Men's Issues Article
SPINNING OUR LIVES AWAY
(50PlusPrime) LATHRUP VILLAGE, MICHIGAN --
With an anticipated $1 Billion dollars to be spent by our political parties to elect our next President (and that doesn’t include the new Super Pac’s HUGE sums), perhaps we have reached yet another boundary we cannot afford to cross, or even live within???
Living in Metro Detroit I am among the many who vividly recall the hype over what to do with our auto industry back in 2008, as Detroit is still considered the ‘motor capital of the world’. Back then one of our current presidential candidates wrote a New York Times op-ed piece titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”, and yet four years later this same person is claiming he was one of the supporters of the auto industry during that time and a primary reason the auto industry has turned around to be once again making a profit?!? He recently said to a Detroit newspaper editorial board he wished he had written the headline to say “How to save Detroit”. Which is it??? I suggest another question might also be, “Does it even matter any more?”, given politicians ability to ‘spin’ almost anything, at any time, to seemingly produce any result they want??? In working with my counseling clients, I suggest that ‘reality’ consists of a small amount of ‘fact’ but more important are the ‘feelings’ that are produced as a result of that ‘fact’, and this is from the perspective of the viewer of those ‘facts’. Here in lies, I suggest, the potential for ‘spin’!?!
And, I read in the June 12, 2012 Detroit Free Press, “The Republican presidential candidate refuses to identify his biggest donors who bundle money for his campaign. He often declines to say who is meeting with him or what he is doing for hours at a time. He puts limits on news media access to his fund-raisers. And he resists releasing all of his tax returns, making just a single year public after facing pressure to do so.” Of course, this is from a ‘liberal newspaper’ so more ‘spin’ is possible here, too... what matters???Another ‘spin’ might read, ‘anything that can be different is fair game for suggesting the present way is ‘wrong’ and the presenter’s proposed difference is of course ‘right’???
On a more personal level we had to wait during a period of six years of various appointments while we had our gas meter moved from our basement to the outside of our home. It also took three service calls to get our media cable service initially up and running. And recently it took three service calls to change our original electrical meter to a new ‘smart meter’. In this last and most recent case, the first two scheduled appointments to change our electrical meter could not occur, we were told, because our electrical meter was ‘too old’ (wasn’t that the reason they were changing it in the first place, and didn’t they know how old an ‘old’ meter was - laugh out loud, or LOL?). It finally occurred, some six months later, on an unscheduled Sunday morning (had we not been home we wouldn’t have known why our service had been interrupted, and would not have been able to turn off ‘sensitive electronic equipment’ as the first appointment letter warned...). We’ve also had numerous calls to determine just where the company’s ownership of the power line into our home starts and our ownership stops (including, it turns out, we own the meter box, which had a permanently mounted tag stating it belonged to the electric company, but do not own the meter in it), so we had to pay to have our homeowner lines replaced (even while the electric company was called out to move their service line, we had to hire our own electrician to replace the approximately 8 feet of wiring above and below the meter they own...at our own cost!?! Perhaps, another example of ‘cost shifting’!?!). And since, we’ve heard from friends how they simply said “No!” to the moving of their gas meters or the installing of the new ‘smart meters’, an ‘option’ we were never told was available. Indeed the ‘smart meter’ has since become a media circus where people are publicly claiming it is a danger to homeowner’s health (‘radiation’) and/or ‘big brother’ being able to further watch and control us, and the electrical company was ordered to give a refund for these meters since they were later determined to not be an adequate reason for previously raised rates. While I don’t really know what the ‘truth’ is in any of this, these strike me as many situations where there is not organization or control by some individual or group, and it certainly doesn’t appear to be for the consumers’ satisfaction!?! While these are/were once considered ‘public utilities’, isn’t our government still supposed to be ‘of the people, by the people, AND FOR THE PEOPLE’... LOL, cry, get angry or feel powerless???
I’m also old enough to remember when light bulbs were replaced for free and any electrical appliance was repaired for free, as well... SO different from today, including when our government instituted a $10 Million “L Prize” for an energy-efficient replacement for the 60-watt bulb. Only one company has submitted a bulb so far, and it costs $40 (rather than the contest target of $22... well, maybe this is close enough, but again I remember when they were free and the government didn’t have to create an ‘incentive’ of $10 Million - LOL or cry, now?!?). I live near the nationally historic Greenfield Village Museum where Thomas Edison’s laboratory is now located and an actor regularly gives a press conference about the lighting of the first practical incandescent light bulb in 1879. Those were exciting (and simpler?) times...
For those of us who’ve been shopping for food, perhaps you’ve noticed, too, how the prices of items continue to rise (while the sizes of the packages also get smaller). This also appears to be combined with multiple special sales, so it becomes harder to remember what a package or ‘unit price’ used to be? And how about what is considered a ‘portion’, too? And, what about the constant changing of the packaging??? It appears to me that this paying more for even less, and everything being given the image of ‘new’, ends up creating even greater prices for the same old product, but that gets lost in the shuffle... perhaps, orchestrated ‘spin’???
And what about those ’10 minute’ quotes on lower insurance rates? A friend shared his recent frustration when he called, only to spend an hour on one and then two hours on another (and they second quote came in at 2 1/2 times his current rate)!?! I wonder who’s being ‘served’ here??? And, what about calling almost any company these days only to be connected to their pre-recorded ‘options’ to reaching a department, and which were always ‘just changed’ - good luck!?!
Also, what about the ‘all new’ TV show episodes, to designate they are not yet another repeat episode from a few weeks earlier, since new seasons of TV shows are now so short and mixed with so many repeats to ‘stretch’ the numbers to fill an already shortened ‘season’?!? And, how about the length of the shows compared to the percentage of showtime now consumed by commercials?!? Our ‘new’ cable option now states that watching a repeat of a show ‘on demand’ might include the commercials, too (with no fast forwarding allowed... which turns out to not always be true). We can only skip them if we resume the ‘old’ method of taking up our available DVR time to record them for future viewing... not on the ‘new’ on-demand features. Remember when we only had three national TV stations, and we knew we could have exciting conversations at school/work the next day about what happened to our favorite TV characters last night???
I received a full-color glossy Memorial Day sale letter stating ‘This is an important notice regarding anyone who may own a 2006-2008 Honda Accord or something similar’. I’m not quite sure what that type of car a ‘or something similar’ consists of to know IF I have such a product they would consider for a trade-in - LOL?!?
It appears to me that business today believes the only way to increase profits is to ‘spin’ their sales pitches and use ‘gimmicks’ to trick consumers into buying their products. Talk about ‘spin’!?! Remember when product research included the consumers’ comments and our levels of satisfaction, not only in the product but also in the act of purchasing it - BIG LOL, here??? And, I would suggest much of this is due to our ‘male-dominated’ executives (both men and women who’ve adopted a traditional ‘good ol’ boys club’ perspective or ‘reality’) who believe ‘winning is the only option’ and one is considered ‘weak’ if they are not ‘first’ in everything...
And getting back to politics, I read of President Obama’s ‘evolving’ thoughts that he personally now believes Gay/LGBT people deserve to be able to get married, too. Of course, this doesn’t change the law (and he’s suggesting it be left up to each of the 50 states), but he has come out publicly and stated it out loud - a ‘fact’ and from a designated ‘leader’. It is the best of times, in many ways for Gay/LGBT people these days (which many could hardly have imagined even just a few years ago). I recall attending two national Gay Marches in Washington, D. C. to not even have this huge Gay/LGBT presence acknowledged by the then presiding President as we marched by his home, The White House. The anti-Gay marriage federal law, DOMA, was passed by Congress awhile ago, but the Attorney General announced last year that the Justice Department lawyers would no longer defend its constitutionality... I read some members of Congress are hiring their own lawyers to enforce it!?! ‘Control’ issue here?
Then we have the current ‘discussion’ of the other Presidential candidate who can’t recall the details of an assumed Gay high school youth he ‘bullied’ (where he led three others into cutting off the hair of their fellow private high school student) but doesn’t appear to see it as anything significant, referring to how “I participated in a lot of high jinks and pranks during high school, and some might have gone too far, and for that I apologize.” What a contrast between candidates, and I wonder how much ‘spin’ was intended by either or both in the timing... but, again, as I suggest with ‘reality’, does it really matter to the general public??? According to media, it did and still matters to the now openly Gay student and even to the three others who helped commit the ‘bullying’! In ‘domestic violence’ counseling we refer to ‘zero tolerance’ to such ‘tactics’! Perhaps, this is an example of it also still being ‘the worst of times’ for Gay/LGBT people, too? Fortunately, we do have the YouTube.comprogram to help Gay youth contemplating suicide, “It Does Get Better”! And then we also have North Carolina’s recently joining other states with their strongly worded anti-Gay legislation that passed with a high percentage of votes. Perhaps, what matters most is what lingering feelings are created which last until the voter leaves the voting booth on election day!?! Perhaps, we can help each other ease the pain of inconsiderate ‘high jinks and pranks’ that emotionally and possibly physically wound our fellow citizens?!? And, we are probably going to end up spending a BILLION dollars of donated American dollars to try to create these lingering feelings!?! Do we really need this much ‘spin’ to make a rational decision, and/or is that what this election is about any longer in America - LOL or cry (but please don’t become apathetic and not vote)???
Oh, and just briefly, what about the many Congressional representatives that are up for re-election and their competitors? Perhaps, there is ‘spin’ here, too, as we are encouraged to focus on one leader (of one element of our government, the Administrative Branch - the President), while the other larger branch (the Legislative Branch - and ALL of Congress) gets little billing, and therefore doesn’t have to be very public or accountable for their actions (or lack of action, depending upon one’s view of ‘reality’)???
In closing, recently I read various articles on the Internet that remind me, taking American politics and our perspectives to a global level:
Any comparisons or new perspectives here to be drawn from these independent research findings and ‘facts’??? And, anyone possibly trying to ‘spin’ anything here??? I’ll let you the reader try and sort out if any of it is relevant to your lives and the decisions that you and all of America needs to be looking at these days... It’s enough to make my head spin!
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