Rick William Elkin was born in Pasadena, California,
Seriously, we have a Men problem. Though our planet is full of males, there is a growing shortage of Men.
By that I mean, the traditional role that men have played in society has atrophied. And I believe it is the result of a series of cultural trends that have formed a perfect storm, a torrential rain of cultural decisions denying men their historically respected role as leader of the 'family.'
The World is experiencing a profound realignment of the traditional role of the sexes. Lead by the American women's liberation movement, and fueled by the extreme over-reaction to what they view as moral decay by Islamic culture, men increasingly find themselves in a grey area of irrelevance.
This is not to say that we should, or could, ever go back to the place in history where men truly walked all over women. It is just an attempt to put into perspective some of the astonishing events that are occurring at an increasingly alarming rate: I am speaking about two sides of the same coin.
Why are we seeing so many seemingly unexplainable mass murders involving young men slaughtering innocent people, mostly other young people or school children?
Why is there a growing movement of young Muslim men anxiously volunteering to blow themselves up while simultaneously slaughtering other innocent Muslims (and Christians and Jews) while screaming 'God is Great!"?
The common denominator?
Young Islamic extremist terrorists committing murder-suicide of innocent people and young middle class privileged American males using high powered military style weapons to commit murder-suicide of other young people... the disease has near identical symptoms because the underlying chemistry in the cultural petri dish is the same.
Why is this pandemic cultural disease only affecting men?
Let's look at the state of men in our World....where to start?
Disproportionately high unemployment? Family dysfunction? Divorce? Depression? Gender confusion? Hostility towards women? Decreasing graduation rates? Inability to form long term relationships? Loss of trust? Lack of anger control? Sexual deviancy and high incarceration rates? Increasing gang influence? Self destructive behaviour and lack of remorse? Mass murder of children and students?
This is a huge problem. The statistics are overwhelming, that men and boys are suffering from all of these maladies at astonishingly high rates, but the volume of and severity of them metastasized right about the time the woman's rights movement began in the early '60's. The numbers have grown exponentially since, both in Western and Islamic culture. And another strong association: The influence of television, also coming of age at about the same time.
Yes, I believe the modern day terrorist is in an indirect way, a product of many of the same forces that are influencing young males in the West. In fact, the FBI has said, more and more young American men are attracted to and actively joining Jihad.
Internationally, Islamic fundamentalist extremists display nearly identical psychological profiles of American mass murders.
A Little late to the 'Chaos in Iraq' news conference, as usual, President Obama tells the world we have no dog in this fight.
He reasons that this is just a local affair after telling Americans he isn't interested in who wins in Iraq. So, no new troops and no commitments at this time, just let it play itself out.
There is one very big Elephant in the Living-room though.
News later this afternoon indicates that the ISIS terrorist organization has discovered and claimed a hidden stockpile of Saddam Hussein's chemical weapons!
OMG! If true, this will be a serious problem for the liberals who have made lots of political hay exclaiming how Republicans got 'us into this mess' by falsely claiming Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. That assumption made it a lot easier to cut and run.
So now what? Will the fact that the maniacs have WMD's get the Presidents attention? Will it get yours?
Mr. San Diego is gone.
I hope this sad event will cause a renewed commitment by all of those who were lucky enough to witness his career, to rebuilding and maintaining baseball, and professional sports and the sense of community spirit it brings to our lives, in San Diego. Mr. San Diego would have wanted us to.
In this generation, there has been no one who has personified the whole San Diego experience any better than Tony. If San Diego can claim the moniker 'America's Finest City' than Tony Gwynn deserves to be called 'San Diego's Finest Citizen.'
Tony was a beautiful San Diego day as a person: warm, breezy, full of hope and excitement, and his aura shone like a golden sunset over the blue Pacific horizon. He was one and the same with the personality of the Greater San Diego area; not too ostentatious, never conceited or pompous, Tony could walk into any room and command it because everyone there respected him as a true ambassador for baseball, and good sportsmanship, and human dignity. The first time some fan shouted "You da Man!" it had to be directed at Tony.
If San Diego was a team, he'd be the Head Coach.
Tony and his wife Alicia raised their family in Poway and were often seen running errands and participating in school sports and community activities. Seemingly oblivious to their celebrity, the Gwynns were great neighbors.
Having spent his entire career in San Diego, at great personal and financial cost, Tony was probably the last professional athlete of his generation to value his family stability over his opportunities for financial enrichment.
We have had a number of sports legends call San Diego home; Ted Williams, Jerry Coleman, Marcus Allen, Billy Casper, Jimmie Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Junior Seau, LeDanian Tomlinson and Shaun White, to name just a few.
Truth is, they all stand in the shadow of Tony Gwynn.
As we mourn his passing, we Bask in the Sunlight Tony Gwynn brought to our lives.
I have been blessed to spend nearly half of my lifetime living with an Angel.
That Angel, my wife Cathy, lost her favorite person in the world recently. After a massive stroke six weeks ago, her Dad Bill succumbed on May 17th. She held his hand, she gave him encouragement, and though she knew all along that his time was up, her demeanor never varied, she never complained or stopped thinking positively.
My wife lost her life partner on May 17th and Friday we put him to rest with a full 21 gun military salute. It was the perfect way to pay tribute to a great man, father and husband, not to mention a hero to his country.
I never knew strength of character like her Dad had until I witnessed it this past six weeks as Cathy had to deal with the tragic condition of her idol, and also deal with the devastation her mother was suffering as she watched her husband of sixty years undergo horrible physical deterioration.
It was like getting hit with a one-two-punch from Mike Tyson. Though we all knew , at 85 years old, Grandpa was beginning to show his age. But you cannot prepare for the kind of emotional devastation the loss of your family anchor, the man everyone looked up to, the war hero, the consummate leader, would engender. Losing Bill was something intangible. Only time will tell how his family will cope.
Cathy, as self confident and positive as her Dad, seemed like the one who could best deal with his loss.
And maybe she will. But I know one thing, whatever she needs, I owe it to her to be there for her. to give her the emotional support, the love and comfort, the time and resources that will help her to reset her emotional dashboard post Dad.
Rarely does a human being come along who can push through the obvious struggles, pain and suffering that her elders endure, while still reacting to and showing compassion for the needs of her children, and even her husband. A selfish as that sounds, I do need her emotional and psychological support sometimes, and with Cathy, our kids and I can count on that.
This is not the first time she has demonstrated such enormous capacity to navigate the end of life process or the death of a loved one. She was at my Dad's side for nearly a year after he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She has for the past three years been giving life extending care and support to several other seniors through her side business Cathy Cares. At this moment, she hasn't lost any of her clients, but that time is not to far away and it remains to be seen how she will cope with their passing as she has grown very close to all of them.
God gave some people a gene that is very special. The ability to find the best of any situation, to stay above the pain, the offer their empathy and support unconditionally and even bring some sense of strength and control when it appears to most of us that there is precious little of either.
Cathy got it from her father, who epitomized the MacGyver Gene: Cool under pressure, never at a loss for answers and solutions, and always ready to offer positive support and encouragement. Something that comes in especially handy when dealing with sad, sometimes dehumanizing and undignified end of life issues.
I am blessed to be married to a sexy and fun-loving, independent and spirited woman, but I live with an Angel.