Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Spoiled Rotten

I was born ten months after the first atomic bomb hit Hiroshima. The week before my 40th birthday, Time magazine had "Boomers Turn Forty" on its cover.


During the 40s and 50s, the United States had unprecedented growth and manufacturing jobs were available to a lot of people, offering the highest standard of living in the world at that time for anyone working in manufacturing.

Slowly, that faded, drifting downward as international competition grew, international corporations moved their operations away from the highest-paid labor force to places where people were willing to work for less. First from the North to the South, then to other countries.

Our workforce was devastated by that loss of jobs, and those changes led almost directly to the result of this election.

Automation is of course even cheaper than starvation wage labor, and that is where things have been going for some time now.

As the standard of living rose in the "Third World", the standard dropped in the USA. That is inevitable. 7.5 billion people cannot all live in luxury, driving huge gas-guzzling SUVs and throwing out edible food because it has brown spots.

That is the background for today's rant. I am so utterly spoiled, it is amazing. If I glance around the world in my mind's eye, I see refugees living in tents in all weather, people without clean water, people starving, and people living under crushing dictatorships and oligarchies. I have never experienced anything but what we are pleased to call freedom. I have never been bombed, shot at, stabbed, or deprived of food and water. I have never been imprisoned, justly or unjustly.

The thing is, every human being on this planet deserves a decent life, with enough to eat and drink, shelter, and a caring group of people, related or not, around them. Each of us deserves to be respected and given a chance to contribute whatever we can to the world, and to be rewarded for that contribution. Somewhere in the middle is a place we can all live, between starvation and conspicuous consumption, but that is where I believe the Force is headed for humanity.

We are all ONE. Let us all see what we can do to send this energy outward to all of us. Let us embrace the end of privilege, and herald the emergence of EVERYONE's rights. Of course, that means everyone also has to take responsibility for their own part in living together as one huge family. Quite a challenge, but one I believe we can meet.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Language of Shakespeare? Not Here, and Certainly NOT NOW.

Weird Al on Language Abuses

I was just watching a show about people who build treehouses. One man said, "this is a great build, ____, the proof is in the pudding." NOOO!!! Learn your idiomatic expressions , USAers!

The original saying is, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating." which makes SENSE! How can the proof be in the pudding? Unless there is a clue to the murderer's identity baked into a dessert, as in the UK, or as in the USA, cooked into a soft custard.

OK other signs that we have neglected our children's education for over 50 years:

The definition of NONPLUSSED is CONFUSED.

But now, amongst younger North Americans, it means THE OPPOSITE! "she was nonplussed" now means she remained cool calm and collected. Erm, this is ridiculous.

FIGURATIVE in art means a piece that looks like something recognizably derived from life. The opposite is ABSTRACT.

Amongst younger people, it means art that shows the human form.

FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING means to use a metaphor, so "I figuratively fell over" would mean I felt like I fell over, but did not actually fall at all.

Now people say "My jaw was literally on the floor." But unless your jaw has been removed and it has fallen from wherever you keep it at night, that is ABSURD.

MORE TO COME as I run into these foolish uses of what can be and has been a beautiful and lyrical language.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Shaking Hands in the USA 101

Today I met someone at a party and offered my hand to shake theirs. They held my hand like their hand was a banana peel, limp and cold. I found that highly distasteful. I also dislike the crushing grips favored by some.

Here in the United States, a firm but gentle grip is the preferred style, for both men and women. If you offer your hand drooping down I feel like you believe you are lowering yourself by being forced to shake hands with me.

If you try to break the bones in my hand, I get the feeling you are trying, again, to prove some sort of superiority.

Why people use these awful handshake styles is beyond me. I would not shake hands if I knew in advance that the other person was going to give the limp banana peel or the vise grip.


NO!

NOOOO!!!!

YESSS!!!


Friday, July 29, 2016

Your Facebook Powers


Today  on Facebook, a friend re-posted someone else's request that everyone she knows on Facebook should keep their political opinions to themselves until after the US election in November. OK, it is fair to say we are all opinionated, and that we hold conflicting views, which we are expressing on Facebook. That is the right of each of us, under the US Constitution. There are FB rules against certain abuses, but this person was not referring to those posts.

The thing is, telling everyone else to shut up will not work, and is unnecessary as well. Each person on FB has the powers shown above. Click that little downward-pointing arrow and you will find six choices. If you HIDE POST, you will "See fewer posts like this". Hey, sounds like a good solution. Then you have the option to UNFOLLOW that person who posted this opinion that you find offensive. They will never know you did it, so there will be no hurt feelings, and you no longer have to read all their rants. You can still look at their FB page if you want to know what else is going on with them, so happiness all around, right?

In daily life, we are all giving our opinions all the time, and while it might be better to keep quiet (yes, I know I need to do that), you DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN TO ME OR COMMENT! You can ignore me!

Really truly, in Facebook as in all media, YOU CAN TURN IT OFF, believe it or not. You do NOT have to watch that TV show or YouTube video, listen to that podcast, read this blog post, learn all about your great aunt's gall bladder operation, or view on Instagram what your pal had for dinner. REALLY, you DON'T! Enjoy yourself and ignore the whole parade of clowns.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Are the Wealthiest Affiliated with the Democrats?

Someone stated to me today that the wealthy (in the USA) are mostly Democrats. I looked that up immediately because my instinct was that was not true.

According to Forbes.com, of the top 50 wealthiest families in the USA, 56% contribute to Republicans, 14% to Democrats, and the remaining 30% contribute to both parties.

Here is a link to the complete article:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiasavchuk/2014/07/09/are-americas-richest-families-republicans-or-democrats/#6a01ea14717e

Monday, July 18, 2016

Overstimulated is the new Orange

Great Cast!
A few weeks ago, I saw Natasha Lyonne on Late Night with Stephen Colbert, and I decided to watch a few episodes of Orange is the New Black. Well, that was about three weeks ago, and I have now watched FIFTY-TWO episodes. I am screaming inside. This was quite an experience. I am a sort of "immersive" type. When I see a drama, I go through what the characters go through. As a child I would leave a Tarzan movie as Tarzan.

Suffice it to say, I have been overstimulated, and I am so relieved I finally finished the four seasons of OITNB. Thank God there will not be another season for a year or so! I have to go take an epsom salt bath and do breathing exercises, and try to find my authentic self.

On the bright side, the writing, direction and acting is superb. I love these characters, and the reason I got hooked was I had to know what happened to them next, episode after episode.

I have to take a break before I see Mr. Robot. I have two new episodes, but I am an emotional wreck.

Friday, July 15, 2016

This is Not a Toy

Point Taken
Oh yeah that reminds me. I love the labels on plastic bags that read, "This is not a toy".

What makes them think the people who give children plastic bags to play with, are people who can read?