Phyllis Diller, Tony Scott, Gore Vidal, Sherman Hemsley,
Sally Ride, Whitney Houston and many other people who are household names died
this year and it’s not even September. I
fell into the trap of being surprised when I hear of such deaths and then I
realized I shouldn’t.
I’ve often wondered why humans get grossed out by things or experiences. Animals don’t get grossed out (G.O.) but us humans and our big brains do it all the time. Of course, some people get grossed out more than others and by more things than others. But G.O. can probably happen to any of us if the gross factor is raised enough. The senseless TV show Fear Factor is proof of this.
If a small animal lands in a toilet, it does not get grossed out. It tries to get out of the toilet. A human in a similarly gross situation might get so disgusted that they would either not do what it takes to survive or be traumatized for life.
And so we do things like get obsessive compulsive disorders and use antibacterial wipes on everything… every day. Maybe we as humans know too much. We know that there are bacteria everywhere although the overly clean OCD people don’t think rationally. Many bacteria are good and killing good bacteria while making bad bacteria stronger is detrimental to everyone.
Sometimes the thought of a horrendous injury grosses us out. It’s either sympathy or a prediction of what it would feel like. Tastes of certain things can gross us out. The feeling of something against our skin also causes the state of being G.O. I don’t want to go into details on such things because I might gross you out and that’s not what this blog is all about. But what is being “grossed out” after all? It’s an emotional state that warrants some psychological research if it hasn’t been done already.
I’m not sure if being grossed out is any better than being stressed out but the former can surely cause the latter.
I know some of us are excited about the election because many of us want change and we can’t have it soon enough. Many of us already know who we’re going to vote for, but even if we do, we still have to endure all of these annoying political ads. I sometimes wonder how the world was before political ads became a necessity. At first there were no commercials, then there were probably respectable ones, (I’m assuming). Then all hell broke loose. I would say 15% of the ads are respectable, but most of them are ridiculous and they appeal to the lowest common denominator. Such ads follow a standard recipe. They put unflattering still photos of the opposing candidate, sinister music, and a string of negative generalizations. Sometimes, I’ve seen incoherent words strung together as labels. That way, claims can’t be refuted.
Here’s a quote from one of the McPain commercials…
“Tough rules on Wall Street... stop CEO rip offs... protect your savings and pensions”
Notice he doesn't say he will do these things; he just makes a fuzzy connotation. I also can’t believe that the candidates approve of some of these commercials. Can their advisers really twist their arms to that extent? Perhaps the candidates’ greed for power takes over. What happens though is that if one candidate puts out a commercial with some sleazy personal attacks, the other candidate has to respond with similar content. You can’t take the high road to respond because there are too many dumb people out there that believe what they hear on any political commercial whether it is true or not. So we’re stuck with these lame ads every two years and they’re shown to the point that they’re sickening and probably reduce our faith in government. And any donation I might make to a candidate I support just feeds the ad machine. There’s nothing we can do.
On a side-note, I always wonder who the voice-over people on the commercials are. They are probably very good actors because I find it hard to believe that their apparent conviction is genuine, especially with some of the statements they are scripted to say.
As the election draws closer, we have the pleasure of the political campaigns saving the best mudslinging for last. Each camp wants that last strong push before the elections and now McPain is bringing up past associations that Obama had with a somewhat radical guy. In response, the Obaiden camp has to bring up McCain’s involvement with the Keating Five.
I did announce that I’m running for president in 2016, but I hope to not have to stoop to the level of 99% of politicians out there and create any ads with personal attacks. I will run with dignity. And in case you haven’t realized, the staff of one at Things I’ve Noticed have endorsed Barrack Obama for President of the United States. To me, the reasons are obvious and I don't need to explain my choice, but I will do so right before the election to hopefully convince some undecided readers to make the best choice on election day.
And in case you haven't done so, (and it's not too late for your state), REGISTER AND VOTE!
My friend, "The Boss", (but much younger than Bruce Springstein), has created a new site which I find quite interesting. It's called OfficialDebate.com. It's just starting up, but it has lots of neat topics that are at times controversial. Every good debate needs lots of debaters so click on the link and register if you like to argue with people on topics that you know you're right about. I did. Please argue respectfully and soon the site will add other interesting features including debates in which the users get to vote to determine the winner.
I believe it started with "Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire" and the agony continues with "Age of Love," which is this new show where a set of attractive 20-somethings compete with a set of attractive 30-somethings for the heart (and body) of a 30-something guy. Am I the only one to have wondered why all these attractive women that could get a date just about anywhere, go gaga for one
(usually dull) guy. They fall in love, get jealous, have visions of family and marriage with this guy within two episodes. Some of them even resort to name-calling and backstabbing. I suppose this makes it entertaining, but these women are either great actresses or they have serious issues. The women that lose end up in tears, thinking that their life is about over once the guy rejects her. Maybe they just want to be famous, but I guess getting it at the expense of their dignity is OK.
And they put up with the guy dating and being intimate with many women at one time. If only women not on the TV shows would be amenable to this. What's interesting is how the one guy / many women show phenomenon seems to have more staying power than the one women / many guys format shows like "The Bachelorette".
If you enjoy the shows, keep having fun. I don't want to stop anybody. The only reason I might watch is to see how ridiculously attached the women are to the featured man, and of course to observe the attractive women who are dressing to impress. (They tend to impress me too). But I do wonder how many shows like this we can stomach. There are only so many ways this set up can be spun to be considered fresh and unique. Perhaps it's time to move on to the next better reality TV show idea.
Beige is the new black. And here he is in his blog Missives from The Beige this week asking us to dig up those great childhood memories of cartoons, books, toys that made us so happy. If only things could work on us like that as we got older. Anyway, have a visit to this week's Roundtable post and re-live the good old days by listing out the great entertainment of your time. If you can, dig up some links to share with the rest of us. We're not the only nostalgic ones, and lots of the others have time to put videos and pictures on YouTube and other sites.
I'm watching a VH-1 Special on sensational soft rock songs and observing the commentary on most of the artists reminded me of something I've been wanting to write about for some time now. The smart-alec celebrity commentators are funny, but they have a smugness that's interesting. This attitude stems from the notion that everything old and pop sucked (with few exceptions). These songs by groups like Hall and Oates were ones that most of us liked at one time, or they wouldn't be hits. At what point do we all abandon the fact that these were great songs for their time? And more importantly, why do we do it? I have a collection of music including artists such as Mariah Carey, The Go-Gos, Foreigner and a bunch of other groups whose songs I'm proud to own, but ones for which other people make fun of me. I would understand if the people who make fun of me for it never liked it, but I always say that if I believe that a song is good, that means I'll always like it whether its critically acclaimed or not. Is it "taste in entertainment insecurity" that drives others to change their mind about the songs? It's either that or the fact that we outgrow music in some way. I can't explain that phenomena. Nobody has outgrown their taste for the Mona Lisa, or Andy Warhol. Perhaps its based on level of greatness. Critics and awards can proclaim greatness, but I proclaim it under my own terms for my own use. Only "great" songs go on my MP3 player. TV shows and movies are considered differently too. "Growing Pains" and "Who's The Boss" are downright cheesy and appear low budget in some ways, (perhaps due to the bad acting), but movies seem to age better and more frequently become classics, although we'll pay to watch crappy movies just because of the star factor or because everybody else is watching them and we don't want to be left out. So the lesson to be taken from this post is to not be so sure that what you like today is all that great. Somebody is sure to think it crappy in the future, and sometimes for good reason. But then, if you really like it, just ignore their opinions. It's your MP3 player and you should do with it what you want.
Stephen is taking a cosmic approach to his Roundtable post for this week. Remember the 70's when NASA launched two Voyager space probes and they put gold records on it with the sounds of the earth? Well, where's the payback? Either the aliens haven't found it yet, or they have and they weren't impressed enough to call us or stop by. So, over at his blog Serenade in Green, Stephen is asking you to comment with what you would put on a mix tape version two for intergalactic communication. He will be the judge and jury as he will decide what goes on the final version. The playlist will be posted on Monday so be sure to check back there.
Also, if you're reading this, you are a possible candidate to join the Roundtablers. You get to comment on the Roundtabler of the week's Thursday post and your turn to post comes up once every couple of months or so. You get traffic to your site, join a fun group, and grow smarter and funnier each week. As Stephen puts it, "All you need is a blog, a brain, and a well-stocked bar -- Read all about it and contact one of us for more info..."
Joe, the Roundtabler for this week is miserable because he's been watching too much TV. Tyra Banks' show has made him particularly vengeful. In his blogpost, you'll see that Tyra's show has confirmed for Joe that many shows on TV just suck and the celebrities behind them need to be punished using arcane weapons of war like cannons. Who do you think should be added to the list? Have a visit to Joe's blog, Hairshirt and make your nominations.