Why do I let little things get to me so? I was, having no choice in the matter, listening to Bruce Springsteen singing "Born in the U.S.A.", the total lyrics of which appear to be the words "I was born in the U.S.A." repeated no fewer than 312 times. Okay, Bruce, I get it. But where were you born, again? For some reason totally incomprehensible to me, this song seems to have established itself as contender to become our national anthem.
Perhaps it is because people do not have the time to pay attention to or grasp the intricacies of complex sentences. Call me old fashioned, but I'll take "God Bless America"....the lyrics of— which incorporate not only complete sentences but actual thought....any day of the week.
I'm not sure where popular music began it's decline from songs with actual stories (inane as some of them indeed were) to Bruce's "Born in the U.S.A." and Cher's "Do You Believe in Love?"—a question asked 618 times in succession in the course of the...I really can't call it a song...musical notes strung together.
There are few things worse than people of a certain age—that is, anyone 20 years older than you—ranting and cursing and carrying on about "when I was a kid" but the fact is that the claim has a great deal of merit, especially on a social level. Those who were born after WWII can't comprehend how different our society was then. Despite it's enormous flaws and inexcusable behavior in the area of civil rights, it was a cohesive society in that we all knew we were in something huge and hugely threatening, and that to survive we had to cling together. Our world today, for all it's technology, is increasingly fragmented on a human-to-human level.
But back to little things. "Press 'one' for English" sends me into apoplexy. It doesn't seem to bother anyone else, but lava flows out of my ears whenever I hear it, and I never, ever, press "one" for English. I don't care if my call never goes through, I'm not going to do it.
When in a situation where the Pledge of Allegiance is said, I go along with it right up through "one nation" and then shut up for the next two words. I will NOT say "Under God." "Under God" was not in the original, and was shoe-horned in by those despicable creatures who presume to know what is best for the rest of us, and who far too often presume to speak for God. I strongly believe we are indeed "one nation, indivisible" but to drag God into it is utterly unnecessary.
Being told that I must, if I wish to attract more readers to my books, belong to Twitter and Facebook and MySpace and 72 of the 73 offshoots of something called Ning is, to me, the equivalent of chewing aluminum foil. I want to write books, and I want people to read them, and I cannot write if I'm spending 26 hours a day Twittering and Tweeting (phrases which make my skin crawl). Other writers do it without batting an eye. Why should it upset me so?
And it all boils down to a point which is woven through probably the majority of the blogs that I write, and I hope occasionally finds its way into my books: if something displeases you, don't just sit there or roll over and play dead. Do something! If only to complain loudly over the phone, or send an email (which major corporations make next to impossible to do).
My cable bill rose $10 from last month to this month. No explanation. I'm sure the company felt none was necessary. What, after all, can anyone do if they don't like it? Switch to another cable company with the same high ethical standards? Riiiight. I called the company to complain and spoke to someone who is as powerless to do anything about it as I. But I had the comfort of knowing that someone other than me was aware of my unhappiness, and that if the other 19 million people who were as unhappy with something as I actually emailed or phoned, something might...just might....be done.
And though I may have no more power to change things than one of those little "no-see-ems" that haunt forested areas, have you ever been in a swarm of them? We are all individual no-see-ems, but come on, people...SWARM!