Tag Archives: social media

Are You in Bed with a Conservative or a Liberal?

No matter the venue – television, radio, newspaper, or social media – you will likely hear “conservative” and “liberal” sloshed around like muddy drinking water.  “Conservatives to the right, liberals to the left,” Jimmy Buffet might sing to illustrate the depth of understanding for these overused and abused words.  If you are on the right, you are right, but if you are on the left, you are wrong, or should it be vice versa?  Who knows!  In today’s society, that question is too deep for the majority of people to comprehend.

Most people wouldn’t know a conservative from a liberal if one sat on their face and whistled Dixie.  When it comes to beliefs and values, they simply pick up where grandpa and grandma left off and mama and daddy still reside and dance along blissfully naïve in their footsteps.  They have no idea why they believe a certain way other than, somewhere along the way, they were told how they should think and believe.  Original thought is not well in America.

William Shakespeare said, “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.”  It doesn’t get more miserable than the conservative and liberal relationship, nor do bedfellows come any stranger.  Maturity wise, both groups are not too far removed from the backseat “he touched me” whine heard on long risible family vacations.  They are reminders a mature understanding and acceptance of diversity and tolerance is not one of America’s strong points.  However, a major part of the problem, overlooked by so many, is few people are purely conservative or liberal; people tend to fall somewhere in between, which adds confusion to the issue.  To make matters worse, people are often tossed from the ranks of the conservative to the ranks of the liberal and back again with a word, statement, or action.  Membership in either group depends as much on the moment as it does on embedded values.  Like two people caught in a rocky marriage; it is hard to tell who you are in bed with sometimes, and that can indeed produce strange bedfellows.

You Know You Are in bed with. . . .

  1. You know you are in bed with a conservative if there is no foreplay;
  2. You know you are in bed with a liberal if you make love with the lights on;
  3. You know you are in bed with a conservative if your partner considers love making a duty;
  4. You know you are in bed with a liberal if your partner comes back for seconds;
  5. You know you are in bed with a conservative if your partner insists on paying because he/she doesn’t believe in a free ride;
  6. You know you are in bed with a liberal if sex is considered recreational;
  7. You know you are in bed with a conservative if there is a gun under the pillow;
  8. You know you are in bed with a liberal if there is a whip and a jar of honey under the pillow;
  9. You know you are in bed with a conservative if your partner believes the missionary position is the only one way to make love;
  10. You know you are in bed with a liberal if love making is a team sport;
  11. You know you are in bed with a conservative if your partner misses the point and is offended by this blog; and
  12. You know you are in bed with a liberal if your partner misses the point, and thinks the blog is a funny/satirical look at sex education.

So, are you and/or your partner a conservative or a liberal?  More important, who cares!  The truth is conservative and liberal tags are little more than excuses to enable people to express their ignorance about one another.

JL

©Jack Linton, August 7, 2016

Peace Offering to the Mississippi Legislature: Let’s Be as Happy as a Clam

PARCC is gone! As Gomer Pyle, the simple-minded auto mechanic from the Andy Griffith Show of the 1960’s, would say, “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!” But, it’s not really a surprise. With the on-going struggles to deliver and receive the assessment electronically, inability to provide assessment results in a timely manner, failure to adequately address teacher fears and questions about the test, and growing parental concerns as well as mounting political pressure, it was only a matter of time before the PARCC assessment was dropped. If the Mississippi legislators have their way, the next task will be to bring to life the Commission on College and Career Readiness to oversee the development of not only a new assessment but new standards as well. The legislative promise of homegrown standards and assessments free of influence from Washington, standards and assessments more relevant to the children of Mississippi, and standards more satisfying to parents as well as the general public will be welcomed by many.  Although the legislators do not promise rigorous standards or assessments designed to improve Mississippi education, maybe they know best; maybe, they they do know what Mississippi needs after all.

My only hope is that the Governor and Lieutenant Governor will place people on the new commission with the expertise and experience to understand the magnitude and scope of creating/writing new standards and assessments. Of course, since this is a time sensitive project, I will be surprised if the Governor does not already have someone waiting in the wings with a set of user friendly standards ready to be rolled out and implemented across the state. Whatever the case may be, one thing is for sure – Mississippi needs a break from all the ill-will currently associated with education.  The best way to do that is for the new commission to develop assessments that are appealing to all stakeholders whether they create the standards from scratch or already have standards packaged and ready to be rolled out.

Therefore, I am extending the olive branch of peace, and to show my sincerity, I would like to offer a foolproof plan for selection of standards and creation of supporting state assessments. Hopefully, the powers in Jackson and their new commission will consider this plan or a similar plan for the peace of mind and good of all. It is time for the hostilities to end and get everyone on the same page, and I believe such a plan as the one I present below will do the job.

Plan to Development State Standards and Assessments:

  1. Step one: Develop or adopt new state standards. Legislators need to do whatever they think is best. The good teachers will continue to build rigor into their lessons regardless of the standards, the marginal teachers will be happy to follow whatever script they are presented, and the poor teachers will be thrilled that they can once again relax and enjoy the paycheck;
  2. Step two: Before final approval of the new standards, develop a battery of homework examples that support the new standards, and then administer the examples to the whole legislature including the Governor and Lieutenant Governor. If there are any homework problems the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or legislators do not fully understand or they cannot work, throw the associated standards out;
  3. Step three: Next, administer the remaining homework examples to parents across the state. The easiest way to do this is through Facebook. There are more parents and people in general who are education authorities assembled on Facebook at any given time than there are anywhere in the world. We need to start using their expertise to our children’s advantage. If there are any homework problems the parents do not understand or cannot work, throw the standards associated to the overly problematic and/or rigorous homework out;
  4. Step four: Finally, administer the remaining homework examples to students. If any of the examples cause students to think longer than ten seconds, write more than two consecutive coherent sentences, or are so involved that they infringe on after school baseball, gymnastics, dance, bolo, chess, tennis, swimming, TV time, or any other nonacademic activity, throw out the standards associated to those homework examples;
  5. Step five: What is left will be the final draft of the state’s new standards. At this point, go ahead and print the standards. Step six is just a formality;
  6. Step six: The new commission can now submit their recommendations for the new standards to the State Superintendent of Education and the State Board of Education for their approval. Of course, since the State Superintendent and the State Board will only have authority to approve what is recommended to them by the commission, they will be compelled to pass the recommendations, which is exactly what we want them to do – right?; and
  7. Step seven: CELEBRATE! The Governor should lead the state in a celebration of this monumental accomplishment. Mississippians will finally be able to stand proudly and thumb their noses at Washington. Once again we will be a state of hospitality where our children peacefully reside on the bottom of the achievement ladder. There is nothing more appealing than submissive peace of mind.

I sincerely hope my plan will at least be considered; it should appease everyone. The students will not have to worry about being challenged, parents will not have to worry about their babies being subjected to academic stress or heaven forbid not getting an “A”, and state legislators will not have to worry about losing control to Washington or not having cheap labor available for years to come for the tax-exempt businesses they recruit to the state.   It’s time we accept that our state legislators have the people’s best interests in mind, and that they are the MAN! Everyone knows if you stand against the MAN, as singer/songwriter, John Prine, says, “You’re never gonna be as happy as a clam.” So, I encourage everyone to stand by the MAN and be “as happy as a clam!” Stand behind the good intentions of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and legislators who know and always will know better than the people and especially educators what is best for Mississippi.

JL

©Jack Linton, February 1, 2015

Why I Don’t Use Twitter

I am asked quite often if I have a Twitter account, and when I say no, I usually get a sad “Oh, you poor thing” look. Once a young lady actually told me, “I understand. It’s probably a bit much for your generation.” She was right; using social media is sometimes a bit much for me, especially if I see little use for it. The options technology offers for connecting people is wonderful if you are one of those people who crave continuous contact with others. However, I am not one of those people who continuously talks on the phone, texts, tweets, checks Facebook, and sends email while they eat, exercise, shower, use the toilet, drive, shop, attend meetings, visit family, worship in church, and watch TV or a movie, but I understand that I am a relic of the past, and such behavior is now the norm in today’s society. For example, once in a restroom in the Atlanta airport, I heard a man scream from a stall for people to stop flushing the toilets because he could not hear the person he was talking with on his phone. That is taking technology a bit too far if you ask me, but of course, I come from a generation that grew up believing in independence, individuality and that certain private moments should remain private.

Nevertheless, in an effort to conform, I actually gave Twitter a try a while back, but I quickly determined it was not for me. It wasn’t the technology itself that proved to be frustrating, but rather the terminology used when tweeting. It was a major FAIL on my part to learn and understand the jargon and acronyms that play such an important role in communicating via Twitter. For the life of me, I could not figure out what terms and acronyms such as hash tag, twaffic, twalking, twishing, LOL, LMAO, TLC, and WTF meant. Thanks to Elvis, I was able to associate TLC with “tender loving care,” and with a little help from my kids I learned the meanings of LOL and LMAO. However, call it what you will, a generation gap or too much to handle or comprehend for an old man, the jargon and acronyms proved to be my undoing. Due to my interpretation or misinterpretation, I often found the terminology confusing, silly or even offensive, and that negatively impacted my Twitter experience.

For example, I could never quite figure out “hash tag.” I knew it had something to do with helping tweeters discover relevant posts, but other than that, I did not have a clue what it was or how it was supposed to be used. For me, it conjured visions of young people dancing with flowers intertwined with their long hair amid clouds of illegal smoke and psychedelic music. Of course, I knew it probably didn’t have anything to do with any of that, but the term was nonetheless a generational distraction for me.

Also, I found many terms to be outright silly. Every time I saw terms such as “twaffic,” or “twalking,” I completely lost focus on the tweeted message, and in my mind heard Elmer Fudd from the old Bugs Bunny cartoons speaking. Another term that I thought silly as well as confusing and misleading was “twishing.” I couldn’t help but wonder if “twishing” was anything like Miley Cyrus’s “twerking,” or was it simply Elmer Fudd speaking up once again? I found the silliness to be disconcerting, and a deterrent to clear communication, which provided me a solid reason or excuse not to tweet.

Finally, I found some of the acronyms and terms to be outright offensive. One such acronym was “WTF.” I can’t believe that people use such an acronym. People should not be so mean and judgmental! It doesn’t matter if a person is talking, texting, or tweeting they should always be sensitive to the feelings of others. To hurt another person’s feelings and say or write, “Whoa, WTF” is just wrong! So what if a person is “Way too Fat,” that is that person’s business, and it should not be blasted across social media. For me, such insensitivity was the nail in the coffin for Twitter. It is far too easy to be mean to people when you don’t have to look them in the eye.

On a serious note, I have nothing against social media such as Twitter other than like all other social media, it lacks the human touch. In spite of its illusion of audience and connectivity, Twitter and other social media have become the tools of human isolation. The sad thing about all social media is that we never truly know if anyone is reading or listening, but the biggest flaw is that we never know if anyone really cares. The only way to ever know that is face to face, and that is precisely the problem with social media; it is an illusion of the real human connectivity that we all crave so much for in our lives. Social media is not a bad thing as long as people do not allow it to become a substitute for real face to face human interaction. Technology cannot replace the human touch, nor was it ever intended to do so; unfortunately, many people in today’s society are more in touch with their social media lives than they are with the lives of the ones who really do care about them – their family. The real reason I gave up Twitter had nothing to do with the technology, but I simply decided I did not need another social media distraction in my life. I am not saying people need to give up all social media, but is it really necessary to be connected to every social media tool out there? By cutting a social media umbilical cord or two, people might be surprised at some of the truly real human connections and experiences they have been missing.

JL

©Jack Linton, September 28, 2014

Top 10 Profile of Facebook Participants

DISCLAIMER:  These blogs are not intended to offend anyone, but are written to hopefully make you think, and maybe have a little fun.  The observations I make are as much about me as anyone.  I do believe that one of the biggest problems with our society today is that we often take ourselves too seriously, so if you are offended take a pill and chill, and remember, the first finger I always point is at myself.

 

I don’t mean to offend, but . . . .

I often wonder why I bother with Facebook, but where else can you find moms, pops, grand kids, conspiracy theorists, borderline schizophrenia, every phobia you might imagine, goof-balls, world saviors, and clowns in the same place.  After looking at Facebook the past couple of years, I have developed a profile of the average Facebook participant that I believe is fairly accurate.  Now my profile does not apply to the growing minority of people who use Facebook primarily to share photos and news with family and friends, but rather I am profiling those of us who can’t help but share our latest conspiracy theory, gossip, or uninvited opinion.  So if you really want to know what your average Facebook participant looks like, take a look at my Top 10 Profile of Facebook Participants:

The Average Facebook Participant Profile . . . .

10.       They are usually well respected people who have good intentions and mean well.

9.         They are centophobic – They have a fear of new things or ideas.

8.         They are xenophobic – They have a fear of people who are different from them.

7.         They have sociopath tendencies:  (a) They often do not recognize the rights of others – only their own; (b)  They feel entitled to certain things as “their right;” (c)  They can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers, abilities, and rights; (d)  They can be extremely convincing; and (e)  They believe the end always justifies the means, and they will let nothing stand in their way to obtain that end.

6.         They are staunch believers in the second amendment, and they pack or plan to pack a gun to protect family and keep the peace.  They believe without apology in their right to be judge, jury, and executioner of the bad guys they might encounter.

5.        They are always on the lookout for something to offend them.

4.         They border on paranoid schizophrenia – it’s US against THEM!

3.         They exhibit an anti-government phobia – everyday there is a new government conspiracy.

2.         They have a doomsday mentality – ObamaCare, Common Core, Agenda 21, Welfare, Social Security, socialism, and too much salt in our diets are all conspiracies contrived by big government to exterminate the common man and bring about the fall of the United States of America.

1.         They believe what they believe, and you can believe whatever you believe as long as it falls in line with what they believe.

Therefore beware of anyone waving the American flag, driving an American made car but preferably an American made truck, whose favorite TV show is about duck calling bearded millionaires who are laughing all the way to bank, who is afraid to show or keep his photo on line more than three consecutive days, hates government but can’t wait to retire and draw his rightful portion of social security, believes there is a government conspiracy against the little man, hates just about anybody that doesn’t look, talk, or act like him, and believes he has all the right answers and if you don’t believe it, he has a .45 on his belt to back it up.

And . . . . Oh yeah . . . . I just realized why I stay tuned to Facebook – I enjoy the circus.

I don’t mean to offend, but I say it like I see it.

JL

Copyright © 2013 Jack Linton