Finding a World of Reality


Has anyone thought about artifice? Artificial? Vain? The high cost of being ‘entertained’?????
By Diane Stirling-Stevens / The Rag Blog / October 6, 2008

I was tired tonight, and tried to find something on the television that might be interesting. Nope, no such luck. Does anyone believe the C-Span programming that supposedly is ‘investigating’ and ‘hearing’ from those who put this country in financial straits?

Did you believe the CNN or Fox news tonight? Did you really think what they showed on television was important or helpful? Did you pass by the Hollywood tabloid channels that tell you how all of the ‘stars’ are upset by those who take their pictures for money, and in fact, you know damned good and well without this publicity, their television shows and movies wouldn’t generate as much revenue?

So where did you go to next; the FOOD NETWORK channel who taught you how to make a recipe that cost you four times as much as you needed to spend to make a decent meal?

Did you check out the TBN so you could see someone talk about how they were ‘saved’ from their alcohol addiction, and did you think Jesus was watching too? Did you think God really was behind all of this ‘inspirational bullshit’, or were you able to realize that it was just another gimmick?

Then you wind up on one of the soap opera channels where ‘trials and tribulations’ are ever present, while none of the cast members has a hair out of place; no one is caught having to unplug the clogged-up toilet, and every home has not a speck of dust on its well-placed furnishings that somehow manage to escape the ‘dust bunnies’, and the muddy footprints made by the kids!

The weather channel is boring unless it’s talking about a hurricane, tornado, or a tsunami that’s hit ‘somewhere’ in this world.

Your local talk show is boring; they keep re-hashing the key news stories of the day, and you’ve been worn out by Larry King; Bill O’Reilly, and others who gnash their teeth as they pretend to deal with the problems of this country (or the world).

You wish Nancy Grace would just fucking die; she’s evil – she chases hideous crime cases, and hammers on the topic as if her life (and her half million dollar a year salary) depended on it.

You get bored by PBS as they show you the habits of some damned bird who lives in some far-off part of the world, and you wonder if elk will be the next ‘red meat’ on your table after they declare ‘beef’ as the key factor in global warming.

So you run on over to HSN and find you can get the greatest hair spray for $20/can plus shipping, and somehow you think it will make your hair look better than the $1.99 Aquanet that’s on sale at Wal-Greens. You hit QVC and decide that their sweater is much more ‘perfect’ for your fall wardrobe than you can get at K-mart for 1/4 the price.

You decide that all those crime solving programs on the boob-tube are pretty expensive when you realize how much those key actors are being paid to play out the scenes from ‘real life’. Why would you pay $55/month to get this crap, when you can pick up the newspaper at $1.00 a copy and see the ‘real crimes’ for yourself – devoid of ‘drama’.

Did the Turner Classic Movie get you all teary-eyed when you saw Clifton Webb appear in Life With Father or Cheaper by the Dozen, and you were ever so grateful there were no commercial interruptions?

I figured out I could eliminate cable television from my budget and save $55/month. I don’t need my house/land-line phone any more, so that saves me another $20. I know what is real, and I could care less if George Clooney is banging someone I don’t know, or if Gidget goes to Washington or to hell!

What in the world are we doing supporting the movie industry and allowing celebrities to parade around the stage with multi-million dollar incomes, and we gaze at their ‘stardom’ while our credit cards are suffering?

Why would we give a shit what is going on with Lehman’s former CEO when it was all intended to screw us out of our few dollars to start with?

Why would we care if Keating cheated us 25 years ago, or if Paulsen is cheating us 25 years later?

Can’t we just get ‘real’ and boycott all of this extraneous shit; stop paying for ‘access Hollywood and the fantasy world’, and instead get outside and enjoy the weather; the sounds of nature, and hug our kids as we band together to minimize the problems that this nation has dumped on us because of our vanity; greed, and ignorance?

We’ve all had a certain amount of greed; we are all a bit guilty of not being ‘educated and aware’, and we’ve all allowed ourselves to look in the mirror – see the wrinkles, and seek the marketplace for some elixir that might minimize those ‘fine lines’ of age.

You know I’m glad my great grandmother said, ‘you are what you eat’. I’m glad my grandmother showed me that mayonnaise was good on a salad and good for my skin and hair as a topical treatment. I’m glad I saved toilet paper rolls to wrap my hair around those cardboard curlers and save money on ‘plastic rollers’. I’m glad I learned how to put a little bit of honey into a lot of water and run it through my hair as a setting lotion (and no hair-spray was required).

I’m glad I learned how to make blouses from flour sacks. I’m glad I learned how to cut the toes out of my shoes so I could have sandals for the summer. I’m glad I wore plastic bread-sacks over my shoes in the winter when I couldn’t afford rubber boots. I’m glad I made greeting cards from paper shopping bags, and my mother cut up detergent boxes so she could use the cardboard to make Valentine cards for all of us. I’m glad I picked the fields for pop corn so we had it for the winter. I’m glad we had a black walnut tree that dropped those big green blobs onto the driveway so my dad could back his tractor over the nuts and break them open; we toasted them with a bit of salt, and made frozen treats from Kool-Aid and sugar water.

My arms were strong from bringing in the bushel baskets of apples and potatoes we grew; from the pumpkins we harvested for great pumpkin-pies and jack-o-lanterns!

When was the last time you made a candle? I’ve never bought a candle; I’ve made mine for 45 years, and they bring me joy each and every time I light one up. I love the windows being open; I love the chill of the fall nights, and I love every single thing I’ve done to stay ahead of the lazy capitalists who can’t live life without their expensive wine and yachts that float in the harbor.

I pray for the day when life returns back to not what a person’s wealth is, but what the integrity and ‘true grit’ of the individual means as each establishes a small notation in the diary of life on this earth.

I guess I just had to rip this off before I went to sleep because I’m so damned fed up with this artificial bullshit that we’re all being fed in the United States of America.

The Rag Blog

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2 Responses to Finding a World of Reality

  1. ron ridenour says:

    Beautiful description of reality and of what could be.

  2. Richard, you absolutely amaze me when you always find those pictures that are so ABSOLUTELY RIGHT for the articles you share.

    I sent that e-mail to you; other friends and family members last night because I was getting so tired of the mail in my in-box that was filled with worry; fear, concern, and depression.

    When I wrote my reply and included you, I just wanted to ‘reach out’, and do my best to help point out many times we’re so caught up by the ‘external noise’ of the world, we can’t hear our own inner peace.

    I took the day off from not only the computer, but there was no electricity used in this house today. I told my husband we’re going to act as if we have no ‘conveniences’; we will have a day at the river, and we’ll take the food that is fresh.

    We came back home; the sun has dropped – it’s twilight, and I decided to turn on the computer to catch up on e-mails.

    To my delight, I had every single e-mail filled with either a thank you for reminding that friend of mine, about how to enjoy life without all of this ‘glitz’.

    I had another friend remind me that I was a good person; a strong person, and that he’d decided to spend the day doing some repairs around his house; visiting his mom, and building a new pen for his baby chicks.

    Three people sent me jokes; I laughed.

    One of the jokes was ‘timely’.

    The guy is talking with his friend about his son being laid off from work. He tells the friend the son decided to take up meditation during this tough time.

    The other guy asks, “What is meditation?”

    The father answers, “I don’t know exactly, but it’s sure better than sitting around doing nothing.”

    I also noticed the comment above mine, and realized that what ‘could be’ has been in my life – it is because I make it that way.

    I’ve survived cancer 3 times. I learned to walk again after having polio. I’ve been in 11 car accidents (all but one time as a passenger). I’ve been through rehab’ after nearly dying in 2002 – it took 5 years to get back to my ‘old/new self’.

    Another time it took 2 years to fully recover.

    I’ve had 4 mis-carriages; 5 children, and moved 42 times in my life (and I’m 66). I’ve been homeless; I lived in a motor-home for nearly 5 years – learned how to make a life within the confines of a small little shelter where I could hear the birds land on my roof; feed the coyotes who would eat from my hand, and delight as I watched the road runners scamper outside where I’d parked for the night.

    I traveled many states in that motor-home; I was attacked 3 times as I’d go from the motor-home to the market in the evening – each time, I kicked; screamed, and beat the men off from me.

    I remember one guy tried to climb into the motor-home one night; I’d left the window down just a bit for some fresh air. I hit his fingers with a huge rock I’d picked up earlier that day; I wanted the rock because it was pretty, and it came in handy later as a weapon. I remember this man was Mexican; he cursed me – he screamed words in his language, and ran off into the night.

    I remember being so poor that I had to sleep at the feet of my 2 young children when there was only a trundle bed in the small efficiency apartment. I could go on and on, but this isn’t the place to write a story; it’s only a place for me to add just a bit to the post because I wrote it – it is what I go back to over and over, when life gets tough for me.

    We must learn to savor every little moment that is given to us; we must constantly strive to find the ‘good part’ of any tragedy, and when we look for the good, we will find it.

    We have the right to reject all ‘pomp’ and circumstance, or we can accept it and be frustrated by it. When frustrated, stop – take a breath; look around for something that is natural and honest – it works every time.

    I was thinking that nature loves it when man makes better what Mom-nature has provided.

    Mom nature gives us seed; we sort it – line it up in rows, plant; water – and harvest. Mom nature has created oceans from which we can get not only food, but enjoy just the sounds and run through the tide as we cool our ankles and feet. We get the smell of nature’s flowers; the music from her birds, and all we need do is take the time to see how we can ‘enhance’ and ‘make greater’, the bounty that’s outside the door of our home; tent, or whatever type of shelter we’ve created to protect us from the harsh cold and rain.

    I didn’t convince my husband to disconnect our basic television cable service, but I did convince him that we should not start our day with it; we should be much more selective, and focus more on what we can do to enjoy the few years of life we’ve got left.

    My husband is 73 years old; I’m 66 – we need to make sure we haven’t missed a sunset or sunrise just because we’ve been too busy being caught up in the ‘outside world’, because every morning and night, we get this beautiful display of clouds; sky, and light absolutely free.

    Remember that song? “The world belongs to everyone; the best things in life are free”………

    It works for me….

    Thanks again for that great picture! Diane

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