There are three things on my mind tonight that I want to unburden here in the written word. I do not necessarily want to get them off my mind, but I do want to put them out there so that I can move on, and work on them further. I figured that sometimes people get bored and want something to do, so I will share these thoughts with you, if you care to read them. (Actually, make that four things--now that I think about it.) I feel it only polite to forewarn whomever is reading this, however, that I have no intention of making this brief. This will be as long-winded as it need be for me to actually cover what I feel needs exposure here today. If you don't have the time or inclination to read all of it right now I will, by all means, understand. I just ask that once you have started it you will hear me out, for better or worse, at some point.
Okay, enough preamble and dilly-dallying, let's get right to the meat of the matter, shall we?
Today I made my way to the nearby city of Silvertown, CO to watch as several of my friends competed in the annual Silvertown Alpine Marathon. I would like to state publicly here that I cannot even imagine the motivation necessary to run in a marathon, let alone one that takes you above 10,000 feet on two separate occasions within the course of it's running. What was most confounding to me was the casual attitudes of a great many of the runners as they finished the race. Granted it was a small and not uber-competitive (at least from what I could tell) field, but a good many of the people traipsing across the finish line began to hold immediate and seemingly casual conversations with friends and race coordinators. I also feel that it is worth noting that of my four friends in the race only one of them did not immediately request a beer upon crossing the line--and of the other three one of them did not wait even to cross the line before bellowing a request for the cold and foamy refreshment.
Everyone was rather chipper upon completion of their morning task. Having just run some twenty-six (26) miles one would have thought that there would have been a great deal more exhaustion and delirium among the ranks. I suppose my expectations were born of hearing stories from my mother and sister who have fairly regularly volunteered to help out at the Chicago Marathon over the years. With tales of involuntary bowel releases, voluntary bladder releases, vomitous and passing out, I expected the runners I saw today to be much more haggard than they turned out to be. I, on the other hand, cannot stand to run for even five minutes let alone the five or so hours that these people had run. It was all very impressive and I want to here congratulate them all on their achievement. In fact, the only downside of the whole afternoon was that some of the on-lookers were completely enthralled with the siren function on a bull-horn that they had gotten from god-knows-where. For a man having seen the lights come up in the bars near the two o'clock hour earlier in the morning there is nothing more grating on the nerves than a braying siren in the hands of enthusiastic supporters. But, that aside, it was a wonderful time. I even played Frisbee with a stranger.
2. Business and the Generation Gap
After all the race day festivities were through and done with today my father, my Lindsey, Michael J. and I made our way to lunch where we had a very interesting--at least I thought it was interesting--conversation about generational differences in the workplace.
The conversation so intrigued me that I have decided that I should better use my free time in the near future to write about not just the subject of how differences in generation effect how we deal with people in every day situations in the business world, but more to the point how the younger generations are being left in the cold when it comes to the discrepancies in the increase in the cost of living versus the [lack of] increase in standard wages. I would like to write either an article or possibly a book on the subject, but we shall see what the research will bear, right...
Anyway, the subject of age and attitude when it comes to consumerism is a very interesting one. Where one generation seems to thrive on personal contact while another is infinitely happier to rely on computerized systems for their purchasing needs. I suppose the major differences in the groups can be boiled down to two possible reasoning processes--if you will indulge me in a somewhat oversimplified look at the subject. One school of thought would be that people of older generations desire the niceties that come with personal interaction. They like to know the name of who they are dealing with, and also to have that person know who they are. Being of the younger generation myself I can only moderately understand those feelings. While it is nice for someone with whom you are dealing to know you, and know what you like it is just as well by me if they have no idea who I am, so long as they are competent at their job.
As I say, I am of the younger, more technologically accepting generation. When at work I feel like I have more trouble with the older clients because to me they are in need of having their hands held through everything. They want someone to talk to about their problems to make sure that what they think has happened has actually happened. I suppose it is just a more cautious endeavor, and maybe the difference is not generational at all but simply a personal one. Perhaps I am less apt to worry than most people and therefore label those who do worry as "old" and "confused."
However, research needs to be done, and we will see what it turns up. This could be fun, and definitely keep me out of the bars. I hope that the library is open until 2am. Wheee!
3. The Arway on Errortay (Shhhhh!)
Apparently there is to be a made-for-TV movie coming out sometime next week, or in the next few weeks, about the governmental knowledge in the time leading up to the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. Now, I have already seen a documentary or two on the subject wherein it is pointed out that the United States government had knowledge that something of the sort was likely, and indeed predicted, to happen on American soil, but failed to act on that information.
In these documentaries and TV dramas there are obviously going to be differences of opinion as to whether or not the decision to do nothing was intentional or, in fact, it was not a decision at all or simply an oversight. (This is completely omitting--for the sake of my being sleepy--the theories that what hit the pentagon was not an airplane at all, but a missile of some sort...) Whatever your opinion, and however you may have come to hold it, it is fairly obvious that something went very wrong and lives were lost.
The thing that got me thinking about this today was a question from my girlfriend. During one of the commercials she asked me something to the effect of, "What is the point of making a movie like that? Why would you want to basically tell people that their government is not looking out for their best interests after all, but good luck anyway?"
I did not really have a response for the question other than to answer with another question. Isn't that what the media is supposed to do? I mean if the government is not looking after our best interests (and believe me, I in no way think that they are anymore) I think it is the job of the media to let us know, so that we can pick a better form of government. I do not want to sound too preachy, but I feel as though the government has strayed much to far from its origins these days to the point where many people revere it as an untouchable entity rather than a group of people who ostensibly there to serve our needs. I fear that too many times we are blinded by a doctrine of fear into believing that we need the government, which is what they want, isn't it? At this point the government is acting like a corporation that wants you to feel that you need it, much like a regular company wants you to believe that you cannot live without their product. They [the government] is creating a market for itself so that it will seem like a bad idea, or at the very least a terrible inconvenience to seek out a better form of government.
I watched a movie a couple of weeks ago in which there was an incredibly interesting and timely line...or at least I thought so. The main character stated, "People should not be afraid of the government, Governments should be afraid of the people." (or somesuch) What got to me about this line was what it did not say, more than anything. Upon first blush I was nodding my head going, 'yes, yes, that is so true.' but the more I thought about the statement the more I loved it for what it said by way of omission. That something could on the surface seem so right on, miss the boat entirely, and then totally redeem itself on cross-examination was very endearing to me. Let me explain what I mean:
People, these days, in this country, are scared of pretty much everything. This situation is not helped by the fact that every local news show every is so totally focused on the negative in life that even the once-in-a-while feel good puff pieces that they do only serve the make the viewers think, 'that is so cute how silly they are being when they could be stabbed in the ear any minute by a crazy person, of whom there are an infinite number a-lurking around every corner. I know this because I see the stories every day.' But what people ARE NOT afraid of is the government (yeah I used capitalization and italics. emphasis, bitches!). Most people are more concerned that their elected officials go to the right kind of church and have not touched anything weird with their wieners lately [or hoo-haas for the lady elected officials] than they are about foreign policy. In fact, most people look to the government for protection, rather than cowering from stern edicts and laws.
Contrary to what I fear was the intended message of that little quip from the movie (it's from V for Vendetta, by the by) I think that the government in this country is VERY afraid of the people of this country. The government is afraid that we will find out that they have long-since stopped doing us any favors and are largely occupied by making sure the needs of people who give them money are met. However, if they keep us dazzled and/or terrified constantly we will never have time to think about what they actually do, and who it actually benefits, so they get to keep their jobs, and we have something to do, hooray. So, in the end we get to keep on being the currently most hated people in the world and we also get to continue not to understand why.
U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!
The whole reason I got into this blogging thing was because I had the hopes in my head that there would be some interaction, some feedback. But in the end, there is nothing. For example, tonight I have spent the better part of an hour writing about things that worry/amuse/interest/elate me, but I can count on the fact that I probably won't hear word one back from people who have read it. I would really like to hear anything from people. Questions, comments, rebuttals, anything. I know this is kind of low and needy, but whatever. It just baffles me that nobody even drops a 'hey, I read that, here I am recognizing that you filled a little of my day' on the comments section. But then I see people in person and they say they read and like it. I don't know it just feels like after a while I am talking to a wall. A wall that I'm not even sure is there to listen, but I am fairly sure will not respond. I guess all I really want in the end is to know that somebody (anybody) is actually reading this stuff and that it is worth my time to keep writing, so long as it is worth somebody's time to keep reading. That's all I wonder about. I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.
Quote: "You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else." -Chuck P.