Driven to Insanity

My son is 16 years old.

For those of you who do not have children, this number may mean nothing to you.  It may not strike fear into your heart.  It may not ignite inside your soul the devastating fear, the agonizing terror that lives in the heart of every parent.

My son is nearly ready to get his driver’s license.

I stalled the inevitable by making the boy take Driver’s Education.  That gets you a break of approximately $0.00000004 on insurance.  (Incidentally, I think it is crap that insurance is more for a boy than for a girl.  So much for equality, right?) However, in spite of my many attempts to pretend that my children are still small, the boy is nearly ready to get his driver’s license.

He will be able, according to the law of our great state, to operate a motor vehicle on his own.

(Who made these laws? Someone without children, I guarantee.)

I consider myself a very adaptable person.  In fact, it is one of my strong suits.  I’m not one of these people who get bogged down by the fear of change.  I laugh at those people.  Ha!  But someone I find myself ill prepared for my son to drive.  It isn’t just him–all of his buddies are also driving.  A few of them are older than my son and have already received their operators license.  A couple of them drive themselves to school every day. I still visualize these kids as the same ones who couldn’t tie their shoes without assistance, and they are out on the same roads as you and me, with no adult supervision, in vehicles capable of many thousands of dollars of personal property damage.

God help us.

The worst part of it all is that I’m not sure if I’m upset because my son is 16 years old and driving (and he is a good driver, very cautious and law-abiding) or if I’m upset because this is just another reminder of my own impending geezer-hood.

I am not ready for this.  I myself identify as a cool young person.  I listen to cool music and drive too fast (in a minivan) and have tattoos and all of the other stuff that makes people cool.  But how can I be a cool young person when a human being that I grew inside of my own body is now old enough to operate a motor vehicle?

Okay, I’ll tell you the truth.  I’ve been sly about it and pretended like it was about so many things that it wasn’t.  It isn’t really about my son.  It isn’t about him driving.

It’s about the fact that I’ll be 40 in a couple of days.

You read that right.  I will be forty years old.  Conceivably half way through my whole entire life.  If I’m lucky, that is.

I cannot stand to hear about people having midlife crises, especially men with the sports cars and the blonde mistresses and such.  But honestly, I have to seriously ask myself if I’m not in the throes of a midlife crisis right now.  Why else would all of this be hitting me so hard?  What other explanation is there that the contemplation of my life and the life of my son and his friends should cause me such distress?

I’m sure the wine has nothing to do with it.

Regardless, my son is sixteen years old, and getting ready to get his license.  No matter how much I piss and moan (and drink), time just keeps on slipping by.  I thought I had lots of time.  I used to complain about how slowly time passed.

I’m sorry, okay? I’m sorry.  I didn’t know.  I take it back.  Just please, please slow down a little.  They can drive now, so let’s just take a breath.  Let’s take a minute to get our bearings.

Let’s realize how precious our time is, and how much we take it for granted, okay? I swear, we’ll do better from here on out.

Okay?


 

(not so) Happy

I have unlocked the secret to happiness.

Now hold on a minute.  Don’t just roll your eyes and walk off. Come back here! I’m serious.  I know the secret to happiness.

Are you ready to know the secret? Okay, wherever you are, go to a mirror. Close your eyes.  Stand in front of the mirror.  Take a deep breath.

Now, open your eyes.

See it?

You are looking at the secret of happiness.

For those of you who cheated and did not go to a mirror, I will give you the answer.

It’s you.

You are the secret to happiness.

Now, before you feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility, don’t misunderstand.  You are not the secret to everyone’s happiness.  Just your own.  Do you follow? I’ll say it plainly, with bold font, so you can get it.

You are the secret to your own happiness.

In my never-ending observation of people, I see everyone constantly searching for happiness.  They look for it in people and places and things.  They want happy lives and happy relationships and happy jobs, but they are let down over and over.

I spent more years than I am willing to count trying to find my own happiness in other people.  I was continually disappointed.  I was chronically disappointed.  Why? Because I thought someone else had the key to my happiness..  I placed impossible expectations on the people around me, and then held it against them when they couldn’t deliver.

I’m not sure what finally clued me in.  I can’t pinpoint one big “ah-ha” moment when I realized I had it wrong.  I think I just got tired of being such a drag.

Every morning I get up, and I don’t have what  people would  consider  a “fun” schedule.  I have to get my people out of bed and feed them and medicate them.  The daughter can be down right uncooperative.  Sometimes I have to hold her arms down with my leg so I can get her medicine in her.  That is not fun.  But I make jokes about it and laugh and accuse her of trying to kill me.  I sing songs and make faces to try to keep her from getting too mad.  When it’s finished, I make a big show of wiping my brow and then that’s that.  When she has a seizure, we sit together and bitch about it for a while.  It makes us feel better.  Then it’s over.

What if I wanted to make a different choice?  What if I decided to lament the difficulty of my life? What if I fussed at my daughter for her extreme hard-headed-ness (which she gets from her father) and started my whole day off on a sour, negative note?  What if I wanted to look at all of the things wrong with my life, all of the hard things that just don’t seem fair, and what if was mad or sad about them? Well, life around here would certainly be different, wouldn’t it?

No one can make those choices but me.  I can blame who I want.  Is it fair that things are the way they are?  Maybe not.  But guess what?  There’s not one damn thing I can do to change things, fair or not, and how in the hell does me being miserable help anyone?

Misery loves company–we’ve all heard it.  It’s true.  Misery is catching.  The beautiful thing, though, is that happiness is catching, too!

In our marriages, our relationships with our children, our jobs, every single aspect of our lives, we make the decision of how we are going to live our lives.  It breaks my heart to think of how much of my life I have lost being miserable.

Laughter is such a part of our lives now.  We have to laugh at ourselves and our lives–we just have to.  I don’t think we could survive day-to-day if we didn’t.  Look around yourself.  If you are with people, or, God forbid, if you are a person who can’t laugh at yourself, seek help immediately.  Put your head between your knees.  Call 911, something.  Just bail out.  You’re drowning.

You’re drowning in our society’s notion that happiness is something that is owed to us, that it is something therapy and medication can provide.  We have convinced ourselves that others should mold themselves into the shapes that make us happy.

We are deluded, and what’s worse, we are miserable.

If only everyone could decide to be happy.  If only everyone could see that each life, each relationship, each job, each person, can be a part of what our happiness is all about.  There is so much that is beautiful in even our hardest moments, so much that we should celebrate.  Even when things are hard, we can deal with them and move on.  There is so much to be thankful for, so much to appreciate.

So much to be happy about.

Go back to that mirror.  Look yourself directly in the eye.  Don’t take any bullshit.  Who is standing in the way of your happiness? Can you see them?

Now, what are you going to do about it?


 

 

 

 

 

Tear Jerkers (Sorry, Mr. Sparks)

I just watched a video which listed the biggest tear-jerker movies of all time.

I think movies based on Nicholas Sparks books made the list at least three times.  Maybe more.  I sort of lost interest about half way through.

We just can’t get enough of the sappy, drippy, romantic tragedies, can we? What is it? Maybe it’s the idea that love transcends tragedy, and exists even in spite of cancer and death and dementia.

Now, before any of you Sparks fans out there start planning my painful death, let me assure you, I think Mr. Sparks is a talented man. He knows how to tug on the heart strings.

But there are some of us (or at least me) who believe a real tear-jerker movie isn’t just sap from front to back and top to bottom.  It’s a movie that gets you.  It breaks your heart. And then someone gets stabbed in the eye with a sword.

Anyway, here are my nominations for the greatest tear-jerker movies of all time:

  • Last of the Mohicans. This  movie kills me.  Kills me.  It is a very violent movie at times, but it is also a wonderful story based on the book by James Fenimore Cooper.  The acting is top notch (we are talking about Daniel Day Lewis, after all) and there are true edge-of-your-seat moments.  It really hits the mark, though, because there are whole scenes with absolutely no dialogue. Guess what?  These are the scenes that are the most powerful and, yes, tear jerking.  Whole planets of emotion are shared between the characters with just eye contact, and of course the heart rending music in the background.
  • Cast Away. I bet you think I’m going to tell you I cried the most near the end, when Tom Hanks is getting ready to drive away and Helen Hunt comes running down the driveway in the rain (of course.) WRONG! Although that is a highly charged moment, the part of the movie that will crush you is when Tom Hanks loses his best friend.  That’s right–Wilson, the volleyball.  Wilson is tied onto the life raft, and he comes loose and starts drifting away before Tom realizes it, and then gets too far out of reach to be recovered.  Then we get to see Tom Hanks sobbing his heart out over a volleyball, and I sob right along with him.  Because it’s not really just Wilson he’s crying over, you know?  He’s crying because, well, everything. And that breaks your heart.
  • The Patriot. I can’t pinpoint one moment in this film, because it is brutal.  Let me just say, don’t get attached to too many characters in this film, because they drop like flies.  I will say the scene where Mel Gibson is leaving and his little girl runs after him and speaks to him for the first time in forever is over-the-top ugly-cry material.
  • Forrest Gump. You knew this one had to make the list, right?  Tom Hanks is brilliant, and this movie is all the proof needed to back up that statement.  How many times do I cry during this movie?  The Lord might know–I don’t.  Bubba dies, Lieutenant Dan has his “what am I gonna do now” moment, Momma dies, and let’s not forget when Forrest sees his son and wants to know if he is like him.  Then Jenny dies, and if you had any heart left, it gets destroyed by the whole “I miss you, Jenny” thing.
  • Braveheart.  I have never cried over any movie as  much as I cry over this one.  It would take a book to list all the tear-jerking scenes in this movie.  This movie uses the “no dialogue” technique, too.  When Murron is killed, and Mel Gibson leans over her right before they are going to bury her, he breathes in her scent like he did when she was still alive, and it’s almost too much to watch.  Then right before he dies, he sees Murron in the crowd walking toward him, and the music changes, and, and…..excuse me a minute, okay?

Okay, I’m better.  Sorry, but that one gets me every time.

So, what makes your list?  What movie rips out your heart?  And don’t worry if it is a Nicholas Sparks film.  I will only make fun of you a little.

 

The (not so) Skinny

I’m fat.

I’ve always heard that the first step in dealing with a problem is admitting you have one, so there you go.  I said it.  I’m fat.  Obese.  Portly.  Robust.  Chubby.  Rotund.  Chunky. Round. Not thin.

You get the picture.

I’ve never been what one would call a “skinny” person.  Certainly I’ve never fit into the modern ideal of how a woman should look.  I have always had a comfortable, pack mule type build.  Short, strong, and dependable.  Not ideal, but useful.

At any rate, the pack mule has been packing on the pounds.  It’s depressing.  The simple fact is, my metabolism has become my enemy.  The things I used to be able to get away with now seemingly add pounds and inches almost instantaneously.  I can eat an order of fries, and if I’m very quiet, I can actually hear the fat cell orgy that is going on in my thighs.  Those little suckers multiply by the thousands, by the millions, and they are nearly impossible to kill.

Not that I’ve tried all that hard.

The truth is, I never worked up enough care to do much about my physical appearance.  The years go by, you get a little older, a little slower, and a little squishy around the middle.  That’s life, right?  For me, though, the years have gone by, and the fat has sneakily appeared. At first, I thought the changing temperature and humidity in my closet was causing my clothing to shrink.  Then I noticed only my clothes were shrinking.  Huh.  I had to buy a bigger size, then a bigger one, until I have now finally reached the point where, if I don’t do something, I’ll just have to convert a king size sheet into a toga and wear that.

That’s not the worst part.

The worst part is that I also recently got a lecture from my doctor about a bunch of scary terms like “HDL” and “LDL” and “blood pressure” and God knows what else.  I finally had to take action.

So I went to McDonald’s.

Ha ha, just kidding.  What I really did was join a gym.  Really.  I also gave up sweets, soda, and, horror of horrors, smoking.  So, in short, my life sucks now. Ha ha! Another joke! See how humorous I’m feeling?

Britney Spears crying

I’ve never been a member of a gym before. It’s hard to pretend you know what you are doing when, in fact, you are trying to use your legs for the chest press.  Anyway, the treadmill seemed like a safe option, so that’s where I spend a lot of my gym time.  Treadmill time is sssslllloooooooowwww time, so I have a lot of time to reflect, while trying to pretend like I’m not about ready to drop dead from a heart attack.

That’s really the biggest challenge to the whole gym thing, isn’t it?  Pretending we are already in shape? Obviously, I am at the gym because the only shape I’m in is round, but why is everyone there smaller and in better shape than me?!  They run on the treadmill.  They toss free weights around as though they (the weights) were made of paper mache.  And over here I am, praying to God I don’t have some sort of bowel-related incident while trying to leg lift 25 pounds.

It’s hard not to be discouraged.

Also, I think about food a lot.  Like, a lot.  Our entire culture pretty much revolves around food.  Did you ever notice?  Every family gathering, from weddings to funerals and everything in between, is somehow focused on food.  I’m not talking about health food either.  When was the last time you took tofu and watercress to a family reunion?  In addition to constantly having food, the amount we eat is ridiculous.  We aren’t satisfied until we have eaten enough food to test the limits of the most forgiving elastic waistband.  We may actually reach a point where we have eaten so much food we are no longer able to hold ourselves in a vertical position, but we would ask, from the floor where are laying, what’s for dessert.

So, I’m missing food, and I’m exercising.  I’m also trying to do things to keep my mind and hands busy, such as work on this blog faithfully again.  But for now I’m going to take a break.

I’m hungry.

Like A Boss

Here, as a half hearted attempt at a comeback, is the very first mildly inappropriate joke I learned as a child.  I found it on a sheet of paper someone had given my grandfather years and years ago.  And so I offer you…….

 

On the day God created humans, all of the parts of the human body began to argue about which one should be the boss of the new operation.  Brain spoke up first.
“Obviously, I should be the boss,” said Brain. “I already run the show.  All of you can only do what I tell you to do anyway.”

But others were not so convinced.  Heart spoke next.     “Hold on, Brain.” said Heart. “You have power, it’s true, but you can’t even begin to function without the work that I do.  Without the blood I pump to you, you would die.”

Not to be outdone, Eyes piped in with their part.     “Without us you are blind!” they cried.  “We are literally your windows to this world.  You are lost without us.”

Finally, Legs had their say.     “We carry all of you!  Without us, the whole lot of you would be stuck,” they said.

And so, a heated argument began between the different parts of the body over who should be boss.  Over the din, a voice called out, “Hey! HEY! What about me?  I want to be the boss!”

It was Asshole.

After a moment of thunderstruck silence, the other parts of the body began to laugh hysterically, nearly collapsing the whole body in their mirth.

“You?!” cried Brain.  “You are an asshole. You can never be the boss! Imagine it!  An asshole as boss!” And off the parts of the body went again in their hysterical laughter.

Well, Asshole was so offended, so affronted, that he closed up.

At first, no one thought much of it.

But then, as time went by, the parts of the body began to notice they didn’t feel so well.  Legs were tired and weak.  They were having trouble holding up the other parts of the body.  Eyes couldn’t focus and were weary and droopy.  As more time passed, and Asshole stayed closed up, Heart began to beat heavily, sometimes skipping a beat because of the body’s general misery.  And, of course, Brain wasn’t doing so well either.  More and more time passed, and still Asshole was closed.  Brain began to be foggy and forget things.  He couldn’t think or focus make the other body parts work correctly.

Finally, the parts of the body had had enough.

“FINE!” cried Brain.  “Fine, Asshole, you are the boss!  Just please, please open back up.  You’re awesome, Asshole, we love you and we’d love for you to be our boss!”

And so it was that Asshole became boss of the human body.

The moral of the story is: You don’t have to be a brain to be the boss; just an asshole.

Share this with your boss!

Thank you and good night!

 


 

Time (not just a song by Pink Floyd)

I remember reading in a book once, though it escapes me just which one, that time is a very plastic thing, almost subjective, and to be honest, I never gave it much thought.

But boy is it.

I remember when I was a kid, especially a teenager, I thought time would never pass.  I mean, like, NEVER.  Remember? Remember how you were waiting for something to happen, just anything, and you thought it never would, that would just be stuck in whatever crappy thing you were in at the time?  You never thought about getting older, because you couldn’t even conceive of it–being old! Being thirty!

And now it isn’t like that anymore.  I’m well past thirty and time doesn’t pass in seconds, or even minutes or hours, but big hunks that slip by me while I’m not looking, while I’m attending the minutiae that is my life.  Don’t get me wrong–the plasticity of time is still in evidence.  When my daughter had surgery, I sat in that room, and I could almost feel the time weighing on me, pressing me into that awful plastic chair, holding me there until I couldn’t breathe.  I’d read for what felt like hours, then look up to see that five minutes had passed.  Then, later, after it was done, I was so scared to bring her home, so scared I couldn’t take care of her, and the doctor was cheerfully announcing that she was discharged! I thought, “Already?”

Then there’s the kids themselves.  I looked at vacation pictures last night, vacations that are still crystal clear in my memory, and the kids are tiny–I’m holding my daughter on my hip! My son is a gap-toothed little fellow smiling brazenly up at the camera.  Now, he’s looking down at me from unbelievable heights and my daughter can just about hold me on her hip.  I can remember with such clarity being pregnant–so young and green and scared.  So much seems to have happened, but when did it happen? How did it happen?

I have no idea.

There is another big example: this blog.  A month has passed since I wrote a word, and that was only shameless promotion of my mediocre jewelry work.  But it doesn’t feel like a month.  When I looked at that date, I couldn’t believe it.  Of course the other tragic event that has already come back around is Christmas, but it gives me a cold chill just to think about that, so we’ll let that one slide for now.

Do all of you feel this way too?  Like, how did we get so old?  (By not dying, right?) Seriously, I pass a mirror and just about scare myself into a heart attack. Plus, I look old! (Ha ha!)  I have been genetically blessed to still not have any gray hair, but the years are showing.  I see pictures of my young self, and I look so carefree.  And that’s the secret, isn’t it?  We know now what we didn’t know then, and it has taken its toll.  All of those fears and worries of our parents that we scoffed at are only too real now, hanging on us and weighing us down

If you aren’t depressed enough yet, here’s another thought for you: “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd came out forty years ago. FORTY YEARS! To some of you this may mean nothing, but some of you just teared up a little.  Admit–it’s okay.  I won’t think any less of you.

So time is passing, liquid, plastic time, my kids are growing up too fast, and I’m getting too old.  The key is not to miss it–hang on to it with both hands, my friends, and never let go.  Now excuse me–I’ve got to go check for gray hair.

*******For those of you who will greatly appreciate it, here is the song “Time” by Pink Floyd, one of my favorites, and some of my favorite lyrics.  Enjoy!

 

And then one day you find, ten years have got behind you.  No one told you when to run; you missed the starting gun…..”

 


 

Shameless Promotion

I’m about to do some of it!

In an effort to increase the cash flow up in here (and to keep my hands and mind busy) I’ve been piddling around making some jewelry.  Rather than jump in whole hog and get my own website, I decided to join Etsy!  So, in a shameless act of self-promotion, I’m providing you with the link to my Etsy shop, where you can browse all of my wonderful pieces and hopefully spend some of your wonderful money!  Extra love for anyone who wants to spread the word!

Drum roll please……..

 

Click it, love it, spread it, shop it!  I will be forever grateful!

 

(Note–all proceeds go to support my jewelry making habit.)


 

 

The End of the Ocean

I love the beach.

Simple enough statement, that.  I mean, lots of people love the beach, right?  Heaven knows thousands of people flock there each year for vacation.  We used to go from time to time.  The time between time to time got a little longer, then a little longer, and the next thing we knew, we hadn’t been in years.  So this year I decided we were going.

My husband does not love the beach.  I think to him, the beach is basically like playing in a giant sandbox with a million other people while someone periodically throws salt water in your face.  And it’s true–sand everywhere.  Sand in your pockets, in your car, in your hair, in your ears, in your……well, never mind.  The point is, it gets everywhere.

But oh, I love it.

Where we went, and that this time of year, there was no one.  But that doesn’t even matter to me.  I love the whole thing.  There’s the excitement that builds in the days before you leave.  Then the day of, you are up at dawn to get on the road.  And as you are driving, and you get close, you can roll down your window and smell the salty smell on the air.  Then you are there, and life takes on a different tone.  My sister-in-law summed it up perfectly–no pressure. Life is slower, even if you are running the whole time.  Then there’s the ocean itself, ceaselessly talking, talking, talking, telling you to forget your worries, relax, just breathe. 

Just breathe.

We watched the sun rise, and we watched it set.  We sat on the beach.  We wandered.  We shopped a little, ate a lot, and sat out on the deck.  It was windy and maybe a little too cool on some days, but still perfect.  (Note: okay, maybe not completely perfect.  For example, there was a path behind our house which allegedly led to the beach.  I should have been suspicious, because it had one of those haunted-house-type signs in the shape of an arrow that said “beach” in faded, nearly-illegible letters.  The path seemed little used, but like most of the morons in horror movies, we took off down it just the same.  We never made it to the beach, but we did manage to find several nuclear-power-plant sized spiders who built their webs across the path, and a vicious little cactus that attacked both my son and my mother-in-law and forced us to flee back to our house and perform first aid and drink wine to calm our (my) nerves.) But my sister-in-law is right–there was no pressure.  No appointments and no chores and none of the mundane crap that makes up our lives.  We just enjoyed ourselves, and felt happy.

And I felt myself telling the ocean goodbye.

I’m a little older, a little slower.  It takes more planning and coordination for us to go to the beach than was necessary on D-Day.  All of the caretaking is still required, just without the comforts of home.  The balance has shifted just slightly, just enough to make me feel like the work required to get there is more than the rewards of the trip itself.  Believe me, I never thought I’d hear myself saying it, but my heart whispered it to me as we drove home this weekend.  I felt myself driving away from more than just a place.  It felt like I was driving away from a part of my life.  I hope it was just a fit of melancholy, but I wonder.

I wonder…….

If I Ruled The World

Things would be a lot different, that’s for sure.  For starters, anyone who spoke out loud before 9am would be awakened each morning by having hot coffee poured in their ear.  Here are some other things I’d like to see go into effect immediately:

  • All carpet would be removed from earth and rocketed into outer space, where presumably space aliens would find it and use it to carpet their own homes, at which time their little alien children and six-legged alien pets would vomit on it.
  • Anyone who has a child and names it a normal name like “Cindy” or “Mindy”, but puts an “i” at the end, will have to sign a contract stating they will support their child for the rest of their life, since they will never be taken seriously in any field outside of the porn industry.
  • Anyone who names their child something like “Apple” or “Cocoa” or “North” will be made to stand in some public forum so we can all gather around them, and then point and laugh.
  • Mandatory grammar class for anyone who misuses “to,” too,” “your,” you’re,” “their,” “they’re,” and “there,” and double punishment for anyone who doesn’t know the difference between “then” and “than.”
  • Text speak will be banned, punishable by death.
  • Pop music will also be banned, and offenders will undergo a rehab of sorts where they are taught was music actually is supposed to sound like.
  • Personal automobiles will be equipped with large-caliber machine guns, in order to encourage people riding along at cruising speed in the passing lane to perhaps move it along a little bit.
  • Everyone would be required to read at least one book, any book, a week.
  • Charm and finishing school should be reinstated for every man, woman, and child, until we all learn to stop shutting doors in people’s faces and never saying “excuse me.”
  • Equally important, some sort of fashion guru will hopefully volunteer to teach Fashion Basics, such as if your ass is three feet wide, and your shorts are two feet wide, your shorts do not fit.  Perhaps a math teacher could fulfill this role or something. (I’m raving.)
  • Somewhere, somehow, someone will invent a self-cleaning house.
  • Also, I hope to inspire someone, with a large cash reward, to invent a way for laundry to automatically be switched from the washer to the drier.  (As an aside, I find it impossible to believe that this is not widespread technology yet.  I mean, we have tiny little computers we hold in our hands, and we can’t get laundry from one place to another?)
  • Non-streaking, finger-print proof glass. Enough said.
  • Anthony Hopkins would come and read me poetry every night as I fell asleep.
  • I would have one of those red phones, except it wouldn’t be for war or anything.  It would be a direct to line to, say, the Pope, or Roger Waters.  Or maybe just an Italian food delivery service.  I’ll have to think about that one.

I’m sure most of your feel this is a very selfish list, and you are right.  So of course I would do things like stop war and abortion and genocide and hunger and all of that stuff.

(But seriously, someone get to work on that laundry thing.)

 

So, what would it be like if you ruled the world?

 


 

Lap Dances: $120 Million

Let me start by saying that I firmly believe that celebrities do outrageous things for the sole purpose of gaining notoriety.  Bad press is still good publicity.  Furthermore, we are all just feeding into that by writing about it and talking about and watching the clip on YouTube.

But I’m writing about it anyway.

I was more than a little surprised at all of the negative reaction to Miley Cyrus’ little performance on the MTV Video Music Awards last night.  Don’t get me wrong–I agree with the negative reaction, but what I don’t understand is why anyone was really shocked at all.

I grew up in the Madonna generation, back when she looked more like a person and less like, well…….

cryptkeeper

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, Madonna sort of paved the way, in my mind at least, for that whole rolling-around-on-the-stage-sex-simulation thing.  From that point on, each female pop star after her has had to find a way to top the shock factor.  We love to be shocked.  I mean, we live in a world where, as a society, we have made this woman one of the most successful pop artists ever:

gaga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But we get up on our high horse like we can’t believe that Miley acted this way.  I mean, that’s Hannah Montana up there humping a foam finger, you say.  That’s Billy Ray’s little girl twerking Beetlejuice…..er…..Robin Thicke, you say.  Well, here’s what I say to that:

WHO CARES????!!! The most irritating thing I could see was that she is trying to be the next Gene Simmons.  (Does she have a hairball?  Is she choking on something? An allergic reaction, maybe?)

The other thing that sort of tickled me was that the VMAs are always crap.  I mean, is everyone just now figuring that out?  The performances are crap, and, let’s be honest, the talent is crap.  That’s what it’s really about, isn’t it?  These poor celebrities have to become famous for something, because the Good Lord knows they can’t sing.  Yet we act all shocked.  Well, watch the Miley Cyrus clip again.  Her backup singers/dancers are gyrating around nearly as badly as her, and when Beetlejuice….er…..Robin Thicke finishes the big number, doesn’t it look like one of the girls is simulating giving him, well, you know?

I despise MTV.  Real music, and yes, real talent, died a little the day MTV was born, and I say that as part of the MTV generation.  (As difficult as it is to believe, there used to be actual music on Music Television.)  It’s pure, solid, talentless, shocking crap.  Pop music as a genre is crap.  Here’s a news flash–Miley Cyrus can’t sing.  Taylor Swift can’t sing.  Britney Spears can’t sing.  Even Gaga, who I personally don’t mind that much, is only marginal.  (Before anyone gets on a high horse, no, I can’t sing either.  But I don’t pretend to.  I embrace it.  There’s a whole group of us non-singers.  Maybe there should be like some sort of “I thought I could sing” rehab or something for people like Miley and Taylor and most of the people who try out for American Idol. But I digress.)  Gyrating around on the stage and causing a huge uproar are what these girls are famous for.  Not singing.  Their voices are enhanced digitally just like the pictures of celebrities are airbrushed.  Just listen to a live performance by Taylor Swift sometime, if you can find one where she isn’t lip singing.  It isn’t even about the music anymore.  You know, Bob Dylan couldn’t really sing, either, and neither could Janis Joplin, whom I worship, but you know what?  Their music was about something.  They didn’t have MTV or the VMAs to make them popular.  They didn’t have to give a live, simultaneous lap dance to everyone in the world to get people talking.

They just sang.  (Well, and drank and did drugs, but that really doesn’t serve my purpose right now, so never mind.)

Long story short, America:  Hannah Montana is dead.  She was dying already, and she took her last gasp last night.  Turn off MTV.  Mourn her and let her go.  If you really want to watch some good tv, I have a suggestion.

Stick with The Andy Griffith Show.


 

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