Tag Archives: society

Me-llenials

The 70’s dude! A decade of confusion. A transition to dysfunction on a societal level that speaks to so much confusion today. The origin of the “me-llenial”! We just can’t seem to slow the train down long enough to see clearly, life is a blur.

I ain’t blaming women, You can’t really ever blame one group for a societies developmental dysfunctions, it takes a village. Woman however, changed the American family to a degree that no other facet of American life could. They went to work and had careers.

Woman in the 70’s responded to divorce rates, family structure, and economic autonomy by leaving the home and going to work. Prior to this time women as a whole stayed at home and maintained o home (which is not the same as a house) and raised children. Kindergarten was not yet a norm so children were at home until 6 years old learning in their homes and communities.

“Play dates” were an everyday thing. Cars with fathers pulled out of the driveway at 7am and the streets were filled with kids playing and Mothers talking. Naps were a necessity and at 4 or 5pm cars with fathers returned for dinner. This was the norm for most families.

I want to be clear that I’m not blaming woman. The economy was such that it became a necessity. Fathers either couldn’t make enough to maintain the middle class stature or just opted out and left for a loaf of bread never to return. Either way women had to step up and step out of the house for additional income.

There was no such thing as daycare, preschool, or head start. Most women relied on friends who used the babysitting money to supplement their own families income. A few daycares sprang up, but all you needed to be certified were a toy box, fire extinguisher, and a emergency services sticker next to your phone. This was not a great time for many children. In America.

These kids grew up to birth the “90 Babies” just around the technology boom. This generation of parents never were handed down the traditional parenting skills their parents experienced. Preschool, head start, and kindergarten became a norm and the main source of information for parenting.

These early childhood educators blurred the lines between children and students, even in some cases the authority over the child. Then the school starts to share the role of educator with raising children. So then we had parents educating their children while schools focused on their well being. Hell, everyone was confused.

So now we have the “me-llenials” and these babies are all confused. They can’t decipher whose role is what. The television and computer fill in the gaps with vulgarity and innuendo to the point sarcasm is viewed as a positive trait. Entertaining yourself through other folks pain is humorous, and drama within families is expected.

These babies are having babies and seem to be responding by wanting to do better than their parents or grandparents did. They track pregnancy from conception. They communicate at a level that’s painful for many older folks. They seem to see through the bullshit in a “this has been going on long enough” manner. On the front side of family life though, they are way out there.

These folks create genders, races, and cultures like apps on a smart phone. They experiment with all facets of life to an uncomfortable degree for many. This is what makes social media so entertaining and dangerous. Socially, politically, and culturally there are no safeguards to protect us from the degradation we see. Truth becomes subjective, reality is what you make it, and authority is viewed as a negative facet of life.

We can’t fix this overnight. This is gonna take a minute. There are many uncomfortable moments ahead. Now is the time for candor, not to be confused with being blunt. It’s a time for a leader, but they’re rare. It’s a time for honesty. Most importantly it’s a time for families to retreat to the dinner table and say “hold up”, we need to take a step back and evaluate what we’re doing. We need to reaffirm our roles as parents, children, and siblings. Before we go out that door again and step out into this dysfunction. We need to tighten up and reestablish and reaffirm what we stand for. No more co dependent relationships built on cultural fantasies.

It’s not over, but that rolls both ways. Americans are families. We are independent and proud. We are philanthropic at the lowest socio economic strata. We believe life is bigger than us. We need to start acting like that or the America that our grandparents rocked will be rolled right into a ditch.

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Birds of a feather

I wonder if the parrot, so high browed and elite, understands what the finch sees from lower heights. The larger effort required to build small nests hidden from an abundance of predatory natures largely goes unnoticed by their illustrious sounding brethren who sit high atop the canopy looking down, but seeing nothing.

With a splash of color they take to the wind with the sound of music and grace to show the beauty of nature while the dull gray existence of the finch continues his labors with flittering glances. Nervous, but industrious, and annoyed at the attention those colors bring to their station.

It’s meticulous and time consuming building these temporary futures. Year after year picking up the remnants of generations gone by and weaving those memories into this years hopes while the privileged beauty of nature sits high above the canopy unaware of the dangers the common bird flees, but oh one day!

Trees fall, as do characters. Chaos ensues and soon the beauty is a liability when the forest is bare, no heights to travel and the nets have no conscious. Soon fates tangle and colorful wings intertwined with perfectly formed squares hold time still and the tree tops are memories that break the spirit or forge the will.

In the market the finch flitters in its cage looking for a way out while the parrot sits still mocking “Hello’s” for a laugh and a meal. Not content, but accepted of his new position. Not quite a pet, but not a prisoner, willing to eat from the hand of his captor for his meager existence in his lower stature.

Oh, but the finch scoffs at such weakness and flits and screeches till it’s wings molt and his captor is tired of cleaning cages and noisy occupants. Evicted, he happily flits and flies through alleys and streets high above the caged beauty of his domesticated brother. One last glance and their eyes meet, sympathy meets jealousy, and off they go, one to glory and the other a prisoner of his own stature.

Eternally he sits atop a wooden perch inside tightly knit metal squares wondering of the beauty of freedom. While the brethren returns to the brush to start anew the time tested heritage of hard work and subtle songs as background noise to those that unknowingly sacrifice theirselves through vain efforts and gaudy displays of character.

Time does tell lies and truths, and space gives a false sense of security, but thought gives will wings.

Leaders of the Free World

Is America still a free country? There are many answers to this complex question. The fact that we’re asking this question reveals much about the barrage of attempts over the centuries to define America, which in many cases is separate from the American.

The origin of America was built by independent individuals seeking liberty from a dysfunctional system of hierarchal tyranny. The men and woman who founded America were here before the “patriots” came together to politicize freedom. They obviously didn’t want to be bothered with a country and the political dysfunction that comes with those folks. Managing a farm with rudimentary tools and limited knowledge of the land would be enough to keep many folks busy.

Today we have a hard time remembering that in the not so distant past politics and America did not inundate our day. We weren’t saturated with the guile that comes from a life of compromising everything from morals to men. It was even more so for the folks who founded the concepts with which America was formed. Politics were a necessary evil that good men took time out to resolve before moving back to the real work of living.

The same was true of the real patriots who served as soldiers in the revolutionary war. They left their homes to fight for the liberty to live a life without politics and governing. Inadvertently this was a fight for America, but liberty and freedom for all was the real goal. These folks would probably shake their head at the American and the America of today, both would be unrecognizable.

You have twits out there spending literally a lifetime in public office sending dollars and sense out the window like confetti on the 4th of July. These folks are dysfunctional by the nature of their endeavors. We know that truth, integrity, and other moral concepts that keep folks standing upright looking others in the eye are foreign to them. However; we tune in to the drama constantly on some form of media. We tune in for the entertainment value.

These characters put America in peril. The American can survive, but the country can unravel like the chemical queens and pasty patsies who pretend they’re running something. Presidents don’t win wars, warriors win wars. Politicians don’t create jobs, business men create jobs. The government doesn’t provide services, the workin mans taxes take care of the less fortunate. Yet time after time we hear about bills with names attached to them, acts attributed to presidents, or resolutions by congress that have roots in some Americans pasture. Politicians talk about what Americans are doing and use those efforts to further their ambitions to stay in office, rather than in the field where hands get dirty and shirts soiled.

The closest we get to an American in our political theater today is either a manicured menace who had a grandfather who climbed a ladder, or a third generation immigrant who thinks because their grandparents crossed an ocean or a river they have swimming in their veins. The reality is the original American politician stood tall on his own efforts using his hands to create a nation.

Today these type of folks are rare. I’m not sure I’ve even seen one outside of my military service, and those men wouldn’t put up with the drama. We’re in a leadership crisis and it’s gonna take a generation or so for the necessary callouses to harden the hands that today have crooked fingers from playing make believe with a controller and a fantasy.

Freedom has eroded alongside leadership. We now have a couple generations of folks that cry out for regulation, laws, and conditions upon all facets of our life. They can’t solve their own problems or rise above their own inefficiency. This is the pool we’re swimming, or drowning in, depending on your point of view.

We need strength to be free. There will be folks pushing back against the strength necessary to pull us out of this hole because today’s citizens believe they need to be governed.

Any leader understands if you start hard, when you ease up those following you will be more receptive. Our problem is we’ve been weak and now to get hard on the folks who’ve gained in this environment will only produce a gaggle of grown folks acting out like kids who lost the controller to their favorite game. Don’t believe me, just look around.

I Hope!

Hope is a double edge sword tempered by fear and sharpened by faith. It matters not what we know, or learn, or experience. It only matters that we feel we deserve the possibility of brighter days and calmer nights.
Tempered emotions see through feelings of doubt. It’s the trepidation that guide each step silently through the crowds of reality. Desolate figures strewn throughout rubbles streets boil grease slicked water for a blessing.
Looking for a sign through hundred yard stares, hoping, not sure whether the sun is beating down on your back or shine down on your life. Then rain washes away the doubt leaving you shivering with the reality that hope is lonely.
Lonely in a sea of faces and exhaust that pollute the air revealing your soul in grey shadows on graffiti drawn walls. Your thoughts dwell behind the fragmented words that leap off the wall with anger. How can you lose hope to the point anger is soothing.
In this twisted state of emotion you sit in the filth of one hundred souls shedding their spirit for noodles and a God who gives that one chance to cleanse your soul and stand tall in the face of poverty.
It’s not the grime or the hunger that hides hope. It’s not the clothes or the state that sees hope is possible. It’s the mind that says “one more step is a step closer to something, and something id better than nothing”!
I hope!

College Football Participation Award

So, the whole SEC, Big Ten playoff dilemma says says a lot about the denigration of our morality. The real problem for me is it makes sense to most people. The playoff system in college football is not a playoff system is what I hear and see.

Take the NFL for instance. How many championships would each team have if we followed the obscure method the that college football follows. More importantly what does it say about the “comeback kid”!

The privileged class in America is in control of our country, our sports, our entertainment, etc… There is something being said when someone can look back at a body of work (Ohio State) and portray their efforts as less because they lost a couple games early. Folks believe that should eliminate them from competition. Never mind that they came back and overcame the problems they had and continued to strive for excellence winning their championship game.

I’ve told my kids for years that if you get an “A” on your class work you didn’t learn anything. Getting an “A” means you already knew the information. The belief that getting something wrong and going back to try harder is no longer a part of our emotional beliefs in America.

This is true in academics, sports, employment. It extends into healthcare, justice, and military situations as well. Stay with me a minute cause it all ties together, trust me.

Now I’m not an Ohio State fan, I’m a Georgia and Alabama fan. In fact, I’d go as far as to say Auburn should have been placed above Ohio State using the current method of reasoning. It only makes sense that a team who beat 2 of the top 4 teams should be one of the top 4 teams, and I’m no Auburn fan.

My belief is if you win the games to get you to the top, then lose the top game to get the championship, your out. You didn’t win. Any team can be beaten on any day given the right circumstances. This is not the college football logic.

Because Alabama “participated” and has a history of getting “A”’s on the field they were advanced past a team that won their championship. I won’t mention the PAC 12 because then it really gets confusing.

The real obvious point for me is not football, that’s a game. However, nationally there are at least half of the nation that believe this makes sense. To say you don’t win your out seems to harsh. This may or may not be true in America today. That’s scary.

Even scarier is that “the come back” is no longer admirable or valuable to half of us. Participating and talking the loudest about when you did perform is more valid evidence of a champion.

If athletes and citizens start to believe “the comeback” has no value, and that some folks deserve opportunities more than others based on criteria other than effort we’re in trouble.

For me it’s simple. Win your division, go to the championship. Lose your division, try harder next year. The fact this seems harsh is beyond me. The term “deserving” is emotional. We don’t always get what we deserve and that’s life.

I’m still an “underdog” kinda guy. I don’t follow sports religiously, but enjoy football, basketball, and the fights. The individuals and teams that almost made it are my champions. They we’re up, then down in their efforts and made no excuse for their losses other than taking responsibility.

To make exceptions to make a champion doesn’t even make sense when you say it out loud. It could be true that the slowest child in a race put more effort in a race than the fastest child. It is also true that given the right motivation, training, and attitude the slowest child can train and become the champion through effort. Equally true is the child could train hard, eat right, and focus hard, only to lose again. There no shame in this, not everyone can be the best everyday.

The true champion battles adversity and overcomes deficits to be the best any given day. Making exceptions for what you’ve accomplished in the past just says you were the best once. It doesn’t mean you’re the best forever. It doesn’t mean you have more heart than others. It doesn’t mean you get a pass when you fail. It means you competed, and that’s the point we’re dulling.

We have to battle this “participation award” mentality. These folks have grown up, (questionably) and are not running business, buying tickets and jerseys, even running the country. If this attitude spills over into our governmental or business models we’re in trouble. We’ll have a privileged class that buries anyone with an exception into the bowels of an underclass. “Oh, Waite a minute, damn I’m too late!”

Free Spirit

I choke on plastic words creating packaged sentiments of empathy or condolence. Lies slither through cracks in the walls of closets and basements like smoke through an open window. Where do you live in a reality where nothing is real.

To know the truth but carry it buried in the pocket of a smoker wrapped in wolf’s bane for fear of it catching wind. For fear that the others will know and suddenly the scrim will melt away like embers in a moonlit breeze. What would we say, now naked and free, no cloaks to hide our intent. How would we continue without truth layered in embers, but blazing with glory in the dark of night.

These facades have taken on a life of their own trapping us within characters we no longer recognize, but can’t escape. Trapped, breathing though porous masks that suffocate a souls yearning to be free, dying to be released. Is death our only truth and birth no more than awakening to contrived realities dished out in plastic stages of development for the benefit of the play.

We fear nature for its truths. We hide in clothes, houses, and careers dreaming of freedom from it all. We dream of The freedom to be wild and human, compassionate and forgiving in a world without lies.

We fall to our knees looking up to a God who doesn’t recognize us because we hide beneath layers of decay for decades serving a different purpose. A faint pulse beats under a black heart starved of the blood and air nature demands. No one hears the rhythm or feels the life that screams to be judged.

I can no longer breathe the air that’s so polluted with purpose and intent I gag with each breath through constricted lungs. How can I free my soul to meet my spirit before the last breath leads me to a land promised by a bat wearing a doves feathers. I want to live before I die.

I want to overcome the clothes I’ve been given to wear as a child that fashioned my tunic for another mans dream. I want to overcome banners and parchments that hang on dilapidated walls and rusted poles. These shackled dreams of men kept me from wandering free where my God would show me mercy and resolve like Job and his ashes.

I have faith that though I was removed from God at birth I can feel His presence in the absence of the humanity I reside. Everything here is gray and steel, stale and stagnant like ponds of nuclear waste in a forest of deciduous trees permanently dormant. It’s the distant shrill of one lone cardinal that affirms my hope.

My banners are fabric, my honor is defined by laws, and my faith stands alone surrounded by lies. I am made to think. My places of worship have locks and flood lights illuminating signs with catchy slogans selling faith for tithes. It is in the wilderness where truth awaits, where God reveals his majesty, not within rooms decorated for posterity. A forest of mirrors reflecting man’s arrogance and contempt for God’s power and presence is just a step away.

So now I live outside myself. For my body may be imprisoned in this nightmare, but my mind is free to travel the earth searching for a handshake or a hug with the warmth of blood.

My hood drawn loose I walk narrow paths avoiding the noise and smoke from distant fires. My path is lit with the spirits of those gone before me. The spirits of men who walked alone with the weight of the world on their mind. I see with my heart and listen with my mind for signs of life, but the world is static and I was born robbed fluid.

Fear of the Huddled Masses

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”. “We the people….”.
I could fill a book with patriotic phases, but that’s not my purpose. I am an American. I am a Veteran. I am a Christian. I am a Georgian. I am these things by choice, I’m other things also, but those choices weren’t the best ideas.

I read where some folks want me to be white. Some for unity others for divisive purposes. I didn’t chose this and don’t consider it a defining characteristic. Some would say I can’t chose to not be “white”, it’s a “privilege” I was born with. I don’t play that game and make no excuses or advantage for who I am. I wasn’t raised like that, and I was raised in the segregated north. The one where a few charismatic “civil rights” narcissists created a plastic legacy on the backs of a few good men of different colors. Yeah, I said it.

Some would say I’m a convict. That was the bad choice. I’ll live with the scars of that choice, but that label is yours. I’m an honest man who made a dishonest choice and the consequences are a life sentence for me and others, but don’t get it twisted dude, it’s safer for everyone involved if folks heal, understand, and move on, together or separately. You don’t want a society of folks living in the past, trust me.

Some folks would call me a misogynist. I don’t have no androcentric view of the world. Most of the folks around me would call me courteous. That’s because I’ll carry the heavier grocery sack. I’ll open the door for another person. I’ll compliment an attractive woman. I don’t focus on my strength or a woman’s femininity to bolster a masculine view for myself. I like woman who like men and men that like woman. If you don’t that’s cool, I’ll still open the door for you and greet you.

Some folks would call me poor. I don’t have a lot of possessions or any aspirations to be what some folks consider rich. I do have folks that love me. I do love the folks in my circle. My idea of wealthy would be a good days work with my “old lady”, a long lunch laughing and kissing, followed by a dinner with an unexpected guest who overstays their welcome. No bills would be good, but we’ll make do.

I am an intelligent man. I can think, research, and teach myself like a good mechanic can keep an old car hummin. I ain’t fooled by titles or degrees, I’m a grown man. Those things have a purpose that’s largely designed to stratify society; they’re not an indication of leadership, morality, or intellect. For those of you smart enough to be uncomfortable in that strata, you can go it alone, in the end being a happy person helps more folks than any position or degree.

There are many “things” people could, and do, call me or classify me as. You may feel this way also. Just think for a minute as to why you’re being put into a particular box. Your life is divided up into a dichotomy of madness by folks you don’t know for purposes you don’t care for or benefit from.

Ask yourself why folks are so interested in your failures and successes, then look at who’s really trying to gain an advantage by segregating you from yourself and others. Once it’s obvious you can close the door on ignorance and get back to the table with folks who just want to share a meal and a laugh until the next visit.

You may be wondering about the huddled masses and we the people and how that fits in this rant. Well those statements and many others established in America are not androcentric. These statements were made by men who saw people through the prism of a cracked European heritage. They overcame that legacy intellectually even when they were unable to do so in their own lives in some cases. But they passed on in writing what was right.

They gathered at tables and on benches around the country and came to the same conclusion. Folks need to be free to live their lives as they chose as long as it doesn’t oppress someone else. They would be appalled at the dysfunctional dichotomy that folks have created to divide us. They would scratch their heads at the notion that “multiculturalism” would be considered a path to unite Americans.

They would be disappointed that Christians groveled to outside influence and question God rather than continuing to pray an act in the spirit of James. They would be angered that atheist have a voice in our morality with the history they have buried underneath false philosophical premises.

None of these folks want to sit around and talk. Technology has enabled us to communicate at a level we’re still not mature enough to understand. It’s a whole different game when you sit across the table from the person you’re talking to, and the folks who are dividing you understand that. They don’t like tables and porches, they hide in closets with a desk.