Does everything have to be a “thing”? (Are you just a marketing widget?)

photograph courtesy of morguefile.com
photograph courtesy of morguefile.com

You can chalk it up to the rebel in me but I really hate labels.  And it seems like more and more that every activity, belief, principle, component, element has to have a label.  It has to be a ‘thing.’  Know what I mean?

For example…

Can’t we just be good about conservation, maximize our resources, re-purpose our old stuff, and care about nature in general without having to be an environmentalist? Or worried about global warming, climate change – or whatever the kids are calling it these days?

Or can’t people who read blogs or books just be readers instead of your tribe,  your audience, your peeps?

Can’t we just be Americans without the hyphens?

Do our sex lives have to define us? Straight? Gay? Transgender? Bi? And how on Earth did our ‘sexual orientation’ (another word that drives me bats) become political?

As Americans don’t we all just have rights?  Do we really need sub-categories of women’s rights, gay rights, animal rights, illegal immigrant rights?  Do our smart-phones, tablets, computers, televisions and cars have rights too? Maybe not today but don’t be surprised if somebody suggests it in the not too distant future.

Are we all just widgets and demographics?

I think it’s interesting that people are so concerned about political parties and who has minorities and majorities in this administration or that administration.  And yeah, it’s important.  But the thing we all seem to miss is that the people who have the real power are those who can convince us that we belong in groups.  That we are merely a number in their given category.  That we aren’t really individuals.  That we are defined by our interests and not by who we are. Who are these nefarious folks?  Marketers.  People who want to sell us stuff.  And no matter how much stuff they sell us, they want to sell us more. We’re not people, we’re just group members, numbers, part of the demo – widgets.

For example, I’m ‘white, middle-age, single female, christian, conservative baby boomer.’  These folks don’t care that I love animals, would help anyone who needed help, am a great cook, can make people laugh, grow the best tomatoes on the planet, love a good steak, have passion for the written word, hate to drive but love cars, voracious reader, prolific writer, love puns, cry at beautiful things, shoot straight from the hip kind of gal.  Because they don’t see me or you as a person, just as someone to manipulate to buy and use their stuff. (And there’s that whole creating the us against them scenario, which I probably shouldn’t even go into here…)

If you’re worried about the government spying on you and learning all about you, then you should be terrified of the marketers out there who are doing it in spades.  I mean, who do you think taught the government how to do it? Whose technology does the government use to learn all your secrets?

I’m not suggesting that there is anything wrong with people wanting to sell their wares.  There are a lot of really cool and useful products and services out there and people who want them and can use them, should know about them.  But I am suggesting that we have allowed marketers to get so inside our heads that we no longer define ourselves – instead we let them define us. Know what I mean?

Resistance is futile – or is it?

So I suggest that we resist.  Stop letting them make you a widget in a crowd of widgets.  Resist the urge of putting yourself into categories – especially ones provided by others.  Define yourself.  Use your own words.  Be the unique person that you are. Because we’re people, damn it! Right?

Are you tired of feeling like a widget in the big demographic machine?  Or do you like the labels?  Why?

Writer Chick

Copyright 2014

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SantaBama

Yes, indeed, yet another Christmas parody for your amusement. Since our president seems to be in such a giving mood, I thought adapting this Christmas classic to reflect his generosity was appropriate. And really Santa Baby translates so well into SantaBama, doncha think?

SantaBama (to the tune of Santa Baby)

SantaBama, slip a freebie under the tree, for me
I’ve been an awful good girl
SantaBama, and hurry down to Congress tonight

SantaBama, an out-of-space budgetary coup, from you
I’ll wait up for you dear
SantaBama, and hurry down to Congress tonight

Think of all the grants I’ve missed
Think of all the wants that you could assist
Next year I could be oh so good
If you’d pay for my Christmas list
Boo doo bee doo

Barry honey, I wanna smoke my pot and really that’s
Not a lot
I’ve been a libbie all year
SantaBama, and hurry down to Congress tonight

Bama cutie, there’s one thing I really do need, the deed
To a GM factory
SantaBama, and hurry down to Congress tonight

SantaBama, I’m filling my stocking with unemployment checks
Sign your ‘X’ on the line
SantaBama, and hurry down to Congress tonight

Come and trim my Christmas tree
With entitlements bought with bribery
I really do believe in change
Let’s see if you believe in me
Boo doo bee doo

SantaBama, forgot to mention one little bone, a loan
I don’t mean to pay
SantaBama, and hurry down to Congress tonight

Hurry down to Congress tonight
Hurry down to Congress tonight

What do you want from SantaBama?  Hurry I think the lameduck session may already have adjourned.

WC

Why Democrats are Going Down

Even a year ago I doubt few of us would have predicted the current political climate. From voter anger, to bagillion dollar deficits, and a corn-dawg loving first lady preaching about obesity – I’d venture that even fiction writers couldn’t have made this stuff up.

Like it or leave it, I think the libbies are going down this year and with a thud. While pollsters are hedging their bets, as well as candidates and political talking heads I’m coming out and saying the libbies are gonna get seriously spanked in the upcoming mid-terms. Following are a list of reasons why I think this…

The democrats are doing down because…

1. Michelle is trying to take away our Big Macs ‘n’ fries. Americans do not like to be told what to eat. It stems from countless mothers chiding children to eat their green beans because there are starving children elsewhere. Like any normal child the response to such logic is, ‘so what?’ Michelle taking on the mantle of the Mommy of the nanny state just isn’t playing well in Boise.

2. Pelosi’s latest plastic surgery is just too scary. While I’ll admit there are countless things about Pelosi that are scary, her permanent Halloween mask has even the true believers looking away.

3. Roe v. Wade, global warming, and the race card just doesn’t cut it anymore. Let’s face it, legalized abortion isn’t going away, people have created an entire niche market out turning soda bottles, nobody likes hybrids, and essentially now that everyone is a racist or a bigot, that card is pretty diluted. The libbies really need a new issue, one that they haven’t uttered a bagillion times before, using the same tired phrases. Something like…I don’t know…the constitutional right to have hair plugs (paid for by Obamacare of course).

4. Their rallies suck. Even free lunches and bus rides don’t seem to inspire union members to come out and carry their assigned placards.

5. They failed to learn with Al Franken that bringing comedians to Washington just isn’t funny. Colbert speaking about farm workers’ rights? Really? And picking apples or tomatoes or whatever qualifies him? Well I’ve been gardening for years…so where is my invite?

6. We’ve all learned (now that Obamacare has been passed) what’s in it.

7. George Soros has finally run out of money. Well probably not, but he apparently is sick of investing in things that bring him no return. Besides short-selling countries is more fun for him.

8. The deficit is so big we can’t count that high. Once numbers get beyond a billion it just becomes all fuzzy and our knees get weak. Quick bring me some kool aide.

9. The slogan made in China just doesn’t poll well. While we Americans like our bargains and to get our junk cheap – we don’t want to be one of China’s ill-conceived, poorly constructed products.

10. Mama grizzlies trump soccer moms. Face it buckshot will beat a soccer ball and a minivan every time.

11. Tea parties trump tea-baggers. Parties are fun, bags are for garbage.

12. People really do miss Bush. Hey, at least the guy can throw a baseball, fly a jet and has a classy wife.

13. Because it’s Bush’s fault (see above).

14. People are paying attention. If there is one thing a politician counts on is that the electorate pays little to no attention to what they are doing, enacting and legislating. Imagine the shock and dismay when the libbies learned that most of us can read and think.

15. It’s their turn. Conventional wisdom says that every mid-term, if things aren’t going peachy the party in power loses. Well there is that but then there is also the depression era unemployment numbers, record deficits (we don’t mean that in a good way), 3,000 page bills that nobody has read and general disregard for the public at large. Although this could be a golden opportunity for the libbies to play the victim card and whine and complain about how the pubbies are stopping them at every turn. Oh…that’s right, they are already doing that….

16. And finally, the democrats are going down because….they are not good enough, they are not smart enough and doggone it, people don’t like them.

How about you? What do you think? And feel free to add to the list.

Copyright 2010

The Underwear Bomb

Wow, talk about getting your panties in a knot. That my dear readers is the ‘bomb’ that sought to take down a commercial airliner. What concerns me most was that the explosives were sewn into the crotch of the underwear. Now, I don’t want to be rude or anything but is this some sort of macho muslim metaphor or what?

If security logic follows then we may have to offer up our tidy whities when going through airport security later this year. I mean Richard Reid brought us the shoe bomb and now we have offer up our shoes and that was what? – six years ago? So, I’m thinking maybe we all just ought to go commando while flying the friendly skies and shorten the security lines.  😉

Details of this explosive front page story can be found here.

You Know You’ve Gotten Too Fat When…

fat lady

Way back when I wrote this post, “You Know You’ve Gotten too Fat When…” It was very popular (go figure). Due to technical difficulties, among other things, the original post was lost. I try here to recreate it:

You know you’ve gotten too fat when:

1. Your closet is divided into fat clothes and skinny clothes and the skinny clothes are pretty dusty.
2. All your jeans have elastic in the waist and even those you can’t button.
3. The dishes rattle when you walk into the kitchen to get a snack.
4. Your room mate has put a padlock on the fridge and won’t give you the combination.
5. The lady at the airport check in counter gives you two boarding passes – one for you and one for your ass.
6. Your ass has its own zip code
7. When you attend dinner parties, the hostess always waits until you leave the table to offer seconds.
8. Your nickname is Godzilla
9. Cleveland won’t allow you entrance anymore because they are afraid you will eat it.
10. You’re ambidexterous – also known as a two-fisted eater.
11. Your ‘baby fat’ could supply enough fat for ten babies.
12. As soon as you get into your car it becomes an instant ‘low rider.’
13. At the last 5K run you registered 2.5 on the Richter Scale.
14. When you wear your yellow dress, people mistake you for a school bus.
15. The employees at Home Town Buffet cringe when you walk in the door because they know they don’t have enough food.
16. You’re on the McDonald’s ‘watch list.’

As usual, feel free to add to the list.

Writer Chick

Dear Editor

(Imagine my delight, when I discovered yesterday that the NY Times had some advice for Republican/conservative voters. Quotes from article in italics and block quoted. WC)


Dear NY Times Editor,
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do an in-depth analysis on which Republican candidate is best suited to become the President of the United States and for whom I (we) should vote.

We have strong disagreements with all the Republicans running for president. The leading candidates have no plan for getting American troops out of Iraq. They are too wedded to discredited economic theories and unwilling even now to break with the legacy of President Bush. We disagree with them strongly on what makes a good Supreme Court justice.

Still, there is a choice to be made, and it is an easy one. Senator John McCain of Arizona is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe. With a record of working across the aisle to develop sound bipartisan legislation, he would offer a choice to a broader range of Americans than the rest of the Republican field.

Being the backward, bible-thumping, cousin-marrying, gun-toting, truck-driving, beer- drinking, country-music-listening, grade school-educated moron that I am, I truly appreciate your going through the pain of the selection process for me (us).

After all, there are only twenty four hours in the day and formulating vast right wing conspiracies take up a good portion of that, with precious little left for bible study and refining effective approaches to perpetrating hate crimes. So, as you can see, I don’t have the time to contemplate anything as inconsequential as who might lead the free world for the next four years.

To say that I am deeply touched by your concern for my political welfare doesn’t begin to describe my feelings about your ever-so-helpful article (endorsement) about/of Senator John McCain.

And what a candidate you have selected for me (us)! There is no Republican on Earth more like Hillary Clinton than Citizen McCain. His uncanny ability to co-opt liberal causes and betray his party and principles of same are unparallelled in the civilized world.

But Mr. McCain took a stand, just as he did in recognizing the threat of global warming early. He has been a staunch advocate of campaign finance reform, working with Senator Russ Feingold, among the most liberal of Democrats, on groundbreaking legislation, just as he worked with Senator Edward Kennedy on immigration reform.

Like Mrs. Clinton, Senator McCain has truly mastered the skill of talking out of both sides of his mouth whilst never moving his lips.

We have shuddered at Mr. McCain’s occasional, tactical pander to the right because he has demonstrated that he has the character to stand on principle. He was an early advocate for battling global warming and risked his presidential bid to uphold fundamental American values in the immigration debate. A genuine war hero among Republicans who proclaim their zeal to be commander in chief, Mr. McCain argues passionately that a country’s treatment of prisoners in the worst of times says a great deal about its character. …

Mr. McCain was one of the first prominent Republicans to point out how badly the war in Iraq was being managed. We wish he could now see as clearly past the temporary victories produced by Mr. Bush’s unsustainable escalation, which have not led to any change in Iraq’s murderous political calculus. At the least, he owes Americans a real idea of how he would win this war, which he says he can do.

For all I know, he is actually a marionette getting his jollies by having your hand up his ass. Which could explain that silly, goofy grin he often wears, as well as his Howdy Doody voice

You make a fine case for endorsing the Senator who never met a liberal cause he didn’t like and a very convincing argument to vote for him – And iff’in I was a Democrat, I certainly would.

Still, I do appreciate that a newspaper with the stature of The New York Times, would have my back in terms of my electorate health and I will check back later to see who you might be endorsing for the upcoming election of the local dogcatcher and the Hunkiest Garbage Man Contest.

It’s nice to know that a main stream publication can be fair and objective in its recommendations to one and all.

Sincerely,
Writer Chick – who apparently fell off the turnip truck yesterday.

If you want to read the article, you can find it here.

Update:

To read a little about McCain’s legendary temperment check this out.

So, Where’s the Peace?

Okay, well the world is officially insane – the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore? Are they kidding? Even if Gore was right about Global Warming, how in the hell does that equate to earning the Nobel Peace Prize? As far as I can see, there is nothing but unrest on this topic. In fact, it inspires downright insanity in people. So, where’s the peace?

And aside from being a marginal Senator and a boring Vice President, what exactly are this guy’s credentials? He wrote a propaganda film, for which he won an Academy Award (and these people know science, yes?) – so right there, you know it was bullshit. The Academy doesn’t give awards to anything that even slightly resembles reality. Unless, they’ve all been kidnapped and reprogrammed with actual IQ’s.

What exactly has Algore done to now be the bastion of world peace? Did I miss the kumbyah party? Yeah, yeah, I know he invented the Internet so now every adolescent boy in the world can have live porn in the privacy of their bedrooms rather than stealing their dad’s Playboy – but that only brings about a small amount of peace of mind, right?

He’s run for president four times (yep, four times, folks) and still can’t get it right. His Jenny Craig program obviously isn’t working and he’s changed his position of everything from the Middle East to popcicles – so what exactly, how exactly does this translate into getting the Nobel Peace Prize? How? How? How?

Oh yeah, that’s right – this prize is awarded by 8 anal Swedes who don’t get out much. Why do we even care? Who are these guys that we should care about who they give awards to? As far as I’m concerned it would have more weight if Kelly Clarkson gave out the awards – at least we know she got millions of votes and sold millions of records?

But don’t you think it’s ironic that some weird dudes from the land of eternal snow gave another really weird dude an award for his Global Warming incantations?

Yep, the world is officially insane.

Is Information Killing Us?


I doubt anyone would argue with me on the idea that we are in the Information Age. We’ve sped past the Industrial Age, outsourced most of our manufacturing, given up our agricultural roots (pun intended) to the corporate farms – and thanks largely to the Internet and Algore(not), have essentially made our mainstay diet, data and information. How utterly enlightened of us. We certainly can and do pat ourselves on the backs for having acheived this milestone in civilized society – yet…. Why in the hell are we so stupid?

I don’t necessarily mean you my friends, I mean we as a collective, as society. Despite the fact, that we have a never-ending source of information, data, news, and connections to same we seem to be stupider than we have ever been. We seem to have less common sense (just read any random 10 lawsuits), less sense of community (read any random 10 pieces of legislature passed, locally or federally), are less likely to lend a hand or think of anything other than our own needs (road rage, current role models, the never-ending stream of victim laws, etc. ad nauseum).

Yet, we are also more educated than we’ve ever been. They are starting kids in pre-pre-school, in order to socialize children, in order to increase their intelligence and ultimately to increase their ability to succeed in higher education and the job market. Yet, more high school seniors are unable to read and write than ever before. When I was in high school, I never even heard of a high school senior who couldn’t read and write – now, it seems to be some sort of social problem for which we need programs, sub-languages (ebonics anyone?), translators, secondary and tertiary language versions of materials and texts and still it doesn’t seem to improve. We blame the teachers for the problem, yet never throw the spotlight on the system in which they are forced to operate. Smart, huh?

Every wonderful and deplorable thing that man has had and does have to offer or has created is at our fingertips – yet, we are never satistifed and continue to feed our incessant craving for stuff but not knowledge. Also, generally speaking, we are unhappier (just look at all the new mental and emotional disorders we have ‘discovered’ in the last 3 decades) and less satisifed with ourselves and our lives. We have so much more than our parents ever had, so much more, so many more choices, opportunities and avenues to take and explore. But rather than being deleriously happy and embracing all of these wonderous things we look to the government to protect us and coddle us from the big bad world. We sacrifice the rearing of our children in exchange for laws that will prevent our neighbors from annoying us or doing things we think they shouldn’t oughta do.

We don’t need to have opinions of our own because we have talking heads, politicians and ‘community leaders’ who will talk for us and let us use their opinions. We have sacrificed our own personal critical thinking skills to them so that they will protect us from our environments, neighbors, nature, and things that go bump in the night, and even ourselves so that we won’t have to be responsible for what we bring into our lives or the lives of others. All so we can live in our bubbles and not be bothered.

We have been lulled into the belief that information is knowledge – that what we see, hear and read is true, by virtue of the fact that we see, hear and read it. Never realizing that it’s just bullshit hitting us faster than it did before at the speed of the latest and greatest Intel processer chip.

We believe indoctrination is education, political correctness is caring, global warming is inevitable, second hand smoke will get us when we aren’t looking, interlopers have rights in our country, terrorists can be reasoned with, children have no right to innocence, certain groups deserve special consideration, drugs can bring us happiness, weight loss and spiritual enlightenment and any entity that provides jobs and commerce are evil. We’ve been sold a bill of goods, my friends. And make no mistake, information is not knowledge. Being able to spew facts at will is not talking truth. And all this information has not enlightened us one whit.

This glut of information is killing us. Killing our souls, our minds and our ability to think. Unless we use the information it will use us – as it is right now. If we never stop to question anything, never stop and say ‘wait a minute, that doesn’t make sense’, never stop to disagree with the information du jour if for no other reason than we can, then what kind of world will we be leaving for the next generation coming up? I think we will leave a world of sheep, a world where books will be banned because they offend, where personal freedoms will be determined by the state and those in power, where our children will no longer need identification, money, property or bank accounts, just a bar code tatooed on their skull and number in one of the giant computers that holds all the information. Think about it.

What do you think?

WC

Children No More?

I’ve been wondering lately, why we seem to be in such a hurry to make kids grow up. What got me thinking was a ‘sneak preview’ I saw of an upcoming show, Kid Nation. I can’t really say why but the whole concept aggravated me to no end. I kept carping at the television, as though it would listen to me and just stop it.

The basic idea of this show is to take a bunch of kids aged from 8 to 15, put them in a ghost town and see if they can create a community. I suppose on the face of it, it sounds kind of cool and innovative and all that stuff that television execs get worked up about. But to me, it sounds a little sad. Kids are supposed to be kids. This is their time to learn, have fun, have adventures, be care-free and just live – hopefully fully employing their amazing imaginations and creating some precious memories for when they are old farts like the rest of us.

Instead, we give them sex education (Obama thinks age 5 is about the right time for this), teach them about sexual orientation (Why Joey has two mommies), give them more homework than I ever had in high school, cell phones, their own phones, their own televisions, social security numbers, bank accounts, debit cards, designer clothes, start them in school before they can speak, pay big bucks to get them into the right preschool or in some cases pre-preschool, chauffer them everywhere they go, cervical vaccinations as early as age 9, $120 sneakers, highlights and manicures.

They have play dates instead of running through the neighborhood gathering up their pals for a romp at the old railroad station. They have nannies instead of babysitters. Are taught security codes for their homes. Can text message and surf the net like pros, but can’t seem to think. They are ensconsed in electronic paraphanelia, plugged in, zoned out, on antidepressants, have disorders that take up page upon page of the PDR are vast consumers of internet porn and worst of all, cynical.

Have you watched a sitcom lately? Have you noticed that the kids, regardless of age, are always played as all knowing, world-weary, cynical punsters. Mom and Dad clearly can’t teach them anything because they know it all. And apparently must educate their parents in the ways of the world because they are clueless.

Now, when I was a kid, I know we all pretended that our parents were clueless and truly didn’t understand how things really were. Yet, whenever something bad happened, whenever life kicked us in the teeth, whenever something scared the bageebers out of us, we made a beeline to Mom and Pop. They may have been un-hip, squares, not with it, uninformed on pop culture, but they knew stuff. They knew life. They had graduated from the school of hard knocks and they were there for a reason. We all knew this in our hearts.

Today’s kids? I’m not so sure. I look around and it’s not kids I see, but very short adults running around in their power suits, dragging their laptops, drinking their lattes and smoking their cigarettes. Ordering their parents about, who seem to go whichever way they are commanded. They smirk, the deride, they disrespect and snicker.

And I’m not mad so much as sympathetic. I mourn the loss of their innocence. I mourn the loss of their carefree, clueless days. I mourn the loss wild imaginings. Not for me, because I had them. But for them – those in such a hurry to grow up and the parents who are pushing them along.

WC

Mad As Hell

I’ve had it. I’m done. I’m done with petty people and their petty games. I am done with nasty sniping remarks that cut you to the quick. With small minded, insipid, incompetent boobs who think they can run the world when they can’t even run a vcr. I’m done with know it alls who think they have the answer to it all. With people who take credit for the hard work of others and then stab them in the back for being kind to them. I’m done with idiots who don’t have two IQs to put together and if they did would start a forest fire that they would blame on their next door neighbor.

I’m done with jobs that kick you in the teeth whilst embracing all your hard work as their own. With morons who question everyone but themselves. With accusers who never look at or own up to their misdeeds. With slackers and shits. Bitter bitches and lazy asses. Pigs who wouldn’t see their own dirt if they were sleeping in it. Control freaks. Big babies. Natter baskets. Gossip whores. And small minded fucks who should be shot for wasting space on the planet.

Sick of being the nice guy. Of being considerate. Of doing unto others. Of caring when no one else gives a flying fuck. Of trying to do the right thing. Of busting my butt for people who would throw water on me if my hair was on fire. Of saying please and thank you and would you mind? Of thinking that the nice guy can ever win. Of being ignored, disrespected, mistreated, maligned, lied about, analysed, cut up into little pieces and thrown about the room for fun. Of being a pasty and an idiot. Of believing in the basic goodness of others. And telling myself they don’t mean it when they say and do things that make your head explode. Being the doormat, the problem solver, the shit handler, the dumpee of all the dumpable crap that can be found. Of being the giant brain for people too stupid to find their asses with both hands. Of it all. Sick. To. Death. I. Am. Done!!

So…how was your day?

WC