Friday, May 14, 2010


Ever since I first saw the news about Arizona’s immigration law, I knew that it was a bad idea for everyone around. I’ve never claimed to be a Constitutional scholar or anything like that but it just read to me as wrong when I heard the initial news releases. My worries and views were confirmed when the entire bill was available to read online so it seemed kind of self evident that the whole thing would just stall out somewhere in the voting process and then be forgotten after a month or so.

Sadly I have been proven wrong about the whole thing. It wound up getting passed though the Arizona state legislature and then finally signed off by the Governor. There was all manner of strum and drang about the situation with calls for boycotts and lawsuits and the like. It’s been a week or so since the signing and it is still in the news but not quite as much as it was at the start. I kind of felt that maybe this would be the last of these laws and the hate would just be focused through the single point. But, as before I was wrong.

Earlier on in the week, there was a second law signed off by the Governor that adds many of the immigration laws ideas onto the world of ethnic studies classes. Just like the previous bill, it takes what kind of sounds like a good idea at the time where they try and stop classes and curriculum that promotes hate and just screws it all up. I would like to think that some people in the legislature would stop to think that maybe this law might need an extra bit of tweaking to make it form a better law. It looks like I might be one of those people that looks at the brighter side of life but I always hope that some people might clearly think for a moment when it comes to decisions of this magnitude. This just seems to prove me wrong again.

The final edition of this whole law environment idea is currently making it’s way through the same legislature that passed the other two. While the other bills seem to want to look like they’re just designed to be part of the laws of their home state, this last law tips the hat of the true people behind these laws to begin with. Also known as the “Birther Bill”, this little bit of paperwork is written in such a way that it could wind up causing ultimate damage to not just the state of Arizona but the entire country itself.

A byline attached to another bill, this bit of text would require anyone that is on the ballot in the state of Arizona be able to produce a United States birth certificate before they can be allowed to be voted into office. The decision on whether or not the certificate meets the needs of validating their citizenship comes down to the view of the Secretary Of State and the election officials. If they don’t sign off on the candidate, then this person’s name will not appear on the ballot. Just stop and think what this could lead to if the person in control of the situation decides that he just doesn’t trust what he sees in front of him or her for whatever reasons they might have and disallows a Presidential candidate from the state ballot. The fact that the current President ran against a man who has spent a lot of his time supposedly working for the benefit of the very state that is passing the law just might not enter into it but that still leaves the whole question of where this thing might wind up.

Now that we’ve reached the point of the bills passing into law, I’ve kind of felt a little set aback over how and why a state legislature would pass into law these bills that absolutely look and read to be blatantly unconstitutional. To spend all of the time and energy to get these bills passed only to have them guaranteed to be knocked down in the courts just seems counter productive to me. Why bother doing all of this if you just know that it will all get torn down sooner or later?

It was asking that question that gave me the answer that I was looking for. It might seem a slightly insane thing to do but these laws were ostensibly passed to have them knocked down. It is just that simple and I have to admit that it is a very brave thing to do. You wind up putting a whole lot of your eggs into one basket and have to really hope that no one drops the basket.

To break it down to a basic level, these three bills are being pushed and passed as a litmus test for the rest of the world to show where they stand on the whole immigration debate and the ancillary bits of questions. With all of the television shows, newspapers, and blogs to share their feelings on, you wind up with everyone putting their thoughts and feelings on the record. When you want to find out who is on your side in an argument, the easiest way to do it is to give everyone a place to direct their attention to and then let them tell you what they think. Once the law comes under scrutiny and question, then it even more requires everyone to put their views into public record. For all intent and purposes, you have these bills being made so that the people that agree with them know who is on their side of the debate. For someone living in a very red state, this bit of information could definitely nudge your popularity one way or the other depending on how it’s all spun.

While there is the definite need for bills that help with things like illegal immigration and hateful school classes, all three of these laws appear, as written, to be blatant excuses to attack specific ethnic groups and impede their personal rights. The unconstitutionality of them all looks obvious to me though I am kind of amazed at the way that some people seem to choose to ignore this fact. It all comes down to a need for a specific group to be able to see who is on their side and that they can look to if they need help or just a person to lend an ear or a keyboard to help promote their world view. It might sound a little crass on their parts for taking all the time to get the laws passed and any of the stress or heartache that might come from a person that is arrested for something that they weren’t able to prove to the levels that the police officer questioning them required but I guess it might be a thoughtful thing to do in a highly political kind of way. Let’s just hope that no one else thinks that this is something that they want to do because it just rubs me the wrong way and leaves me hoping for some form of actual logical thinking.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


There is a famous quote about how humans are mainly a vessel to stuff food into. I’d like to think that there are more important reasons, like possibly art or something like that, but I can see what they are getting at when they talk like that. It is a short list for the things that the entirety of the human race needs to do and eating is really up there on it. You don’t tend to stay alive for very long when you don’t eat.

Couple the amazing variety and styles of food stuff with the need and you have a pretty good combination ready and willing to help the world. And that isn’t even taking into account the whole psychological need that some of us have for food. It is well documented that many people use food and eating as a way to help for all manner of psychological upsets. There is overeating or starving or eating only certain foods or in a specific order and there are still so many more.

It might be some version of this or just a way to relive boredom but I will always find myself switching over to the Food Network or the Travel Channel’s food programs when there is nothing else on the tube. You get some serious amount of entertainment and tasty looking food to go along with it. It would be even better if it was possible to just stick your hand into the television and pull out the food for personal consumption but I’ll just have to wait for the next round of mechanical upgrades for that. First high definition and then food delivery.

The Travel Channel has a special series on right now called The Chowdown Countdown where they travel the country picking out what they believe are the 101 top places to eat in the country. These are all local establishments with no chain restaurants of any kind on the list. All of the places that they have shown so far have looked amazing and the food can’t look any more delectable as they do on the screen. It’s like a food fetishists dream come true.

While I’ve been enjoying watching the show and would love to visit a lot of the places on it, there is something that I’ve actually found a little troubling in the watching. The restaurants have a wide variety of different kinds of things to eat but there is a part of their menus that I feel the need to call into question. That part of it is the use of the enormous meal that looks like it would be too much for even all 19 of the Duggars could finish. Some places have mega sandwiches that have everything on the normal menu placed between two slices or bread. Still others go with the huge ice cream sundays and there was even a place with a mammoth vanilla milkshake that is served in a glass that looks like it was originally built for a piston engine casing. It’s all about the big amounts of food and every one of these places have a kind of promotion about rewarding people that can eat or drink the whole thing.

My mind started to wander while watching to what the thought of people from other countries must be to the apparent gluttony that these shows give the rest of the world. At first you’d like to hope that there are other countries that have the same kinds of things at their places of nourishment but I really can’t see the people in the Netherlands or Japan or Estonia having quite the need or desire to have something like these dishes on their menus. It all looks like something inherent to the people of the United States of America. We’ve gotten so used to having an overabundance of food in this country that we don’t have a problem with eating a cheeseburger that weighs as much as the cow that they got the meat originally from.

These single place establishments are part of their local environments and each of them fits into their region of the country but you kind of have to wonder when you factor these places into the same world as the one with all of the chain restaurants. They might not have the kind of huge meals that the smaller places do but that doesn’t help when you have the need to fulfill the menus of places across an area or the country. The amount of food that flows out of places like McDonalds, Taco Bell, or even like Subway can total up to a huge amount of stuff. It can blow a person’s mind to think about how much hamburger meat needs to be raised and processed for these places.

I am not someone who is innocent in cases like this because I still eat at all manner of places like these. I might have tried to curtail the amounts of time I spend at fast food places but I still love going to the local In & Out Burgers when I’m jonesing for a “Double Double”. There haven’t been my past trips to eating a couple double quarter pounders a week but I do still eat my fair share of it. It all just kind of leaves me worried about how much food we’re all eating.

There is another famous quote about how the fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but it’s starting to seem like we have way too much food available for us to choose from. It just leaves me worried about all of the meat in the diet and how it’s possible to raise all of the meat that you need to make the food. You don’t want to worry about the need to feed all of the people of the world and the space needed for farms to raise all of it for our needs. It could make you go insane just worrying about it.

It all leaves my mind feeling a bit mixed up when I think about all of the possibilities about the food that we eat. With the country’s population growing exponentially, you have to fulfill the need to eat that all of those people might have. It’s not like I’m looking for the appearance of soylent green in the next month but we do need to figure out what we’re going to do before it gets to the point that all of those huge sanwhiches are taken apart just to feed all of the people that will need the food.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


It came as a major surprise to most people on Monday when a press release and short interview by one Mister Mark McGwire admitted to using steroids during his time as a major league baseball player. For most of the free world the fact that he had used them wasn’t much of a surprise since he seemed to constantly look like he shopped at the “Strangely Big And Misshapen Muscles” store but it did seem like a stretch that he would ever admit to it. Chalk it up to his miniscule vote totals for the Hall of Fame or the lack of respect his home run record has gotten since he did it but something brought out the need to come clean about the whole thing.

All was going okay and even those that were feeling jaded about all of his accomplishments were starting to feel a little bit of compassion for the man but then came a live interview shown later on in the day. McGwire showed up on the MLB Network being interviewed by Bob Costas and it seemed to be a no hold bared kind of thing at first. Costas was asking many of the questions that many of us wondered about and it was all going okay up to a point. Once it reached that point, all the wheels seemed to come off and all the benefits the interview might have had were lost in the backwash of self salvation on the part of Mr. McGwire.

And what was this point that throttled the life out of the interview? For me it was when McGwire stated that the steroids that he was taking did not help his performance in any way and they did not help home runs that he hit after he started taking the drugs. It took me a moment to think about this and then I just had to call him on how stupid this made him sound. I’d like to believe him that he might just be confused but then you just need to remember the whole speech about not wanting to talk about the past when he was in front of the Congressional committee and that benefit was used up a long time ago.

This is an argument that has been floated a couple times in the past but it never held any kind of water for me. They try to say that there was no benefit from the steroids when it came to their actual on the field time. They will constantly say that all of their records and playing history should count the same even after the admission because the talent was, in lack of a better way to put it, God given or genetics or whatever. Andy Petite said the same thing when he was caught taking them too and it sounded just as wrong then as it does now.

This attempted explanation fails on so many counts that it’s hard to choose which one to start off with. You can say that it didn’t give you a competitive advantage but it is also very easy to understand the simple fact that the player wouldn’t even be able to compete without taking those steroids. The players of the past never had substances like this to help them recover from injuries or just from the rigors of keeping themselves in shape over the course of their careers. You can say that the steroids didn’t give you the original ability that might have gotten you into the major leagues all you want but those steroids that you took definitely helped you to stay there for a lot longer than you might have if you had done it naturally.

When it comes down to the whole steroid debate, much of the pro steroids side of the argument make me feel like when I hear about another kind of similar discussion, namely the anti gun control viewpoint. The main thing that people that are against strong gun control laws will always pull out the phrase, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people” but they don’t seem to understand how wrong that is to say. It might be true that a gun doesn’t kill someone outright but it definitely does make it a lot easier for someone to actually kill as many people as they can. The people that use the phrase think it makes it some kind of circular idea that trumps everything else but it in fact negates itself since the event that comes from the two subjects wouldn’t be possible without each other.

The very same idea can be placed right across the steroid argument without any real difficulty. You can talk all you want about how your natural abilities trumps anything else but that still leaves us wondering why you would need to take them if they didn’t help you in the first place. If it all comes down to it, any try to make the statement that personal ability trumps any benefits from steroids just won’t hold water because those steroids can help the person to use those abilities. It is just that simple.

We all want to believe our sports heroes are the most amazing people as we think they are. You find someone to be a fan of and it can be so hard to understand that they can be just as human as all of us. They have the same worries and faults of all of us but that doesn’t excuse fact that they still used them when they were against both the rules of the sport and the laws of the country itself. You can try to talk all you want about the fact that you had to do it since you played in the Steroid Era but the time didn’t force you to take that substance into your body.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


As a child of the 1980s, there were many things pulled out that frightened everyone during that time. You had the possibility of nuclear holocaust, or the economic recessions, or hundreds of other smaller moments that felt totally monumental at the time. Along with all of these choices, there was one event that started out very quietly but wound up building to a crescendo by the end of the decade. Whether that slow burn came from indifference by the government at large or the rate at which the disease worked it’s way through the person’s body, this wasn’t something that jumped right out to get our attention. It was the arrival of the HIV disease or, as it is usually called, AIDS.

I didn’t hit 18 years old until 1990 so most of the decade was spent watching the slow build of AIDS on the news programs and the random entertainment programs that included it as a plot device. Other than that, the disease didn’t seem to enter my suburban world in a physical sense. That didn’t mean that it wasn’t in my mind but that was as far as it got for me.

It seemed to take forever to finally get to the point where the government started to see just how important this disease was and how it wasn’t just the “gay cancer” that they must have thought it was or wanted it to seem. Both the gay and hetero worlds were starting to see the powers that AIDS was bringing to bear and the need to seriously start to look for a cure. The 1990s found more time spent in sorrow with people passing away and optimism over the possibility of a cure but AIDS was still this floating curse that looked like the equivalent of a death sentence once the diagnosis was made.

After so many people passed away, the doctors had come up with a drug cocktail that could help to control the infection but was nowhere near a full cure. It was still a dark diagnosis for anyone that received that news but at least there was hope of maintenance if not a total form of remission. You wind up having to take multiple expensive drugs on a daily basis but at least it can hold it in place for the most part.

Move your vision up to the current day and it is a different kind of world that AIDS is a part of. Instead of the dreaded scourge that it was, it almost seems like the United States has forgotten about how evil the disease is. You can chalk it up to whatever you want to but the importance is not like it used to be. This isn’t the same as it is in the rest of the world and that has hindered a lot of the responses to the firestorm that AIDS is burning through the African continent. There are complete generations that are dying directly from the disease or having their lives and future possibilities destroyed by the ramifications of what they are left with. There are orphanages that are full of the sons and daughters of parents that have passes away from the disease. Many of these children are also HIV positive which leaves them stuck both behind the proverbial eight ball and strapped onto the cue ball at the same time.

Thankfully many groups saw this firestorm coming and have been working to fight back against the flames of disaster. Medical groups, children’s charities, and more were in the forefront of bringing attention to what was going on and the need to help. These are people that can’t possibly afford the monetary bills that come from purchasing all of the drugs needed to care for their situation. Through the charitable work of all of these people and groups, there is now at least hope that the people of Africa now see what the disease is and how to protect themselves from what is to possibly come.

Where does that leave us on this World’s AIDS Day? It kind of seems that we are a little ahead of the game since there is the mixture of drugs that can help keep the disease in check but that still doesn’t leave us with an actual cure. That is still being looked for but I don’t really know how much of attention that used to be directed towards it is still evident. There are new diseases and problems that have come about that have pulled off both people and finances but AIDS still hasn’t gone away. It just seems to leave the situation in this gray area where there is work being done but the whole situation gets swept under the carpet here in the United States.

I always try to keep an optimistic view on the possible future and there does seem to be a good sign about the situation. But, even with that optimistic idea, I do worry about the seeming forgetfulness of most of the world when it comes to the AIDS situation around the world. There have been many advances made over the years but you can also say that we have kind of stayed in place over the past decade or so when it comes to finding a true cure. Even in a world full of new diseases appearing on it would seem a near daily basis, we should never let something as deadly as AIDS to fall into the mental background or we run the chance of having another situation like what happened on the African continent again. There is always the chance that it could come back that way here in the United States but that is something to think of for another day. For now there is work to be done to finally bring a cure to the people that seriously need it.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I am someone who gets a lot of pleasure out of being a traveller and not a tourist. When I go to another place on a full vacation or just a weekend trip, I like to really go into the neighborhoods and poke around to find the really interesting places that are out there. It’s all well and good to do the big bus tours or the package kind of things but I am so much more happier when I get to actually see the places that I’m going to.

There is one odd aspect of this enjoyment of a trip to another place that I’ve begun to notice over the past year. It kind of left me feeling a little silly when I first thought of it but my feelings have begun to change recently to a more positive point of reference. Unlike so many other people that spend their time buying all kinds of little nicknacks like fridge magnets or that neat paper weight you see in the hotel store, I go for something a little different. My choice of memento of a trip? T-shirts!

I have so many t-shirts from all of the places that I’ve been to over the years that I don’t know what to do with some of them. For example, I went to the New York City/New Jersey area in mid October a couple of years back and I went all over the city and much of the surrounding areas. What did I bring back? Three t-shirts including one from the Times Square Hard Rock Cafe, one from the Lombardi’s pizza restaurant, and one goofy touristy one made out to look like a Jim Beam bottle label. Yes, that was all of the souvenirs that I brought back with me from a weeklong trip.

At one point I thought that this made me a little silly when it came to my souvenir buying. While everyone else had been buying all of this stuff, I instead decided to choose to go down the singular path of the land of apparel. From my trip to the Minneapolis area, I have a University of Minnesota baseball jersey. From my last trip to Los Angeles, I have both a shirt from Canter’s Deli and a Jack Skellington “Bone Daddy” shirt from Disneyland. That is all I bought to bring home from all of these trips. You just tell people this and they kind of look at you a little cockeyed. These are people that mix up their souvenirs but that just doesn’t seem to be me.

Over the last couple of months, my mind has come back around about this and I now am starting to feel like this has been a good thing for me to do. Instead of having all kinds of little random clutter all over my desk to remind me about where I’ve been, what I have are souvenirs that I actually get some value out of. These are things that I wear and am seen out in public while having them on my body. What I bring back with me is something that I can use to show everyone that yes I am someone who has been to these places and I have brought back the spoils of my trip to show off to everyone around me. I know that might sound like a slightly more silly way to put it but it kind of makes me feel even better in the long run so there you go.

I have some other little travel eccentricities, like picking out the places that I want to visit by watching every show on the Food Network or the Travel Channel that I can find, but the t-shirt souvenir conundrum is one that seems to stick out the most. Either way, those weird tweaks brought me out to places like Lombardi’s Pizza in New York City and Voodoo Donuts in Portland where I had some amazing food and culture. To go along with that, I also brought back the t-shirts that help to show the kinds of places that I like to visit and what I do when I’m there. All of these things make me, the traveller, feel a lot better about showing off all of the places that I’ve been and even helps to maybe start a conversation about all of those places that we have both been. All this for just buying a cool looking t-shirt? A definite win-win in my book but that’s just me.

Friday, November 20, 2009


It was this time last week that the video game company Electronic Arts announced that they were cutting at least 1,500 jobs and reducing their research into new game IPs due to the massive downturn in their profits. Then came a new statement on Tuesday of the closing, or consolidation as the press release says, of Pandemic Studios. This means another 200 jobs cut and everyone left at Pandemic being moved in as part of EA’s Los Angeles offices. Not the best week as a whole if you’re looking for stability in your publicly traded video game design company but, if it staves off the need to do something like declare bankruptcy, then it is a win-win in the eyes of the parent company.

Unlike many other businesses, the video game industry works in an odd sort of the fits and starts. You have the big companies that spend years developing, designing, and finally releasing new games be them original works or sequels and at the same time you have the smaller companies making flash games that might be released at a quicker pace then their larger counterparts but don’t have the high level of polish and quality that those long gestating games are supposed to have. These two extremes make the business have constant little jumps ahead combined with moments of big releases showing their faces. A business model like this for a company based around attempted creative innovation doesn’t really scream out as a stable place.

The need for innovation but lack of funds can bring about a very stagnant level of new IPs and make the whole business into sequels and carbon copies of whatever is hot at the time. You can easily trace the fallow period in the video game industry by the number of sequels that are released in comparison to everything else in the market. This lack of creativity can kill off both large pieces of the industry itself and make many people decide to look for a different way of life that excites their levels of creativity.

This is actually something that shouldn’t need to happen but it sadly does to many times. Instead of using those innovative minds that are already on the payroll, the company shifts into safety mode and makes what it knows will sell on the open market. You can’t really argue with this model since it allows the companies to remain in business at the level that they are at but it can lead to substandard games that are mere copycats of what has come before.

It might seem to be an overly pessimistic way to look at the whole situation but there is a way to tweak the system to work for everyone. While it might not be cost effective to have many subsidiary companies bringing out new properties that run the risk of never making a success of their investment, you can definitely use some of that innovation to liven up the current stream of releases to make them a better game all around. That is really a win-win for everyone.

One of the best examples of this combination of solid intellectual product combines with innovation was released a couple months back. The game in question is “Batman: Arkham Asylum”. After years of standard boring comic book hero games, the people at Rocksteady and Eidos mixed in the fighting mechanic from the current round of fighting games and levels based around a heavy load of stealth to mix up the game play. The stealth levels play like a superhero version of Splinter Cell which is a very good thing indeed. By taking these known IPs and combining them with innovations made in other games or brought about specifically for that game, you make an even better game out of what could have been a standard game.

Another way to tweak the situation is to plan better for the games that might carry more of a burden upon release. You don’t want to spring a totally new game on the fandom right in the middle of the prime buying season like EA did with “Mirror’s Edge” without expecting the release to be a little bumpy. The level of ad space was strong but you wind up leaving the buying public to make the decision between your new and unknown property or a game that the fans have knowledge of and have a shorter distance to being accepted.

The video game industry can be a very difficult business field to try and work under. You are expected to constantly be innovative in your games but then you also need to worry about making a profit for your investments. It might not totally be a two way street but you can set up new intellectual properties while playing it safe. Either by taking that innovative idea and mixing it into an already weathered franchise or planning the release date and advertising even closer there is a way to propagate new IPs in a business environment that doesn’t seem ready to be accepting.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


As the new network television season commences and we settle in with the hopes and fears about all of the content being given out to us, I was very hopeful about several new shows that had caught my eyes. It's not that hard for a good show to catch my attention but it is something when that show can make me wait near a third of the calendar year to see the next installment and not leave me feeling seriously wronged. They say that you don't bite the hand that feeds you and you also really shouldn't give out a nice sweet treat and not expect to have someone try and snatch your hands off when there aren't any more available for an extended period of time.

It was into this world that I found myself after the premiere of the pilot for a little show called "Glee". On the surface the story of a high school glee club and the trials and tribulations of their lives, I like many viewers was left wanting to see more of this show right away. Sadly we were only given a taste though it was a very melodically one at that. I just couldn't say no to a show that had that many interesting characters to play with and the guarantee from the shows producers that there would be at least 3 songs per episode.

After waiting like a good person through the whole summer, it was with major anticipation that I watched the season premiere of "Glee" a week ago. And, I'm sorry to have to say this but I was left feeling a little let down by what I saw. It wasn't that it was bad or unwatchable or anything of that nature. All in all, it was an adequately entertaining hour of television time.

But what bothered me was that it felt like there was so much missing from the pilot that was not in the first episode, namely the rest of the people in the cast. It can definitely be said that "Glee" is a show that will have some characters become background players for several episodes due to the simple fact that there are just so many of them in the show to begin with. If someone isn't involved in the A, B, or (depending on how much you can cram into an hour) C plots, then I can understand them being nudged back a little. It's just a given when it comes to an ensemble cast.

That being said, I was kind of taken aback at how far back some of those characters were moved back during the course of the episode. I might be mistaken but I really don't remember any of the other glee club members having any actual lines in the episodes other than Finn and Rachel. Add in all of the stuff with Mr.Schuester and his wife along with the normal cheerleaders/glee club battles and you wound up with everyone else seemingly frozen out of even spending more than a minute or two on screen.

Which brings us to last night's episode. It might only be the third broadcast episode of the whole series but I was starting to feel a little worried that the show that I thought would be was not what would wind up being shown on my nice HD screen. Thankfully I was proven totally wrong about my worries.

In the place of the small amount of participants of the previous episode, this week showed just what a talented group can do even in a crowded situation like this. You seemingly had at least 4 different plots going at the same time and every one of them were fleshed out and written perfectly. If you throw in all of the members of Acafellas separately, you have an additional 4 to 5 plots that were all woven together. There are some shows that can't even get one plot right and this show was nearing double digits by the 45 minute mark.

The thing that really made me happy though was that so many of the characters were allowed to come in and shine. You had the friendship/romance part and the cheer/glee battles and the male boy band and the unrequited high school love and the husband/wife issues and so on and so forth but none of these plots felt like they were being trimmed down or forced to be second class citizens due to any of the other ones. Many of them even complimented and played off each other to the point that you had moments of Plot A joining with Plot B to impact Plot C in a way that sheds new light on Plot D. It's a hard thing to write that many layers into a show but it is an amazing thing to watch when it does work.

As I said at the beginning, it can definitely be said that there might be some overreaction on my part when it is only 3 episodes into the shows existence but I was feeling a little nervous that what was seen in the pilot was not what we would get to enjoy in the following episodes. It is very nice to see that the show is not going to fall into that trap and will hopefully continue to let all of the myriad of characters have a chance to shine. Isn't that one of the best parts of a glee club to being with?