Today was originally scheduled for the latest part in the short series about the curious and amusing phobias some people seem to have. But it’s a holiday week for most of us and I have put that post back until next week.
Instead I feel the urge to say something else. Two things actually.
First one is, have you heard of the herd? In particular the herd mentality, where people do something they have no need to do just because other people are doing it?
It happens a lot. Far too much in fact.
We witnessed it during the recent election campaign where people formed opinions not on the basis of their own analysis of the candidates and policies, but because of something someone else said or something they heard on tv.
We saw it again very recently after the dreadful murders in Connecticut where the unthinking herd ignored the real problem and jumped on gun control as a solution to senseless attacks such as this. They might as well call for a ban on knives, axes, chainsaws, bows and arrows and gasoline when they are at it as any of these could do the same job in the hands of a mental defective.
And on December 24 we witnessed another example in grocery stores throughout the country (throughout the world even) as hoards of the unthinking joined the herd and bought up bread and food supplies like the shops would not be open again for at least a month. They are open again today you dummies!
These three examples have been going on for years and people never seem to learn, they just keep on following the herd without a thought in their heads.
And this leads me on to point two which is how little thought most of us give to what we are doing and what we are buying the already well off and pampered.
I know for a fact that Santa had orders for laptops and ipads and iphones and all sorts of other expensive playthings. And I also know that he hadn’t the sense to say no, but just bought them anyway. Mea culpa as much as anyone.
Then I got to thinking that life was a lot different when I was a kid. Yes we liked to get presents at Christmas, but they were a lot less sophisticated and a lot less expensive – even in relative terms. When I was eight, for example, I didn’t need a smart phone, or any phone come to think of it, nor was my social life so complicated and hectic that I had to have a chauffeur for all my must-do activities for every day of the week.
When I was a kid we had our toys, but we also had a thing called an imagination and we could make our own fun out of very little.
So what is the problem today? Why are kids so incapable of making their own entertainment? Why are they constantly “bored” without clicking a button on a computer consol or without someone else to do their thinking for them?
Like a lot of other things, it all boils down to money at the end of the day. Now I’m not advocating poverty as a solution to the world’s ills. Far from it. I like to make money, the more the better, and the thought of being, perhaps not rich, but comfortably well off is a very nice one. But if we had to we could all make do with a lot less. And I don’t think we would be any less happier in the process.
People in other countries seem to manage quite well. And they still seem to have the mental capacity to enjoy what little they have and make their fun out of next to nothing. In other words they are happy. If things do ever deteriorate to the extent that some of the doomsday preachers are telling us, there are a lot better prepared people in the world than there are in rich countries like America, or Britain, or Germany, etc.
Think about giving your kid or nephew or niece an old oil drum from the local garbage dump next Christmas instead of an ipod touch or some other overly expensive apple. I wonder how much music and entertainment they could get out of that?
I got an email recently from Paul Ryan (well, probably one of his little helpers) inviting me to some kind of election shin-dig they were having. How he got my email address I don’t know because I haven’t signed up for anything even resembling political.
Whoever wins, we get the same people really in charge. There can be no doubt about that after Obama’s four years of “no we can’t” and changing nothing of consequence.
And then there was the debate in Denver. By all accounts a win for Romney and a lackluster performance by Obama. A CBS News poll of “uncommitted voters”, gave Romney 46% as opposed to 22% for Obama (with 32% calling it a tie).
Not that performance in debates count for much in the long run, but this one has made an “unshakable” lead for Obama into a much closer competition – until the next debate anyway – which might turn what has been a relatively dull campaign into something more exciting. Don’t hold your breath, though.
Meantime we have much more important things to investigate and to lighten the mood.
Yes, from pundit to punday, another excuse for more bad jokes, using the clever ploy of the pun.
Can you take it?
If you can, then enjoy.
You feel stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.
Is the Local Area Network in Australia – the LAN down under?
Every calendar’s days are numbered.
A lot of money is tainted – taint yours and taint mine.
A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
Are Santa’s helpers subordinate clauses?
Acupuncture is a jab well done.
Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I’ll show you A-flat minor.
Seven days without a pun makes one weak.
When the actress saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she’d dye.
When a scientist was doing a large experiment with liquid chemicals to try to solve a problem he accidentally fell in and became part of the solution.
If you leave alphabet soup on the stove and go out, could it spell disaster?
After they bought a water bed, the couple started to drift apart.
To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
The best way to communicate with a fish is to drop them a line.
Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.
Rabbits like their beer brewed with a lot of hops.
Once you’ve seen one shopping center, you’ve seen a mall.
Another Monday and more quiz show answers. Those that know about these things tell me that the universe is expanding. All I can tell you it would need to be expanding fast because the amount of stupidity in the world is accelerating at a phenomenal rate.
Read on….(and enjoy)
Q: An article of clothing kids usually don’t like wearing
Q: An occupation in which you disguise your appearance
Q: Name something women borrow from each other
Q: Name a bad place to look for good husband material
A: Family Reunion
Q: Name something you put under a pillow
Q: An astronaut
A: Neil Young
Q: Name something a man wears to bed
Q: Name a room in the house where the family gathers
Q: Name something people do when they’re alone
A: Make love
Q: Name something starting with “egg”
Q: Someone you’d never want to see the results of your IQ test
A: The IRS
Q: Name a pie that does not contain fruit
A: Lemon Meringue
Q: An ugly color
Q: The one thing people know about Rosie O’Donnell.
A: That she was the wife on the TV show “Roseanne”
Q: Name something a wife tells her husband to put on
Q: Name something a woman out on a date would hate to discover on her face
Q: Name a department in a supermarket
Q: Name something you keep in the drawer beside your bed
Q: Name a magazine that many men get subscriptions to as gifts
Q: The one word that people yell at the end of a performance
A: “I love you.”
Q: Someone Bugs Bunny might invite to his birthday party
Q: Name something that might get backed up
Q: Name something you know about Rudy Giuliani
A: Absolutely nothing
Q: Name something you’d yell at if it stopped working
Q: Name a game show title that best describes your marriage
A: Happy Days
Q: Name a food that’s red on the inside
Q: The talent show with the crankiest judges, past or present
A: America’s Funniest Home Videos
Q: Name something you wash once a week
Q: Name a TV show with the word “family” in it, past or present