to be known.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
4. Adultery and cheating. Why call them shocking? Wouldn’t have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too-cowards be more accurate?
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.
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.
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.
8. Relationships are uber complicated, ok, sometimes shockingly so…
9. Celebrities do weird stuff, say weird stuff, and/or wear weird stuff to get attention, you know, publicity. Shocker.
10. People do horrible things to each other, and for each other. You don’t have to like it, but it’s not shocking.
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.
12. It’s not shocking kittens and puppies are cute. Ok, maybe shock and awww.
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.
Remember that label?
This is not a toy?
As a child I used to think, really, or is it a toy? As an adult I think, really, or is it a toy?
Labels continue to amuse me. Remove plastic from pizza before placing in the oven. Are we just stopping natural selection with all these labels? Then again, with the taste of some frozen pizzas, who’d notice? It’s also amazing how many “Do not eat” labels on things you wouldn’t possible even think of eating.
One of my all-time favourites is: if you can’t read the label, don’t use this. Huh? So basically, don’t spray deodorant in your eyes, sit on an oven door, don’t use a curling iron internally, don’t drink toner, pepper spray can irritate your eyes, hot beverages are indeed hot, and the list goes on. What’s your top weird label, dear readers?
1. Then again, observing people, I suppose these labels aren’t as weird as you’d think. Like those people who stand uber close to you in line. Do they think it’ll make the line move faster, or I’ll leave, either way, slow down, I’d appreciate dinner before you get that close.
2. What is with eating while driving? Really, is life that busy that people can’t stop and have a sandwich? Try the ‘o’ word: organization. And those poor little Stop signs, they’re getting a complex from being ignored…
3. Who writes these TV shows (“Do you have a swab?, “Did you get the swab?” “Are you out of swabs, how can you be out of swabs, we need swabs!”, what you need to get is a Thesaurus and out of Johnson & Johnson’s, ummm, anyway, I digress), books, and/or movies where all characters race around to keep, like, one main character alive? Does this person secretly have the cure for cancer? Other people drop like flies around them. or because of them, or to save them, but as long as they stay alive (more or less), it’s all good.
4. Money can’t buy happiness, sure, but it can buy food, shelter, security, I’d be way more comfortable crying in a nice house with a pool and not worrying about money all the time. Just sayin’.
5. No wonder young girls are so confused about body image. Women in music videos wearing clothes that could double as napkins gyrating against, well, anything. Men don’t feel the need to dress or act that way. Imagine the time we’d have for equal rights if we had never been told what shape to be, what to wear…who to be.
6. If you find politicians horrifying, pretend they’re children (not a big stretch), stop giving them so much attention.
7. The news keeps taking about how bad the economy is, not news to me, my economy has always been bad.
8. People who complain that you shouldn’t eat non-traditional foods for breakfast clearly haven’t figured out doughnuts are cake which is just like pancakes and you eat those for breakfast, right?
9. People who say they don’t do mornings are doing morning as they say it.
10. There’s nothing better we can do in this world, no greater kindness than making people feel safe, with food, shelter, comfort, love, and compassion, not fear, hunger, prejudice, poverty, and hatred.
My last post https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/09/take-on-me/ had all that talk of adulting, this week I put adulting on hold, went to a March Break matinée (yes, alone and isn’t it a weird reflection on society that if I were a man, I would be seen as creepy doing so; a few rotten apples do spoil so much, still got some looks I was there without a child). I thoroughly enjoyed The Peanuts Movie for $3; $1 went to Kids Help Phone and I got coupons (free popcorn and movies) – charity, coupons, childhood, and reclining seats – you can’t see me right now, but I’m The Breakfast Club fist-pumping in the air.
My point? Labels are just labels (lawsuits aside), common sense is the best label. Hope your weekend (and the First Day of Spring/Spring Equinox) is a warm hug.
Dear Readers, how are you today? Happy, I hope.
Lately I’ve been in a shall we say, reflective mood, thinking of the highs and lows, cons and pros of being human.
I know, like so many things, it’s complicated.
Let’s start with the Pros:
1. We’re amusing.
I never understand why people go to the zoo when they can watch people instead, such as, on public transit. In one ride I saw: a guy with a bag full of copper wires sucking down a giant blue slurpee who collected paper transfers from the bus floor, tore two apart, licked them, put them together then showed ‘it’ to the driver; another guy was reading a scientific magazine, upside down; a photoshopped woman talking loudly and graphically about her knotty/naughty love life via cellphone; an older gentleman wearing PJs, cool, I did that too, in high school, the top one day, bottoms another, but as I get older I just think, sure, that looks comfy, you could get off the bus and right into bed. Who needs The Oscars? Hop on a bus, be awarded.
2. We’re ingenious.
Really, we came up with all kinds of stuff, like: flying, fire, medicine, books, family, duct tape, technology, chocolate, the internet, music, blogging, swimming inside in the winter, batteries, politicians, money, cake, saunas, friendships, trains, Johnny Depp as a pirate, pool noodle under fitted sheet so a child doesn’t roll out of bed (wish I’d known this when my son was young), driving, driving with dogs on our laps, wait, someone needs to explain this one to me, does the dog think he’s driving, does he even comprehend what driving is, I doubt he passed a driving test, I mean, how did he fill out all the forms, reach the pedals with his paws, not bite the instructor?
3. We’re endlessly curious.
We ask questions such as, but not limited to: “How bad can it be?” (very bad); “Could it get any worse?” (yes); “How stupid can you be?” (have you heard some politicians?).
4. We’re brave.
We live on a planet where the earth shakes, volcanoes spew lava, mountains of snow grow, and storms make us remember there’s no place like home…and then invite tourists, cause it’s that awesome.
5. We fall in love and out of love.
Love can go from oh’s to ex’s…ex’s to oh’s or so I’ve heard…at least, in song. Our hearts can stay, stray, delay, relay, live to love another day. Don’t think my ex’s or oh’s haunt me, but I’d like to think someday my Prince Charming will ride in on his baggage cart and sweep me into his manly arms, yes, apparently in my flight of fancy I’m dainty and light as a feather, his bronzed flesh glowing, huh, glowing? Too much of the X-Files reboot? But I digress…he’ll have room on his baggage cart for my baggage too and we’ll be off, into the sunset (Risky Business-style sunglasses firmly in place), hopefully not ending up like Thelma and Louise, Romeo and Juliet, or Butch and Sundance…
6. We yearn.
For more, for other worlds and explore them through books, movies, TV…finally saw Star Wars The Force Awakens aka A-New-Hope-revisited when I took my son to a movie marathon for his birthday. It was great, but I have to wonder, what is it with people dropping children off on desert planets? Do they think it’s desert daycare? Do they think the children might go all Home Alone on the scum of these wretched hives of villainy? At what point should we just admit they’re bad parents?
7. We all want to be heroes or funny anti-heroes.
Yeah, I saw Deadpool and laughed so hard my sides hurt. I’m having a bit of a Ryan Reynolds week (how often can you say that?), saw Woman In Gold too, how does Helen Mirren do it? But we don’t have to wear a cape, or a mask, have mutant powers, or fancy gadgets…just be good to one another. But if you get a chance to be be Batman and drive the Batmobile, do that too. Kindness is true heroics.
The Cons? Maybe another time, or…all of the above? Anything you want to add?
Why is everybody so gosh darn anxious to rule the world?
I guess the pay and benefits would be awesome, but I can’t imagine there’s any time off.
It would be high stress and thankless, well, unless you paid or forced people to thank you.
And look at all the decisions you’d have to make; I don’t always know what I want for breakfast.
Then there’s the meetings, slogans, pillaging, fear-mongering, plans, plots, the overthrowing, and feeling like you had to wear a fancy military-looking outfit and get giant pictures of yourself to hang up everywhere.
Sounds monotonous and a lot of work.
Tears For Fears might have been exaggerating, for effect, but humans do want what we can’t have.
We can’t seem to help ourselves, it’s a yearning that lives deep inside us.
We want what’s beyond our reach.
It’s what makes us magnificent, but can be our Achilles heel.
Still, the applicants for ruling the world continue to line up:
Terrorists, dictators, villains, supervillains, megalomaniacs with delusions of grandeur, evil scientists, and smarmy government types, admittedly, life could be boring without them, but wow, I’m willing to give it a try.
Corporate types who are working so hard on helping everyone, even the homeless, to give their lives a purpose, maybe as a Wi-Fi hotspot, hybrid car/cellphone recharging unit, or solar panel holder. The sky’s the limit!
Pirates and vikings, whom I suspect weren’t keen on hygiene, but apparently look like supermodels when portrayed on-screen.
Supernatural beings and aliens seem to have an unnatural interest in ruling our world, hey, guys, go rule your own worlds!
Laboratory mice whose genes have been spliced, oh, wait, that might have just been a cartoon.
Presidential candidates, sure, let’s include Donald Trump. I wonder, will future GOP debates come with a warning label: Watch at own risk, to your brain.
Criminals – I finally watched Lucy, unsure if it had a pro or anti-drug message, but there was a certain ‘be careful who you hang around’ feel to it.
Hackers, who, for all we know, have tried to save us from some alien invasion or apocalypse and we’ve been all testy with them.
Scammers, who teach us how to weigh pros and cons just by sending us a weird email. Pro, click on it and the subsequent links until all curiosity is satisfied. Con, don’t open it, you’ll always wonder, what if, what if…
Computer software makers who rule the world through versions, chat, and accessories.
Leaders in dystopian futures – I just watched Insurgent and Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 – definite everybody wants to rule the world vibes and songs.
Cats and they’re doing a purr-fectly fine job.
Vegetarians – unlikely world rulers, but sometimes we just want them to leaf us alone…see what I did there?
Hunters, ok, the loss of Cecil the Lion was sad, but humans directly or indirectly kill animals, humans, and other forms of life on this planet everyday, right or wrong.
Gamers, but at least they don’t care if it’s the real world.
Don’t we all rule the world? You know, in that moment, that moment when you make someone’s day with a smile or kind word. Help someone. Do something you didn’t think you could do. Care. Answer that toy phone when a child hands it to you. Grow food instead of a portfolio. Don’t try to control, but to take part. Show patience, compassion, understanding. Offer help, comfort, support, or inspiration. Don’t give in to anger, greed, fear. To be part of something instead of needing to run it.
That’s ruling the world.
Each new day, no matter what it brings, I try to face with grace. I’m not always successful. Hopefully I’ll get another chance.
Things creep into your life or leap in, snarling and tearing, either way, they can beat you down so hard you wonder how you will ever get back up…then eventually, you’ll notice you’re standing again.
Those you love will hurt and you can’t always help, but you can always love them.
People, even good people get lost, if you can, help them find their way. Hopefully, someone will do the same for you.
There will be prejudice and you will think it unfair. It is. Have the courage to denounce it.
You will lose those you love, for many reasons, but you’ll never lose that you loved them.
Kindness can have costs, but you’ll be paid back over and over again.Love can hurt, but you’ll keep loving and will want to love again, despite the pain.
If you see someone fall, literally or figuratively, extending a hand feels better than pointing a finger.
There will be dark times, but find people and things that help you through the darkness, not descend into the darkness.
When another day ends, remember the good, try to understand the bad, be grateful and know that, maybe, just maybe you can try again tomorrow.
On February 20, 2015, the internet is going to be filled with a different form of extremism, compassion. I hope you can join, with a post, a quote, a Tweet, status update, video, photo that means compassion to you…or visit. I’m not a fan of Slacktivism, but I think we need to remember that compassion, kindness, and hope are better than intolerance, hate, and fear. #1000Speak
In Ottawa and various places where it’s cold, statues started sporting scarves, hats, coats, etc. Attached where notes explaining they weren’t Lost, people could take them to keep warm. This is a lovely random act of kindness.
In the gloom and doom of news we can think there isn’t a lot of kindness left in the world. There is. Although some alleged acts of kindness are for publicity, attention or validation.
A few months ago people were allegedly spending thousands of dollars to buy strangers coffee. Really? People who can afford to buy coffee got free coffee. Sure it got Tim Hortons a lot of publicity. Sadly, there were probably some people who believed it and also followed the trend.
Random Acts of Kindness are about doing nice things for someone who are in need. A gesture, or some help, giving of your time or yourself, to support people, not corporations.
If you had $500 to give to charitable pursuits why not help someone in need? If buying people coffee can make their day, imagine what that money could mean to someone with an actual problem? Thousands of dollars given to a corporate giant who has a poor employee history, hires temporary foreign workers, and causes endless traffic problems, gee, that’s a good idea. That money could have changed lives, not just given news coverage.
Help in ways that count. What’s next, buying 500 people a 99-cent app for their smart phones, or Frappucinos, or free month of Netflix? Ever thought of paying it forward by helping those in need? Altruism is amazing, if well-placed.
We seem to have a difficult time telling the difference between wants and needs.
Need food;want to eat at restaurants several times per week.
Need air to breathe;want to over-consume fossil fuels.
Need medicine to get better; want pills to fix everything.
Need clothes; want fast fashion made by basically slave labour under horrible conditions.
Need leaders; want lying politicians who govern in their own special interests as long as they tell you pretty lies.
Need communication; want endless versions of smartphones and tablets made by slave labour under horrible conditions.
These are all distractions. Don’t look behind the curtain of a news story to see the who’s manipulating reality.
There are more and more people in need, real need, not just needing a caffeine fix.
This seems more about the drama than the do-good.
Kind of like putting stuffed animals and flowers at the sites of tragic events or in Memoriam.
If you really want to honour those who have passed away donate money to help others.
Give those teddy bears to children who are ill, neglected, abused, suffering, and/or sad.
Give those flowers to your elderly neighbour, seniors’ home, etc.
Use some critical thinking. Life is not a reality show.
There is nothing in this world like someone who believes in you, who’s there for you and who understands maybe you’re not always 100%, but you’re doing you’re best. Whether it’s a family member, a friend, a co-worker, a social networking friend…hopefully you can be there for them too.