Life Of Percentages

We, as a society, try to use words like “beliefs” and “positivity” as explanations of how we overcome certain things. I realized recently that it doesn’t matter how positive or how much you believe in something, things can always take a negative turn.

There are thousands of Self Help Books designed to make us better people. Authors like Tony Robbins talk about how positivity can solve your problems. People use literature and research as methods for constructing positivity.

Let’s use the scenario that I have a life threatening illness and there is a chance I may die. On one hand I am the roaring Ra-Ra confidence of the American spirit. Where I believe I can overcome ANYTHING! Let’s say I live…is it because of my positivity or because I took the right things? People will talk about how confident I am and how nothing can take me down because I believe. Not “just” because I took the right things.

On the other hand I am negative and depressed constantly. I feel like I have no value in this world and will die alone. But let’s say I take the medicine still (which I will go into later on) and I live. Do you think it was my negative attitude that rewarded me with life? Again, maybe me taking the right things cured me and not a mindset.

I had 2 life threatening concussions. I had bleeding in the brain and doctors were shocked that I had no symptoms at all and didn’t miss a step. At the same time of my first concussion, actor Liam Neeson’s wife (Natasha Richardson) hit her head on soft snow and died of a head injury. I hit my head on ice so hard that my skull cracked and I was perfectly fine while she died. So did I overcome my injury with my positive sensibility? Did my body say “Heal now” and it did? Or does this reside in the category of “shit happens”?

Jim Valvano gave one of the greatest speeches in history. He was diagnosed with cancer and gave an emotionally roaring speech at the ESPN awards ceremony about how anyone can overcome anything. A few months after his speech he died…..of the same cancer that he made us all believe that he can overcome. Meanwhile people who maybe have a more serious diagnosis of cancer and who aren’t as positive may live.

The reason I put in parenthesis the part about the medicine was because (even though I am mostly bashing the notion of positive attitudes as methods for success) you still have to have a small notion of positivity to want to take something in the first place. If there is a 1% chance that you may live after hearing that you have a life-threatening illness, then you have a chance. I could be a devout Christian and have my heart filled with the Holy Spirit and still die. Meanwhile, I can be a negative atheist who has the same thing and live. Putting my hands together in prayer isn’t going to guarantee success.

Mercer College beat Duke in the NCAA tournament last season. Are you going to make the argument that Mercer College was more positive and wanted to win more than Duke? Or can you make the argument that Duke’s shots weren’t going in and Mercer had a better game plan? There are 68 teams in the tournament so therefore you have a 1/68 chance of winning it all. There are no certainties in sports. If you make it to a tournament, then you have a chance to win. Don’t let odds makers determine outcomes.

We love the David vs Goliath type of stories. Movies like Rudy and Miracle show us how people overcome impossible odds and come out on top. What a better story? How LeBron James has overcome adversity and has finally achieved all he was predicted to or how Bill Russell has won 11 titles in a row because he played on the best team in the league at that time?

I don’t mean to shit on people’s beliefs or positive energy. I trying to be a best-selling author and overcome disappointment constantly. I get rejection letters from publishers and still I send more out. Why? Because it’s something I want to do for a living. There is a big chance that I may never achieve my dream and have to settle for another career choice.

So I believe in being positive because without taking that first step you might not get what you want or take what you need to survive, BUT I don’t believe that thinking positive or reading the right material will automatically solve your problems.

Like I said about sports and certainties, there are also no certainties in life. If you have a 1% chance of living, then you have a chance of living. If you have a 99% chance of living then you still have a 1% chance of dying.

We love to hope that there is some otherworldly force that can help us in times of peril. That our positive energy can therefore challenge the laws of the universe so we may come out on top, but sadly that is hysterically untrue. Sometimes, to be blunt, shit happens. And there are no guarantees with medicine, self-help books and Ra-Ra speeches.

Joe Reyes

 

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Batman: Assault on Arkham

After seeing the animated movie I doubt the live action one would be as good. Assault on Arkham is about the Suicide Squad, a team assembled by Amanda Waller comprised of ex-super villains. Walker wants to assassinate the Riddler who is imprisoned in Arkham.

Deadshot is captured and put in charge of the Squad. All the members are there for their specific skills and knowledge of the situation. Harley Quinn used to work in Arkham and is able to give an entire layout of the prison. Captain Boomerang, Black Spider, Killer Frost and King Shark are brought on help in the escape.

Each member is implanted with a bomb in their neck to insure that Walker is in charge and that no member deviates from the plan. KGBreast is on the team for a short time, but tests Walker and is the first to get their head blown off.

The big question on the whole teams mind is, “What about Batman?”. Walker lets the Squad know that Batman is apparently on another case. The Joker hid a dirty bomb somewhere in Gotham and Batman has been tearing the city apart trying to find it.

The Squads mission and Batman’s search both cross paths when the Squad encounters the Joker in Arkham. Quinn has finally left the Joker after his last beating and is at wits end when she encounters him. Deadshot is a solid leader and does the best he can with the band of rag tag degenerates.

Assault on Arkham is an incredible movie that is well thought out. Better than any of the Christopher Nolan movies. The characters are all out for themselves secretly and all have great personalities. The action is intense and even though this is a cartoon movie, it is in no way intended for children.

There aren’t many plot holes in this movie and very little room for change. The concept is solid and the only problem I had was it wasn’t long enough. I give it a perfect 5/5 and a must see for DC and Batman fans.

Joe Reyes

 

I’m Sorry That It’s Not My Fault

“I’d like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans. I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn’t exercise better discretion and judgment in my case. I would like to sincerely thank the people who have been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging time, including my family, my agent, my union, my legal team, and the Cleveland Browns staff,”

                                                                           Josh Gordon

Hmmmm….I don’t see the part where he acknowledges his dumb actions and takes responsibilities for his mistakes, past and present. Josh Gordon has been pulling this baby like act for his whole football career.

Gordon smoked marijuana in high school, got suspended for it in college, switched teams because of his drug use and is now getting suspended for an entire year, but still manages TO FIND THE BALLS to pretty much say “Hey wasn’t my fault,”.

I hope Josh Gordon never plays another snap in football ever again. Gordon simply doesn’t deserve it. Sure he put up great numbers last season (missing a pair of games for drug use again), but it doesn’t matter. This is a man (a grown man and not a child) who simply doesn’t get it.

I don’t think this suspension will solve anything. Yes, it would be nice if he has a Cris Carter type of awakening, but I doubt it. I am closing the door on Gordon. Last season Gordon might’ve put himself into the elite category of receivers (ever more impressive because he is a member of the Browns), but it doesn’t amount for a thing right now. The league suspended him without blinking and they had the right too.

The NFL will find a new star quickly, like they always do, and put the memory of Gordon in the rear view mirror. Hopefully, the next football prospect will think twice about smoking marijuana or doing any type of illegal substance. Maybe Gordon’s dumb, selfish actions will actually save a young player’s career.

No one player is above the might of the NFL shield. The league does a great job at protecting its brand and boots out players that violate their code of conduct. Gordon will most likely find himself playing again next season. He is too great a talent to not be employed by some desperate team, but one puff of smoke and he is back to watching the games at home.

Joe Reyes

 

A Complete 180: Guardians Of The Galaxy

I went from not wanting to see this movie to absolutely LOVING IT! I wrote an article about the trailer before the movie came out. I talked about how terrible the movie looked and how unlikable the characters were. I don’t take back what I said, the trailer was terrible, but the movie itself was incredible. Dare I say better than the Avengers?

I think I had more fun watching Guardians of the Galaxy than the Avengers movie. The movie was incredibly funny in a generic way and not just filled with stupid one liners. The comedy flows perfectly from the characters personalities.

The story follows Peter Quill, a self-proclaimed badass who finds treasures and sells them throughout the galaxy. He calls himself Starlord even though nobody does or barely even knows his name.

While on a mission, Quill finds a metal ball containing a very powerful stone called an Infinity Stone. A creature called Ronan the Accuser is after the Infinity Stones as well. Ronan gets word that Quill has found a stone and sends his most trusted warrior, Gamora, to retrieve the stone.

While trying to sell the stone, Quill is attacked by a pair of bounty hunters, Groot and Rocket. Groot is a living tree who can only say the words “I am Groot”. Rocket is a genetically altered raccoon who is a total badass, but has a very touching pair of moments. Gamora finds herself perfectly in the mix right as Quill is being captured by Groot and Rocket.

While in a space prison, the four characters discuss selling the stone and splitting the profits. Rocket comes up with a plan to escape the prison. They meet up with the final member of their group. A vengeful man named Drax who has a personal mission to kill Drax himself for killing his family years ago.

I was completely blown away by this movie. I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun in a theater before. Even though I still think Captain America 2 is the best Marvel movie ever made, Guardians of the Galaxy takes a narrowly close second place with a 5/5.

Joe Reyes

 

NBA Draft Recap

Due to previously scheduled articles, this evaluation of the NBA draft might not be correct due to the trades that might’ve happened after. But as of June 27 I will be using that list of players to teams to write my evaluation.     I do believe this is one of the deepest drafts ever and think that most players in the first round will make an immediate impact.

I will be going player by player in the first round only and talk about what impact they will have on the court and in the rotation.

Joe Reyes

 

Dominion

 

Who would’ve imagined that angels would be humanity’s greatest threat? Based off the movie Legion (2010), Dominion takes place 25 years after the events of that movie. The opening sequence of Dominion explains all the backstory. God has vanished. In retaliation Gabriel and his angels blamed humanity for Gods disappearance and came to Earth to wage war against man. There were some higher angels that refused to go along with Gabriel’s war, but the lower angels joined immediately.

Michael refused to blame the humans and took up his sword against Gabriel. Eventually, Michael gathered enough survivors on Earth to help combat Gabriel and his forces. There was a prophesied child that Michael believed that would be the turning point in the war that he had to save (this was the story of Legion). After a long war, Gabriel’s army retreated, but many angels still remained on Earth and the battle continues.

The problem is after all those backstory sequences; the show surprisingly takes a huge turn for the worst. Most situations and subplots are so unbelievable that they completely crucify this show. The dialogue is so cheesy that it’s a turn off to listen to at times. Motives and story structure is at such a fault that I can’t imagine how the season will progress (if it even lasts a full season).

Alex Lannen, the prophesied child that Michael saves in Legion, is a soldier living in Vegas. The whole city is a militarized outpost. There are clearly angels outside the city walls, yet Lannen still goes out by himself to do the cliché “lone gunman” thing. After a firefight with angels, Lannen is asked why he went out alone. His response “There was a Texas holdem game I had to attend”.

There is a Roman aspect to this show. The marrying off of children to strengthen political families is so unneeded that it takes away from the overwhelming plot point of THERE ARE ANGELS TRYING TO KILL US! Also some of the outfits of the women is just so obscure that it makes it look like this show takes place in a different era.

Most of this pilot episode was a collection of unneeded scenes and occurrences. The whole war storyline seems to be only a subplot of the entire storyline. Obviously the war is the biggest part, but it didn’t seem like that from the initial pilot episode.

I give this show a shocking 1/5. The ceiling was incredibly high, but failed to deliver. Unless this show makes drastic changes, I don’t see it lasting very long. I’m pretty sure most of the season is already filmed because after the show it had scenes from the upcoming season, so I don’t think an overhaul is what is going to happen. Domination is on SYFY on Thursdays at 9pm.

Joe Reyes

 

And The Rockets Win BIG!!!!

Dwight Howard has just announced he has chosen the Houston Rockets as the team he will sign with. This is a huge move for Houston, BUT they gotta make sure they keep their core players. There are still rumors of a sign and trade deal that still may happen.

That means that the Lakers will sign him to a big contract and then trade him to get some pieces in return. You can’t just let a player like Howard walk and be left with nothing. Many times we see teams acquire a big name player and then trade all assets that made them a contender to begin with.

The Rockets are now in a prime position to compete for a title. James Harden is a huge piece that can not only knock down the big shot, but also not make Dwight have to be “the guy”. I don’t think they will win a title, still going with Miami, but the Rockets will be up there as the team to watch.

Free Agency isn’t done just yet for the Rockets. They need just a little bit more in order to be the clear cut favorite. They are now tougher inside, but they just need that one piece to bring it all home. Maybe they have that piece already and they just don’t know it.

Overall I like the deal with the Rockets now, but like I said earlier, barring how the deal goes down. If the Lakers end up getting some key pieces then I don’t see the Rockets as the favorite. But right now they sure look like it.

Joe Reyes