Six Sentence Story- A Parable of US


Prompt word: fountain

There once was an exceptionally beautiful fountain built by a like-minded community with years of blood, sweat, and tears creating a dynamic cohesion, as well as, a prideful shared tradition associated with that noble, purposeful, creation.

Once the news that such a marvel existed reached other communities, many people made a pilgrimage to see it and many of these people became enchanted by the cohesive success of this unique village therefore deciding to stay.

Those who stayed, eagerly embraced the successful traditions and purpose from which this fountain had sprung so, as the community grew, it never accepted any challenges to ‘change’ by outside forces and kept all progressive changes made- an internal all-for-one decision- with only a few exceptions.

There eventually came a time, dear reader, that the success and prosperity of the ‘community of the fountain’ was known throughout the world and the numbers who came to behold the fountain were vast, yet the generous community welcomed them all to stay and told them to add their own traditions to the community with one stipulation- never were they to deface or dismantle the founders’ fountain.

Sadly, opportunists finally made their way to the community and partook of the bountiful sweet water but refused neither to honor the fountain nor the traditions that created it, and in so doing, added only their own vision for its maintenance by carving their names (and modifications) into its structure.

The ‘community of the fountain’ has now endured many years of self-serving disrespect and internal erosion of its original beautiful purpose and it’s clear that the once unique marvel of the world may not survive much longer as the fountain’s foundation is crumbling and the sweet water running out.


War on Punks

English: Suspect in a possible hate crime in V...
English: Suspect in a possible hate crime in Vancouver . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/21/police-say-teen-shot-australian-student-in-oklahoma-for-fun-it/

The link above is to the recent news article about the tragic killing of an Australian young man by some “punks” who were reportedly bored. The news media has offered many reasons for this atrocity. To name a few:

  • The US gun culture…
  • A racial hate crime…
  • Violence inspired by game playing…

I believe that I stumbled upon the real deeper cause when I commented in a reaction to this horror … “We need a “war on punks”!”
A punk, in my mind, is a young male who is striving for manhood by means of intimidation and violence.
Sadly, and dangerously, our society has lost the traditional definition of manhood.
Some of the reasons are economic but many stem from a “watering down” of the roles men play. Confused? So are our sons.
Back in the day, men were the providers of protection and the essentials for family survival. Since caveman times, the males had a clear role and spent (testosterone inspired) energy to fill that position.
Enter the women’s movement, government assistance, modern conveniences, absentee fathers and unemployment and you have idle time in the hands of males without direction.
Remember, to every action comes an equal and opposite reaction?
The women’s movement was a GOOD thing. This is not a puritanical conservative documentary, in the least. It is, however, a thoughtful wondering about the male experience in an attempt to shed light on a grave predicament in our culture.
“What makes a man?”
Punks seem to believe it is an adrenaline rush inspired by a dangerous act.
How did that happen?

First, we have taken the pointed scissors away from kids. That’s right. This cushioned, ultra-safety oriented, society has had a hand in making boys into sissies. Their confidence and male bravado has no inspiration.
I asked a 10-year-old to help me with lawn mowing, the other day. He said he’d never been asked. There must be a warning label, somewhere, which claims that my suggestion was illegal! (ATVs have labels too. “No one under twelve can operate them.” Funny though, the youth-sized ones are generally too small for most twelve-year-olds.)

Secondly, fatherhood is a duty not a choice. Modern society has lost sight of that in a nutshell. Boys need quality men to show them how to become men of quality.

Thirdly, Idle time and video game playing are not allowing for physical exertion. Scientifically, the lack of physical exertion MUST have an adverse effect upon testosterone fueled adolescents! I’m sure there is a study somewhere which would verify that adrenaline is a necessary drug in a young man’s life.

There must be a way to counteract the poisonous conditions of our sons’ environments.
Sports teams are one way. But many have not the means, nor interest, to take part in sports.
May I suggest, that in dealing with boys who have been expelled from or have dropped out of school, who have had scrapes with the police or are members of gangs, that we seriously entertain a type of boot camp. (Yes, those who have no pre-existing  disability, only.)
Of course, the boot camp would be the bottom line but they could be exempt from going if they entered a mentor program or volunteered in community service opportunities.

NOW, the race card would be thrown at this idea. The chances are, the black community would be in high attendance. (Unemployment and absentee fathers the catalyst.) BUT, instead of thinking this was an effort to marginalize minorities…why wouldn’t we consider it helping where the help is most needed?

These are just infant ideas for a possible cause and solution for a deep problem that just won’t be going away. What do you think?

Example Rules

Al Sharpton
Al Sharpton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was remembering one of my first triumphs at school. It was an aptitude test on English grammar. In second grade, we were asked to choose the correct form of a word to plug into a sentence. Since we had no formal grammatical training before the test, I was very pleased to “ace” it.
Why did I have those skills at age eight? Simply because proper grammar was spoken in my home.
The English language has rules… not the kind meant to restrict our behavior, but those which apply in order to keep us on “the same page” and in the “same game”.
When I consider the modern distaste for rules, in general, and the emphasis on diversity, I realize many young parents are throwing an obstacle into their children’s education (and success) when they refuse to use proper grammar.
I understand that bilingual households are at a disadvantage automatically. All the more reason, in my opinion, for parents to school themselves in proper English.
Language has little to do with culture, so the clinging to slang and the blocking of the kids’ understanding of the rules of English grammar in the home, make no sense.
Al Sharpton is an intelligent man…Yet, he talks in a “street” dialect that, I assume, is an attempt to be “common” and endearing to the African American community. He “ain’t” helping anyone by confusing folks about English enunciation and grammar. Especially those people who have never lived in an environment where the rules of English were followed. Leading by example would be more helpful and honorable, in my opinion. Breaking other rules may gain a person attention and bravado but the rules of English language, once ignored, are terribly difficult to reclaim.
So, when parents consider helping their children’s efforts for a good education, the most important edge they can offer is the example of good grammar spoken at home.

Mindless in America

A telemarketer called a few days ago. He was promoting a new organization and hoping to sell wholesome family films.

The idea was admirable. No one can argue, against the fact, that there are too many images of violence and “adult” subject matter available to children on prime time television. Soon enough, it became clear that he was reading a script.

It was a time, in my work day, when I was getting my day care charges ready to go home so I was distracted and rushed. My manners have always kept me from just hanging up, so I listened. I also always figure that the person,calling, is earning a living and deserves, at least, a few moments.

As I listened, he repeatedly said,” Studies show…” . Then, he started saying that Spongebob was an example of mindless broadcasting to be avoided because “Studies show, this is also a poor choice.”

He had my interest, at first. But frustrated from not being able to get a word in and the time constraints…after all, I was “on the job”… made me lose my patience. This is what I told him:

“I believe you are promoting a worthy cause and this call is your job, but when you have said repeatedly, “studies show” and have expected that you could convince me without telling me where the studies were conducted, who did them, and how many people were studied, suggest that you are the mindless one here or you believe that I am. I grew up watching the Three Stooges and never once was tempted to hit someone with a hammer. There is definitely too much violence on TV, sir. The greater problem, in my opinion, is the cultural break down of the American family. If you have any interest in the success of your organization, I suggest you change your speech and get real. I have no extra money to invest and I thank you for trying, good-bye.”

Now, I wonder, how many people are willing to believe the rhetoric “studies show” without pause?  I don’t really want to know because it scares me too much to consider further.

The original Three Stooges in Soup to Nuts
The original Three Stooges in Soup to Nuts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cultural Dissolve

Homecoming "He's everything I hoped for a...
Homecoming  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No political correctness
No political correctness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a dissolve going on in our culture. Very few actions, that bear a burden of public shame, still exist. That fact, is clearly an alarming example of the erosion of our cultural foundation.

Consider what having a baby out-of-wedlock or being in tremendous debt used to mean. Our culture policed itself by frowning upon such things in years past. Now, those things have no stigma and, therefore, have become culturally acceptable.

The feminists were so zealous in their quest for workplace equality, that they ended up redefining the art of being a “lady” and the act of being a “gentleman”, which I maintain are still worthy titles. Strange how being thoughtful and polite are now viewed as weaknesses? A bad sign, me thinks.

The equal rights defenders have made the fight for justice such a racial endeavor, that it divides us, and distracts us, from our American oneness.

Fairness has replaced, justifiable, in every argument and there IS a difference. Things that seem “fair” quite often don’t justify the burden placed upon others to create such a utopia. Might I add, Utopian ideals belong in the land of unicorns where, I understand, there is no unemployment, debt or greed.

The steps to citizenship have turned into an elevator, with buttons labeled in 7 languages, rather than a goal worthy of being hard-earned.

We accept that all politicians lie, and justice is for sale, without “blinking an eye” while we squabble about semantics (political correctness) to the point of ignoring our common cultural erosion. There is not one problem, other than foreign terrorism, that cannot be explained by and blamed, partly, on our ailing culture.

We don’t recognize that by creating new laws, we also are defining new categories of criminals for an already over-burdened justice system and refuse to realize that the overburdened system, is the reason the current laws aren’t already enforced.

Our media takes advantage of our busy distractions and choreograph our outrage by carefully choosing or boycotting information according to their own tastes and addiction to sensationalism.

Parenting used to be a cultural obligation to our children. Parents who did not take their roles seriously were treated as deadbeats.  Look around, parenting has become a choice according to personal comforts, decided after kids are born. There is no backlash, no stigma, any more.

Look at our current culture and ask, “Is there no shame?”

Seems to me, that pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

Within Reason

A day and night spent in the forest, always inspires me to think more clearly. I write this post after one such excursion. Anyone who knows me, understands my mind is always searching for examples to further explain my personal principles. Mother Nature never disappoints me in that endeavor.

I align myself with conservatives. Conservatives have a healthier respect for caution and personal responsibility in the greater number of decisions made directing our futures.

At this point, you may be a thinking human being and want further proof or you’ve decided I am a toxic source and therefore, could not impart any wisdom that would apply to your situation. Since, my blog is mostly a medium I use to inform my kids, grand kids and loved ones, I care not whether you read further.

It is important to mention that I do not espouse caution as an instrument to impede change because I also believe in the natural principle of “evolve or die”.

I’d like to share an actual event where caution and careful consideration saved the day.

A group of friends and I were fishing in a river in upstate New York. We had fished our native areas, elsewhere, long enough to recognize all fish species that were native to our area. It wasn’t long before, one friend squealed with delight that she had a BIG one on the line. She landed an eight pound catch. Right away, the fish seemed odd. We had not seen one exactly like it before. There was an undeniable similarity to catfish. We knew catfish! I grabbed her arm, as she reached for the fish, warning that we should not be too hasty. We examined its wide “catfish-like” mouth. The group thought my reluctance a bit maddening. I picked up a nearby stick and pressed down on its lip which revealed large jagged teeth. The group gasped. Those who almost stuck their hand in, thanked me for slowing down their approach. Never once, did I tell them not to keep the fish. No doubt, slowing down the decision on something that was new to us, was annoying and time consuming but ultimately saved us a lot of grief. The fish, by the way, was a Bowfin.

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Bowfin

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A Bowfin Skeleton

I’ll detail other reasons for my conservative leanings in future posts. All I ask when discussing any philosophy with others, is that they have reasons and are willing to share them.

Pride and Shame: Is that Diversity?

Anyone else “put off” by the raging efforts to educate people…apparently ignorant people…on diversity?

I’m not pleased by this approach, at all.

First, the masses are considered culturally “stupid” when workplaces insist upon this “training”. Sit, listen and learn, how to feel. Did you know, one is allowed to have racial pride only if they are a person of “color”?

Secondly, the whole effort, seems to me, an active work to divide us. It is pointing out differences rather than our common humanity. Oh yeah, I’ve never found a white citizen embraced by this method either … we are colorless but not shameless or blameless. 😦

Certainly, forcing it upon people adds a “warmth” hard to measure, as well.

The issue of compassion and understanding, had been addressed very well when I was a kid. Anyone remember the Golden Rule?

“Treat others the way we’d want to be treated.”

(Yes, there was and, still is, racial and gender inequality. It has come a long way. I think it is threatening to lose ground because white people fear being called racist or prejudice, if they want to have a share in diversity. We all know, white folks aren’t qualified to have an opinion.)

Makes me sadly aware that there IS a difference between ignorance and stupid!

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Political Correctness

Lesson One: