Vent or Not to Vent

I’m a firm believer that as we age, we must try very hard to maintain a positive attitude.  It’s not always easy to do.  Just today as I was attempting a work task around the house, I began to grumble and complain that things weren’t going well. At that point, the wheels really came off. In a matter of minutes I had tripped over something, hit my head, and the piece of equipment I was using failed to work properly. Knowing my ever-positive wife was watching from a distance, I took a deep breath and calmly restarted my chore. A moment later everything was working well and my wife felt obligated to comment, “See dear, everything changed when you got your positive attitude back.” I managed a weak smile and continued my work.

I do believe in the power of positive thinking, but every once-in-a-while we probably need to let off a little steam and vent. In no particular order, let me share my short list of complaints about our current culture:

1. Bad Drivers – What’s going on down at the DMV?  Is everyone eligible to get a license these days? In the last few weeks, I’ve driven over 3,000 miles. During this time I’ve noticed many drivers can no longer stay within their lanes. The answer is obvious; they are all either talking or texting on their cell phones. On several occasions I was one of several cars that had to swerve around a driver that was so caught up they had slowed to 30 or 40 mph in the fast lane of a major highway and were completely oblivious to the activity around them. It’s not just young people, but the whole range of age groups and even some truck drivers.

2. Poor Dress and Grooming – Please understand, I’m not a “clothes horse.” Not even close. And this isn’t about fashion or dressing formally. I’m talking about basic clean clothing appropriate for public viewing. For example, when did it become O. K. for women to wear pajamas when shopping? And when did guys stop shaving? Beards are fine. Three days of growth is just lazy. Mostly, I just wish many of these fashionable folks would mix in a shower every so often.

3. Television Award Shows – Does anyone really care? When was the last time someone said, “Oh, I can’t wait to see who will win ________.” I could understand if someone was given an award for selling the most music or having the best box office for a movie. But these PR-driven meaningless award shows are a sad commentary on our society.

4. Sports Analyst Overkill – I’m a sports fan and even know a few sports analysts personally. My first complaint is about the number of analysts on some broadcasts. The football season was horrible, especially the ESPN coverage when they had 5 or more analysts on each show. It’s really scary when they say they are going to “break it down” for you. I just watched the game, you don’t have to break it down for me. With the baseball season underway, I can’t stand the broadcasters who must analyse every single pitch. I live in the bay area and the local team has a two-man setup wherein one guy analyses every single pitch. He simply will not shut up and let you enjoy the game. I played the game, and believe me, the players are not even giving it that much thought. If they did, the game would take many more hours to play.

5. Celebrities – I’m not really sure of the definition of celebrity in today’s culture. It appears you don’t have to be famous for anything in particular, just famous. Perhaps a better term would be “notorious.” A couple of years back I remember hearing a portion of a tape recording in which Paris Hilton was being interviewed by the police. She could not understand some of the simple words in their questions and in frustration admitted to the police, “I sorry, I’m stupid.” It’s pretty obvious many celebrities today are simply famous for being famous. You don’t have to have accomplished anything except figure out a way to get your name into the media. Gone are the days when you were admired for having a brilliant intellect, your exceptional talent, making great accomplishments, or done something that brought honor to yourself and those around you. Sorry “Housewives,” “Kardashians,” and the rest of your sorry lot. Yours is hopefully a very temporary moment in the sun. If not, I’m afraid our culture is doomed.

I could go on, but I’m feeling better for having vented. I’m sure you have your own list so feel free to vent.