Friday, May 6, 2011

Card Spotlight: 5-6-11

2011 Gypsy Queen Framed Paper Bronze #54 - Frank Thomas (834/999)

I could have made things really easy this week. I could have chosen one of the many cards of Barack Obama that feature him in a White Sox hat or something that featured his 2005 appearance in a White Sox jersey, throwing out a first pitch. That would have been easy and expected on a White Sox blog.

I try to keep politics off of the blog as much as possible. Politics have a way of making completely rational people go a bit insane. I try my best to see all sides of most issues and base my opinions on the best available information and I try not to get swept up in all the distractions that seem to come in every direction when something involving politics is involved. I've been known to go to the left just as easily as the right and sometimes I'm stuck in the middle ground.

In other words, my opinions are based on the situation and not what side someone is on or what they can do for me. The fact that I voted for Obama will automatically shut me out of some minds. It will also expose me to some people who will automatically agree with me because of who I voted for. That's their decision and I live in a society where that type of thinking is encouraged. I have the right to express myself as much as any other person and I have no problem letting others express their point of views. It's what makes where I live a great place to be, in my opinion.

This past week, I was surprised to see many people spewing hate, at a time when people should be coming together. It shouldn't take a major world event to get people to respect one another. There is a difference between voicing opinions to get a point across and voicing opinions just to attack and spread putrid, vile hatred.

"We accumulate our opinions at an age when our understanding is at its weakest." - Georg C. Lichtenberg

Most people do not fit into those extremist categories and I'm very happy about that. It's only a very vocal minority of those who find their existence so lonely and pathetic that they feel the need to lash out at others because of a difference in opinion. I'm all for rants. I've been known to go on a few in my time. They are fun and therapeutic, but I never verbally attack anyone with those rants. The purpose is to blow off a little steam or bring out the humor in a situation. These are more about general irritants rather than targeting any specific person.

Some have used this past week as an opportunity to bash Obama (which is their prerogative) and anyone who had anything nice to say about him this past week. Why? The rational reason would be because he ordered a team to capture or kill a terrorist that was responsible for thousands of deaths, all over the world, over the past few decades. Taking a human life should never be a top priority, but the vocal few could care less about the killing of someone that they don't personally know. Killing is never the issue.

The reason always given for the hatred is because Obama was involved. These same people would saturate everyone with happy juice if Bush was the one who ordered and succeeded in killing this particular terrorist. The argument is sufficiently deflated when presented with this evidence, but the walnut sized brains of these few individuals don't allow this simple thought process to sink in. The next natural reaction is to question the validity of birthplaces and other nonsense that has absolutely nothing to do with anything even remotely relevant. These only distract people from issues that should get more attention like the economy, job creation and thousands of other more important things on the table.

I don't care to get sucked into meaningless political debates with stubborn people who refuse to budge from their position even when presented with overwhelming evidence against their argument. I do appreciate the irony that I will be inviting comments of this very nature by clicking publish on this post.

I have no problem debating when an intelligent argument is being presented. I rather enjoyed e-mailing back and forth with the publisher of a Mark Twain book that substitutes words that make some people uncomfortable with other words that are poor substitutions. We each presented our sides and opened up a nice dialog. In the end, we agreed to disagree, but I think we gained a better understanding of each position. Shouldn't that be something to strive for? A better understanding of each other.

"Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding." - Mohandas K. Gandhi

I guess I really shouldn't be that surprised by the actions of a vocal few. Isn't that how we got into this mess in the first place?

So, what does this have to do with a Frank Thomas card? Absolutely nothing. But after a week that was filled with a lot of strong emotions, shouldn't we be focusing on something that makes people happy? This is part of the reason why I chose a Gypsy Queen card of Frank Thomas for this week's Card Spotlight.

Like many of you, I was very skeptical of Gypsy Queen. In the beginning, the name Gyspy Queen, much like the Borg Queen, was something that didn't sound trustworthy. Once these cards were in my hands, I changed my opinion of them. I'm not quite ready to dedicate every single post to this product like some people who shall remain nameless, which is really cool by the way, but I couldn't let another day go by without acknowledging the cards on this blog.

Out of six loose packs and one blaster in my possession, this numbered parallel ended up being the only White Sox card that I pulled. I think the ratio of my team to cards in fourteen packs is pretty poor. There was not a base card, mini or subset White Sox card in the whole lot.

It's OK though. I really like the cards, so I don't feel like I completely wasted money on the product. I did get some nice cards that will probably end up in trades over the next year. So, essentially, my loss could potentially be your gain, at some point. I'm going to hang onto these for awhile though. My interest in them may wane once I fully realize that I won't be able to collect the entire set. I'm still working on 2008 Topps Heritage! I can't commit to another albatross around my neck. Perhaps if I win the lottery, but not before.

See, I did eventually get around to the card. Those of you that stayed, I applaud you. I promise not to bring politics into the blog on any sort of regular basis. It's just something that I found as a disturbing trend this week and felt strongly enough to comment about. These freedoms that Americans enjoy daily are usually taken for granted and a lot of the world cannot enjoy these same freedoms. There's a responsibility in having freedom and that is to not abuse it. There are enough jackasses in the world. Someone who enjoys freedom and civil liberties should not be among them.

Viva la Gypsy Queen!

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