he has since back-tracked and said no one actually cried after the game).

The outcry was immediate and anguished.

“How could professional athletes CRY after a regular-season game?” one analyst asked. “IT’S JUST A BASKETBALL GAME! JUST ONE! MAN UP!”

After my ears recovered from the shrieking, I found myself nodding in agreement. I mean, who cries after a sporting event?

Oh, that’s right. Me.

Poor Tim Tebow caught so much flak in 2009 for openly blubbering on the sidelines in the closing moments of his Florida team’s SEC Championship Game loss to Alabama. Guess it’s a good thing no cameras found me in the stands, weeping like a dad whose daughter just won an Olympic gold medal.

But hey, we’re all entitled to a little emotion, right? At least that’s the only time I’ve cried lately.

Yes, as long as “lately” doesn’t include the last time I saw “Field of Dreams.” Or listened to Chris Rice’s “Untitled Hymn.” Or watched Jim Valvano deliver his famous “Don’t Ever Give Up” speech.

As long as those things aren’t involved, yeah … I’m an emotional wrec … er, rock.

Come to think of it, Valvano’s speech actually encourages people to cry. Here were his words:

“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. … Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought.

“And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

Maybe it’s not such a terrible thing, after all, to care too much.

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