Monday, October 23, 2006

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid


What on earth would compel any intelligent person to sit and watch network evening news? Ok class, please raise your hand if you’re your stomach has started to turn every time you dare watch the news for more than fifteen minutes. The following is a list of topics I just suffered through: “man shot over tire rims”, “body found in river”, “gas prices down – but is that really good news?”, “homicide rate on track for a high for decade”, “woman seriously injured in crash”, here’s the kicker, “Six killed in Iraq today, Still Bush remains stubborn.” What a way to announce to the world the death of those fighting on behalf of their country. No prayers or condolences to the family of these, just on to the agenda.
After audibly setting a new standard for our home (no more network news scare tactics in D’s house!), and turning off the TV, I began to wonder why there isn’t an outcry for a change in the way news in presented, or at least a steady decline in ratings. Pick your grudge… political biases, disconnection from real Americans, or marketing stories to Americans by our need for tragedy… I wonder how news outlets are still the powerful entities that they are. Maybe I’ve just answered my own question, “our need for drama.” Personally, I encounter more than enough drama without the aid of mr and mrs anchorperson, but it seems as though a large number of us need more. So drink up drama-glutton, you’ll be fed at least three times a day, four if you choose to stay up for a late night snack.
Perhaps long ago some brain suggested that FEAR could be used as a cattle prod for a nation of heifers. With every story we are made to be on guard, constantly in search of our political, or social savior. Sad… a REAL Saviour goes unnoticed… uncalled… unrelied upon.
I know, I know… news media outlets have been reporting bad news for a long time, and somehow people just watch through it and still smile afterward. So I should just probably get over it… I’m probably just blowing a lot of smoke. Still, I’ll research current events for myself, rather than watch sixty minutes of a program that could be accurately entitled, “Today’s BAD News, And What We Want You To Think About It”

Friday, October 20, 2006


Webster defines "motherhood" as such: "a female parent... maternal tenderness or affection." The word itself could loosely be understood as an instinct... a sixth sense that comes about when mother and child are introduced. Here is his definition for "fatherhood": "a man who has begotten a child." Kind of cut and dry isn't it? I'm not suggesting that Webster is the expert in defining all that is fatherhood, but he's right on in regard to how clueless I feel as I contemplate my place in the life of my child. I seem to be less concerned with our relationship during his older years (4 +), but it's those baby years where I'm lost.
He's due to arrive in a month and I have become very good at imagining all the selfish things. Like how I can't wait to share with him the greatest of stories, teach him to play the guitar, or the joy of buying him his first glove and indoctrinating him with the key to success - always keep your eye on the ball. I'm well aware that the Dr. Laura’s would caution me to not relive my life through my kid and I have no intention of doing such. To be honest, these are the kinds of ideas that I keep thinking about. My time is far less consumed by considering what my first course of action is going to be when his first fever comes. However, I've done research on what a good rifle would be for his first hunting experience, yet I'm ignorant to the most effective brand of diapers or medicine. I'm not even sure how to hold a newborn. I've always said, when a baby is screaming bloody murder in the grocery store or waiting room, "oh, no, not my kid - never... if that were my kid I would...," yeah, this is me eating my words again. Will my "instinct" come, or do I learn to take part in caring for my son by trial and error? I recently started realizing that things are going to be messy. The hallmark picture of father and son is nice, but all of a sudden it looks as though rashes, no sleep, and poop are soon to be my new milieu. I'm sure I'll figure some of it out, and I'll find a way to get over the weird smells. In the meantime I suppose I should try purchasing a Dr. Laura book or something and continue digesting my words.

Monday, October 16, 2006

TV Ratings

Two months ago my wife and I moved into our first home. The whole experience, including the hand cramps at closing, was great. The loading, unloading, packing, and unpacking... the, “Put it there… no there... mmm how ‘bout over there?”… I enjoyed the whole experience. That is, until the afternoon came when I wanted to see if my Astros won. How empty I felt when I realized that I was completely without TV or internet for the next few days (I hadn’t yet called to have cable installed and I didn’t have any rabbit ears). Life without TV, I’m sad to say, was hard.
Recently, I've crossed paths with a number of individuals who live life without the use of a television. Or, if they have one, it often remains as unused as wedding china. Still, they all seem to have a few common elements in their lives that, I have to admit, are appealing to me. First, they all seem live life just a little more carefree, they enjoy more time outside, and enjoy not caring that they missed the premiere of some new sitcom. Perhaps its because they don’t endure the same indoctrinating news and programming where the key message is always fear with vivid scenes of “what could happen to you”- I don’t know, just a thought. Secondly, it seems right to me that TV is not an integral part of the human lifestyle… but (sigh) I’d have to say that it is in mine and not in theirs. To this small community of those who are sans boob tube, life with out TV causes them not to want, but to feel content. Lastly, I’ve noticed how much better control they have of time and responsibilities… control that I could only hope for. So the copycat in me has begun to consider if we could live that way too.
Could I really consider doing without TV for the sake of experiencing a life that I’ve never known? Would I benefit? Is there a middle ground or a compromise? Or is it even possible – is it too much a part of my life already? Who knows? Maybe I’ll figure it out in a few minutes after I’m done watching Seinfeld.