A collection of assorted thoughts, opinions, and recommendations on a variety of life’s issues ranging from politics to web use. I’m not qualified to make most of these assertions, but if that were the criteria for proposing ideas, then we’d rarely move forward. So on the strength of that reasoning (or excuse), here are a few ideas.
1. Stronger restrictions should be put in place to regulate the creation of companies’ musical jingles, especially for local business.
I don’t know how it would work – maybe a committee to determine whether the effectiveness outweighs the annoyance factor for each local ditty. And maybe these folks have to be elected. But they’re only allowed a $10 campaign budget, and they’re whittled down to about 20 by election. Then, we give them an IQ test, a character quality test (probably involving a lie detector), a social awareness test, and some sort of hip-ness test to reduce the number to ten. Maybe this is excessive and a bit Communist, but I’m just the idea man. Somebody else can turn this into a democratic process. This probably applies to all the ideas that follow as well.
2. There should be a cap on the number of reality TV shows that can be part of our programming at any time.
I’m only about 10% joking on this one. Ideally, they’d go through a similar quality check as described above. Scores can be given based on criteria like the following:
- Level of potential character-building, knowledge-building, and utility
- Level of anger/unrest provoked by 15-second commercial clips of the show (most non-HGTV shows would currently fail this test, and shows involving angry, gossipy wives and guys punching girls obviously fail this test)
- Level of connection to actual reality
Again, is this bordering on dictatorship? I respond with a paraphrasing of Abe Lincoln, assuming President Obama was correct in his State of the Union quote, which goes something like this: government should do only what the people cannot do better for themselves. Brilliant! Lincoln is a master of quotes, second only to Jesus and possibly Einstein. And we clearly cannot filter these things better for ourselves, evidenced by a quick browse of the TV Guide.
3. There should be a team of people who are authorized to tag up cars whose owners have intentionally double parked them.
I’m not talking about a slight crossing of the line by someone who was in a rush to get to a doctor’s appointment. I’m talking about people who straddle the divider lines as if they are the rail which carries kiddy trains around at an amusement park, with the goal of ensuring nobody blemishes their shiny new car.
The tagging material should be something that will wash off without damaging the car, but it should require significant effort on the part of the owner, to discourage this annoying practice.
I don’t own a shiny new car at the moment, although I do have a relatively new vehicle which was recently egged for no good reason. I might feel a little differently if my (hypothetical) freshly-painted ’66 Mustang was dinged a few times, but I hope that my stance on this wouldn’t change. So if you know me, you see that I’ve gotten a new car, and you see me doing this, I authorize you to tag up my car. But please follow protocol: nothing damaging, nothing permanent.
Lastly, here’s a solution proposal: businesses can build a few extra-wide parking spots for those who’d like (understandably) to protect their new toys, and charge a small fee for a permit to park in these spots. More profits for businesses. Peace of mind for protective car owners. A place to park for the rest of us. Win, win, win.
4. Anyone wishing to vote for elected officials should be required to first take a test that determines whether they’re qualified to do it.
The test needn’t be an evaluation of education level, or even of intelligence for that matter. It should simply ensure that we know a bit about the folks we’re voting for and what their stances are. This is a test that I’d currently fail. I’m resolved to become more aware, though I still have no desire to get “into politics.” A sample question:
Firsty Lasterson believes that acceptable methods of government-sanctioned torture include:
- Reciting Black-Eyed Peas lyrics without the music
- All of the above
- None of the above. Any method of torture is unacceptable.
5. There should be no option to vote “straight republican” or “straight democrat.”
You could still do it, but not with one flick of a pencil. The best case scenario is that we’d have to actually vote for individual people, and we’d be encouraged (but still not forced) to use our brains and judgment just a bit. The worst case scenario is that it’d be a small punishment for those who would normally vote strictly for a party – they’d have to spend the time to check each individual box.
Am I a hypocrite, not only in my actions vs my prose, but even within this article? Possibly, even though I tried to mention where I know I’m a failure. Am I doing that thing where I point out my own faults so that you can’t do it without sounding redundant? Absolutely.
Okay, enough with the politics.
6. Country singers should not be allowed to use R&B, “Gangster,” or Rap-born slang terms that have come about in the last ten years in their country songs.
Recent examples include the words “badonkadonk” and “bling.” Please feel free to use the words all you want in daily life. I, for example, use tons of words in speech that I would feel embarrassed to put in print, words which are not becoming to me or which I simply have no “right” (according to PC standards) to use. I do this under the sorta hipster guise (no, I’m not proud of that connection) of doing it satirically, but I use the words so often that it in reality it’s more than that: it has become a type of Friendspeak.
But would I sing these things in a song, and expect to be taken seriously? No. Unless I was covering a 90′s R&B song (which I quite enjoy, actually) – and that’s barely permissible, only because I’m not presenting them as my own words.
This one is riddled with hypocrisy. And these folks have achieved success, made plenty of money, and facilitated a good time for lots of people. I guess it just bothers me. Speaking of what bothers me…
7. The words “communist” and “socialist” should be used much more judiciously.
All the talk that is common in some circles about how ‘the government is trying to control every aspect of our life’ is getting really old. Maybe because of my ignorance, which I mentioned above, maybe because I’ve been hearing it for nearly 4 years, or maybe because I don’t think we’re ever going to be China. In any case, it has created a little time bomb in my head, and the word ‘communist’ is the trigger. So the uttering of this word could set off an explosion (figurative), and if you’re close enough that I’m within earshot, then there’s a good chance that you might get busted in the dome piece by some debris. Again, figuratively; I’m not a violent person.
Thus ends this edition of What’s Eating Derek Weathersbee?
I don’t think it should need to be said, but I’ll say it anyway: although what I write is based on at least something I believe, I write it only for the sake of humor and fun. I do many things, I’m sure, which are just as annoying or nonsensical as the things I’m criticizing. Like using the word “thus” in a meaningless post about things I like and dislike. Or using far too many parentheses (seriously, I’ve actually deleted about ten pair before publishing this). Or talking about parentheses. None of these things are issues that keep me up at night, or things which I plan to act on. That’s why I’m writing a silly blog post rather than penning letters to mayors or senators or trying to provoke an uprising.