Yes, I’m annoyed. It’s not because my house is once again filled with boxes and preparing for a move less than a year after the last one. It’s not because my knees have decided they are 96 years old and achy. It’s not even because my thirteen year old yelled – in a moment of severely ill-advised frustration – “I’m gonna lay on the goddamn couch as long as I wanna.”
I’m annoyed because too many things have been extremized. The extreme is the popular thing, and I’ll give you a few examples. We are enduring endless news about a giant family that seems to have giant problems. People from every walk of life, political persuasion, and religious viewpoint have something to offer on this situation. Not necessarily something valuable – just something to say.
I’m annoyed because there seem to be 893457 candidates for president already. I live in Iowa. I’m annoyed. But, I’m really not annoyed because there are 893465 candidates (yes, in the second it took me to type that eight more candidates joined the race). These people are just taking up our time attacking each other and presenting virtually nothing in the way of real ideas, solutions, or even points to ponder when it comes to national and international issues.
I’m annoyed because women of all walks, shapes, sizes, and birth genders are setting us all back 85 years. Why, oh, why is anyone who identifies as a woman excited about setting women back? Women are seeking headlines that have only to do with breasts and buttocks. That is not all that makes a woman. I’m annoyed and perturbed by any woman who allows and encourages media (or other) objectification. The conversation about women and women’s issues has become a tits and ass show lately and I’m annoyed. Women, let’s talk about ideas, programs, and progress; let’s engage with society in a meaningful way, not just by showing our boobs or butts. Let’s break the internet with conversation, support, and dialogue.
I’m annoyed because there are pockets of pundits, political, as well as general commentators – none of whom have any education in education – who are decrying testing, Common Core, teachers, and the educational system in general. You know what their experience is? The fact that they went to school. Because, of course, if you went to school, you are automatically an expert in education. Or perhaps you are an expert because your mother was a teacher? Or because you have a child in school? By this logic, I am a doctor because I have been sick and gotten well. I am also an expert in banking and human resources because that was my dad’s career. Hey, you know who knows education? Educators. Listen to them.
Not everything has be to extremized, sensationalized, and publicized. Family crisis? Deal with it. Law breaking? Call in the authorities. Political preferences? Great; think before you speak. Gender issues? Don’t need a magazine spread and photoshop to be who you are. Gender inequality? Let’s continue to problem solve. Education questions? Think about visiting a classroom or talking to a teacher.
We are under the constant barrage of extreme ideas in all realms. One side or another or another wants to extremize other people’s ways of thinking. And, that is not happening through rational dialogue or real debate; it is through extreme religion, extreme politics, extreme issues. It is as if those extremizing reports on all fronts want simply to foment argument. And we, dear people, buy in to it. Judging by social media, newscasts, and conversations on the street, we buy in to the extremism. We need to take a breath.
Substitute today’s issues and click here. We should all be mad as hell at the extremities that are being foisted upon us from all sides.
Every week (so it seems) has its problems; every season has its issues; every generation grapples with stuff. But, why oh why for the love of all that is holy and good do so many things have to go to the extreme? Is that the only way we can tolerate the intake of information? Is that our entertainment?
People, most days are not parades and fireworks. Most days are tuna fish and corn chips.
Broaden your horizons. Open up a conversation. Take a breath. And calm the fuck down.