May 4, 2008

How hard is it to get surgery around here?

Ok...Still smoke free and still havenít had the surgery. Please donít ask me why because it seems like a global conspiracy to keep me in pain. All I know is that Iím still waiting for the holidays to end and people to come back to work.

Wanna bet that next week Iíll be crossing the street to the hospital and get hit by a runaway buffalo? You watch, itíll happen. Thereís strange forces at work here my friends.

Ok, onwards...

Another week, another story about food shortages around the globe and, as usual, writers are bashing golf course development with savage glee because they know it sells newspapers and magazines. Unfortunately, they are a bit off base in their attack, but facts never stopped modern "journalists" from submitting a "good story" and it seems to me that the title "journalist" should be changed to Ďsensationalist" for the majority of the writers nowadays.

Ok, mea culpa. Yes I also commented on golf courses and food security, but unlike others, I didnít run around screaming that the sky is falling and the reason for that is because itís not...at least, not yet.

Look, industrial parks, factories and housing developments collectively eat up a lot more agricultural land than golf courses, but theyíre not headline grabbers, so you donít read much about it. When I commented on food security it was with an eye to future over-supply, not the current situation which was strictly man-made.

Thatís right, once again, we did it to ourselves.

Fortunately, the Vietnam Government called it correctly. The problem was not a shortage, but speculators using rumours to take advantage of a problem within the distribution system to boost prices, just so a few people could make a huge profit at the expense of everyone else.

In fact, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) claims that this year could be a record crop, barring any adverse weather, so rest easy.

Someone once commented to me that "money is the root of all evil" and I disagree completely. Money is a tool for getting things done and a way to keep score, nothing more. I would prefer to modify it to say "The mindless pursuit of money is the root of all evil."

Unfortunately, this trend of stupidity shows no sign of abating in the future unless we wake up and understand that there are consequences for every action, good or bad. Despite what Gordon Gecko said in the movie Wall Street, Greed is NOT good.

Itís not just financial greed. This sin comes in many different flavours as well.

For example, a few years ago, Phil Mickelson decided that a devastating short game which bordered on wizardry wasnít enough and he wanted to add more length to his game. Like many players, he figured "bigger is better" and probably answers a lot of those advertisements in his in-box as well. In a nutshell, he got driver shaft envy.

This pursuit of length led him straight into the trees, all because he wanted to keep up with Tiger Woods. He even went so far as to start hitting the gym and hiring Tigerís old swing coach, Butch Harmon. Good luck pal. The trees are full of long hitters. Just ask John Daly when the last time he found a fairway was.

He should have remembered that Curtis Strange used to crush 300 yard drives in college, but dialled it back to around 265 Ė 270 yards on Tour, just to stay in the fairway and won two US Opens as a result.

The problem is that people are always trying to fix things that arenít necessarily broken.

Golf magazines publish endless articles on how to improve your swing and they are always touting the latest "secret move". The problem is that these same secret moves were published the years before under different names, just to sell more magazines.

For the record, most of these articles hurt more players than they help, but it does ensure that local teaching professionals will make a fortune repairing playersí swings after they screwed it up by trying whatís in the magazine.

It seems to me that too many people mindlessly rush into situations where angels fear to tread...

Probably, because angels arenít greedy.


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