MMeM, Vol. 9 Issue 12 – Donde esta la biblioteca?

…better off if we became a bilingual mono literate populous…

Today I had an impromptu lesson in Espanol. It should have come pretty easy to me seeing as I have had a total of 4 years of Spanish with 2 years in High School and 2 years in college. And yet, just about the only thing I can spit out with any confidence is to ask someone where the library is.

And THAT is my beef or carne I guess. I think I’ve complained about this a lot in personal conversations and certainly at work and in grad school. What I don’t get is why we are so hell bent on teaching languages, second languages, the way we do. Forget teaching participles and the proper use and spelling of possessive nouns. We would be far better off if we became a bilingual mono literate populous first and then worried about reading and writing the second language later.

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Why did I land on this gripe today you may wonder? Simple. I went to the local Social Security Administration office.

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As I sat there in the waiting area, or cattle chute as it were, I was comatose to the flat screen TV on the wall. It was looping on Social Security propaganda which, conveniently enough, was repeated every few minutes in Espanol to remind me of how much of a waste 4 years of education was for me. It NEVER mentioned La Biblioteca or where it was. Not once!

Finally, this adventure today was ripe with gripe. As a parting note and a tease for a future rant, did you know that the Social Security Administration office hours are M-F 9am – 3pm?

Wait, what? That’s better than banker’s hours!

MMeM, Vol. 8 Issue 34 – CyberMonday, Really?

Never Forget? Yeah, that didn’t last too long.

You know terms in popular culture have a way of coming around and never leaving. Today, Cyber Monday, is only one of the most recent offenders. What’s so inexplicable is the sheer idiocy which creates these “words” or “phrases”. Ok, I’d say that Cyber Monday is one of the few examples that makes a weak attempt at a cause for its existence.

People take Black Friday and have heard that the following Monday when we are all back at work is a big day for online shopping. Online or The Internet is substituted for by using “Cyber” which hasn’t been used since CyberSex back in the birth and Hey-days of AOL ChatRooms. Cyber please.

Of course the biggest and most overused of all of these made up word or phrases, Whrases, has to be anything adopting a suffix of “…GATE”. This really should stop. No one using this today has any idea what it means, where it came from, or anything about it. At best, they might connect “…GATE” to Nixon but have no idea why. The funniest part about that is that when WATERGATE happened, no one understood what in the hell was the real intent of the incident anyway. It’s still argued about today. In short, government backed people broke into some Democratic National Committee’s offices which, were at the time, Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. So when using a “GATEism” it really should be reserved for total confusion among liars, thieves, burglars, deep thoat informants, and career launching persons in media.

Anyway, I’m really surprised that Black Friday’s recent bleed-over into Thanksgiving Thursday hasn’t spawned any new terms. Grey Thursday? Anyone? No? And remember back in 2002, 2003 when you couldn’t even find a gas station open on Thanksgiving after 9/11 because it was family time dammit! If you needed gas you’d better find a pump that took credit cards and was left on for that matter. We were not going to take our families for granted again rather we were to really use and honor times like Thanksgiving as they were intended. There was to be no work, no shopping, no nothing. Never Forget?

Yeah, that didn’t last too long. How soon we either forget or move on like Americans do. I guess we gots to get back to bein’ Americans dammit.

Next year, which business will be a trend setters and open for Thanksgiving morning? It’ll be dubbed “Shades of Grey Thursday”.

MMeM, Vol. 8 Issue 33 – “Turkey” Day?!?!?

It’s too touchy feely now.

Why I let such inconsequential things bug me so much I’ll never know. But, sometimes they do. Take our present holiday in less than 12 hours now. Thanksgiving Day. Yeah, I said it….Thanksgiving Day, not Turkey Day. Someone forward this blog to the PC police or the ACLU STAT!

Funny thing is I don’t think anyone truly knows how the phrase Turkey Day instead of Thanksgiving Day got started really. When you stop and think about it you’re first thought is it’s just people trying to be ‘funny’ or like, ‘bet I know what you’re having for dinner’! And then, when you think about it much longer, you swerve into the “Happy Holidays” world staked out by the Political Correctness lobby and THAT stands as that movement’s crown jewel. Well, I shouldn’t have said crown jewel as that infers some sort of royalty or royal bloodline, bluebloods they call them. Ok, Happy Holidays is the top of the garbage heap for Political Correctness as it were.

Now that you’ve painted yourself into that 500 year old corner, you think about it and decide that yeah the Native Americans, and don’t pat yourself on the back too quick with that phrase, might not look at Thanksgiving as anglo saxons do. The people that were here first probably didn’t appreciate being called natives, Americans, or Indians all of which were terms given to them by their conquerers who were so smart they just called them the name of the inhabitants for the place they MEANT to land.

Saying Happy Thanksgiving to a stranger has just gotten too messy. It’s too touchy feely now. You don’t know how many dozen generations someone may be removed from the first dinner if in fact there really was one. Is this person a Happy Holidays type or a Merry Christmas or Happy Chaunukah, Kwanza, Festivus? Just say have a Happy Turkey Day and hope the tryptophan doesn’t knock you out before the person you’re supposed to listen to isn’t done talking.

MMeM, Vol. 8 Issue 20 – This kills me

…at the very least I can say that I am not alone.

Very often I find myself acting just about as helpless as the most pathetic excuses for full grown human beings with whom I interact on a daily basis. Yes, the list is somewhat long, distinguished, and at the very least I can say that I am not alone. However, I can proudly proclaim that I have never gotten on a computer, a tablet, a smartphone, or any other Internet connected device and Googled, “What time is it”?

Really? I, am, at a real, loss here.

Am I missing something here? Is there some larger issue of which I am not aware? Does any electronic manufacturer of phones, computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, beepers, scanners, or palm pilots sell one of these devices without a self updating clock embedded in it? Let’s say for the sake of our less than advanced friends that the embedded clock is NOT powered by battery backed up computer chip that is pre-programmed by continuous updates from places like NORAD.”

Let me refresh the stage here. Person has a clock telling time on a computer or some device that is connected to the Internet. For some unknown reason the clock does NOT update automatically when the U.S. passes either the beginning or the end of the observance of Daylight Savings Time (DST). Again, person has an Internet enabled device with a clock that they claim hasn’t changed time anyway because DST has been lasting longer over the past 10 years to conserve more energy. So, instead of using the old “Spring forward” or “Fall back” rules we have all grown up with for all of our lives, some people (actually millions to reach the top of Google Trends) Googled “What time is it”?

The time is on your computer. Down in the lower right hand corner of your screen. It’s at the top of your smartphone, there in the middle. If you don’t know what time it used to be and you don’t know if this clock has changed with the DST change then try looking at a non-electronic Internet device that’s just a clock. Then compare that “clock” against your computerized Internet enabled time telling machine any difference between the two will give you the answer. When is the last time anyone had to update the system kept time on a computer or phone? Windows 95? iPhone 0?

Other Google searches for these types of folks are probably:

  • What planet is this?
  • What time is it really?
  • Am I really alive?
  • Is this computer my brain?
  • When should I go to the bathroom?

Oh the hell with it. Just fire up your computer and Google “What time is it”? I’m outta here.