People Want You To Gossip And Judge Others

Disclaimer: While I do make a strong effort to keep my material family friendly, as the name implies, this post serves as social commentary, citing issues which are not particularly family friendly or G-rated.

It’s funny how no one wants to be judged or to be gossiped about, but in good conscience we are able to read “news” stories and watch reality TV shows that ultimately entice us to judge and gossip about the people involved.

In case no one has yet pointed it out to you yet, allow me to be the first: We as Americans live in the midst of a vibrant culture war.

Polarizing ideas are constantly being reinforced that A) liberals are all socialist idiots whose gay marriage is turning America into the perfect place for God’s fiery judgment; meanwhile B) conservatives are all close-minded, homophobic, racist holy rolling bigots.

It’s an ongoing debate between CNN versus Fox News that we allow to live out all around us. To me, it’s become a parody of itself, like both country and rap music have become.

But what about those of us who are in the middle if these two unforgiving extremes? Well, I believe we are the outsiders of our culture.

Because if you’re not taking the bait to either be offended, or to judge others for their lifestyle, you begin realizing there’s really not that much real “news” going on.

For example, check out yesterday’s “Trending Topics” that were featured yesterday on Facebook:

·

Target: Ohio Mother Says ‘Girls’ Building Sets’ Sign in Store’s Toy Aisle Shows Gender Bias

·

Miley Cyrus: Singer Discusses Coming Out as Bisexual to Her Mother as a Teen in Paper Interview

·

The X-Files: Fox Releases Image From Set of Revival of Sci-Fi Series

·

Glassdoor: Jobs Site Names Highest-Rated CEOs in 3rd Annual Employees’ Choice Awards

·

Joyce Carol Oates: Author Appears to Condemn Photo From ‘Jurassic Park’ Showing Dead Dinosaur

·

Bob Costas: Sports Broadcaster Calls Caitlyn Jenner’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award ‘Exploitation Play’

·

Robert Gibbs: Former White House Press Secretary Appointed as McDonald’s Executive Vice President

·

Holly Madison: Hugh Hefner’s Former Girlfriend Details Life at the Playboy Mansion in New Book

·

Librarian of Congress: James Billington Announces Retirement After Nearly 3 Decades in Position

·

#WWDC15: Apple Announces Product Updates at Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco

It’s very clear that in the midst of a few non-sexual headlines, we are being prompted and provoked to make a judgment call on what constitutes as gender bias, as well as to either support or be shocked by Miley Cyrus’s sexuality, then an accept an invitation to either agree or disagree with Bob Costas’ comments on Bruce Jenner’s gender reveal, and then to finish it off with learning some juicy details about life in a house that celebrates pornography.

If nothing else, you can at least judge the author who condemns the “dead dinosaur” photo, right?

Yes, that’s supposed to be “the news.”

That’s not the news.

People want you to gossip and judge others. It’s abundantly evident in the headlines, TV shows, and reality shows in our culture. And we do; that’s how they make money off us.

The Kardashians wouldn’t be famous if we ourselves didn’t keep them famous.

Imagine how many people tune in each week for The Bachelorette/Bachelor; a show that is presented to us under the guise of romantic people trying to find love and marriage, via a polygamy style game show in which the bachelorette/bachelor and the final few contestants have the option of staying overnight in a “fantasy suite” to sexually “try out” each of the people before they marry them.

In other words, by supporting that show, we are contributing to the fact that the bachelor or bachelorette is being pressured to have sex with 3 people they only recently met. We laugh it off as silly, which it is. It’s also people’s actual real lives involving real decisions with actual consequences.

I say it’s impossible to watch shows like this without judging other people for their actions and lifestyles.

Ultimately, it seems virtually impossible to avoid all forms of gossip. But if I can be more aware of it in media, I can make a deliberate effort to step out.

And I can only hope what I just said doesn’t sound like I’m being judgmental of others.

Advertisements

It Looks Like My Facebook Friends Are Questioning Bipartisanship

This week on Facebook, during the midterm elections, I’ve been watching something refreshing and basically atypical for the social media network: I noticed an overall lack in faith and loyalty to bipartisanship.

10606271_10101716423910078_2413282435621364810_n

Instead of watching people try to convert each other to vote Republican or Democrat, I saw people questioning the American bipartisanship system.

I watched people remind each other through their status updates that it’s irresponsible to simply vote blindly either all Republican or Democrat.

It seems like I’m witnessing a large enough group of the voting population gravitating towards Libertarianism; in other words, it appears people are beginning to vote what they believe is right for our country, not what is simply and easily right for the Republican or Democratic agendas; which are undeniably financed and promoted accordingly; via Fox News or CNN.

If you find yourself already getting apathetic about the next Presidential election because you’re tired of seeing a back and forth game between the two main political parties, there’s a good chance you’re actually closer to being a Libertarian more than anything.

Often it begins with a person saying they no longer care about politics.

However, that apathy is most likely towards uncompromising bipartisanship itself. I think that now, enough people are tired of being forced to pick the candidate they dislike the least; because that’s a horrible way to look at our election process.

I think enough people are realizing that the main 2 candidates are ultimately puppets who are simply endorsing either the Republican (backed by Fox News) or Democratic (backed by CNN) parties.

polls_cnn_v_fox_article_0816_434718_poll_xlarge

By 2016, we may not be ready for a Libertarian candidate… but I do believe we’re getting much closer to have that collective mindset as a nation.

I predict that it will begin when a future elected President will identify as a Libertarian, but run as a Republican.

From there, the slippery slope will begin and the door will be open for American Presidents to rely less on bipartisanship to win the election.

And then eventually, it will no longer be considered “just a wasted vote” to endorse a Libertarian candidate.

My prediction for the 2016 Presidential Election: If Ben Carson runs as a Republican against anyone else, he will win. I believe he’s the most “middle of the road” candidate we’ve seen in a long time and people are ready for that.

However, I believe if he doesn’t run, and Hillary Clinton does, that she will win.

This could actually get pretty interesting…

Ben Carson vs. Hillary Clinton 2016

Dear Jack: Playing Catch With Your Kid, Literally

3 years, 10 months.

Joe Hendricks Photography throwing son in the air

Dear Jack,

One of the classic dad things to do is to throw your kid (especially if it’s a boy) up to the air and catch them, repeatedly.

The child laughs, the dad laughs. It’s a classic American scene.

Yeah… I’ve never done that with you.

I officially realized this a few weeks back when I saw an Instragram photo (featured above) from my friend and professional photographer Joe Hendricks.

Seriously, look at that height! It’s about 5 feet up.

I think his ability to throw his 3 year-old son Austin that high into the air is amazing. Not only that Joe can physically do that, but that his son Austin obviously fully trusts his Daddy that much.

Somehow I just never got around to doing that to you; not even a few inches into the air. And at this rate, I can’t imagine being able to physically do it.

You aren’t that little anymore. In fact, everyone keeps saying you’re going to outgrow me by the time you’re 18. By now, you’re actually pretty tall and pretty heavy.

So I guess I won’t be able to check off “throwing my son up in the air and catching him repeatedly” from my list of things to do as a dad. At nearly 4 years old now, I think you’re too big to throw even a fraction of how high Joe can throw his son Austin.

But I’m sure you wish I could do what Joe is able to do to Austin!

Nashville Food Truck Festival Nick Shell

Instead, I’ve been throwing you onto your bed every night as Mommy prepares your bath. It’s sort of like WWE Wrestling for us.

You and I have another new tradition now too. Most mornings you wake up about 45 minutes too early. So I come to your bedroom as his Mommy is getting ready for work, then I ask you to “go camping” with me.

What that means is that I lay down on the floor with a blanket, next to your bed. You then jump down, with your own blanket and lay down either in between me and the wall, or on top of me.

We sort of both half-way fall asleep until Mommy enters into the room to get you dressed. That’s a near daily occurrence these days.

I’m always curious about the subtle ways that fathers and sons show physical affection. As for you and me, we now “go camping” next to your bed. Or like this morning, we just sleep together on your bed instead of beside it.

But as for my friend and professional photographer Joe Hendricks, he shares an amazing bonding ritual with his son that I’ve never attempted.

Meanwhile you have to settle for getting tossed onto your bed, AKA Wrestlemania.

Love,

Daddy

P.S. Here is some of Joe Hendricks’ work:

Joe Hendricks Photography

Joe Hendricks Photography

Joe Hendricks Photography