Where did the “news” go?

Check out the cartoon below. It came across my newsfeed the other day and it struck me as funny, and sadly, extremely relevant. Where are the accurate news sources? Every day it seems that another outlet has been compromised by political influence and corporate protection.

More and more people are getting their news from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (comedy programs airing on Comedy Central mind you) than Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, or Bloomberg. Does this sound sad to anyone else? Not sad because we look to John Stewart or Stephen Colbert for our facts on what’s going on in the world out there. That’s actually great because they’re both fantastic commentators. Sad because there are less and less places for us to get the unbiased, unfiltered, and transparent truth if we should want it (which we should).

It’s gotten so bad that some people I know don’t even read any American news sites anymore. They go to BBC News or Reuters because they feel they have a better chance of finding out what the US has been involved in and to what extent without the story going through a hefty edit process to make sure no influential billionaires get in trouble.

How corrupt are US news sites? I honestly can’t tell you. What I can say is that, as the comic implies, while we may not know where the “real” news is, we seem pretty sure that what we’ve got isn’t cutting it anymore.

Luckily there are a few bastions of uncompromised news out there. Or at least I think they are, until some scandal comes out that destroys their credibility as well. I’m thinking primarily of NPR. They seem fairly legit and unbiased, but then again I can’t be sure. And this is the point I’m trying to make. The skepticism has gotten so bad that I’m finding it tough to put my trust in any news outlet. There’s always a cloud of doubt looming overhead due to the way so many “sources” alter their perspectives to meet their station’s agendas.

This is why I’m parched, why I think we’re all parched. We just want to get through the business politics to learn about the actual politics. If that oasis will grow anytime soon is yet to be seen but those little pockets we do have had better stay pure lest we all dehydrate from lack of truth.

this is me on any given day my television happens to be on

this is me on any given day my television happens to be on

 

NEWS

this tidbit is NOT vetted by me personally, but wouldn’t be surprised if it’s true

 

Horse Rescuers — the Oft Lonely Advocates

Musings from a Tangled Mind:

I love, love, love to see advocates share the love like this writer! I know…that’s a lot of “loves.” But, too often there is divisive behavior that hurts the cause and ultimately hurts the animals. I think it’s great when people can be a voice for a cause — whether they’re at an event in person or just in spirit. We ALL count, we ALL matter and we ALL make a difference. So I say thank you to every advocate out there. You’re all doing a bang-up job!!

Originally posted on Pass the SAFE Act!:

Many devoted animal advocates often attend events and demonstrations that support the cause we’re all backing and we cannot thank you enough! It may be as a part of a strong picket line or a peaceful protest outside a political office, or the storefront of a place that supports inhumane treatment of animals. These activists have the amazingly powerful ability to get together, swap stories, meet each other, and engage earnestly with other members of their like-minded community. They give much needed support to each other and are alleviated of any fear of isolation by being reassured that there are many others who feel just as strongly about the cause as they do. There is a group all too often unable to attend such events but who nonetheless are just as adamant in their stance for animal rights. Of course we’re talking about horse rescues.

become a gift to others and you will always be well received

The people who run horse…

View original 454 more words

Mom & Pop Music

Cats and dogs. Fire and ice. Oil and water. When it comes to music, parents and kids are supposed to stay at opposite ends of the appreciation spectrum. Parents are expected to shake their heads and raise their fists in silent fury, or not so silently, when they hear that “racket” coming from their child’s room. The kids are expected to roll their eyes when a golden oldie or classic rock song comes on the radio that their mom/dad turns up and starts snapping their fingers too, often out of rhythm. At least, this is what we’re conditioned to believe.

I’m supposed to stick to my Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Eagles, Bryan Adams, Tom Petty, among other 70’s & 80’s classics. I have nothing against these musical icons (and let’s be honest here, they are icons), love them in fact, but I have to admit that I also kind of like my daughter’s music. Yes, I like music that is made for teenagers. I admit it…but…I also stand behind it. There’s some good stuff getting made right now and she’s got a pulse on it and I’m happily riding her coat-tails. Imagine Dragons, Mumford and Sons, Phillip Phillips, Fall Out Boy, Passenger…they’re great!

Yes, here I am a…cough…somewhat middle-aged mother of two and I can honestly say that I love the pop music that’s getting massive airplay. My son’s taste in music is another thing, he’s into rave music. I can’t exactly get behind what he listens to, but my daughter and I, much like our taste in movies, books, and TV shows, are predictably simpatico with our musical preferences as well.

Comes and Goes in Waves” by Greg Laswell is an absolutely beautiful song. “All about that Bass” by Meghan Trainor drives me nuts (in a good way) with its crazy upbeat tune. “Timber” by Pitbull and Ke$ha is another one that I can’t help but turn up when it comes on. God help me, I can even sing along to Nicki Minaj’s “Starships.”

No, I’m not trying to be the “cool mom” either (if anything, I’m the geeky, dork mom).  If one of those songs comes on, I blast the radio even if Sarah’s not in the car with me. I truly do enjoy the sugary addictiveness of songs like “Roar” (Katy Perry) and “Brave” (Sara Bareilles). There’s an extensive list of other songs I could go on and on about but it would make this blog far too long for its own good.

I’m just hoping that I’m not the only parent out there that can find the merit in some of these songs. I’ve never wanted to be the kind of mom that tells their kids to “turn that crap down” and thankfully I don’t have to pretend not to be that. I can, in all honesty, say that I often find myself saying the opposite.

Instead I’m the nutjob bobbing her head in the driver’s seat yelling at her daughter to “turn it up!”

 

Right Wingers

Somebody call the men with the white jackets to haul me off to the loony bin. I am certifiably insane. This is according to the rational, grounded, and downright pragmatic right-wingers who have taken to the saying “liberalism is a mental disorder.” Well, some of them anyway.

To be completely honest, if I must label myself, I guess I’d be classified as an “Independent with Liberal tendencies.” And like most of us probably do, I tend to surround myself with like-minded people. So my friends, for the most part, are left-leaning liberals or at the least “Independents.” Maybe it has to be that way…because some members of my family? Not so much.

I’ll admit, I personally find it very difficult these days to remain amicable with a certain someone who has drastically opposing political beliefs. I suppose I don’t have the patience I once had. Sure, people have always argued politics over a neighborly get together or family dinner. However it seems like in this age of social media people try to be as offensive and/or as argumentative about their political beliefs as possible. Oh, I know it’s not limited to one political party.

It’s as if these people are just begging to argue by putting up racist, sexist, homophobic or incendiary comments like the aforementioned “liberalism is a mental disorder.”  I think it’s fine for someone to have their anti-government sentiments and talk about it with other people who share their love of misogyny and assault rifles and their dream of a life in a doomsday survivalist commune somewhere deep  in the mountains of Wyoming. If someone wants to raise a Confederate flag and swear that the South will rise again that’s his or her own business. Just please don’t try to shove it in my face by forcing your views in such aggressive ways (i.e., stating that not thinking the same way is the side effect of a malfunctioning brain).

I can see doing that with strangers or people you don’t like to begin with. But family? Spouses? I mean, come on. Draw a line, people.

I have to say though; it does make me look at people differently.  I mean, I don’t care what political party you are or what issue you happen to side with – if you deliberately and very openly bait your closest friend or spouse or family member hoping to provoke a reaction solely for your own amusement or because you like to argue…there is just something wrong with you. At the very least you’re knowingly insulting them.  And that’s no better.

Looney Life

Imagine how different our daily lives would be if the physics of Looney Tunes were a real thing. I mean, when I was a kid I always thought the world was going to be a lot tougher to navigate, thanks to my favorite Saturday morning cartoon show. I know, I know, I spend way too much time thinking about Looney Tunes. I can’t help it. They’re my late night go-to when I’m too stressed to fall asleep. So sue me.

Anyway.

As things stand, in our Einstein-ian guided laws of space and time, our everyday concerns are pretty reasonable. When we’re driving we watch out for potholes because sometimes roads are old. When we’re walking we look out for gum on the sidewalk because some people are pigs. But if we were in a Looney Tunes life, getting stuck in quicksand or glue traps on the way to work would be more of a concern than they currently are. Oh, and we’d also have to watch out for little supper plate sized black holes people can unfold like napkins and lay on the ground that zip us off  into a void in the universe. Step in one of those and, bam! who knows where you’ll end up. There’s probably not any cell service in one of those either, so don’t bank on posting any funny stuck-in-a-wormhole-again status updates.

News about people being caught under falling anvils and grand pianos don’t normally dominate the front page of the local paper, probably because it doesn’t happen very often (i.e.: never at all). And that’s a good thing. I guess. Living in a Looney Tunes world may look like fun what with the ability to walk through the air until you look down, how you can bounce off walls when you’re really happy, and you can make your eyes really REALLY big when you see something you like a lot.

But let’s not be fooled. It is a dangerous place. Threats to life and limb loom around every corner in the Looney Tunes world. When I was a kid I didn’t quite understand the line between the cartoon universe and this reality and some of that has definitely stuck with me. To this day if I see a random balloon flying by (a stray from a birthday party perhaps), I double-check to make sure it doesn’t have a stick of dynamite attached to the string. Why? Because you just never know! Ahhh…if the world was really like this — sure it’d be more dangerous, but revenge plots would be sooo much more entertaining.

Sneaky Road Runners could not only hurt poor genius Coyotes, they could jam up traffic for hours!

Poor, poor Wile E.

Deadly Sins

We are now entering a judgment free zone, okay? This is a blog of trust and openness so please don’t roll your eyes too hard when I tell you that I recently watched some cable reality show called 7 Deadly Sins. Hey, remember, no judging! I swear it was my first time watching it. I had no clue what I was getting into.

If anyone else here has had the unique experience of seeing an episode you’ll understand when I say without hesitation that it is a truly awful show. So awful I couldn’t stop watching. It sucked me in like a UFO’s tractor beam or a vampire’s gaze. I was transfixed and couldn’t help it because the topic of the show was so disgusting.

Lucky me I had turned on the episode dedicated to Lust. Part of the show’s way to define lust and the various interpretations focused on this elderly ass of a minister (who was more than a little creepy) who actively advocates for men to cheat on their wives. The wife could know about it or be left in the dark; on this point he has no preference. He was going off about the merits of visiting brothels and using prostitutes, and cheating in general, as a way to save marriages.

According to him—the dashing geriatric Casanova that he was—when women get married, “they get the white picket fence, the two-year-old twins, the puppy dog, the whole nine yards. They lose interest in pleasing their man….” so sex isn’t as important to them anymore. What these docile housewives don’t remember is that, “…men need blow jobs and wives just won’t do that…so why not find someone who will…”

So creepy old guy…I mean, this devout, lovely old minister has boiled it down to basic black and white in a way that no one else can because he understands women soooooo well. Well, it’s a good thing we’re in a judgment free zone, otherwise I might have a couple of things to say about how absolutely freaking stupid this entire premise is. But I digress.

Now this cuckoo minister is out there actively leading a congregation of men seeking out the word of God, or in this case – the means in which to cheat on their wives.  He even found a loophole in the Bible where God supposedly approves of it. No really, he did. So their search is on the up and up (ha!). I wish I could remember the exact citation he used, but if you know your Bible, it’s the part where Jesus apparently reached out to and helped ‘the prostitute’ and didn’t look down on her or treat her badly. Therefore, according to this minister, God must be totally cool with prostitution and men cheating, because Jesus did not, and I quote, “cure the prostitute of her ways.”

Okay, sure, yeah, the logic behind that thinking makes perfect sense. I can see how that must mean God is okay with marital infidelity.  Hang on for a sec while I just bang my head on the wall a few times.

Giving credit where credit is due, the man even practices what he preaches. On the show they filmed him visiting a brothel and I have to say, he’s more well-known there than Norm on Cheers.

I hope you can see how it is I got sucked into watching the show. At least this one part of it, anyway (I didn’t sit through the whole hour, trust me, I just couldn’t). But the last part with the minister was the real kicker for me. I’m still cleaning soda off my duvet because the minister’s parting words during the final fade-out scene took me somewhat by surprise seconds after I had just taken a somewhat large swig of my drink. (Remember…no judging.) So — as he’s driving away from the brothel after some money well spent, he says to the camera, “If I ever remarry, I’m going to marry an ex-working girl because they’re submissive and really know how to treat a man.” Excuse me? Remarry? REMARRY!? Someone actually signed up for this in the past? What a shocker that didn’t work out. And there goes my lovely duvet all covered in diet Coke.

The gospel of misinformation this guy is spreading is on a ludicrous level. The utter misogyny seeping out of my TV screen reminded me of The Blob and I seriously expected Steve McQueen to parade around the corner at any moment to fight the beast off with a fire extinguisher of logic. Everything this so called “Minister of God” said was simply untrue.

  • Infidelity is okay according to the Bible!? Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t one of the Ten Commandments ‘Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery’? I thought the Ten Commandments were sort of a big deal in the Bible. Important even.
  • Women are bound to lose interest in sex after they get hitched? Maybe for him when his ex-wife realized she royally screwed up in the husband department. Or, according to his scenario: two year old twins, a house to keep up (white picket fence), a puppy dog, the whole nine yards, and apparently a man who believes in traditional roles (equals no help)…sure…I mean with a household like that, maybe the wife just doesn’t have much energy left over for sex. But in general?  Most women like sex. I hate to break it to you guys –  if you’re not getting any, it’s not because we don’t like sex or because we lose interest in sex.

I wonder what this fella would think about women cheating on their husbands? You know, to save the marriage. I’d bet my life savings he’d be against it. The wife would surely be branded as a hussy who doesn’t know how to respect her man or some BS like that.

At the beginning of the show, before I knew what I was getting into, the misogyny dripping off this guy made me livid, but then by the end I was in tears from laughing. He was such a parody of a true upstanding man of the cloth it was hilarious. Made all the funnier by how staunchly serious he was about his contradictory and crazy beliefs. People like this just kill me —and they are the ones who are SURE they have a golden place awaiting them in heaven. If they do, I tell you this, I’ll take hell any day of the week. And twice on Sunday.

Holiday Rush

In the waning days of August, as summer inched closer to its end yet still had plenty of bite to put sweat on the forehead at the height of the afternoon, I was in a local store to grab a few items and, lo and behold, I saw Halloween decorations staring back at me. Really!? In August the merchandisers were already starting to push Halloween on us!? Halloween, people! I did a double take just to make sure I hadn’t maybe forgotten that I had previously slipped into a coma and having recently come out of aforesaid coma forgotten that it was actually the beginning of October. Nope. No coma. It was definitely August and before Labor Day fireworks were even being set up,  I was already being nudged to think about how I’m going to decorate my front porch for a night more than two months away!

Absurd, I know, but this is how the trend has been going for years now. Each successive holiday season, the celebration du jour has their products on sale earlier and earlier. My prediction? By mid-September (now-ish) we’ll start seeing turkey cartoons and cornucopia centerpieces. By the time Halloween actually rolls around there will be plastic sleighs and reindeer horns for sale next to cash registers. On Christmas Eve we’ll be able to buy chalky candy hearts with “Be Mine” and “Kiss Me” tattooed on them. After we sing Auld Lang Syne we’ll crack open a Cadbury Cream Egg which, by the way, has already been on sale for a week.

It’s getting crazy how early each consecutive holiday season starts but is it really that unexpected? Should we be shocked? We do live in an age of capitalism, so getting the jump on the competitor is how a business thrives. And who doesn’t like being reminded of these great excuses to eat more than we can fit in, see family we can barely stand, and drink more than we ought to? But when is it too much?? Keep pushing the clock back the way it’s been going and before you know it kids will be sucking on candy canes on their way home from the swimming pool.  Feliz Navidad!