Living Through News

We wake up each morning to news stories that really make you think.  Today was a mix of banned bake sales, solar flares, thwarted bomb plots and cheating politicians.  Some of these are new and some are not, still they can capture our attention.

I often wonder if the world is safe or if freedom will ever truly be realized again.  I won’t go into politics because that spells disaster and I’m not necessarily looking for a debate, but I simply fear for the future at times.  But I think generations through time did this as well.  Haven’t you read classic literature that ponders and fears over changes in society?

I don’t want to live in fear.  I see bomb plots uncovered, only to recognize how advanced terrorism is, and how my family is very much their target, because we are all American.

I want to believe that if I have kids, that I can teach them healthy eating habits and still bake a pie to raise money for a carnival.

I know to never trust a politician.  If you think they are dishonest going in, there is less room for disappointment.  Hell, I think our mayor even looks slimey.

Solar flares that can knock out power grids.  Well, I don’t doubt that these sort of events have happened over time, but with our advancements, life is just more complicated as we try to make it easier.  I want to live knowing that I can survive without my computer or my cell phone if I had to.  If I had to live off my land or have a community of smart and innovative people, I’d like to think we could get by the way people did for thousands of years before us.  Still I know some people who would cry if they lost their phone charger.

I’m a news addict.  I read all I can and I listen to all I can, from all different sources and opinionated perspectives.  I like to form my own judgments and perspectives while I put faith where I know it counts; in myself and the people I can count on.  No, we aren’t perfect, but I know they have my back and I have theirs.  I can’t trust anyone else in the world to care for me.

Adulterers in Romantic Comedies Don’t Do it For Me

Whether we like to or not, there are well known people in the world that we simply like, let’s call them celebrities.  The reasons could be for any reason really; they could remind you of your favorite relative, they are simply gorgeous to gawk at or you adore their body of work.  I tend to want to get to know people well when I like them.  I don’t think this is very uncommon, but when I admire the work of a celebrity, I sometimes reading about them and discovering the (wo)man behind the magic.  Maybe it is the investigative part of me.  The tricky thing is to learn for fun and not actually think you know them because a few articles were read.  We also can’t invest ourselves in a person we don’t know.  This is what happens to the stalkers and teen idol fans.

A good friend of mine from years ago loved tabloids and the who’s who of Hollywood.  We both enjoy kitschy humor, goofy characters and pretty much any witty comedy.  We would quote Seinfeld on a regular basis because so much of the humor fit into daily life and I remember telling her that Julia Louis-Dreyfus was going to be on one of the late night shows.

“I won’t watch it” she said.  “But she’s your favorite, why?” I asked her.

She went on to explain that whenever she develops a fondness for a character or an actor, she refuses to watch anything which presents the actual personality of the actor/actress.  She explained that if they said something that rubbed her the wrong way or if she saw them in a different light than what she envisioned in her mind, it would ruin the entertainment part of it.  I thought it was a little silly at first, but looking back, I can’t say I disagree.

The last thing I want to do is create a political debate, but I find that when celebrities that I’d typically really enjoy on screen, back politicians I don’t support or if they make bad choices in general, it really does affect my enjoyment of their work.  I guess I should elaborate.  The guys and gals of Hollywood who cheat on their spouses, I just have a difficult time seeing them in romantic roles after that.  Ashton Kutcher for example, used to be a goofy, sort of cute Midwest guy who I now see as a sleaze ball.  Don’t try to reel me into a romantic comedy about how he is the down and out guy who needs love but keeps getting rejected.  I won’t buy into it.  And I could care less about Demi Moore mind you, I just won’t be able to believe the characters they intend to portray.

This is stupid for several reasons, because:

A)     We are all entitled to our own beliefs and lifestyles, as you and I are.

B)      Why I believe they need to appease my feelings so I watch their show is beyond me.

C)      They are just people who should not be glorified in any way, anyway.

Now, trust me when I say that I do not glorify celebrities, particularly since I don’t have the time to sit down and watch enough pop culture to really know who half the celebrities are today as it is.  But I think because I’m a realist, I just like to see people for who they are.  I have a very difficult time letting them trick me into believing they are an alternate character.  I don’t know if I’m proud of that or I’m just a fool for simply not taking entertainment for exactly what it is supposed to be; entertainment.

This is the cheesiest post I’ve ever written.  If my main complaint today is that I can’t envision a romantic comedy with the lead played by an adulterer, life must be pretty good.

Photos courtesty of catalogs.com and Star magazine.

Were Colonial Politics Any Different?

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Tonight, I watched the State of the Union Address, rather, #SOTU in the Twitter age. Hell, if Twitter will get our country talking about politics and something other than a Kardashian, I’m all for social media.

When I watch Democrats and Republicans, so divided, I wonder what our Founding Fathers would think. They too had drastically divided ideas about what our Nation should be, but I wonder if it ever felt like this. Would the Continental Congress drag progression out so far that the Declaration of Independence would have dried and curled up without a smattering of ink?

Did colonials speak freely or did politically correct conversation exist even then? Did they tack leaflets to their carriages condemning Democrats or the Whigs?

We know that the relationship between Benjamin Franklin and his son, the Governor of New Jersey, was severed on the argument of Independence versus Loyalty. We know that Colonial Americans had strong feelings and aspirations; a feeling of new patriotism with dreams for a future of forward thinking.

Today, will Americans truly voice their opinions, without fear of social slander, without ridicule for their beliefs? Will we fight for what we believe in?

Watching tonight, both the President and the Republican response, the American political atmosphere simply feels stalled.  I’d love to be naive sometimes, jump on a bandwagon and feel giddy with optimism because this speech touted positivity and aspirations. It just doesn’t feel as though it’s a matter of the country growing and progressing any longer, but simply a halfhearted attempt to stop slipping backward. It’s like trying to grasp pedaling your bicycle as a kid; you lose your footing and the pedals just keep swinging up and smacking into your shins.

As the wife of a Veteran and the youngest in long line of many, I wish nothing more than success and Democracy for this country, which so many fought and died for. The first step is getting people to pay attention to more than the formulated celebrity facade the politicians use to sway opinions.  It’s not a popularity contest, it’s our future. It sounds dramatic because it is.

By the way, I take it back; I hope I’m never so naive that I stop questioning what is best for our country.