Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Generation Gap?!?!?!

If you are over the age of 30, you probably remember it.  Your parents.  A teacher maybe, or a boss or a Coach or some older, authority figure in you life.  They talked about how hard they had it and how easy we had it.  I always swore that would never be me.  You know...telling your kids how you had to walk 10 miles in the snow just to get to school.  Well...I guess I've gotten there.

The kids that are now just getting out of college, the supposed "future" of our country, they are an entirely different generation.

They have been spoiled and they don't even know it.  Many of them will talk about how they've inherited the debt and bad choices of the previous generations.  They will talk about the sad state of the economy, all the problems with our environment etc etc.

I don't want to hear it.  Their generation, and the next wave coming up behind them, have had it EASY.


Computers have been an everyday part of these kids' lives as long as they can remember.

The Internet : Come on...really?  They don't know what it was like before they could just pull up Google or Yahoo and find whatever they wanted.  School papers?  How about the know the place that has these odd looking things made out of paper and cardboard. BOOKS.  You actually had to READ to find the information you needed.  Now when writing a paper it takes longer for them to find the correct playlist of songs to listen to while they copy and paste until their heart's content.  They take homework  to school on USB memory keys.  Remember having to take a project or a paper to school?  Remember getting points taken off because it was dirty or folded.  Remember the whole "The dog at my homework" excuse?

What do they say now?

"My laptop got a virus, so my homework was corrupted."  It just doesn't sound the same. YAWN.

Not to mention CGI.  That's Computer Generated Imagery for those still think AOL is an ISP.

Remember watching Dukes of Hazard or The A-Team on TV?  PRIME TIME.  You watched on "the TV" since you didn't have a TV in your room. There wasn't a DVR to fast-forward past commercials.  Not to mention there were no commercials about the little blue pills.

Remember the car chases? The stunts? Any of you watched any of those original shows and movies lately?

Talking about spoiling memories of your childhood.  Now it's easy to see the car make an  impossible jump, and notice the difference in the two cars. The one that made the jump and the one that continued driving.  Or the inevitable "Magic Hub Cap" that always fell off, but then conveniently reappeared shortly thereafter.

Movies and TV-Shows now have animation and action that make our generation's picks look downright corny by comparison.

Don't even get me started on video games.  Anybody else still have dreams (nightmares) about watching that ball bounce back and forth in games ling PONG?  Or what about that wonderful soundtrack from classics like Space Invaders or Pac-Man.

Now today's video games make the first computers we ever had access to seem like calculators.

Remember the hand held Mattel football game?  That was high tech.  Now you have 3d, color game consoles that connect to your buddy's game and let's you play against him.

Spoiled brats.

But there are things that make me smile with this current generation.

Anyone noticed the haircuts that kids are sporting now?

I call it the "Bobby Brady" look.  These kids thing it's original.  Is there such a thing anymore?

What about Star Wars? We had Han guys have computer generated heroes.  We had midgets in robot suits. You have actual robots.

On a More Serious Note:

In our day, if you lost your job, you simply found another one.  You didn't have to like it, you just looked to you found a job.  Not today.

We've got twenty-something's with highly specialized degrees (like say Ancient French Literature) who get out in the real world after 4 years on Mom and Dad's gold card, and suddenly realize that things cost money.  And when you can't call to hit your parents up for money, you have to actually EARN it and pay for it yourself.

I love seeing newly "independent" kids realize the TRUE cost of things.

Unfortunately, and it's entirely the fault of the parents who "raised" them, we've got a mass of young people that don't know the difference between a WANT and a NEED.

I hate to break it to them, but high speed internet is a LUXURY.

Cable TV? Go tune in to a channel using two knobs, then get back to me.

But you can't entirely blame them.  They learned, or didn't as the case may be, from their parents.

Every heard the term "Helicopter Parents" ? Go look it's REAL...and it just might scare the crap out of you enough to go give your kid a healthy beating just to make a point.

I have a friend who runs a business. He actually had a kid apply (fresh college grad with ZERO experience) show up for an interview.  You know that part of the interview where your potential Boss asks "Do you have any questions?"

Well now applicants actually do ask questions.

Questions like...

"So how many paid vacation days do I get to start?"

"Do I have to wear a tie to work?"

"Do I have to be here at 8:00am or is 9:00am okay?"

In fact this friend interviewed this kid.  And the next day he got a call....FROM THE KID'S MOTHER. Asking about "Why he hadn't gotten back to him about his interview."

The kid? He was in his TWENTIES.

God help us all.

We're going to need it.

This new generation will be in charge pretty soon.

I hear bottled water is on sale...I've got to go stock up.  Canned foods isn't a bad idea either.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'm manifesto of sorts.

So here it manifesto....well technically it's not a manifesto, since according to Webster's:

MANIFESTO:  a written statement that describes the policies, goals, and opinions of a person or group.

These really aren't policies...and they aren't goals. Opinions?  More like observations.

So top of you coffee cup and let's dig in.    


    I’m tired. I’m tired of perusing countless media outlets to simply read the same old shit. Rhetoric flies from either side of the aisle like insults at a celebrity roast. I’m tired of reading the same gripes from the left and right. 

    The “Conservative Right” are all war-mongering religious zealots, that would love nothing more than to take away as many of your personal freedoms as possible in the name of “National Security”.

    The “Liberal Left” are all tree-hugging wannabe Socialists (or communists) that hate Capitalism and stand to destroy every principle this country was built on.

Take your pick. Fill your glass and drink the Kool-Aid. It’s free you know.

    Unemployment is at record levels. Foreclosures are on the rise. Amid all this turmoil, what are the elected public servants, the leaders of our country, doing? They are doing what they’ve been doing for way too many years. While each side publicly blames the other for all the country’s ills, our roller coaster ride to hell continues unabated.

    There is so much finger-pointing going in Washington D.C. I’m surprised every member of Congress doesn’t have a physical therapist on call. 

    Talking heads continue to make a living (and a pretty good one at that) by pointing out the obvious, adding to the blame game and simply trying to stir up their “faithful” viewers and listeners. Since when did pointing out the obvious become a high-paying profession?

    “Political Analysts” (funny… I’ve never seen that job title in the classifieds) continue to get paid to spew their opinions. People around the country continue to regurgitate these snippets, forward emails, and do their best find someone to blame. Looking anywhere but in the mirror is always the easiest thing to do.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of listening to “experts” talk about red states and blue states. I’m tired of hearing about the left and the right. What happened to the middle? You know, the part of the aisle where the majority of our population would fall if common sense was actually common.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of listening to each “new” batch of candidates try to convince us how they will be different. I’m tired of trying hard to ignore the fact that a staunch Conservative member of Congress and a liberal Democrat member of Congress have more in common with each other than they do with the millions of American citizens they are supposed to represent.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of an election process that promises that each vote makes a difference, when in reality I had no say in the candidates that I am forced to choose from.

    I’m tired of watching Republicans and Democrats blame the other side. I’m tired of these same paid, elected, public servants using the general populace and the welfare of the country as a way to prove the other side is at fault. It’s okay if the Economy goes into the toilet, as long as you can blame the other side of the aisle.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of a country that is more likely to vote for their favorite contestant on the latest reality television show than vote for their own state’s political representatives. I’m tired of knowing that the average person is likely to know more about their favorite celebrity than they do about the voting history of their own elected officials.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of co-workers and acquaintances suddenly becoming hot-topic experts as the election and its campaigns gain steam. I’m tired of national media outlets talking about this candidate’s love life or this candidate’s mistakes. I’m tired of people vocally backing their candidate, and when you ask them why they will vote for them, you get a blank stare, or worse yet, they simply parrot the “talking points” that they heard on the news or read in an email. 

    Welcome, you’re the next contestant on “Run the Country into the Ground and Get Paid to Do it.”

    I’m tired. I’m tired of left-leaning people telling me how bad capitalism is, when most couldn’t pass an Economics 101 course at the local community college. 

    I’m tired. I’m tired of right-leaning people railing about Socialism and Communism, when the majority of them don’t know the true definition of either term.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of people protesting, labeling themselves as “Occupiers” and members of the “99 percent”. I’m tired of seeing them camped out for days at a time in a public park, costing that locality thousands of dollars in expenses from their presence, all the while griping about the way the government wastes money.

    I’m tired of these same people spending their days posting updates to their blogs from their laptops and smart phones, all the while preaching that corporate America is destroying this country.

    I’m tired of them talking about not being able to find work, preaching about a “Living Wage”, all the while spending their days unencumbered by the responsibilities most of us are saddled with. Just how do these people afford these laptops and smart phones that they are constantly using? 

    I’m tired of this same group whining about not being able to find work, all while camped out in a public park. Funny I haven’t seen one of them with a classified section of a newspaper in their hand, actually looking for a job.

    I’m tired of people taking out student loans to attend college for four years, or more, acquiring a degree in a field that has no practical applications, then bitching about not being able to find work and how they are saddled with massive student loan payments.

    I’m tired of watching protestors close down a major port, all the while preaching how they are doing it for the “99 percent” for the workers, and the only people who truly get hurt are the workers themselves who can’t work and don’t get paid because of the protest that is supposed to help them.

    I’m tired. I’m really tired of reality shows congesting the nightly television listings. Some can be entertaining, but how many times can you rename, rehash and then sell the same product?

    I’m tired of nightly “news” updates on the Hollywood elite and their marital woes. I could care less where they vacation, I could care less what they name their children and I could care less what they do outside of the time they spend on the screen, doing their job trying to entertain me. 

    I’m tired of people becoming famous for being famous. Being paid for being a shallow idiot is one thing, constantly having to see this person is another. Enough already, move on.

    I’m tired of professional athletes threatening to cancel a sports season to garner more money. Newsflash, the fans are what makes it possible for you to do what you do. I know the work and sacrifice you have gone through to get where you are, I know it wasn’t easy. How much is enough? Do you think it makes you look good when people hear about you whining that ten million dollars is not enough?

    I’m tired of people bitching about corporations and the profits they make. How do you think they make those profits? You are a consumer primarily after all. If you don’t agree with their compensation, don’t support their company. Oh, and to the majority of people bitching about how corporations are screwing us over by moving jobs overseas to make profit margins larger? Please check your 401K or pension plan at work. You might be shocked to realize that the amount of money you have to retire on is affected by these “evil corporations” since your funds are invested in many of these companies. If you are going to talk the talk, pull your money out and walk the walk.

    I’m tired of a tax code that is so complicated and cumbersome, with so many loopholes, that an entire industry depends on inability of normal, intelligent people to understand this code. 

    I’m tired of a system so convoluted, that the agency that wrote it offers free help to taxpayers, but is careful to note that it’s not responsible for any errors made by their own employees.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of paying taxes, hearing about how we don’t take enough taxes in to keep the country running, but then seeing millions of people get a refund check from the government every year. 

    I’m tired. I’m tired of people rallying under the cry of “Government Excess” and “Overpaid Government Workers” then bitching when their 911 call is put on hold because half of the police force was laid off, or bitching when they have to stand in line at the Unemployment, Social Security or Welfare office.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of people bitching about how bad the Police are then expecting the Police to help them in an emergency without hesitation.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of people whining about “Predatory Lending” and the “Evil Banks” foreclosing on them, when they are living in a house they couldn’t afford in the first place.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of people who made thousands of dollars on the sale of homes during the boom, using that money to buy an even bigger home, then bitching when the bubble burst and their five-hundred thousand dollar McMansion is now only worth three-hundred thousand. You signed the contract, you’ve been paying the mortgage payment. Suck it up, you aren’t special.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of people ending up thousands of dollars upside on a mortgage who can easily afford their mortgage payment, but instead buy another house, taking advantage of the market, then walking away from the first house. Guess what? Letting the bank “Take back the house” costs us all money. 

    I’m tired. I’m tired of people having children they never intend to actually parent. Children are not lawn ornaments, or something to brag about at the next dinner party you host. They are living, breathing human beings who will likely to turn out like their parents if fate doesn’t step in. 

    I’m tired of people who struggle simply to survive, who struggle to have enough to eat, popping out kids before they are old enough to drink alcohol legally. One unplanned pregnancy is a mistake. Mistakes happen to everyone. Especially those in environments where parenting is scarce (See above). Having that second child when you still can’t afford to support yourself? That’s not a mistake. It’s reliance on a support system that is its own worst enemy. A support system that is growing faster than the rate of growth for the portion of society that props it up.

    I’m tired of people ignoring everything around them, honestly fiddling (or more accurately watching TV, surfing the web, playing video games, or waiting in the fast food drive thru line) while Rome (that would be us) burns to the ground. Sticking your hand in the sand does not make anything go away. It just keeps your illusion running awhile longer.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of spending more time watching commercials than the actual television programs. What little free time I do have, I do not want to spend it being reminded how mindless the majority of this country really is.

    I’m tired of paying extra for a DVR, just so I can fast forward through the commercials I don’t want to watch in the first place. How about I pay a fee upfront, every month, and I don’t have to watch any commercials. I know advertising is what pays the bills for broadcasting companies, I get that. I want to opt out, and will gladly pay for the privilege.

    I’m tired of continuously paying automobile insurance, watching my rates increase every year, all the while knowing I have never had an accident or ticket or caused my insurance company to pay out a dime in my name. If I take all the money I’ve spent on insurance, I would have been much better off to go without insurance, invest the extra money, so when I do have an accident I could have paid cash out and still had money left over. It’s a lottery that by design, we never have a chance of winning.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of people who drive slower than the flow of traffic in the left lane of a multi-lane highway. I’m tired of these same people either not noticing the line of cars behind them piling up, or knowing they are impeding the flow of traffic and not caring. Either way they are a danger to all the other people driving on the road.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of people who are truly convinced they are excellent drivers, as they weave in and out of traffic, not realizing that the reactions of other drivers are the only thing keeping them from causing bad traffic accidents.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of people piloting a three thousand pound potential weapon, while texting or talking on their cell phone instead of knowing what’s going on around them. If you believe you are an exception, and that you can do it without any consequences, I have news for you. You are not an exception. In all honestly you are probably more dangerous than most.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of people who leave no following distance when traveling sixty miles per hour or more on the highway. If just one person in that bumper to bumper line of traffic jams on the brakes, you will not have time to stop. That is in ideal, dry conditions. It just gets progressively gets worse as road conditions deteriorate. 

    I’m tired. I’m tired of the idea of personal responsibility becoming a thing of the past. A society that pays someone millions of dollars because they spilt hot coffee on their lap is not being progressive. It’s moving towards extinction. 

    I’m tired. I’m tired of people filing lawsuits when the mood strikes them. Many times knowing large companies know it’s cheaper to simply settle, or pay money up front, than it is to go to court.

    I’m tired. I’m tired of products and services costing more and more because of the lawsuits being filed, or even the potential of lawsuits being filed. Someone may receive a payout, or settlement, but the actual money isn’t coming from that company. It’s paid out of the pockets of consumers who deal with that company.

    So if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m tired. I can’t be the only one. Well, I guess I can be the only one.

Why the hell not...........

So from what I can see, everybody and their mother is why not.  Maybe, just being able to express my thoughts will keep me from having to help send my pharmacist's kids through college.  Guess we'll see.