Monday, December 5, 2011

I Was Like This Kid, You Were Too

I was the scrawny, socially awkward kid at the back of the class who either talked too much, or didn't know what to say.  I was the one with bizarre fashion sense who was always nearly failing, but squeaked through because I could 're-read' the text books in my head during tests.  I was the kid who was never interested in what they were teaching because I either 'blanked out' when dealing with numbers (math/accounting/physics/chemistry) or, for a lot of other subjects had already read everything I could get my hands on, or thought they were teaching at a 'baby level'.  After an IQ test (still legal back then!) they 'accelerated' me to a grade above, but that just made the bullying worse and I 'flunked myself' back to the class I had friends in.

I got bullied on and off through grade and high schools until I figured out 'that look' aggressors got on their face when they were going to 'go aggro,' as the Aussies say, and began to learn to joke, cajole, or -- in worst case scenarios -- act crazy enough to scare them off!

In so many ways our current 'PC' (politically correct) culture is producing the exact opposite effects of what today's grossly over-protective 'helicopter parents' intend.  While parents are sending the message that 'every child is special' and needs to be protected from the bad feelings associated with losing or failing, there are bullies, often with parents who are no different than their victims' parents, teaching them what life is REALLY like: grossly unfair, brutal, highly prejudiced. 

The way that overly protective parents enable this is by insisting on pretending that all kids are equal in all respects, although they realize, rationally and practically, that this clearly isn't the case.  When you set up a facade that 'all kids are equal,' the first ones to take advantage of the smokescreen are those sorely lacking in empathy.  And here's some news, empathy has to be imposed upon kids at a certain stage of their maturation.  I'm almost overly empathetic today, but there was a time I experimented with pushing smaller kids around and got caught by dad tossing a large toad off a bridge with a plastic bag parachute.  The spanking I earned for the latter error in judgment taught me something about how doing something unacceptable to society brings personal suffering. 

Not even 'your little Johnny' comes pre-packaged with a full understanding and range of empathetic reactions.  When kids are abused at home, they abuse at school.  I certainly tried bullying on for size because I didn't like taking it and wanted to find out if giving it out was as much fun as it seemed to the highly motivated bullies in my neighbourhood.  Bullying turned out to be a non-starter for me, but then I wasn't suffering abuse at home every night, so I had little to 'take out' on other victims.
Today's a new day.  Reach out and try to help someone.  Anyone.  No matter what they look like OR what they're addicted to.  What we know today about addiction means that it is 100% true that "There but for the grace of God go you", and you have very likely evidenced addictive problems if you've ever:
  • Shopped just because it gave you a lift, 
  • Gotten too tanned just because the endorphins made you feel 'healthy', 
  • Taken a bet just because you couldn't resist the thrill of the outcome, 
  • Drank alone to the point of passing out on the couch,
  • Had a problem getting off the nicotine, or codeine, or Oxycontin, 
  • Passed and stayed over your healthy body mass index upper limit,
  • Obsessed over some stupid thing that really was of no consequence to your life,
If you've NEVER done anything like the behaviours on this list, you can look down at others and not help, but otherwise it's the obligation of all fellow members of the human race to reach out and help someone.

In Toronto, help the abused, troubled kids who are on the street through no fault of their own:


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Once A Country's Debt is at the Point of No Return...

Everyone has an opinion.  I share this guy's point of view on Bill Maher's book about the decline of Canada's more powerful Siamese twin to the south.  (Canada's advantage is that, with a MUCH smaller population, until the US militarily annexes us, we have virtually unlimited natural resources to exploit.)

Like Nero playing his lyre while Rome burned, citizens who are the most change-averse shout about exceptionalism while the US spends its way into total indebtedness to China.  Frightening.  Whether you are America or the Canadian province of Ontario, spending to support social programs you can't pay for in cash is a really bad idea, especially when you actually ask who it is who is so willing to loan you the money to do so.

A Review of Bill Maher's Book "The NEW new Rules"

By (about the author)  

America's Greatest Satirist has sounded the last alarm before the plunge

One thing this book proves is that when the obituary of the American nation is finally and inevitably written, the historical record will show that from the very beginning only the Satirists have been telling us the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the state of our nation: Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, Will Rogers, H.L. Mencken, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Chris Rock, Stephen Colbert, John Stewart and now Bill Maher, have all sounded warnings in their own way, and for their own respective times.

The loudest alarm for our times (arguably one of the most troubled times of all for this young nation), can be taken from the gray pages of this book. It is here that Maher leaves his mark on American history by proving to us that he just may be the greatest American Satirist of them all. His selective creations here would be funny only if these were not such serious times and only if his humor did not have such a sharp edge, one that is so deadly accurate that it cuts beyond the white meat literally to the bone. 

Maher has looked deeply into the soul of the America nation and is unafraid to tell us what he sees there. And what he sees there is the same thing that we all see but are pretending not to know (and thus are afraid to acknowledge): that our "faith over facts," sexually repressed, warmongering, economically mindless, and racist nation is finally in serious trouble. And it is not of the simple "fixable kind of trouble;" but is of the systemic "virtually unfixable" kind. What we are pretending not to know about ourselves (even though it is right before our eyes) is, why the nation we love so is turning into a "chest-beating," "war-mongering," "economically hollowed out" racist shell of a Third World country? 

In the grey pages of this book, Maher gives us the answer: The reason the American nation is in such trouble is that the "ruling class" has repackaged and then commandeered America's patriotic symbolism and has used it to dumb-down and then to mount and ride the "political class" like a Trojan Horse. That class of political misfits, morally-challenged whores, demagogues and ideologues is now being used to trample the very ground of everything that is meaningful about American culture, values and ideals -- as it makes a beeline straight for the abyss. 

As we saw in 2007-8 in the economic crash, the political whores are being ridden right to the edge of the precipice all in the name of Gorton Gecko level greed; to save the proverbial "job-creator's bottom line," as we are told? The problem is that, not only is it that the jobs they are creating are all in the Communist Police State of China, but also that there is no bottom to the bottom line? And even if there were a bottom, there is nothing else meaningful beyond the bottom line but blind, empty, random, mindless, inhuman, greed. All we can see as far out into the future as the eye can see, is the once "all mighty dollar" now chasing its own tail, as that tail changes right before our eyes into the "all mighty Yen."

Maher tells us that we have been divided into two lying classes: dumb and dumber (also known as Republicans and Democrats). The only difference between them is that the Democrats believe the lies that they tell us, while the Republicans do not. In a paroxysm of capitalist greed that feeds only on itself and has no discernable logic, rhyme or reason, the two political parties, thin proxies for the mean-spirited cynical and mindless ruling class, have abandoned the notion of a "common good" trading it in for more endless ideologically-based wars: "wars of choice," wars on terror, wars on drugs, wars on crime, wars on blacks and the poor, and it has finally come home to roost as wars on the white middle class. 

The only discernible result of all this warring has been to enrich stateless and loyal-less corporations like Haliburton who along with the political whores running Washington D.C., have helped put the U.S. in hock to a Communist Police state; one that we used to mock and make fun of as being backwards. But all the while we have been beating our chest with our obsolete military hardware, claiming to still be the greatest country on earth, the Communist Police state that we used to mock has proven to be better capitalist than we are. And the best evidence that it is they that are emerging as number one is that they currently hold three trillion dollars of our treasury bonds (and thus also our private parts), in a global economic vise grip. 

All Maher is trying to tell us here is that we had better wake up before the Trojan Horse has been driven right over the cliff. With moral wimps like Barack Obama on the left, and the eight stooges running for President on the right, it does not look good for America's long-term survival. It does not look like we are going to be able to stall off our own national suicide. This book is so funny it will make you cry, literally. Five Star

Heavy Handed, Yes, But It's THREE Years Old! The GOP Is Consistent, At Least...

Down With Anyone Who Isn't "Normal" Like Me! Hang on... This Guy Seems "Normal".


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