Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How to Handle Holidays

There are many ways to approach the festive season. First, one must determine his/her/its holiday goal.

If you want to fuel your anxiety, and raise your level of misery, then watch all the TV ads and insist to yourself that your life be just like the guy who gives the woman the 20k diamond bracelet, like the family who has a big fireplace in a stately home and whose members are all good looking, well dressed and smiley. Convince yourself you must shower all with gifts beyond your paygrade or you are admitting failure and the world will end. Once you have spent some weeks soaking up the ads, comparing yourself in a less than favorable light, spend the rest of the season getting rip roaring drunk, especially at inopportune times, like when your kids wake up on Christmas morning, or when it is time to stand up the tree and decorate it.

If you want to enjoy the season, then just hope you have the good sense to appreciate the friends and family you have, the cleverness to not lead them to expect gifts and bribes which you can't afford, and the sense to know that good people appreciate it when whatever they do for you is accepted graciously with sincere gratitude.

It is mostly a choice. If your kids are being raised by peers, public school and TV, you are probably screwed. Resign yourself to the fact that they will be disappointed and have no clue what you are talking about if you try to discuss what is real and what really matters. Too late. You should have raised the little munchkins yourself.

If you aren't married, it is often a great stress reliever to break up with the current squeeze prior to Thanksgiving. That way you don't have someone placing uncomfortable expectations upon you. Especially if it is a female who is fond of jewelry store commercials. Get a big poster which expresses outrage at blood diamonds, or something like that. My view is that diamonds and those who promote them are the devil. Nothing good can come of the path they push.

You know you have trained your loved ones well if you can give them each a gift wrapped raisin and they react with a smile and a hug, telling you how happy they are you could be with them for the holidays.

Believe it or not, I think I actually have come very close to achieving that. The last part. You could never get away with that if you have kids in the picture. Hmmm. Maybe some of this explains why I am single. Oh well, my blood pressure is low and I know what it is like to be with the wrong person, so single is by no means the worst condition one can experience.

This is going to be a great Christmas season. I can see it now.

Generations and Quality and I Don't Know

You hear all this "greatest generation" talk because, in England, they were tougher than nails while the Germans were bombing them to pieces, after they naively pretended that there was nothing to worry about. A little friendly diplomacy would do the trick and peace would reign from now on.

For our part, we managed to bail out England, France, plus others, and a bunch of Asian crap as well. I doubt we will ever know the exact 100% truth about any of it. People who read a lot of history often think they know it all, but judging from more recent events and twisted way it is viewed, I doubt the most elegant, leather bound, heavily footnoted tome is going to adequately explain how and why people are moved en masse to blow each other to bits in any given instance.

I've been skeptical when it comes to calling my father's generation "the greatest generation" because they are the ones who gave us baby boomers, the suburban culture of cheating husbands and wives, ideas like "driving is a privilege", a petty sense of status and false pride based on nonsense, did I mention that they produced the baby boomers?

But in their defense they still had remnants of the idea that quality matters, and that one should at least revere values like honesty (regardless of one's practice of such principles), hard work, inventiveness, respect for others, etc. Men shouldn't hit women, and you definitely weren't supposed to call them bitch, whore (before we gave in to the ignorant who think it is said and spelled Ho), brag about the number of baby mommas we have around town. Idiocy may have been practiced to some degree, but it wasn't revered by that bunch.

The baby boomers are the ones who made the worship of total nonsense an art form. It began pretty early on in the game and the parents of the boomers played enough of a role.

When you really think of it, what actual value, what crumb of constructive idea, thought or action did James Dean represent? A confused and spoiled teen ager full of angst? Who cares? But the greatest and the boomers turned depressing anxiety into genius and role model. I can't say I believe James was reasonably either. He was famous.

I'm not just picking on JD here. Just trying to make the point. Maybe it explains why you call up a place and get run through computerized madness, and the quality of service is no good at all. Here we have all the technology which is supposed to make providing products and services easier, more efficient, cheaper, better, and all it serves to do is depersonalize both customer and vendor, and results in bad experience.

People who can think past the normal expected view at any given time saw this coming. I'm not talking about those who think invention, flight, and birth control are evil. I'm talking about those who create, but see how good things get put to bad use. It is not the fault of computers that they've been used to place a barrier between consumer and supplier rather than enhance communication. They work great when it comes to buying, but beyond that they are the wall. It needn't be that way. It is a bastardized view of business and capitalism that leads to that. I've worked for those people. They don't know it can be done honestly. Shallow pricks.

It is not the fault of technology that those who seek to rule use it to take freedom while telling the gullible baby boomers and their offspring it will make them safe and cozy. People have suckered for lies and accepted that they need others to lead them for so long that they accept any garbage thrown their way, especially if they can maybe get a dollar out of it, or be classed as a potential victim. Brats.

It is typical of current and past generations whose hypocrisy has become a cultural lie that must be believed. Like the flower children--all peace and love, innocence and honesty. Hell no. Flower children were and are, for the most part, greedy little brats who supplied the most love and piece to whomever had the drugs, the cool van, etc. And they were no more non-violent in the long run than the occupy wallstreet crowd.

There was a kernel of creativity and sense which got lost in the process. The "movement" was peppered heavily with phonies. And idiocy was revered. I remember hearing people self-righteously proclaim in that stoner, semi-valley girl tone, "Eiu, mon, I dewnt rally doo logic. I'm more in to feeling and intooition, like y'knoo mon" WTF? Ever try to reason and make a point without logic and to someone who does "not do" logic?

Anyway. If you wonder why your company and other companies are always halfway dishonest, and why it is so hard to function otherwise, I would suggest it is because of the power the greatest generation and their lunatic offspring have had in the realm of governing, corrupting, and controlling that which should not have been theirs to pervert.

I hope this made no sense to you because I may be angry at something else.

Some products are actually better now. Mostly we are dealing with degrees of respect, and a growing acceptance of an elite class of rulers, bosses, "thinkers" who pretend to know best but don't have any right to even think about my best or worst interests.

Cars are actually better now, but they cost a bundle. And they've been, unnecessarily, designed so that diagnostic and other work can't be done by a normal person without sophisticated equipment. That's the respect part. Like potato chip bags which won't open right--they split down the side so all the chips go everywhere. What's that about?

Maybe it is because I saw a documentary about The Who, and realized what a prick Roger Daltrey is today, and probably always was. But a lot of those guys were total jerks in reality. Did good work on stage but best off locked in a trunk between shows because they're jerks.

The greatest generation is unknown, and non-existent. Maybe the ones who founded this country were our best. But they weren't perfect either. At least they didn't give birth to the baby boomer generation.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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