Thank You, Ken

CoJwCboXgAAWVteI will start with my family.

Ken Griffey, Jr. has no idea what he has done for my family, so let’s begin there.

We love baseball, my family. When I was little, my dad would take us to games at the Kingdome a few times each year. We would get there two hours beforehand, as soon as the gates opened, and race up the concrete ramps until we reached the first base side of the 300 level.

It made little sense, arriving so early to take in batting practice from a location where not a single batted ball would travel, but we did it anyway. We liked being up there and soaking it all in.

Continue reading Thank You, Ken

The Responsibility We Face

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Over the last few months, hate and intolerance have risen to an inescapable prominence.

No matter how we might choose to disregard its uglier aspects, the authenticity of the world we live in will always persist and can only truly be altered by those of us who exist within it. We can pretend we don’t see what’s out there, what’s really going on, but at a certain point ignoring reality any further becomes nothing short of irresponsible. It’s time we took responsibility.

What are we doing right now? We’re killing each other for no reason. We’re paying witness to murder. We’re sensationalizing disaster. We’re inching closer and closer towards a race war that is being fought out of fear and ignorance. We have mass shootings on a weekly basis. We have innocent citizens being executed in handcuffs. We have officers of the law under attack. And with every incident, we’re becoming more and more numb to the otherwise jarring essence of what we’ve encountered.

We’re not patriots or freedom fighters, defenders of liberty. We’re not republicans or democrats, liberals or conservatives, right wing or left. We aren’t colors of the spectrum or places on a map. We aren’t us and them. We’re not allies or enemies. We’re none of those things.

At our core, we are all the same. We are human. And in moments of weakness, of pain and panic, we seem to forget that. We’re people. Any other labels we pin on ourselves are arbitrary, interchangeable, and in the end, meaningless.

It’s hard to make sense of everything we’ve seen lately. The constant aggravation of every facet of each subsequent failure of mankind seems to further divide us from the common goals we all seek. It’s bad enough that these failures occur in the first place. But the way we often react only heightens the ire.

We’re fighting battles against one another over elemental fragments of every tragedy we incur, and worse yet we’re doing so in a realm that is mitigating our ability to progress. No one has ever changed the mind of an idiot on the internet, but damn if we don’t keep futilely trying.

It seems to be our only recourse in the wake of sheer cataclysm. We take our feelings to social media and utter a near-conditioned response, almost Pavlovian in nature. We resort to platitudes – “Stop shooting each other,” “Be nicer to one another” –  to assuage ourselves. We tweet our “thoughts and prayers” into the ether, wait an hour or two, then go back to whatever it was we were doing prior – until the next time we’re inspired to react. We’re trying to solve the world’s problems with hashtags and emojis, and we’ve convinced ourselves that we’re doing it.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a start, to be sure. The conversation is being kept alive thanks to our online forums. But there’s more we can do to move our world forward towards a greater good.

For starters, we need to look people in the eye and talk about these issues face to face. Part of what is giving hate and intolerance the credence it needs to survive is the anonymity that exists behind the glow of a laptop screen. Those who spread bigotry are allowed to do so while silently walking amongst us every day, leading double lives inside the comfort of their computers.

And as fearful as many of these people are of others, just as many of us without prejudice live in fear of calling them out. We need to bring the uncomfortable topics to the forefront and force accountability. The more we talk, the more we communicate, the more we let everyone know out loud that this won’t suffice, the better we become.

Next, we need to forget about our differences, our unique identifiers, and embrace our humanity. Sit down and spend a few minutes learning about each other and we’ll likely find we have more in common that what a single glance may indicate. This almost goes without saying, but we are not helpless in reshaping the biases of others. Sometimes the worst of us just need to be enlightened through the welcoming words of another.

Finally, we need to understand that it’s okay to grieve over tragedies without exclusively categorizing each new sorrow. We can sympathize for the police who lose their lives in the line of duty, just as we can do the very same for the innocent people who have been murdered when terrible individuals are granted the privilege to uphold the law. Sorting death into buckets that help strengthen political ideals and personal agendas won’t solve anything. We’re prioritizing ulterior motives ahead of utter sadness. These are people we’re losing. Not battles over centuries-old documents or civil birthrights. We can’t ever forget that.

We are not powerless. We are not destitute. We are not resigned to a fate over which we have no control.

In these terrible times we face, we have the strength to put a stop to this civil war we’re crafting for ourselves. This is a destiny we have yet to script. And above all else, we are capable of writing a happy ending.

Karate Emergency Ep. 35: Steal Your Thunder

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Kevin Durant, bless his heart, has bolted Oklahoma City for greener pastures. Is he an American hero? Absofrickinlutely.

Russell Wilson got married on Wednesday, but is his safety a concern?

And the Mariners are struggling-surviving as they put fans through a roller coaster ride of a week.

All that, plus Tindermonials on this week’s Karate Emergency!

Karate Emergency Ep. 33: Great Debates and Top Eights

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In the wake of joining the Ian and Puck Show on KJR (you can listen to our hour segment here), consider this the “after show.”

Pointed discussions on Myspace, the Mariners, and the greatest sports debate of all-time envelop the conclusion of last week’s ménage à talk, grumpiness, and This Week in ’90s History.

Listen to both segments back-to-back for maximum effect. Please consult your doctor if anything lasts longer than four hours.

 

 

Karate Emergency Ep. 32: The Devil’s Triple Play

 

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Esteemed stand-up comedian, sports savant, Offspeed Podcast creator, and friend of the program Casey McLain joins the show this week as a fill-in guest host for one of the lost Karate Kids. Casey provides valuable insight on married life and goes into detail on his uncomfortable love affair with former Mariner John Jaso.

Speaking of love, Kelly reveals a deep, dark secret about her past love life — which in turn begs this question: On a scale from 1 to 10, how many people has Kelly slept with simultaneously?

The answer to that question, plus a Mariners update, I-5 Rivalry nostalgia, and another edition of Tindermonials on this week’s Karate Emergency!

Karate Emergency Ep. 31: Feuds

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From baseball players to local media members, seemingly everyone has a beef to work out this week. We set the record straight on every feud you want to hear about, bat signals included.

Plus, a new segment debuts that combines dating apps, DMs, and a special guest narrator. The lines you’re about to hear won’t disappoint.

All that, some general grumpiness, a crippling “injury,” and the current state of your Seattle Mariners on this week’s Karate Emergency!

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