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Gotta Get Down On Friday, Friday…

This weekend people will lose their minds, then behave poorly, over the opportunity to purchase inexpensively priced electronics, clothing, jewelry, and toys. As a result, you’re probably expecting to hear a pastor or a church leader say something abrasive about a “consumer mindset” or human greed.

I’m not going to.

It’s not that people aren’t selfishly motivated to try to purchase their own satisfaction or that their ugly displays of entitlement don’t rankle my middle class sensibilities.

They really do.

I haven’t participated in the Black Friday feeding frenzy for nearly 9 years, but it isn’t because I’m taking a stand against something, or trying to make a point. I just don’t buy people televisions sets, digital cameras, or video game systems for Christmas.

I don’t have that kind of money to spend…

Which is interesting because if you look at the numbers in regards to consumer debt and bank card financing, neither do most of the other people who hit the stores early on Thanksgiving weekend in search of great deals.

While they may not have the money, they are willing to risk their future by buying on credit because Christmas is coming.

Christmas is the reason that they blow their budget. Christmas is the reason that they won’t be able to send their kid to college. Christmas is the resason that they decide to show their love for someone by purchasing them a… wait for it… Blu-Ray player or cell phone.

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A Pain In The Butt

Sometimes you read something so bizarre that you have to stop and wonder whether you are awake or having a having a ridiculously embellished lucid dream. You know what I’m talking about right? The dreams where the specificity of detail is so unsettling that you don’t forget them for years.

One time I so vividly dreamed that the closet door of my 4th-grade classroom actually led to my great-grandmother’s attic that I not only announced it to everyone when I woke up, but went to school fully expecting to access her place in Pennsylvania from a door in California.

You can understand the shock when, upon opening the closet, I discovered that the closet contained a partially assembled “Visible Woman” and a dilapidated, “wheel-around” medical skeleton.

I was disturbed, but didn’t flinch or scream because my great-grandma’s attic was much more frightening.

If you’ve never had the type of experience I’m talking about, try reading this portion of an Associated Press article I stumbled upon… and by “stumbled upon” I mean “eagerly clicked on when it popped up on the Yahoo sidebar”:

“Several possible victims have come forward alleging a woman posing as a Florida doctor and promising buttocks enhancement pumped their behinds with a toxic concoction of cement, superglue and flat-tire sealant”

It gets worse…

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Foregone Conclusions

When Demi Moore announced her impending divorce from Ashton Kutcher, by way of a publicist’s statement to the Associated Press, what wasn’t surprising was that the 6-year union between a young man and the middle-aged mother of three ended; it was how revealing “the way it was announced” was.

At 49, Demi demonstrated that she is a product of the culture created by Baby Boomers when she made an announcement about her “Traditional Values” by traditional means:

“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I have decided to end my six-year marriage to Ashton. As a woman, a mother and a wife there are certain values and vows that I hold sacred, and it is in this spirit that I have chosen to move forward with my life…”

Not lost in her statement is the insinuation that the divorce is happening because “someone” didn’t share in the sacred nature of their vows.

At 33, Ashton revealed that his worldview is squarely informed by a now fading GenX paradigm. His reliance on technology to get his message out led him to Twitter:

“I will forever cherish the time I spent with Demi,” Kutcher tweeted. “Marriage is one of the most difficult things in the world and unfortunately sometimes they fail.”

Tweeting about his divorce isn’t Kutcher’s biggest problem.

At first glance, What sounds like heartfelt expression of “something” is actually a clever attempt to sidestep culpability.

Without attempting to heap abuse on an already unravelling and embarrassing situation it has to be pointed out that “marriages” never fail, people do.

Our all too human attempts to place the responsibility for our failures at the feet of organizations, institutions, and agreements reveals that we’ll go to great lengths to distance ourself from failure… even when that failure is our own.

Haven’t you ever done something like this?

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