Sunday, August 24, 2014


It is evident by simply watching the news, social media and nearly everything else that pushes stories and incidents toward us, we have become a nation of OVER REACTORS!!!!! REALLY? HOW CAN THAT HAPPEN? OMG!!!!!

So, how did this happen? Well, several ways actually. We are assaulted by news and stories every hour of our day. It comes from the news, internet, social media. Nearly everyone is connected 24/7. With that, comes opinions; knee jerk reactions to all of these stories. Social media itself is the great unfiltered media the world has never seen. Everyone has a say, and too often, those 'says' are without the facts. We react solely on the first evidence we see and hear. Too many puts their thoughts and reactions out for consumption without validation.

Everyone is guilty at some point. Take the incident in Missouri for instance. How many people really know what happened? How many picked sides based on scant evidence or simply word of mouth? A white cop shoots and kills a black teen. The black community shouts outrage. How much evidence has been presented as fact? The shouts of a cover-up are everywhere. Well, police don't release all the evidence to the public in any investigation. But, it's not the black community that is always at fault. How many white citizens sat on their couches and just assumed the black teen was breaking the law and has to face the reality of his choice. Don't break the law; don't get shot by a cop.

As well, the recent 'no tolerance' rules is schools is as much at fault. No tolerance means there is no gray area. That premise in itself is completely flawed. A young man was recently suspended from school because he wrote an assignment for class that included him killing a dinosaur with a gun. The no tolerance rule for guns was thus violated. If that is a sample of the lack of intelligence of our teachers and instructors in schools, no wonder our kids are turning out dumber and dumber. If that story is to be believed, then all the schools are guilty of being hypocritical. They couldn't teach most of the subjects they are mandated. Just consider how teachers and staff can and do act at school sporting events. Often their actions are significantly worse than a student writing a story about a gun. Is it tragic that there is any violent acts committed at a school? Sure, but bullying is a trait of humanity.

Think about this; all history books would have to be removed from the schools because every one of them contains our history; the history of warfare, world-wide. Guess what a war has ... guns. Can't teach that. Can't teach American history, a history of a country rising up and shooting their masters. Can't teach Civil War history, the story of, as most believe, a revolt against slavery. With guns. Can't teach world history; every country is and has been at war. The geography books would likely also have to go for the same reasons. Any course that teaches religion would also have to be removed. Religion? Really? Yep. There is more persecution based on religion that any other factor in world history. Perhaps the math books might be saved. They might be the only ones without references to guns and warfare.

Our world is never just a case of black and white. It is always filled with gray shadows that lurk just beyond what we can grasp.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Slouch potato

I jumped in another car the other day to move it, and I almost ended up in the back seat. What-the-heck, I thought. How in the world does anyone drive like this? Then I started to think about it in a larger role. We (not me) have become a world of slouchers.

Think I'm kidding? Look around you the next time you are: 1. shopping in a grocery store; 2. driving down the road; 3. sitting at a gathering with your family and friends, or 4. just walking down the street.

People don't stand up straight any more. They slouch. They're spines are curved from bending over too much. They're chests are sunken because they don't keep their shoulders back and their heads up. It's become more than just poor posture. It's 'the thing'. Slouch and try and look cool. Somehow, I missed the memo that slumping down is cool.

Have you ever seen people sit in chairs they are trying to out to buy? It's pathetic. Men specifically, throw back the seat as far as they can. They need to put their feet up on something. If it's an office chair, they lower it as far as it goes. I've seen guys 6'3 trying to sit looking cool with their knees up their noses. To me, they just look stupid.

It's almost as if guys are in a movie and are trying to scope out the scene. Yeah, I'm cool. Let's pretend we're cops and scan the bar for bad guys. It's definitely a man thing. Of course, I don't think much of that. I say it's time to 'man up' and stand up. And for the women? Do you actually think any of this is cool? Or sly? Or whatever the current word is now?

I say unto you, men of America, it's time to stand up and take back your trousers! Of course, they don't call the them trousers anymore either. I guess I'm just old. Well, at least I stand up straight.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Sea of Doubt

It is with great sadness we hear about the passing of Robin Williams. His is nearly an immeasurable talent. I am old enough to remember his start back in the seventies on the sitcom Happy Days. Now, I don't follow celebrities, but he was one of the few I would stop and take note of when I happened to come across him.

He became much more than just a comedian. He was able to launch himself into a world of television, film and stage with equal success. His dramatic performances were as punctuating as his comedic routines. Few in any field of endeavor are able to perform at such a high level at both ends of the spectrum. Think about your favorite dramatic actor or actress. Could they pull of, regularly, the histrionics of Robin Williams? To do it once is an accomplishment. To do it for a lifetime and improvise at the drop of a hat is something completely different.

We all know he suffered from his demons. However, it is nearly unfathomable for the average Joe, myself included, to understand the depths of emotional trauma he suffered throughout his life. We all ask ourselves, how can a man who has such a gift, a gift freely given to others suffer such pangs in a sea of doubt and depression? When one encounters another in life who is spontaneous, we are instantly drawn to that person. They have the 'it' factor we all dream about at some point in our lives.

But for these people, there always seems to be an underlying 'miss' in their lives. Even the personalities of John Belushi and those of his ilk, suffer from illnesses most of us are simply unable to understand. Our minds can't grasp how one who makes us laugh, only seems to be crying on the inside.

There are others whose stature rises above Robin Williams, though I don't know that there are many that are more beloved for the profound intrusion he made into our lives. It should keep us all on guard. Sometimes the funny man on the outside, is the sad man on the inside.

His voice is now quiet, but his memory shall never be.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


It's starting yet again. It has been many years since I felt the pangs in my stomach, the thought of returning to school after a fun summer, gut-wrenching. It's not that I didn't like school, but I had a lot more fun not being there.

Of course, it was different 'back in the day'. We went back much later than kids today. It has only been a few years since the first day has migrated back to August. For me and my siblings, after Labor Day was the norm. I'm not sure why the change, but, oh well. In the retail game which I play now, it gives me a little more time between school and getting ready for Christmas. The more time between, the better.

Of course, back in my day (oh lord, here it comes), we didn't have air conditioning in any school I went to. We opened the windows. I was in an elementary school last year that had no windows on two sides of the building. I felt so closed in in that place. It was ridiculous, not to mention architecturally an awful design. (Since I was in architecture in college, I can say that). Gone are the days of staring out the windows or just letting the sun come in.

Perhaps that is one of the problems with schools. They seem so sterile now, almost like hospitals. With air conditioning, I suppose school in hot August days would be acceptable, but what fun is that. Of course you do get out earlier and enjoy the last week of May. We didn't get out until after June 7th, as a general rule. (It just rains in the last week of May around here anyway).

Speaking of BTS, it's a huge shopping season. Take it easy on us poor workers who are flooded by customers. You outnumber us ten to one. We can't be everywhere at once and help everyone every second of their trip in. We are there to give you wonderful service, not to be your servant. We'll run out of things because everyone wants all the same stuff. Don't blame the staff, it's not their fault. Didn't get that eraser for ten cents? Get over it. It's an eraser.

And one more thing I had in school you likely didn't; nuns. God bless them, every one.