I was never on Oprah.
Being on Oprah was on my bucket list, my vision board, my astral projection star chart. But I didn’t make it.
I didn’t get to jump up and down on the Tom Cruise Couch. dang! And I was all prepared to declare my love for some unnamed mystery woman on “my” episode. sigh.
I admit it. I watched Oprah.
Every once in a while.
Well, certainly when Kate Beckinsale was on … or Jessica Biel … or Sandra Bullock … ummm, you get the idea.
Brad Pitt and George Cloney watched it too. Remember that scene in one of the “Ocean’s” movies where the two of them were watching it and they got all emotional? Funny stuff.
One show a few years ago was probably the most enlightening and eye opening television program I’ve ever seen.
The show started with a fake crime on the sidewalks outside Harpo Studios, where the show was filmed. The line of people to get into the studio stretched around the block. The Oprah staff staged a purse snatching and had the snatcher running past the crowd on the sidewalk followed by the snatchee.
Then the staff pretended to take official police statements from people who saw the “crime” to get their eye-witness accounts.
The results were amazing … and shocking.
Fifty people interviewed saw vastly different things. Their accounts varied in just about every conceivable category. They disagreed on the clothing of the perp and the vic (that’s Law & Order talk). They disagreed on the description of the snatched purse and even on the ethnicity and age of the snatcher. Everything was jacked up.
The theme of the show was misconceptions, misunderstandings, prejudices, presumptions, and general misinterpretations of the world around us based on limited information.
The staff also went out on the streets of Chicago and asked women to look at a man’s picture and rate his attractiveness based on a) the woman having knowledge of the man’s profession and annual income, or b) the woman NOT having any knowledge of those things.
The staff members altered the profession and income on the same picture of the same guy, but not the picture itself, to see if the profile would alter the man’s perceived attractiveness.
On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being … well … TEN, the guy was rated 4.5 to 6 when there was no knowledge of the man’s profession or income. But when the same guy’s picture was shown on the streets of Chicago to random women, and the women were told of the guy’s profession and income, the results were … sad.
The dude in the picture, we’ll call him Bob, when portrayed, as a clerk at Bass Pro or The Gap making $35K a year got no love. Bob was a 3 or 4.
But when Bob was Robert, the investment banker who made close to 7 figures, BAM! Robert was a solid 9! (“You had me at ‘trust fund.’”)
And you women call us shallow when we’re attracted to … say … Kate Beckinsale, or Jessica Biel … or Sandy.
When I was on active duty in the Marine Corps I got entangled in a drama that changed my life.
My roommate was accused of raping a 19 year old college student.
He and I were roommates, but not friends. You know what I mean? Colleagues, but not buddies. Actually, we didn’t really like one another. But because we lived in the same barracks, and he and I were both Non-Commissioned Officers, out-ranking the other Marines who lived on our deck, we were forced to room together.
He was innocent of the crime and I knew it. And I had to testify at his trial. The fact that he and I were not friends actually turned out to be part of his defense.
See, what happened was, I was busy “adjusting his attitude” at the time he was accused of being in town raping that girl. He and I got into an argument that escalated into a shoving match that escalated into a free-for-all.
At his trial I had to testify to all of that. And don’t think I didn’t remind him that I had him by the … well … you know … I had his career in my hands and if he wanted to stay out of prison, he needed to quit being a pain … and other stuff.
He was found innocent of the rape and the girl actually recanted. Turns out that the two of them were in the same night class at the college out in town and she had failed to get his attention in the usual ways, namely, cleavage and flirting. So, in her little crazy mind, accusing him of rape would get his attention.
One of the witnesses for the prosecution was a woman who swore under oath that she saw my roommate that evening at the college with the girl he was supposed to have raped. The woman wasn’t a friend of either the alleged victim or my roommate, just another member of the same class. But she was sure!
And she was surely wrong.
That experience really shook me to the core. The prosecution tried to portray ME as a good friend of the accused. Crazy! The prosecutor took small insignificant details of my “relationship” with him to make it look like we were good friends and that I’d lie for my buddy under oath to keep him out of Leavenworth.
It was the first time I’d ever been exposed to something I call the “10/90 Rule of Misinterpretation.” It’s where we have 10% of the available data and then construct and fabricate the other 90% based on our personal feelings about the person or thing in question. If we like the person, we fabricate a sympathetic 90%. If we don’t like them, we do just the opposite.
Ever been the victim of the 10/90 Rule of Misinterpretation?
Is there anything more frustrating, hurtful, or just downright wrong?!
According to Redbook magazine, today is “No Judgment Day.”
I like it! I think we should extend it to include the whole year.
Haven’t we all lived long enough to understand that no matter how flat you press the pancake, it’ll still have two sides?
And haven’t we all lived long enough to have been misunderstood, to have had our lives maligned and retold to the point that we don’t even recognize ourselves in the retelling?
We’ve all been innocent but treated as guilty at some point, haven’t we?
Don’t we all know what it feels like to have someone with a grudge turn our reputation upside down with malicious and scandalous lies?
And don’t we all know what it feels like to have people believe those horrible stories, people we once numbered among our friends?
I hope that today you’ll reserve judgment. In fact, I hope that today you’ll retire judgment all together and be a little more tolerant and a lot more open minded. Let me rephrase that and say A LOT more tolerant and A LOT more open minded!
“Things aren’t always as they seem,” said my magician friend Ray.
Amen, Brother. Amen.
ALPHA OMEGA VETERAN’S SERVICES
Again this year we’ll be collecting men’s and women’s gently used coats, jackets, gloves, and hats for Alpha Omega from November 15 to December 15.
AOVS is a non-profit charitable organization that provides housing and supportive services to homeless veterans.
Bring ‘em to boot camp and I’ll collect them for AOVS.
COLD WEATHER POLICY
Anytime the wind-chill drops below 30 – in the 38117 zip code! — we’ll go inside. Get the Weather.com app for your phone and check to see what the temperature “feels like.” That’s the number we’ll use. What it FEELS LIKE!
The 0645 Class is inside beginning now until March 2012 We’ll use the “blue gym” aka “the pizza gym!”
ST. JUDE HALF MARATHON RUNNERS!
The Buffalo Runners will be rumbling this Saturday!!
Congratulations to all of you who trained with me this year! You’re ready!!
Check my blog on the website (http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/) for tips, advice, and race day strategies for a successful half marathon!
Good luck everyone!!
NOT RUNNING, BUT WANNA CHEER WITH ME?
If you’d like to join me on the sideline cheering for the runners, I’ll be in the median on North Parkway near Avalon and Dickinson. I’ll have a banner and hopefully some hot apple cider.
M-16 WORKOUT NEXT TUESDAY AT 0530 AT CUMC
Do you know of someone who could be another Sergeant Tony?
I’m looking to expand the empire beyond Memphis.
I’d especially like to move into north Mississippi or northern Shelby County. Like Hernando or Millington! But someone in another major city would be great too.
Here’s a little of what I’m looking for in a prospective “Sergeant Tony.”
* Former military, preferably a Marine.
* College degree, or working toward it.
* Exercise certification, military or civilian, or working toward it.
* Personally interested and involved in a lifestyle of fitness and athletics.
* Good communication skills, written and oral. (I answer about 40 emails a day, write a newsletter, and answer more than a half dozen or so daily Boot Camp related phone calls)
* Outgoing personality with a GREAT sense of humor!
* Genuinely likes people, hiding behind a sadistic facade.
* Humble, modest, caring, and sensitive (ok, ok, whatever) You get the idea.
If you know of someone who would be a good fit, please forward this on to them and direct them to the website:www .usmcfitnessbootcamp.com
USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP CLASSES
0530 Monday through Friday
5:45 PM: Monday and Wednesday, and 5:30 PM on Friday.
THE TUESDAY EVENING CLASSES ARE ON HIATUS UNTIL FEB 2012
Find me on Facebook and make me your friend! (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=629618416) I’ll make you mine! Then “like” the USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP page!
“Nothing is neither good nor bad, but thinking that makes it so.”
~ William Shakespeare
To your continued good health and fitness!
Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding