Saturday, October 18, 2008


The Bad News Bears is a film about a cellar-dwelling baseball team that played in some Little League in some non-descript town in Texas. It was your typical underdog story meant to inspire it's audience via the premise that despite their inherent mediocrity, they can still conquer the odds if they pool in their talents. It's also about second (and third, and fourth, maybe fifth) chances, as represented by the team's alcoholic coach, Morris Buttermaker (played by the late great, Walter Matthau).

Having watched the abhorrent sequels that do the original little to justice, that theme seems iron clad. But perhaps the most distinct lesson I picked up from this dated film comes from the first scene of the original. Surprisingly enough, a mere extra is the source of this nugget of wisdom: "Never Assume, because if you do, you make an Ass of You, and Me".

Let's break that down: Ass / U / Me.

Clever eh?

Of course this sets a deadly precedent, if one were to follow this philosophy to the letter, one risks not ever taking risks.... wait.. what?

Anyways, lame jokes of wordplay aside, never assuming is just saying never take risks. Behaviors are predictable to some extent, that cannot be denied, but to not act upon them for fear of the consequences (Ass - U - Me) will lead to no progress. While such ideals are supported by the 2nd Law of Sexual Dynamics, there are times when laws are meant to be bent or broken. That's probably why it is called a risk in the first place. There is never certainty involved and most likely the consequences will most undoubtedly suck. At least that what's most optimist would like us to think.

Perhaps the middle part of the word's dissection is easily missed. Assumptions are fine if, and only if, the risk-ee (the one chancing it) will suffer all the negative results. We hardly stop to consider that maybe, just maybe, somebody else will also partake in the disaster that you so vehemently initiated. Nevermind the possibility that our ability to assess the behaviours that we've observed are way off and tarnished by our own dellusional egos. Assuming is like the Tango, it takes two, and the parties involved reap the benefits as well share the despair.

So what would be the ideal way of handling such things? There is no ideal manner in going about assumptions. At best what we can do is to always see it to the end, whether we succeed or ultimately fail.

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