Life in the Now

{Although a bit stale, here is a bit from a NY times article published March 15th of last year}

 

Article’s Title: ‘The Shame Culture’ (speaking of ‘life’ via the internet these days)

“……….people are extremely anxious that their group might be condemned or denigrated. They demand instant respect and recognition for their group. They feel some moral wrong has been perpetrated when their group has been disrespected, and react with the most violent intensity.

Crouch describes how video gamers viciously went after journalists, mostly women, who had criticized the misogyny of their games. Campus controversies get so hot so fast because even a minor slight to a group is perceived as a basic identity threat.

The ultimate sin today, Crouch argues, is to criticize a group, especially on moral grounds. Talk of good and bad has to defer to talk about respect and recognition. Crouch writes, “Talk of right and wrong is troubling when it is accompanied by seeming indifference to the experience of shame that accompanies judgments of ‘immorality.’”

 

I should point out that a writer with the NY Times was touting (in a positive light) an article that was ultimately published in Christianity Today……heck, that’s worth noting alone!

I find it funny (if not bizarre) that there are no more ‘fringe’ groups anymore!  Every group/clique/cluster-of-minimally-meaningful-weirdos has now been legitimized via the digital ocean.

 

 

A notable figure

Love him or hate him, Lyndon Johnson was President of the U.S. during an important time in our country’s history. I have (quite distantly, mind you) some odd links to Johnson:

I. While serving in the Army (as a Chaplain Asst.) during 1987-1990, we took a field trip to Johnson City, Texas to visit his childhood home. Just off the front porch, there was a long bench, cut at a right angle where his mother (who taught Speech) would lecture her students. Johnson gave his first political speech while standing on that porch to a gathering of people. Reportedly, when he turned around (seeking a nod of approval from his mother), she said, ‘If your speaking doesn’t get any better than that, you’ll never go anywhere in politics.’

II. During the early 1990’s, I worked part-time at a nursing home located near the campus of Tyler Junior College. One of our patients there, a very smart elderly lady who’d worked many years as a school teacher said her sister went to college with Johnson. She told me numerous times how her sister joked that Johnson never had a pencil when he came to class, and would have to bum one from his classmates.

III. Some time after that, while working for a mental health agency in Tyler, I worked with a guy who was the Director of Operations for the Peace Corps in Micronesia during the late 60’s. Johnson was VERY DEVOTED to the Peace Corps. This guy mentioned a time when Johnson was on a huge recruitment push for them and told one of their top brass during a big meeting, ‘Over the next two days, when I walk past your office, I’d better see a phone up to your ear.’

All, this to say:  this article  rings LOUDLY with me.  We (and yes, I mean WE) talk about Donald Trump’s braggadocio and what-not, but Johnson (devout Democrat) was no wall flower!

UC Berkeley riots night: Globalist dupes on parade

UC Berkeley riots last night: Globalist dupes on parade Shutting down free speech at the home of the Free Speech Movement The speaker canceled: Milo Yiannopoulos: gay, anti-Left by Jon Rappoport Fe…

Source: UC Berkeley riots night: Globalist dupes on parade

do not agree with everything this guy writes, but this article made me stop and think for a bit.

Blasted……..

So, I’ve had a lot of things happen over the past several months. Oddly, most of the ‘bad’ things really haven’t happened to me (in my personal life)…..it’s just stuff in my professional life etc. Last week, I testified in a divorce proceeding (that was also a custody situation as well) for a long-time friend/co-worker. The whole business lasted ALL DAY. I was so exhausted when I got home……it was a beating. This, after spending quite a few-dozen-hours on the phone with said friend over the past few months (not complaining…..just takes a lot out of you)……in the lead-up to this giant event. You know, maybe I would have NEVER wanted to be an attorney…..that stuff is rough, man. It was such a sad, painful event…….but in the end, my friend ended up with custody and they’re divorced…..it’s over. He gets child support, too…….not a lot, but it’ll help.

Something small….

I read an article today (at LinkedIn) about a manager refusing to engage in ‘Stack Ranking’ of employees. It was a good article, and although I’d heard of it, I was really unaware of how the practice worked. I work for a state agency, and I’ve heard that it’s been used here (but heck, raises come so infrequently around here, period….that it rarely even comes up!)

But, it made me remember something I used to do when I worked in healthcare administration. I used to like to do the old ‘Memo’ containing ‘Supervisor’s Expectations’ with many of my employees. It wasn’t ‘negative’ per se, or really even meant to be ugly, but now, with many years of life and working under my belt, I’ll say this: I wouldn’t do that kind of crap nowadays….I just wouldn’t. If you’re a good manager, and you know how to motivate people, just through talking and chatting, your people should know what’s expected of them…..without a silly memo.

It’s demeaning and as a minimum, pedestrian, to treat your people like that.

Just throwing out some gratitude

I work in Texas. Child Protective Services is really in the news these days around these parts. We read lots of things (positive AND negative) about families and children in the press since an (apparent) need for more spending in that department is present.

This is silly…..but I just feel grateful for all the good things my Mom did for me when I was a kid. I really miss her…..she died many years ago. But I just really miss her and wish I could hug her and tell her ‘thank you’ today for all the great stuff she did for me while I was growing up. The music lessons, the money for school trips, the clothes, the cooking, the shopping, the doctor/dentist/orthodontist visits, church, weekends, hugs, laughter, an attentive ear…….and so much more. Thank you, Mom. I miss you every day. When you were alive, I thanked you…..several times……but I just wish I could do so VERY LOUDLY today, right here where I am.

Clown sightings:Here’s my hot take

First, a teeny bit of back story……..I am really into haunts! I love going to haunted attractions, etc. Long story short, I invested in a VERY GOOD custom made mask for my son this Halloween season…….creepy doll/zombie kinda-thing…..trust me…..creepy. So, the other day, my daughter decides to stage a ‘clown sighting’ in our yard…..with him wearing said mask, hiding behind a big trash can……and she videos it from her room, while feigning shock and fear. She sent it out (via Snapchat) to her peeps. No biggie, right? So, her friends were a little freaked out and that’s about it.

But, later I tried to counsel her (maybe not as well as I should have) about fanning internet-based mass hysteria. The internet is FILLED with hysteria……most things going ‘viral’ is nothing more than an example of that very thing (not always, just most of the time). I like to say, ‘On the internet, he who is most offended gets the most attention.’ Later, she was asking me about the ‘clown sightings’ phenomenon. She really hadn’t heard much about it, and I knew it’d been bubbling over about the preceding 10 days or so. So, I told her about the Bermuda Triangle thing. Where the researchers took about 5 random spots on the map, and just drew triangles……and guess what? There were loads of ships/planes that’d gone down inside EACH and every one of those areas!

Yes, there may be an uptick in ‘clown’ sightings. Possibly, one factor (I believe) is the modern prevalence of excellent clown masks! One can put on/take off a mask within just a few seconds…….”Look, I’m a creepy clown. Oooooo, now I’m not!” But, people see weird and creepy things ALL THE TIME! In the 70’s, it was UFO’s. In the 80’s it was Satanic ritual sites deep in the woods. I ran across a pretty cool article today on CNN with some pretty cool stuff…..give it a read!

http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/05/health/creepy-clowns-rumors-trnd/index.html