Monday, December 17, 2012

Don't Be Depressed

Ok, stay with me here. This post starts kind of depressing, but think of it as therapeudic because we're going to finish with some good stuff. Why? Because it's time to get this stuff out of our systems. Trust me, people.

This has been an incredibly depressing year.

1. The human race seems lost. Look at the Connecticut shooting and the Colorado shooting and the way everyone instantly despicably tried to exploit these tragedies. Look at the other killings around the world. Look at Islamic terrorism and all the world's dictatorships. And look at all the truly vile and hateful rhetoric from the left about the rich, about conservative minorities or women, or about pretty much anything they don't like.

2. Obama won the election, confirming that the public isn't willing to act rationally even in the face of bankrupting the country.

3. The Republicans learned nothing from the election. The fiscal cliff talks are now firmly seen as the Republicans demanding that we slash Medicare and Social Security while opposing Obama's attempt to raise taxes 3% on the ultra-rich. Nice work.

4. Conservatives aren't any smarter. The voting gaps were shockingly large and yet conservatives don't want to change a thing -- not even rhetoric. Boehner finally proposed a tax hike on millionaires, something he should have done day one, and Matt Drudge used the headline "Caved." No doubt, talk radio is following suit this morning and pounding their flabby chests about their purity.

5. The Supreme Court finally declared the Constitution pointless in the Obamacare case.

6. The economy is crap and millions are without jobs or prospects of jobs.

7. Twinkies. R.I.P.

8. On a personal note, we lost Larry and I'm sure we've all lost other good friends as well.

Sucks.

But you know, there is reason to smile.

For thing, Americans are remarkably good at remaking the country whenever it falls off the rails. And reality is on our side, and it will force people to adopt conservatism when the liberals finally run out of other people's money.

For another, the things that truly matter in this life are our friends and our families, and those are still there. Not only that, things like the internet have opened up a world of friendships we never could have had before. Look at our little family here and realize that we never could have known each other a decade ago.

And don't lose sight of the fact that inventors and artists and dreamers are constantly making the world better. It's not our inept government and it's not our mindless public who are changing the world, they just go along for the ride. The people changing the world are the individuals no one has ever heard of who do it because they have a dream, and they're still out there doing their thing no matter how stupid the rest of us get.

Also, don't believe there aren't heroes. Every day, people everywhere go above and beyond to help others because it's the right thing to do. Even tragedies like Connecticut always reveal selfless individuals who sacrifice themselves to save others. There is great goodness in so many people. Care about them.

The world can be a beautiful place. Take some time to realize how great it is just to be alive. And remember the things that are truly important. :D

58 comments:

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

I just saw 'The Hobbit', the 48fps version, with some friends, today! F'n awesome movie, BTW! Then I had a big juicy burger w/garlic fries and a large chocolate shake, afterwards! So life isn't that bad! lol

Thanks for the article, Andrew! I agree, the world is still a beautiful place, despite its imperfections. God made it, afterall! It's just the bad stuff always overshadow the good stuff in the world.

After the disapointing election results, I pretty much took a break from caring about politics. I just stopped caring. Knowing the current state of it all, just makes me angry as hell! I now put all of that focus on the other stuff that matters most -- my loved ones, my dog, and myself.

I'm still depressed of losing Twinkies, though! :'(

K said...

Twinkies. R.I.P.

Also Ho hos. And Snowballs. And ding dongs.
And those little chocolate donuts. And .....

Sorry, I can't go on.

But you are right Andrew. There is still some good stuff in the world that we can take heart from. Pillsbury cinnamon rolls with icing fresh out of the oven. Duncan Hines double chocolate cake with divinity icing just to name two.

Patriot said...

Andrew......I agree that sometimes this world can seem overwhelming. Welcome to life on earth. It seems like it has always been so. Is it worse now than in WWI or WWII? How about if you were living in VA in the early 1860's? Or in Pol Pot's Cambodia. All in all, I also think your admonition that times have never been better is also true. Better from a communication's standpoint maybe. I think we all need to answer the question for ourselves individually....."What is good in life?" for each of us it is different. One constant appears to be family and friends. Yet if we look around us throughout history, there are some families that undoubtedly wish they had certain members disowned. We can think of many family names that bring instant revulsion.....How about your brother 'Benedict' Arnold....Your son 'John W. Booth'....Too many to name. So or each of us, we need to determine what is good in life. ARe there universal human truths? This is where I think religion helps the human condition by introducing the element of undertsnading those things that happen in life that are beyond our control. It provides an outlet for us to deal with the absolute horror (Sandy Hook) that we are faced with with on a regular basis.

There are no answers and no solutions. It is what it is and we must each deal with it as best we can. As you say..."the world can be a beautiful place" amidst all the evil. You have identified a way to make it through this life on this planet. Bonne chance mon ami......bonne chance.

tryanmax said...

Twinkies again by spring? It could happen.

Individualist said...

Snape

I went to see the Hobbit too and I really enjoyed it although they dragged it out a bit.

I think there were literary license taken with the story but it has been a while since I read the book so I may misrember.

I have no idea why the critics are against it.

Individualist said...

Andrew

You know it does seem that we have been living that Hee Haw song...

"if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. Gloom, despair and misery on me."

I guess that is why there are so many corny jokes on that show, to drum up cheer.

T-Rav said...

K, don't forget snickerdoodles. The world can never be entirely lost, as long as we still have snickerdoodles.

Jen said...

I couldn't agree more with this. As for the 'sweet treats' that were mentioned, I agree with that as well (as long as the lefties or nannies like Mayor "Doomberg" don't decide that we can't have those either).

One of my local TV stations posed this question on their website. I can only imagine what kind of stupid responses they are going to get. They post some of the comments during the news.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK..SUBJECT: MASS SHOOTINGS
The Connecticut shootings at the elementary school is the fourth such tragedy to happen in the past four years. What do we need to do to stop these from happening? Is it stricter gun control or better mental healthcare or better security at our schools or a ban on violent video games? Tell us what you think.

AndrewPrice said...

You're welcome, Mr. Snape. :) Dogs are great!

I'm glad to hear The Hobbit was good. I have been doubtful.

And it's true that the bad things seem to overwhelm the good, but look at where we are now compared to where we were a 1,000 years ago or 2,000 or even earlier than that. The good does prevail and keeps us moving to bigger and better things.

AndrewPrice said...

K, Thank you for making me hungry! LOL!

I'm a fan of Dunkin Donuts too. And Marie Calender pies. And McDonald's breakfasts. And IHOP. Yum.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, What a hopeful response. :)

rlaWTX said...

This has been a hard year. The last 6 weeks have been rough - right after the election is when my grandmother's health began its descent: election blues into caregiving to her funeral this last Saturday.
But you are right, we continue, we prevail, we "keep swimming", we find the good. And we need to accept the pain as part of the whole. Even though the bad can seem all encompassing...

Corrie Ten Boom's book "The Hiding Place" is an amazing story of over-coming - and I TRY to remember my struggles as compared with others'. At one point when they were in the concentration camp, they were complaining about the fleas in their beds. Either Corrie or Betsy (here sister) said they should thank God even for the fleas and that suggestion was met with disbelief. But it turned out they had more freedom in their bunkhouse because the guards wouldn't enter due to the fleas.

So, I am trying to thank God for the fleas of life (trying being the operative word - not always doing...) while appreciating the non-flea moments
(Commentarama is def. a non-flea place of appreciation!!!!)

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, Well said! "What is good in life?" is absolutely right. We should all stop every now and then and think about the things that make life worth living. If we don't do that, then we end up just dwelling on the bad things we see on the news.

And the problem really is the media. It sensationalizes for ratings and that means it presents only bad and shocking things and it turns them into a crisis. That gives people such a false perception. It makes you think the world is full of murder and violence and hate and crime because that is all it focuses on. The reality is that these things are not getting worse, they are getting better. Crime is down, murder is down, mass killings are much more rare, tolerance is up, racism is down, etc. etc.

And when you compare our time to the past, there's no comparison. We've conquered killer diseases. No one starves to death. Kids are no longer put to worth in dangerous factories. We are awash in consumer goods. We can now have friends all over the world - and we do. We have a near infinite variety of entertainment.

This is a great time to be alive. We just need to realize that and not dwell on the tiny part of it that the media dwells on.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I want to see it, but I'm not sure what to expect at this point. I am concerned they stretched it into two films, that really wasn't necessary. And I am concerned that the LOTR lacked the characterizations. But who knows? I am interested.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, LOL! Hee Haw did indeed have an excellent way to take your mind off of things.

I think the problem is one of perception and I firmly blame the media on this. My mother is the perfect example. Colorado Springs is a big city now. There are around 750,000 in the county. Yet, we have a tiny murder rate -- around 12-20 a year depending on the year. Without exception, these are domestic killing or drug related. We likewise have a low burglary rate. YET, the radio and newspaper play up every single incident for weeks and completely sensationalize each. Hence, she is convinced that the city is under siege and that she's about to be murdered or burgled at any moment. So are her friends. This is completely false, but it's the impression they get from the local news.

It's the same thing with the national news. They take the true outlier incidents and they explode those into crises, one after another, so that you feel like the nation is under siege. And then politicians exploit this to their own benefit.

The reality is that everything is getting better in our world. We are constantly becoming genuinely freer and safer. We live longer. We have better stuff. We've found ways to connect better with each other. Life gets better all the time, even when things seem like they are getting worse. And we should never lose sight of that. :)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Snickerdoodle are nice, but I prefer oatmeal cookies ultimately. :) And I love those cookies with the marshmallow between them -- I'm not even sure what they are called.

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, I'm not focused on the negative today.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Thanks! I like to think of us as flea-free. :D

I am sorry about your grandfather. That is very difficult. But I am happy to hear that you can still see the goodness in the world. :)

Our world is a great place, we just need to stop and think about it sometimes, and focus on the wonderful things we have.

T-Rav said...

I'm really not that interested in seeing The Hobbit. I don't know if it's a good movie or not, but I have issues with going back and doing a prequel, especially if that "prequel" actually came first in the literary world. By all rights, they should have made this movie and then LOTR. I mean, we've already seen how this story will end. What's the point?

Also, the trailers make it look too much like a straight-up action movie. I know, I know, I'm being too hard to please.

tryanmax said...

*sigh*

Andrew, I appreciate the sentiment about not being depressed, but it just isn't happening for me today. It's not any of the stuff above that has me pessimistic. It's just human nature that's got me down. And I am really, really trying not to be in a funk. I posted that Twinkie link for myself as much as anybody. But today I'm in one of those moods that says, "Let it slide." Let everyone act on their good intentions with no mind to the unintended consequences and maybe we can all be happy for a week or two before it all goes to hell.

T-Rav said...

rla, that's really tough. I'm sorry for your loss. But I'm also glad to see you looking for the good in life. I need to be doing more of that.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, You are too hard to please! LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, It's hard not to be in a funk at the moment because there is an endless supply of stupidity, and that stupidity has been mixed with hate and it gets an outlet through our media and our government.

But keep in mind, those people don't drive the world. They don't matter. They will live their angry lives, make changes that change nothing, and then die off to be replaced by the next useless idiot. They don't matter.

The people that matter to your life and to our species and to our world are not them. They are the people who are out there right now doing great things, and they won't stop just because some idiot in Washington or London or at some newspaper thinks they can save the world by ruining it. They will keep right on doing the things that took us from living in caves to the world we have today.

And beside them, the people who really matter are your friends and family, and they also don't depend on the idiots.

Things are not as bad as they seem.

Individualist said...

Andrew

It dragged a little bit and relied heavily on action.

They did stretch into two. The first is getting past the trolls and orcs and Bilbo getting the ring.

Really the second movie will be the movie. This was essentially a set of random encounters on the way there.

I was kinda ticked it wasn't two movies but still it was good. The added an Orc prince aa a foil for Thoren. I am not sure but I don;t think that rivaalry was in the book. Still it was a really good movie.

Tennessee Jed said...

In that vein, if anyone has a Samsung LCD flatscreen new in the last couple ears and would like me to give you the settings that come extremely close to a true I.S.F. calibration, let me know, and I'll post them. You would be amazed how much better your viewing experience will be. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I don't recall an Orc prince. I do recall a king under the mountain, but he's only in it for a couple pages.

If they are adding things to give the characters something to do, then that's a bad sign. Well see.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I don't have one, but I might be getting one. Please post away. :)

tryanmax said...

Jed, my Samsung is more than two years old. (Can't remember exactly how old, though.) Do you think the settings would work for me?

ScottDS said...

"What is best in life?"
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women."


:-D

Andrew, I think we both know Twinkies will return in one way or another. Besides, Wal-Mart sells a store brand version (I can't vouch for their quality) and there are ways for you to make your own!

Friends of mine just had a baby. She was born on 12/13 and in the midst of all this insanity, it's comforting to know that life goes on and there will always be things worth celebrating.

As an aside, I bought her a plush starship Enterprise - the first photo I see of her with it will no doubt cause me to turn on the waterworks! (This was the father's idea, BTW!!)

And another friend saw The Hobbit - he said he liked it better than any/all of the LOTR films. He said the characters were just more likeable and well-rounded. More human moments and less speechifying about evil and destiny and so on.

And there's a new Star Trek Into Darkness teaser out there but I'll save that for the links.

Anthony said...

I tend to be very even keeled (I doubt I feel emotion to the same extent many appear to) and it takes a lot to get me down (or up) and the only thing that succeeded is the guy who murdered all the kids. A lot of people (including kids) die deaths they didn't earn, but so many innocents and good people being murdered at once here in America...

But I'm getting off track. I agree with Andrew that its a great time to be alive. I treasure every day with my wife and kids and look forward to seeing what paths my daughters walk as they grow up.

Tennessee Jed said...

White balance Settings:
red offset: 30
green offset: 25
blue offset: 19
red gain: 17
green gain 19
blue gain 44

Picture Settings
Picture Mode: Movie
Color Temp: Warm 2
brightness: 44
contrast: 93
color: 43
tint G47/R53
sharpness: 10
backlight: 7 *(this will only apply if you have a newer model with backlighting.)
black tone: off
dynamic contrast : OFF (generally turn all this gimmicky bullshit stuff off)
gamma: 0
flesh tone : OFF!! (more gimmicky bullshit)
edge enhancement (for god's sake OFF, OFF, OFF)
Digital NR: if available, AUTO
HDMIBlack Level: LOW
Film Mode: Auto 1 (if valuable)
Color Filter: OFF PLEASE

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, That quote ran through my head too. :)

Life does go on. The human race has ups and downs and right now we're actually at a way up point, it just doesn't seem that way. But if you compare the problems we have today against the things people have dealt with in the past, our complaints are really quite petty. And if you stop and look around you, you will see tremendous joy and kindness everywhere. Just take the time to see it. :)

A plus Enterprise! Awesome!

I hope The Hobbit is good. I love the book.

Tennessee Jed said...

Folks, I cannot vouch for sure that every setting I mentioned above is available or would be 100% correct on every year or model. BUT, I suspect they would be pretty close, and should get you closer to what the director intended you to see. If you haven't done much with the controls, your set is too bright, among other things.

Merry Christmas!! (no I'm not going away, but it's never a bad time to leave that greeting :)

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, That is truly an horrific event. It is hard to even think about. And I personally am just as disgusted by the way people have responded -- politicization, sick internet jokes, and bomb threats to survivors? It's very depressing.

But I don't want people to lose perspective. OUr world is a great place and so much of humanity are good and decent people. We need to focus more on the good and not dwell on the bad.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Merry Christmas to you too, my friend! :D

Tennessee Jed said...

BTW, if you have a set with 120Hz or 240 Hz and are NOT watching sports, you need to turn that feature OFF. In my Samsung menu, go to "picture Options" scroll down to "auto motion plus" and click on "off."

Patriot said...

TJ.....I have a Samsung LED set, ~2 years old. I made the changes and will trust that the experts (you!) can enhance my home viewing experience.

Thanks!

Koshcat said...

I was interested in see The Hobbit until I found out it is ANOTHER trilogy. This was completely unnecessary. The animation movie from 1977 only ran 90 minutes and the book isn't that long. Are you telling me they couldn't make a tight, well directed movie from that book in under 3 hours?

Jackson can steal money from others, I am going to skip out on this one. I'm looking forward to Les Mis.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, It's a trilogy? Ug. What a rip off. The 1977 version is fantastic and you are right, it's only 90 minutes.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Les Mis looks really interesting.

Tennessee Jed said...

Patriot - let me know what you think. It may seem a little strange at first, but after you get used to looking at it, you will realize how natural it is. ;)

rlaWTX said...

thank you.

And I love y'all, BTW!!! Thanks for the laughs, the groans, the arguments, and the ideas!!!

Koshcat said...

Everytime I see the picture, I have this song in my head:

Don't worry; be happy! Doo doot doot...

Koshcat said...

I meant your header picture.

AndrewPrice said...

You mean the little yellow smile guy or the capital?

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Thanks for all the great comments you contribute too. :D

CrisD said...

Hi Andrew!
Good post!
I had been going through a great deal of stress; long term stuff. And had to let go of some things: large political worries all the way down to keeping the house a certain way.
I really needed to focus on the positives.
First, we do miss Larry. And we are sorry that Obama was re-elected. But we have family and friends. Christmas is coming and we are seeing family. And we can always click on Commentarama
for good reading and join in. Thank YOU for that!

AndrewPrice said...

Thank you, Cris! And you're welcome. :)

I'm sorry to hear you're going through a lot of stress. But I'm happy to hear that you can keep it all in perspective! I think it's really important for people that they do keep sight of the bigger picture of life.

Jen said...

Baby heifer calves (like one last night, and three weeks ago today), and (sorry T-Rav) baby kittens. They are actually something that can make me smile.

T-Rav said...

Jen, I never said baby kittens don't make me smile. They do...in anticipation.

Jen said...

Oh T-Rav, I only said that because I know how you feel about them.

Jen said...

One more I forgot. Getting recognition for something I've worked really hard at.

Notawonk said...

People, DON'T DESPAIR! I read that The Walmarts is in the running to take over the Twinkie makin'. If that don't make you smile (just at the sheer fun of the volume of possible jokes), then I gots nothing for you.

I do want to say that I love you guys. You are the eye of the hurricane that is our country. I blow in, get a respite and then get blown right back out. It's Christmas, and I may not be back till after the holidays, but I wanted you to know that. I loved Larry too and miss him and his talent for righting a sinking ship.

Thanks for your talent and time, but most of all thanks for the strong opinions and your willingness to share them.

A blessed Christmas to all.

~smooch~

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, Merry Christmas to you too! And thanks for all you've done too. Your humor and you take on events is always refreshing. :)

That is good news if WalMart will take over the Twinkie making. Talk about a match made in Heaven somehow!

Notawonk said...

Thanks Andrew. Hey, I think we just exchanged Christmas gifts!

AndrewPrice said...

True. :)

rlaWTX said...

Jen, I have a friend with whom I trade kitty pix when the other is feeling down! And kitten pix are the best!

tryanmax said...

Jed, I just implemented the specs you provided. Looks good. Thanks!

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