Oct 10, 2007

"Yes, people, he really does..."

That was Shan's comment after reading my last post. It was made in relation to my assertion that I listen to just about anything, or everything, whichever. I had planned on providing the actual playlist for my MP3 player, but I left it (the player) in the truck, and I am just too dang lazy at 11:55+ at night to go get it. So, you'll just have to suffer through another round of "Popped" instead! :-)

Soapbox #1 - Light Bulbs. Did you know there are plans to possibly legalize the demise of the light bulb as we know it? The stupid looking, dimmer, tons more expensive compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are being pushed on us in the name of "environmental friendliness." Give me a break. Okay, so SUPPOSEDLY, you can "save" $1000 over the life of 30 light bulbs by using the CFL's versus the traditional incandescent ones. Frankly, I don't give a rip. If you are looking for some tree-hugging "peace, love and many groovies" person, you might want to head over to another blog. I don't buy all the crap about global warming, melting ozone, killer light bulbs, etc. The Earth is the Earth. Dinosaurs went extinct. Deal with it. Ice Ages come and they go. Volcanic Ages come and they go. It's a "circle of life" kinda thing. I believe I am going to start stock-piling 4-packs of "regular" bulbs so that later in life they will either be highly collectible or highly sought after, or both.

Soapbox #2 - Pink. Look, I'm all for finding a cure to breast cancer. I'd also like to find a cure for HIV/AIDS, ALS, MS, MD, Parkinson's, Leukemia, Diabetes, Obesity, and stupid people (see Soapbox #3 below). I am sick and tired of everything in the whole frigging world going pink in some way or another. Pink milk, pens, post-its, ribbons, rings, shirts, yogurt lids, bikes, cars, tires, appliances, dogs, cats, computers, CDs, toast, eggs, and ham. I am sick and tired of pink, Sam I Am! Seriously. We get it. breast cancer sucks. ALL cancer sucks. The world going PINK sucks. Could we please quit having it rammed down our throats?

Soapbox #3 - Stupid people. For as much as I am NOT a Rosie O'Donnell fan, she did bring up a good point recently. Where was Al Sharpton after the whole Lacrosse thing turned out to be a lie? I hate loud-mouthed stupid people that throw their weight around and make a lot of noise, and then hide behind some other "cause" after they are shown to be full of crap. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have made their livelihoods off doing just that. Here is my question: Who is next in the chain of command? I mean, after they kick the bucket (please tell me they won't find a cure for aging before they are long gone), who is it that will loudly take their places? I'd love to say NO ONE because the world will be so sick and tired of them, no one would want anyone to be anything close. I'm sure they were on the right track at one point in their lives, but now they chase any "race" story like (some) lawyers to ambulances. Seriously, guys. We're sick of it. Sit down and shut up...please.

I fully believe that part of the reason race is still such an issue today is because people like Sharpton and Jackson keep fueling a dying fire. Let the fire of racism be deprived of its oxygen, and it will be gone forever. As long as people keep fanning the embers, there will always be racism. Let it go, already.

Soapbox #4 - Radio killed the high school kids. When I was a kid, the big "evil" in the world was Dungeons & Dragons. Play that game, and you'll cook your dog, eat your cat raw and kill your teacher! Give me a break. Today, it's violent video games and certain music (or specifically, songs). It's my understanding that Marilyn Manson is being blamed for the killings in Cleveland. Well, not specifically, but his music. Let's see, I'd like to know what the "devil" was before D&D... The Beatles, maybe? Perhaps Elvis is in there somewhere. Drugs and alcohol, yes. I'll give anyone that one. But, any kid who hides behind music, video games, or any other lame reason for killing someone already has many, many more issues than the music could ever have for giving birth to notions of killing sprees and/or suicides. As it turns out, I heard one report that the killer had already been "suggested to have" mental issues long before he took those lives.

Parents of kids who kill are either not paying attention to their children to see the signs, blatantly ignoring people who suggest there may be a problem, or just don't care enough until it is after-the-fact and much too late. When a counselor or a police officer or even a friend of the child suggests that there may be a problem, or that they are concerned, the first thing (and evidently the only thing) some parents do is get defensive and throw up the blinders - "Not MY child! He's a good kid..." Nevermind that he/she is known to have talked about killing fellow students...

Now, I also happen to believe that some people can over-react to things. In a creative writing class, a student gets expelled for writing about a bomb or a killing. I think that child should be talked to and make sure they aren't leaning towards anything harmful or deadly, and maybe keep a closer watch on that student's writings, grades, demeanor etc. But, where would the world be if we had counseled Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, or Mary Shelley?? We ask the writers to be creative and then berate them when they are just because "we adults" don't like the subject matter. One of the saddest scenes in "Sixth Sense" is when the little boy changes the way he draws because he knows he won't get in trouble for drawing rainbows. Did that change the fact he had his issues still?? Of course not. At least in writing, we can catch glimpses of what is going on in a child's head. I would venture to say that in most cases, they are simply being creative. The creativity should be nurtured in writing, painting, sculpture, music... Take art out of schools, and what do we get for an outlet of raging teenage hormones and thoughts?

Soapbox #5 - Novelty Lighters. What is this world coming to? Some kids play with a lighter they found AT HOME and the world goes ape-crap over the fire they started. "It looks like a toy," the "experts" and lawmakers say. Well, no duh. I am not a smoker, and yet I think some of the novelty lighters are cool and kitschy. Would I leave one laying around for my 5 year old to get? My 12 year old!? No. DUH! So, here we are, setting about to create laws to ban the sale of novelty lighters because the parents/guardians of these kids were so stupid they left the lighters where the kids could get them!?!? We CANNOT REGULATE PARENTING! Jeez, how long have we been saying this??

I think store owners should stand and fight. Put stupid/careless parents in jail if we have to, but banning sales is punishing the wrong people.

I know, the "reasoning" is that "they don't LOOK like lighters..." To a child, NOTHING "looks" like a lighter, and even if they know WHAT it is, that will not necessarily stop them from PLAYING WITH FIRE. DUH, were these same lawmakers not kids? Maybe it's just me, but I played with fire as a kid.... Did I use funny-shaped lighters? No. I used plain old matches. Did I know it was wrong to play with matches? Yes. I did it anyway. Why? I WAS A KID! Where were my parents? At home, I'm sure. I was not dumb enough to play with them at home. But, had I set the town on fire, I could have single-handedly caused the banning of matches in this country. Dang. I missed my chance to be famous....

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