C’mon Fear the Planking

Have you seen any of the hoopla about planking yet?  I don’t get it.  Well, I do, actually, but not really.  Someone died.  It’s a tragedy.  I get that.  If my son died, I’d be upset, too.  Seriously upset.  But as a global concern, the guy that died, an adult mind you, but someone’s son nonetheless died, do we need to be ringing the alarm bells about planking?  I realize the print business and news organizations are struggling to make money.  People grow tired of the deaths and destruction of tornadoes, flooding, and war.  The safest thing to do is to stay in your homes and watch more news programs to tell you what you should be afraid of so that you’ll stay inside and watch more news programs.  Nowadays, you don’t even really have to venture out of the house for the things you see in the ads they sell — those you can get hand delivered by the brave men and women of the United Parcel Service, or United States Postal Service, or whatever cheap shipping selection du jour.

Back to planking.  Just so you are aware, it is the phenomenon of lying straight as a board in places you wouldn’t normally lie straight as a board.  Observe:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

I’m sure I could even find some where people are planking in some stupid careless spots.  But, is this really a new threat to the world?  Has there never been a heinous act in act of photography that could be construed as dangerous?  People have been stupidly posing for pictures for decades, especially youth.  Should we end posing for pictures?  Is all posing bad?  Is all planking bad? Where have I seen this before?  I’ve seen people sit on balcony ledges, and I’ve heard of people falling off of balcony ledges.  Should we ban sitting?  Should we ban balconies?

Stupidity goes way back

This looks like a bad idea

At what point can we all agree that not everyone thinks things through?  That some may not value their lives and yet we continue to create rules and develop overbearing social norms, for what?  Is it more compassionate to view these sort of things as tragedies?  I don’t think so.  I don’t think that young man in Australia attempting to plank should have lost his life, but when does bad decision making simply become bad decision making?  Have we lost all responsibility to our own actions that we point to a mindless fad as an excuse for poor decision making?  Or is the news a catharsis and a way to train others by the bad examples of a few?  Who knows, but maybe we just need to watch more commercials to find out.

May 17, 2011 at 11:44 AM Leave a comment

What Were They Thinking?

Volume 1 : Episode 1

I want to start a weekly bit where I point out some oddities and ask “What Were They Thinking?”  Here is the inaugural class of so things I consider interesting items for your consideration.

5.  Rebecca Black ruins Friday, for all of us

It seems Ark Music Factory has machined a viral hit.  Unfortunately, it could be used by the FBI as a psychological weapon.  What I can’t decide is if it is a joke or a real attempt at making music.  Not that most pop music released today isn’t as disposable as a Bic razor, but I think the lyricist, whom my toddler son could probably run circles around (quite literally, I’m sure) was actually insulting my basic intelligence as a human being on planet Earth.  Now, I feel sorry for Rebecca Black.  Forever doomed with millions of people pointing and laughing from all over the planet.  Could this be considered hazing?

4. Jokes about Japan

Doh! My one shot at redemption...

Gilbert, dude, seriously?  You’re like the king of roasts.  Now, maybe getting booted from your Aflac gig will pay off in the long run.  Maybe not.  But, if anything good ol’ Double-G-fried should be a poster boy for all of the non-thinking public figures out there — don’t drink and tweet.  With tens of thousands of people dead, towns wiped off the face of the earth, it’s not the time to make light of this suffering.  We all deal with tragedy in different ways.  Dealing with your tragedy, as a public figure, on Twitter…well, whatever you get is your own fault.  But when is too soon?  Will we ever be able to tell jokes about the World Trade Center?  Why don’t you tweet and find out.

3. Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Savings Time costing us Billions?

Click on the image to see an article on how “Daylight Savings” could actually be costing us money.  I used to think that Arizona was such a rogue for not following the rest of the country/world in switching times.  I think, now, they might have been on to something.  But when President George W. Bush pushed through an advocacy to lengthen DST, I have to ask, what were they thinking?

2.  Nuclear Power in Japan

Beware the Ides of March

So, I just said, not mere inches above this, that joking about Japan is bad.  I’m not.  I have a legitimate concern, here.  My boss said something this morning that I had been thinking since the first explosion:  was the decision to put nuclear power plants on one of the most geographically unstable places in the world a good decision?  While it is the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, no offense to the Russians, but at least it was at the hands of Mother Nature and not faulty engineering.  Maybe just poor strategic decision-making.  This is the only real solace I can find as I watch these tragic event unfold to a population that doesn’t need another nuclear tragedy in their history.

1. Celebrity Train Wrecks in the Media

...and that's the way it is.

After the Charlie Sheen debacle in the media, we have to ask ourselves what we feel is good journalism.  Is the point to sell more soap or to tell us what’s going on in the world?   Well, while the media was busy going gaga over Sheen’s derailment in front of the camera, there were soldiers dying in Afghanistan.  Wayne Drash, from CNN does a better job than I ever could.  Read the whole thing, but just to get you started:

It started with a Facebook status update. Upset at the media’s coverage of Charlie Sheen, someone took up for American soldiers dying in Afghanistan.

“Charlie Sheen is all over the news because he’s a celebrity drug addict,” it said, “while Andrew Wilfahrt 31, Brian Tabada 21, Rudolph Hizon 22, Chauncy Mays 25, are soldiers who gave their lives this week with no media mention. Please honor them by posting this as your status for a little while.”

Talk that begins with “Back in the day…” is usually just reminiscent of scant memories, concepts of a better time, but, really, back in the day when the news was on, we knew that the people providing that news were telling us how it was.  We’re still in a war, Americans are dying every day, and while I don’t imagine a 10 year old war should drown out the very real tragedies in Japan for breaking news, it sure as hell ought to be able to beat out a drug-raging Charlie Sheen boasting “The run I was on made Sinatra, Flynn, Jagger, Richards, all of them just look like, you know, droopy-eyed armless children.”

Indeed.

March 15, 2011 at 11:08 PM Leave a comment

Is defining faith in government, freedom?

Let’s be clear — every decision comes with compromises.  There is no perfect system as long as there is self-interest, free will, and there are people who are incapable of helping themselves.  This cannot be ignored.  People who tell you that they protect our country’s freedom, and then, for example, tell you who you should or should not marry, are not advocating freedom.  People who tell you that true freedom is built only on their worldview and their values are not advocating freedom.

On Monday, March 7, 2011, Newt Gingrich, among a slew of up and coming right-wing hopefuls, quote the Declaration of Independence to defend positions on belief, I think Jacques Berlinerblau‘s Washington Post article, while in its entirety certainly more polar than my own convictions, lays out some poignant views of the matter:

“…to say these conservative Christians believe that: 1) the Constitution is infallible and inerrant, 2) they can discern its “original intent,” 3) this original intent always synchronizes with their political worldview, and, 4) all other attempts to understand that original intent put forth since, let’s say, 1791 are misguided and perhaps satanic if they diverge from aforesaid political worldview.”

Everyone wants to be able to live their life without someone telling them how to do it.  But, in what part of your life are you making those decisions?  Everyone makes decisions based on rules.  When the rules of values come into play, can we assume a particular standard of rules?  Who says those are the right rules?  Who says your values are better than someone else’s values?

In the end, you see what you want to see

When the time comes to make decisions about the direction of our country, take a step back and ask yourself “If someone who didn’t have my exact same belief was doing this to me, would I like it?”  It’s the Golden Rule, after all.  Do unto others as you would have done to yourself.  Again from the Jacques Berlinerblau Washington Post article:

“If an American Muslim cleric advocated taking over the government by force and disobeying the tax codes I think it is fairly certain and entirely understandable that a visit from a certain governmental agency would not be far behind.”

If we fail to recognize that each other’s truths are self-evident, or that all of us are created equal, endowed by our Creator, whoever that might be to them, with certain unalienable rights, that among these you shall too find Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.  The Declaration of Independence cites prudence as a requirement, and Despotism as the enemy — not ourselves.  In our country, you posses the freedom to speak of your unhappiness, you maintain the power to make change, but it has to be the right change — not just to the right!  If you want freedom, make it, but don’t make only a freedom for your life, for your liberty, and your pursuit of happiness, because, Fellow American, while we may not believe the same things, we all deserve the same things.

If you feel you are losing control of your country, you probably are, but it’s not a lack of faith, it’s the corruption of money at every level and a double standard.  You want to balance the Federal budget?  Do you want less taxes?  Perhaps a redirection of your concerns to the tyranny of the growing oligarchy in this country would be more appropriate.

But I digress…

March 8, 2011 at 4:18 PM 1 comment

I’m Baaack!

Everyone has a point in their life where they stop doing something.  Some call it a vacation, hiatus, sabbatical, holiday, or time-off.  I call it ‘life’.  That’s just how it is.  Sometimes, the things you enjoy doing, you wait until you find some time, readjust, and keep going.  It’s been a year since I last posted anything of any substance.  Not that what I post here is really substantiative by any means, but I think you know what I mean.

I don’t make any beans about it, this blog is for me to get some things off my chest.  I’ve been taking care of my family and working by butt off, so now it’s time to re-add a little something for myself back into my life.  I loves me to write.  I love to examine the word and expose it for what it is to me.  That’s all we can ever ask for ourselves.  Even though we are all simultaneously monologuing, hopefully, someone might stop for a moment and see something in a way they might not have considered before.  While I might not change minds, tweaking them a little is just fine too.

March 7, 2011 at 12:05 PM Leave a comment

Playlist – Feb 26, 2010

Harry Longshanks Show
February 26, 2010

Song Title Artist
Say You Will Postulat
The Zookeeper’s Boy Mew
Underwear Goes Inside the Pants Lazyboy
Superheroes Esthero
4 Be Be (feat. Ming Xia) Chali 2na
The Renegade Zeus
I Can Try Sambassadeur
Somewhere Only We Know Keane
For God Sakes Absentstar
What I Didn’t Know Athenaeum
A Girl Like You Edwyn Collins
Wisdom Gran Ronde
Americanarama Hollerado
Not my song Divide & Kreate

March 1, 2010 at 12:32 PM Leave a comment

Thanksgiving – My Favorite Holiday

We can learn a lot from the lessons of Thanksgiving. I’m not going to back-story this post with a bunch of historical mishmash. You can find all that here. There are a lot of holidays in the world. Not everyone in the world has a Thanksgiving, but some may have something close. My favorite part of Thanksgiving is that it’s not tied to some religious event. It’s not about one person. It’s not focused on the past. It’s not focused on the future. It’s focused on now. We make Thanksgiving ours. Thanksgiving is about love and compassion. Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what we have and not giving a damn about what we don’t have. Thanksgiving is about spending time with family, those who aren’t yet officially family, and most importantly with people you care about.

An iconic Thanksgiving

What is it we really need in life? A lot of people ask that question. We can look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, and at the base, with some of my other important things, is food. It helps, in my book at least, that Thanksgiving involves food. I love food. Thanksgiving brings all my favorite heart-warming foods together in one feast. But more than that, at Thanksgiving we eat together. If you can take time out, look around, and realize that there are people in your life that you care about, and there are people in your life that care about you, well then Thanksgiving gives just about all you need in life. We can learn a lot from the lessons of Thanksgiving.

Can't we all just get along?

Life is nothing but the experiences we share. If we spent more time making those experiences that we share positive and good, we’d all be in a much better place. If we opened our hearts and minds, taking a moment to stop and realize how much we do have instead of worrying about what we don’t or won’t have, our lives would that much richer. No one is saying it doesn’t take hard work to get there, but what in life isn’t made better by investing in something we care about? If I’ve said it once, I have said it a million times, and I’ll say it a million more —

We can learn a lot from the lessons of Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

November 25, 2009 at 11:38 AM 1 comment

H1N1 spells “hiney”

Swine flu makes you feel like ass. As such, I haven’t posted anything, recently. I would say I am back to full health. My wife, my child, and I all had this illness. While I had the worst symptoms, having the entire family go down with this was trying. Uninspired to do much else other than to feel normal again, blogging was the last thing on my mind. Obviously, it’s not anymore.

I think I saw this swine flu in a dream.

I think I saw this swine flu in a dream.

I survived the Swine Flu! I didn’t get a pulmonary embolism or pneumonia! Now that all the symptoms are gone, like the headaches, oh my god the headaches, look for more intriguing articles coming soon to Full-a-Schmidt!

Got the t-shirt!

Got the t-shirt!

October 26, 2009 at 4:17 PM 1 comment

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