Posted in Cats, Uncategorized

Shock and Awww

 

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“Somewhere,
something
incredible
is waiting
to be known.”
~Carl Sagan

People use the word ‘shock’ a lot. The news keeps telling us how shocked we should be. Politicians are always shocked. Most things they use the word shock for, are not, in fact, shocking.

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Shockingly, we’re still cavepeople. We just happen to be living in a modern world. The modern trend is toward being positive, but there is a reason humans tend to be negative. It kept us alive. It was important to caution your family, friends, even strangers about: the wolves in the forest, the cliff behind the bush, the saber tooth tiger about to jump on their head, the rabid bats in the cave, the poison berries, and so on. We spoke of, then later, wrote about negative things not always to dwell on them, but to often to help others, protect others. And sometimes, other times, it’s just mean.

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Now we warn people about bad restaurants on Yelp, about faulty products, bad apps, terrible service, overcharging, scams, hoaxes, crimes, we even warn people are triggers and spoilers…Constant weather talk, a throwback to warning people about possible dangers. Gossip. Complaining. Oversharing on social media. Maybe it all throws back to this instinct to warn people. And when we feel people aren’t heeding the warnings, more aggressive, provocative, shocking language and images are used.

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Things people are shocked by…but why?

1. It’s not shocking when someone dies. Poor, rich, old, young, famous, unknown…it can be sad, sudden, heartbreaking, but not shocking. To the best of my knowledge, everyone dies, unless there’s something I don’t know.

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2. People make stuff up to get attention, money, power, and all kinds of stuff. People lie for all kinds of reason and sometimes, for no reason. Stupid, but not shocking.

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3.  TV, movies, even most books aren’t supposed to be your moral compass. Shockingly many of them contain questionable moral content. They’re entertainment.

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 4. Adultery and cheating. Why call them shocking? Wouldn’t have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too-cowards be more accurate?

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5. News about money, sports, politics that you hear will make no sense whatsoever, sometimes in the same sentence, definitely 5 minutes from now, an hour, day, month, year. Too often confabulation, time-fillers, ratings-getters. When there’s blood in the water, in the race to tell us something, anything there’s little time for facts. Pathetic, pandering, and vacuous, not shocking.

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6. Business is meant to be confusing, so don’t be shocked that Guerrilla Marketing doesn’t involve putting guerillas in adorable outfits while using the latest iPhone apps, and The Fatal 2% Rule has to do with market share, not 2% of main characters on TV shows being killed off, cough, cough, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, cough, cough.

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7. It’s not shocking when fictional characters do bad things, things you don’t agree with, and even when they die (see #6)…it actually makes them less fictional and more realistic.

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8. Relationships are uber complicated, ok, sometimes shockingly so…

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9. Celebrities do weird stuff, say weird stuff, and/or wear weird stuff to get attention, you know, publicity. Shocker.

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10. People do horrible things to each other, and for each other. You don’t have to like it, but it’s not shocking.

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11. Don’t be shocked when people show their true colours and/or let you down, just try not to put yourself in the position where they can do it again.

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 12. It’s not shocking kittens and puppies are cute. Ok, maybe shock and awww.

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We want to warn people of bad things, but it’s also human nature to spread joy, beauty, kindness, happiness and hope…the good. Blogs, books, art, music, poetry, tweets, updates, texts, email, TV, movies – information wants to be shared, given, known, to be free. Don’t be shocked when it does. Be grateful.

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Posted in Christmas, Environment, Holidays, Political

Slightly Less Stupid

1bang2If I worried about doing or saying something stupid I’d never open my mouth, write anything or probably leave the house, but as I get older I hope I’m slightly less stupid.
For me, the Christmas season seems to come with the gift of introspection. Maybe it’s because the season brings out the best and worst in people.
This year the news is filled with bizarre, almost surreal images that still seem vaguely familiar.
Terrorism. Shopping frenzies. Economic manipulations by the rich. Protests against the police for what can only be categorized as cataclysmically abysmal conduct. Since the police aren’t getting in trouble, their behaviour must be explicit or implicit policy, which makes it more disturbing.

Wrapped in a cloak of civility we shiver against the winds of change. As we become more and more comfortable, any discomfort sets off a fear response in us. We’ve been the white meat for a long time now, worth more, and as much as we say we’re not prejudiced, we are. And we’re fearful, why else would we vote in politicians that are self-serving fear mongers who only want to further their agendas?
People hide their fear, but it’s there. As society becomes more inclusive, more politically correct, the fear festers. It’s Christmastime and there is a need to be afraid, about what’s really fearful.
Fearful that corporations run our governments, who don’t serve in the best interests of their citizens.
Fearful we’re more worried about apps, vacations, eating out, fashion, and entertainment than about the environment.
Fearful that a lack of respect for each other has lead to arguing, bickering, even, as we’ve seen, death.
Fearful households are sagging under the weight of their debts, countries are struggling to stay afloat.
Fearful poverty, hunger, inequality, injustice, and war are still accepted.
Fearful in a world of constant connection, we seem further apart than ever.

Police are hired to protect and serve.
Governments are elected to govern.

Kindness and compassion are a language understood by all, we need to remember how to speak it.

We all want to change the world, but not enough people want to change. Waiting in line for a new iPhone, or Christmas wrapping services, or Drake’s new store, concert, movie, restaurant, etc. we have the power in our wallets – stop waiting and stand up for something that will be a positive change.

Sometimes there’s too much going on to see what’s really going on.
As we grow older, wouldn’t it be better if we got slightly less stupid?
This has all happened before and it will all happen again…history doesn’t have to be a broken record.