Monday, June 16, 2008

Things: Installment 2

Thanks for joining me for the second installment in the Things Series. My Memphis trip gave me reason to pause & reconsider this week's topic. But ultimately, I decided to stick with my original post & save that one for next week when I've had more time to lay out my thoughts.

So...onward we go.

Things: Not on my List of Favorites

  1. Bad Music. This encompasses a broad array of music. From singers. To genres. To instruments that ruin a song. As a musician & lover of live performance, I've heard & been involved in my fair share of terrible music. Sometimes performances are so bad that they just make me mad. Others are so bad that they're downright comical. Naturally, I prefer to enjoy terrible music with a laugh.
  2. Bad Food. Some people might call me a picky eater. I prefer to be called a selective eater. It's really simple - I like things the way I like them. Aren't we all a little like that?
  3. Bad Attitude. Attitude is everything. How many times did we hear our parents say this? What does it really mean? Until I became an adult, I'm not sure I really understood. But as you gain life experience, you begin to see, to know. Constructive criticism can be given in a way that cuts like a knife or builds & edifies. "Losing" an audition can make you feel like you've lost to someone more suited to the role or in a way that makes you feel the whole process is completely political. Dealing with a perceived wrong can be awkward for everyone if not handled properly - a shoutfest gets you nowhere; a superior persona gets you nowhere; a snippy attitude gets you nowhere. You can have the worst day or week or month or year EVER. But living under that grey cloud doesn't bring the sunshine back. It just makes you unhappy & a sad case to be around. No one likes a downer. In all things, attitude really IS everything.
  4. Bad Kids. To me, there is nothing worse than a brat. You know, the kids who sass their parents, who refuse to listen, who take nothing from being disciplined, who are rude & disrespectful to their elders, who run around like little banshees in inappropriate places (like the grocery store or church). I encounter kids like this more & more these days. Why is that? I have a theory. And it all boils down to discipline - a lack of it.
  5. Bad Drivers. I think we all share this one. What's the big hurry? Why the impatience? Why the rude honking & yelling & the gesturing? We're all gonna get to our appointed destinations at some point. I would personally like to get there safely & stress-free. So get off my bumper & let me drive.
  6. Bad Service. Some people just aren't cut out for the service industry. And I seem to encounter every one of them. It's like I have a big X on my forehead. It seems that our need for speed has meant a sacrifice of good, quality, kind, expedient customer service. Instead you get to wind your way through 30 min of automation before getting a real live butthead on the other end of the line.
  7. Bad Manners. Have manners been banned & I missed the memo? Common courtesy doesn't exist. People with GOOD manners now stand out in the crowd. Sad. Very sad.
  8. Bad Rolemodels. Have you stopped to think about who kids idolize these days? Look at the movie stars. Popular music. Pro sports players. Do you remember a time when we condoned - even glamorized - so much terrible behavior? Sure, go drink - just don't drive. Sure, do drugs - just not the bad ones. Sure, dress sexy - just don't have sex. My teen idols seem tame compared to those of today's youth. Where did the innocence go?
  9. Inferior Products. Have we outsourced EVERYTHING? Do you remember when you could buy something & use it/wear it for more than a year w/out issues? Quality workman/craftsmanship has gone the way of the Almighty Dollar & the how-do-we-make-the-most-while-spending-the-least. Just go in your closet, your garage, your office & see how many products say Made in the USA. You'll be lucky if you find ONE. I watched an episode of "America's Port" on National Geographic. This series focuses on the Port of LA, providing "an insider's look at the port's diverse work force, allowing viewers to practically sit beside crane operators, board a cruise ship, and watch the inner workings of a cargo container vessel." What I took from the series - this one insightful quote from a crane operator: "America's biggest commodity is empty container vessels."
  10. Politics. I really hate our political system. Everything about the system. Do you think it was THIS broken when our forefathers founded this country? I shudder to think. Can it be fixed? My opinion - Nope. I honestly do not believe you can clean it up enough to make it function. We're no longer a country run by The People. We're a country run by The Machine.

Remember, I'd love to hear your lists of Things. Just post a link to your own lists in the comments.

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