I like stanchions

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There are a bunch of commercials for TD bank aimed at ‘banking human again’. I get it, large companies can be impersonal. But this particular commercial is making up problems. If you don’t feel like watching it is the one about ‘rope lines’, apparently they are bad. The bank I use for work has apparently bought into this idea and gotten rid of them. Now it is terribly awkward figuring out where to stand, who is in the commercial line, who is next, etc. I liked the clarity of the rope line. So did the tellers and the security guards (I asked). I fully realize that this is my most petty rant so far. But really, the only choices are not ‘be human’ vs have a rope line. I do believe that is a false dichotomy. Grrrrr.

Seriously, go ahead and laugh at me. This is such a silly thing to be stuck in my craw…

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Good intentions

I got my first negative comment the other day! It was exciting for me. Partially because someone other than family and a few friends actually read my blog, and partly because it seems like a rite of passage in this crazy internet place. That is not the point though, the point is that it got me thinking again about a common theme in my head: good intentions vs negative effects. Are the intentions more important, or the effect? Is that even really a valid question? I think it is. Though it is often a helluva balance.

Good intentions, terrible outcome:

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Sometimes it is an easy answer. For example, if in good intentions I said to a black woman “you are pretty for a colored girl” would that be appropriate because I meant well? No, no it would not be. I would need to seriously rethink where I was coming from and the effect my words have were I to say that.

My post about people telling me to have a blessed day is on the questionable side for me. Obviously the dude meant well, obviously I am fussed by it. I think I may be over fussed. I also think that anyone saying that phrase is slightly presumptuous and self absorbed. Less easy answer there, but I err on the side of my being justified in my fussiness. Personal bias, I am allowed.

Probably the most commonly argued example of this comes up a lot over the holidays. What do you say for your season’s greetings? (That is a heartfelt question). Is the standard to wish people what you would want? I distinctly remember (when I was 16, naive, and spazzy) going to the 7-11 with my best friend. On our way out I cheerily said ‘Merry Christmas’ and my friend laughed at me. Seeing my confusion she explained that the guy was clearly not Christian. It made me think about how I would feel if people were constantly saying something to me that I could not relate to and was a definite epiphany on my self centeredness (thanks Nikki for the insight!). Most things I say now I try and think about how I would take it were I someone else, and let that guide me.

Dealing with people in this world is really about empathy for me. I do not always succeed, but I think the effort makes me better than I would be otherwise. In the end I suppose good intentions are a good thing, but having enough empathy to recognize what has a negative impact on others and change behavior because if it is awesome.

As always I love hearing other’s thinking, especially if it opens me to ideas and perspectives I have not considered. Though I have already been informed of my need for therapy…

This is a bonus video about empathy. I love it. I would embed it, but that apparently costs money and I am cheap and poor.

Stop using the children!

I see a new trend of using children to demonstrate how obvious an idea is. Except that whatever is being pointed out is generally not obvious, and often flat out wrong.

Have you seen the AT&T commercials? They infuriate me. ‘More is better’, ‘doing two things at once is better’, ‘bigger is better than smaller’. These are not universal truths. Eating more cake will often make you ill. Multitasking instead of focusing can lead to sloppy work. Lots of things are better smaller, phones and computers have been getting smaller and more usable for awhile now. I tend to yell at the TV when these manipulative and oversimplified commercials are on (yes, I talk to my television. Don’t judge me). Kids don’t know lots of things, like when to stop eating cake, this is why parents have rules.

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A couple of months ago I saw this doozy on Facebook. If you do not feel like clicking, it is a Ted talk posted on Realfarmacy titled ‘Kid destroys Monsanto in TED talk!’. I could go through specific arguments I said when I watched the video (yes, I talk to my iPad. Don’t judge me), but my real problem is the use of an 11 year old to prove how simple and obvious the answer is. Answers, real full answers, are rarely simple. Eff you TED and Realfarmacy for this manipulative propaganda.

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Making the rounds on Facebook this week is a young girl trying to grow a sweet potato vine. The potato from the grocery does not grow, the organic potato from the grocery does not grow, but the potato from the organic food market does. The lack of growth in the first two is attributed to bud nip, a chemical sprout suppressant. It seems a good experiment for a third grader, I would hope a teacher would approve and also point out that more investigation is necessary. Like finding out why bud nip is used as a really basic starter. Third grade experiments are great for starting to learn how things work, but I want a little more depth in experiments that are supposed to affect the way I live. At least a college education.

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So seriously, stop telling me ideas are so obvious even children know them to be true. Because kids are dumb, that is why they go to school and learn things. While we are at it, let’s make sure to teach them some critical thinking so they don’t fall for this shit. Maybe then it will stop.

Why the hell am I doing this?

I feel like I am failing at my blog experiment.
I was kind of proud of my first couple posts. I spent a good chunk of time on them. I researched, edited, rewrote, learned things and put stuff out there. I have not done so in the last couple of months, obviously.

There are a myriad of reasons to write a blog. I can see a wide variety just in people I am close to that have vastly different thinking and reasons.

One good friend started to put her creative writing out there. It morphed into putting opinions and thoughts out along with the stories.

Another friend had a blog to deal with grief, and built a community of sharing and understanding through it. She started a second to share her crafty fabulous projects with anyone interested.

My brother does it to get ideas out of his head. He has so many awesome things kicking around in there that it can be hard to focus, once it is on the blog he can file that particular idea under done on the blog and get on with other things.

I think my reasons are closest to my brother’s, get things out of my head. I see so many things online that anger or excite me. The things that anger me I am often afraid of having public discussions about for fear of pissing off friends. Through the blog I can have a conversation with myself and clarify my positions on things. Then I can file it under done and move on.

Problem is that I then the standard for myself pretty high and I simply do not have the time to do this on a regular basis. Because I want to spend my time doing this:

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and this:

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and this:

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I could post pictures for hours of my hobbies, but I won’t (for now anyway).

So now I am giving myself permission to post short and less thoroughly examined opinions. Hopefully this way I can get things out of my head and still devote time to my billion other hobbies.