Where have all the funnys gone…..

It is said that laughter is the best medicine.  I can’t recall a time when I have been sitting in a funk or just plain depressed and could still manage a good laugh after watching or listening to some classic comedy.  I’m not talking about the latest brand of comedic actors and shows on television (though there are a few good ones on).  I’m talking about the shows that many youth of today would turn off as being “old” or “out of date”.  Today is marking the 100th birthday of a great comedienne, Lucille Ball.  Though she passed at a young 77, her work and talents are still with us today.  She revolutionized so much of what we see on television that many of those new comedies still use her innovations, such as filming before a live studio audience!

Decades later, you still laugh. You still whip the tears from your eyes watching the episode with Lucy at the candy factory conveyor belt.  Your stomach still aches after the half-hour hoot!

I was fortunate to be able to introduce my children when they were young to some great classic comedy.  When all the rage was Power Rangers and super-cheesy sitcoms, I broke through the color barriers and sold them on some black and white funnies.  Sure, at first there was some resistance.  “This is stupid, it’s not even in color”.  “This is so old, it can’t be funny”.  “Looks BORING!” (insert eyes rolling here).  Enter I Love Lucy.  Enter Abbott and Costello. Enter Laurel and Hardy.

SOLD! To the children in the front row!

Proud moments.  I generally justified those moments as ‘cultural education’ for the kids’ benefit, but will confess that I enjoyed every minute of every episode or movie just as much.  There is something about the nostalgia that seems to take us away for a brief moment to a simpler time.  There wasn’t any super computers with super smartphones that were a part of the punch-line.  Modern conveniences were plots to science fiction.  People had their differences, but also had respect.

We are in a very complex, demanding time of life.  We are constantly bombarded with demands and pressures.  Issues such as depression and anxiety are common-place.  Not that there wasn’t these problems back in the days of simpler times, but it was nowhere near the magnitude that it is today.  It seems that as technology increases to make our lives easier, it has also created greater stressors.

Now, social media has taken over and what it really has created is a world of drones.  Where the social media has taken us all is online and on our smartphones and pulled us away from the ‘real world’.  No longer interacting with each other face to face, everything has been dwindled onto our phones and computers….virtual versus real.

I started this article with the line that laughter is the best medicine. It’s true.  As humanity evolves itself into a state of robots taking commands from the social networks, I can’t help but think of the evil creatures of the t.v. show Star Trek: the Next Generation.  The race is called the Borg.  Essentially are assimilated beings from all over the universe, many looking remarkably human. The ‘assimilation’ is where the human emotions and independent thought are stripped away and every member is now a part of the ‘collective’. Everyone does what everyone else does. No independence, just plugged into the big computer and follow the commands.

This is where we are heading.  The modern technology is plugging us into it and stripping away our humanity.  With that, comes the emotional dysfunction, the mental breakdowns, and the withdraw from real society and family.  Maybe a passionate plea from the world of common sense is in order: Please unplug for a while, take the time away from the stressors, and laugh!  If your head is spinning and filled with chaos….laugh!  If you are flooded with sadness and despair, take some time to laugh!  If you are feeling alone and cold, laugh!  If you unplug from the collective, interact with real humanity, watch a little I Love Lucy….you might get your senses back!

Common sense!

Two steps forward, three steps back.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.   Well, I’m sorry to say this but, either way you end up with a very sour face!

That’s the issue.  We all know that life can be hard, with its ups and downs and its round and rounds, but is there ever a break?  I can honestly say that in so many circumstances, our choices and decisions will often weigh in on the outcomes of our life.  You choose to rob a bank, the outcome will not be pleasant.   You chose to cheat the system, you can be sure that at some point you will be caught and will lose out on the frills.  You play with fire, you get burned.  Simple. I think they call that cause and effect.  But what about the other side of that?  The side that has the negative effects without the cause?  The old ‘two steps forward, three steps back’ syndrome.

Throughout this world are millions of folks who try hard, work hard, play well with others,  and just generally are law-abiding citizens who pay their share of taxes and try to make ends meet.   These are the folks who strive to put food on the table, help a neighbor when they can, and contribute positive to society.  There isn’t room to grumble when the people up the street get a new car and they cannot afford to even keep theirs running smooth.  When you don’t try to keep up with the Jones’ to get the new this and that. Our common folks settle for what they have because it’s all they have.  Just keeping their heads above water and all the other nifty one-liners and sayings to describe our average Joe’s and Jane’s.

What’s missing in the picture of the “average” citizen is the darker maladies that perform their evil within.  “Two steps forward, three steps back”.  You work hard, but it will never be enough. You try to do right, but it bites you in the rear.  You follow the laws but will still be the first to suffer under them.  Try, try, try as hard as you will, but peace will not be afforded to you. Calm will ever elude you.  Gains will be stripped away.   Let’s face it, a backward slide into poverty is your only path.  You don’t have what it takes!

Well, now that the cheery thoughts are swaying back and forth in time to the demise that awaits, ask why do we even bother?  Let’s face it…..our system is made to slowly take from the average good folk and give to the over-greedy wealthy who don’t, but do, need more and more.  Or, give it over to the illegals, the law-breakers, the cheaters, and the undeserving.  “Two steps forward, three steps back”.  Let’s take from the struggling and strip away the remaining good….all in the name of social programs! After all, they are created to give others what the hardworking citizens were striving for but will never reach!  You don’t have to work! You don’t have to pay! You don’t need to read, write, or even speak the language! All  you have to do is be a non-contributing member of our U.S. of A. and we will take from the worker and give to you!

But wait! there’s more! If you do nothing now, we will continue to up the offer!  Now you don’t even need to be a member! Just show up and we’ll give you food, housing, money, loans to start businesses, cars, and the added bonus of free post secondary education! That’s right! Everyone around you that is a positive, hard-working, contributing member of our society and have been constantly striving for just such things will envy you immensely!  You will get what they want and you don’t have to work for it!  So, when you see your new neighbor stranded on the side of road with a broken-down car…remember, you could have ended up like him.. working hard everyday and still can’t make it! “Two steps forward, three steps back”.

I would say right about here is where the comments of exaggeration are getting to be too much…but there isn’t any exaggeration. You and I, average citizens that struggle to make ends meet, work an honest days work, follow the laws, pay our share of taxes and give to society, are being passed up.  Local, State, and Federal governments are giving away everything, including the kitchen sink, to illegals and thieves.  And if they can’t get it, then they will send overseas to other undeserving types.  Even places like the Land of Lincoln, Illinois, is going to give free college educations to illegal immigrants.  Why send them back or punish them!  Your hard-earned taxes are spent not on you, but non-contributing people who are getting the free handouts.

My car finally gave up the ghost this morning on my way to work.  I can’t afford to get it fixed.  I was doing many things wrong.  I was going to my job, making mediocre pay.  I’ve paid my taxes and dues.  I don’t cheat and lie to gain social programs that I don’t qualify for.  I work and honest days work.  I follow the laws of these United States of America.  I even have several applications out for additional part-time work.  I don’t live with excess or luxuries.  I contribute to society.  I’m doing everything wrong to get ahead.

A great song plays at the beginning of the classic television show “All In The Family” called  “Those were the days” by Charles Stouse and Lee Adams.  It plays in my head and in my heart…..


 Boy the way Glen Miller played
Songs that made the hit parade.
Guys like us we had it made,
Those were the days.

And you knew who you were then,
Girls were girls and men were men,
Mister we could use a man
Like Herbert Hoover again.

Didn’t need no welfare state,
Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the days.

I highlighted those two key lines on purpose. Common Sense says that everybody can pull their own weight. Worked fine before, why not now?  Oh, that’s right!  “Two steps forward, three steps back syndrome”.  Guess the times they are a-changin’.  It would seem that the negative effects to our hard work that we are experiencing has been created.  Created by our elected.

Check Please!

Really? You just said that?

So many people throughout the world have been scouring the internet for news and information regarding the senseless mass murders that took place in Norway.  There are lots of news, photos, video.  Stories from survivors, relatives, political figures, famous, not-so-famous….everyone has an angle to this horrible event.  Everyone, including the extremists. Who are the extremists?  Is it the fanatical militants that thrive on hurting other who don’t follow their beliefs and standards?  Are they the terrors that exhibit a lack of sense?  Perhaps they are the narcissists who are compelled to thrust themselves into any and all happenings so they can see their name? 

I’m a firm believer that everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  I have mine and you have yours, and sometimes they are similar and sometimes they differ.  irregardless, they belong.  My worry is that some opinions are loaded. Loaded with sharp, stinging objects that hurt, maim, and/or destroy.  These types of opinions are flung far and wide without any regard as to what damage they cause.  Many of these opinions are likened to homemade explosives.  They are purposefully and with clear objective, made to inflict harm.  But, why?  Why would someone deliberately create an opinion bomb?  Simple answer is they have to.  The creators of these weapons are so hell-bent with malice and judgement, that they long for their extremist views to be a flood washing away the denizens of everywhereville. 

One of the recent articles that I read through regarding the devastation that occurred in such a beautiful county, was the thoughtless meanderings of a “commentator”.  This individual has a propensity of casting his name into every and all situations….whether for good or bad, doesn’t matter.  As I said earlier, I believe that every is entitled to opinion.  After all,  that’s why we have such extremist politics.  That’s why there exists extremist religions.  That’s even why television has become so extreme. It comes down to the old line ‘one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor’.  Fine.  Exist. But……

If you are going to make a remark, comment, or cast a thought out to the people who might be paying attention, be sure that what you say is defendable….not reprehensible!  Open your mouth and words come out. When that happens, it is likened to the bullet fired from a gun….you cannot take it back.  Sure, apologies up one-side and down another can follow, but the damage that happens will be a sustaining damage.  As a ‘commentator’ to events of the world, some (and I’m still not sure why) may look to your for that understanding that you may have.  Careful what you say. You are not immune to the potential backlash of those that don’t like your opinion.

So, why does there have to be such extremist view?  Some of these views exist only because the gentler words didn’t get enough of society in an uproar, so folks like Glenn Beck have to take it further.  Shock jocks have done this type of extremism for years and eventually people with sense get sick of it.  Well folks, we are waiting for that to happen here! 

I’m not just picking on Mr. Beck and his brazenly stupid comment that he made regarding the innocent children slaughtered mercilessly at a summer camp.  I’m picking on every news media, blogger, figurehead, and person of ‘fame’ that has a passion for opening up the mouth and spewing venom…..and for no purpose or value to society. None!

Television is filled. Radio is filled. Papers are filled. Magazines are filled.  Filled with the stuff of destruction. Not to build up and encourage. Not to support or share compassion.  Filled with the venom of the likes of Mr. Beck.  Where fact less rantings can be pushed into the faces of those who actually care.  When stupidity and ignorance can become common-place and trash-talk can be acceptable….even in the shadows of human tragedy, then it’s no wonder that common sense has left the building.   When the likes of lunatics are allowed to degrade humanity and spit on the potential of a decent society….well, then hope for good fades fast. 

I picked on Mr. Beck due to his most recent moronic comments.  I often cast my dismay with other extremists such as Whoopi Goldberg, whose tirades are the examples of lunacy.  It’s not that these folks, and the others like them, are so great in numbers….it’s that they are allowed grand platforms to cast these opinion bombs.  Why? Does it make the platform provider that much more money? Is that what this poison is about?  If it is….may I make a suggestion:  Get Out Of The Business!  Making money on the backs of murdered children is not welcomed!  Making money on inciting racial tensions is not welcomed! Making money fueling hatred is not welcome!

It wasn’t that long ago where a pat on the back, a warm smile, or even an endearing hug solved so many ailments….in the world.  Mr Beck….you really could use a hug.   Common Sense says.

Who knows where the time goes

Time....where no man has gone before.

Each and every day, time progresses and we continue to measure that progress through mechanical and emotional means.  I look at the clocks and think “where has the time gone?”.  The calendars show large groups of time coming and going. Events that once seemed like yesterday, now have to be recalled from the recesses of our minds’ memory banks.  Time flies, time goes by, time, time, time….

I’m finding, as are so many of my cohorts in life, that time is moving as usual, but at a seemingly much faster rate!  The marked anniversaries of events approach and our first thoughts seem to be “was that really that long ago?”  Why? What’s happened between then and now? Are we losing our minds or our times?  Why does it seem to be only a couple of years, when in fact it has been twenty?  We spend time watching young ones playing with innocence and disregards for the worries of today, and within a blink of an eye, BANG! Now they are taking pictures of their children, our grand-children. Time? Hello? Did a beat or two get skipped? Hello?  How is it that the news media shares the anniversary story of a major event and we sit in dismay at the ‘time’ that is announced?  This time-speed continuum might be fun for the youngsters waiting with anticipation for the age of driving to come upon them, or the expectant mother-to-be wanting to get the kid out now, or the sick and anguished waiting for the final rest to be rid of the pain. As for the rest of us who really are not in any type of hurry, that time-speed continuum can just take it down a few notches…..some of us are struggling to keep up!

Busy, busy times we live in!  While the localized issues of today rage in our backyard, the general issues of today flourish within the communities, the major issues of today build-up globally, all these things happen and we seem to be missing out!  Are we becoming so obsessed with more and more events going on at once that we lose out on the simple things?  Are we craving for more activity in an over-active life?  I think that a simple check of current trends within the health community will show that we really are gluttons.  Gluttons to the need for more busy, busy, busy within our realms.  But, wait! There’s more! If you hurry now, you can effectually create a wave from the center of your pond to ripple out into the community, then the nation, and subsequently the whole planet!   Share, spread, fuel!

BRAKES! Why?  Why this need? Hasn’t anyone heard of the very sage-like statement: ‘Too much on our plates”?  Hello?! We don’t have very big plates to begin with, so continuing to heap mounds and mounds of more stress, anger, hurt, anxiety, pain, anguish, confusion, and a host of other words onto that small plate we have been assigned in life, is utter madness!  The time-speed continuum is being fueled by this type of behavior.   We are so focused on creating more clutter that the truly important events in our lives fade back and are now blurry at best.  We blame the time-speed continuum for taking away that special moment when in actuality, we took it away.  We buried it under a mound of busy clutter.  It’s that comedic bit where they open that closet and loads of junk, stuff, things, items, whatever you want to call it, come crashing down around us.  Do we really find the item we wanted to see?

I have become fond of the word “shiney”.  I use it in many situations where I want to point out the futility of people trying to focus on one thing and seemingly drifting off to another, then another, then another, until finally they are miles away from the starting point.  That shiney that we give in to so much these days is that desire to have it all, at once, without the slightest regard to things we already have had….such as the important events we want to memorialize.  The shiney’s of our desires have been the creation of the time-speed continuum.  We are not settled for the simple, basics of life.  We crave that closet full of “stuff”.  We need more and more projects and schedules and plans and things, things, things, to keep us “busy”.

Common sense once told us that too much of a good thing can be detrimental to our lives.  That common sense was clear in flagging us to when we were starting to get overloaded.  There comes a time when that shiney is actually our Achille’s Heel and we end up losing……everything!

A great song that was shared with the world long ago (so it seems!) contained the title ‘Who knows where the time goes?’.   I borrow the beginning verse to share with you how simplicity has its beauty.

“Across the morning sky, all the birds are leaving.  But, how can they know it’s time for them to go?”

They know when to leave, before the winter’s fire.  Why? Simple….they don’t fuel the time-speed continuum and lose track of the important things.  They have amongst them: Common Sense!

And, now a word from YOUR sponsor…(oh, woe is we….)

I was on Facebook this morning and there are many who like to ‘repost’ various statements of alarm or cause….asking for you to do the same and show support and solidarity.  I’ve never been much of a follower in that respect, with the exception of the following:

Salary of the US President. ..$400,000 . Salary of retired US Presidents …$180,000. Salary of House/Senate…$174,000. Salary of Speaker of the House.. .$223,500. .. Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders… $193,400.. .Average Salary of Soldier DEPLOYED IN IRAQ $38,000… I think we found where the cuts should be made! ( NOT OUR TEACHERS OR SOLDIERS!)

There is a level of validity to that statement that someone shared with the “Facebook” world.  Valid in pointing out, once again, that this nation is on the verge of financial ruin.  My state is in shutdown, the federal government is facing virtual “foreclosure”, and taxes and fees continue to go up and up.

So, in my usual calm, cool, and collected manner, I recommended that we don’t keep ‘reposting’ these comments, but that we should consider calling up the morons, I mean representatives.  The folks we elected that are supposed to be representing the people.   The ones that are stealing your taxes to use for stupid ‘pet’ projects instead of using them for important stuff that dang-near every American, who has two or more brain cells, supports…like education for our children (teachers), military support to protect us from the ‘crazies’ who like to blow up everything (including their own people), and our own citizens…folks here legally and hard-working trying to survive…not the sneaky bastards that are scamming the system and getting benefits they do NOT deserve!

Ok, I will admit that it was more of a soap-box, grand-standing, all-out-vent-party-tirade that I blasted.  But, I continued with the opera:

Let’s stop the greedy morons from continuing to take our hard-earned money so they can send it all overseas to undeserving, hating, terrorists. Let’s get the ‘representatives’ to understand that they are supposed to represent the people…not represent themselves or whoever happens to have an open wallet!  This is getting stupid! My parents have worked their whole life, putting into the social security fund, and now they, and millions more, face possibly no checks? Why? Because of morons who kiss up to terrorists, illegals, special interests, and, oh…..each other! Thanks for throwing away our hard-earned money…ya big dummies!

CHECK PLEASE!

So, now that the indicators had screamed “no more coffee for you”, I figured that it was time to justify my bellowing with the “common sense” theme for the day.  After all, I have always been a fan of the term.  Common is simply meaning ‘shared alike’ and   Sense is sound practical judgment.  Sharing sound practical judgment.  I like that!

So, onward and ‘somewhere’ward we march.   I want to share some more insight to that term Common Sense.  It truly is a powerful, yet simple term.  A term that describes the water cooler conversations, the commute to work discussions, the vocalizing back to the radio or t.v., the family functions that solve the worlds problems over a few brats and beers.  Common Sense is out  there amongst the people of this great land, but for some reason, is in hiding from the shadows of government hall.  They have denounced its’ power, cut off ties that once existed, and forbade the use of it within their circles.

Well, sadly for them, it wants to make the greatest comeback ever! Hopefully, it will surface before the damage is beyond repair!