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Pamela Weiss

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Has American Intelligence Tanked with the American Economy?

Thursday, October 4th, 2012 - by Pamela Weiss

Where have our brains gone? It’s true, humans have short memories. Case in point, the re-election of Jerry Brown as the Governor of California. (Quick reference; Village News Jerry Brown’s past performance should not be overlooked.) But when did we become so mindless, making reality television such a large source of our entertainment? Of course it’s not just television and film media, it’s the printed media as well. There are very few places you can go where one of your senses is not assaulted by some sort of reporting about yet another mindless event or story.

Rag magazines have been around for years reporting on UFOs and on things such as assassination attempts or conspiracy theories. Those stories are becoming more of the past, which would be fine if they weren’t being replaced with stories such as the size of Kim Kardashian’s tush. Do we really care, and if so, why? Why is there even a discussion about whether she has had tushie enhancement or not? Honestly, doesn’t that sort of journalism make you feel as if you’re getting a bum deal when spending your money on this magazine or others like it?

It seems to me that as our economy continues to spiral downward, the search for a quick, easy buck has also reached an unenviable low…. reality TV. Forget the game shows. Those garner the contestants one shot at a prize that may or may not include money, and there’s always a catch. The catch here is that you have to win the game to win the prize. If you don’t, too bad, so sad. You’ve wasted a day and have nothing to show for it except possibly a little humiliation.

Ah, but with reality t.v., a person can become famous even when lacking any kind of extraordinary talent or skill. It’s as if today’s television show producers have found a way to bring back the circus sideshows that were banned so many years ago.

How did Honey Boo Boo become America’s darling? The show has been great for the cheese ball industry, but probably not very encouraging to those watching the show and trying to stay on a diet. Is it possible to watch that show without a bag of cheese curls in hand? Watching as Honey Boo Boo’s mom lifts her multiple chins to show the camera the crust that has accumulated under those folds of fat is more nauseating than when she’s feeling sexy and throws kisses to the viewers, yet the number of viewers continue to rise. As a matter of fact, Honey Boo Boo’s August 29th episode drew more adult viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 than did the Fox News coverage of the Republican National Convention. Trying hard not to be out done was the September 5th episode which tied in viewership with CNN’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention.

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Just One of Those Days

Saturday, September 15th, 2012 - by Pamela Weiss

Have you ever had “just one of those days”? If you’re old enough to be reading this, then of course you have unless you are a complete oddity of life.

I recently had one of those days, and it turned out to be one of the roughest twenty four hours I’ve survived. It started off with the fruit platter I was making to take to my parent’s house. I went to the store to buy various fruit. It was pretty uneventful until trying to pick the perfect watermelon. I had everything else I needed, the watermelon was the last thing on my list. I picked up a watermelon and thumped it. Hmmmm, questionable so I returned it to the watermelon pile and picked another. I performed the thump test again and determined that this was a ripe, sweet juicy watermelon, so I placed it into the grocery cart. As I walked away from the watermelon display, the watermelons started rolling. By the time I was able to stop them, three watermelons had already crashed to the floor splattering the fruit and its juice all over the floor and all over me. My legs and feet were covered in watermelon so I couldn’t even pretend that I knew nothing about the avalanche which had just occurred. Besides, just about everybody on that side of the store had stopped and turned to look with hopes of discovering from where the ear piercing scream had come. Ugh! Caught red-footed. As the announcement came over the loud speaker “massive clean up needed in produce”, I stood there apologizing to every employee who came over to take care of that “massive clean up.”

I was finally able to leave the produce department slipping only once, hoping that no one in the check out lines would recognize me as the “watermelon lady” while wearing my oversized sunglasses. Clever, huh? I loaded the groceries into the trunk of my car, loaded myself into the driver’s seat and headed home.

Once home, I unloaded the groceries and set about making my fruit platter. As I sliced the watermelon, I could envision how beautiful this platter was going to look. The watermelon slices as flower petals, cherries, cantaloupe and kiwi placed in the centers of those flower petals to create the illusion of various flowers. Sigh. My eyes were getting watery at this picture dancing in my head… Or was it because I had just sliced my finger nearly taking off the top. Blood was running everywhere, so I guess it was a good thing that I was cutting watermelon — it wouldn’t show. I wrapped up my finger and continued working while trying to decide if I had time to get the top of my finger reattached. I figured my finger could wait until the next day and if still bleeding, I would take care of it then, maybe a little super glue. I finished my fruit platter and although it resembled melted crayon blobs more than flowers, I was happy it was done.

The next morning I awoke knowing that it was going to be a great day. Naturally I hit my wounded finger on the first thing I walked past causing the bleeding to start again. Oh well, I needed to get going and get that oh-so-beautiful platter to my parent’s home. I put the fruit into the back of my SUV and hit the road. I cranked up the music as Bob Dylan, one of my favorite songwriters, voice came through the speakers. I continued along a street which I drive daily, but I’m really not sure when that curb which juts out into the road was added. Hitting that curb not only brought me out of my reverie, but broke a tire rim along with the tire, and caused the destruction of my beautiful fruit design. Okay, maybe that looked better.

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I Hate People

Saturday, September 8th, 2012 - by Pamela Weiss

Sound harsh?

Maybe, maybe not, but if you’re going to be honest with yourself and those around you, you’d admit that you hate people too. With the loss of common sense, politeness, and consideration by most, how could you not? It seems that “kindness to others” has been placed on a shelf next to the good china to be taken out and “used” only on special occasions. Let’s face it, people wander through life taking care of their daily business oblivious to those around them unless of course they may somehow be affected by an encounter with another.

I can see that you don’t believe me. You are either not paying attention, which launches you right into the middle of the oblivious, or you are surrounded by a much better breed of people than I. Since I don’t know your situation, I can only share a few of my daily experiences so you don’t think I’m lying.

Often times my daily chores take me to the grocery store. Honest to goodness, I have never asked anyone to allow me to go in front of them, but somehow my time is rarely considered as valuable as the person behind me. On one particular day, I was in line in, my cart moderately full. I had been waiting my turn patiently for about ten minutes when I was approached from behind by a lady (I use that term loosely).

“‘Scuse me, ‘scuse me lady…let me go in front of you. I have only this, I’m in a hurry.”

Granted, she was polite, she did say “‘Scuse me” as she held up her item. I was annoyed. Aren’t patrons like her the reason there are lines for those with “15 items or less”? As I said, I had been waiting my turn and had other things I needed to do. Reluctantly, I allowed the woman with the one item to go in front of me. As she maneuvered past me, she looked back, waving her hand yelling, “Over here!” I turned to look in the same direction as the lady who had just moved to the front of the line, in front of me. With G-d as my witness, I was nearly knocked down by another woman barreling towards me with a grocery cart so full the wheels were about to click off.

As this woman pushed past me running over my toes, she looked over her shoulder and spat out “Watch it lady, I’m with her….” In that one quick minute, these two women accomplished a feat those who know me thought impossible: they made me speechless. I think I was in shock until after the checker began ringing their order, and then it was too late. With my jaw still hanging open ten minutes later when my order was finally being checked, I was asked if I required medical attention or perhaps a chair on which to sit since I didn’t look well.

Still don’t believe me? Okay, let’s go to the movies. If you want to see a movie without the probability of being hit in the head with flying objects, it is suggested that adults go to evening movies. It’s a great suggestion, even if you take into account that the person in front of you may be hard of hearing, and his partner may repeat the entire dialogue of the movie at the top of her lungs, don’t you think? (Yes, it really happened!) Probably less noise, chances of crying infants should be way down, flying objects should not be a worry. Huh, ya think? My girlfriend and I one day decided to take in a “chick flick” choosing an evening show. It was a seven o’clock movie; we figured that would work.

We bought our tickets, loaded up on the popcorn and drinks, and in we went to a half filled theater. Perfect.

We picked our seats and settled in for a hopefully enjoyable two hours. No sooner than the lights dimmed and the previews started, a phone rang. At first I thought it was one of those clever movie commercials reminding viewers to be polite and turn off their phones. Unfortunately, I was wrong. A person a mere four rows back answered her phone, speaking as if she were enjoying a cup of coffee at her kitchen table with a couple of friends. I’d like to report that she immediately told the caller that she was in a movie theater and she’ll return the call later, but that was not in the cards.

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