Entertainment and Sports

If

If you think about it, if's a little word that provides plenty to think about.

By Kevin Somers
Published January 09, 2006

Because it is so often laced with implications, if is one of my favourite words. It's a terrific bargaining chip when you're parenting, for example: if you say please and give me a kiss, you can have a treat.

If is at its best, however, when giving the imagination room to grow: if I were King, or, if I won the lottery, are heady topics, indeed.

Who hasn't spent time considering options predicated on a big IF? If I hit the jackpot, I'll get a hot tub. If my wife lets me, I'll get lots of stuff. If you think about it, it's a little word that provides plenty to think about. If you're familiar with Rudyard Kipling, you'll know from whom I've poached the idea. If you haven't heard of Rudyard, isn't this fresh?

Big media's unofficial maxim, if it bleeds it leads, prevails internationally, except in Buffalo, where fire always gets top billing. You're probably from Hamilton if you find that amusing. Dr. Tom Scheira, a Buffalo resident and college professor, explained that it's a simple ratings thing; people watch fires, so they put them on TV.

If you still think there is a distinction between news and entertainment, you haven't been paying attention. I don't mind if you disagree, but it's true.

If Bruce Cockburn had a rocket launcher he'd probably blow his foot off or get shot at the airport and fulfill the prophecy. If you weren't happy for Hamilton's Dave Anderchuck when he hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2004, there's something wrong with you. No one deserved it more than Chucky, who provided the talented, but young, Tampa team with enough leadership to win it all.

Hockey is back and Sydney Crosby is, like Eric Lindros, being touted as the Next One. If I were Syd the kid, I'd keep my head up; on the ice and off, if you know what I mean.

If you run into the TV room when Coach's Corner comes on, you're part of a big club. If you have more respect and affection for Don than all his detractors combined, you're probably decent and fair minded.

Bob Dylan was right, "Don't criticize what you don't understand." If you don't like what Don says, change the channel or leave the room. If that's too difficult, get yourself tested.

If Hamilton's city fathers are as "forward thinking," as they like to tell us, why are they chronically dredging up 1950's growth strategies? Deforestation is being touted as progress, when it's commonly known that it's a progression only towards extinction. How will we explain all the pavement to our grandchildren? If we don't put an end to it, who will?

If a political candidate is caught cheating once or twice, it might be an oversight. It's serial wrongdoing if it happens umpteen times. If corruption is acceptable at the highest level, it is acceptable at any level. If you covet leadership, lead by example.

Speaking of "leaders," Paul Martin groveled, apologized, and then promised he'd be more vigilant after the sponsorship scandal. When CHML's Roy Green asked him if he knew where any of the $2 billion in gun registry money had gone (the second time), the PM blurted, "No," rather defensively, I thought. If Paul Martin isn't corrupt, he's incompetent, insincere, or insane.

Speaking of insane, if you're not happy Dubya, Dick, and Don have weapons of mass destruction bulging tauntingly from their pants, let it be known. If there is a Christian equivalent to jihad, pray they never find out about it.

If you think well-armed idiots will go to war over oil, wait until they haven't enough water for golf courses and sprawling, spectacular cities of sin in the desert. If you're Canadian and haven't finished making a bunker, get going. If you haven't started, it might be too late, eh.

If it didn't suck, I'd exercise more. The same goes for laundry, vacuuming, and doing dishes. If I were a better husband, I might get a little more lovin'. I guess we'll never know. If I had known kids were so much work, I would have had grandchildren, instead. If bliss is elusive, domestic bliss is doubly so. Ask my wife if you don't believe me. If you see Kay, tell her to stop swearing. Get it?

If you like Raise the Hammer, tell a friend. If you don't, tell two.

Kevin Somers is a Hamilton writer.

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