Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Most Relaxing Place Ever

When I was a kid, I always looked forward to being sick. A high temperature or a sore throat meant my Mom would drop me off at Grandma’s house on her way to work. The first thing Grandma would do on a cold winter day is sit me in front of the fireplace and make me a “hot toddy.” Then I would “make my nest,” as she called it, in front of the TV with a bean bag and fuzzy blanket. Her scruffy little dog, Ralph, black kitty (who had no name that I was aware of), Grandma and me would spend the entire day watching soap opera’s, The Andy Griffith Show, and Perry Mason. If it got late before Mom picked me up (which it often did) we’d watch Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. As the night wore on I’d watch Soap, M.A.S.H, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman through barely open eyes. It was acceptable for me to drink hot tea with a shot of whisky but these late night shows were not allowed unless I pretended to be asleep.
Being sick at Grandma’s house was comfortable, safe and warm… but it was also fun. I was allowed to eat and watch things that were “off limits” at home. It was a wonderful combination of the familiar and predictable and the new and exciting. It was a rare opportunity in life to experiment and explore in a safe and unconditionally accepting environment. Although it was not my house, it is one of the few places I have ever felt truly at home.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wash Your Own Damn Brain

The first time I heard of an affirmation was from Al Franken's character Stewart Smalley on Saturday Night Live. "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!" Obviously, I thought affirmations were funny but didn't take them seriously.

Years later I was studying propaganda in totalitarian societies and had a realization. Human behaviour can be modified, and even completely changed, by repeating stripped down, catchy, messages over and over . Corporate advertisers figured this out decades ago and are effectively using the same techniques that dictators use to control entire populations to sell crap and make billions in profits. They have very successfully created a bottomless pit of need, want, and desire that will never (and can never) be satisfied. Our very economy depends on it.

Since this realization I have been a believer in affirmations. I have never used them on myself as consistently and effectively as corporations do, but I still consider them a potentially powerful form of rebellious, grassroots, reprogramming. I firmly believe that all of us have as much power to shape our own desires and behaviour as the ads formulated by high paid business executives. The real challenge is figuring out what our real needs are versus what we have been brain washed to think we need.

I wouldn't be surprised if second rate comedian turned Senator, Al Frankin, has an affirmation or two up his sleeve.

Monday, September 7, 2009

What Is The Secret?

You will be happy to know that I am now taking a writing class. One of our first assignments was to interview another student. The young women who interviewed me turned out to be a sensational writer. Her assignment was read aloud to the class as an example of how it's done. She edited out most of my negativity and made me sound like an interesting, happy and well adjusted person. The class liked it but I got bored and my mind wandered. I'm disturbed by this because I've always believed that a guaranteed method to get anyone with a pulse's attention is to share private things about them to a group of strangers. Perhaps it's time for a physical?

Although I've never watched the DVD or read the book, I happen to know that Oprah's "secret" is " like attracts like". My attention span is shot and I'm not in a good place right now. Honestly, I'm "OK" with that. I 'm attracted to negativity... and for good reason. Fat, Broke, and Tired. Not exactly a chapter from The Secret. I'm not popular... but so what? I do wonder where all the negative readers are though? Should'nt they be attracted to my blog? My counter reads 520 but I started at 500... and 5 of those visits were me. I only have 15 views. I guess they are like me, busy spewing self-absorbed blogs but not doing much reading.

I'm sure I'll get to the promised land. At the very least, learning to become a good writer will obviously help me fake it so I can start attracting and stop repulsing.