Saying “Shut up!” used to be simple. Decades ago, if you told somebody to shut up, the other person would either quiet down, cuss you out, or start throwing punches. Today, you might get told that saying “Shut up” is wrong, that it’s somehow inappropriate or mean or offensive. Somebody might even tell you that shut up is a bad word.
Maybe there’s something to that. I’d never say “Shut up” to a stranger. “Shut up” is something you say only to somebody you know. If you say “Shut up” to a stranger, you should be ready to get into a fight. I punch like a girl, so I never say “Shut up” to strangers.
Shut up might technically be a phrase instead of a word, but that’s a technicality most people don’t care about. If you add other words to shut up, however, then it becomes a phrase. Shut the f*** up is a phrase. Shut your mouth is a phrase. Shut your pie hole is a phrase. But shut up is considered a word, even if it really isn’t.
Shut up is not a cuss word like sh*t or f*ck. You can’t say sh*t or f*ck without offending somebody. Shut up involves more context. You can say “shut up” in a friendly way and people won’t care. Even if you say “sh*t” in a friendly way, somebody will be offended.
Shut up can escalate a conflict more quickly than profanity. Shut up often causes the person talking to get louder, to proclaim that he/she will NOT be silenced. Saying “Shut up” can cause another person to use profanity in response. Saying “shut up” can often backfire. Because of this, I don’t recommend saying “Shut up” in most situations.
In some ways, shut up might be the gateway word to profanity. A child who says “Shut up” may also learn to rely on profanity later in life because that person never developed the language and interpersonal skills to control emotions and use appropriate vocabulary. I have no proof to back that up, but I’m pretty sure it’s true.
My daughter has a teacher who tells her students to shut up a lot. At the beginning of the school year, the teacher started off as polite, but now she goes straight to “Shut up!” I had teachers who said “Shut up.” We knew at that point something bad would happen to us if we didn’t quiet down. After the teacher said “Shut up,” we’d get something like a detention or a zero on the assignment if we didn’t settle down. That “Shut up!” was a warning that the teacher had reached his/her breaking point.
I’d rather have a teacher tell me to shut up than have a teacher who gives detentions all the time. Maybe a teacher shouldn’t allow the class to get to the point of shut up, but ideally doesn’t work in reality. Kids need a warning, and “Shut up!” is as clear as it gets.
If a teacher says “Shut the f*ck up” as a warning, then there might be some issues.
Maybe teachers and parents shouldn’t say “Shut up,” but if you’re going to say “Shut up,” say it to a kid. Kids need to be taught that their opinions don’t mean as much as an adult’s opinion (It’s legally true because they can’t vote until they’re 18). Plus, kids talk too much and don’t usually respond to “Please be quiet” or “Maybe this isn’t the appropriate time to discuss this.” Some kids don’t respond to politeness and subtlety. Some kids need to be told to shut up.
Saying “shut up” is nothing new. The dictionary claims that the first known usage was in 1814. The dictionary didn’t say what the result of the first usage was though. I’d like to know if the person being told to shut up understood what he/she was being told to do. And once the person being told to shut up understood what was being said, how did that person respond? I guess I’ll never know. I can’t find a video of this conversation on YouTube, so maybe it didn’t really happen.
I’ve heard people say that telling somebody to shut up is mean and wrong, but telling somebody NOT to say “Shut up” is almost as bad as saying “Shut up.” I try to be careful when I use my shut ups, but I’d never tell somebody not to say shut up. It’s not my place in society to do that.
But if you’re the type of person who says “Shut up” and somebody ever tells you NOT to say “Shut up” because it’s mean or inappropriate, you have the perfect immediate built-in response:
If you’ve ever told anybody to shut up, you’ll probably like my ebook.
Finding a good book to read can be difficult, but ruining a good book for somebody else is easy. It’s so easy that excited readers usually don’t realize they’re destroying somebody else’s pleasant experience. There are probably dozens of ways to ruin a good book for somebody else, but here are (the top?) five:
Spoiling the Ending
When I was reading The Iliad in junior high (by choice… 30+ years ago), some wiseacre tried spoiling it by telling me the Greeks won the war. I smugly replied that I already knew that. Then the spoiling wisacre revealed to me that The Iliad doesn’t go all the way to the end of the war. I couldn’t believe it! I cheated and read the final chapter where Achilles returns Hector’s body to Peleus, and I was shattered. I was really looking forward to reading about the Trojan Horse.
Maybe The Iliad isn’t the best example of a novel (or epic poem) that can be ruined by a spoiler. I could have used a more recent novel (like maybe Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train), but readers could have potentially gotten mad at me (and I try to avoid conflict whenever possible). At least The Iliad is Greek mythology. It’s (almost) impossible to spoil Greek mythology anymore.
Assigning it as Required Reading
Most people aren’t going to read a classic unless it’s assigned reading for school. But a book doesn’t have to be a classic to be hated when assigned. I probably would have liked Fahrenheit 451 if it hadn’t been assigned. I probably would have liked Lord of the Flies as well.
There are only two exceptions. I liked To Kill a Mockingbird even though it was assigned, and I’m pretty sure I’d have disliked Moby Dick even if it hadn’t been.
Assigning a novel is a great way to make kids hate (even what they think is) a good book. If you’re tired of The Hunger Games or Harry Potter or The Fault in our Stars, just get some teachers to make these books required reading. If a few teachers could overanalyze these books, the popularity of these YA novels would drop instantly.
Any teen craze can be destroyed by making it compulsory. If you’re sick of One Direction or Fall Out Boy, have some music teachers require their classes to perform their songs. It’s an incredible power that teachers have to ruin teenage fads; they should use it more frequently.
Building up High Expectations
I probably would have liked The Catcher in the Rye if my friends in high school (about 30 years ago) hadn’t told me how awesome it was. The Catcher in the Rye was okay, but my friends had set my expectations too high. Holden Caulfield struck me as a whiner instead of a rebel. Now when I recommend a book, I just say something like “You might think this is good,” and not, “THIS BOOK CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER!!!”
After my high school friends recommended The Catcher in the Rye, (“You HAVE to read it! It’s awesome. You won’t believe how great it is!”), I handed them a copy of Different Seasons by Stephen King and said (probably in a monotone voice), “I think you’ll like this.”
That was it. No hyperbole. Very little emotion. And everybody likes Different Seasons.
Sneezing on it
Sneezing on a book will always ruin it for me. I don’t want to touch any book after it’s been sneezed on, no matter how much I had originally wanted to read it. It’s not just the nose debris I’m worried about either. Any type of fluid (body or not), and I won’t read the book. The moist spots might be water, but I can’t take that chance.
The only books I check out from the library are the new ones because they’re relatively undamaged. All of the older books have warped areas, or discolored sections, or green/brown spots that can’t be sanitary whatever they are. The older books can be checked out for extended periods of time, but I wouldn’t want them infecting my house, not even for a day or two.
The possibility that somebody has sneezed on (or done worse to) a book will keep me from reading it. This narrows my selection at the library a little, but that also keeps me from wandering the shelves, and my kids appreciate how quickly I can choose a book from the library.
Making a Bad Movie out of It.
This one is out of the control of most casual readers. It takes money and power to pull enough strings to make a bad movie out of a good book. I’m not sure anybody intentionally makes a bad movie out of a good book, but it seems to happen a lot. When the Jack Nicholson version of The Shining (“Heeeere’s Johnny!”) came out in the early 1980s, it was panned by most critics. Even I didn’t like it, and I wasn’t as hyper-critical of stuff as I am now. Today, a lot of people see that version of The Shining as a classic, but I think that’s just because everybody loves Jack Nicholson.
It’s not the book’s fault if a bad movie is made out of it. Sometimes a bad movie might inspire readers to see why that movie was made in the first place. I’ve never seen a good movie version of The Great Gatsby, but Hollywood will keep trying, and people will keep reading it.
When I lend out books and get them back, they’re almost always in worse condition than any library book I’ve ever seen. Pages are folded, notes are scribbled inside, and the binding is shriveled. I’m often tempted to stop offering up the books I like.
That’s the final way to ruin a good book: make your literary peers buy their own copies.
You might like my ebook because nobody has ruined it yet.
When my daughter announced that she had a research paper for school, I was expecting an ordeal. I braced myself for hours of whining and complaining and procrastinating. Instead, my daughter pulled out her phone, looked up a bunch of stuff, and was done in 15 minutes.
15 minutes? When I was a student, I was lucky if the trip to the library to get started on my research paper was only 15 minutes.
I’ll give my daughter’s school district credit. They have an online database with a bunch of approved sites, so kids aren’t supposed to just go to Google or Bing and hope for the best. I usually don’t have a problem with Google or Bing (though I know manipulation of key words can be an issue), but I’m an adult and know how to use these tools. I’m glad the school teaches our kids to use other resources.
Still, my daughter doesn’t have have to do any real work for research except read. She doesn’t have to drive 30 miles to a decent library. She doesn’t have to figure out the Dewey Decimal System. She doesn’t have to wait in a line for a librarian to find an old magazine. Even worse, my daughter has never had to deal with microfiche.
Parents are supposed to be happy when their children’s lives are easier than their own, but my daughters should appreciate how stressful research used to be. It was work.
Back when I was a kid (decades ago), we had Encyclopedia Britannicas, but teachers told us not to use them because it was too easy and the information was too vague. Using the local library was okay for basic research like biographies, history, or outdated science stuff, but anything current was nearly impossible to look up.
The library had newspapers, but you had to ask the front desk for the older issues and then wait while they went to the back. The recent periodicals/magazine in the stacks were disorganized and dog-eared with pages torn out. All the good information had already been borrowed/stolen. If you needed specific information that was more than a few years old, you had to use microfiche.
“Microfiche” was a word that was rarely spoken by itself. There was usually a colorful adjective spoken before “microfiche.” It might have been “f*cking microfiche” or “g*dd*mn microfiche” or “piece of sh*t motherf*cking microfiche,” but it was never just “microfiche.”
If you don’t know what microfiche are/is, this might help explain it .
Anyway, something always went wrong with microfiche. The microfiche boxes were more disorganized than the periodicals. The articles in the microfiche wouldn’t have the information that the summaries promised. The microfiche was unreadable. I’m sure there were other problems, but I’ve blocked them out. The experience was borderline traumatic.
People who never have had to research using microfiche don’t understand the frustration. If you told the teacher that you tried to research the topic but the microfiche didn’t help, the teacher always acted skeptical. Looking back, I’m guessing that the teachers enjoyed putting us through the experiences because they’d had to go through it too. Either that, or they had never used microfiche and couldn’t comprehend the pitfalls.
I’m convinced there was a hidden camera in the library watching students meltdown at the microfiche machine. There had to be. If I had been working at the library, it’s what I would have done. The footage from that hidden camera probably made being a librarian worth it.
The citations at the end of the essays weren’t the worst part of writing research papers, but they were inconvenient. Titles, authors, dates of publication, all went in different orders depending on whether the source was a book, a newspaper, a magazine article, a speech, or an interview. It was a pain keeping up with all the guidelines, especially since you did the citations last when you were already exhausted from all the research and writing. The citations had to be precise because even if the teachers didn’t read the essays closely, they’d check the citations. Nowadays, the citations are done online.
That’s right. Citations are done online. Almost all information is online. There’s no need for microfiche. I swear, kids today don’t understand how easy they have it.
When the first Star Wars movie came out in the 1970s, a friend of mine thought R2D2 and C3PO were real robots. I told him they weren’t, and we argued back-and-forth for about six weeks. Back then, there was no way to just look it up, so we kept arguing. At some point, we even made a $20 bet (and back then $20 was worth a fortune to a ten-year-old). Finally, some sci-fi magazine came out that interviewed the actors who played R2D2 and C3PO. My friend might argue with me, but he couldn’t argue with a sci-fi magazine.
Before technology made instant research possible, people used to have stupid arguments about simple facts. With technology and instant research, people argue about opinions instead. That should mean we are evolving, but I’m not sure about that. Most opinion arguments now are pretty stupid too.
If you like researching on your phone (or if you like reading anything on your phone), you’ll probably like reading my ebook.
When I was a freshman, I expected my college life to be a raunchy sex comedy, but it turned out that my roommate was having all the raunchy sex. To make it worse, he was having all that raunchy sex in our dorm room, so that meant I spent a lot of time in the University Library.
Most of the lack of sex was my fault. As a freshman in college, I was aloof about a lot of social stuff. I spent my money on comic books instead of nice clothes. Even when I bought clothes, my wardrobe was jeans, a few sweaters, and lots of comic book t-shirts. College women thought I was harmless, which meant there was no raunchy sex for me. My mind wandered a lot when I walked across campus, and I was rarely aware of my surroundings. That changed when I got conked on the head, but that happened later.
Anyway, my wardrobe was a low priority. Besides keeping my clothes clean, I wasn’t concerned about them. Since clothes didn’t matter, I didn’t think anything was wrong when I put on one of my usual outfits before going to class one morning.
As I headed out the dorm room, my roommate Kirk stopped me with a “Hey!”
“What’s wrong?” I said.
Kirk looked concerned. He was dragging himself to breakfast before the cafeteria shut down for the morning, but something had gotten his attention.
“It’s ‘Wear Jeans If You’re Gay Day’,” he said.
I knew I was wearing jeans. I hadn’t been aware of this social awareness day, but my college wardrobe was limited. I had jeans for cold days and shorts for warm days. It was late October, and though it wasn’t freezing out, it was still chilly, and there was no way I was wearing shorts instead of jeans.
“I’m going to have to risk it,” I said.
“It would be different if you had a girlfriend,” Kirk said.
Or if I screwed a different drunk chick every night like Kirk did, I thought, but I kept that to myself. Kirk seemed comfortable with his heterosexuality, but he was heading out in shorts and a sweater.
“You know they’re laughing at you,” I said to Kirk. “They just pressured you to wear shorts on a 40 degree day.”
“They probably want to stare at my legs,” he muttered.
This was back in the mid-1980s, and Seinfeld’s “Not that there’s anything wrong with it” episode hadn’t come out yet, and a lot of people thought there was something incredibly wrong with being homosexual. There was a guy on our floor who was reputed to be gay, and his ROTC roommate was trying to get a room switch. There was supposedly a significant gay community in our college town, but you didn’t really see it too much in the dorms.
“My friends think you’re gay,” Kirk said.
That kind of pissed me off.
“Do you tell them I’m not?” I asked. I thought of how the ROTC guy ostracized his roommate, and I didn’t want anything like that to happen to me.
“I know you’re not,” he said. “You hit on my sister, you filthy degenerate.”
That was true. It had happened the day I’d first moved into the dorms when I didn’t know she was his sister. She was just a cute, well-built girl in a skimpy outfit hanging around our hallway brushing her hair back and talking to me every time I brought a box into my room. The way she looked at me, I thought all those stories about college being a raunchy sex comedy were about to come true.
Then I found out she was Kirk’s sister.
And she was only 15.
And that Kirk would beat the shit out of me if I ever touched her (which might be considered ironic when you consider his own behavior with women).
Looking back, she would have been better off with me than some of the guys she ended up with, but we would have had to wait a few years, and it’s not something that I lost sleep over, I promise.
As Kirk and I walked down the dorm hallway, the ROTC guy wandered out from the showers with a towel wrapped around his waist. The guy was ripped (though ripped wasn’t a term back then). He was well-defined. I’ve always wanted a muscular, well-defined body, but I was skinny, and working out only made me skinnier. I admired what I could not be.
“Good morning,” I said to him really loudly. I startled him, and he gave me an angry look as Kirk and I strolled past him.
When we got to the elevators, Kirk said, “He’s gonna think you’re gay now.”
“He’s not that stupid,” I said.
“Yeah, he is. You don’t talk to guys coming out of the shower.”
“Really?” I had never heard that social rule before. I have startling gaps in my knowledge.
“It’s like talking to the guy next to you when you’re taking a piss in public.”
“Really?” I paused. “I do that all the time.”
I get stage fright in public bathrooms, and talking to the guy next to me relaxes me. If two guys are standing side by side in the public urinals, and nothing’s happening, the silence is awkward.
“Someone’s gonna kick your ass if you keep doing it.”
I was dumbfounded. “So it’s better to have stage fright and take up time in the urinal then talk and get everything over with.”
“Yeah,” Kirk said. “How do you do that? What do you say when you’re taking a piss next to somebody?”
I paused and chose my best conversation starter in a public bathroom: “It always smells like shit in here.”
Kirk shook his head. “I just don’t want you to get your ass kicked. There’s a lot you don’t understand.” After we got out of the elevator, we went our separate ways for the day.
Nothing happened to me when I wore jeans on Wear Jeans If You’re Gay Day. Nobody ostracized me. At least, if anybody did, I was too aloof to notice it. Most guys outside were wearing sweaters/sweatshirts with shorts, which was funny because it was cold and windy outside. There were a couple times I saw other guys wearing jeans, and I wondered if they were gay or if they just didn’t know like I hadn’t known, or if they did know but it was just too cold to wear shorts in order to celebrate their own straightness.
Other than that, I was just a college student wearing jeans to class. But later on when that weird thing happened to me at the University Library, I would think back to Wear Jeans If You’re Gay Day and some of what happened would start to make sense to me.
To be continued!
As I mentioned earlier, University Library is my raunchy college sex comedy.
The Writing Prompt, on the other hand, tells the story of my one moment of high school glory… and it’s NOT a raunchy sex comedy.
I decided to quit watching the NFL for a while. I like watching football, so this was a tough decision to make. A few years ago, I wrote a blog post titled 6 Reasons Why Football Is The Best Sport Ever, so by quitting football, I’ll be depriving myself of the best sport ever. I don’t want to deprive myself, but the NFL has ticked me off.
Me quitting the NFL might be like my wife quitting Facebook. My wife could last only a few weeks. That’s why I hesitate making a grand announcement. I’ve quit smoking, drinking, and reading comic books, but giving up on the NFL might be the toughest addiction to overcome.
One thing I love about football is that it was the great unifier at work. The office environment is a diverse place, but everybody has a good-natured opinion about our local football team. It’s better than talking about the weather. Whenever the office has been rocked by a divisive political disagreement, I (and a couple coworkers) have always been able to use football to bring everybody back together.
But a while ago I noticed too many sports shows were talking politics instead of football. There have been several issues going on recently that I don’t want to get into because I’m not that kind of blogger, but a bunch of sports broadcasters have been expressing their political opinions on their sports shows. That was no big deal. I just stopped watching those sports shows.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like it when political shows talk about football either. Everything has its proper time and place. But now the politics has seeped into the football games themselves and the game broadcasts. I don’t care about players’ political opinions (they don’t care about mine, so we’re even), and I don’t care what the broadcasters think about politics either. I just wanted to watch football, and too much of the time they’re not talking about football.
This isn’t just sports. I don’t watch entertainment or awards shows either because half the time they get political. Celebrities sometimes believe that since they have access to more people that they have a responsibility to use their voice to promote their political causes. I disagree. I believe celebrities have a responsibility to NOT use their voices for their political purposes.
I see it as an abuse of goodwill. Since we normal people pay money to see/watch them perform, they should be gracious enough to keep their mouths shut about political stuff while they’re doing their jobs. If anything, they should be forced to listen to our political views since we pay them money (but that might be logistically difficult). Even if I agree with the cause (which I sometimes do), I don’t want to hear about it during a sports or entertainment show.
I try to be consistent about this. I’m not going to tell you what I think about political issues because you probably don’t care what I really think. And if you care what I think and disagree with me, then you might get mad and stop reading my blog.
I like it when people read my blog, so I’m not going to piss them off by spouting off about something that isn’t a normal topic for my blog. If somebody stops reading my blog because I make fun of James Patterson, then that’s a risk I’m willing to take. If somebody stops reading my blog because I discuss the etymology of profane words, then I’m okay with that. If people stop reading my blog because they think my writing is crap (Crap Is NOT A Bad Word, by the way), that’s the price I pay for writing crap.
But I don’t want to drive people away with political stuff. People take political stuff seriously, and everybody thinks they’re on the correct side. If I want to discuss politics, I go to political websites. I don’t watch sports channels to hear politics, and I’m guessing you don’t want to read political commentary from a guy like me who makes Moby Dick jokes.
It was tough not paying attention to football today. It’s easy to not watch football when it’s not on, but when you know a bunch of games are on, it’s almost impossible not to check for scores. When my wife noticed that I wasn’t watching any games (I was reading with the television off), I told her there weren’t any good match-ups today, except for our local team, and they’re okay but very flawed. The networks kill games with commercials anyway, so it was easy to say I wasn’t feeling it.
Then my wife piled some chores on me and wanted me to go with her and my daughters to a movie that I didn’t want to see. I got out of seeing the movie, but it was tough to do without my family feeling like I didn’t want to spend time with them. I explained that they don’t want to spend time with me while I’m watching football, and I don’t take that personally.
Plus, I found a couple good books to read. At least, I think they’re good. I don’t know for sure because I haven’t finished reading them yet. But so far nobody in these books has interrupted my reading to force their political views on me.
If you’re tired of people spouting off about politics, you might like my ebook.
It should be obvious why fuck is a bad word. In fact, fuck is such a bad word that I don’t want to write about it. I feel a bit uncomfortable writing about fuck because I usually try to keep profanity off my blog. Every once in a while, though, I write about mature topics, and fuck is about as mature as it gets. Besides, I’m writing about fuck from the perspective of etymology, so that makes it okay.
First of all, fuck is a one-syllable word that refers to a sensitive subject matter. Most one syllable words that refer to sensitive topics or body functions are considered bad words. It’s not polite to talk about sexual acts, so when doing so, you must use delicate language, like carnal relations, adult situation, romantic interlude, fornication, mating, or coupling. Fuck, at the very least, is blunt and impolite.
Plus, fuck ends with –uck. Every one-syllable word that ends with -uck should be profane (even if it isn’t). Muck, suck, cuck, Huck, Chuck all should be put on the banned words list just because of their sounds. Anything that ends with –uck just sounds wrong. Add f- to the mix, and you have the perfect bad word.
The word fuck goes back a long time. That makes sense because the action goes back a long time too. According to the dictionary, the Dutch in the 1500s had the word fokken which meant “to breed cattle.”
Example- “The cattle are fokken in the fields again.”
The Swedes at that time also had a word fokka, which meant “to copulate.” Even though “to copulate” makes fokka verb, it sounds like a noun to me.
Example- “Quit looking at me funny, you fokka.”
Somewhere along the way, the fokkens and the fokkas became fuck.
The word fuck is flexible and can be used as several parts of speech. Fuck is technically meant to be a verb (Fuck you!), but it can be used a noun (You fucker), an adjective (That’s fucked up), an adverb (That’s fucking awesome!), or merely as an exclamation (Fuck!).
Adding the word mother to fucker can also make the word even more insulting. Adding the word mother makes any insult more effective because it’s impolite to ever mention another person’s mother.
Fuck is considered to be the worst of the bad words, with maybe a couple exceptions. Fuck is worse than shit because shit is just poop and everybody poops so it’s not a big deal. Damn isn’t so bad (unless you put God in front of it) because, depending on what religion you belong to, you’re either damned or you’re not. Bitch isn’t so bad because it just means “female dog,” and everybody loves dogs so being called a bitch might be sexist but otherwise it’s not so bad.
Cunt is a close call because it refers to a female body part, so that makes it sexist and it ends with –unt which is almost as bad as –uck. Even though dick is also a body part, it’s a male body part, and a lot of women think you can’t be sexist against men because men have been the power holders in the patriarchy for so long and Dick is a guy’s name, so dick is funny while cunt is sexist and vulgar.
If anybody wrote a sequel to Moby Dick called Moby Cunt, it would probably get banned. Moby Fuck could be the third book in the Moby Trilogy, but it might get banned too.
Some people claim that words are just words and that no words should be considered bad. I understand that, but if words didn’t have meaning, then words would have no point. I don’t want to live in a world where words have no meaning. Therefore, there has to be a word which is the most profane, and the worst word might just might be fuck.
If you made it this far without being offended, you might love my ebook.
Millennials have a bad reputation among older people like me. According to popular opinion (maybe not so popular with Millennials), they get their feelings hurt easily and have to be coddled. Millennials live with their parents (usually in the basement). Millennials are addicted to technology. Some people my age think these are bad qualities, but I’m not so sure.
I like Millennials. In fact, I have nothing against any generation, whether it’s Baby Boomers or Gen Xers. I think the Greatest Generation might be a little overrated. If they’d been so great, they might have prevented the Great Depression or World War II instead of having to overcome them. I know it’s not their fault somebody else gave them the nickname “Greatest,” but it doesn’t make them look good that they accepted it. I’d expect more humility from the Greatest Generation. Then again, maybe I’m quibbling.
Millennials are looked down upon because they’re always looking down at their phones. The complaint about them is that they are addicted to technology. Of course, they are. How could they not be? They were raised with computers and the internet, so that’s what they’re addicted to. My generation was addicted to television because that was what we were raised on. We actually set our schedules around shows like The Brady Bunch and Welcome Back, Kotter. We have no room to malign other generations. If I had a choice between being addicted to technology or my TV, I’d choose technology. We shouldn’t feel pity or contempt for Millennials because of their technology addictions. Instead, they should mock us for liking shows such as The Brady Bunch.
Supposedly, Millennials have less sex than previous generations. I’m not sure any accurate survey has ever been done about sex, especially if the data is based on self-reporting. Maybe Millennials have less sex because certain kinds of images and videos are more accessible than in the past, and that leads to more self-gratifying behavior. Self-gratifying behavior existed well before the internet, but the videos were more difficult to obtain decades ago.
But I’m still not convinced that Millennials are having less sex than any previous generations. I know my generation (especially men) lied about how much sex we were having. If my generation lied about it, then I’m sure other generations did too. Men usually multiply their sexual experiences by three. We want to multiply it by ten, but most of us try to keep things believable.
I think Millennials who were surveyed are more honest about the lack of sex in their lives than previous generations. Maybe it’s because they’re used to sharing everything on their phones now that they don’t care if everybody knows they’re sexual losers. I don’t mean to sound insulting. I was a sexual loser too, and I couldn’t even blame it on technology addiction. Instead, I lied about my sexual exploits. That made me a loser and a liar, so I was worse than a typical Millennial who doesn’t have sex.
Millennials supposedly live with their parents in the basement. I have no idea if this is true or not. When I was a kid, very few adults lived with their parents because everybody got kicked out of the house the day after their 18th birthday. If you were 18 but still in high school, maybe you were allowed to graduate before you got kicked out, but that was the most extra time you’d get. If you went to college, you might be allowed to live at home during the summer. Otherwise, you were on your own. Anything less made you a slacker.
But the job market has changed since then. I’d say it’s getting worse, but then I’d be accused of being judgmental, and a political fight would start, so I’ll just say the job market has changed. Millennials didn’t grow up in a time where most teenagers worked part-time jobs after school. Working after school sucked, but it taught us to be disciplined with our time. But the job market has changed, and it’s been more difficult for a young person to find a good job since then.
On the other hand, Millennials have more opportunities to start their own businesses. Crowdfunding is a great way to get your idea going without having to go through the old channels that took too long and probably screwed you over even if an investor liked your idea. Authors can self-publish without having to go through agents and book publishers who would also rip you off. Being successful in these new unconventional ways is still a long shot, but a long shot is better than impossible.
Some people think Millennials need to be coddled, but the only group of young coworkers I have an issue with is Ivy Leaguers. They tend to listen only to other Ivy Leaguers and take any non-Ivy League criticism as an insult. They also think that creating a new acronym for an old idea will make the old idea work better. This might be my own biases kicking in. I’ve never trusted the Ivy League. Most of our prominent politicians, including several recent U.S. presidents, have been Ivy Leaguers, so you can criticize the Ivy League without getting into the usual partisan insult contest. Ivy League incompetence transcends partisan politics and generations.
Most importantly, I really like Millennials because they don’t talk to me unless it’s something important. They’re usually too absorbed in their technology to notice that I’m even there. For decades, I’ve tried to avoid meaningless conversations, and I’ve finally found a group who will ignore me. It almost makes me wish I’d been born a Millennial, but I’m glad I wasn’t. I like yelling at kids to get off my lawn. I’d never give that up.
Readers of all generations love my ebook. Even Ivy Leaguers think it’s okay.
If you’re a student and you think school sucks, you’re not alone. There’s a certain point where all kids start to hate school. Most kids like school during their early elementary years, but something happens around 4th or 5th grade. Kids start being aware of other things around them. And at some point, kids realize school isn’t that great. In fact, it sucks.
Even teachers agree that school sucks. Teachers are mostly there because they’re getting paid (which is reasonable), and even money can’t make them enjoy the experience. If you’re in school (student or teacher) and you’re depressed, don’t worry about it. It’s normal to be depressed at school.
Famous author JRR Tolkien got depressed when he taught, and he was a college professor. His negative feelings from teaching inspired him to write The Hobbit (which ironically depressed a bunch of students who generations later had to read it). If a college professor gets depressed while he’s at a college, then what are public school kids going through?
What makes school so bad? Everybody has to do it, so it can’t be that horrible. Except it is.
1. Kids sit all day.
People weren’t designed to sit all day, especially kids. When kids have to be still, they fidget. Nowadays, if they fidget too much, they get medicated. So kids are getting medicated for being kids. Back in the old days, if we fidgeted too much, we got beaten. That might seem abusive now, but it kept us off medication. The fear of getting beaten was enough to keep us from being fidgety. Living with a little fear isn’t bad, especially if it keeps kids from getting addicted to prescription drugs.
2. There are too many kids.
If you put hundreds (or even thousands) of people together in a confined space for 7-8 hours a day, bad things are going to happen. If it’s kids, it will be worse. It might be miraculous that school isn’t worse than it is. Between bad hygiene, bad manners, bad intentions, and low intelligence, every day at school is a disaster waiting to happen.
Going to work with the same adults can be difficult, and I only have to deal with a dozen people on any given day. Between the hallways, lockers, classes, lunches, and buses, a kid has to deal with maybe hundreds of people. That’s a lot of social navigation, and that isn’t easy.
3. There aren’t enough bathrooms
It sucks not being able to go to the bathroom whenever you want to. I’d take universal bathroom privileges over sleeping in . If you have to go during class, the teacher will probably say no and throw in a sarcastic comment (which might be deserved). Teachers who say yes are seen as weak, and teachers can’t afford to be seen as weak. A teacher would rather have a kid pee in his/her pants than let him/her go to the bathroom and appear weak.
Without bathroom privileges, kids fart. At least a teacher can move around the classroom to avoid farts, but kids are stuck at their desks. If you’re next to a farter, you have to suffer through the smells. Plus, you can be falsely accused of being the farter. Few accusations are worse than that of being a farter. During vacations, you can sit at home and fart all day. But at school, you have to hold it in… unless you’re a social deviant who loves the chaos that follows a smelly fart. In that case, you deserve to be in school.
4. It’s like prison.
Everybody who’s been in school understands how school is like a prison. Just add uniforms (maybe orange or gray with stripes) and a license-plate making class. If you can succeed in this prison-like environment, then you’re far more likely NOT to go to prison as an adult. But if you suck at school, then you might want to get used to that environment.
5. There’s too much criticism.
There is no way to get through school without being criticized. You’re going to make a mistake sometime. You’re going to talk without permission. You’ll choose B instead of A. You’ll leave materials in your locker (or your previous class). And if you get caught, you’ll get criticized.
Nobody likes being criticized, but teachers have to do it. If they don’t, you’ll just keep repeating your mistakes. It would be nice if they could criticize you in a pleasant way, but life doesn’t work like that. Nice criticism would be like giving trophies out just for participating. We can’t have a bunch of kids growing up worthless and weak.
As an adult, I probably should be more positive about school. I survived it and got myself a pretty good job because of (or despite) it. If anything, school prepares you for work. You learn to get there on time. You learn to follow the rules, and do what you’re supposed to do, and to try to learn something new every day. Those aren’t bad things to do. But it sucks that we have to go to school first to learn them.
Here’s some great news! Even if you hate school, you’ll love this ebook .
Truman Capote’s ashes are for sale. Most of the literary community might not have known that the famous author’s remains were available at all, but now we know they’re going up on auction next month in California with an opening bid of over $2,000. Nobody knows how much the bidding will go up for a writer’s ashes, but I’m going to find out. After all, I’m going to win this auction.
When I say I’m going to win Truman Capote’s ashes, I don’t mean I’m going to “try” to win them. I’m thinking positive. I’m actually going to buy Truman Capote’s ashes. I’m really going to do it. I don’t have a lot of money, so I’m pooling all my resources. I’m taking out loans. I’m raiding my daughters’ college funds. I’m cashing out all my 401Ks (what’s left of them). I’m going all out. I’m going to own Truman Capote’s ashes.
The great thing about an auction is that you can determine your own outcome. If you’re willing to spend more money than anybody else, you win. The only thing you can’t control is whether or not somebody else with more money will decide to get involved. So unless some rich eccentric gets involved, I’m going to own these ashes.
I’m not really a Truman Capote fan. I’ve never read In Cold Blood. I’ve seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but all I remember is Mickey Rooney. I’ve read To Kill A Mockingbird a few times. Truman Capote supposedly helped Harper Lee write it. Maybe he wrote it himself and let Harper Lee get the credit. That would explain why she never wrote anything else, except Go Set a Watchman if you count that.
I’m sure Capote had nothing to do with Go Set A Watchman. I haven’t read it either, but I’ve heard there’s a huge difference between To Kill A Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman. I don’t believe everything I’ve heard, but I believe this. Maybe I should read a sample just to make sure.
Even though I’m not a fan, I want Truman Capote’s ashes. You don’t get many chances at life to be connected with greatness. I’ve never met a universally respected literary author. I’ve met a couple celebrities, but I was disappointed in both of them. One yawned in my face, and another hit on my wife. I’m pretty sure Truman Capote’s ashes won’t do either. If he was alive, he’d probably yawn in my face, but he wouldn’t hit on my wife. He might hit on me, though, and I’m okay with that. When I was younger, I got hit on a lot. I was even offered a significant amount of money (not by a celebrity). I turned him down, but looking back, I could sure use that money now.
Winning the auction might break me financially, but I could always resell Truman Capote’s ashes later. I could even split his ashes into smaller sections and sell them and probably make a decent profit. A lot of people who couldn’t pay for all of Truman Capote could afford to pay for a portion of him. I could even advertise each ashy portion as part of Truman Capote’s brain. Everybody would want part of his brain. With all the ashes mixed up for decades, his brain has to be all over the place. Any body part you want, I’m sure it’s mixed in.
Owning ashes isn’t a strange concept to me. My wife and I have kept ashes of family members when we weren’t sure what to do with them. Sometimes people want their ashes spread in a certain location, but these family members never told us what to do, so we’re waiting for inspiration.
Don’t get me wrong. My wife and I don’t go around collecting family ashes just for the sake of collecting. That would be creepy. We just weren’t sure what else to do. Once you spread ashes in the wrong place, you can’t take it back. Maybe these family members wanted their ashes to be together. And maybe they’d like Truman Capote to keep them company.
I’m not sure what I’d want done with my ashes. It seems so permanent. I wouldn’t mind them spread out around someplace scenic like Yellowstone Park. There’s a spot near the canyon waterfall where a valley sprawls open, and it was my favorite spot in the park to drive. My wife wants to get dumped into the ocean. If I’m going to stay with my wife, then I have to go into the ocean too. The problem is that I get extremely nauseous in open water. I don’t want to be nauseous for all of eternity, so I have a dilemma.
But if I have Truman Capote’s ashes, I could spend eternity with Truman Capote. I hope he’s not a jerk. I’d hate to spend eternity with a jerk. Literary geniuses can be arrogant, and I can’t stand arrogance. I’d rather be nauseous in open water than have to listen to arrogance for eternity, even if it’s Truman Capote’s arrogant ashes. I’m going to have to make a decision about this sometime because I know I’m going to win Truman Capote’s ashes.
If you enjoyed this blog post, you’ll really like my ebook. Ashes are not included with the purchase.
Most news websites don’t have comments sections anymore, and it’s easy to understand why. People call each other names and curse at each other. Commenters hurl sexist bigoted racist insults. Even worse, people brag about making $850 a day working from home.
National Public Radio recently made news by announcing it was removing the comment sections from its website. For some, it was news that NPR had a website. NPR’s website is a lot like its radio, except you can add inflection when you read NPR’s articles aloud. If you read NPR material with a FOX News voice, then you have something that average Americans can listen to.
I can understand NPR closing its comments because everyone on their radio stations speaks in such calm, monotone voices that they don’t know how to handle all the arguing that a comments section brings. NPR employees don’t know how to handle the raw emotion. At least, I’ve never heard NPR hosts express emotion. It must baffle the NPR website moderator to feel the emotion from commenters calling NPR left-wing socialist shills who couldn’t be successful without government funding and public donations.
It’s too bad that it’s so difficult to find a good comments section on a news website anymore. In the old days, I could scroll through CNN, FOX News, Associated Press, USA Today, Reuters, and a bunch of other traditional news websites. The comments were more fun than the stories. I could be well-informed on the latest current events and up-to-date on on all the new fashionable insults.
Now I have to read Twitter or Facebook for comments, and that’s inconvenient because comments are about scattered topics, and you have to follow the right hashtags. The comments, though as vulgar and asinine, are more disjointed and disorganized. If I’m going to read political vitriol, I want it to be organized.
News sites admit they don’t like dealing with the negativity of comments sections anymore. Maybe it costs too much to hire a moderator to delete all the offensive material. Then when commenters get deleted or banned, they complain about getting censored, and that causes websites even more headaches. Maybe it was these trolls who forced news websites to get rid of comment sections, but if that’s true, then they let somebody else’s bad behavior dictate policy.
I’ve deleted comments from my own blog, but I don’t do it often. Since I usually write about books, I don’t get too much of the controversial stuff. If I get a “You suck!” comment, I leave it alone. In fact, I appreciate the “You suck!” comment. I’ve deleted comments only for extreme profanity. And one time I deleted a lewd comment some guy made to a female blogger. At least, I’m pretty sure the blogger was female. On the internet, you never know for sure. Anyway, I’m the only guy who’s allowed to make lewd remarks in my comments section.
Closing the comments section shows the reader that the website owner thinks communication should be one-way. The reader is supposed to take in whatever the website says and like it, no matter what. If I wanted to read something with no opportunity for immediate response, I’d buy a newspaper. I gave up newspapers over a decade ago, partially because I couldn’t respond to it. Don’t get me wrong. I rarely write comments. I only leave a comment if I have something to add that hasn’t already been said. I don’t write comments just to say I agree or disagree, though maybe I should. But I appreciate the chance to write a comment if I choose to.
Closing the comments means that the political arguing has moved on to other outlets. All those arguments that are destroying friendships on Facebook? I blame the news sites. Arguing in a comments section might have been pointless, but anonymous rants can cleanse the soul. Now when you rant, you lose friends. I don’t have many friends, so I don’t talk politics to anymore, but not everybody can as good at conflict avoidance as I am. It’s a talent.
If there’s been a breakdown of civility on social media and in our personal lives, it’s CNN’s fault. It’s Fox News’s fault. It’s Associated Press’s fault. It’s USA Today’s fault. All that hostility should have been confined to their comments sections of their websites. Instead, it’s crept into our personal lives in social media. For the sake of families and friendships, please… please… please… bring back the comments sections.
If you’re tired of political stuff and negative comments, you’ll probably enjoy my book .