Of the difficult and stupid

Opening nuts can be a challenge.  The nut cracker either bursts the tough ones into tiny inedible pieces, or not at all.  We try our teeth, but chipped teeth are not a best case option.  Inordinate amounts of time are spent trying to crack just one nut.  But when we eat shell fish the tough unopened clam or muscle causes an uproar of “No no!  Don’t open it!”.  Some things are not meant to be opened, especially bad shellfish. At this point, I wish I were Paul Harvey (if you do not know who he was, look it up) and could make some strange, spurious, homespun connection to a deeper level of meaning.  Global warming is causing more bad shell fish?  The EPA is not using enough oversight to check our food for contaminants?  People are too stupid to eat easier or less risky things?  Nah.

Contemporary humans also rock climb with their bare hands and no ropes; hike altitudes that cause them bodily harm to the vascular system, try to make friends with large and dangerous wild animals, sit in the sun until their skin withers and changes color, use all manner of pesticides and poisons to make their food and hair look “good”,   dance wildly to all sorts of sounds, try to control and punish other humans for everything from recreational weed smoking to looking at other naked humans in magazines and liking anything as banal as art they do not agree with, pluck/shave/and depilitate random body hair, and wear the strangest fibers in various shapes and colors on their bodies.  Truly, an alien would observe us and think us unendingly funny and tragic I think, for all the expressions of our daily lives.

There is so little profundity associated with all our activities, to the point of willful ignorance.  The consequences of our stupid random choices seem to be beyond us most of the time, and like the hamster on the wheel, we just keep jumping on without thought.  No matter how many anthropologists and sociologists you can get to stand on the head of a pin and argue about the orderly meaningfulness of any human actions, it is all rather strange and meaningless I think.  Just a way to stay part of the pack.  Some call what we do “desire”  (Oh those French theorists!), and claim it drives everything from core human instincts to complex capitalist machinations.  It is THE reductive force against which everything else can be measured.  That seems rather pat, and leaves out the just plain bored and stupid elements of life.  Watch any group of college students on a Friday night and you’ll have a good sampling.

But as I have said before it is the curiosity of the human that has made us a very populous and mobile species.  Desire may have had nothing to do with it, even environmental pressures can’t explain all of human migration and experimentation.  Watch small children on a rainy Sunday afternoon.  Curiosity drives a lot of action, and the challenge of opening a tough nut, digging a hole to China in your back yard you know will never reach there but you like to imagine it can,  curiosity and imagination can alleviate a lot of boredom, even with the ensuing stupidity that can often occur.

Funny and tragic, 2017 looms very near.  The uber wealthy have no interest in any aspect of continuing the species.  They are hell bent on partying until they can’t ingest or compete or exert their power any more.  To hell with the rest of us, we are an over populated planet anyway and all the island sized ships being built now for them (with the understanding that theoretically they can stay on an ocean for ever- with their own power sources, gardens, and water desalinization machines, etc.) will allow them to just hop off and get away from the impending strife that will occur.  Or go to space.  See, the rich can be curious and stupid too.  2017 is a year that most scientists agree is the tipping point for all sorts of climate abuse.  At this point, no one seems too terribly concerned.  Heads in sand, fingers in ears singing “lalala”, big-eyed porcelain figures with heads upturned to heaven expecting the giant sky pixies to live up to religious fantasies of apocalypse,  what ever image you want to call up, that all seems to be so much more engaging that actually trying to avert the destruction of the earth for most mammals.  The few who try may be using cups to bail a ship mostly underwater.  What the heck.  Maybe it is more diverting that watching reality television for them.   Someone had to be the first person to try the bad shellfish that taught the rest of us not to eat it. Right?

She got it right

Heads up Hollywood.   I know entertainment is the number one US export.  Heck, it’s probably the number one US product, at home or abroad.  I know you bean counters and marketers out there think the main market for your products are young men.  Young men, then young people in general.  I also know from friends who work in “the industry” that there is crazy age bias when anyone is hired (and most productions are one shot companies that get dissolved after filming is done- so most people are “independent contractors” who must hunt for work constantly).  But wait a sec- how do you think all those young people get their discretionary income?  They are the most underemployed group outside of Hollywood.  Who do you think handles family finances?  Who do you think gives those kids their cash?  You got it.  The moms.

And how do you think any sort of expertise is gained?  Time doing a job, and doing it well.  So throwing out all the workers over 35 is a bad idea folks, no matter what the “hot” young marketing kids say.  Remember that when you want a sandwich on set, a light hung, or a box moved, or a scene shot, or actors controlled (who has more experience at handling pouty, ill tempered children than moms?).

Heads up Hollywood- grazing off the fast profits of a formula CGI spectacle is not the only way to make money.  Just ask the Cohen Brothers, or the Weinsteins.

I say this as I watch a clip  (http://www.myfitv.com/videos/1420716/amy-sedaris_3)  from the Jimmy Fallon show.  Which, I admit, I like best of all the late night talk shows.  He is just so earnest, and funny in a way that does not insult me.  And yes, he is young- but he admits it and moves on.

The clip has Amy Sedaris (who has a middle aged woman sideways feminist vibe that most moms can appreciate) pimping out a pair of leggings.  When you watch it, be sure to watch the reactions of all the young men on stage.  There is an embarrassed awkwardness, and in the faces of the band members I saw “Damn!  That is so wrong!  She reminds me of my mom!”.  But the women in the audience were howling.

There is a lot of comedic and dramatic ground Hollywood has not mined related to us middle-aged people.  Especially women.  I chalk it up to stupidity, ignorance, and that unease young people have with identifying with or thinking about people their parents age being fully alive human beings and all that entails.  Get with the program ‘wood.  You want to be fresh?  You want to make money?  Get us the products.  We’ll bite.  But because we ARE older, our standards are a little higher- we expect better than Hallmark channel formula dreck, and humor that is incisive, rude, and complex as we are.  Or can be anyway.  You get my point.

Now take this advice and move on.   I have to get my weekenders on and groove while I clean house.

Out-of-context parent quotes

(Note:  I’ll keep adding to this blog entry as time passes)

“Boys, the chicken is not a pillow to beat each other with”

“What about don’t-stick-your-finger-in-that do you not understand?”

“I’m sorry, I don’t know where his head is.  Look under the couch.”

“Why do you need an entire roll of tape to hang that up?”

“Why are there rocks in the bathtub?”

“What is that?”, “How did that get in here?”, “When did you do this?”, “Why did you do this?”

“No.  No.  No.  No. . .No.  I am not discussing Japanese theater, I said NO!”