Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Chris's List of Time-Saving Internet Revelations

What if I told you that I could cut down your Internet reading time by two-thirds? What if I said that most of the stuff you read online is just the same present in a different package? Well, friends, with my handy-dandy list of facts gleaned from the Interwebs, you can ignore, statistically, 80% of the articles your friends post on social media and still have all of the info, therein, safely tucked into your greedy little (or, as you will see, arguably, gigantic)brain.

Yes, that's right -- all of the knowledge for a fraction of the time-investment. 

How much would you pay for this kind of efficiency and convenience? $20? $30? $50? Five-thousand dollars? 

Well, for an unlimited time only, I am offering this precious information for the incredibly low price of "free." That's right, friend, you heard correctly. Free. Below is the summation of all of the information from all of the social media shares that exist on the Internet. 

Imagine, getting your life back. Imagine not having to get fired up by clickbait or feeling the obligation to share everything you read as if you are imparting knowledge of any kind. Simply share this one list of Internet facts and you are off the hook for at least the next fifty years. 

Are you ready? Are you super-dooper ready? Okay, here it is. All of the wisdom of social media sharing in one list of (as far as you know, because you are not, let's face it, going to look any of this up) proven (yes, "proven") facts and discoveries. With out further ado (whatever the hell "ado" is in that context) I give you: 

Chris's List of Time-Saving Internet Revelations 
(or CLOTSIR, if you are really pressed for time)

Fact, the First: 
Every bad and anti-social habit you have is an indication that you are smarter than everyone else. 
Are you a slob? Disorganized? Do you curse like a sailor with a hangnail that has been pierced by a toothpick that's been dipped in whiskey? Do you manifest your total disregard for the people around you by being self-centeredly late for every single appointment and appointed meeting time with friends? Neurotic? Bad grooming habits that cause you  to leave memories of low tide at the North Jersey shore behind as you leave every room? Don't worry! You are just more intelligent than everyone else! If it's broke, don't fix it, my friend. You are better than those who pull themselves together and regard others and themselves with a modicum of respect. Don't go changin' to try to please us common folk. 

Fact the Second: 
Science excuses you from all responsibility in your interactions with others.
Yes, that's right. Rest easy, you arrogant, egotistical, selfish bastard. You have a condition. Do you punch your little sister in the face for chewing her cereal too loudly? Relax. She had it coming; or, at least, she should forgive you because you have "misophonia." How can you possibly be expected to be nice to people who are forced to eat in proximity to you? There is a whole litany of responsibility-canceling debilitations out there, so take advantage!

Fact, the Second and a Half: 
It is not a flaw, it's a condition!
Can't play the guitar even though you have been taking lessons for 32 years? Used to be you had to worry that you had no talent. No longer! There's a condition for that: amusia. It's not your fault and, strictly speaking, it is not a flaw or lack of talent. It is a condition! Whatever you  may not be good at, trust me...if you didn't have that condition, you'd be shredding "Eruption," as we speak.

Fact, the Third:
You are one of the only people on earth who can get 10 out of 10 questions right on most quizzes.
If being a sloppy, lazy, foul-mouthed disorganized ne'er-do-well isn't enough to convince you you are a genius, just take one of those impossibly (and, in no-way tied to getting information about your Facebook account) quizzes to prove it! (Helpful hint: Don't doubt yourself. No, those questions were not comically easy. Not for everyone, that is. For a genius like you, however...) Don't forget to share how brilliant you are, even if you are not smart enough to know that sharing your Facebook info means revealing your deepest darkest Internet secrets to some insidious information gathering system that will be used later when the New World Order of Binary Human Control takes shape...

Fact, the Fourth: 
The less work you  do as a parent, the better your kids will turn out. 
While this may be true for idiots, we need to keep in mind, that no one is an idiot, as is evidenced by the facts above. Therefore, since each and every one of us is a genius, it is important to remember that we all worry too much and do too much for our kids. We need to stop trying to be great parents because it just causes us too much stress. High standards for raising human beings is so 1985; it's such a mood-killer. The solution? Readjust and reevaluate our involvement our kids' lives? No. No time for that. This calls for a "one-eighty." Instead of balancing and stepping back, we should just let the little devils crash and burn. After all, we didn't wear seat belts when we were kids and we lived...

Fact, the Fifth:
Whether or not you had a wonderful childhood is directly connected to the memory of certain key details. 
No, I don't mean this in some hokey metaphysical or deep psychological way. I mean, if you can remember having a Hong Kong Fooey lunchbox; if you had a banana seat on your bike; if you remember listening to the radio for your school's winter-closing number, you had a happy childhood. Never mind that Mr. Budgenick, next door, used to lure you into his basement with Doritos, sit disturbingly close to you on the love seat and watch reruns of "CHiPs" (all the while muttering breathy phonemes about Eric Estrada's uniform pants under his breath while shifting uncomfortably around in his seat) and tell you not to tell anyone. If you can remember rotary phones and Nikes with the red swoosh, you were a happy kid! No fuss, no muss!

Fact, the Sixth:
Something horrible happened...
...but, why read about it? It happened. Are you that dark? Is reading about it time well-spent? No! Move on. I have provided all the info you need.

Fact, the Seventh: 
She showed up at the swim party with no bathing suit; what she did next will (not) blow your mind. 
Really. It won't. She probably borrowed one. You time is more precious than this, my friends. (And, seriously, have some dignity.)

Fact, the Eighth:
There is a superfood for that. 
Just pick one. Bananas? Whatever. Pick one and will it to work. Your chances are excellent that you can cure a disease that is developing in you or that you will lose 700 pounds within a week. Don't bother with research. Just eat something with an exotic name -- like "acapotetia" -- to the exclusion of all else, and your problems are over. Better still, blend it up in a blender shaped like an egg (with some spinach) and drink it. That simple act, and an exercise routine, six days a week, will cure you right up.

Fact, the Ninth: 
You  are going to die of a horrible disease that is cropping up in your area of the country this season.
Well, to be fair, not if you eat chia seeds. Never mind.

Fact, the Tenth:
You are right. 
Just be confident. After all, you are a proven genius, no? Just rest assured, without investing the time and effort of searching for or reading articles to confirm your biases. Let it suffice to say that there is one out there. You, my friend, are right. Conservatives? Evil. Liberals? Evil. Police? Evil. Police? Good. The Interwebs are like an enchanted bag that produces the object of your wishes. You wanna be right? Voila!

...and there you have it. In a short, fifteen-minute reading session you have gained all the knowledge there is to gain from social media article sharing. Now, you can go spend time with your kids. Wait...no. Not that. Let the little spineless slobs suffer the consequences of their actions. Do something for you, because, whoever you are, your selfishness means you are really intelligent.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Why It Was Better When Women Stayed Home

Okay, okay...I am guilty of my first "clickbait" post title.

Let me explain:

About ten years ago, I found an article that had reputedly come from an old home economics book from the nineteen-fifties. In it, women were instructed to basically be servants to their poor, hard-working husbands. (Snopes.com, today, says the article is unverified...may or may not be real. Some accounts say it was from Good Housekeeping; the image below says Housekeeping Monthly.) I brought the article into a college class I was teaching at the time to use as a writing "warm-up" topic...

The discussion that came out of this was interesting and most unexpected. One young woman raised her hand and said that, while, of course, the condescending language and ideas in the piece were absurd, the idea of the "homemaker" was not a bad one. She pointed out that, with all the work to be done, one person taking care of the domicile while one went out and made the money was, actually, an ideal situation; very efficient and practical. She also said that it was not absurd, then, for the woman to be expected to make dinner and do all other home-related jobs.

This lead to a more controlled discussion than you might think.

The conclusion was one that, from a modern perspective, lead to the class more or less agreeing that it made sense for someone to take care of the house and someone to bring in the dough. Of course, the respective "someone" does not have to be either the man or the woman by default. Today, we do see increasing numbers of men staying home while the women work...

What I think is that the old setup was, indeed, better. Not because the woman stayed home but because someone did. A house is a big responsibility. It is logical to run things that way.

Now that we have (almost) gotten over the idea that the man has to be the worker and the woman has to be the housewife, maybe we should go back to the "homemaker" concept as a goal. If one person makes enough money, be it the man or the woman, the other really should stay home. It makes sense. It is (was), I think, a better way to run a household.

But we would need get over two difficult hurdles: greed and stereotype. Are we capable of deciding when we are making enough money to give up an income? Can we escape the old gender job-assignments? Some of us can, but maybe anyone who has the means should try. I know that if I started to list the benefits of the worker/homemaker model, this piece would run much, much longer.