Facts About Life: 101

I  have not been on a lot but if you think your life is going bad, you need to remember that there is someone out there somewhere who is having a worse go of it than you are. We have to find our own solutions to these dilemmas we go through.

Right or wrong, life is about learning. Once you become unteachable–than you are going to find that you are not only a little fish in a huge pond, but you will find yourself standing alone, stuck at the starting line instead of moving forward in this race called life. You can learn much from anyone around you, but you have to be willing to adapt and accept some changes along the way. If you cannot do this, you will not get very far down the track…

Think about it the next time someone tries to show you something you could do differently. Offering solutions is not designed to hold you back, it’s to help you toward your goal in the end. Change is something anyone has to consider from time to time. In fact we should embrace it, and not fear it, but to learn to adapt to it. If it is something that absolutely cannot work, then we should work together to change THAT, face the problems head-on and not run away. Don’t be closed to the idea of it. You are only hurting yourself if you do. This is lesson 101 in “Facts About Life”.

 

So the question is, how far are you willing to go? This is a new year–a new beginning. Do not let yourself get trapped inside the “box” thinking. Thinking outside of the box will actually help you–not hurt you.  It all goes back to a question I posed a few years ago to a colleague: “What kind of leader do you want to be?”  A good leader is always “teachable and willing to learn”.

Political Correctness Truly Defined (Part 3)

In this part I will focus on an aspect of political correctness that needs to be addressed in society as a whole. It is how members of our society try to force the entertainment community to conform to their own expectations, freedom be damned.  I am referring to people who have a compulsion to condemn an artist for the words he or she writes or speaks.

On one hand, it would seem legitimate on the surface to condemn someone for remarks they feel are cruel and insulting toward political figures and other celebrities based on things they cannot help. The problem with this point of view is that it is often a delusion. Most people in the public eye put themselves there and they don’t care what those who oppose them think. In fact, they don’t even watch or hear those views, so for someone to rise up to the defense of someone they do not even know and try to crush the career of such a person seems to be rather pointless because their fans are loyal. Short of a national scandal, the audience will not abandon those they adore either.

However, when one stops to think about it, the question that needs to be asked is “Why is this of concern to them?”  In the first part of this series, I referred to Joan Rivers’ outspoken humor.  For many her humor in later years was not well-received by some people,  yet her fame continued to rise like a meteor. I can explain why that is.  She represented another generation entirely. It was as if in the present, anything resembling America of the past is becoming unacceptable by modern members of society. The fact of the matter is that many still keep those  values that old America held dear and there seems to be a move to revert to some of those values in light of recent world events.

If that happens, there is no need to go into an uproar over it.  Everything happens in a continuous circle of change. Some things progress and at times they reverse themselves.

However there seems to be a need among some people to take to social media to try to chide or “correct” or discourage the behavior of an entertainer–whether that entertainer be a comic, actor, actress or musician and it comes from both sides of the political spectrum. “I think you’re picking on the president and/or his wife based on appearance, race, way of speaking, etc….”  the list goes on.  Often these people demand total silence from anyone who opposes the policies of the current political leaders in this country. They will attack fans who support them, and often throw up insult after insult on their fan pages. This is especially true on Facebook.   However when those of opposing view were in power, those who agreed with that point of view could care less what was put up about them–yet the opposition made the same jokes and such. Why? They realize it is pointless to try to battle over something nobody has any real control over.

Quite frankly, when it comes to entertainment and the arts, Voltaire had the right idea about all of it–“I may not agree with everything you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

There will always be an audience for performers who have a fan base no matter how great or small. Most of those complaining are not fans of the acts and never were. When they start spewing vitriol, it only tells those that they are being hypocritical because on many of those pages they have to “like” the page of the person they are condemning in order to make a comment, and then they will post vitriol until they realize it does no good due to the fact that they are big fish in a little pond, OR until the admins of the pages ban and remove them. This is also true on the political pages.

If they keep trolling after that, then it is because they have a need to make themselves heard–just like an artist or politician that they are condemning. Taken in that sense, one could say that they are in the same club…Or can they? Either way, it shows those who think outside of the box how as a society, America has become well-known for its double standards.

Some fans even resort to attacking the fans for liking an artist.  Those are the ones who make fools of themselves by trying to win them over to their point of view when it absolutely will NOT happen. This is also true of people who support one person or another on the political pages. Ironically, in trying to box the fans and/or supporters of a person or group into a corner they end up putting themselves in one and it makes them look like they are true bullies, rather than intelligent human beings capable of conducting civil discourse.

By the same token, those who dislike an artist and/or the material in question have a right to express those views as well. They get enough of a bashing from those who aren’t fans for their behaviors that the opinion doesn’t make a difference. I have actually seen non-fans of artists support people that they are NOT fans of and defend them against trolls as well. Everyone has opinions and we all know what opinions are like.  I will not let either extreme dictate what they think I should or do not do. They do not live my life, I do. They don’t answer for my actions. I do. By the same token so do other entertainers, writers and politicians of all views and they should also bear these things in mind rather than take them personally. My father had a better piece of advice on such matters, and most have heard this before, “Consider the source.”

Besides all the above there is one basic fact of life that every entertainer or writer on Earth has learned one way or another and that is the fact that no one can please everyone, so why sweat bullets over it?

 

Political Correctness Truly Defined (Part 2)

I want to make something perfectly clear here. I do not feel that one’s political views should have any bearing on whether or not they are accepted as artists, writers, singers, etc…The trend in Hollywood has been for decades to embrace the far left and shut out anyone with any views that deviate from that view, even if the person trying to make a living is middle of the road.

There is a view among many in society that a comic should only entertain according to the point(s) of view that are personally acceptable to them. Artists in all camps do not accept this notion as it is a form of dictating their material, or in easier terms to understand, societal censorship.  Politicians have been subject to ridicule from both sides of the spectrum but it is only when someone who is in power on the left that the specter of censorship rears its ugly head.

There were proposed rule changes to the FCC about writers and reporters that did not get put into place because those rules interfere with the first amendment and since the media is largely “owned” anyhow, it was a waste of taxpayer funds to make such rules. If the people of the United States wanted government controlled media, they’d start moving elsewhere.

Reporters, if they have any sense of ethics, should be reporting the story truthfully, without interjecting what they think should happen as a result of the evolving stories coming into place. The people do not need a journalist to help them make up their minds. They have a sense of what they feel is right and what they feel is wrong.  In fact, if anything, viewers should find any reporter that takes it upon himself/herself to try to change their views on any issue to be insulting. That is not their job. If they want to get preached at by anyone, they will turn off the television and go to church. The audience, for the most part, wants the story–without how  the person reporting “feels” about it.

Both the media and Hollywood have worked very hard to be the self-appointed moral compass of this nation and that is the last thing they should be. Individuals can decide the course of their own destinies without their advice. For the most part if they are not paid to entertain, they are paid to inform. Personally, unless I’m watching the news or PBS, I do not want to hear about political topics. I go to movies to escape these things. I go to concerts to escape these things. When those in these fields try to tell me I should have point of view A rather , point of view B, I tend to get rather angry.

I do realize that some acts in general ARE politically motivated and write their music accordingly. If the fans want that, that is their decision. Those acts are doing what they think is their “mission” in life which is to bring awareness. There is nothing wrong with that.  The same holds true for writers who make it known what the purpose is for script A or script B. However if it’s not on a topic that has my interest, I won’t go or watch the show.  However that is NOT the job of the journalist and they need to get back to reporting the news and stop giving 3 minutes of story and 30 minutes of editorializing.

When writers insert politics into a script with what otherwise would be a very good drama that isn’t pushing their views, I change the channel. I do not want to watch a TV sitcom and hear about how good Obamacare is. That is not why I watch TV. Thank God the Brits aren’t doing that crap. However getting money from grants to do so is an incentive. I’m sure if the GOP had done that, the left would be screaming bloody murder about taxpayer funds going toward that. Well I would also, but it is because taxpayer funds shouldn’t be going to pay for advertising government programs and campaigning on mainstream TV shows on MY DIME.

We have a 17 trillion-dollar deficit and that is the last thing government money should be going to…Common sense should dictate as much.

As for Hollywood, they should have followed Clint Eastwood’s example when he hired both Tim Robbins and Sean Penn to be in “Mystic River”. He hired objectively and their political views didn’t make a bit of difference. He hired them on the merits of their talent.  Remember Matt McConaughey’s Oscar acceptance speech and how Hollywood cringed? I hate to burst their bubble that speech was indicative of a more “new age” view than anything, which many there embrace.  Hollywood, by exhibiting such bias, is alienating  the movie going audience. As they continue to lose more at the box office due to this and the rising prices of tickets, they should bear in mind that if they cannot be open to viewers of all factions, this trend will continue.

That being said, if anyone is open to the idea of opening up an Independent movie studio in TX, I know of a place that is for sale in a desert location that would make an excellent spot due to it’s historical significance alone–for a cool $2.9 million bucks and you’d better snatch it up before a certain studio in California decides to do so (if they get the idea)! I just had to throw that in, but have a great day!

We Still Have Then but All We Need is Now…

In 1982, I gave birth to my son, Eric…I had him on my 20th birthday in fact–and even though there are times when the old grouch gets pissed off, he’s still the best birthday present I ever had.   I didn’t give a damn about the politics of the day. I didn’t give a damn what people thought of me too much then–and still don’t…Gee…I wonder where 2 of my kids get that from? I’m smiling sheepishly as I remember those days…I liked bowling, dancing, walking about and above all–writing and listening to music.

While 1982 was a banner year, it was also a year of loss. Hell, we lost Marvin Gaye. Now with all the crap going on, “What’s Going On?” really comes to mind here…Forget the “Sexual Healing” bit…He got a lot of accolades for that one but I still say “What’s Going On?” is one of his best.

I can say a lot about 1982 right now…first it was a “Thriller”…. 1982, I was so “Caught Up in You”.  I loved it loud then, and “I Love It Loud” now.  I wonder if “Jack and Diane” ever got into saying “If You Want My Love” to each other?  If they did, maybe it was in the “Heat of the Moment”.

I do know if they had tried to pass the Patriot Act in 1982 there would have been a loud “I Can’t Go For That” being screamed in D.C.  Has anyone ever figured out what the “Young Turks” needed to be free from yet? Just wondering.  However as far as men and women go, I haven’t heard anyone trying to use “I’ve Been Waiting for a Girl Like You” as a  pick up line in a bar yet…

We have learned that it is best to take the advice Rick Springfield gave us…”Don’t Talk to Strangers” because serial killers do not make it “Hurt So Good” now do they?  Funny how when we were young we didn’t seem to worry about too much of that stuff, or did we?  Well I know I didn’t.  I do know that my exes were never “Always on My Mind” when I got enough balls to say “Goodbye to You”.

Well whatever went on in “Allentown”–it wasn’t “Sexual Healing”…Hedonism was the furthest thing from the imagination in that part of the country as well, I think.  However, there was some “Tainted Love” going on until someone decided to “Shake It Up” a bit when they found out their sweetheart was the “Centerfold”–that is, until someone younger came along and the agent said “Abracadabra” and that model got replaced by a younger one a few years later…

Some also said “I Ran Away” because it was “Hard for Me to Say I’m Sorry”.  I can fully prove that was a lie. I just opted for the “Thriller” of a time when someone asked “Don’t You Want Me”? I said no and then turned back to my ultimate love at the time…I mean, most who know me will be the first to tell you that “I Love Rock N Roll”–which left “Rosanna” slightly perplexed as in counseling, she thought I wanted to be a writer and not a rock star.

In music, there was always harmony between “Ebony and Ivory”–until the hair bands told everyone else to “Beat It”. So what did the rest of us young fools do? We went to “Rock the Casbah” while possessing the “Eye of the Tiger”!  We got so “Physical” in that fight that we left “Billie Jean” perplexed and lying in the dust!

And after that fight, we were “Hungry Like the Wolf”….

Well that was a long time ago. And now that I’ve compiled this morbidly insane  list from ONE video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAGYIvg1FHk  in order to complete this writing exercise, with the exception of “Hungry Like the Wolf”– which is included because, quite simply, I know it came out in 1982, I hope you enjoyed this ridiculous trip down memory lane since I was under immense “Pressure” to hurry up and get it done prior to going to bed…By the way, “Pressure” by Billy Joel is not in the video either which surprises me because it was a damned good song!   I should know…I didn’t forget my birthday that year or the fact I gave birth to Eric then!

However, in the present “All You Need is Now”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X3O4PCP5MM     In fact, that is all I need too.  Have a great night!

People Who Complete Suicide Should Never Be Judged…

I had originally written this as a Face Book status, but decided to share it here as well. We never know what is going on in the mind of someone who dies this, but I do know this much, for whatever reason they could bear no more–and should not be judged by some standard set by those who have not walked a mile in that person’s shoes. That being said, here is what I posted:

” Those who commit suicide should not be judged. My stepmother completed suicide in Sept. of 1978. She had more going on than a lot of us knew. She was truly mentally ill. She had actually became the different personalities that possessed her. One of those personalities loved to point the same gun to my head that she shot herself with. THEN it hit me when a year or so passed that it could have been me. She also had problems so severe that she was medicating herself beyond belief. Not all people kill themselves over the same issues .When I came to understand the hell that mental illness can cause another human being as an adult, it became much easier to forgive her. As a child I was unable to understand the depth of her torment. Some people can hide their torment rather well by channeling it differently. It is too bad that many hide it well but never truly overcome it. We have lost many a great talent due to this. RIP Robin Williams. “

I am not saying that he suffered as my stepmother did (before anyone starts in on that idea). I am simply pointing out that no one ever truly knows the depth of suffering one who does this goes through at the time they complete the act.

I’ve heard people talk about those who commit suicide as being “selfish” and such.  That is farther from the truth than Earth is from Pluto. It is more accurate to say that  those who do this tend to seek a permanent solution to what could be a non-permanent problem.

I’m convinced if my stepmother had received treatment–proper treatment–she may be alive today. She could not overcome her illnesses and demons on her own, so she escaped the only way she could see to do so.

As for Robin Williams, he fought with his own demons for years. He also learned that he was suffering from a debilitating and potentially (and often) deadly illness. In my opinion taking his own life in his mind and in others who are now aware of this is anything BUT selfish. In fact, I feel that in his mind he was probably trying in his own way to not be a burden to others as his illness progressed. He chose the means and way to go, and completed the act.

Now that this has been revealed, I have asked myself, “If things ever came to that would I take my life?”

The answer is “No. I wouldn’t.”  Why? “Because I would never want my family to suffer the way I did after Judy took her own life.”

I also have some very good reasons to hang around and here is one of them:

Here’s the Lil’ Man–My grandson…And he just turned 2.

 

 

 

Kevin with Football

Here are My 2 Cents on the Ventura Ruling…

Here is another peanut gallery post for the subjugated masses…Why do I say that? Because it is short and it is simple.  The Ventura verdict is a joke that isn’t even funny.  He says now he would have dropped it if Chris Kyle had simply “apologized” for what he wrote…Apologized? The guy died!  So what does Ventura do? He goes after a dead man’s money.  In the public eye, if he wanted to prove himself to be the bigger man, he should not have taken a swipe at the grieving widow.

Sure one can always try to say “He didn’t do that. He went after the estate!” but since she is the executor–it’s the same bloody difference.

If Mr. Ventura ever goes back into politics like he’s considering, this is something that will bite him on the ass for the fact that he lost the respect of a lot more military members after this verdict than before it.

Have a great night…

A Club Nobody Wants to Join…

I have been down for the past 2 days.  Depression over losing a child 28 years ago set in and it will pass, but what brought it on should not surprise anyone.  A friend of mine lost her daughter two days ago. She was waiting for a heart transplant. It is quite different to lose an older child but the pain is the same for us both.  We will never get to see our children’s “what might have been” and there will always be an empty space at the table.

For a while people seem empathetic and will listen to us. They will allow us to cry on their shoulders for a bit, but if they have never been in this unique club, there comes a day when they stop listening and we are left to deal with the wreckage alone. They do not know how to deal with our pain so they say things like, “You need to get over it.” or “You need to come back to the living.’  Well god forbid they ever have to join the membership of this club because then they will know the reality of the situation. Some even go so far as to say “You can have another child.” OR “You have other children.” Excuse me, but NO CHILD replaces a lost child. One can have 10 more children after and they still mourn the one that is lost. Believe me…I KNOW this for a fact.

Every would-have-been birthday is greeted with the utmost dread.  Every Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc…is greeted with thoughts of “what might have been”. In short, losing a child is a pain we never recover from–we just learn to deal with it in our own way.  To this day I cannot attend funerals of children/babies.  It literally tears me to fucking  pieces and nobody understands why. It is simple–it brings up my pain that I am still dealing with after 28 years and I feel so bad for the other parent(s) because having been a long-standing member of this god forsaken club, I know what they are in for in the long run.

If you want to help or understand a grieving parent, try not saying anything. Just listen. Wipe our tears when they come. Whatever you do, don’t say things like those mentioned above. While well-meaning they actually cut like a bloody knife.  I apologize for my language earlier but I am NOT having a good day today. I don’t know if I will have a better one tomorrow either, but at least I have a pillow to cry on and can be there for my friend as she needs me.

 

Yes, People Kill People But….

Look, I do not talk about this a lot. Yes, I DO support the right of EVERY law-abiding citizen to own a gun, but mental health in this country has to be addressed.  I’m not into all this gun grabbing crap a lot of people are trying to push for,  but I see nothing wrong with flagging people who have severe behavioral disorders from getting a gun. If people are arrested for domestic violence, robbery, assault, etc…they should automatically have their guns confiscated also until found not guilty–and if found guilty, they should not be returned to anyone in the household, but sold to cover costs incurred by the county and/or state.

I do not agree with the extreme left on this issue because they give off a perception that they do have a goal to take ALL guns away, or at least many of them do. However, these violent groups of people have to be dealt with.

I do not think it is that much to ask for. I’m not advocating limitations on all guns or gun sales, just to individuals who have such records.

Had such a system been in place in the 1970’s my stepmother might not have blown her brains out when I was almost 15. Was she mentally ill? Yes. We found out AFTER her death that she had been institutionalized. Her favorite thing to do when my dad was at work was to point that .22 that she killed herself with and put it to my temple as her method of “discipline” which was nothing more than terrorism in my home.

To this day, people, I can still feel the cold end of that gun at my temple. Sometimes I wake up dreaming about it. It was only after she died that I realized that this wasn’t just a surrealistic nightmare I lived in, but that she could have, at any moment, blown my brains out and anyone else’s in the house too.

Unless you lived through it, I know you can’t relate to it and more went on than that, which I will not discuss. Funny thing is I didn’t really realize what “normal” was until I got around “normal families” that sat at the table together and such after her death. I grew to pity her. Hopefully, she is at peace. I forgave her long ago, and despite the nightmares I have once in a while, I can still feel pity for her and understand that she could not help herself–but that the state failed to help her a long, long time ago.

I will say this much for those who have gone through something like this at the hands of a mentally ill relative or person close to your family. What helped me was to forgive her. Once I did that, the nightmares gradually happened less often, and became less intense. I actually stood over her grave about seven years ago and told her that I forgive her. Anyway, I hope that does help someone out there. I know forgiving her did help me.

Why We Should All Read the Writings of ANY Public Figure…

If you want to know what any public figure is about, read their writings. Read the books they wrote themselves. Those reveal the content of their character. If you have not read those, then don’t criticize those who have. To refuse to check out a person’s own words means that one is willing to remain willfully ignorant. They are willing to be used for that person’s gain. It doesn’t matter if that person is a political figure, entertainer or journalist. Those words that were put into print define them. It is those who choose to stay willfully blind who refuse to read them–or listen to them if they are available on audio. If they are upset with YOU for doing so, then it is because they don’t want to see the truth, but to live in their own Utopian delusion whatever that may be.

I have a nasty habit of calling writers on the carpet when they contradict themselves as well. We all should all be doing this if we are paying attention.

Elliot Rodger…All That’s Left is “Why”?

This is another one of my short rants. We’ve got a director blaming the NRA for the deaths of innocent people. Evidently he doesn’t know squat. Elliot Rodger was mentally ill. He needed help. His parents tried to get him that help. Had the Santa Monica Police Department seen the warning signs of trouble in his videos, MAYBE they could have gotten him committed to a psychiatric facility for at least 45 days. Had they done that, 8 people might be alive today. THAT is the bottom line of it. In my opinion, mental illness doesn’t excuse an action or make it right, but it does help explain the “why” of it to a degree.

Now I want to know what also figures into this “why”? Was this guy bullied all his life or something? THAT is the vibe I got off of watching some of the videos. He doesn’t really come out and say it, though. The reason I say this is that a lot of shooters seemed to have experienced school bullying. THIS is one thing I personally would like for the public to know. Hopefully one day all the families, including Rodger’s, will have the answer to that “Why?”

However the political “blame game” is not going to cut it this time. People need to quit using others’ tragedy to earn brownie points or to get people to take a look at their work and that is what the director that made the NRA comment is doing. That’s right. I’m calling him out.  He’s using a colleague’s tragedy to make a name for himself. They don’t need to use it to further politics either. People are sick of that tactic already, and before anyone starts complaining and moaning, I don’t own a gun myself. I never have. I probably never will because I don’t need one. However, I do support the right of law-abiding citizens to own one.