Posts Tagged ‘value

21
Aug
18

Conditional Friendships, Lousy Incentives and Switching to Find Fleeting Happiness

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You have two people who want to be your friend. One cannot guarantee they will remain your friend if you do anything to upset the friendship. The other says you can make one big mistake and be forgiven without any change to the friendship. The second person sounds pretty reassuring; right? But, what happens if you do anything to upset the friendship after that first big mistake?

What’s the news flash here? No; it’s not about not being perfect. It’s about “changing rates” of support. When all someone can offer is a temporary incentive, is befriending that source worth the investment? You wouldn’t want someone to give you a contract of conditions to be their friend or, even more impacting, their lover. Why would you want to gamble with something like insurance?

I’ll give you another scenario.

You want to pay someone to do a job for you. Person A wants to do the job at a consistent rate per day, and, if they’re really nice, they will let you know that rate up front. Person B will cut the price in half the first day but says nothing about what the job will cost you the following days. Person B is hoping to snag your attention with the first part of their offer before slipping the hidden consequence under your rug. And, to make matters more complicated and/or interesting, both person A and person B suggest “switching” who works for you at some unclear point during the time required. Switching also comes with an incentive similar to the one offered by person B. However, though no penalty is discussed for switching, the effort will likely wreak havoc on your workspace, rob you of privacy and put financial information at risk.

Does this sound like a game you want to play? If not, why the frhekhtehtlwbwe are we subjecting ourselves to this crap in all things financially binding? Why do we have so many ads pressing us to “switch service plans” and dodge “contracts” when it seems just about every source is selling the same garbage? Hubba, hubba, hubba…who do you trust? And, if the answer is no one…or if you play the switching game that’s presented to you…how exhausting this life is. It’s barely living. It’s running a hamster wheel before dying in a heating duct.

Wake up, people! How do we disconnect and stay connected? Start thinking and get out of the doldrums, all you Milos out there. [I’m telling myself, as well.]

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30
Dec
15

The Grinch That Stole the Other Empires

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A long, not too long time–somewhere between a year and the whole Y2K fad–ago…
In a home theater near you…

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lukesfather-vader-reveal-spoof_starwars_ap3J

Darth Vader: Luke! I…am your father!

Luke: No. Nooo. It’s not possible!

Darth Vader: Search your heart! You know it to be true!

Luke: No. You’re not telling me something. What is it? Why does this story start at chapter four?

[Taking off his helmet, Vader reveals creator George Lucas.]

George Lucas: Yes, son. Uh, I believe I could explain that. But, unfortunately, as I am too old now to relate to the increasingly younger target audience for just about everything, I’ve already sold you to another man-child.

[George removes his face, a rubber mask, to reveal J. J. Abrams, creator of LOST and the Star Trek movie “reboot.”]

J. J. Abrams: Hi, Luke. I’ll be speaking for George, now. Unfortunately, I cannot say too much without risking my life. You see. I took his baby under my wing while selling my soul to another company at the same time.

Luke: J. J. Abrams?! I lost five years of my life because of you! Bring George back!

J. J. Abrams: I would love to do that, uh, Luke. But, I am so afraid of making the slightest mistake to further upset the fans who nearly torched their collections after the “prequels” did so poorly. I am so afraid that I copied ninety percent of the original trilogy into the first film of my own in the series. So, I will have to turn my commentary over to the real boss of all this.

[J. J. removes his face, another rubber mask, to reveal Mickey Mouse, the iconic face of the Disney Empire which swallowed Lucas’ work and J. J. whole along with Jim Henson and Stan Lee (and their respective empires).]

Luke: No… No. Not you. You’re the worst of them all!!!

Mickey Mouse: Tough luck, kid. You’re mine now, b!t@h! Huh-huh!

[Luke chops off his own head in hopes of never being turned into a Goofy parody.]

[Jar Jar Binks pops into the scene only to annoy Mickey who doesn’t realize the similarity between one orange clutz and his long-time co-star, Goofy.]

Jar Jar Binks: Meesa taking over the physical comedy roles, now. Uck-yuck!

Mickey Mouse: Not if I have anything to say abou– Wait. Did you just say “Uck-yuck?”

THE END?

<<ALTERNATE ENDING>>

[Jar Jar Binks walks onto the scene in his usual clumsy fashion, greeting his boss, Mickey Mouse, aka Midas Minos.]

Jar Jar Binks: Meesa back, boss.

Mickey Mouse: Uuh…Huh-huh! Aren’t you forgetting something?

Jar Jar Binks: Oh. Meesa sorry. Ehem…Uck-yuck!

Mickey Mouse: That’s better!

[Mickey pulls a black cloak out of his sleeve and fits it over his head.]

Mickey Mouse: Welcome back, my beautiful spy. You’ve done well.
Of course, it was my brilliant design, naming you after the future director of a cash cow I have long sought to hold in the palm my rubber glove, giving you the subtle likeness of my pathetic half-brother, Goofy. How I hated when that Lucas project stole thunder from my theme parks, not to mention my movies. Now, it is all mine.

Where are the other horsemen of the monoplocalypse, your partners in crime? Where are Jeronimo Piventas, Ryander Reynosold and Sethos Rogenda?

[Mickey/Midas refers to other bounty hunters under his leadership who pose as actors you may know by other names: Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds and Seth Rogen. These four “horsemen” have a reputation for destroying films.]

Jar Jar Binks: Meesa last saw them at Starbucks, passing along your plans for changing the name to Mickey’s Star Wars Coffee House.

Mickey Mouse: Excellent. Phase two of my plan is about to begin…three years from now in a theater near everyone! Uuh…Huh-huh! Uuh…Huh-huh-huh!

15
Dec
14

What Is Christmas About? –Steve Martin SNL style–

whatisChristmasabout_redholiday-sweater_ap-1

Looking at the pictures I find in my art scrapbook, a place where I go to drum up e-cards for those I meet and/or know online, I occasionally drift away with thoughts of jingle bells among other things. The holidays can be so commercial. And, I ask myself, “What is Christmas about?”

“Well,” I tell myself. “Christmas is about…”

The birth of the son of God, otherwise known as Jesus (for those who believe in the story). It’s his birthday above all else. Not the presents, shopping or Black Friday hype.

Ya know. Just thinking about Christmas conjures so many images! What would a winter holiday (for those who have it in winter) be without lovely women in cozy sweaters, sweater coats and festive sweatshirts you just want to cuddle til their arms fall off?! Oh, and all the stylish boots they have to pick from! So many boots.
So, Christmas is about beautiful women in cuddle-licious winter apparel…
And, the birthday of Jesus. Let’s not forget that.

But, I’m being self-centered. Maybe you don’t care for women in cozy-riffic winter apparel. Maybe you’re more interested in festive decor (indoors and/or outdoors): the trees, the lights, the candles, the artificial snow, the wreaths, the mistletoe, the stockings hung by the chimney with care, the coal, the chestnuts, the bells, the carolers, the lampposts, more artificial snow, the greeting cards from Christmases past and present, the fake presents, the birds and berries. Maybe you’d go so far as to wrap yourself in tinsel and hang ornaments from your ears! Hmm? Too much? What is too much, anyway?

So, Christmas is about decorating the house til your eyes bleed red, white and green. [Well, for those who decorate, anyway.]
Not for me. No. For me, it’s about all the beautiful women of the world in cuddle-uptuous winter apparel…
And, Jesus. It’s his birthday. Ya know? Show some respect. Don’t forget the Nativity set while you’re searching the attic, basement, garage and/or closets. That’s the most important piece, if you’re respecting the core of Christmas.

What about the kids and kids at heart? Maybe you’re the Kris-Kringle-coming-down-the-chimney-with-his-sack-of-goodies-to-grab-some-cookies-and-milk type. So, for you, Christmas is about a chubby bearded guy in a red and white suit coming to your homes to deliver presents before enjoying your holiday cookies with a cool glass of milk.

W-Wait. Didn’t I start this piece by mentioning jingle bells? And, what about snow? I know some of you down south might have your Christmas festivities in hot summer weather. But, I cannot imagine Christmas without jingling sleigh bells and gently falling snow covering the landscape in powdered sugar on a peaceful night. Just think of all the Christmas music people put out every year. Oh, my gosh! I forgot about caroling! ‘Can’t get enough versions of Deck the Halls and Jingle Bells; can we? Do you ever hear holiday carols with hot desert winds and seagulls squeaking over a swishing surf? [If you’re lucky, there might be one or two.]

So, if you forgot eeeeverything else: the women in winter apparel, the fat guy bringing you stuff down your chimney (or however he gets in there if you don’t have a chimney), the caroling, the cookies…and Jesus. Well, don’t forget him if you’re going to call it Christmas. But, Christmas is also about jingle bells on a sleigh swishing across a carpet of soft white snow on a silent starry night.

–Back off, Rudolph! You, too, Burl Ives snowman. I know. I’m sure I’ll get to you holiday movie icons soon enough. Go sit down with Ralphie, Charlie, Rex and Herb, Garfield and Clark. And, keep your hands off Mrs. Griswold.

…What were we talking about, again? My mind just drifted into this picture of a woman with lovely brown hair sitting in her cuddly white sweater coat while the snow gently falls outside her picture window. That’s what it’s all about, folks. Christmas is about women in cuddle-tastic winter apparel.

And, Jesus.

And, hot cocoa. Lots of hot cocoa.

Happy holidays from Writingbolt.

15
Sep
14

As If They Were Nothing

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My parents saved so many pieces of their growing past and oodles of things they thought might be worth more someday: their first set of kitchen furniture, tea sets, light fixtures, quilts, suits and figurines of all sorts. But, the things I valued the most they threw away as if the former were nothing.

Trust. Love. Acceptance. Patience. Empathy. Talent. Effort. Friendship. Teamwork. To name a few.

‘Leaves you feeling all warm and tingly inside; doesn’t it?

14
Jul
14

Does a Stinky Message Smell as Sweet?

 

 

Well, how could it? I mean…I just said it’s a stinky message. Right?

But, what if you don’t see or smell the stench because others convince

you it’s worth the price of their resources? Suddenly, you’re more

interested in experiencing something with your own senses than

weighing the pros and cons. If all of your neighbors are jumping at the

chance–even if it robs them of their privacy, wealth and/or dignity–why

let the seemingly obvious warning signs stand in your way of joining

them?

 

 

When you join a club or website, do you give the name or any policy details any thought? Or, do you just join because others have, the meeting room/home page looks pretty or it’s the first place you found in a search for space to write out/share your thoughts?

 

Would an unpleasant name or rule insisting you humiliate/hurt yourself in some way stop you from joining? Or, do these not stop you?

 

When you see a commercial for a product involving real people sharing their enthusiasm, do you believe the person really supports, likes and/or uses the product? Or, do you dismiss this as (bad) acting and learn more about the product another way?

 

Do you listen to music for its beat while ignoring the lyrics? Have you ever heard a song that sounded good until you learned the lyrics upset your moral code? Do you pledge loyalty to a band/musician even if you don’t like all of their songs? Have you ever given up interest in a musician/band after hearing an awful song?

 

 

Is “trending” so vital to social interaction and acceptance that we forget

or ignore what is defined as negative, immoral and/or harmful? Maybe

you’ve heard some version of the expression: “If all of your friends

jump off a bridge, do you have to join them?” This isn’t revolutionary

news here, people. This has been going around since Eve sold herself

into evil’s service and gave a bad apple to her boy toy, Adam.

 

 

[In future posts, I will discuss two categories/examples, Music and Websites. Look for them if interested in reading more.]

06
May
14

Put It on EBay!

“Put it on eBay!” he says. “You’re not enjoying it. Get rid of it!”

That’s my father’s (and, generally, my family’s) final and echoing word on anything sitting somewhere and not being put to use…when it’s not their own stuff sitting somewhere and not being put to use. It only adds weight to the weight I already carry for having indulged a whim and brought something “home” though I don’t get to use it as often as I could (if ever). [And, if I never use it, it’s because I wanted to share it with someone special and don’t presently have that someone. And, that just drives me crazy, too. Why keep buying stuff that I WISH to use with someone (else)?] As negative as I get labelled for “pissing” on this and complaining about that, I can’t find it in me to point out every little item or question someone’s collection to the point that I tell them to get rid of it promptly. But, my family does this (particularly) with me.

[For any of you warped by current TV trends thinking this is a potential “hoarding” situation, don’t even go there because it’s far from it. And, if I ever became even close to being unable to getting around/through a room, I’d go mad like Donald Duck and pitch the lot to the curb. I refuse to box myself in anywhere.]

I could easily fight them off with a stick and scream, “Mine! I keep it!” But, as I think this over one more time–in my attempt to be fair–I begin to question the value of so many things. What am I NOT enjoying? Oh, there’s a long list.

So, if I am not enjoying my parents/family…can I put them up for sale/auction? How about my life in general? Do I set a high or low minimum bid? Who would ever (click) Buy It Now?

[I say this and then realize or decide there must be someone worse off who’s saying they’d trade right away. So, don’t speak too quickly. But, this is just another passing thought that sort of made me laugh. And, I hope it gives you who choose to read this a chuckle, too.]




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