Putting on my Father Hat

Tonight’s post is a preview of what’s to come in future podcasts. Each week, I’ll be featuring a “5 Folks in Need of a Time-Out” segment to end every episode. The idea behind the feature is to highlight key celebrities/politicians who committed such egregious offenses that they need to sit away from the public for a small time, feel shame, and reflect upon their behavior. Hopefully, they’ll emerge from their period of solitary confinement ready to be a better human being.

This evening, I’ll be counting down this week’s public figures that I identified as most needing a time-out. I’ll start at 5 and work my way to the top spot! Who’ll be Number 1 this week? Let’s find out!

#5 – ESPN

Once again, the self-proclaimed “Worldwide Leader in Sports” did not pass up an opportunity to stick it to the New England Patriots. In what’s becoming the journalistic equivalent of revenge porn, ESPN continues going to great lengths to diminish the long-standing success of the defending Super Bowl Champions.

Seth Wickersham’s lengthy article posted last night (ahead of the previously announced Friday morning release) theorized that this season could be the last time Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft work together.

Now, are some pieces of evidence provided by Wickersham true? Oh, I’m sure of it. However, one must question the timing of the release. The Patriots, well underway in their preparations for the upcoming playoff run, were off and unavailable for comment. Clearly, the suits in Bristol, Connecticut were well aware of that fact. In addition, the fact that ESPN went so far as to email an internal memo to employees announcing the article’s pending release only goes to show how widespread the space inside the cable giant’s head is occupied by their obsession with obliterating the New England Patriots.

Take a seat, ESPN. It’s time to quietly remind yourselves that the sports world extends far beyond New England’s professional football team.


# 4 – Justin Timberlake

Earlier in the week, pop superstar, Justin Timberlake, made a huge announcement. Through social media outlets, JT announced that his newest album, “Man of the Woods,” would be gracing the lives of the public on February 2.  The message also noted that the first single from the new disk would drop January 5 (today). JT fandom went berserk! The photos of JT walking through the wilderness thinking pondering about this crazy world elicited much excitement. This album must be ushering in a new era of Timberlake music! 

Then, the single dropped with a thud.

“Filthy,” a sex-driven electronic jam, is simply horrendous. What happened to the “earthy sound” Timberlake had hinted just two days ago? What happened to the most intimate album that he’s ever written? Didn’t he also say this cd was all about family?

If this song is any indication of what’s to come from JT’s upcoming album, we can all say we’ve been bamboozled by swoon-inducing blue eyes selling nothing but false promises.

Tisk, tisk, JT.

# 3 – Isaiah Thomas

This past Wednesday night, former Celtic Isaiah Thomas returned to the TD Garden for the first time since being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In what’s become a bit of a new (see also: annoying) tradition across all of sports, the Celtics were planning on honoring their former player by showing a video tribute during the game. Except there was one problem…

IT didn’t want the video shown on Wednesday. Apparently the timing just wasn’t right. After all, how could the team possibly show the video without Thomas’s family in attendance? Duh. For some reason, the Celtics obliged his request and postponed the moment of gratitude. Instead, they’ve agreed to show the clip when the Cavs return to Boston on February 11. If that date sounds familiar to you Celts fans out there, it should. February 11th is Paul Pierce Night. It’ll literally be a “banner evening” as The Truth’s #34 ascends to the rafters of TD Garden.

Wait…Seriously? We’re going to interrupt the Paul Pierce celebration so IT and his family can see the video that SHOULD’VE been shown earlier this week?

No, thank you.

Look, I loved IT as a Celtic. His postseason run last year was something that’ll forever live on in Celtics lore. But, he’s not getting his number raised to the rafters here. As much as he became a beloved part of this basketball team, February 11 belongs to Paul Pierce. Sorry, Isaiah. Perhaps Paul was on to something…

The Celtics could just post the video to Instagram!



# 2 – Logan Paul

Any other week’s countdown would’ve surely concluded with this toolbag in the # 1 spot for the unforgivable stunt he pulled in Japan’s Aokigahara, a forest commonly referred to as the “Suicide Forrest,” in which he captured a suicide victim’s body and posted it to YouTube.

The most famous YouTuber of them all, with over 15 million subscribers, was said to be walking through the woods because he had heard it was haunted. How disingenuous can one man be? This kid was visiting this forest for the sole purpose of catching something unbelievable on film and using it as click bait to gain more subscribers.

Unfortunately, his stunt worked. His impressionable fan-base, comprised mostly of prepubescent teenagers, actually believe that this video was a legitimate attempt by Paul to shed light on the issue of suicide. Fans have gone so far as to use social media as means to openly attack those against their internet hero. In fact, Paul’s YouTube membership list has actually increased by over 100,000 new subscribers since the incident.

This, my friends, is the world we’re living in. When Logan Paul, a 22-year-old egomaniac with no discernible talent whatsoever, can become the leader of our most easily manipulated demographic, our future looks bleak.

I’d love to sit here and say, “Hey, don’t worry. His fans will grow up.” They will. Unfortunately, they’ll most likely grow up to be Trump supporters.

# 1 – Baltimore City Public Schools / Maryland General Assembly

Tonight, I put the leaders of the Baltimore City Public Schools, along with Maryland’s state government, on full blast. The school system, which is responsible for providing almost 85,000 students with an equal and equitable education, closed their doors for the last two days because their buildings lacked sufficient heat. The Baltimore City Teachers’ Union filed a formal complaint.

As an educator myself, I am disgusted to know that, in 2018, an entire school system had to shutter their doors to nearly 85,000 children. For a district that houses a student body composed of 92% minority children (85% of whom come from a low-income home), the cancellations stand as proof that racial and economic inequities still exist across the United States today.

Forget about the celebrities and athletes. Issues such as the atrocity happening to the future of America in Baltimore needs to be front and center in the news. By refusing to actively campaign for change, we’re only perpetuating the cycle of inequality. If you’d like to help, here’s the link to the GoFundMe page that’s been actively promoted in the Baltimore media.


In Closing

That’ll do it for this week’s edition of “5 Public Figures in Need of a Time-Out!” Beginning next week, you’ll be able to hear this segment exclusively on The Pondering Podcast. New episodes of the show, which is now available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, will be released every Monday! Be sure to subscribe.

Thanks again for your support everyone!

Much love!

Until next time,

The Pondering Father

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