A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..
There’s a rather cynical maxim that states something to the effect that most people don’t care about your problems and some are glad that you have them. While I can’t relate to the idea of being happy about other peoples’ difficulties I completely appreciate the first half of the statement. On one hand I’d like to think that anyone I know would feel comfortable asking for assistance or advice about a legit issue, but on the other hand the older I get the less patience I have with those for whom complaining is a daily sport. Life is one continuous drama for such individuals, and while I am sympathetic to a point one has to draw the line somewhere. We all have bad days, but some folks need to reexamine their life and make more of an effort not to be such a Debbie Downer to those in their orbit.
The veracity of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement(s) is almost mortally wounded after the recent accusations toward actor & comedian Aziz Ansari. I am only vaguely familiar with Ansari’s work, which includes being a member of the cast of NBC’s Parks and Recreation (which I never watched) a few years ago, as well as small roles in a handful of inconsequential movies. At any rate, Ansari was recently accused of “sexual misconduct” by a woman who willingly went to his place and “fooled around”, only to later claim that he didn’t pick up on her “non-verbal cues”. The woman did an interview for some magazine no one has ever heard of in which she said that during the date the two had drinks but “I didn’t get to choose and I prefer red, but it was white wine”, a statement that immediately makes one question the intelligence of the alleged victim and/or the writer. She says that he performed oral sex on her and she reciprocated, “but not for long…it was really quick”. She says that he kept asking her where she wanted him to…well, you know (I’m trying to keep this as family friendly as possible)…and she “found the question tough to answer because she says she didn’t want to at all”. And you know what?? Long story short…they didn’t have sex. He eventually got the message and even called the woman an Uber. Look, I’m not going to full on defend Aziz Ansari. He sounds like a 19 year old frat boy, but is in fact a 30-something man with a relatively successful career. Surely he should aim higher in his…recreational activities. That being said, he isn’t a mind reader. I don’t want to hear this “non-verbal cues” crap, especially when the woman actually gave him a Lewinsky. Back in the 80’s First Lady Nancy Reagan promoted “Just Say No” as an anti-drug program, but it works just as well when it comes to sex. What the alleged victim describes sounds like hundreds of drunken hook-ups that happen every weekend across the globe, and when she finally made it clear that she didn’t want to take things any further (it’s amazing how much easier it became to communicate when her mouth wasn’t full) he backed off. She apparently told him “you guys are all the same”, which would seem to indicate that this wasn’t her first rodeo. One article I read sums up the situation perfectly: “Assault is not a feeling. Discomfort is a feeling. Embarrassment, hurt, and anger are all feelings…but assault has to have an objective definition because of the legal and social ramifications that come with it. When we act as though disrespect, harassment, assault, and rape are all different words for the same thing, the conversation starts to lose its legitimacy.” Men can be horny creeps…no one is denying that. But when we start to lump in every circumstance where a guy was being a jackass & a woman did things but felt bad about them afterward together with actual rape & assault then we’ve crossed over to the wrong side of a slippery slope.
It doesn’t take much talent or effort to half-ass everything you do. One might not have the energy or inclination to go full throttle on some days, and that’s okay. However, as a general rule I believe in doing what needs to be done, doing it right the first time, & doing whatever it is to the best of your ability. There are those that talk a good game, that like to boast about how hard they work & how much they do for others, but the proof is in the pudding and the truth is that some of those people seem to talk a whole lot more than they work.
The world can be divided along many lines…Democrats/Republicans, gay/straight, black/white, male/female…and one such distinction is TV People vs. Non-TV People. Nons like to act like they’re too cool, smart, & sophisticated for television. They are allegedly too busy with more meaningful pursuits and find nothing on “the idiot box” worthy of their valuable time and erudite brain cells. Conversely, TVPs are unabashed pop culture enthusiasts that set aside time to watch their favorite shows and make copious use of their DVRs when they can’t be home. Nons are totally oblivious about big events like season finales and naively call friends or visit neighbors just when that person’s show is on and a huge reveal is about to occur or a long simmering mystery is on the verge of being solved. TVPs engage in social media discussions about their favorite shows and know a slightly disturbing amount of trivia about actors, characters, & storylines. Nons don’t understand how TVPs can get so caught up in such frivolous entertainment that does nothing to help them improve their station in life, while TVPs are shocked to find out that Nons don’t even own a television and have never heard of many of the most popular sitcoms, police procedurals, or trashy soap operas. I don’t believe that either are bad people, and think that balance is important. Television is a perfectly valid source of entertainment, but look at it like an investment portfolio where putting all of your eggs into one basket is rarely a good idea. Develop varied interests. Pursue other hobbies. Read books. Listen to music. Go outside occasionally. If you’re a Non don’t be too judgmental of TVPs, and think about dropping a few bucks on a nice television. The world can be a pretty tough place sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with a little escapism. Laugh. Get caught up in a fictional story to the point that it stirs your emotions. Stimulate your imagination. It’s okay to loosen up & have some fun.