Tag Archives: society

so, anyway

As of yesterday we’re a home school. Little girl has hated high school since she started last year. As summer started winding down and 10th grade loomed imminent, her mood started tanking. So we downloaded the official form, gave our home school a very pretentious-sounding name, dug up my college transcript to prove I grad-yee-ated 6th grade just like Jethro Bodine, and mailed everything off. It took less than a week to get it back. Amazed. It usually takes any government agency, federal, state or local, a month of Sundays to do anything. Heck, I’ve had Medicare as a secondary insurer for almost 2 years and they still haven’t paid any co-pays they’re supposed to, so don’t talk to me about how everyone who has Medicare loves it. Everyone I know who has Medicare thinks a bit less highly of it than I do.

But I digress.

Yesterday we dropped by the high school to officially withdraw and thumb our nose at it, just a little, then grabbed a celebratory McGriddle (not me, just her) and headed off to the local used bookstores in search of stuff. We found some stuff and brought it home. She had one homework assignment to complete, and voila! we’re done. Her homework was to write something. Anything. Without thinking about rules, grammar, spelling, whatever. Just write.

Physician, heal thyself.

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My mom sent me this email yesterday. Doesn’t matter if it’s a true story or not; the principle is dead on as far as I’m concerned.

Effort and Reward

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before but had once failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”. All grades would be veraged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.

The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that.

Do I believe there’s a professor somewhere who never failed a single student? Maybe, maybe not.

Whoever wrote this used Obama’s name, but in my estimation it’s not a criticism aimed directly at President Obama; it’s a criticism of the fundamental flaw inherent in socialism. It’s a wonderful concept; there’s just one problem with it: pesky human nature.

It’s the same problem I always had in school, and at work, with group projects. I wound up doing the work because I was not willing to take the lower grade, or create a less than acceptable product, because of everyone else’s lack of participation.

Pesky human nature.

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nobody noticed

Monday afternoon I had to drive into town for a 3:00 appointment. “Driving into town” makes it sound like I live in the middle of nowhere. That was true 20 years ago when we moved to this part of the county, but not so anymore.  Where there used to be no major commercial entities within about 5 miles of here, now there are: McDonald’s, Sheetz, Walmart, BK, Hardee’s, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Lowe’s Foods, etc. And several large housing developments, one of which is next to the Lowe’s Foods shopping center.

As I passed the intersection at Lowe’s,  I noticed several police cars on the opposite side of the highway, adjacent to one of the newer housing developments. There was yellow crime scene tape going up. No accident, evidently. Something else.

I finished my 3:00, and another appointment at 4:30 and was on my way home when hubby called. He was stuck in traffic on the highway just before the Lowe’s Foods. Said it looked like a bad accident. Told him it sounded like the same place I had seen the crime scene tape going up a couple of hours earlier, and I didn’t think it was an accident. As he got closer to the scene he noticed an ambulance, and a “major crime scene investigation” unit.

He said, “I think they may have found a body.”

They did. Or, a jogger did.

The story is: the jogger found the body Monday afternoon. It was “badly decomposed”; it’s been really hot here for the past several days. No other details were available.

Yesterday I heard this: the deceased person was 34, a landscaper. He had been working on a job last Friday, I guess, and was walking home. Decided to take a short cut through the housing development there next to Lowe’s Foods, and had been stung by a bee. There was no epi-pen to be found. Evidently he died from anaphalactic shock from the bee sting.

So, from Friday until Monday, no one reported him missing, wondered where he was or if he was OK? Maybe they did and the media just didn’t report that.

I hope so.

I hope somebody noticed, before the jogger did.

vs.

(I’m donning my flame-retardant PJs before hitting the publish button, with great fear and trembling!)

Heard about this and I’m pulling my hair out.

Where do you even start? Atheists and agnostics are ticked off because they feel left out of a holiday that celebrates something they don’t believe. So someone is actually spending money to make them feel better about themselves because of their unbelief?

Ya know, I don’t believe in Allah. What if I decide that all the fuss over Ramadan leaves me out? I wanna fast all day and party all night too! I could do that, regardless of my lack of Islamic faith. But I’d rather make sure the Muslim community knows I feel left out, so I put up flyers outside the local Mosque. What would happen?

How about this: if you don’t believe it, don’t celebrate it. Celebrate something you do believe, have a Wonderful Winter Solstice, or whatever.

Or, shut up and celebrate your whatever and leave everyone else’s whatevers alone.

Harsh, I know. But how far does this go?

When I was in high school there was a guy in my homeroom from Iran. Every day, first thing, we said the Pledge of Allegiance and, every day, he sat at his desk. Fine. He wasn’t an American citizen; we were, enough said.

Now we have this. Who’s being inconvenienced here? The American children in an elementary school, in America, who want to say the pledge. Why? So the children who don’t want to say the pledge won’t be uncomfortable. Is this really about those kids, or is it something else?

Sometimes I wonder what’s happening to our country. When did the feelings of the few take precedence over those of any and all others? Or over common sense, for that matter??

Or how about this? Son wrote a paper in English class (college Freshman) about tolerance and bigotry in America. He was supposed to make an observation and then support it with factual evidence. His observation was that American society had become more tolerant of ethnic and cultural differences over the past 100 years. One item he used to support his observation was the advancement of women’s rights. His professor failed him on the paper. She said his observation was unsupportable.

Did you catch that? SHE said. What were her odds of being a college professor 100 years ago? Could she vote?

He discussed this with her. He pointed out that we have an African-American president-elect, and asked the question, “Isn’t Obama’s election proof of a decline in racial intolerance?” Her answer was no, because bigotry only occurs when the majority of people hold a negative opinion of a minority group. That means that if a WASP in America holds a negative opinion of a person of another race in America, that’s bigotry, at least for now, because there’s a larger number of WASPs than any other racial group. It’s changing.

But if, say, a Martian (certainly a minority in our society in terms of numbers; I don’t know many Martians) has a negative opinion of, well, most anyone, he or she isn’t a bigot.

That means that it’s ok for citizens who want to say the Pledge to be made to feel uncomfortable, to be inconvenienced by those, citizens or not, who don’t want to.

It just makes my head spin around backwards and my stomach want to spew forth split pea soup!

We looked up the word “bigotry” in the old Webster’s collegiate, and gosh-darned, it didn’t say a thing about numbers. No “majority” vs. “minority” in numbers. One social group vs. another, period.

How does my son deal with this?

How do any of us deal with it?

I’m reminded of a fairy tale: The Emporer’s New Clothes.

Whistling in the Dark

This is a little ditty I wrote yesterday. It actually wrote itself, I just copied it to paper. And it’s a little on the dark side, but whatever.

A Virtual Life

Virtual conception, procreated in a Petri dish, possibly from virtual parents who’ve never met. Virtual birth, broadcast live over the ‘net so that virutal family can share the ecitement of the blessed event without the inconvenience of travel of the annoyance of human interaction with real people.Virtual childhood: computers teaching pre-schoolers their ABC’s and 123’s, virtual playments living in the virtual world of the computer game.

 

Virtual education, from pre-school to post-doctorate, with teachers, professors, students, colleagues from the four corners of the world, all gathered in front of cameras and computers, sharing virtual ideas and imparting virtual knowledge, without ever having shared the same space, or breathed the same air.

Virtual communication with virtual friends: voice mail, e-mail, test messages sent and received without ever having met the real person behind the virtual images and virtual words.

Virtual friends, virtual lovers, virtual marriage, virtual sex, virtual entertainment, virtual addiction, virtual crime…virtual prison?

Virtual death: online condolences, paid by virtual acpuaintances who have no time or desire to physically comfort those who suffer an all-to-real grief.

Perhaps we just live forever, our virtual selves floating in virtual reality, with virtual pieces of our virtual existence roaming from one server to another without ever being purged, “ghosts in the machines.”

George Orwell wrote of the viewscreen, of the power it would have over society. And here we are.

Is there a real cure for our common virtual disease?

Does it even have a real name?Are we living a virtual life in a virtual world, or are we dead already?