Posts tagged ‘Education’

August 31, 2013

My Objective Is Not To Be Objective

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Damn it,  I’m not a news reporter!

Three teenagers were killed this morning when the car in which they were riding went out of control and struck a bridge abutment.  Mourners at the scene told reporters that they were “good kids.”

Or…

Three teenagers, with nothing better to do at 2 a.m. and with their parents failing in their parental duties, and while fueled by alcohol and weed, were killed while acting recklessly and irresponsibly as they sped through city streets at a high rate of speed, ending only when a bridge abutment jumped right out in front of them.  Mourners at the scene, calling them “good kids” and having emptied the local Dollar Store of candles which they placed at the scene, creating a shrine to stupidity and ignorance – the bigger tragedy – ignored the fact that the driver had a suspended license for past vehicular malfeasance, and 2 of the dumb little bastards had just been released from juvenile detention for drug violations.

The first piece is normally how these incidents are reported in your local rag of a newspaper, giving you the facts while seemingly blaming the accident not on the stupidity of the individuals involved but on a car that “went out of control,” all by itself like it was Christine.  The piece also presents the Oprah side of the tragedy as family and friends of the dearly departed gather to give reporters nothing but glowing testimony about the character of the “victims.” 

The second piece, while still presenting the facts, in fact, more facts than many want to hear at a moment like this, gives you the writer’s (oh, that would be me) opinion on reckless, unguided, and socially excused behaviors such as this that often lead to accidents such as this.   Hello!

Like most pseudo-writers spewing digital pages of reckless verbiage into the internet universe, my aim is to present an opinion or a feeling about a certain topic while leaving the bland reporting of the “he said/she said,” “he did/she did” facts to the very few objective news sources that exist in the real world.

Opinion does not dilute fact.  However, as Plutarch would agree, the truth can sometimes be a bitch when looked at through an opinionated microscope.  Your not agreeing with or being particularly open to hearing a diverse opinion, does not change the facts.

I bring this up as a self-described “newspaperman” of some years commented on a piece I wrote about the trials, tribulations, and idiocy involved in Puerto Rico’s history since Teddy Roosevelt cleaned his goggles of San Juan beach mist (http://waltkienia.hubpages.com/hub/HELL-NO-PUERTO-RICO).

Based on the Newspaperman’s Bible, this commenter was put off by of my lack of objectivity in the piece, while also telling me that the piece was too long and he didn’t read the whole thing (imagine that, a newspaperman who doesn’t like to read).   I thanked him for reading and commenting and thought to myself:  hey, it’s about Puerto Rico, how objective can you be while still being conscious?

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July 6, 2013

Spending The Day With Stupid

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Quietly sitting in my smoking perch, the back veranda (well, it’s actually a porch but I’m trying to sound high-minded here), I am able to observe humanity in it’s less than glorious state.  While gazing at this living edition of Cracked magazine I shake my head and say to the squirrel eating a nut on a nearby tree, “..and these people are allowed to vote, have children, and install your cable TV.”

In this instant, while far too many in society are stumbling their way through a life pattern that resembles a closed circle, I am insulated from this social plague by distance, nicotine, and caffeine.   Unfortunately I do not live on an island off of the coast of Maine, so at some point I have to wrap myself in my stupid-condom and become intimate with what is passing for civilization in 2013.

Entering the house to ready myself for the day, I pass the television in the sitting room (living room for those not of high-mindedness) just as the morning news began a story on a local murder.  It was 6:30 in the morning and there, in living color, was this on-sight roaming reporter, broadcasting live outside the court house, which at this time of the morning was dark and empty, but where in 4 hours the alleged murderer would be arraigned.  Every so often during her story, the reporter would turn, look and point at the court house as if expecting it to saunter up at any minute and issue an official statement.  As to the story, apparently some scumbag disrespected another scumbag (neither one of them who were able to spell or correctly define ‘respect’) and so scumbag #2 shot scumbag #1 through the coconut.  Number 2 was apprehended by the men and women of law enforcement when his getaway was hindered by the fact that he was wearing his pants half way down around his ass.

I make my way to City Hall, whose walls are adorned with the photographs of the convicted and non-convicted felons who once served time as Mayor of this ‘great city’ due to the power of the ‘rational’ and ‘informed’ voter, to pay the property tax on my mobile property – my car. I’m standing in line behind a woman who is wearing house slippers and who is talking loudly on her cell phone (apparently someone didn’t ‘axe’ someone else if they could ‘do dat’) at the same time she was being helped by the clerk-type person.  The clerk handed the woman a form and said, “Sign here, ma’am.”  The woman’s mouth fell open, her eyes bulged out and, disturbed by the fact that her telephone conversation was being interrupted by what the clerk was “axing” her to do, said, “What?”  “Sign here, please,” said the clerk again.  The woman, with an unabashed lack of logic and intuition, said, “Sign my name?”  I’m thinking to myself, “No, sign my name, you ignorant tramp!”

Having paid my taxes so that the non-English speaking residents of this city are able to eat better than I, I headed for a coffee fix at Dunkin´ Donuts.  Putting on my best “no cigarettes and no change” look, I maneuvered my way around the unofficial Dunkin’ Donuts greeters and entered the store.  After 10 minutes of waiting in line, watching and listening and wondering what the hell country I was in, I was one person away from scoring my fix.  “America Runs On Dunkin’,” unfortunately the American idiot directly in front of me did not.  After having spent more than 10 minutes in line, this moron had no idea what he wanted and instead, acted like it was the first time he had ever stepped foot in an place that is on more street corners in America than hookers.  It’s a good thing that God made breathing non-voluntary.

I witnessed a man putting $5.00 worth of gas in his car and then burning most of that as he left the gas station like he was Wendell Scott, taking the red-light he went through as a mere suggestion rather than a minor law society enacts to keep order.

I passed a convenience store where several young people were leaning on and talking around a trash can, while throwing their soda bottles and candy wrappers on the ground.

And then there was the usual sighting of the “red-light creepers.”  You know who they are.  They will approach a red-light but stop well before the light.  As soon as another car comes up behind them, they creep forward a bit and stop.  The car behind does the same.  This process is repeated until the light finally turns green.  Today, the “creeper” was the second car waiting for the light, but with plenty of room between him and the first car.  Car number three comes up from behind.  The “creeper” jumps forward and stops.  Number three doesn’t move.   The “creeper” repeats this but the third car still holds still.  The “creeper” then makes three 3 quick jumps forward.  Again, number three doesn’t move.  Again, the “creeper” jumps forward.  BANG!  He runs into the first car.

Sometimes stupid can give me a reason to smile.

June 4, 2013

How To Have Sex With A Horse

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The point is that we far too often make choices based on the scantiest of logic or knowledge. Would you have clicked on this post if it had the title, “How To Title Your Posts?”

We far too often judge a book by its cover, leap before we look, measure once and cut twice, and put the cart before the metaphorical horse.  We end up stepping in horseshit and are then surprised and disappointed that the results are not what we desired.

We far too often act against our own best interests while shunning responsibility and assigning blame.  We need to hear more people say, “Boy, was I dumbass for doing that!”  The folks at Campbell’s – the soup guys – had it right with their marketing of V8 Juice – “I could of had a V8!”

I suppose this is all ok as long as we alone suffered a minimum of discomfort, like sitting in your own wet shorts; as long as no great harm came to anyone or ourselves and if no one else was responsible for picking up after our momentary lapse of reason.  This is not always the case.

Often, the negative consequences of our backasswards decision making are not evident until some point in the future; which, I suppose, brings up the question that if some one was ignorant enough to have made the decision in the first place, may they then also be too ignorant to realize the future damage when it slaps them aside the coconut?

Definitely, but this is often as much of a case of ignorance as it is a case of denial.  When reality raises its thrill-killing head we usually issue the standard wide-eyed, mouth-hanging-open expression of, “What?!”  Or, if you are D.B. Cooper jumping from a plane: “Oh, shit!”

We get there because we like what looks good, feels good, sounds good, and because some twit at the bar said it was good.  We say “to hell with tomorrow and hurray for today;” but, my friends, morning comes early.

Nobody likes to look stupid, but most of us are.

The End – phew; got through that without once making mention of the people who voted for Obama.