September 26, 2017

Who Really Lost The Debate: The American People

All the talk today has been about how Romney won last night’s debate. Obama wasn’t prepared. Romney was on the offense. Romney appeared likable and in tune with the needs of the American people. Obama didn’t challenge or fluster Romney. Obama wasn’t engaging and looked nervous. Obama spoke four minutes longer. Some of Romney’s talking points failed the facts checker. Blah blah, ho-hum.

I watched the pre-show, live debate and post commentary. My takeaway was that Obama didn’t lose, nor did Romney win. In fact, there were no wins or loses for either candidate. Heck, they chummed it up pretty well after the debate was over. The losers of last night’s debate were none other than you and me. We, the American people, are the ones left hanging in the balance. We lost by a landslide.

Why? Well because the thing most important on our minds is the state of the economy and jobs. No one bothered to answer the how questions. No one talked about the economic report that shows job growth has primarily been for lower wage service jobs paying $7-$13 bucks an hour. That kind of wage doesn’t pay utility bills, mortgage/rent, student loans, or other necessary expenses. Disposable income isn’t even an afterthought.

I felt like we were side tracked from our immediate concern with talks of alternative energy and hopes that these methods will stimulate our economy. We’ve been trying be become independent of foreign oil for decades by means of alternative energy. I’m sure the shift will create new job opportunities, but how long is it going to take? Are Americans going to qualify for those jobs? Will there be training programs or grants for those seeking degrees in those fields? Will these programs be free or expensive? How long will they take to complete? Will the employers of these new jobs seek to hire homegrown talent or will these jobs be open to the global market? If so, will we Americans receive preference over our global counterparts?

My biggest problem with last night’s debate was that no one answered the how on anything, or provided solutions/strategies to meet out most immediate need. Surprisingly, both seemed to agree on the primary issues. Education is important. Reviving the middle class is essential. Medicare is needed. In fact, the debate started off with both candidates in agreement so much moderator Jim Leher had to ask the difference between strategies after their first responses!

Honestly, both political parties have disappointed me since the 2000 debacle. I stay informed because I need to and vote because I have to. I will say this though, what is apparent, is that people need to be prepared to take care of themselves from the cradle to the grave. Education, investing, saving, budgeting and living a healthy lifestyle is going to be vital for mortality in this country, no matter who’s in office. All of which I’m totally fine with. I’m just hoping there’s a good, likeable, nice paying job for me to do it all with.

-KB

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What’s Wrong With Us

Vibe’s June/July 2012 Issue

It’s still hard to digest the madness that happened this past weekend in Colorado at the opening night of Batman: The Dark Night Rises.  The Penn State scandal is finally coming to a close, with all their football wins being eradicated from 1999 – 2010 and Sandusky facing 442 years in prison.  And of course, the Trayvon Martin case that was mishandled from the night of incident.

You know what’s shocking?  None of it.  We as Americans have become so desensitized to tragedy, drama, and vulgarity that instead of taking action, we gossip about it until the next big thing happens.  Almost everything we do, see and hear has to have some sort of shock value to it or we won’t listen, watch or buy it.  And believe me, the news stations and entertainment industry is well aware of that.

Take this Vibe cover photo.  I’m guilty of watching Basketball Wives, and a couple of other less than educational reality shows.  And I like watching to see what the heck these crazy people are going to do next.  Do I believe it’s real?  Of course not!  Do I condone their behavior?  Heck no!  But I watch, and watch faithfully.  And I have a problem with what I’m seeing.

My problem is not with the show.  I take it for face value which to me, is virtually nothing but entertainment and something to chat about.  What I have a problem with is that Vibe chose to call these ladies “role models.”  Role models for what?  For whom?  Why?    Because they are watched by millions?  Because they may have come from humble beginnings but are now successful business women with their own brands?  Or because they are, as Vibe states on the cover, “sexy?”

When I watch most of these reality shows, I do so strictly for entertainment purposes.   I started watching Basketball Wives because I wanted to see what the heck women of pro ballers did to sustain their identities.  I found out, in season one, absolutely nothing!  These women were broken and were seeking to find their own identities instead of being known as so-and-so’s girlfriend, ex or wife.  I felt compassion for them at first, so I kept tuning in. Now I watch because I don’t know what the heck they are going to FAKE next.  Like I said, mere entertainment.

To others though, it apparently isn’t a mere form of entertainment.  For Vibe to consider these reality actresses role models, they had to dig through the mess and find something to glorify.  I didn’t read the article, but I gander that in addition to them being “sexy”, Vibe portrayed them as self-made women who used their opportunities to build their own brands.  And to those who are incapable of discerning the real from the fake, will see them as role models.

What’s wrong with us?  Well I could sum it up by starting with what’s wrong with me.  Instead of boycotting this crap or writing the television networks to add programs of substance, I do nothing.  As a writer, I could even pitch scripts. Instead, I pick what’s most convenient and entertaining.  I watch what’s hot, I follow the trends, I like the sensation.  In essence, I sit and do not stand.  Because I tune in, I perpetuate the problem.

Don’t get me wrong, these women are beautiful.  But they are so far from reality it isn’t even funny.  Most of them have had some type of cosmetic work done and do not represent the core values we as parents, professionals, and spiritual beings hold dear.  They do not represent love, education, loyalty, compassion or determination.  They should not be, no matter how self-made or sexy, anybody’s role model.  What they do represent, is  America’s entertainment driven, capitalist driven, sensationalist driven and sex driven market.

My blog topic can be seen as both a question and imperative statement, but dare we even ask?  I know I’m guilty of watching and listening to things that do not speak to my beliefs.  Our music, news, even our consumer products are sensationalized, using reality actresses (notice I fail to call them stars) to entice us to buy their products.  In my season of purge, no more Basketball Wives, Single Ladies, or any other show that does not positively impact my life.  We, starting with me, have to restore what we value.  We cannot allow tv shows, music, movies and video games to desensitize those who cannot discern real from fake.  We cannot let the media raise our children.  Vibe cannot speak for us.  If we allow the purpose of reality entertainment replace our core values, we will be ripening the grounds for more Batman, Trayvon, and Penn State incidents.