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Thursday, January 31, 2013

THE GROWTH OF NARCISSISM


Psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow says that we are raising a generation of deluded narcissists:  “A new analysis of the American Freshman Survey, which has accumulated data for the past 47 years from 9 million young adults, reveals that college students are more likely than ever to call themselves gifted and driven to succeed, even though their test scores and time spent studying are decreasing.”

Dr. Ablow sees a tendency toward narcissism that has developed over the past thirty years.  He sees a “toxic psychological impact of media and technology on children, adolescents and young adults, particularly as it regards turning them into faux celebrities—the equivalent of lead actors in their own fictionalized life stories.

Where does all this narcissism originate?  Dr. Ablow cites Facebook, Twitter, computer games, and MTV as four sources.

On Facebook, one can claim hundreds of “friends” while feeling they are actually connected to celebrities that they “like.”
With Twitter, the ego is aroused by the feeling that they actually have a “following” that cares what they do even if they have to explain it in 140 characters.

When playing computer games one “can pretend they are Olympians, Formula 1 drivers, rock stars or sharpshooters while “ they are really in dens and playrooms on side streets around America; that is after their hearts have raced and heads have swelled with false pride for being something they are not.

I have a neighbor who is 60 years old.  She knows that I used to be a 200+ average bowler so one day she excitedly told me how her daughter in law had bowled a 298 game.  Needless to say I was impressed!  A 298 is only two pins away from a perfect 300.  When I asked what kind of ball she threw, I was informed that the score had been accomplished on a video game!

I didn’t know whether to laugh or shake my head in disgust so I just smiled and told her “good game.”  It was just another example of how people want fame the easy way.  It’s kind of like phony awards being given to losing teams and individuals in the never ending quest for someone to try and get their 15 minutes of fame although by false methods.

The original "veejays" on MTV in 1981.  L-R, Nina
Blackwood, Alan Hunter, Martha Quinn, J. J. Jackson,
(back) Mark Goodman
MTV shows kids on “reality” TV shows like "Jersey Shore" that are not even close to real life but kids suck it up and portray themselves in the same manner as people like Snooki and her friends.   

Does anyone remember when MTV came on the air in 1981 with “veejays” Martha Quinn, J. J. Jackson, and Mark Goodman?  Do you remember the first song they played?  (Click here for answer)  It was a great music network then.  Now, they do “Jersey Shore.”

I have said it before and will repeat it now:  I think a lot of the false ego trips and artificiality of younger people today, especially males, is that they never had to serve in the military.  Dropping the draft in 1973 was a huge mistake.  The military turned a lot of boys into men; much more than the young lifestyles of today where "responsibility" is just another word they can’t spell.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

THE PHONINESS OF LIBERALISM


Middy was kind enough yesterday to post the clip of Michelle Obama wearing her new Walmart inspired 1968 Diana Ross wig while she stuffed her face at the inauguration.  In case you missed it, click here.  

She reminded me of some of the guys I knew in the Air Force who would eat like it was going out of style.  Meanwhile, she thinks school kids should starve on her idiotic diet.  When I say “school kids”, I am omitting her kids who eat hearty meals at their private school.

We now find out that Beyonce faked the National Anthem with lip synchronization.  That’s pretty gutless; I guess she hasn't the voice she thought she had.  Yes, Beyonce, you would have no career without electronic assistance.

My wife Barb taught elementary school for 22 years and draws an interesting analogy of how liberals might like to apply their philosophy to student grades.  Obama would probably applaud this method using his tired statement of how “It’s only fair” just like “it’s only fair that the rich pay a little more.”

The liberal grading system:  Child number one studies his butt off to get an “A”.  Child number two does nothing and gets an “F”.  Fear not, child number two!  We will take half of child number one’s “A” and give you a “C” so you can pass.  The other half of child number one’s “A” also becomes a “C” which he retains so he can also pass.

That's OK kid, have a nice nap, the good
students will cover for you.  Maybe!
What is the lesson learned?  The “A” student now realizes that no matter how many “A’s” he gets, he will lose half his grade to the loser kids who do nothing.  He now figures, “Hell, if I get an “A” I will only lose half of it to that kid sleeping at the desk next to me.  Like him, I’m going to do nothing and take my guaranteed “C”.

The “F” student loves this system.  He can sleep in class every day and still pass with a “C”.  Even if he decides to better himself by studying hard and getting an “A”, he knows he will only lose half of it to some other loser like himself so why bother?

The above is a good example of what Obama would love to have you think “is only fair.”  To him fairness is for someone to take risks, work long hours, become successful, and then give a large amount of what they earned to those without the same ambition.  It’s a wonder that anyone has initiative anymore.

In case you are someone who has initiative and is feverishly looking for a job in the still bad economy, I would advise you to take your resume very seriously.  If ever the term “watch your p’s and q’s” was in effect it is on a resume.  Bad grammar can get you tossed in the trash in a hurry.

With the number of resumes flooding employers, they have to be narrowed down somehow and grammatical errors are one way to do that according to CareerBuilder.

Checklist:  Know your homophones!  Those are words that are spelled differently but sound the same.  Too, to, and two are good examples.  I see a lot of writing where people don’t know what to do with “too.”

Keep tenses correct, proofread, and proofread again.  This is something I always do with the blogs.  If you find a mistake, it isn't because I'm not TRYING to get it right.

(Click here to read my latest blog on the AZC Politics blog from the Republic.  Thanks!)


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

ANOTHER LESSON LEARNED THE HARD WAY


The following story illustrates the importance of gun ownership and the need to have your weapon ready if the situation warrants it.  It’s too bad that being armed has become a necessity but that is the lifestyle we now face in the United States of America.

The headlines in the “Valley and State” section of the Arizona Republic shouted yesterday (January 14) that “17 YEAR OLD FATALLY SHOT IN FIGHT”.

The story goes as follows:  The 17 year old was shot to death at about 11:15 p. m. Saturday outside an apartment complex at 17th Street and Indian School Road.

Responding officers found that the 17 year olds’ two 18 year old brothers were throwing large river rocks into an apartment occupied by a 19 year old guy, his girlfriend, and child.  One of the rocks had hit the 19 year old requiring medical attention.

Investigators determined that the 17 year old and his two brothers had been drinking and gotten into an argument with the 19 year old.  The 19 year old walked away and went into his apartment and shut the door. At that time the 17 year old went into his apartment and retrieved two knives.

When he returned with the knives, he and his brothers tried to force their way into the 19 year olds’ apartment while hollering threats.

The 19 year old repeatedly told them to leave and that he had a gun.  Fearing for his life and the lives of his girlfriend and baby, he shot the 17 year old dead.  The brothers retreated and began throwing the river rocks through the apartment window.

When push comes
to shove........
 When the police arrived, they arrested the two brothers.  The 19 year old guy was released on a self defense claim.

I wonder how many times a day this situation is re-enacted in the United States.  I wonder how many times the person being attacked doesn’t have a gun and winds up on the unfortunate end of the stick.

In this case, the guy had a gun and protected his family while the bad guy suffered death.  It seems only appropriate that it should be that way yet there are those who think all our guns should be taken away.

I never thought that I would have to carry a gun with me but I now go nowhere without it.  I like the above story in the sense that three guys were breaking into an apartment with a guy, his girl, and their baby and they were thwarted by firepower.

Maybe a few crooks will hear about it and think twice before attacking someone.

(I also write a weekly blog at http://azcvoices.com/politics/author/jimmcallister/.  Check it out!)

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

IN RETROSPECT, YESTERDAY IS LIKE A DREAM

It seems like the good old USA we used to know is coming apart at the seams.

We now have a president whose ego is bigger than all outdoors and suddenly people are coming out of the woodwork with guns ambushing kids in classrooms.

The president wants higher taxes to feed his welfare state as we have now gone through two or three generations of people who have never considered working any harder than to lift a free check.

The free enterprise system that made this country successful is being taxed more so a spend happy federal government can become a bigger yet unneeded and unwanted device to fleece the makers in favor of the takers under the guise of "I think it is better when the wealth is spread around."  Surprisingly, many have been gullible enough to believe such nonsense.

They are getting a course in reality lately though as there is quite a bit of ire concerning the rise in social security taxes.  Suddenly, losing about $70 per paycheck is not so pleasant.  Did they actually think that spreading the wealth around would not include contributions from them? (More on my blog at "azcvoices")

Let's take a moment and look back to a time when things made a bit more sense.  I'm not talking Huckleberry Finn times but more like things were when many of us were younger.

Can you identify the items from the past in the following photos?  Good luck!

What is it?















Any idea what these are?














Have you used one of these lately?













It's not a midieval torture device.  What is
it?












What is that contraption next to
Lucy and Ethel?















Remember these?  Very heavy!
















What is grandma doing?


                                     

















What is this area on the house below called?                                                         


                                                                       
                        What are these two items?

      

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

THIS AND THAT TO START THE NEW YEAR

I watched a great film last night; one that I have seen many times but I never tire of it.  It was
“The Asphalt Jungle” from 1950 and starred many popular stars from that era like Sam Jaffe, James Whitmore, Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, and in a small part, a beautiful 24 year old unknown blond named Marilyn Monroe.

Two long ago policemen stand by their 1949 Ford 
I love classic films like “The Asphalt Jungle” not only for the better actors in general and the character actors in particular, but for the miscellaneous pieces of the past that I remember well as a kid and their value as examples of film noir art.  For example, the opening scene shows a 1949 Ford police car cruising the waterfront of a large unnamed Midwestern city.  I was a real car buff in that era of my young life and loved 1949-50 Fords for their sleek styling and design over the boxier 1948 and previous Fords of that era.

The Republicans have lost again to Obama but I don’t think they had much choice if they wanted to retain even a shred of viability for the future.  By allowing the cliff they have survived to fight another day while allowing it would have finished them in 2014.  It probably will anyway as giving up $660 billion in revenue for $62 billion in cuts doesn’t make much sense. 

Three pieces of good news though:  1. Many of the ones who supported this nonsense are going to see higher taxes anyway and jobs lost.  2. The public reaction in general contains a lot of anger toward Obama according to comments this morning in various news stories.  3. The best story is about last Friday when John Boehner told Harry Reid to “Go f-ck yourself!” not once but twice.

He will probably get overruled but a U. S. District Judge has ruled in favor of Domino’s Pizza tycoon Tom Monaghan who has protested having to cover the mandatory morning after pill part of Obamacare because of his religious beliefs.

Hobby Lobby has also sued for the same reasons.  If nothing else, these cases may arouse some public awareness.  It amazes me that any government in the USA would make employers pay for a morning after pill but that is the mentality we now live under.

Syndicated writer Kathleen Parker wrote a piece this morning that echoes and updates what I wrote in 2008 about the demise of hard copy newspapers.  When I wrote my piece in 2008, Twitter, Smartphones, and texting were in their infancy.  The biggest fear of the hard copy papers was readers going to their desk top computers to read the paper.

Now, there are so many other sources for news that many papers like the Arizona Republic have resorted to paid subscriptions to their online editions.  We’ll see how that goes at $10 a month cost.  I bought in but barely use it since I am stubborn and like the hard copy.

I think there is still a certain romance to waddling out to the driveway to get the paper in the morning then snapping it open next to a cup of Joe to see the headlines.

There is also a lot more excitement with the hard copy if you have a column printed in it.  Knowing that about 300,000 people all over Phoenix have a copy of something you wrote is exciting stuff; a lot more exciting than seeing it on a computer screen and wondering how many see it.

I hope the Smartphone people are not holding their breath waiting for me to buy one.  Ain’t gonna happen!