Friday, August 27, 2010

Nothin' But Snark. And More Politics.

Is it just me, or have we all gotten really grumpy lately?
It seems like snark is the new plaid, which had been the new pink, which was the new black.  EVERYONE, it seems, has a snarky comment on just about EVERYTHING these days!
Charlotte at "The Great Fitness Experiment" mentions (in a very nice, anti-snark way) that some of her readers think she is "selling out" when she does a product review or free giveaway.
How is giving away stuff to readers FOR FREE selling out?!?!?!
Watch any entertainment news show and it's all nasty gossip.  Pick up "US" magazine and now they not only have the whole "who wore it better" thing,  pitting 2 (female, of course) celebs who happened to [gasp!] wear the same outfit against each other, they're now doing the same thing with celeb's KIDS! Wasn't there a time when the paparazzi at least respected the kids' privacy?  Those days are long gone! Of course, it doesn't help when a publicist calls ahead to "alert the media" that said celeb will be at a The Coffee Bean on Sunset Blvd. in Santa Monica at 11:03 AM ordering her kids a hot chocolate....
I won't get into the online bullying.  Because it breaks my heart and makes me so mad I just want to destroy something.
But now even non-humans are doing it!
Snarking, I mean.
I just clicked on which is, apparently, experiencing some technical difficulties.  No biggie, it happens.  I'll check again later.  Because Lisa, the Workout Mommy herself, is awesome! and she has NOTHING to do with what I'm about to complain (snark? Oh, hopefully not!) about  on the site.
 Because right now it says; "There's nothing here.  If there were posts in the database, you'd be seeing them. Try creating a post and see if that solves your problem."
Um...There ARE posts in the database!  Unless something happened and they were deleted!  I know this because Lisa has been posting there for quite a while!  She's been WORKING VERY HARD, writing a whole bunch of posts, for over 2 years!  So WHY is the site being all nasty-snarky and denying all of her hard work?!?!?!?!  And why can't it be polite to those of us who click on it?  Why does it have to be be all rude and sarcastic?!?!?!  Who the hell created THAT program?  Do they think they're clever? 'Cause they're not!  This is a blog, created by a woman who has 3 young boys and not a lot of time, and she doesn't need that attitude, Mister!
It's bad enough that practically every blog has its share of trolls; the people who have nothing better to do than surf the web looking for bloggers to insult.  But now the servers have attitude?!?!?!

I suppose that this wouldn't have had the same effect on me at another time.  This week , OK, the past 3 MONTHS have been just WACKY! Chock full o' stress and anxiety and all sorts of drek. No vacation this year, because of schedules and lack of funds.
But I suppose I've learned a lot.  For example: WG needs A LOT of structure when she's not in school. LG needs to get to bed earlier.  (So does Mommy, come to think of it!) And something that you'd THINK would be obvious but was a bit lightbulb moment for me: if I'm gonna work more hours, I'm gonna need regular, reliable child care!!!!  The biggest struggle for working moms everywhere!
Because I've been trying to schedule my work hours around my kids' schedule.  Which would be reasonable if we lived in a reasonable society.  But we don't.  We expect ALL moms to be stay-at-home moms and all dads to be the sole breadwinners.  Basically, we expect to live in a 1950's sitcom, despite the fact that it is the 21st century and most families need AT LEAST 2 incomes just to get by.
(Oh, and if you're a mom on welfare or government assistance, you're expected to get up off your butt and work.  Not that you'll have childcare or ANY help with the kids...)
Hubby and I get respite care for our kids because of their Autism.  But we have to pay 75% of the costs (which we can't afford) AND we only get 4 hours a week. Well-intentioned, but not helpful. Yes, we have family nearby, but they can only do so much.  So we're in a bit of a bind.  Because Hubby works full time, but doesn't make enough to cover the mortgage, which just went up.  So for all the other bills, I need to work more.  But I also need to take care of the kids. I think we are, at this point in time, a typical American family.

Things need to change.  Maybe we can't do all that much for the economy right now, but attitudes can change.  When I see members of congress stand up and say they don't want to extend unemployment benefits because it will discourage people from looking for work and make the American worker lazy, I want to bang my head against the desk.
Because the American worker works longer hours and takes fewer vacations and days off than any other worker in the industrialized world!!!  Because anytime there is a job opening, there are thousands of applicants for it!  Because so many workers have been "downsized" so that their job could be sent overseas, to be taken over by someone who is paid pennies a day.  It's not the workers, American or otherwise, who are causing the problems!
I understand businesses have an obligation to the board of directors.  But don't they also have an obligation to their employees AND to the people who buy their products and use their services?  Money isn't made in a vacuum. If you make a lot of money, sorry, you owe something to those who HELPED you make it!  Especially the ones who work for you, who have made a lot less than you have.
When we lived in L.A. I always wondered why the folks in the entertainment industry who are hugely successful rarely gave back to the community.  The schools in L.A. county are in horrible shape, homeless shelters are closing, and in the shadow of the multi-million dollar Disney Hall in Downtown L.A. is an area called Tent City.  Homeless people and families live in tents in an open lot. 
Many of the "low-level" employees at the studios are products of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Yet the studios do nothing for the schools.
Don't get me wrong, I don't believe that the rich should be told how to spend all of their money, or that it should be taken away.  I'm not a big believer in the idea that what belongs to you belongs to everyone.  I think we only need to look at the French Revolution to see how THAT turns out! But I DO believe in responsibility to each other.  That the Haves need to consider the Have-Nots every once in a while.  Especially the working poor. The ones who work 40, 60, 80 hour weeks and STILL cannot get out of the circle of poverty. 
I'm not lumping myself in with them.  (I AM worried that I may become one in the future!)  I have to wonder how great a society we can be when we not only ignore our poorest citizens, but blame them for being that way.
And why we have gone from a pretty effective system of government, one emulated throughout the world, to one that is based on, yes, snark.  Politicians don't govern anymore, they take pot shots at each other. If you watch or listen to the campaign ads, everyone bashes the competition while offering up ZERO solutions!  "Vote for me because I am not THEM."  Well, that's not exactly a ringing endorsement for your abilities, is it? What, exactly, will you do once you get into office, and HOW will you do it? ( And for the businesspeople running for office; just remember that the citizens of your district are NOT your employees, and you're gonna run in to a whole lot more bureacracy in government than you did in the private sector. 
But don't worry; there are plenty of desks for you to bang your head against! )

I think I've said it before: if you look at history (which we seem loathe to do), the great societies fell when the in-fighting began.  Is this the beginning of the end for us?
I honestly don't know. 
If we keep focusing on the small battles and lose sight of the big picture, I think it will be. So, to the politicians and ESPECIALLY the pundits; stop thinking about your legacy, keep your egos out of it, and do what's best for the country.
In other words, cut the Snark, people! There's REAL work to be done!

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