Sunday, October 11, 2020

Best essay on Worry - the country song by the Carter family at the end etc(click on the link) is perfect.

This columnist's style reminds me of Robert Benchley (you might not remember him, but I do, and it shows how old I am!) and Mark Twain.  I loved this essay.  If you're a worrier, like its author, you will enjoy reading this one -- you might just recognize yourself...and even be able to laugh a little about it.:-)

As for me, I'm keeping my fingers crossed about this election.🤞

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/jaime-oneill/93297/worry-worry-worry

WORRY, WORRY, WORRY

By Jaime O'Neill

I've worried my way through life. Hasn't everyone? For those of you willing to admit they are worriers, too, you'll know the worry caused by wondering if other people manage to worry less than you do. Are you worrying excessively, beyond the normal range of worrying? And if so, what harm is it causing you? How might it be shortening your life? What can you do about it? Is there a pill? Do you need to see a shrink? Can you afford a shrink? What if you get a bad one who worsens your worries rather than lifting the burden of them?

When I was a kid, I worried about monsters under the bed. I worried about not getting good grades. I worried about my dad getting laid off. I heard the phrase early and often, knew it was not a good thing. I worried about getting in trouble with mom. She called me a "worry wart." I didn't like that. I worried about it. The metaphor was too vivid. Most kids don't do metaphors very well, and I worried about whether worry would transform me into a walking wart.

When I was in grade school, I worried about how I'd do in Middle School. I worried about tests, worried in eighth grade about the transition to high school. In my last year of high school, I worried about getting drafted, worried about getting through basic training if that happened, worried about where I might be sent and who might try to kill me once I arrived.

I worried about what I was eating because someone was always telling us that we weren't eating right.

When I married, I worried if I could be a good husband. Then, not much later, I worried about whether I could be a good dad to a baby girl, a contingency I had not planned for nor ever quite imagined. Obviously, in the event that fatherhood was something that awaited me, I would have a boy. Wouldn't I?

And then I began worrying in earnest, about that baby girl, and then the one after that. I worried about their health, and about the health of their mother, and my own. There were responsibilities now, and they were huge.

I went to college at night, worrying if I could handle a full-time job and the demands of going to school four nights a week. And I worried about the world coming to an end, worried about a nuclear exchange between my country and the Soviet Union. Worry about that was pretty universal in those days. I was not unique.

When I was a kid, I always worried about being too skinny. Now, older by a lot, I worry about getting fat. In high school, I worried about my future. Would I be able to make it in the world? And now, thanks to Donald Trump and the current accelerating madness, I wonder about whether the world will continue to be a place where anyone but the very worst people can be assured of making it at all.

All along the way, damn near from birth-to-77 in no time flat--I worried that while I may have been worrying too much, other people weren't worrying near enough. They weren't worrying enough about the environment, about equal rights for all, about the war in Vietnam, or later, about the rush to war in Iraq. They didn't worry enough about nuclear winter, or about police brutality, or about gender inequality (was I the only one who had close relatives--mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters--who were women? Why did half the eligible voters in the country not bother with voting? Were they free of worry about who was making choices that could make their lives worse, could send their kids to be killed in unnecessary wars far away, or make their children's lives worse in ways too numerous to enumerate? Was it too much to expect my fellow citizens to pay attention?

I worried about that.

And now I worry daily about the immediate future, of my country and the planet. Big worry, that. Having a madman in charge hasn't helped, but at least I no longer worry that I'm alone in my worries. Now I worry about the fact that everyone is worrying. About the spread of the pandemic. About the threat of a homegrown terrorism and the danger of mad men goaded into action by the madman-in-chief. About a desperate army of dispossessed homeless people in search of food.

I worry about being too worried, and not worried enough.

This morning my worried mind presented me with the worry that Trump's current behavior may be suggesting that he's no longer worried about being re-elected. I'm worried that he knows something we don't know. That he has been told by the Russian hackers that they've got this, that he needn't worry about the polls, or the press, or about Biden/Harris. He needn't worry about democracy at all because the election is, as he's so often said, rigged. And rigged to ensure he will win, rigged in the "cloud," rigged somewhere in that vast universe of cyberspace only the geeks--Russian, Chinese, American, Saudi, Israeli, Argentinian--understand.

Because Trump surely is not behaving like a man who needs to worry about winning an election, is he now? Take it from an expert on worrying. He's just not that worried. And that worries the hell out of me.

We've all been told not to worry. I often quote a line from Mark Twain: "Worry is interest paid on a debt we may never owe." And he was right, of course. But I worry if I stop worrying so much, I might tip some sort of cosmic balance wheel and that the disaster that followed would be all my fault.

But no worries. It's far too late in the game for me to worry myself into an early grave. If you are younger, however, I'd suggest you ramp up your worries because you've got a lot of compensatory worrying to do once I'm gone.

To hear "Worried Man" song, click here:  http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/jaime-oneill/93297/worry-worry-worry

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Wednesday, October 07, 2020

For your viewing pleasure -- Lincoln Project and Randy Rainbow

Newest Lincoln Project ad -- best ever!  Evita/Trump
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tZVnbDq9B4

Newest Randy Rainbow -- with Patti LuPone
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Monday, October 05, 2020

The Social Dilemma - most important info for phone and computer users (isn't that everyone?)

 streaming on Netflix

In my opinion, this may well be the most important documentary of our time. Silicon Valley technology designers/experts are warning/telling us the harsh reality of what their technology is costing us and the world itself.  This is a truly alarming warning -- a blast of AWOOOGAAAAH!!! to us all.  If you have a child or grandchild using their cell phone constantly and you yourself are doing the same (and this is practically EVERYBODY these days), then you owe it to yourself to watch this documentary.  If your child (especially teenagers, as the film points out) is depressed, anxious, fragile, finding it impossible to concentrate on doing homework, sad, and worried about their own mental health, you will want to view this. It seems this is a worldwide phenomenon affecting the present generation of kids, in which fear and depression has risen by astronomical numbers. The developers of the technology are aware that AI is running away with the technology in the way it has been programmed to do, and, instead of being used for good as they hoped, it is being used against us and our kids.  It is chilling to learn that these developers, because of their own fears about the technology they have created, have left their jobs and are gathering together to warn us. They won't even let their own children have access to social media as it is programmed in today's world. In a portrayal, with actors, of an average family, the film shows how strongly addictive social media has become to everyone, and especially the kids.  I hope millions will watch this film, for the important educational information contained in it. Our world is in need of its warning.  Here is one review of it:

Amid all the stuff you are watching and feeding yourself with these days, The Social Dilemma is a must-watch. Even if you are not a documentary person, you will want to watch it because it carries the potential to change your life for good. 

In this documentary, the high-positioned ex-employees of many major Silicon Valley social media platforms tell of damaging ways this technology has impacted the world. While it talks about positives and good intentions as well, there's a huge focus on how social media has become a tool of spreading negativity and influencing the minds of people all over the world. Democratically run countries are particularly at risk from the negative effects of social media, as factual truth itself is being demolished as a base from which to understand and act.  You realize the shape and scale of this only after seeing the mind manipulation taking place on both conscious and subliminal levels.

It's an eye-opener to see how these technology developers have quit their dream jobs because of their alarm in how the social fabric of the world has been harmed. They are trying now to alert us to what is happening, so regulatory changes can be made -- and the technology and their positive hopes for it can be realized in ways to benefit the world and its people, rather than the damaging ways it is being used now.

One little tidbit: Plastic surgeons have informed about a new syndrome called 'Snapchat dysmorphia'. It is when young people want surgery so they can look more like they look in filtered selfies. I learned this and so much more in just 5-10 mins of watching this eye-opening documentary. It is 93 minutes of awesomeness.

The Social Dilemma Review: Go & Watch How Social Media          Giants Have Made You Lab Rats
The Social Dilemma Review:  How Social Media Giants Have Made You and Your Children into Lab Rats

As The Social Dilemma moves forward, it talks about how social media manipulates our minds, using our own preferences against us. It warns of how our behavior changes as we scroll through our social media timeline, designed specifically for us individually, using info gathered about us from all over the internet. Each of us is unknowingly being led to ads and information we would not normally seek out for ourselves, but which artificial intelligence in the technology has determined will appeal to us -- and which will bring in more money for the advertisers.  It's very likely that browsing social media won't be the same experience for you after seeing this.  The creators of the technology tell you how the UI (User Interface) is created in a way as to harness maximum user engagement, which benefits advertisers and the social media giants themselves. This has led to users being nothing but lab rats for social media giants. I have studied about this before as well, but I was still surprised to learn about science and logic behind "photo tagging", "generating comments," "replies to comments", "suggesting emojis as replies to comments". These are devised to manipulate you to engage and spend as much time on the site as possible. You might get a notification about a friend tagging you in a photo, that photo isn't shown in the notification, and that is just because they want you to click on it and get engaged and led down the rabbit hole of ever-more viewing/buying/absorption. They hack into your psychology. Every little part of social media has been crafted for that. Everything you see on your timeline has been especially served to you and you alone by the algorithms. We may think we are all seeing the same things, but no -- you are exclusively being pinpointed, as is each consumer in the same way, through their own phones and computers.  And the technology keeps gathering more information to continue upgrading itself, without the help of humans. A.I. is here now --not in some future dystopia -- and it is manipulating us in ways we never could have imagined. 

Overall, watching The Social Dilemma is nothing less than mini enlightenment. You don't know how much you need it until you view it.  You will not be able to forget it, and I think that is a Good thing!


 



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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A heart-touching interview of sister of 28-year-old doctor who died of Covid

I don't think anyone could watch this interview with a woman from Syracuse -- and not cry along with her at the loss of her dearly loved sister, a Syracuse native who was serving as a doctor in Houston.  Kate Bolduan, the interviewer, was in tears herself.

and 

What are we going to do about Trump, who hasn't an ounce of compassion in him -- and who is getting cheered at his rallies when he tells his supporters that Covid is only killing the old?  That in itself is terrible, because it implies that older people don't matter, but it isn't even true.  I don't know how the diehard Trump lovers can be reached. But the rest of us can make sure we vote and get others around us to vote.  We must rid ourselves of the heartless monster in the White House, before he wreaks more havoc on our country and its people.  He is already in the midst of taking away women's rights with his choice for the Supreme Court. What is next on his agenda?  The reversal of Brown v. Board of Education?  
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Monday, September 21, 2020

There is something missing in this White House

Written by Elayne Griffin Baker:  There is definitely something missing.

"There is no literature or poetry in this White House.
No music.
No Kennedy Center award celebrations.
There are no pets in this White House.
No loyal man's best friend. No Socks the family cat.
No kids' science fairs.
No times when this president takes off his
blue suit-red tie uniform and becomes human,
except when he puts on his white shirt-khaki pants
uniform and hides from Americans to play golf.
There are no images of the first family enjoying themselves together in a moment of relaxation.
No Obamas on the beach in Hawaii
moments, or Bushes fishing in Kennebunkport, no Reagans on horseback, no Kennedys playing touch football on the Cape.
I was thinking the other day of the summer
when George H couldn't catch a fish
and all the grandkids made signs and
counted the fish-less days.
And somehow, even if you didn't even like GHB, you got caught up in the joy of a family that loved each other and had fun.
Where did that country go? Where did all
of the fun and joy and expressions of love and happiness go? We used to be a country that did the ice bucket challenge and raised millions for charity.
We used to have a president that calmed and
soothed the nation instead dividing it.
And a First Lady that planted a garden
instead of ripping one out.
We are rudderless and joyless.
We have lost the cultural aspects of
society that make America great.
We have lost our mojo. Our fun, our happiness.
The cheering on of others.
The shared experiences of humanity that makes it all worth it.
The challenges AND the triumphs that we shared and celebrated.
The unique can-do spirit Americans
have always been known for.
We have lost so much
In so short a time."
~Elayne Griffin Baker
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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Looking at today's news and musing....



I am convinced that incarnations on Earth are strictly for soul growth -- gained through many challenges (and heaven knows, we all get them in one way or another!).  How we handle those challenges determines our maturation as souls.  Judging from past history, there will always be wars, rumors of war, dictatorial leaders and madmen locked into greed and lust for power, making the lives of others miserable as they pursue their obsessive goals that lead them finally to death and karmic justice.  As Leonard Cohen says in his song Anthem: Oh, the wars they will be fought again, the holy dove, she will be caught again -- bought and sold and bought again -- the dove is never free.  But I do believe we, as souls, can find freedom within ourselves, and Trump and his ilk are goads to incentivize us in that direction.  Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a shining light for all of us to be inspired by and to follow.  Einstein is another admirable figure, worthy of following and learning from:
Albert Einstein



"A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."


 Albert Einstein
I just watched the Netflix documentary series "Challenger"  about the unnecessary astronaut deaths (and death of teacher Christa McAuliffe, too) in that tragedy that shouldn't have happened.  It, too, made me think about the frailties in human consciousness, and how much we have yet to learn.  On the plus side, I also believe Unconditional Love is the most powerful force in the universe. ❤️️  So, ever onward and upward!!!!❤️️
❤️️


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Thursday, September 17, 2020

Some Trump supporters will believe anything he says -- Stephen Colbert show proves it

You've probably seen Triumph, the insult dog with the cigar in his mouth, at other times, making social commentary for laughs. Well, this time, on the Colbert show, he is commenting on actual Trump supporters who have agreed to be in a focus group in which possible Trump ads are supposedly being reviewed.  The joke was to find out how far would actual Trump supporters go in their support of their cult leader?  The ads suggest preposterous things (only in Trump years would ANYone believe such things!), and the group members are asked to comment on them. Surely there would be a limit to what the MAGA folks would believe and approve of!  

But no!  I watched in awe as they approved of everything Trump (supposedly) said -- even to the point of agreeing that possibly microwaving people would kill the virus(!)...and that children could be put in the work force because they are "immune to the virus."  Many other "suggestions" were made (ostensibly by Trump), all of which met with the approval of these committed (and certifiably commitable!) Trump supporters.  SCARY!!!!  No longer do we need to wonder how Hitler got so many Germans to go along with the murder of "non-Aryan" victims in WWII.  The Trump cult appears to be cut from the same cloth. YIKES! 🙁😫
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