Thursday, April 21, 2011


From the day kids are born, they are motivated by what they want and don't want. They start out crying to get their way, because that is the singularly most effective way of accomplishing it at that time. People do not like to hear a crying baby for very long. It makes grown-ups sad, grates their nerves, and generally spurs them into action to solve whatever problem needs attention.

When they are able to talk, children start to ask for what they want, and protest what they don't want, typically, with the word NO! For example, the parent says, "It's time for bed.". "NO!", says the child who is resisting an end to play and fun, and exciting things. There is only one inflection in which this word is delivered, and it is always ALL CAPS with an EXCLAMATION POINT. This is the stage where parents begin to become truly annoyed with resistance, but are usually able to re-direct the child by making a game out of the offending task.

Then comes the stage I am currently experiencing as a parent...Continuous and Constant Negotiation, or, the Struggle for Ultimate Power. This is the most challenging stage of resistance, because meeting the need, or offering distractions no longer do the trick. This is the stage of life when teachers start to remark that you may have a great future as a lawyer for the ACLU. I know this, because a teacher once said that exact phrase to me. I could reason and argue more effectively, and for longer periods of time, than anyone. That was before I met my daughter. :0/ That girl has a great future...with the ACLU. :0)

Monday, April 18, 2011


I was told recently that several long running soap operas are ending this spring. I no longer watch any daytime TV, but I have to say that the news pained me a bit. You see, I grew up in an era where soaps were “STORIES”, and you didn’t interrupt or act up during the precious time they were on. My great grandmother, and various other female members of my household were enthralled with them. As I got a bit older, I have to admit that I got sucked into the world of kidnappings, long lost twins, and amnesia stricken unintentional polygamists.

The draw to these “stories” was mainly that they could NEVER happen. You were allowed to escape into a world that was ridiculous, sumptuously decorated, and completely fake. It was comforting to know that your life, while bits of it could mimic some parts of an episode, would never be that “fantastic”. It was pure fantasy, and everybody knew it. The world of the soap, and your world were firmly divided by REALITY, and most people were not tempted to try to live a soap opera.

The new trend that is ultimately causing the death of the soap is “REALITY” TV. This is where television has taken a decided turn for the worse. The trouble with “reality” on TV is that it is not much more real than a soap opera, but is being packaged as “REAL”. Many people honestly believe that life is like that for regular people. Now don’t scoff! I have seen the younger generation who is growing up with this phenomenon, and they are being sucked in to an ALTERNATE reality. They believe that everyone has to scream and cry, and fight, and curse, and have an emotional roller coaster ride every single day, and that this is normal and REAL. They believe that almost everyone will become an instant celebrity at some point, become a back stabber, do drugs, be successful, and then become a deranged lunatic. By elementary school they have already begun to imitate “REALITY” TV, and it’s not a pretty thing.

It seems a worthy cause in my opinion to correctly label our entertainment, if not for the benefit of the audience for which it was intended, at least for the generations to come. After all, they won’t have the good ol’ FAKE “REALITY” to compare their REAL reality to.