3 Thoughts: On Kamikaze Pilots, Milk & Lonzo Ball

Volume 1 | 17 May 2017

My goal is periodically writing three things down I’ve thought about enough to remember, but not enough to fully flesh out.

I can’t promise these will be terribly profound, however, I’m occasionally prone to being thoughtful.

First Thought: Kamikaze pilots

I was thinking about World War III. It hasn’t happened yet, but (given the current political climate) it’s coming any day now. I thought about war being a potential population control mechanism, then thought about World War II. I can’t be bothered to look up how many people died in WWII, but if I had to ballpark the number, knowing a tiny bit about history, I’d say approaching 100 million.

Of that total, the most insane loss of life (in terms of active duty soldiers) has to be kamikaze pilots. Some people are scared to fly because their plane might crash, these men flew planes to crash.

It’s an amazing (if not ridiculous) concept. Sure, it’s probably more accurate than dropping bombs, yet the cost/benefit analysis doesn’t compute.

First, you lose a pilot. I’m not sure how easy it is to fly a plane, but if Japan’s Air Force (I’m sure there’s an actual name for it) was asking these men to fly into fixed targets, there must have been a level of skill and precision involved — so you’re losing a trained, perhaps talented, pilot.

Second, and maybe more perplexing, you’re losing the plane itself. In the 1940s, fighter jets must have cost tens of thousands in today’s money, yet they took hundreds of them and flew them into aircraft carriers.

I realise Japan has the Bushido code (the Samurai law you learn about in movies) where an honourable, courageous death is appreciated—even sought after—so I’m positive Japanese pilots would have signed up for suicide missions with tremendous pride, but from my rather comfortable couch, even with Donald Trump in the White House causing chaos, I’m not ‘bout that life.

Second Thought: Bagged milk

In Canada—where I lived once upon a time—milk comes in bags. You cut the bag’s corner, put the bag in a pitcher, et voilà. In the United States, though, milk comes in cartons, plastic jugs or glasses. I’m yet to observe bagged milk.

  • Why is Canada different?
  • Who puts milk in/drinks milk from a glass?
  • Does milk last longer in a bag, carton, jug or glass?
  • Which milk tastes better?

Just a few questions I have.

Third Thought: LaVar & Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball is a basketball player for any who might not know. He played for the University of California, Los Angeles and is one of the three best NBA prospects in June’s upcoming NBA Draft alongside Markelle Fultz (Washington) and Josh Jackson (Kansas).

You’d think Ball would own his name at this point—as he’s prepared to become a multi-millionaire and franchise-changing asset—but he doesn’t.

Lonzo’s name belongs to his father, LaVar.

LaVar Ball is an outspoken, bombastic, brash father, who has used his son’s fame and talent to make a name for himself. Not to discount him being a successful father, he’s moulded the career of a potential top-three NBA draft pick and has two other sons with basketball futures on the collegiate level.

People often criticise fathers for being absent, LaVar is the total opposite—he’s maybe too involved. Making outlandish statements, insensitive comments and leaching off his son’s name, Ball has forged a brand for himself and his sons, creating the “Big Baller Brand.”

An L.A. native, LaVar has taken centre stage for the upcoming NBA draft where the Los Angeles Lakers have the No. 2 overall pick. It is exceedingly likely the Lakers select Lonzo with the second pick, and he stays in the hometown of his father and the city in which he attended university.

The thought I had was: Lonzo would be better off going to the Boston Celtics (who have the No. 1 overall pick) or the Philadelphia 76ers (who have the No. 3 overall pick).

If he stays in L.A., and is drafted by the NBA’s most popular franchise, his father gains more control; if he was drafted by Boston or Philadelphia, would his father move to the East Coast, leaving his home, wife and two other sons in an attempt to manoeuvre his son’s NBA career?

That’s possible, but moving East (and perhaps going solo) would give Lonzo an opportunity to play without the added pressure his father creates (or at least less pressure).

In Los Angeles, though, there's no chance for LaVar retreating. If anything it would further embolden the “Big Baller Brand” founder. Knowing how the NBA works, Lonzo will likely remain in L.A. with his family, play for the Lakers and become the catalyst for LaVar’s machinations.

Hopefully Ball the younger can forge his own identity—independent of his father; he could more easily do that in Boston or Philadelphia, but Lonzo can’t choose his club and one can’t choose their parents.

Those were my three quick thoughts, see you guys whenever.