Archive for the ‘current events monday’ Category

Honesty, 2.2.09

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Spent most of tonight wasting time instead of writing.  More to come…


What is honor (or moral behavior or honesty or the right thing)?  Lately, honor has been in the news.  Some of President Obama’s nominees for Cabinet positions have been under fire because of a lack of honor in paying their taxes.  Michael Phelps has made the news because he was taking a nice hit off of a bong.  In my personal life, I have been discussing with my dad whether downloading media for free is illegal.

All of these events hinge on a definition of honor.  What exactly is honor?  Is it doing the morally correct thing or doing the legally correct thing?  Who defines honor?  Is it a general consensus or a personal choice?  What are the consequences for dishonorable behavior?  Should it be retribution or is the damage to reputation sufficient?

These are tough questions to answer.  For most people, it is hard to develop a strong personal definition of honor.  There are always ways to get around the spirit of something while meeting its letter.  This kind of attitude leads to people skimping on their taxes (Tom Daschle).  For others, laws seem arbitrary and impersonal, so desire is more important than legality (Michael Phelps).  And for some people, the risk of consequences is minimal (illegal downloaders).

Personally, I did not develop a sense of honor until I went to college.  I no longer had my parents to motivate me so I looked at my schoolwork as a representation of myself.  If professors thought that I was willing to cheat, I was offended (as any personal affront usually offends me, regardless of whether it impugns my skills at the ultimate or Halo or my deep knowledge of NBA basketball, or yes, my honesty).  However, I broke many a law pertaining to alcohol because I felt like they were imposed on disenfranchised youth by fascist, fear-mongering adults (see Sparks).  Anyway, my personal honor code is defined by my idea that morality and not legality takes precedence, which leads to strong ideals about cheating or stealing but weak feelings towards personal choices like weed or alcohol.  Please, dear reader, share your own honor code in the comments.


UNC Chapel Hill’s Honor Code

Australian Open, 1.26.09

Monday, January 26th, 2009

One of my favorite tennis tournaments is the Australian Open.  Its late-night action is perfect for a night owl like myself and its hard courts are my favorite surface.  There is something soothing about tennis, where the play moves quickly and in a nice rhythm (golf and soccer can also by hypnotic in the same sense).

As a college student, and now a mildly employed adult, I am expert at taking a nice nap while listening to a mid-afternoon soccer or tennis match.  These naps remind me of my dad, who was always falling asleep to golf on Sunday afternoons.  As I have grown older, distance, both physical and emotional, has separated us.  Yet when we are talking about sports, I feel together again.

I think this is my favorite part of sport, the ability to bring people together (maybe not this year).  The democracy of sports, fans courtside cheer for the same players as those in the rafters, is what makes me love them so much.

MLK Day, 1.19.09

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Snow is in the forecast for the Triangle.  Hopefully, it will come because there are few things more disappointing than the promise of a snow day unfulfilled.  This week also holds the inauguration of President Obama.   Obama offers a new hope to everyone.  Perhaps, Obama and the new administration are the snowstorm that everyone is hoping for (at least in the South).

If Obama delivers on his potential, there is no doubt that there will be a change for the better, just like a meager six inches of snow will deliver incredible amounts of fun for me (and kids throughout North Carolina).  Yet, if Obama fails to deliver, the hope he has raised will in part create the disappointment that comes.

I cannot say what will happen; in fact, anyone who claims to know is lying.  Still, I am waiting with intense interest for the coming storm.