Following a thread…

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Ever-consuming-insanity! Nothing better than politics, slanted media, chaotic violence, finger-pointing accusations, and your everyday, run-o’-the-mill mayhem to motivate us all to get out of bed and dive in to the day-to-day fun!!

Now that all the gloom and doom has been thrust out front, I want to dial it back and focus on something even more important:  Flossing!

Turns out, per a recent article by the writer Catherine Saint Louis in the New York Times (Aug 2, 2016), that the “… latest dietary guidelines for Americans, issued by the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, quietly dropped any mention of flossing without notice. This week, The Associated Press reported that officials had never researched the effectiveness of regular flossing, as required, before cajoling Americans to do it.”

Well then. Just that part right there has put all the brakes onto my crusades for Common Sense and setting the world back straight! How can I take another step forward with this new knowledge in front of me? After all the years, (and, yes, very few visits to the dentist), of “cajoling” by dentists to floss, I started religiously flossing about a year ago. Actually, it has almost become an obsession. Actually, if I can’t find my Plackers Micro-Mint Dental Flossers, I start envisioning revolution on a global scale!  What have I become, and is it all for naught? UGH!!!

It’s one thing to cruise through this world having to constantly watch for the oncoming idiots, morons, and dummies day-to-day, but now we are having our trust in the ‘experts’ crumble before our very eyes! Trust is a needed commodity to survive in today’s world, and when that trust is ruined…well, it almost feels like you are now leaping out of a plane without a parachute! (Exception taken with the crazy guy and his recent jump into a net!)

Remember the old line “I have trust issues because of raisins in cookies, looking like chocolate chips!”? Well, now I can add dental floss to that mix! It’s bad enough that trust of government and other tyrannical officials has long been shattered…but to lose faith in dentistry? We are quickly becoming moribund! Sliding down the slippery slope to doom!

The question remains: What do we do with this new knowledge? Do we wait it out and hope that some bright group comes along with a study to say “hold on folks, turns out that we really do need to floss”?  Are we prepared to run into battle and get the “truth” from all the doctors and dentists who tell us ‘an apple a day…’? Do we just roll over and give up? And, if we do give up, what is to become of the dental floss industry? The jobs, the people, the floss?

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I, for one, do intend to continue on with my zeal for the floss. Studied, or not…I have found ample evidence within my mouth that supports the program of flossing! After all, what is the alternative? Carry parts of previous meals with you throughout the day? I might not be in the mood for a piece of onion to dislodge whilst enjoying a delicious piece of pie! Nor am I a fan of flashing a smile and sharing the menu of my earlier consumables! Let’s face it, removing the evidence of breakfast before a conversation allows us to focus on the discussion better…rather than doing tongue-yoga trying to manipulate some food remnant discreetly.

To each their own!  But, I do declare this to be a matter more pressing than whether some reality television person humped this or said that. I’d much rather know if our government officials conducted their talks while tongue-hunting a piece of bacon stuck between a couple of molars! And, if they were, why didn’t they get the string out and remove it? Did they stop just because there hasn’t been any “official” studies done?  Maybe there is a tie-in to Common Sense here.

Perhaps we have become too dependent on ‘officials’ telling us what we should and shouldn’t do.  Maybe we need to break free of the bonds and think for ourselves. To think outside the directives given to us by the powers that be might actually lead us to strengthening our knowledge! Not that we can all become scientists and doctors and dentists…but to be able to stand on our own two feet when the experts are wrong!

That doesn’t mean we remove all the warning labels just yet….the earth population would drop exponentially! Let’s face it…there exists stupid out there! This needs to be a slow, educational process. After-all, the dumbing down of people didn’t happen overnight! It’s taken decades of manipulation, subliminal advertising, and threats to health and welfare to get to this point! But, we really are not that stupid that we need to have our hands held by big brother everyday!

Let’s stand, remove the blinders, look at the light, think, and, above all, FLOSS!

(Disclaimer: The author is not, nor has never been, affiliated with any dentistry organization and/or oral hygiene company/manufacturer. So, settle down! I’m not getting a dime out of this blazing endorsement of Plackers or any sort of flossing materials!)

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Altered States (or… lies your computer tells you)

I have to find some humor in the technological advancements we have today. As much as the science and technology growth has “improved” our lives (still not sure who’s definition we are using there…), there is just as much damage that is occurring from it as well.

Someone shared with me a “glitch” that was found in our technology. No, it isn’t something as large as from the movie “War Games” where the computer is preparing to launch a nuclear device. This was something that could be considered small, yet indicative of changes that could affect future generations. A friend had downloaded the classic piece of literature “War And Peace” onto their Nook e-reader. Now, I will confess right here and now that I am in no way an expert on the world of e-readers. I’m still a fan of holding a real book! But I do like the notion of having several books available into one ‘machine’.

So, anyway, this copy of “War And Peace” was downloaded from the Barnes and Noble site for the grand price of 99 cents! A bargain! Yet the bargain came with a price. It seems that there was some word replacements made within the story. Not by the publisher or anyone else. It was done through the technology! The word “kindle”, as in ‘tending a fire’, is used about 8 times throughout the classic volume of writing. The makers of the Nook are in fierce competition with Amazon’s Kindle. The Nook technology removed the word “kindle” and replaced it with the word “nook”.  That’ll teach them!

So now instead of “kindled” the fire, you “nook’d” the fire! Gotta love it! I have to imagine that if our technology ever becomes self-aware, it won’t try to destroy the human population as it has been presented in science fiction movies. No, they will try to destroy each other thanks to the competition of marketing!

If you can picture the future of humanity, studying the great pieces of literature, with the (un)necessary alterations being accepted as the original text? It’s been done before!  The Bible has seen more alterations  than a wedding dress shop!

So, what’s next? How about Dickens’ classic Great Expectations becoming Great Clips. Or perhaps Stevenson’s Treasure Island getting Casino added at the end of the title.  Maybe Washington Irving’s classic The Sketch Book Of Gregory Crayon will have Gregory removed and replaced with Crayola! Next thing you know, the computers will get politically neutral and change Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to A Holiday Carol! Ugh!

Alright Cannon, let’s not get too carried away! Back on topic! (As if there was one…..).

Point is, there comes a time when we lose the humanity by allowing machines to do the thinking for us. So many examples of that leading to catastrophe have been displayed in movies, television, and books.  Our legacy to the future generations is to ensure that they never lose sight of where we came from.  That is why it is so important that we maintain history factual and unedited.  The slightest alteration in script could mean the difference from what was once considered evil to now being considered good.

History is our story. We have worked hard to preserve it, teach it, and learn from it. There are three things that a computer should never replace: human touch, human emotion, and human history.

Paint Me Some Common Sense!

It has been a very long time since I have been on here to post my words about the lack of common sense in our world today and the craziness that has replaced said common sense.  I apologize to my readers for this large gap in writing. My only defense has been that the overwhelming amount of chaos, frivolity, and just-plain-stupidity that has been rampant throughout the world lately has overloaded my thought process!

Our mission of Thinking-Before-Reacting and Use-Common-Sense has been pushed aside in favor of time travel back to the Land That People Forgot. That place where crazy reigned supreme, people were filled with disrespect for one another, and lack of reasoning was prevalent. You all are aware of my huge plea to “learn from history”! We have a colorful past of mistakes and errors to show us what doesn’t work! Let’s use it! But, sadly, no. It appears to be just the opposite. Instead of learning from the past, let’s just take our whole mentality and re-create that era. Let’s just live daily the things that we fought so hard to change for the better.

A painter starts with small brush strokes, outlines the various parts of the canvas, details in the colors to bring out the images they strive for. But before the brush touches the paint, the finished product is pictured in the mind.  In order to make that picture become reality, the artist must know what the finished product will look like. So, too, we need to have that “big picture” view. See the whole before we can understand the parts.  When we plant our focus on a small portion, make a judgement of the big picture just based on that small portion…well, often our view is incomplete, inaccurate, and inadequate.

What creates such dissension in this world is that the narcissism of so many has narrowed their view to just a portion of reality. Since they are so convinced that the world is all about them, they conclude things based on that narrow viewpoint.  Now multiply that narrow-mindedness to millions and millions, put it on television and internet, and you have successfully destroyed common sense.  Take out rational thinking and you have nullified respect. Eliminate caring and you have the world as it is today.

I don’t want to be the downer, the negative, the bringer of bad news. My intent is not to depress you, dear reader! The intent is to recharge you! The intent is to revitalize you into pushing for changes in this blinded world we live in! We have had so many paintings presented to us from the past…big pictures that show our bad, that from it we can do good.  But we cannot just focus on a small part of those pictures….no! We need to step back, see the painting as a whole, and learn from what it says!

Opening up the narrow and seeing the whole allows us to make rational decisions, use common sense when addressing issues, and, most of all, care! It takes us away from the mistakes of our past and allows us the opportunity to be respectable people.  I haven’t written for some time, partly out of overload, but partly out of confusion.  There are so many decent people in this world, and yet the media fronts the rotten tomatoes.

One of my favorite quotes from the movies is Donald Sutherland’s character in Kelly’s Heroes. He would always tell Gavin MacLeod’s character to “stop with all the negative waves”.

Very applicable, I’d say!  How about some “positive waves”!

 

Will The Real You Please Stand Up?

Who's Behind The Mask?

I am a doctor. I am a detective. I am an athlete. I am a scientist. I am a rock star. I am a comedian. I am all this and more.

I am a talentless whiner. I am a user of people. I am a deceiver of businesses. I am an attention junkie. I am all this and more.

After I turn off the television, I sit in isolation. Quiet surrounds me I’m left with my thoughts. The mind scrambles to register all that it witnessed.  Who am I? Can I heal? Do I solve? Am I famous? Do I need accolades? Where’s my mansion? Who am I?

Filled with inexplicable amounts of make-believe, we find ourselves not ourselves. The constant watcher of others, we soon lose identity and believe ourselves someone else. Reality is scripted and fiction is true-to-life. Separating ourself from the box becomes too painful and we elect to base life upon the results of edited production. The need to immerse our comings and goings on what someone else is takes over. Who am I?

Why is there such a fascination with living vicariously through others, whether fact or fiction? Have we become so dissolution with ourselves, our potential, that we abandon the future we can make all for the fantasy of another? We are so entrenched in emulating that ‘original’ is becoming archaic. Gene Roddenberry may have discovered our futures by the creation of an alien race called the Borg for the Star Trek franchises. They are a fictional race of cybernetic organisms that “assimilate” other beings into their “collective”. In other word, much like the content on our t.v.’s, they absorb people and make us a part of themselves.

We are not too far from that, actually. Lacking the flying spaceships and science fiction effects, we have this continual desire to “be like” this person or that. The old days of boys wanting to grow up and be like their hero’s such as the Lone Ranger and brave knights, or the little girls wanting to become princesses and movie stars, has evolved into obsessions that are suffered even by adults. We seek to replace our doldrums for excitement…our meanial for fame!  The power to be living in our skin, but as someone else.

So we sit day after day, seeking to be someone else, somewhere else. We look inward and want to change outward. We feel a lacking inside and reach for transformation, even if it is only a fantasy.  At the cost of being accusatory, I suggest we are all, to some degree or another, under this urge. We start out as ourselves, become disillusioned with who we are due to pressure to conform, and eventually all but abandon who we are.  Who we become depends on who we covet.

Not that being inspired by others’ achievements to become better is a bad thing. On the contrary, it can be a great thing!  Isn’t it said that imitation is the highest form of flattery?  Sure!  But what on television is there that is worth imitation?

May I direct the audience to reality t.v.? No, it’s ok…you can shake your head in disbelief. A very understandable reaction when you look at the characters on there through your Common Sense Glasses!  Come on folks! These people are out there! Be afraid, be very afraid! 

The fact that many are loose in the world without a good pair of Common Sense Glasses is scary! They cannot see the shallow and conceited manners of many on television. They are blinded to the arrogance of the actors, (…and yes, reality t.v. is nothing but actors).  But because of the flamboyant and over-the-top nature of the characters, some think that the make-believe is a better existence and want to do the same. 

With a good fitting of Common Sense, you start to see through the fake and fluff.  You understand that life isn’t an everyday party without consequences.  You see that accountability is on the individual, not the production staff. Directors and camera crews don’t alter your life by edits and filters…you are you, right to the very end!

If science fiction has taught us anything, it’s that you need to have your guard up at all times.  Aliens from far and near are trying to absorb you into their world, and unless you see them for who they really are, you will fall prey and lose self. Wear your Common Sense Glasses, see the world as it really is, and protect yourself from the lure of illusion. Stand on your own two feet and be who you are! You can still enjoy life, and I believe life will enjoy the real you!

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Purse Spelunking

Be Afraid!

At this point, I need to step forward for all men and convey a concern. Actually, it is a deep-seeded worry, (some would say fear).  I talking about purses. You all know what they are. The over-the-shoulder tote that allows women (and sadly, some men…just sayin’…) to have ready access to necessities for the day.  Everyone has seen them.  They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, materials, and designs.  The trend these days leans toward the luggage-sized variety. No matter what style or type, it is the one accessory that rarely seems to be left behind.

As for the contents of said purses, that remains purely individual choice.  Cell phones, keys, tissues, make-up, pictures, and wallets seem to comprise the more common items likely found within.  There are also the coin collectors, the junk junkies, the dirt delighters, and the toy toters.  Now, add larger bags to the equation and you have ample room to include so much more that the term ‘heavy hauler’ takes on a new meaning!

Back to my initial statement of concern and worry for men.  Most men understand the old embarrassment of having to be seen in public holding the purse while the lady is trying on clothes or in need of both hands for one thing or another. Uncomfortable and awkward are the descriptors here.  But a deeper horror begins to take shape when we are asked– nay, told,  to retrieve something from the caverns of The Purse! (Cue dramatic, scary music!)  Before you begin the adventure of Purse Spelunking, let me share some important do’s and don’t’s that could just save you from intense dangers!

Some people are adept at exploring wild caves as a recreation. This is called spelunking or caving.  Going into a woman’s purse is not too different from that, with the main difference being the objects one might encounter.  You see, deep within the well that makes up The Purse, lies a myriad of tunnels and pitfalls where darkness consumes unsuspecting objects.  Many have entered, few have returned.  Trust me when I tell you that preparation could save a hand…or more!

The foremost thing that must be understood is that the outside of the purse is deceiving as to its true depth and width inside.  Never underestimate, as that is the folly of man!  Prepare as if you were entering the largest cave system in the world!  Rappelling gear, rope (as much as you can carry), survival gear (in case you find yourself in there longer than anticipated), a good pair of shoes to keep your footing (you might find a pair or two in the purse, but beware that heels don’t make good climbing shoes), a good light source with plenty of back up power (the last thing you want to lose is light down there), and protective eye wear (Lord knows what sharp objects you could run into).

Upon entering the cavern, you may initially be frightened by the many pockets that lead into darkness. Stay strong! The sight of large winged creatures soaring from side to side could easily lead you to believe that you stepped into a land that time forgot, but rest assured…you are only in a purse!  This is not to say that all you encounter will be new. No, things will appear that entered in a long time ago. Don’t be startled by stale gum, half eaten cough drops, hardened lip balm, corroded hair clips, or coins that contain images of Caesar.  These are all just ghosts of travels-past.  Spelunking in a purse will dredge these up!

Remember to focus on the task at hand. Don’t be swayed and distracted by the curiosities that pop out of different annexes within.  What looks like a food item could, in reality, be a carefully wrapped napkin holding the remnants of a meal long forgotten!  It’s important to know the item you seek intimately.  You don’t want to mistake something down here for something else!  Retrieving some Tylenol? Don’t touch items that are not in a protective container.  Contamination is a prevalent problem down here.  You might think that the loose M&M’s look good, but could actually be ibuprofen with lip gloss melt on them!

Time is of the essence! The longer you remain inside, the greater the chance of getting lost and being added to the curios that remain behind.  Don’t put yourself in that position.  Keep a “get in, get out” motto coursing through your brain at all times. Keep your eyes open and be aware of what your hands are near.  There are objects in here that will break skin and lead to infections.  That nail file may be rounded on one end but could easily hide mini scissors on the other! Take no chances!

Above all, always have an exit strategy! If you feel something isn’t right, get out! Guys, you are not trained experts in Purse Spelunking. You don’t just thrust your arm into a dark, potentially hazardous pocket without doing your research first. Narrow down your quest by having the instigator give you specifics: which pocket? front or back? left, right, or center? zipper or snap? If the item isn’t in plain view upon approach, now is the time to decide if you truly need it right now. Is this something that can wait for a more experienced spelunkers, such as the owner of the purse?

Preparation is key and keeping your guard is imperative. There are dangers at every turn and unless you are ready to face them in the purse, it may be best to avoid it for your safety.

Looking For The Car Keys……

Oh, It Really Twas!

‘Twas the night before a holiday, and all through our lives,

the only thing stirring was governmental strife.

The GOP and the Dems were in their usual best,

making sure the constituents again would lose rest.

 

And I with my checkbook and Mama with the bills,

had just settled in to see which gas tank gets filled.

When what do my wondering eyes should see,

but a temporary agreement to set congress free.

 

Off to their condos or nice vacation homes,

those who don’t work were all free to roam.

And to the rest of us who struggle, and scrape day to day,

we wonder how it is that they get to go play?

 

Because they belong to this group or that,

they only see life defined oh so narrow and flat.

No ‘outside the box’ thinking allowed with their way,

“our way’s the only way”, I once heard them say.

 

So off to our slumber since tomorrow’s an early rise,

to go make our minimum and hope for a prize,

That someday our government will soon get a clue,

that running a country involves more than a party of two.

 

Common Sense can prevail when you open your mind,

and see the big picture, not just your side, but also mine.

Amazing is what can happen, open the view

cuz ’tis the season for giving, not taking for you.

 

No dashing, or dancing, or prancing, or vixens.

No vomits, cupids, dummies, or getting blitzed then.

 

Hear us all as you drive out of sight, “you better watch out, you better not whine, quit your pouting, we’re telling you why…election time is coming around”!

 

May this new year be fresh with Common Sense!

It could happen.....(keep clicking your heels together!)

Correct Me Now!

Simply amazing.  A 7-year-old child is being bullied at school to the point where he was choked by the assailant.  The boy, in reactive fear, kicks at the other child and strikes him in the groin area.  Now that child is accused of sexual harassment.  A 9-year-old boy says to another student that his teacher is cute. The teaching assistant hears the comment, now he faces a sexual harassment complaint.  A choir teacher at a school makes the kids sing the  Christmas song “Deck The Halls” with the word “gay” replaced with “bright”.  And so on, and so on, and so on…..

Actually, simply amazing isn’t the correct address to the recent news events.  Let’s us simply ridiculous!  Before I point out the obvious to you, I would like to take a moment to ask that anyone in the audience that takes offense at people being offended by America’s misdirection of political correcting, to please step outside.  I am one of those that is currently being offended by politically correct being allowed to run rampant in society today. I can almost guarantee that you will be offended. 

For many, obvious seems to be clear.  The arguments against the rampant stupidity have already aired throughout the various media.  What I don’t understand is why does this continue to happen?  If we look back throughout our history, we see an ever-changing tide of mentality towards various subjects.  That happens. Views change, people grow, things once important are no longer relevant.  It’s called evolution.  Society continues to evolve, thus the change in styles, music, politics, habits, and a host of other aspects to our existence.  But the one continuous thread that is supposed to underlie our momentum forward into the future is common sense.  Somewhere along the roadway, that thread was either cut or snapped.  I know it didn’t wear out from overuse!

I find that the evil whiners that push this politically correct agenda today are the source of our downfall.  That minority with loud voices have somehow swayed various government and business leaders in the U.S. to go along with their radically nonsense way of thinking and it really has me sad and scared for our future.  To remove common sense in such a way as to think that an 11-year-old blue-eyed, blonde haired boy has been, and still is, on the TSA’s no-fly list, has my jaw on the ground is utter disbelief.  His first pat down was at the age of 2!  Hello? People?  Because he shares a common name with an actual potential threat, he is stopped and checked thoroughly.  Calling Captain Obvious?

 We live in an age where news travels faster than it ever has in our history. You would almost think that the powers-that-be would be keenly aware of this fact and know that their every move is constantly scrutinized and studied.  So, when the school decrees that an elementary student must be suspended because he falls under the definition of  “sexual harassment”, you would think that someone would have stood up and pointed out the irrational thinking.  But sadly, no one did.   Has the “decision makers”  sunk to such a level of paranoia that even a seemingly well-educated person cannot make a common sense call here because they fear backlash from a radical minority of idiots?

What are we afraid of here? Clear thinking? practicality? We really must be! From this recent kind of overt craziness to the extremists blowing up their own people, society has become scared to confront the flagrant disregard to common sense!   Quit worrying about the handful of babies that fuss about “feelings” getting hurt or think that everyone should have a right to do anything they want!  It’s not a right to bully someone!  And, destroy a child’s life because he said a person is cute?  When did “sticks and stones” leave the room?

Everyone talks about the over-sensitive events that are clearly ridiculous,  but no one is “fixing” it.  Let’s stop putting bandages on these wounds that bleed our sanity!  I know that there are more than a couple of brain cells that can be rubbed together to create a spark of reality in this place.  Enough is enough, as they say. At some point, simple thinking has to catch hold and begin to put some clear reason at the forefront of our decision-making.  If it doesn’t, the stupidity is going to continue to spread like the infection it is and we will be restricted from all thought, word, and deed! 

“Call the police, that person looked at me!”  “Get me a lawyer, that person stood too close to me in the elevator!”  In time, congress will create a law of all laws and everyone will be guilty of something!  Let’s get off of the “be sensitive to every little thing” ride and get back to serious reality! This planet is a mess and we certainly have bigger problems out there that need our full attention.  Let’s stop allowing these trivial, nonsensical, isolated incidents to take center-stage when the real issues are people starving, children without a place to live, and stupid folks affecting our Common Sense!  Step up to the plate, put your foot down, and tell the world that Common Sense is back!

An Open Letter To Mr. Claus

Dear Santa,

It’s been over 30 years since my last confession and I have to confess that things have really gone askew!  I’m not even sure my toilet swirls in the correct direction when flushed.  The world has gone mad and I was hoping that you could get things fixed.  I know you’re a busy guy this time of year, with all the labelling and legal hurdles you have to clear before you can bring goodies on your sleigh, but, I just need to know if the old Santa is still there…the one that can put fear in children that they might be on the naughty list.  The Santa who can actually have children sit on his lap without the threat of lawsuit.  Where have you been all these years?  I mean, you are still Santa, right? The jolly ol’ elf that has an independent operation in the north pole? You haven’t become the “Elf formerly known as…”, or “And now, here’s Santa, sponsored by…”?  You didn’t get caught up in any Ponzi schemes, did you? I don’t know why I worry about these things. Just do.

Are you feeling severely limited these days with all the regulations, restrictions, taxations, and legal ramifications? A person of your position is probably scrutinized 24/7.  Labor watchdogs, potential whistle-blowers, children services and such.  No wonder you don’t have the power you once did!  It’s a serious shame!  Innocence is lost, but not solely to perversions.  It seems that it’s lost to the governmental controls, corporate greed, and the individual narcissism of people today.  With all that going on, sorry to say, you never really did have a chance to survive.  The world today is heading down the path of anti-Clausism.  No one, save but a few, have the desire to believe in miracles. The days of dreaming have been replaced by the days of medication.  Your role is being replaced by paranoia.  How sad is that!

I’ve done my own tally and the best I can discern is that your “nice” list has to be really, really short.  I firmly believe that all the idiots that refuse to go beyond 40 MPH down the freeway on-ramps until after they have a mile or two under their belts should not be on that list.  I think you would have to agree that most of our world-wide government leaders have probably slipped from one list to the other.  There is so many situations of violence, mayhem, and, just plain disorder throughout the world that one would have to imagine your trip time would be half from what it once was.  Too bad you can’t take some of these “naughty listers” out behind the reindeer barn and give them all a yule log upside their heads!

Enough of that, though.  I am worried for you.  It is certainly hard to keep your mental and physical health intact these days with all that is going on.  I remember that song with the kid singing “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth”.  I still sing that nowdays because I can’t afford the dental work.  Have you seen the out-of-pocket prices? Wow!  So, I sing….and sing….and wish upon a star, (or HMO, or bank loan).  Plus, it is really hard to keep one’s sanity together during these times.  I’ve found that the reindeer games really take a toll on folks these days, and all you end up with is the droppings! You must know that one first hand!  How do you cope?

Well, I suppose I should get on with my self-indulging list of ‘what I want’ for Christmas.  I am not going to ask for world peace, family love, food and shelter for the poor in the United States, bringing home the troops from overseas, justice for Caylee Anthony, our political parties to pull their heads out, jobs for the unemployed, corporate greed to subside, the end to selfishness, medical and dental care for everyone in the U.S., religions to calm down, crime to decrease, and several million other things.  I am not going to ask for any of that because I believe that you have already heard those requests from the folks on your “nice” list.

What I am going to ask for is you. The Santa Claus.  The one I knew as a kid.  The one that captured my excitement of Christmas and kept me dreaming of magic.  The Kris Kringle that created dreams inside each and every one of us.  The Jolly Ol’ Elf of yesteryear is what I ask.  I want to have that happy, carefree feeling within my heart, if but just for a moment. To experience the power you once radiated throughout the world that said ‘it’s ok to believe!’  If all the adults felt that, imagine what could really happen!  Common Sense says that the results would be wonderful!  The world needs you now, more than ever!

Sincerly,

The Cannon

 

Dirty Rotten Chaos!

Into each life, a little chaos must fall….and hard!  All around you at this very moment is change and disorder. You might feel that there is balance and harmony going on in your life, but let me be the first to burst your bubble…it’s not!  You have your good days, you have your bad days, and in between those days is chaos at work.  That creature of disruption moving about, tipping the carts, changing the lights, casting its confusions.  Chaos.  What is this beast and why does it seem to be getting bigger, stronger, faster in the world around us and, for many, within us?  Let’s define:

Chaos:

  • Complete disorder and confusion.
  • Behavior so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions.

I love those definitions!  They sum up the animal at work.  I often picture a mythical faery-like being with an evil grin, fluttering about, doing its will on unsuspecting people and things.  Many religions have given chaos a persona of some demonic entity that works in the spiritual realms to ruin their prey. Loki was the Norse god of mischief constantly working to thwart mankind, as well as the gods themselves. Lucifer of the bible,  the great deceiver, who started the entire downfall of mankind by creating confusion on the first humans that lived in bliss.  Many different cultures label some single source for all the problems of the world.  What it boils down to is the events of chaos.  Altering changes that disrupt our plans, processes, procedures, policies, and presence!  From the simple distraction to the fall of empires, chaos has, and always will, be the thorn in our sides!

What can we do about this? Is there any way to fool-proof our dealings in life so as not to be ruined by chaos?  I think not.  Back in 1785, Robert Burns characterized this chaos in his great poem, “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough”, by writing “But little Mouse, you are not alone, in proving foresight may be vain. The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew, and leave us nothing but grief and pain, for promised joy!”

So, the best laid plans…askew! Whether by divine intervention or just natural chaos, we can plan until the cows come home, but somehow, someway, chaos will often rear its ugly head!  Does it happen all the time? Of course not! It finds pleasure in allowing us some of the promised joy, lulling us into a false sense of security…then, BANG! Knocks us down some notches! We get up, dust ourselves off, curse the very fact chaos exists, and try again. Oh, our humanity of persistence!

That is the one thing about chaos…though ever changing, it is the only constant that we share.  At points throughout our lives, we have felt the hand of chaos on our schemes, even when they have been well planned.  So, if this is a constant during our walk through the time given, then why is there such an impact of frustration, anger, and even defeat?  We should know by now that at some point in our design on how we think life should go, that chaos will inevitably intervene and have its way with us.  I would say this is the predictability of the unpredictable!  In a future writing I will address one reason that it impacts us so harshly and why we react the way we do. (It’s called narcissism.  A sometimes over inflated view of self-importance.  Another time, though.)

So, in the present, we see this swarm fluttering all around our everyday, buzzing with the possible of changing our directions.  It happens, and for some folks it happens more often than others.  There is no pre-disposition to the ailment of chaos. It isn’t a contagion that we get by standing too close to someone afflicted (though people may argue that the fallout of one’s chaotic attack can be adverse enough to create a sense of chaos in their own life)!  No matter what it is construed as, chaos exists, it affects, and it strikes anyone, anywhere, at any time!

The strength that chaos can have is given only by the reactions we have to it.  The turkey slides off the serving tray onto the ground right before it’s time to eat. Chaos ensues!  We can either crumble to the ground in utter defeat, allowing the tears of shattered dreams to wash all our intentions away, or, we can realize that our plan to serve may be altered, but the fact that our family and friends are there to share with us is so much bigger.  Chaos might trip, but it can never replace.  You may have lost something or someone, but chaos can never remove the memories and moments that mean so much more.  We are supposed to give thanks during thanksgiving, no matter what chaos has done in the past or even the present. It’s when we lose sight of the precious, the true reality of what we have, that’s when chaos has truly won. 

Don’t let the knowledge of impending chaos be the ruin in your heart.  Our time is measured, and there are so many more important things to be thankful for.

Un-Social Media

Breaking News!  Social media is destroying humanity!  Okay, perhaps it isn’t breaking news. And maybe it hasn’t destroyed it completely. But, the extent of my statement really depends on clarifying some definitions of news, destroy, or social.  Let us take a look at those definitions and see what we end up with!

News reporting agencies can be funny entities. They are often the very heralds of doom and gloom, and yet thoroughly pride themselves as being the “first” to bring it to you. How thoughtful.  Yet in this day and age of information demand, we clamor at every source we can to stay informed and aware. As many of you know, I am one such junkie. I often find myself confused when I bring a news item to a conversation and no one is aware of the story.  Really?  I thought everyone was in-the-know about the feral cat problem in Hindustan!  (I jest…somewhat…)

But our sources of information are missing out on a really big story. That there seems to be a lack of awareness of the degradation of human interaction around us. “Social” has been morphing from how we interacted with one another into a cold, barren way. It is caving in to the world of electronics.  The explosion of social media websites is nothing new. From the advents of My Space to the highly popular Facebook and Twitter, there is certainly no shortage of internet places to “socialize”.  Major companies like Google and Yahoo have also thrown their hats into the ring with versions.  The goal: get you to use their system so that they can make money from advertisers.  Simple as that. This is corporate America looking for a means to get money.  But, at what cost?

I’m all for businesses making money.  After all, this is the land of opportunity!  Where I have a problem is when socializing is stripped down to impersonal typed words and picture postings.  Where human interaction is via electricity and not face to face.  Where emotions are conveyed by ‘smileys’.  The word social is generically defined as companionships or relations, in community versus isolated.  People are, by nature, social creatures and have the need to engage with others.  Social is key to society…groups of people together.  In the past, people would socialize with one another by gathering together.  These would be the times for friends and families to talk, share, help, care, love, support, and belong.  Sadly, that type of socializing is being replaced.  Actually, it is being destroyed.  I don’t think I need to define destroy.

It would seem that people today find solace in checking their cell phones or computers for their social fix.  Online you can post comments and pictures, share your feelings, give a virtual hug or pat on the back, date, and even break up.  Yes, that all happens on there.  Many of the things that used to be done “in person” are now “impersonal”.  People have had entire relationships online. If that doesn’t make you sad, then you may want to go see someone “in person” to get some help.  I say that bluntly with hopes of a wake up call!  Socializing is an imperative part of being human, and having human interaction is a necessary part of our mental and emotional well-being.  Give thought to the punishment of ‘solitary confinement’…separation of humans from humans.  It’s a punishment, not a reward.  Sociologists and medical experts know that the key to our sanity is the need for human contact.

It can be safely said that social media is destroying humanity.  Humans have social needs and, quite frankly, social media does not fulfill that need.  We may think that we are socializing, but it should not be the replacement to actual face-to-face socializing.  Sitting in your room with the computer is not giving you human contact.  If anything, it is numbing the human right out of you!  I would love to see the withdrawals people would have if they didn’t have their internet social medias to check every 10 seconds.  They might actually have to learn some face-to-face skills!

I understand that friends and family separated by distance use these formats as a means to stay in contact.  No issues here with that.  It’s when it becomes your everything, your lifeline to the outside world that is standing right next to you.  When people can gather in a room with one another and hardly speak to each other because they are busy “socializing” online.   I am always amazed, but rarely shocked anymore, when I see groups of people in the store walking down the aisles with their faces in their phones and no interaction with those whom they are with.  I feel sad by this, but this is evidence of the destruction of socializing.

Try something here…a new social media.  I call it talking.  This type of media requires two people, in the same location, each equipped with a mouth and ears.  This social media requires no electricity, data plan, or computer.  You simply speak what you would normally type and the other person hears what you said!  Then, the person that listened to you will probably say something back, which you would use your ears to hear it!  Crazy, I know, but when you repeat that process, possibly adding more people together….oh, the socializing that can happen!!!  Don’t call me a pioneer…I checked my history and found out that it was all the rave long ago!