One of my all-time favorite headlines from the satirical newspaper “The Onion” was this one, after a mass shooting in 2014:
“No Way to Prevent This,’ says only nation where this regularly happens.”
It would be even more hilarious if wasn’t so sad, because the words themselves clearly lend themselves to mockery. If it only happens in one country, how can it possibly be impossible to prevent?
I thought about that headline this week, obviously, because of the steps New Zealand has taken since the horrible massacre inside a Muslim house of worship last week.
Just a couple of quick facts on what New Zealand has done and said since the mosque attack:
— New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that no one in the country should utter the gunman’s name, lest he receive the publicity he’s seeking. She said she will never, ever say his name.
— The parliament of New Zealand has said they will immediately look to strengthen existing gun laws, and pass new, tougher ones. “Within 10 days of this horrific act of terrorism, we will have announced reforms that I believe will have made our community safer,” Ms. Ardern said.
— Trade Me, New Zealand’s biggest online marketplace, has removed semiautomatic rifles from its site in response to customer concerns.
It’s been one week, and these are just a few of the changes and responses New Zealand is making.
Nothing we could possibly do, so many pro-gun leaders in Washington say. Nothing we can do about mass shootings, even when they happen to FIRST GRADERS in a schoolhouse in Connecticut in 2012.
Just look at New Zealand. They’re offering a whole hell of a lot more than “thoughts and prayers.”
**Next up today, I have the perfect little small bite of comedy for you today. Matthew Rhys will always be beloved by me because of his amazing turn as Philip Jennings in one of my all-time favorite shows, “The Americans.” And Michael Sheen is also a fantastic movie and TV actor. They’re both British, both ridiculously handsome (so I’m told by women in my life), and apparently fabulous friends.
They both just did an episode of the Apple TV web series, “Carpool Karaoke, The Series” which of course is a takeoff on James Corden’s fabulous segment he does on his late show on CBS. Anyway, apparently this has been a thing for a while, this Apple TV web series (I found it on my iPhone in like 30 seconds, and just this one clip (above) of Rhys and Sheen make me desperately want to watch this.
I love these guys. Singing 80’s tunes in a British accent while tooling around London? Sign me up.
**And finally today, I know you’re all waiting with baited breath for my Final Four picks; as always I had a very tough time deciding who I thought would make it. As much as I hate to pick “chalk” and high seeds, I couldn’t talk myself into a surprise Final Four team this year, someone like George Mason in 2006, VCU in 2011, or Loyola-Chicago last season.
So I went with Duke, Virginia (De’Andre Hunter, above is the real deal, and no way the Hoos are going to be beaten in the 1-16 game again this year), Kentucky, and Texas Tech, who as a 3 seed qualifies as sort of an upset. I love that Tech team, they play tremendous defense, have a great scorer in Jarrett Culver, and a terrific coach in Chris Beard. Then I have Duke beating Virginia in an all-ACC title game.
I will point out one more thing: A lot of the brackets I’ve been seeing and reading have a Duke-Kentucky national championship game, or a Duke-UNC title game. It’s entirely likely that if either one of those games comes to be, your humble blogger will see his head explode. First, I hate Kentucky almost as much as UK fans hate Duke, and the thought of Satan Calipari winning a national title over the Blue Devils is enough to make me vomit for a week.
Then, the idea of a Duke-UNC first-ever meeting in the NCAA Tournament, being a national title game? Again, my head might combust. To see the best rivalry in all of sports have a national title game in it, with the winner having almost-lifetime bragging rights? I’m not sure my heart can handle it, especially if the wrong shade of blue ended up winning.
Let the games begin!