The Dysfunction of Apathy

cropped-being-silly.jpgHappy Thursday to you all!  Today we are going to talk about the Dysfunction of Apathy.  Get comfy and let’s do it.

How many people are there in the United States?  Something like 320 million give or take a family named Jones.  I would venture to guess of those 320 million there are maybe 100 million who are infected with the disease of apathy.  Oh, I might be off by ten million, but I think I’m pretty close in that estimate.

It goes something like this….  “It’s not my problem so why should I give a shit?”  Or how about….”I’d love to help out but I don’t know what to do” or one of my personal favorites….”I don’t have the time to get involved in someone else’s problems.”

I called it a disease earlier; let’s amend that to say epidemic.

We are in this together.  We will sink or swim as a community together.  Oh, we can be counted on to say the right words when a catastrophe hits, and we might even donate some clothes and food during the holidays, but what about the other 350 days out of the year?

Children are stolen off of the streets and sold…here in the United States.  Veterans are homeless and die of exposure….here in the United States.  Our rights are being systematically stripped from us….here in the United States.  Abuse, drug addiction, hunger….here in the United States.  Not our problem? If not us, then who?  Whose problem is it if not the citizens who make up this community?

It’s interesting being a writer.  I can write an article about building a cheap greenhouse and I will receive thousands of views and comments.  Then I write an article about becoming a real, caring human being, and I’m lucky to receive one hundred views.

I’m not sure what that says about society, but I suspect apathy plays a big part in it.

Bill

Posted in dysfunctional lives | Tagged | 16 Comments

The Dysfunction of Divorce

cropped-being-silly.jpgAnd a very Happy Tuesday to you all!  Are you ready to delve into the world of dysfunctional?

Oh heck, let’s talk about divorce today.

The last time I checked, the divorce rate in the United States was hovering around 50% and it has been for years.  I find that amazing and yes, totally understandable.

Is there something going on the past decade or so that leads to this? Is there some new factor that weighs heavily on married couples today that didn’t say, fifty years ago?

I don’t have simple answers to complicated questions, and those are complicated questions indeed.  Marriage is hard.  Period!  Once the bloom is off the rose and two people get down to the daily grind of living together, problems arise, and it is how we deal with those problems that spells success or doom for a marriage.  Both members of the marriage union bring baggage.  Both bring a set of pre-conceived beliefs based on how they were raised and how they view the world and life.  Finding common ground so both sets of beliefs can flourish is a seriously difficult task, one that, quite frankly, many people are not prepared for or willing to undertake.

In a very real sense, divorce is the natural outcome of a dysfunctional partnership.  Finding a way to make it functional is the key, and if there is no willingness to make that happen then it is only a matter of time before the one becomes two again.

Bill

 

Posted in dysfunctional lives | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Pushing Dysfunction Aside For Two Days

cropped-being-silly.jpgAnd a very Happy Friday to you all!

Let’s do something a little bit different today. Instead of talking about dysfunction, let’s talk about something pleasant….like my conversations with fellow writers the past two days.

My little experiment of giving my phone number out was a resounding success, and it’s all because of the incredible people I know through writing.  I swear my writing peers are exceptional human beings…they are extraordinarily ordinary to borrow a phrase I just love.

I have had the opportunity to speak with fifteen of my writing peers and every conversation was enjoyable….every conversation made a connection no matter how small….every conversation allowed me to know them just a little bit and they to know me….and at this time in history I believe that to be very important.

How do we reverse the dysfunction in this world?  It starts with you….it starts with me….one person can make a difference.  It may not be earth-shattering in its magnitude, but if we can make a difference in one life each day, through a kind word, a kind gesture….then we will have counteracted some of the dysfunction that we see elsewhere.

That was my goal….to make a real connection with many of you…and it was a successful experiment.

I hope that is not the end of our conversations.  I look forward to speaking to more of you over time, and speaking again to those I already spoke too over the last couple of days.

Thank you all and have a great weekend.

bill

Posted in dysfunctional lives | 18 Comments

Is Pornography Dysfunctional?

cropped-being-silly.jpgHappy Wednesday to you all!

I’m running late today (Tuesday) and I’m not sure how much more I have in the tank, but I wanted to at least touch on the subject of pornography.

The City of Olympia, where I live, is currently reviewing an application for the first strip club ever in the city limits.  For those of you who live in large cities you may find that amazing; it is, after all, the year 2014, and strip clubs have been around a long time…but for our little city of 43,000 this is a first….nude women dancing for money.

I would be surprised if the application is accepted, but I have been surprised in the past.  Anyway, this got me thinking about the pornography industry.  The latest figures show that the porno industry rakes in about one billion dollars per year in the United States, so this is by no means a small, meaningless industry.  Worldwide there are no estimates; it seems to be hard for experts to put an actual dollar figure on the porn industry around the globe, mainly because much of it is underground and it is just too big.

For whatever reason, sex trafficking is not included in any discussion about pornography.

I’ll pose this question to you:  is pornography a sign of dysfunction?  It’s a tough question in a lot of ways.  Playboy once was considered pornography but no longer.  What qualifies as porn and what does not?  And what does it say about the people who spent over a billion dollars last year purchasing porn?

I find something terribly sleazy about pornography, and I also find it to be terribly sad….but that’s just me.  What do you think of it?

Have a great day and thanks in advance for your comments.

Bill

Posted in dysfunctional lives | Tagged , | 17 Comments

Sex Trafficking Cannot Be Ignored

cropped-being-silly.jpgIt is a $39 billion industry worldwide.

One million children are forced into sex slavery each and every year.

It is happening in every major city in the United States daily.

It is, of course, sex trafficking, and it a growth industry that shows no signs of decline.

It goes something like this:

Your teenage daughter goes to the Mall to meet some friends.  There she meets a young man and they start up a conversation.  He gains her trust and they meet several more times.  Eventually she agrees to accompany him to his home, but once there things go terribly wrong.  She is drugged and she is immediately transported to another city, where she is continually drugged and forced to commit sexual acts for pay.  It continues until she is finally used up and then she is discarded like so much garbage.

A year ago I did an article about the problem of sex trafficking in Portland, Oregon, a city that is currently number two in the nation for sex trafficking volume.  The city of Portland at that time had one full-time police detective working on those crimes.

One!

St. Louis, by the way, is number one in the nation, followed closely by Chicago and Cleveland.

Friends, this will only stop if an outcry of mammoth proportions is heard in every City Hall in this country.  This is a local problem; it will not be solved by politicians in Washington D.C.  It is up to each of us to do our part.

You can begin by sharing this blog.  I don’t ask you to do that to further my career as a writer. You know better than that.  I ask you to do it because this sickness must end, and it is up to each of us to step up and end this sickness.

Will you join me?

Bill

Posted in dysfunctional lives | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Lack of Meaningful Communication Is Making Us All Strangers

cropped-being-silly.jpgHappy Friday!  We made it, so get ready to kick back and relax this weekend. You deserve it!

You know, I could write this blog every single day. There is no shortage of things to write about. I just log on and go to Yahoo news and the next story is just waiting for me.

I read an article about Shailene Woodley, the star in the upcoming movie “Divergent.”  In the article, the 22-year old star mentioned that she does not own a cell phone.  She explains:

“By not owning a cell phone, she is learning to develop her communication skills, and to be more personal with people.  There is….a bigger lack of camaraderie and community than there’s ever been.”

Wow!   This comes from a 22-year old actress who is worth millions…she wants to develop her communication skills and learn to increase a sense of community.

Wow!

And you know what? She’s dead on with her statement.  We are slowly losing community in this nation.  People seem to be afraid to speak to strangers.  Rarely do you even see people make eye contact on the sidewalk.  Try it and see what I mean. Walk downtown and see how many people actually look at you as you pass by….not many at all.

How many people have computers as their main form of communication?  Texting seems to have replaced actual phone calls. We don’t even hear a human voice any longer while communicating.

Dysfunctional? I don’t know if I’d go that far, but it concerns me.

Have a great weekend and if you feel like it, give me a call. I’d love to hear your voice…..and yes, I’ll give you my phone number….Sha can verify that it is real.   360-878-1757

Bill

Posted in dysfunctional lives | Tagged , | 19 Comments

Do You Live In A Miserable State?

cropped-being-silly.jpgAmerica’s Most Miserable States…..that is the topic for today.

Welcome back and Happy Wednesday!  A lovely topic for a blog, don’t you think?  Well let’s not delay; let’s take a look at the Top Ten Most Miserable States according to the Gallup Poll:

10) Louisiana

9) Oklahoma

8) Missouri

7) Tennessee

6) Arkansas

5) Ohio

4) Alabama

3) Mississippi

2) Kentucky

1) West Virginia

It should be noted that West Virginia has held the number one spot for five consecutive years.

So how is this list determined?  A poll of course with a number of questions about unhealthy lifestyles, limited access to basic necessities, emotional health, etc.

I found it interesting that only one of the ten states was in the north while the south dominated to final tally.  So that leads to the obvious question: why are some states viewed as being unhealthy to live in while others are considered healthy? Obviously state budgets and the health of the economy have much to do with those outcomes.

And that leads me to another question, one that really has me pondering:  if people feel they are living in an unhealthy state, why do they continue to do so?  I am making no judgment here. I’m simply curious.  I can think of several reasons which include job, family, familiarity, and possibly fear of change.

It all just had me wondering.  We are all so different.  If I was truly unhappy with the area I lived in, I wouldn’t hesitate to leave for greener pastures.  That has no significance when talking about other people and what they deem important.  It just raises interesting questions as to why people continue to live somewhere where they are unhappy or don’t feel like they are in a healthy situation.

Random thoughts….have a great day.

Bill

Posted in dysfunctional lives | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

California Man Sues Casino For His Losses

cropped-being-silly.jpgHappy Friday to you all.   I’ve got a dandy to discuss today so let’s not delay any longer.

A California man is suing a Las Vegas casino because, he says, he was too drunk to be gambling and he should not be responsible for the $500,000 he lost over a seventeen hour period just before the Super Bowl.

I’ll let you read that last sentence again before we continue.

The Nevada Gaming Commission is investigating.  Evidently there is a law that states casinos should not allow customers to gamble when they are too intoxicated to make wise decisions, so this case actually has some legs to it.

Where oh where should I begin?

I am so tired of this lawsuit mentality that we have in this country.  Hell, nobody is responsible for anything anymore.  Here is a guy who obviously does not understand the concept of responsible drinking….who obviously does not understand the concept of “responsible gambling”….and who does not understand the basic principles of responsibility in general…and his reaction to all of this is to blame someone else for his losses.

No, I do not think the casino should allow drunk patrons to gamble.  There has to be some responsibility on the part of the casino….but….

Maybe this gentleman should have saved about $50,000 of that money and paid for an in-patient alcohol treatment program, or an in-patient gambling treatment program.  Just a thought.

Personally, and this is just me….I would be so embarrassed by this whole incident that I would never utter a word about it to anyone, let alone allow it to become public news.

Am I the only one who sees this as absolutely ridiculous?

Have a great weekend.

Bill

Posted in dysfunctional lives | Tagged | 18 Comments

Where Did This Ridiculous Sense Of Entitlement Come From?

cropped-being-silly.jpgWelcome back!   If I’m not mistaken, and that’s always a possibility, today is Tuesday, March 4th.  Let’s get right to it. Make yourselves comfortable and I’ll ramble a bit.

I was reading yesterday about a New Jersey teenager who is suing her parents for back-support.  It seems that she no longer wanted to live under their rules, so she left home and moved into a friend’s house.  She says that her parents cut her off financially and emotionally when she turned eighteen because she refused to live by their rules in their house.  The case is going to court this week.

I’m sorry…..is the whole world going crazy?

There are no claims of abuse here; the teen is simply saying that her parents were being unfair and she is entitled to a court settlement that will pay for her college and for room and board.

I’m sorry….is the whole world dysfunctional?

If this was the first time I had heard of such a thing I would just write it off as a random act of craziness, but I have seen numerous court cases involving children suing their parents.  Now I don’t want to appear unreasonable. If a child has received horrible parenting then I am all for interaction of some sort….but…..suing one’s parents because they dare to demand a certain code of conduct in their home????

I really hope that there is something to this that has not been stated so far, because at face value this just appears to be another teenager thinking she is entitled to something she has not earned, and I, for one, am sick and tired of entitlement in this country.

I’m trying to imagine me suing my parents for the same reason back in 1966.  First of all, I would have never done it.  My parents worked their asses off to provide a good home for me and I was incredibly grateful.  I had to work summers from the time I was fifteen and it was a valuable experience for me AND I was happy to do so to alleviate some of the financial burden on them.  I never once felt entitled…never once!

Did I mention that this teen’s parents sent her to private schools through high school so that she could receive a quality and expensive education?

Okay, my rant is over.  Suffice it to say that I am not a big fan of anyone who feels they are entitled to a free ride in life.

Bill

Posted in dysfunctional lives | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

The Dysfunction Next Door

cropped-being-silly.jpgGood morning and Happy Wednesday!

I’m sitting in my studio right now listening to screaming from next door.  There is a young couple there; they moved in a year ago; both in their late twenties.  They have a five year old son and a one year old daughter.  Did I mention they are screaming right now?

In fact, they scream quite often at each other, and the screaming moves outdoors on occasion.  F bomb this and F bomb that….you rotten F…er….you Bitch….and eventually she gets in the car and roars out of the driveway.

Easily the loudest and more experienced screamer of the two is the wife. She has one serious set of lungs on her and she does not hesitate to call her husband every name in the book at the top of those lungs.

I wonder several things as  I listen to them screaming about him leaving dirty dishes in the sink.  I wonder what kind of modeling she received when she was a child….and I wonder what kind of modeling she is doing for her children….and of course, the same can be asked for him.

I wonder if their children will grow up thinking it is perfectly normal to handle disagreements by screaming and cursing.

I wonder if these two adults have any idea what kind of damage they are doing to their children.

Just some random thoughts this Wednesday morning.

Bill

Posted in dysfunctional lives | Tagged , , | 24 Comments