I think I’ve seen just about every female celebrity twerking, or flashing her toned ass online. I’ve seen, regrettably, Heidi Klum boasting about her love for nudity. I have seen Emily Ratawhatever in every degree of nakedness known to mankind. I’ve run into Kim Kardashian’s sizable rump, Khloe Kardashian’s nipples peering through a sheer blouse, and Kourtney Kardashian embracing her son with her nearly naked derriere pointing towards the camera. Mothers cannot seem to embrace their toddlers without showing their cleavage (even breastfeeding has been elevated to “I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman…” in a way that, quite frankly, I don’t get. I breastfed for FOUR YEARS, and no one ever really noticed when I did it in a public place…because no one likes being stared at while they eat. That was my logic anyway. I don’t think it deflated my powers as a breastfeeding woman to be discrete, but what do I -a currently middle-aged prude- know about that, right?) There is also the long list of young girls with pierced nipples, pouting lips, toned tummies. It’s all empowering, supposedly. It’s everywhere. The little girl from Modern Family posed on the beach with her bikini bottom so low-slung that it looked like we’d be able to confirm how well she waxes her nether regions. No one seems to own a bathing suit that covers anything more than the crack of their butt. I suppose that fixes the issue with sand in your pants, but it really is getting tiresome seeing women of all ages trying to prove that their bodies are worth a view.
If that is sexy, we have more of it than we really need. I say let’s call a moratorium on it, and let’s bring something else back…being actually nice to each other.
I am about to say some really trite things, and I hope you will bear with me… I don’t want you to think that I’ve become some sort of spineless creature, but I am really sick and tired of the meanness that I see (yes, see…and hear) everywhere.
I don’t really know where it started. We can go back to shock comedians who spoke their mind; we can take it to Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Don Rickles…and we can say “that’s where it stared.” The thing is this: those guys were smart, and they were direct, but they were not mean. Maybe I’m wrong about this, but none of them (or their humor) inspired me to be crass and inconsiderate. Blunt? Maybe. Mean? No, not really.
Why am I saying this? Yesterday was rough. Many websites (supposed “news” websites) kept flashing pictures and videos of Kathy Griffin’s and Tyler Shields’ stunt with a supposed Donald Trump “severed head.” It was unpleasant. It was unnecessary. It was shocking and, quite honestly, it made me feel bad.
Furthermore, I had to actually turn off the computer because if I tried to check the news, there it was, and I didn’t want J to see it. I didn’t want to see it either, but between the stunt, the apology, and the backlash it was (until I said “no more”) hard to escape.
We see, more often than we should, videos of people beating each other up, attacking each other, bullying each other, throwing public tantrums. Then we witness the comments: people insult each other with either “libtard” or “Trumpster”, and that’s just the kinder sliver of invective. It gets worse. The anonymity of the internet allows for all sorts of shameless abuse that feels liberating to those issuing it.
There was a time when our society was angry and proactive. There was a purpose to the anger. Now we’re just angry, and we take it out on each other. We feel outraged by anyone who doesn’t agree with us, and the response is usually potent, concentrated, vicious. The same reckless abandon that is displayed in exposing bodies left and right and calling it “empowerment” is applied to expressing opinions with no filter or consideration and calling “freedom of speech.”
I am all for both, but I am also for taking a step back and asking “is this the way to do it?”
Dada’s job search has taught us a lot about the way the world is now as opposed to the way it was six years ago. Yes, a lot has changed. We didn’t realize how much, but it has. There are job boards all over the internet, and it is “easy” to apply for jobs there. You basically upload your resume and then you re-enter all the information into the forms that each employer uses. Your information then disappears into some sort of limbo where, if you don’t strictly represent very specific parameters, it will never be looked at by another human pair of eyes.
I don’t say this out of bitterness. Dada has had a fairly good response from people (actual humans) who reviewed his qualifications. But all the electronic layers of filters and sieves will overlook the human behind the verbiage. And this is, sadly, everywhere…
Have you noticed that more stores have self-checkouts now? You don’t have to interact with a cashier if you don’t want to. Have you seen how many flavors of pre-packaged chips there are? We counted six or seven when we were growing up, and now the chip aisle is as long as our kitchen, and multilayered. You can also have your own Keurig or Nespresso machine at home so you can have your latte, but never encounter a barista ever again. Never mind that it doesn’t taste the same, or that actual coffee bean bags are being replaced by those little cups at the store…you can have that at home, and not interact with humans.
I am not a fan of people. That is: I am introverted and have trouble behaving in a way that isn’t awkward when in social situations, but I still have manners, and I hope others will have manners, too. My idea of social interaction is not the one that I see out there: you either agree or disagree, and react accordingly, or you “present” like a baboon in heat and expect people to hit “like.”
It seems we have forgotten that we are, essentially, dealing with other people, human beings like us, and that they have fears, concerns, frailties, senses of humor, feelings just like we do. We seem to have forgotten that we used to live outside of shock value, outside of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. We used to all populate an actual plane of reality where our feet touched ground and we had to look each other in the eyes after saying or doing the mean thing.
Can we please bring that back? Can we stop worrying about freeing the nipple, and start worrying about whether we just scared a kid who is not as sophisticated as we think all kids are? (Barron Trump, it has been reported, was scared by the image of what appeared to be his father’s severed head. People doubt this. People assume being eleven is tantamount to being a world-weary fan of Tarantino who has seen it all and feels nothing. This, I think, needs to stop…eleven year-olds should be allowed to be as naive as eleven year-olds are. Otherwise, let’s just start handing condoms, Hustler, Jim Beam and unfiltered Camels to all nine year-olds so they are ready when “being eleven” rolls around.)
So that’s today’s rant. I apologize if you disagree, but that’s the way I’m feeling today…after skulking back online trying to dodge video of the latest “graphic video” that has replaced the last “graphic photoshoot” that made me cringe.
No, I know I don’t “HAVE” to look, but…does that mean that you have to hide if you want to live in a kinder world?