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Please Kill Mr Clause
Dec 25th, 2014 by JuannyCinco

Typically, this is how the world sees Santa.

Jolly Mr Santa

He’s like a one man NSA tracking who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.  He doesn’t get warrants, he doesn’t care who he collects information on but he has rough guidelines.  Those guidelines would usually be on the front pages of the tabloids – “Man Stalks Young Western Children”.   What else is there that he’s hiding?  Does he have a secret double life?  What does he do the rest of the year?

Does he get SAD (seasonal affective disorder) during the Spring,  Summer and Autumnal months?

Drunk Santa

Maybe it doesn’t matter what he does for 51 weeks of the year.  Maybe he just watches over his slaves elves while they work hard making the endless tablets, phones, toys, in Yiwu.  It turns out that Lapland and the North Pole were both too expensive; what, with their Affordable Reindeer Health Act and minimum wage burden. Santa can’t afford his nice car collection by being on the the “nice list”.

Santa’s Cars

Note: The prior two pictures are unrelated.  Santa with SAD is also a founding member of SADD (Santas Against Drunk Driving).

But it’s not his character that I find fault over.  It’s the combined impact of his marketing strategy utilizing his take on the James Montgomery Flagg “I want You” poster and the pure encouragement of wrong-doing to the most susceptible minds.

I Want You

But what does Santa do?  He’s a Terrible influencer

  • He encourages parents to lie to their children.
    • We all want children to be able to tell the truth, the whole truth and, nothing but the truth.  With Santa, parents expose themselves as frauds and hypocrites.
  • He encourages children to lie to their parents.
    • What do children do if you find out the truth?  They don’t just confront the parents, they initiate an awkward stand-off with the goal of ensuring that the gift gravy train continues.
  • He encourages blackmailing of children by parents.
    • Be good and he’ll give you presents.  Be bad and he’ll give you coal.
  • He encourages and teaches blackmail to children.
    • If I’m good I get presents.  If I’m bad I get nothing.  How about we turn that around?  Give me presents and I’ll be good!
  • He risks children being exposed to humiliation.
    • Will your child be the last to know the full truth about Santa?  Mockery ensues, trust me, I’ve been to schools and children can be little shits  classified on the “naughty” list.

So far Santa seems to be a bad influence but it gets much worse.

Santa Steals Credit From Parent and Distorts Value

Imagine a world where as a young child you are taught that good children get presents from a jolly white man.  Now imagine that you don’t get any presents.   Were you bad?  Were you not on the approved list?  How do you feel about the fact that you simply were not good enough?  Even if you get just a small stocking stuffed with little things; how to feel good thinking that Little Lord Moneybags was lucky or, in fact, better than you because he has a house with multiple chimneys while you had one with none.   The parents of the poor are fighting a losing battle trying to explain why Santa just doesn’t care that much.

As a parent you may save for months to give your children a small gift.  Santa doesn’t like this, he wants the credit.  Your hard work, your efforts undermined by a fat man working one night a year who despite your efforts cannot compete with the others.

Most of all I Hate Santa for one Reason

This is where Santa currently is:

santa

That’s some way far North of my location and yet… my fireplace lies peaceful undisturbed.  Nothing.  WTF?  What am I?  Too old?  Too bad?
Can’t he leave a note at least?

Growing Up- It’s not All That Great

 

Google Does Gay
Aug 19th, 2013 by JuannyCinco

What would a month be if you didn’t have something to celebrate, or otherwise think about?  Well, if you didn’t already know this month is:

LGBT Pride Month!

Now, I don’t understand who determines what gets one day (mother’s/father’s day, memorial day)  versus a month (black history, LGBT History) but it makes no sense to me.   I’m not sure why June could not be combined with October’s

LGBT History Pride Month!

I don’t know why there isn’t a “Kids Read a Book” month, or “Study your Sciences” month, or even a “History is Important” month.

Even stranger to me is the US “African American History Month” which is the alternative name for “Black History Month”.  I’m not sure but I think we’re saying that non-white Haitians, Dominicans, and the Islands (to name a few places) just need to go find their own personal black experience in an undesignated month.  I’m not exactly qualified to judge but I do believe racial prejudices in the US and Britain mostly stop and start with skin colour.  I don’t know many of our racist friends that care much about specifics of ethnicity.  But I’m encroaching on political territory – I’ll save that area for someone else to cover!

But this month is here as LGBT and it’s out and it’s proud – the T is transexual.  Again, I’m guessing, but perhaps Transvestites don’t qualify as needing any support.

That’s the issue that I have with arbitrary holidays – they’re restrictive and unnecessarily so.  I think it’s important to let everyone know that there are achievements may by people of all sexual orientations, just as they are different sexes, different religions, different ethnicities, and even different hair colour.  Did you know that some blondes are capable changing lightbulbs?

We have Mental Health Month, Black History Month, LGBT Pride Month, National Mentoring Month.. in fact we have the following list!

I guess only have 12 months to accommodate everyone’s needs is a universe design flaw.  Perhaps we can invest the 24 or 36 month calendar to support all the worthwhile causes?

What about a national national awareness month!

I do find Google’s recognition of the event to be quite interesting.  I’m not going to say disappointed because I think it is really unnecessary to have a month’s worth of “Google Doodles” but I do think that many people won’t notice what they have done.

Perhaps this is the point.

Going viral, being discussed, trending are all modern words to describe the phenomena of something being spread via word of mouth, e-mail and the so called social media tools.  There are certain qualities that make something go viral – being obvious? that’s a viral killer.   I think that Google actually did a clever thing and got people interested in something that would otherwise just be another Google Doodle.

Recently Google has supported the “It Get’s Better” organization that was founded by Dan Savage: you’ll recognize him as a regular on the Colbert Report.  The organization is a good one because it focuses less on the crime of being a gay man or a lesbian and more on the simple message that things can, quite simply, get better.

Google did produce a supportive video:

http://youtu.be/pYLs4NCgvNU

But what did Google do?  You’ve probably not noticed.   Enter a positive term – such as “gay marriage” and you get a little rainbow!  I know that some of my Facebook friends don’t like “Gay Marriage” as a term because they don’t “Gay Park Their Car” but this is just an example.

googlerb

Unfortunately, they can’t rid the world of the first result.   Yes.  We have to fight out the concept of marriage, civil union as it pertains to same-sex relationships, opposite-sex relationships outside of religion and within a religion.   The danger is that in two sides demands to have their rights heard we’ll lose site of the UNIVERSALITY of rights.   it’s not about straight or gay but about either, all and any combination of people.

What is strange is that if you negate the search the rainbow disappears!

googlenrb

Wouldn’t want to offend some of our key users.

Do your part and sign up and  Take the Pledge.  Apply it to all walks of life and all people – speak out, people will listen, people will learn.  Don’t mock the homeless, don’t hate on the unemployed, don’t talk down to the grocery bagger, respect the employee at the call center.   A little bit of consideration goes a long way to make it better for everyone.

Father’s Day
Jun 19th, 2011 by JuannyCinco

Every year there is a Mother’s Day and every year there is a Father’s Day (actually, there are two Mother’s Days – depending on where you are located – apparently it’s one of the few occasions where England didn’t blindly follow America’s lead).

I’m not sure why we need both*.

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day seems natural.  You thank your mother for doing such an outstanding job in guiding you towards the great person that you have become and you tell that you appreciate the efforts and sacrifices made to allow you to be that great person…to allow you to be…well, as my t-shirt says:

To be fair, before I get accused of being arrogant, I also have a t-shirt that says:

But my dress is irrelevant!

Mother’s seem to appreciate the gesture.  I suppose it makes the years of sacrifice worthwhile to hear the words.  Mother’s Day just makes sense.

Father’s Day

Father’s Day seems contrived.  You thank your father for doing such an outstanding job in guiding you towards the great person that you have become and you tell that you appreciate the efforts and sacrifices made to allow you to be that great person.  Fathers seem to get embarrassed like you’ve just accused them of actually loving you – or that you are tricking them into believing that you love them.  It’s not just my dad –  I think it’s all dads.   Maybe it’s different for daughters?  I don’t have sisters so it’s hard to say.

In most households where the kids grew up in the 70’s and 80’s there was definitely a different dynamic – the man was more often the bread earner and the mother the caretaker of the home and children.  It wasn’t fair, according to the new world order, and we’re more aware now of the fact that you can’t define a man by his monetary achievements to the house.  The reality is that that’s a lot about how it worked.  We are a product of our time as much as we are a product of our genes so maybe it’s just that most of us were caught in the wrong historical moment to share our feelings properly.  Maybe it was always enough to just know that we cared about each other.

I’m not suggesting that the working-as-a-show-of-commitment-and-love is the only way that affection is shared, far from it, but it’s definitely an aspect.  I’m sure my Dad would have liked to have played beach cricket far more than he did.  He would have loved to play week-day golf far more than he could.    Earning money gets in the way of fun a lot and that sacrifice of time and energy is a part of being a responsible parent.   It’s not like I grewup in that time where Robert Hayden described his father in “Those Winter Sundays”.

Calvin and Hobbes 1

My conclusion in thinking about the man-son relationships is simple and neat: men are stupid.

For whatever reason, men just don’t share important things correctly.  You hug (briefly) we dress up friendships with stupid terms (bromance) and fail to really share anything too deep in case it gets misinterpreted as being a meaningful emotional connection.  The gay bromance overtones we’re supposed to laugh at in comedy is truly irksome to me but it’s presented as a normal reaction on TV and in movies constantly – men hug and pull apart so not to appear gay?  Are we kidding?  Love of a brother of a friend is not the love of a lover.   It’s offensive to the idea of friendships and more offensive to gay men that we should somehow be offended by showing affection.   This illogical cultural view is part of the underlying issue with father son relationships.  It’s just not manly enough to feel warmth.

We are man.  We make fire when cold. Ug ug ug.  Women are weak.  They huddle for warmth and cry.  Stupid. Ug ug.

What are we collectively proving?  That we’re total bone-heads?  Yes. I think that about sums it up.

This disconnect is probably a hang over from some caveman culture or deep-seated competitive fight for survival; however, we managed to appreciate the cultural refinements of a knife and fork so shouldn’t we accept and appreciate the cultural refinements of having guy friends?

If we acknowledge that men have emotions, have feelings and can care about each other we wouldn’t need to try avoid Father’s day !

Calvin and Hobbes 2

I’m not ashamed to say that I love my Dad.  I’m not ashamed to say that his personality has had a profound affect on me.  I don’t often visit,  I don’t often call,  I don’t often talk to my dad but in ways I think that the relationship is a mature one.  The truth is that I actually like my dad.  I could actually imagine talking to my dad even if we were unrelated and I think that says an awful lot more than some card on a hallmark holiday (which is why he doesn’t get a card).  I can even imagine going to the pub and drinking a beer with my dad because I wanted to.  I think that says more than anything.  My wife likes my dad.  Maybe he’s just a cool guy?  Nah.  That’s stretching it!  My dad is my dad.  He it the most influential male figure in my life and as I like to think I ended up ok, he gets to take credit for a lot of that.

I’m not really sure what my point is in making this post.  Nothing I say is going to change how I feel about him or how he feels about me.   Perhaps this is the blog equivalent of that quick hug, that small handshake…

Calvin and Hobbes 3

I hope not.

I like to think this post is the blog equivalent of a big hug, a big thanks for being there.  I’m not embarrassed and there’s no shame in loving your dad – even if he is a lousy Spurs fan.  So anyway, Dad, even though I don’t like the fact that people read my blog posts when they are serious and not silly but this blog post is dedicated to you and everything you have provided…..at the end of it all?  I know you did everything you could for me, J and B and that’s all that matters.

Respect. Love.  Happy Father’s Day.

Everything in this post holds true for my brothers too – they just don’t get a day where you get pressed to say something.

Your Son,

J.

*I have what I feel is a good relationship with my parents and this is something that I certainly do take for granted.  It’s easy to forget that there are plenty of children, and grown children/adults that have had to live with a single parent, no parents,  or even abusive parents.   Having two parents who care about you and want the best for you is definitely a blessing.

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