Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thank you Jon Stewart, I couldn’t have said it better myself

Reflections on the September 29, 2011 Rolling Stone Interview

“If we amplify everything, we hear nothing”.  Thank you Jon Stewart for summing up in one sentence the exact sentiment that has been bouncing around in my head for awhile now, but hadn’t jelled into such an articulate thought.  I am exhausted from being yelled at constantly.  In this interview, this thought was directed at the 24 hour news cycle, and I agree.   Yet, as a self identified liberal, it doesn’t matter to me if it is Chris Matthews or Glenn Beck, I don’t want to be yelled at.  This also goes for the vast majority of commercials as well.  I am so very weary of everything being EXTREME!
I think I am just old.  Frankly, everything gets on my nerves just a little bit.  I understand this, I suck it up, and I get on with my life.  I don’t expect everything to always go my way.  Had things gone my way I would be a ballerina right now - a big, big ballerina.  Things have not gone my way most of the time, and I would argue that it was usually for the best.  The beauty of my life is that I never imagined how many astonishing things were in store for me.  Had I just picked a path and forced my way down it without regard for anything else that was going on around me and pushing aside everything that didn’t fit in my vision, I’d have missed probably 90% of what makes my life good and would have alienated most everyone along the way.
Here is what I say to the people screaming for my attention.  “I don’t listen to people when they talk to me in that tone of voice.  If you want me to listen, talk to me like an adult”.  This is what I told my kids when they were three and is still applicable.  If I want to be treated with respect, I have to demand it and then refuse to settle for anything less.  I make a conscious effort to avoid all television news (local, national, and cable) and stick with NPR.  They talk in normal voices and sound respectful, much like the people I work with every day, the people I come home to at night, and the people I deal with in public.  Another bonus is that they stay on a topic for more than 45 seconds so I can think about what they say.  Also, I have yet to have them ask me, “Is something you do every day killing your kids?  Join us tonight to find out”. 
Another mom-ism that I would like to share is, “You worry about you”.  I would address this specifically to the One Million Moms and all other bossy people who feel the need to tell everyone else how to live.   Ladies, while I disagree with you on almost every count, I sympathize with wanting to keep your kids innocent for as long as possible.  I too wish the media acted more like a partner than a preditor, but they don’t.  Part of you job is always going to monitoring your kids’ media exposure, using your teachable moments where you find them, turning off things that are not within your values, and having uncomfortable discussions about all sorts of things. 
Chaz Bono is not on "Dancing with the Stars" to glorify transgender lifestyles.  Chaz Bono is on "Dancing with the Stars" because his mom is famous and might show up to draw viewers.  The fact that Chaz Bono is transgender is a bonus to them and really only an issue if you make it one.  Ben and Jerry’s sells “Schweddy Balls” ice cream based on a hilarious skit on Saturday Night Live and you want it banned?  Yes it is crude and childish and kind of gross, but harmful to kids?  I don’t really think so, but if you do, then it is up to you to explain to them why.  Just don’t be too surprised if you someday find out they are talking about balls a lot behind your back, especially if they are little boys.  I have four brothers, so I feel I have some expertise.
But enough about the bossy people, the yelling people, the extreme people and the fear mongers.  I hereby opt to ignore them all and go on with my boring, normal life.  I need to go to work, pay my bills, work in my yard, visit with my friends, and keep this country going just like every other person I know.  I will honor and cherish all the other unexciting, regular people I know and be grateful that almost every one of them adds value to my life no matter their political affiliation or opinion on the day’s events.  I thank them all for appreciating me for who I am and agreeing to disagree on almost everything almost all the time.
The Butcher

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