Thursday, 22 October 2015

Dear Abby Response of Mine

As a young junior airman, I read Stars and Stripes a great deal and eventually got addicted to reading Dear Abby.....mostly because I felt sorry for people in some bad personal relationships or dire situations.  Somewhere around age forty.....I kinda transitioned over to feeling less sorry for people, and thinking mostly that they needed to get some 'guts' and just fix their problem.

Today, I sat there and read the latest Dear Abby:  "My daughter has been in a lesbian relationship for 14 years. They recently took me to lunch and informed me that her partner, "Nicole," is in the process of transitioning to a male. Nicole has now legally changed her name to "Nick" and has begun hormone treatments. They have been going to counseling for the past six months. Since Nick began the transition, I have seen him three times. Last week when I was visiting, I accidentally called Nick by the wrong pronoun, "she" instead of "he" a couple of times. I was either immediately corrected or ignored until I realized I had used the wrong word. It hurt my feelings. After I got home I sent Nick a text to apologize and explain that it would take time for me to get used to saying "Nick" and referring to him as a he. I told them their correcting me bothered me. All weekend I could tell they were irritated with me, and I felt it was uncalled for. What do you say? Am I wrong to feel hurt that they haven't given me a chance to get used to the new name? -- MARGARET IN MISSISSIPPI"

At age thirty, I would have felt sorry for Margaret and offered up some kind words....maybe patted her on the back and said she had a fine problem.....and told her that some folks were worse off than her.

Well, my patience level just isn't there anymore.  So my humble advice to Margaret goes along these lines.  Nicole (pretending to be Nick) has got some problems and it's best to look long-term at just giving up on the daughter and her relationships. If they do come your new dog off to them and let them know right away that the dog is really a cat, and it's not a male but a female.  Then let them know that you've been awaiting kittens to come from this new pet.  While discussing the new up these strange noises you've been hearing in the house and you think it's demons.  Offer up some cheese and cracker snacks and Jim Beam shots to your daughter and her friend.  Basically behave as odd as possible, and just hope that they reach a point where they'd like to visit less and less often.

Maybe down the road....things change with your daughter and you can get rid of this stupid dog-turned-into-cat or crazy-lady routine.  Don't worry much.....bad usage of pronouns really ought not be one of your top 1,000 problems in life.  Trust ought to be somewhere near number 86,486 on your problem list.

Demon TV

After watching various fake reality TV shows (Cake Boss, Amish Mafia, Jersey Shore, the Kardashians, etc)......I'm more or less prepared for about any fake reality series that you could dream up.  Well....up until today.

I noticed in the entertainment news that a new reality TV series will start up.....mostly on exorcism.  Yeah, that demon stuff out of the Catholic Church.  What they are hinting at is that they will have someone on the team who has some background in exercising demons and will have holy water on themselves in case of serious trouble.

Down in the south, particularly really can't discuss this in any setting without getting Baptists all stirred up and hostile.  Catholic stuff usually freaks out Baptist ministers and they have some 1-800 number to call and get quick advice on how to chastise or slam Catholics.  They really don't want this demon stuff to come up and get into people's heads....because the Baptists don't have any hocus-pocus enchantment or abracadabra spell to conjure up real quick to chase off demons.  The Catholics maintain all of that with their Latin allurement tools of the trade.

Based on the description of this show.....there will be this house with dark sinister feelings all around it.  No, we aren't talking about a 1966 Jim Walter-house built on the edge of Decatur that has a fire-ant problem and the previous owner shot her boyfriend in the foot for calling her a bi*ch.  Nor are we talking a trailer park setting where meth gets used daily and some fifty-year-old gal flashes herself off daily at guys who drives by.  In this case.....we are talking about a demon house.

Americans typically like entertainment like this.....mostly because we live pretty boring lives and the worst thing that can happen is septic tank failure, a tornado alert for our area of the county, or Jehovah's Witness gal comes to the door in a tubetop and you just can't say "no" to her staying four hours and talking JW stuff.

All of this will be talked about in future weeks as ministers have to answer these stupid questions in church, and if demons regularly attach themselves to homes, barns, garages, or houseboats.  Some guys will have some fun and note that they dated a possessed gal back in the 1980s and they tried hard to exercise that demon gal but just never got anywhere much.  Some folks will worry about this casual dealing business with demons, and that you just can't be too careful....demons might be lurking at the Piggy Wiggly and grab onto you.....bringing themselves into your house.  Then you'd have to call up some Catholic priest to get rid of this problem.....mostly because the Baptist guys ain't got no magic stuff and never learned any Latin while at the big school.

It is odd....the Catholic talk and all.....the special magic.....can only be used with Latin phrases.  I guess the Demons only speak Latin, and it just all makes sense.  Looking around the state of Alabama today.....with the exception of Catholic Priests....I don't think there's more than sixty people in the state who can utter Latin.  It might be worth asking how they ever got into a dead language, but they'd probably just tell you it was to impress some gal who was a five-star temptation-laced gal who knew French and looked like Marilyn Monroe.  

Maybe we need a TV show like this, but it just makes me wonder....where exactly is the end point of reality TV?  Will we eventually get to the point of putting a camera in a Jiffy Lube show and just show mechanics talking about lawnmowers, chunky women, and septic tanks?

An Unshockable Nation

If you've ever been to a real urban New York City or end up on the subway.  It's a curious place where you tend to notice the weird characters, unusual operating procedures, and the inspiring or freaky advertisements.

This week, the New York subway folks were asked to evaluate and hopefully accept some women's underwear advertisements from Thinx.

Well, the evaluation team looked over the poster and the words....then came back to the company to say that it was 'inappropriate' and 'suggestive'.  In other words.....maybe if you tone it down a notch....we might accept it for putting on the interior of subway cars as hundreds of thousands of New York City gals travel each day.

I looked at the ad myself, and maybe ten years ago.....I would have agreed on the 'inappropriate' nature.  Today, I don't see a big deal.  Some gal in some some cotton underwear leaning back on a handmade Mennonite-made chair?  Nothing much to get sweaty about....if you ask me.

Now, I agree....if this were being displayed in Red Bay, Alabama or Monck's Corner, some local catfish restaurant or in some local newspaper.....well, it might disturb some folks.  But we are talking about New York City where you just can't shock folks anymore.

It's a curious trend about society today.....we are becoming unshockable.  This Jenner guy flipping over to a lady-status?  After about a week, it wasn't much of a shock anymore.  This basketball player in Nevada who flipped out and almost died on herbal Viagra while paying $75,000 for a three-day hooker episode and asking for lady-guy hooker?  It didn't take more than forty-eight hours for us all to accept the story and say it doesn't freak us out (well, unless you were a die-hard Baptist).  Joe Biden saying he won't run for President?  That took eight minutes for us to accept.

Some people will say that it's a recent trend.  I would disagree.  You can go back to the 1920s and look at what happened to society after WW I and find literally hundreds of revolutions going on within the American society and our shock levels were being tested on a weekly basis.

These underwear guys?  I'm guessing they will go back and use the same picture but some different wording and get some acceptance to run the ad on the subway.  After a one much will say anything because it's just not that much of a shock anymore.  Frankly, if you were paying more attention to the attire or lack of attire of the New York'd be entertained to a higher level (my humble opinion).

Every American ought to pack up a bag and go to New York City once in their life.  I'm not talking about a long trip....just five days.  After that, your unshockable values will double and nothing will really bother you much.

End of Mythbusters

I came to have this curious interest in 2010....upon arriving in DC and having cable TV.....of the TV show "Mythbusters".  It appeared on the Discovery Channel and I came to appreciate the way that the two 'mad-scientists' would take some conceived notion of the public or science, and then explain it in garage-like lab.

Today, it's been announced that after being on the air for fourteen years.....Mythbusters is coming to an end.  It'll end in 2016.

The two guys....Savage and Hyneman....impressed me with the way that you could convey a massive amount of science into bit-sized pieces....for a mortal with no real understanding of science....helping us get into the topic and actually enjoy the rich nature of science.

Presently, there are roughly 240-odd episodes and if I were a high-school science teacher....I'd put one of the episodes up each week for entertaining the students.

Around the end of 2011....they did an episode where they discussed the idea of a motorcycle being more environmentally friendly than a car.  It's the kind of topic that four guys at a water cooler would chat about for hours and hours....debating the finer science principals of motors.  The final conclusion of the team?  Car evolution on emissions has progressed faster than motorcycle evolution, and you can't make the motorcycle cleaner, with the present set of mechanical standards.  A shocker to most guys, but it ends the water cooler least until a new round of motorcycle developments occur.

My humble guess is that we will go through a five-year period without Mythbusters, and then be thrilled to discover that a new show will be fielded and we get more science in a nice tidy package for public consumption.