Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Murder of Magnificent

Inspirational poetry gone awry.  Sentiment with snarkish undertones, apathy all dressed up and parading about as if queen for the day....

Have you ever popped a chocolate into your mouth, your tongue wrapping about its deliciousness; explosions of velvety goodness and then..."Spitoo-ey!"  Gag, gasp!  "What in the hell was in the center?! Tasted like MOUSE CRAP!" 

Death to generic chocolates.  And all pretenders.

I despise pretenders.  Charlatans and frauds...contemptible.  I've actually raised my arm over my head casually during a dinner party and when asked why, I replied, "Savin' the's gettin' a little deep in here." (thank you mom for that southern gem)

And simply the worst of impostors are the ones that cover themselves in glitter and preen....gag me.

Thus my response to a recent blurb on a facebook page I came across.  "I've flown and crashed, lost and won, I've learned my lessons and if you don't like who I am, then you can kiss my ass!"

I was all on board....yes, yes, and then....the flip of the hair and bob of the head and there was probably a finger wagging.  This 20-something was all "I am who I am and if you don't like it, blah blah blah..."  It's EVERYWHERE!  In my classroom, on the bus, it seems to be permeating the very air we breathe.

When did this happen?  When did our arrogance surmount our potential?

There was actually a time when self-improvement was a life-long endeavor.  When learning and graciousness were pursued until death--and not just for financial gain or career advancement--but for the simple enrichment of the soul, the enhancement of the experience....just to be...more.  Becoming a better cook, learning a language, reigning in a sharp temper, practicing patience.....being open to differences and beauty.  Self control.

Living was a privilege then, cherished.  Our technological advancements have eliminated so many diseases, sterilized our wars, isolated us behind screens.  We've become enamored with our own opinions.  We've forgotten that this life is not to be wasted on repetitious sitcoms, $5 pizzas, and lite beer!  That the soul grows, the spirit blooms....that the potential inside each of us is breathtaking.  The possibility of grace, the miracle of forgiveness.  Kindness and laughter and giving....going without.  Voluntarily. 

The richness of humanity is the ability to change by will, not dictated by need.

And yet, the world is swimming with generic chocolates.  Bridezillas and Springers and the girl at CVS who shoved her way in front of everyone.  Potential so wrapped in layers of arrogance and belligerence that the seed within is suffocating.  The magnificence that could be is choking.

The flames of entitlement are scorching our nation, leaving blackened husks where loveliness should have been. 

"I am what I am..."

...but you could have been so much more.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gators and Poptarts

Yesterday morning I was confronted with absolute proof that my darling angelic boys--have horns.  And possibly a tail.  I suppose every parent at some point faces the human fallibility of their prodigy, but mine slapped me in the face at 8am; shortly after waffles and kisses and "have a nice day!s."  I waved good-bye as they left for the bus, one by one, and then went to tinkle. (three cups of joe before dawn will do that to you)  And there, staring at me from the bottom of a yellow pool...was Pebbles.  Not Bambam, not Fred or Wilma....Pebbles. 

Someone had ditched their morning vitamin and forgot to flush.   Ooooooh, I was peeved.

A peeved mum in our house leads to lost allowances and days without television...and cold cheese sandwiches for dinner.  (seriously, ask my boys, tick me off badly--especially by being ungrateful--and I completely go on strike)  Three growing boys used to home cooked menus containing bacon wrapped roasts and homemade bread and scalloped potatoes suddenly reduced to cold sandwiches and apples will surprise and delight you with rapid apologies and changed behavior. 

At any rate, confrontations were had, the culprit confessed and handed over the cost of a bottle of Flinstones (about two week's allowance) and promises of future honesty were made.  When we don't like something, we discuss.  We don't lie, cheat or steal....or flush hard earned money down the toilet, dammit!

However, last night I was shocked repeatedly as glaring examples of exactly that--lying, cheating, & stealing--were paraded across the television screen accompanied by a catchy tune, nifty tag lines, and the ever present laugh track.  Welcome to American advertising.

Example 1.  Sad boy is about to ingest deplorable poptart when he is rescued by generous girl from such a blunder by her offer to share her delish toaster strudel.  How does sad boy respond to this kindness?  He snatches both halves of the strudel and runs off yelling, "You can have the poptart!"

Example 2.  Famous race car driver is "insured for almost everything" by some insurance company but when he accidentally drives a golf ball through someone's window; famous-wealthy-adult race car driver sneaks off.

Co-workers steal each other's food, wives belittle their husbands, and little Timmy in "time out" plays like madman in the kitchen with no supervision.  Twenty minutes of any "tween" show on Nick or Disney elevates destructive behavior, deceit, and theft--all draped in the absolute stupidity of any adult in the room--to entertainment. 

And the laugh track runs.

There will always be the discussion about media reflecting reality or dictating it, but I cannot help but wonder as we are setting our children down for "entertainment" that is full of mean girls, moronic adults and a complete lack of responsibility--how can we expect anything different in our own living rooms? 

Well.....I refuse to give in.  Again.  I will block channels our neighbors watch, rampage like a lunatic about stolen yogurt commercials, and attempt to find creative ways to make the consequences fit the crime.  Sometimes I feel like I'm piloting a cruise ship on a tranquil sunny sea.....other times I'm barely poling my raft of ruffians in a hurricane while alligators snap at my heels. 

Parenthood.  Why they make whiskey.