Where Are All My Friends? The Polarizing Force of Radio,Television And Blogs

Years ago I had a lot of friends, and according to Facebook, I still do (but I don’t believe that boshwah because I know better).  I was first introduced to the negative after effects of talk radio by Tom, a coworker who believed that he was Axl Rose, (whole nother story that) and that racism was dead, and that black people (except for me of course), were lazy welfare swindlers and a lot of other crap that I’ve since erased from my memory banks. Tom was a Rush Limbaugh listener, and what struck me about Tom was not the things he said, but the angry and loud way in which he said them. I cannot think of one single moment in a scary movie that can rival being stuck alone in an industrial sized building for 12 hours a day 3 days a week with a Limbaugh Lunatic. Thank God we could at least agree on Rock and Roll. That was almost 2 decades ago and things have gotten worse instead of better. Had I known then that our political affiliation would become the thing that defines us and determines the length and breadth of our friendships, I would have made the effort to only friend Democrats and Left leaning Independents (and yes that is laughable so go ahead chuckle).

I thought I had friends at the job I worked for 10 years. We did lunch, hugs, Christmas presents, and talked about our husbands, wives, kids, and money issues . But all the while, they were being groomed by talk radio too, or maybe it was Fox News, or maybe it’s already in your DNA? I dunno. Two years ago I happened on one of my “friends” in an elevator, I was so happy to see this friend that I rushed over to give them a hug – they actually physically cringed and shrank into the back of the elevator, the look on my friend’s face was priceless, and the moment is stamped in my consciousness like a bad dream that I just can’t shake. I didn’t know what I had done to create whatever animosity, dislike, or disdain that this person felt for me  – but when I saw some of their more recent Facebook  posts I got what some folks would call “a clue”.

Then there are my other besties who no longer call or respond to emails, or even interact with me in any way shape or form on the public forum we call Facebook.

They say that politics is polarizing America, but I don’t believe it not even for a second. We used to be able to agree to disagree and then go get drunk together. Heck we even used to (gasp) marry outside of our Party.  It’s all the angry (probably white, but sometimes not) men that’s really pulling us apart (did I say that out loud? Ok I went back and amended it) . So tell me, former friends of mine – if you have a roof over your head, a good job, food in your mouth, and the kids are alright- what are you so effing mad about? And why are you mad at me?

And one last question – you keep telling me you “want America back”, but since you also say that it’s not about the President being Black and it’s not about him not being Black enough, and since back assumes that there has been forward movement to some place that’s undesirable to you- then what or whom do you want your country back from?

And another question (sorry this one baffles me so much I gotta ask it twice)- what are you so mad about?

I sure wish you’d turn the radio off, stop reading blogs that offer affirmation rather than information, mute the TV and put some music on, it will calm your nerves.

Personal Responsibility, Obama’s Birth Certificate & All That Jazz

In Scream, Jackson and his sister Janet angril...
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I’ve been MIA from the blogosphere for a little while, but I’m back and raring to go. Been forced to listen to a lot of talk radio, read a lot of Tweets, and watch a lot of Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC lately. The negative vibes almost killed me….but I’m still standing and you can too.

I will get back to my regularly scheduled programming in the next post but there is something laying heavy on my heart and I have got to get it off. I have faith in America, I have faith in the American people, I believe that you are all bright, intelligent beings who can think for yourselves.

But I gotta tell ya, you are not Bill Maher, you are not Jon Stewart, you are not Bill O’reilly, you are not Rush Limbaugh, you are not Sean Hannity, why you aren’t even Keith Olberman! And you have got to stop letting these guys do your thinking for you.

Sometimes we forget that these guys are (as Rush once said) “only entertainment”.  That they actually get paid to do the things they do and say the things they say. Sure they’re passionate, loud, committed – but at the end of the day none of them can teach you to be a better Dad or Mom. None of their advice will show you how to be a better person, live a better life, play well with others. As a matter of fact it’s just the opposite. They are putting so much negative crap in your head, that you can’t  fit the positive thoughts that YOU need to survive and thrive and help turn this ship around. AND I am willing to bet that many of you are FEARful instead of  FAITHful – well that’s not moving you forward is it?

I believe (and this is America so feel free to disagree) that too many of us look to the media to educate and inform us.  And once upon a time this may have been the case (but I don’t really believe that , I think if I do my research I will unearth facts that prove that the media in one way or another has always been a propaganda machine).  Today no media  outlet gives us “just the facts”, they spin it, they twist it, they dissect and debate it – and I reiterate – they do not care about you or the effect this all has on you.

I mean seriously, in the old days the media might have waited a few minutes for the family of Michael Jackson to be notified that he was dead, before they told the entire world – today my friend it’s all about the scoop. That’s not about us, that’s about them.

OK about the title of this post – “Personal Responsibility” it’s a buzz phrase, you didn’t think it up yourself, it’s an implant – rip it out and get on with your life. Accept the fact that none of us have a choice but to be “personally responsible”.

Obama’s birth certificate – it’s not important to the majority of Americans. Majority rules as this is still a Democracy. Again, wasn’t your idea, was someone else’s, get it out of your mind – go and do some volunteer work, find a teacher who has to buy supplies for your kids school and give her a gift card to Office Depot, babysit for a single mother so that she can go look for a job and get off welfare (and you can lose your reason to think badly of her), or mentor a child in your own neighborhood who’s  lost a parent. This should take your mind off of the non-important issues and place it on something that might actually make a difference.

At a recent Town Hall, a woman raised the question of Obama’s  birth certificate and then she screamed “I want my country back” – well  so do the Native Americans and so do the people who used to own Texas, Arizona and California. They moved on and you should too.

And “All That Jazz ” id like one of my favorite movies of all time.

Tired of you tellin’ the story your way
It’s causin’ confusion
You think it’s okay  – ( “Scream” by Janet Jackson)

And yes it does all just make me want to Scream.

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