Women’s Tennis – Officially Unwatchable!


On a Sunday afternoon, on a cool September day, there is nothing quite as enjoyable as watching a Tennis match.  I’ve always enjoyed individual sports more than team sports (other than Baseball).  I’ve often watched Tennis players like Roddick, Agasi, Nadal, Federer and others, and truly enjoyed it.  Back in the day I used to like watching Chris Evert play.  It was beautiful, graceful, and yes, powerful.

This past Sunday, September 9, 2012, I happen to be channel surfing and came upon the US Open women’s final.  Williams and Azarenka.  It was almost over.  Not the match so much (although it applies to that as well) but my interst in watching was over before it really got started.  To listen to Azarenka play tennis was like listening to a group of Muslim woman at a wedding.  She was wailing and ululating on each and every movement, so loud and distracting that I just couldn’t do it.  I had to change the channel.  I didn’t care who won at that point.  I realized that all of these years, while “grunting” has been a bone of contention in the sport, it was the grunting that prevented me from watching.

While some male tennis players do grunt, it’s really the women who have turned it into an art form.  Starting with Monica Seles, whose extreme grunting made ME want to stab her, it’s just gotten worse.  Now the World Tennis Association (WTA) is considering cracking down on it.  They want to start young tennis players out, learning how to play the game without the gruning.  I say – More Power to ‘Em, the WTA, I mean.  Detracters want to “grandfather” current tennis players from the rule, citing that the change would affect a trained athlete’s game and that’s not fair.

It’s not just that the grunting (and in Azarenka’s case, wailing) is distracting, it’s annoying and makes tennis unwatchable.  It’s unnecessary, undisciplined, and to be honest, tacky and rude.  It sounds like they are constipated and trying to squeeze out a log right there on the court.  It’s disgusting.

But Azarenka takes it to a new level.  I had never heard anyting like it before.  I was only half paying attention when I was channel surfing.  As soon as I heard the ululating wail, I had a flash back to 9/11 and the pictures of people ululating in the streets of many Middle Eastern countries, celebrating the carnage.  When I looked up and saw it was a simple women’s tennis match, I was quite literally shell-shocked.  I was shocked that this is what women’s tennis has turned into.  I was shocked that this was allowed.  I was shocked that this woman wasn’t embarassed for herself, I was shocked that the TV network didn’t bleep it out (because it’s as offensive as if she screamed “FUCK” every time she hit the ball.

Azarenka doesn’t belong in this sport, or any other sport, except maybe Olympic Weight Lifting.  But even that sport doesn’t allow excessive grunting.  And these men are dead lifting more than their own body weight – they should be allowed to grunt.

But what Azarenka is doing isn’t grunting.  It is wailing and it’s meant to distract her opponent.  It would be the same if Azarenka paid someone to lob tennis balls at Serena Williams from the side lines while Williams is about to return a serve.  I don’t know how this got so out of control.  There’s a thing called “sportsmanship”.  Wailing like a banshee at every turn isn’t sportsmanlike and I have to believe that the TV ratings for women’s tennis take a hit because of it.  In our society, the only thing that speaks is the almighty dollor.  So let’s stop tuning in to women’s tennis until it stops sounding like a delivery room during a breached birth.

Greed and Stupidity cause the music industry to lose money


I was on a web site recently. It was a discussion forum.  One forum visitor, replying to a another who was having a particularly difficult struggling with an emotional issue, posted a link to a music video.  I was curious so I clicked the link.  I was brought to YouTube and a video for a song called “Jealousy” by Will Young.  I had no idea who Will Young was, nor had I ever heard that song.  I loved it. (See bottom of this posting for the video link.)

After a little research I found out the Will Young was the original “Idol” from the very first year in the U.K.  The original version of the show is called “Pop Idol” and when it later came to America, “American Idol”.  But Will Young was the very first ever in that franchise to win. And he’s had a VERY successful carreer.  I couldn’t believe that even with all that I had never heard of him.  I’m not a kid anymore but I try to keep up with what’s going on in the world.  So finding the song, and the artist was a pleasant surprise.

I immediately fired up iTunes (as much as I hate iTunes, sometimes that’s just where you have to go) and did a search.  A pop up box said he couldn’t be found.  I was surprised and a little bummed out.  But the pop up box also said that what I was looking for was available on the UK iTunes site.  Cool!.  So I followed the link to there and found the song. When I tried to purchase it, I was asked for my iTunes account and after typing that in, I was told I couldn’t buy the song because I was in the US and I “wasn’t allowed” to purchase the song.  What?!  I suddenly remembered this happening to me a year or so ago when I tried to download some other song.  At that time I went through the process of setting up and account on the UK iTunes website, made up a UK address and all went well until I put in my credit card number.  I was told the credit card number belonged to a USA bank and therefore could not be used.  Fucked again.  At that time, I gave up, pissed off at how stupid this all was.

But not this time; I wasn’t giving up.  I went to Amazon.com and did a search and had the same problem with not being able to purchase it because I was in the US.  I was not yet deterred complete.  While FREE music download sites like Napster, Limewire and Kazaa are long gone.there are still ways to get free music.

Let me say, first and foremost, that I believe in paying for music.  If I could have handed Will Young the $20 for his CD personally, I would have done it gladly.  I would have paid him, his record company, a record store, or anybody else to legally purchase this music.  HOWEVER, THE MUSIC INDUSTRY ITSELF HAD MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO PURCHASE THE MUSIC I WANTED.

By using a torrent download site I was able to get the entire Will Young CD called “Echoes”.  I probably shouldn’t admit that I did it because it’s probably illegal.  But I will gladly pay the $20 to whomever should get it, if they can tell me how I can purchase the music without having to fly to the UK to do it.

So, music industry folks, I don’t know if you are dumb, greedy, or both.  It seems that one begets the other.  But you need to get you act together.  I believe that most people are like me.  I would gladly pay for ANY AND ALL MUSIC THAT I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE, JUST GIVE ME A WAY TO DO IT. Get your lawyers and your licensing and your greed in check and then people won’t be forced to steal music from the Internet.

Let me tell you something:  music is a very personal thing.  When a song hits you, it hits you hard and you will do anything to get it just so you can listen to it anytime you want, over and over again.  Some music is just like that – you simply must have it.  It’s innate.  I’ll say it one more time.  I WOULD GLADLY PAY FOR THE MUSIC I WANT IF YOU GIVE ME A WAY TO DO IT.  And I believe most people out there feel the same way. 

By the way, if you are interested in the song I was trying to find, here it is.  The dance edit called “Alias Edit” is fantastic, as is the rest of the CD.  If you are in the US, good luck.  Maybe I should send it out to anyone who want it.

Toyota recall conspiracy removes Connecticut from New England


In a recent press release Toyota announced it was recalling 1.5 million vehicles, this time for a break fluid leak – or so they say.

I’ve uncovered some classified company information that sheds light on the real issues.  Toyota is rewriting history, and the history books themselves.   On October 20, 2010, I saw a television commercial for “New England Toyota Dealers”.  The commercial featured that guy who used to do the Toyota commercials back in the 90’s.  Toyota started using him again in an attempt to gin up customer confidence in Toyota after the recent  “uncontrolled acceleration” disasters.   To my surprise, the map of New England used in that commercial did not include the State of  Connecticut.  Yes, only Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island are “New England” states according to Toyota.  I figured it had to be an honest mistake, right?  – until I did a little more digging.

I scoured the Internet for the video of this commercial but could not find it.  I thought it was odd that I could not find the video since every commercial in the world makes it to YouTube.  I theorized that Toyota was involved in a conspiracy:  I scoured further.

As luck would have it, I stumbled upon a web site that Toyota forgot to hide.   This forgotten page proves that the company does not consider Connecticut to be part of New England.  Here is a screen shot from the web site in question.  It has not been altered.  Please – only read further at your own risk, since once you see this, you will be part of the select few who know where the roots of this conspiracy reside.


Notice that next to “Locate a Dealer”, Connecticut is not listed.  Further, the URL for this page is:

http://www.newenglandtoyota.com/dealerLocator/dealerLocatorStart.aspx.

I know for a fact that Connecticut is part of New England.  Check any source you can find – other than Toyota – and you will see that I am correct on this point.  Only 4 States were considered to be “New England” when our country was formed by the original 13 colonies.  Those 4 States are Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and CONNECTICUT.  Vermont was not yet a State and Maine was owned by Massachusetts at the time.  Maine didn’t even become a State until 1821.

And how does all of this relate to Toyota’s recent recall?  There are approximately 1.5 million Toyota vehicles registered in the State of Connecticut.  Toyota’s most recent recall is 1.5 million vehicles.  So one can deduce that Toyota is trying to remove Connecticut from New England and remove all of Connecticut’s Toyotas so that no proof is left behind.  This recall is one big conspiracy in Toyota’s evil plan to eliminate Connecticut from New England.  They’ve already done it in their advertising.  Toyota knows that America has become so stupid and complacent, that if Toyota tells them that Connecticut is not part of New England, Americans will believe them.  All Toyota has to do is say it over and over and over again until fiction becomes fact.

Don’t let them do it, I BEG YOU!  I may live in Maine now, but in my heart, I will always be a Connecticutter (yes that’s the real name for people from Connecticut).  Don’t let Toyota rewrite history, or our maps.

PLEASE CALL TOYOTA’S “CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE CENTER”
AT 800-331-4331.

Ask them to put Connecticut BACK ON THE NEW ENGLAND MAP.

This is not a political issue, nor is it a partisan issue.  This is an American Issue.

Be strong.  Take New England Back!

What is this “hoarding” bullsh*%


I’m tired enough of having to skip over reality shows.  I can’t believe the mindless, unintelligent, blather that TV viewers watch.  For the past 10 years we’ve been bombarded by fake “reality”.  Starting with “Survivor”.  Do you really care about these people?  Really?!

But the worst of these shows has to be “Hoarders” and all of the shows out now with the word “Hoarder” in it.  It’s quite pathetic actually.  When one network gets so many million viewers to watch a show about “hoarding”, other networks run like crazy people to the drawing board to do a show about “hoarding”.  Apparently, “hoarding” is IN this year.

While channel surfing, I listened to a “hoarding” woman cry because during her whole life, she wanted people to like her, and she wanted everything to be perfect hoping that people liked her. And this was the reason behind her hoarding.

When you want people to like you, you don’t have possums living in your spare bed room where you have old pizza boxes and crocheted toaster cozies piled to the rafters and you refer to these items as  “keepsakes”.

You have family members who refuse to visit you because they literally can’t walk into your house because of the shit (sometimes literally) they have to scrape through with their feet like you used to do with piles of leaves when you were a kid.  Except back them, the leaves weren’t toxic waste.

I’ve heard all of the excuses.  If your father was distant or even abusive; verbally, physically, or sexually, you don’t need to pick through your neighbors trash for old buttons.

I understand that these people need help.  But sending a team in to help them organize their 600 pairs of tube socks and an old fondue pot with the rotting cheese still in it,  doesn’t seem to be the way to go.  If you read the “notes” that flash on the screen during the show to give you updates and back stories, you will see that barely one or two of these people have made positive changes to their life after the show.

Instead of  the city health department evicting these people from their own homes because the home is not fit for human use, just send them to an inpatient facility, strip the house or apartment, burn what you can, boil what’s left or just torch it all.   They will either be well enough to appreciate that the mess is gone, or they won’t be cured and shouldn’t be released.  I put the word “hoarder” in quotes throughout this post because I don’t believe “hoarding” is a disease.  It’s a symptom.

I try to have compassion for my fellow humans, but I don’t buy this hoarding bullshit as some “syndrome” or “condition”.  These people are wing nuts!!  They are not qualified to make decisions about their lives, let alone make decisions about whether or not they should throw out that dirty cookie sheet you found under the dog bed.

Check yourselves in, people.  You need in-patient,  LONG-TERM, psychiatric care.  And you’ve got plenty of stuff, so pack heavy;  you’re going to be there a while.

iPhone – is there a slap for that?


Why do I continually see clumps of people standing around with their iPhones talking about their iPhones.  Some sort of bizarre competition seems to have arisen out of the iPhone culture where “whoever has the most apps wins”.  Wins what?  I have no idea.  And apparently it doesn’t matter if you use, or even like, the apps that you have downloaded.  As long as your iPhone screen is full, and I mean overflowing-ly chock full of icons that run ridiculous, stupid apps like “Run Pee”, then somehow, you are “better” than the others in your clump.

“Run Pee” is an application for the bladder-challenged among us who need to pee during a movie.  “Run Pee” tells you when the best time to pee is (it’s coming up – hold on!), so you don’t miss out on anything too important in the movie.  The app will also tell you what’s going on while you are peeing and point out any important dialog.   If someone is that worried about missing parts of a movie because their bladder is so small they can’t hold it, then it would make more sense, to me, if the “Run Pee” application were re-worked a bit. 

Here’s how it should work:  you could stay home and pee all you want; hell you could sit on the damned toilet for hours, or wear a Depend undergarment and sit on your sofa.  The app would simply explain the movie’s premise, the plot, important sub-plot points, and tell you what you probably would have stepped in, that made you stick to the floor under your seat, had you actually gone to the movies.  Now that’s an app.

But here’s the ultimate app.  Every time an iPhone user clumps around with their clump of iPhone user friends, demonstrating or talking about the apps on their Phones; yes, the very instance that the iPhone user puts up his or her finger as if to shush and says “wait..hold on…it’s here somewhere – I just downloaded it the other day” – an automatic arm with elbow and open hand slaps the iPhone clumper across the face and says “There’s a slap for that”.

Is that American Idol show still using up precious airwaves?


Is that show still on?  Does anybody watch it? 

I have not watched American Idol once all season.  Well, that’s not 100% true.  I accidentally channel surfed onto it a few times and couldn’t hit the MUTE button fast enough.  So I was forced to listen to a few milliseconds of “singing”.  And if you were standing here, as much as I HATE “aire quotes” – I would definitely raise my fingers and do air quotes when I said the word “singing”. 

NOBODY ON THIS YEAR’S AMERICAN IDOL ANY TALENT!.

Idol is supposed to be a talent show.  Barring that, and most of time the show is barring that, it is a popularity contest.  Well, without any real talent and without one single contestant on the show to give a shit about, why watch?

Last season, when Kris Allen won the crown, and Adam Lambert queened in second (is queened a verb?), I knew early on, when they picked the final 12 (or 13 as it turned out that season) that there was a lot of talent in the room, I knew Kris Allen would win, and I knew he would win because he can sing, and because he was as cute as a button!  Are buttons actually cute?  I need to stop speaking in bad idioms.

Lambert wasn’t going to win; he’s too gay.  I’m gay and he’s too gay for me.  I don’t want to watch him grab his own crotch or anyone else’s. And I don’t want to watch someone else grab his.  And why does every song Lambert sings sound the same.  This is how I describe every Lambert song:

“wait for it…..wait for it…..wait for it……THERE he’s screaming now, the song is almost done”.

So apparently American Idol is still on television – who knew.  I’m going to suggest that instead of watching this year’s finale, because who cares, really, that you watch “Modern Family” on HULU.COM.  It’s probably the best comedy on TV right now.  Funny as hell, not dirty or crude, just real, character driven, funny-line-deliverying comedy.

I recently sent a link to a friend that led her  to the Modern Family section on HULU.  She’s a bit “born again” shall we say, and anything even remotely off-color offends her (although I can’t argue with the fact that Miley Cyrus offends her).   She watched it last night and LOVED it.  We rehashed it this morning when she got to work.  Modern Family is truly one of those shows that you can’t help but talk about the next day, at work, or with your friends.  It’s that good.

Modern Family has everything that American Idol doesn’t have.  Talent, timing, personality, good material,  humor without bad taste, and a “Randy Jackson Free Zone”.  OK I made that last part up.

I mean it – Idol is passé.  It’s so last decade.

Greyson Michael Chance


I should be more jaded by now.  When I hear about a new singing sensation, and especially when I hear about it on the Interwebs, my eyes roll back in my head and I feel like I’m going to pass out from boredom.  And even more so when someone is covering a Lady Gaga tune.  I mean “Come ON!”  Give me some peace.

But I couldn’t help it.  When I heard he was going to be on Ellen this Thursday (May 13), I had to check it out.  Ellen is usually right on the mark about new talent.  I think you should take a listen.  Here’s the link.  Read the story and play the “viral video”.  The kid is amazing, I have to admit it. 

http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/videogaga/39067/little-lord-gaga-greyson-michael-chances-paparazzi-is-a-web-sensation/

Take care,

Ass Wipe Nation


When I was a kid, and even when I was a younger adult, the words “ass wipe” were used as a derogatory slang expression that meant “a real asshole” – nay, you were worse than that, you were the toilet paper that wiped the dirty asses.  Don’t you remember referring to someone as an “ass wipe”?  “Oh my god, that guy is such an ass wipe.”

Oh, how times have changed.   Today, the definition of “ass wipe” is not derogatory, ass wipes are a requirement in the American household.  I don’t recall when it started, but I do recall being one of the first people I knew to buy ass wipes, also called “moist wipes”.  They are a derivation of “baby wipes” except you can’t flush baby wipes like you can ass wipes.  I remember having visitors to my home, close friends usually, who said “what are those things sitting on the back of your toilet tank in that plastic box”.  And I would explain to them that they are “moist wipes”.  When they still didn’t get it, I said “they’re ass wipes – they’re slightly wet and you use them to clean you ass”.  For christ sake do I have to spell it out??  Do you really not know what these things are?  Were we, as a nation, so naive, or blind to a fact that Europeans and their bidets have known for years:  Skid marks aren’t pretty. 

Maybe as a gay man it all seemed so natural to me to have these cleansing gadgets.  I won’t go into details – you’re welcome.  But American bathrooms, for the most part, are bidet-free.  Sure there are high-end homes with super high-end bathrooms that have bidets.  Many wouldn’t recognize what it is and would probably ask why there is a water fountain in your bathroom.  And now the “must have” bathroom fixture is the thousand dollar Japanese toilet that basically washes, blow dries, and puts your ass through a spin cycle before sending you on your merry way.

But barring that, Americans have their “ass wipes”.  Currently it’s almost unheard of to walk into someone’s bathroom and not find a box of moist wipes sitting on the toilet tank.  Mothers are happy.  Their kids and their husbands don’t leave so many skid marks in their underwear; making their laundry chore far less disgusting.  Husbands are happy because now maybe their wives won’t mind giving them head somuch because it doesn’t smell so bad.  As for gay men, we’re just happy.  Happy that we spread the word about ass-wipes and it took off.  I’m disappointed that Spell Check in America rarely get’s “bidet” correct.   To summarize, clean asses are in our thoughts, but not in our dictionaries.

My only counterpoint to this?  Dick Cheney is still an old-fashioned ass wipe. (Sorry, I had to slip that in somewhere).  I’m not sure, exactly, why America has become obsessed with cleaning their butts.  But I’m glad they did.  It makes sitting in a crowded room so much more pleasant.

It should be legal to shoot at people driving loud motorcycles


This is mostly directed at those who choose to drive Harleys, and especially to those who modify their bikes to make them louder, Harley or not.  If these people don’t care about my health and well-being, not to mention my right to live in peace and quiet, then why should I care about theirs.  If they are intentionally going to ride a loud motorcycle, knowing full well that they are pissing people off with the noise, and truly don’t give a shit, then why can’t I take a BB Gun or a 12-Gage shotgun and take target practice.  I don’t want them to die from the gunshot any more than they want me to die from the noise.  But they don’t care if they disrupt my day, or night, so why am I not allowed to disrupt theirs.

I live in Maine.  I don’t really understand the motorcycle culture here but it’s something I never experienced until I moved here.  Recently I wrote a letter to my State Senator and State Representative because I heard that some group was trying to get a law passed to crack down on loud motorcycles.  My story, and my letter, goes as follows:

I live in Springvale, Maine in an apartment, set back from the road a bit, but in the center of town.

 As a result of excessive motorcycle noise, I literally cannot live my life in my home with my windows open.

 It’s winter now, so not much of an issue.  But as soon as the weather turns warmer just a bit, or even if we have one warm winter day, the motorcycles appear like moths to a flame.  By April and right through to November, I cannot open the windows in my home.  No fresh air, no sleeping with a cool breeze coming in the windows, it is literally impossible.

 Why?  Loud motorcycles.  Not only do they get some thrill out of making their motorcycles as loud as possible, the will sit at the traffic light and rev their already loud engines.  When they take off, it’s as if a drill-bit is being jammed into my temple.   I cannot fall asleep, nor stay asleep during the night with my windows open and god forbid if I want to take a nap on a Saturday afternoon with the window open.

It is absolutely ridiculous, uncalled for, and as far as I am concerned, it is selfish on the part of the motorcycle owner, not to mention criminal in how they think they own the road. 

 Along with the noise is the attitude.  Why are motorcyclists allowed to travel in packs of sometimes hundreds?  There was one occasion last summer where I was trying to pull out of a side street onto Pleasant Street in Springvale.  I was trying to get to the doctor as I was dealing with an urgent medical issue.  I sat there as hundreds of motorcycles went by, one after the other, mile after mile, for 32 minutes.  Thirty-two minutes.  That is how long I waited trying to pull out on to the main road so I could get to an urgent doctor visit.  I tried inching my way out hoping somebody would have the smarts to know to let me out.  But no.  Not one single cyclist had the foresight to say “hey other people might need to get somewhere”.   I do not care if it was a joyride or a charity ride.  Groups of motorcycles do not need to travel in unending packs of obnoxious noise and a sense of entitlement.

 But my biggest issue is the noise.  Can they not tell how loud the bike is?  Are they deaf from the noise or do they just not care?  I see how they behave, revving up their engines at traffic lights.  If I’m next to one at a light, I have to close the windows in my car because I can’t hear the radio.  Or my passenger.  That’s just plain wrong.

I will do ANYTHING to help your cause.  I will call whomever you need me to call.  I will write to whomever you need me to write.  I will go to the State House and stand in front of a committee.  You just let me know.

 I have a blog that I can put to work on this topic.  And I will contact media outlets if need be.

 I was so shocked, and excited, that somebody is finally doing something about this.  I had no idea your organization even existed until I saw a news piece on WMTW and then did some Internet searches based on that. 

 Please sign me up to help.

Obviously, I am not serious about taking pot shots at bikers.  I don’t believe in violence.  Especially violence to fight stupidity.  However, there are many days that I think about it when a Harley goes SCREAMING by my home.  Being exposed to loud noises has been proven to cause sleep deprivation, chronic fatigue, anxiety, hostility, depression and hypertension.  At a recent doctor visit for a regular checkup, the thing withwhich my doctor was most concerned was my lack of sleep.

I feel like the old guy in the neighborhood who says “you kids get off my lawn” (said in an old man voice, of course) .  I am only in my early forties but have been bothered by loud noises like this for most of my life.  I hate loud TV’s and loud radios, too.  I honesty wouldn’t care so much about this if the root cause was not based in the bike owner’s sense of entitlement.  The U.S. Constitution says we have a right to live our lives freely, but it can’t be at the expense of other citizens right to the same.

If you would like to support MECALM , and would like to support the few Maine Legislators that are backing this bill (LD-1675), or if you simply would like more information, please go to www.mecalm.org

December ’09 is a slow news month


We seem to by in a news cycle where there is a lot going on, yet none of it is important enough to write about.  And so the bloggers, and the main stream media, begin to fill up the pages and the TV screen with something that can only be called “stuff”.

Does anyone really care about Tiger Woods personal problems?  I don’t.  And neither should you.  All of the wasted file server space used up by people writing articles and opinions about who Tiger slept with or had an affair with; it’s a crying shame.  Who cares?  Let him live his life and handle his problems on his own,  just like the rest of us.

Amanda Knox, did she, didn’t she.  Who cares???  Her family, yes, and friends, of course, but the rest of us have no say in the matter and will never know the truth.  I don’t care if the Italian court works like the American system.  I don’t care if Italians are prejudicial in their court judgements against outsiders; because I don’t plan on going to Italy to kill anyone.  Who the hell cares?  It’s just another murder trial.

Obama took a while to decide what to do about Afghanistan.  He did what any smart person should do – think long and hard about his options and then make a decision and stick to it.  Done.  Do we need to debate it to fill air time?  I don’t think so.

And even I am guilty.  I just wasted how much electricity, and file server space, to write this post about how there truly is nothing to write about that isn’t already being said, or thought.  I’m glad I don’t own a cable news network.  I’m glad I don’t have to fill 24 hours each and every day with noise, so that the advertisers have some place to show their products.

Here’s what I think is going on in the world that we should be thinking about:  We all have friends, and/or family, who are hurting, and to some degree, suffering.  Maybe it’s the kind of hurt caused by personal crisis:  sickness, abusive relationships, or love that seems to be dying.  Maybe it’s the kind of hurt that is financial: mothers and fathers who can’t feed their kids, or people wondering how they will avoid eviction or foreclosure.

We should be writing about, and watching TV that deals with, taking care of each other.   Random acts of kindness are under-rated.  Whether it’s holding the door for someone or helping a woman in the parking lot clean the snow off her car.  Now we’re talking about stuff that matters.  Lend an ear, lend a hand, lend a dollar.  Listen to what people around you are saying.  Some of them have a difficult time asking for help.  But if you really listen, and watch, it’s not hard to figure out what someone needs.  It might just be a hug, as corny as that sounds.  What if a big, smothering, maternal or paternal hug is all someone needs today.  What will that cost you.  Or maybe it’s money, or food, or a ride, or a job.  Just do it.  And do it thanklessly.  You shouldn’t do it for recognition, or glory, you should do it because you are human.

I’m not saying all of this simply because it is the holiday season.  As far as I am concerned, even Christmas is not worthy of writing about.  Unless someday (in my wildest dreams) Christmas is no longer about buying presents and instead is about helping each other.   Unless Christmas is no longer about gifts for the sake of buying gifts, then Christmas is not worth wasting more space on a file server somewhere; and it’s not worth filling up the airwaves.

Why don’t we all take this opportunity to take advantage of this “inconsequential” news month.  With the exception of families with loved ones overseas fighting in wars that we shouldn’t be fighting, everyone else should start to make a list, and check it twice.  And on that list should be thank you’s, and donations, and meals you made for someone who can’t get out of the house, and packages for troops, and treats for your dog, and all of the things about which writing words on a page are worthy.