Monday, April 25, 2011

Turning On is A Turn-Off

There's a preponderance of images riding the airwaves and so little of it is satisfying an itch. It's like getting a craving for something but you're not sure exactly what you want. You're only sure what you don't --and I'm getting plenty of that.
This William & Kate thing is so ridiculously overkill that it borders on the obscene. Not every woman grows up with a princess fantasy and many who do were probably buried in pink and chiffon since birth and never moved on. (Makes it quite difficult for the man who falls in love with her to grant every desire, since there's no magic wand.)

W&K appear happy, it all sounds like grand fun but let's just wish them well and let it play out.  

I'm a grownup. I don't need such trivial distractions from the brutal realities of life by living vicariously through people across the pond and monitoring their every breath. Instead of insisting I wake up at 4am to watch something I can easily DVR or watch in clips ad infinitum, constructively inform me about things that matter! It's five days before the wedding; I've already turned off all local and national morning news shows and watching reruns of Frasier instead!

Really, just who is making the decisions these days? The news business has cut back by firing talented veteran news professionals the past few years. People who became honored and credible journalists dedicated to bringing quality news to viewers and readers for decades. The money saved has been invested instead in making sure we know what underwear Kate's wearing on wedding night.

It's deplorable.

In America alone, we are intricately involved/engaged in several major wars; $5 gas prices have quickly become the norm; tornadoes have destroyed entire towns; we have yet to determine the complete economic, environmental and humanitarian impact of Japan's earthquake and nuclear disasters; we are continually told the economy is improving but can't figure out what we're doing wrong because all our cutbacks aren't helping our families stay afloat financially; and beautiful young women are vanishing without explanation. Emerging us in the royal wedding is … insulting.

Here's my initial television wish list:

- Don't bury me in tearjerker scenarios by exploiting the disadvantaged

- Stop trying to convince me that "Cougar Town," "30 Rock," "Mad Love," "Mr. Sunshine," and "Parks & Recreation" are quality television. Overly frantic or pot-induced scenarios do not equal funny or entertaining.

- More first-run episodes of current programming. There are some shows on their third play of episodes that were new at season's start.

- Use your brain and don't cancel a show with as great potential and star power as "The Paul Reiser Show" after two runs. Yeah, it needs a bit of tweaking but it's got much better bones than 75% of anything else making an appearance these days. (Such a bone head, knee jerk reaction to pull it.)

- Stop taking the lowest common denominator of female and focusing on their despicably vile behavior, then make sure they receive millions of dollars and unending attention for the effort

- Tell me how to stay sane in the most frightening of economies; with the most apathetic of authorities; the least inattentive and uncooperative of vendors, salespeople and service people; and help us understand why the most vigorous of us are ready to collapse in a heap on the floor from all the stress.

Just in case you think I'm no youngster and not hip enough to know what's worth viewing, I watch more television across the board and generations than most. It's people my age who are still watching television these days and should have some consideration in programming content. My voice can't be the only one shouting.

All in A Word

My Great Grandmother Angelina Revellino used to say "Dolly* … No talka before you go, talka when you come back." It's something I've practiced all my life. Too bad there are many out there who don't.
Everyone is an armchair expert these days. They half-listen or half-read a line/comment and hastily react. They take another's inventory and think they've got them all figured out.

But here's the thing… You can't possibly know everything about anyone in a flash. Even the most open and transparent of individuals cannot be so easily analyzed.

There are many dangers in deciding to be the judge, jury and executioner of another human being. People who appear publicly confident often intimidate the insecure, who then fight for superiority by devising ways--often verbal--to control them. 

Unfortunately even the strongest individuals with a powerful persona can be emotionally left in a heap on the floor, courtesy of one key word. And I'm seeing it happen all around me more frequently. To people I care about very much.

Despite my position as a "believer," it is becoming abundantly clear that this world is not eager to change its negative path. It's just not all sunshine and rainbows. In reality, it never was—and likely never will be. But it can improve. It can be better.

People really need to step back a second, breathe, reevaluate the words BEFORE they leave their mouths and consider the impact and repercussions.

Normally I'm not much of a name-caller because I was pretty much a target in grammar school and its sting taught me that lesson. Fat kids don't usually fare well amongst their peers and I was no different. Because "Melissa" was an unusual name in the 60s, it was easy to transition the name to "Malaria." So when someone coined me as "Contagious Malaria" in fourth grade, it caught on quickly. No one was to touch me or come near me, lest they too face "the wrath of the bullies."  

Don't feel sorry for me, it's not the first time I was called a name and it certainly wasn't the last. I shed a fair amount of tears and let it keep me down for a while but there are benefits to being determined and thickheaded. So eventually I moved on and forward.

The name calling to my face and behind my back certainly didn't end in childhood. Actually it continues to this day. Now that weight is less of an issue in my life, people just find other names to call me, citing other reasons.

The human psyche is very delicate. I have a better than average understanding of psychology because of my gig writing and editing text. But even by viewing a few episodes of "Criminal Minds," it's not difficult to see that the person who seems to be in total control can become unraveled by a "final straw" (trigger).

The bottom line is that another's head is not your stomping ground. You don't like it when it happens to you. But then you turn around and do it to somebody else. It's a cycle of abuse, pure and simple.

The additional fragility lies in the reality that everybody needs to feel connected. When a target has made their primary anchor and identity related to a social media site or bulletin board or organization, it's hard to deprogram and move on if their intent and popularity there is focused upon by the jealous, mean and/or unstable.

So I say to those of you who love purely and give freely of yourselves to others with good intent: Keep the following in mind when another's words start crowding your head and inhibiting your progress.

-Most of the time, it's really not about you at all. It's about them and their insecurities.

-"What others think of us is none of our business."

-Life is a learning experience. "Take what you need and leave the rest" … "Use it or lose it."

-A thread of truth does not weave the fabric of our lives—or our future.

-Diminish the power of abuses past by refusing to allow them to continually control our today.

-Devalue the impact of words intended to hurt so you can continue your mission.

-Stay pure of heart and intent. Leaders don't follow crowds mired in negativity.

-If it was all meant to be easy, there would be no joy in accomplishing life's challenges.

-Go where there is love and support; repel hostility, negativity, doubt.

-Continue to emanate that beauty from within. It shines. It pervades. It rejuvenates and empowers.

-Stay on course; it will really piss the meanies off. Their impact dissipates with each unkind word.

*That's how Great Grandma said "Darling" in her broken English. (She emigrated from Italy and returned there before she died.)