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Showing posts with label The Michael Jordan Generation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Michael Jordan Generation. Show all posts

Monday, August 26, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

No Shit


Monday, May 06, 2013

How Do We See Ourselves?

Take a look at this video from Dove...



It's truly amazing to me how so many women look upon themselves so negatively. What is it about culture that drives them to do this? It's not just advertising or Hollywood.

Nor is it just women. The next time you are in a group of people try this experiment. Tell a story about how you fucked something up and watch everyone laugh along with you. Then tell a story about how great you are at something and listen for the crickets. Maybe you might get one person that gives you some props but for the most part, we cheer self deprecation and jeer self affirmation.

I don't get it.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Perfect For A Saturday Night

This is one of the most deranged and hilarious things I have ever read. Apparently, things are just as bad in sororities as we thought they were. Here is an excerpt:

I will fucking cunt punt the next person I hear about doing something like that, and I don't give a fuck if you SOR me, I WILL FUCKING ASSAULT YOU.

Since authoring this email, she has resigned from Delta Gamma. She should take heart, though. There is a place for her on the inter webs...the right wing blogsphere.

She'd fit right in!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Yay!

I'm glad I have a 12 year old and a 10 year old with whom to celebrate Valentine's Day so we can join the rest of the children out there in America who place emotional significance on February 14th.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Monday, February 13, 2012

Good Grief...


While I'm always sad at the passing of someone, America...please pull your head out of your overly corporate media influenced ass and get some fucking priorities. 

 And people wonder why our children don't know who holds the office of vice president.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Conversation (Part The Second)

Continuing the FB discussion with my friend Jim.

Mark: Well, it's your page which means I have no say in what you keep or delete so no offense taken whatsoever. Let's see if we can look at this from another angle. Take a look at this story.

Teacher Blogged About 'Rat-Like' Students

In one posting on her blog she called her students, "out of contol," and "rude, lazy, disengaged whiners."

How exactly do the unions, bureaucracy and political cronyism cause this? What this women describes happens quite often in classrooms. While I find some of the things she said a bit harsh, she's mostly on the mark. This is what teachers have to deal with every day, Jim. Every day. The origin of this problem is a much larger problem with our entire society. It's a failure of parents, community leaders, schools, and peer groups. This is what happens when you allow the mass media to socialize your children.

Go to a school and ask young people to tell you...honestly...if they think they could win American Idol. You will be shocked by the answer. This is what they have been brought up to believe is LIKELY to happen. We have become a quite a bizarre culture when people think that the solution to their problems is winning the lottery.

So, when you characterize the education system in the way you do, you miss key points. Referring me to Sowell is simply further proof that you have embraced an ideology which excuses, encourages and falsely justifies dismissing any liberal point of view. This isn't arrogance on my part but encouragement to continue the work that you are doing in your community.

Essentially, the key problem with education is our overly indulgent society. We don't recognize the importance of education anymore. It's the Michael Jordan Generation. Yesterday, Jim put this video up on his FB wall.



"We want to pay you millions of dollars so we can avoid solving our problems." The last minute and a half or so is the MJG exactly. Until this changes, "failing" schools are going to continue to fail. Of course, he doesn't see this connection.

Jim: Mark, you are again missing the point. The point is not the article about schools, or what's going on in schools. If you'd tried to fairly read what I actually said, you'd see that we share a lot in common. But you are quick to misrepresent and then dismiss any viewpoint with which you disagree. It's lazy, simplistic, dishonest, and arrogant, and it makes discussion impossible.

And now you assert that I've embraced an ideology which dismisses liberal points of view -- because I read a book by Sowell? What is more illiberal than dismissing a book one hasn't read with an easy ad hominem attack? "Oh, it's by Sowell. I already know what it says." Who has the closed mind?

Yet you've decided that I'm the unthinking doctrinaire. And it's obvious that's what you've thought for a while, given your usual dismissal of anything that doesn't validate your views, and your unwillingness to even try to understand why people think differently from you -- you already know why. They can't have arrived at their beliefs through thoughtful analysis or reason; people who disagree with you are simply unthinking dupes and narrow-minded ideologues.

You don't shout people down with a bullhorn like the street-level illiberal thugs, but the effect is just the same.

Since you really believe that I've embraced an ideology which justifies dismissing liberal views (ironic, given that's what you're doing to me), then there really is no point in further discussion.

I'd like to be your friend, but friendship is based on trust and respect -- neither of which you have for me.

Mark: I don't think that about you at all, Jim. I really don't. You have focused in on the criticisms and ignored the compliments. Please go back and read the positives and weigh them accordingly with the other points. I would also urge you to read these words.

I do agree that there are problems with unions, bureaucracy and cronyism. But that is only a part of a much larger problem. Liberal and progressive points of view do have merit and I think you need to ask yourself if Sowell would accept any of them. Honestly, he wouldn't. I have read him extensively and it's frustrating to me that you would use him as an example for parameters that you are quite clearly beyond.

I can't stress this enough. Without you, a community would be lost. That's how much of an effect that someone like you can have in what ails our society!

Jim: Mark, that is exactly and clearly what you communicate. Go back and re-read your comments. The compliments mean little when what you repeatedly express is arrogant dismissal, scornful disdain, and the most uncharitable reading of what I write. I don't recognize hardly anything I believe in the words you put in my mouth. I'm tired of being the target for your bashing of some generic conservative stereotype you've created in your mind.

I have a hard time thinking of a situation in which you have taken seriously the appeals like this which I've made to you -- appeals to step outside your wordlview and try to fairly understand and interact with others who disagree with you. I've not said liberal points of view are without merit; you are the one who is incapable of granting that conservative views can have any merit. You consistently communicate that conservatives only hold their positions through ignorance, apathy, selfishness, and naivete. You've just told me that in this discussion, in fact.

I'm being defensive, or intemperate? You've told me that if I thought harder and looked more broadly at issues, if I studied as you have, then I could come to the insights you've reached. But since I haven't (which you know, how?), I'm only capable of spouting GOP dogma. Again, your assumption is that any thinking person who looks at an issue will agree with you. It's hard to imagine a more disrespectful, dismissive, arrogant response.

Until you can demonstrate any willingness to understand, fairly articulate, and respectfully interact with opposing viewpoints, I'm not interested in discussion. The door is open anytime you want to walk through it on those terms.

I had one more response after this which he has since responded to and I will put them both up tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Wiener's Weener

I wasn't going to let the whole Wiener storyline go without a remark but I saw an opportunity to use it as a teachable moment.

NOTE TO THE MEDIA: There people in this country living in tents and/or without health care. Do we really give a rat's ass about someone sending sexy photos of themselves over the internet?

The media has once again proven themselves to stare and drool at the bright shiny object-in this case Wiener's weener. Recall that the mass media is one of the five primary agencies of socialization and the one, I believe, has overrun the other four (family, school, peer group, community). Somehow, the union of puritanical hysteria and the corporate owned media have created a bastard of a child that feeds on insanity like this. For the life of me, I can't figure out why Chris Lee resigned after a shirtless photo of him came out. So fucking what??!!??

Can we please get over this ridiculous rigidity about sex? All it produces is a preponderance of attention paid to a whole bunch of shit that doesn't matter one wit. We have serious problems in this country and this is a serious fucking waste of time, people.

What do we have to do to stop giving a shit about this garbage? I submit that we stop watching, reading, or listening to it and let the sponsors of any media who report this shit that WE DON'T CARE.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's About Time

I've been in Natalie Munroe's shoes more times than I can count. After putting up with endless bullshit from the youth of America, she finally cracked and let loose a spiel on her blog that has ended with her suspension. Her analysis of the youth of America is, in some ways, correct.

Yet her mistake was putting too much of the blame on the students and not enough where most of the problem truly lies...the parents. I suspect that's why she got in trouble. I'm willing to be that it wasn't a student that ratted her out but a parent who got called on their lazy bullshit and, rather than take responsibility for their child's horse shit attitude, turned to Munroe as a scapegoat. Until more parents take responsibility and actually fucking parent, this malaise is going to grow. Nikto wrote about his very problem recently and so have I.  Can we all say Michael Jordan Generation?

After all, I can only do so much if they don't want to do their work. If they decide that they know they are going to make it as an athlete or recording artist and don't think they need a back up plan, there's only so much I can do. Remember, it's what they see as success defined, within the functionality of our society, that's the real problem. I'm going up against the onslaught of the images of corporate America which their parents buy into as well. Ms. Munroe and I are only one fifth of the primary agencies of socialization. As I will continue to say (probably forever), the mass media is the 400 pound gorilla in the room. They have smothered the other four agencies just like BP oil all over the Gulf.

The other side to all of this is Munroe's lack of reflection. This was also part of her undoing. Certain people become teachers for all the wrong reasons. They think they can connect with the youth of America but they really can't. They also don't have the thick skin that one needs (as I do) to let insults bounce right off and go into oblivion. I've had students hurl insult after insult at me and I just laugh. That just pisses them off even more. Clearly, Munroe couldn't handle this and part of me thinks that she lacked that coolnees with which kids can connect. The youth of today can smell "DORK" a mile away and woe be to anyone who has this built into their personality. This would also be where the lazy teacher rag that I sing quite often chimes in. If you aren't a very creative person to begin with and lack width of vision, you will not intrinsically motivate your students.

So, it was probably a combination of all of these things that caused this mini mushroom cloud in Pennsylvania. It's my hope that this incident acts as a catalyst for change. Kevin Baker is fond of saying, "Let's take off...nuke the site from orbit...it's the only way to be sure" when it comes to our education system. What he fails to see is that our education system is one small reflection in the extrinsically motivated cesspool that is our entire culture.

The reason why we are seeing more and more stories like Ms. Munroe's has to do with the giant flaw in the entire system. We have allowed the mass media to dictate our behavior and socialize our children as well as....everyone else. There are pockets of success here and there but you'll have to pardon my cynicism when I say that as long as we continue to function like this, President Obama's call for our country to out innovate the rest of the world will be pure folly.

In the final analysis, it's going to take a mass effort on the part of all of us to change the paradigm of how our culture operates. Parents, teachers, communities, and peer groups are going to have to regain control of socialization from the mass media. They need to take responsibility for themselves and actually dedicate their time to achieve this goal. It's going to take patience coupled with the willingness to manage complexities in order to shift the way our culture works.

Anyone out there think our ADD society can do it?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Role Models

The best line from President Obama's speech was this

That responsibility begins not in our classrooms, but in our homes and communities. It’s family that first instills the love of learning in a child. Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework gets done. We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair; that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard work and discipline.

Hmm...the Michael Jordan Generation?

Gripe all you want about our education system (and there is PLENTY to grip about) but it starts with ridding our culture of COP (checked out parents). As I have been saying for quite a long time, the first agency of socialization is the family. If the family falls into the mass media fly trap definition of success, it's hard to break out. Of course, it does help that President Obama is a role model.

On election day of 2008, I went over to my children's school to help out with the mock vote. I get done an hour and a half before my kids get done so I volunteered to assist kids with the touch screens for the all school vote. Some black kids were talking about LeBron as they came in and sat down to vote. They all voted for Obama and then one of the turned to me and said, "If Barack Obama wins, that means I could be president too now, I guess." They spent the rest of the time talking about how cool it would be if he won.

It helps when they see someone who looks like them succeeding at something other than sports.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Doubling Down

For those of you who want a very specific example of why I am a Democrat, compare Sarah Palin's speech yesterday to President Obama's speech.

Instead of taking the high road, Sarah Palin decided to double down and use her position as a powerful force within the conservative movement in this country to fully illustrate why people should be talking about her in connection with the shooting.

If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.

So, Sarah Palin has now put herself on the same level as oppressed Jews accused of using Christian children's blood in religious ceremonies. Really? Let's compare here statement (which can be read in full here) with Keith Olbermann's statement read on the night of the shooting.

Violence, or the threat of violence, has no place in our Democracy, and I apologize for and repudiate any act or any thing in my past that may have even inadvertently encouraged violence. Because for whatever else each of us may be, we all are Americans.

You know what the above is called, folks? Taking Responsibility. 

All of this discourse over the last week has made me realize that, in general, the right wing of this country completely fails in two very distinct yet related ways.

The first way they epically fail is by loudly asserting in one breath that people need to own up to their actions and then completely failing to take ownership of any of their own actions in..well...anything...in the other breath. We saw this for 8 years with President Bush. He could never admit fault. We see it on here in any discussion of race. We see it with Sarah Palin in this situation.

Let's review some key facts:

1. Sarah Palin puts up a map with rifle crosshairs on it early last year targeting certain congressional districts for the fall campaign.

2. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' district was one of the districts targeted.

2. Gabrielle Giffords calls Palin to the map for saying this and speaks of "consequences" in an interview on MSNBC.

3. Giffords' office  is attacked along with fellow Arizona congressmen Raul Girjalva's office.

3. Ms. Giffords is shot in the head later in th year.

These four things are facts. They happened. And Palin wants to stifle any conversation about any of this? Then doubles down and uses the term "blood libel" in relation to herself. Does she know that Giffords is JEWISH? My commenters accuse me of having no shame and scoring political points. Are you fucking KIDDING me?

Imagine if Hillary Clinton had done that and someone had been shot in the head. Imagine if it were Muslims that put up a map like this. The reaction would be exactly the same as mine...likely worse...from the right. And they would be correct. The defense, from the right, for the crosshairs map is that the Democrats put one out in 2004. My question is a simple one.

DID ANYONE GET SHOT IN THE HEAD?!?

The second, and equally important, way that the right wing epically fails is their titanic resistance to the idea that people don't operate in a vacuum. Palin again from yesterday.

Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state, not with those who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle, not with law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their First Amendment rights at campaign rallies, not with those who proudly voted in the last election.

Wrong. David Adkisson walked into a Unitarian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee and killed two people, wounding seven others. During his interview, Adkisson said that he believed that all liberals should be killed because they are ruining the country. Books by Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and Bill O'Reilly were found in his home. People don't operate in a vacuum. Even if Loughner had been found with Palin's books and the crosshairs map, she still would've denied any responsibility...just as Hannity, Savage and O'Reilly all did back in 2008.

As I wrote about the other day, we are the product of our socialization. The way people behave is not simply a result of their own actions but the result of a lifetime of interactions with both the people and the institutions of our country. The media is an institution of our country that is overwhelmingly influential and poweful. Make no mistake, folks. I am not saying that Hannity caused Adkisson to go out and shoot these people. It was the combination of Hannity (et al), Adkisson's own warped mind, and the failure of the various agencies of socialization in Adkisson's life. It was the combination of all these factors. As a side note, this is why I think gun control is ludicrous. The guns aren't the problem...the agencies of socialization are the problem if they fail!

So, it's a double (and most epic) fail illustrated beautifully in the form of Sarah Palin. She can't own up to her own contribution to the overall problem and she can't admit that Jared Loughner is who he is because of the culture in which he lives. This is a fundamental (and most common) flaw in conservative ideology. Quite frankly, it's a flaw that needs to be corrected if our society ever wants to get any further down the road. We need to understand that it is both.

The icing on the (hilarious) cake is that she falls back into what we clearly should all get past...as this latest tragedy so eloquently illustrates...she blames liberals, using the term "blood libel," and once again TARGETS them as evil. And we are right back in the shit...again!

Honestly, though, it's clear why she and other right wingers are pissed. Their insecurity is glaringly obvious. Nearly every discussion I've ever had with the right has been like this. This is why they accuse Social Security of being like a Ponzi Scheme:. They don't have informed opinions...only delusions that fit their anger....so they make shit up, pulling it deep from within their asses. The real reason why she and some others on the right are PO'd about this is that they have nothing else. They have to resort to insane levels of hyperbole.  "Don't retreat, reload" is their meat. If that mode of discourse is taken away, their position will be revealed for what it is.

Full of sound and fury...signifying nothing.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Michael Jordan Generation

My senior year in high school was pretty amazing for a number of reasons. The first was that I had a fucking killer girlfriend. Gorgeous, fun, opinionated, highly intelligent and so much more, she really set the tone for what kind of woman I would be attracted to over my life. In addition, I had a great group of friends, was very involved in the TV studio and theater at the school, and had a great little business I had started painting and detailing windows. I only had a few customers but I made great money for 1984.

It was that same year that my beloved Chicago Bulls finally saw a ray of light and hope join their team in the form of the best player to ever play the game. He averaged 28 points a game on just over 50 percent shooting that season and became an instant star. Just a few years later, he led the Bulls to the first of 2 threepeats. His name was Michael Jordan and there is no doubt in my mind that he is responsible for the giant pile of shit that currently is American culture.

Now, I like Mike as much as the next person. I'm even a huge fan of sports and enjoy watching it regularly. But if you are someone who grew up during his era, you were socialized at a very key point in the development of our culture. And, as I will illustrate, it's not really Mike personally that was (and still is) the problem. It was the institutions in our society and the interactions that our citizens have with them that created the malaise. And its zenith was Michael Jordan so, like doctors that get diseases named after them, I am naming this one the Michael Jordan Generation (MJG).

We are not a nation of rugged individualists. I know that's going to send many commenters here into anaphylaxis but people aren't perpetual soloists in a culture as developed as ours. How we function in the interactions with our society's institutions (functionalism) and with each other (symbolic interaction) dictates our behavior. I've always been a blank slate fellow. I don't agree with Rousseau's concept of innate goodness nor do I think that we are all wretched sinners who need Jesus to save us. Being a believer in Christ means coming to Him of your own free will, not scoring brownie points in either beating yourself up or feeling guilty because you think someone's ass (male or female) is hot. You are a blank slate and the teachings of Christ...your belief in him...and your interactions within Christianity (or whatever you believe in) help to define who you are along with the multitude of other things with which you interact. 

Something else that is important to note here before we proceed further is that human beings are emotional. Trying to remove that element completely in any sort of analysis is pure folly. We are not Spock. You can pretend you are but then you would be a liar--as are many of my commenters who claim to rational and logical but then say things like

I'd ask if you've been sippin' the stupid juice, but it's more like you've been gulpin' it.

Comments like these are a daily occurrence here. I have no problem with people saying any of this stuff. Where I have a problem is with the hypocrisy. Emotions enter in to who we are as people and how we make decisions every day. These emotions arise from interactions with other people (such as in the comments sections of a blog) and they fill in the blank slate of who we are and who we become. They CHANGE us. You may have the conceit that by posting on a libertarian blog that you are sharing your rugged individualism with others but you are, in fact, interacting with people in a symbolic way which alters your behavior. This is a collective influence not an individual one. 

The main reason why I mention emotions,though, is what arises out of them: desire. We desire to fit in and function in our society and when we don't, we experience anomie or normlessness. We've all had the experience of seeing a McDonald's ad on television and then being hungry for a cheeseburger. I've even gone out and bought one before. On a very low level, this is operant conditioning. Desire, however, comes from repeated interaction with the people and institutions in our lives and that is much more powerful.

So, we are not a culture of islands. When we interact with our family, our peer group, our community, our schools, and the mass media (the five main areas of socialization), we behave in certain and distinct ways as a result of those interactions. There is no doubt in my mind that this was the case with Jared Loughner, the shooter in the Arizona Safeway massacre. His interactions with these five areas made him who he is today. Nikto spoke of this in his post yesterday. Somewhere along the line Jared's blank slate was filled in with socialization that led him to believe that shooting people was perfectly acceptable. Time and again we see examples like this and it illustrates a very key failure of the right wing and libertarian philosophy.: People don't operate in a vacuum. Of course, it would be wrong to say that personal responsibility shouldn't be considered at all. It's equally as wrong to say, however, that Jared's interactions played no part at all in what he did and it's just his individual fault. It's both.

There was a time when the first four of these areas were more significant. These smaller spheres had a great deal of influence on filling in the blank slate. Today, however, the mass media is the most significant and its influence has become so overwhelming in defining our culture and our interactions with the people in our family, peer groups, community and schools that, as an instructor, I can't even come close to competing with it. We have been socialized by the mass media to be ADD and want that "bright, shiny object." This brings us back to Mike.

The people that are parents today grew up seeing Mike hawk cars, clothes, soft drinks and shoes. This is how they have seen success defined: extrinsically. Hawking these items has been around forever but not at such a monumentally high level as when Mike showed up. Because of this Niagara Falls type inundation, this is how they raise their children. They have turned them into consumer drones giving in completely to the emotion of envy...of wanting to have the latest thing to make their lives happier. There are exceptions to the rule, of course, but generally parents today and even some people in the mid 20s who aren't parents have been conditioned to believe that Michael Jordan is the pure embodiment of success and that our lives should be patterned after him. Mike is a shining example of the fact that the first four areas of socialization have all succumbed to this model of achievement and have altered their function within our culture.

We have, I fear, been changed for the worse because of this.

Parents now raise their children to be superstar athletes and adjust their lifestyles accordingly. Take the example of hockey in my state of Minnesota. It is played year round here starting at the age of 3. It costs thousands of dollars to play and if you were a kid who just wanted to play for fun, you can pretty much forget it. There are practices 4-5 nights a week with games on the other nights. These games are just as competitive and important to parents as the NHL. Fights break out often in the stands. We see them on the news and I see them all the time. Hockey is only one example. This rigorous level is seen in virtually all other sports.

Sadly, this mindset is so consuming that parents are, what I call, COP...Checked Out Parents. Their desire to have the "bright, shiny object" is so overwhelming that their involvement in socializing their kids is often non-existent. And it's not just because of sports as we will see shortly.

Peer groups have become part of the chain as well. If you don't play a sport, you are either "gay" or "retarded." From this we have seen the rise of increased competition in a variety of other sports like swimming and Ultimate Frisbee-a game that used to not have any refs. Everyone has to play a sport so they can be like Mike. Teens geek out on Facebook and YouTube to sports related activities which is pretty much everything now. My favorite bands from the UK are all massive Premier League fans...living and dying with a sport that encourages and rewards mediocrity.

It's important to note here that this mentality goes beyond sports. Sports is merely a spring board into the material and consumer based mentality that has permeated every level of our age cohorts, our peer groups, and, thus, into our families. To be cool, you have to be consumed by some or several areas of media. If it weren't for Harry Potter or Twilight, I have to wonder if young people would event talk about books at all! Even Harry Potter is like Mike...clothes, shoes, soft drinks...

Communities gear their city operations around sports due to the increased demand. Gyms open at 5am for practice and some games don't start until 9pm due to such high demand. A community is more attractive if they have 2-3 hockey rinks. Basketball training facilities have popped up around my town in the last few years so kids can play year round. Their goal? To be like Mike...cars, clothes, shoes, soft drinks.

Perhaps the worst culprit are the schools. Sports has always been important in schools but today it is their culture. Want a kid to do his work in class? Show him or her you know something about sports. Then you're cool and they will get it done. And why are they cool? Cars, clothes, shoes, soft drinks...all things we have been trained to envy, desire, and believe we will get...so we have been told and shown by the Michael Jordan Generation which essentially runs our country. As I have stated above, this model carries over into other areas besides sports. Honestly, it's all aspects of the mass media working on steroid overdrive to sell, sell sell! And one is not a complete person unless one has these things.

I can't compete with that. I can show them things that I think are cool like how our government operates or the history of our country. I can try to connect them with things they like today (which are all consumer driven) but it's mostly futile. It's not what I say, it's what they see. I had a student tell me the other day that he was going to be LeBron. I pointed out the percentages of that happening and he would have none of it. The MJG has told him otherwise. Big house filled with riches....cars, clothes, shoes, soft drinks...

Again, I must confess that I am as much of a sports maniac as all of them. I play and coach tennis. I do like to win. I am emotionally down for a day or two after a Vikings loss which, after this season, was quite a bit. But I don't have those glassy eyes of a fucking zombie and the seemingly never ending desire to raise my children in a pro athlete style. My children play sports but I teach them that they are a part of life, not a lifestyle. Most Americans want a lifestyle and they are too lazy and impatient to have a life. Life is about learning a variety of skills that will help you earn a living and contribute to the community where you live. Most parents do not teach their children this and it's because they believe in the bill of goods that has been sold to them by the mass media. It will somehow happen instantly if you...just buy this pair of shoes...like Mike's shoes...

My favorite line from Inside Job comes from Andrew Sheng, a Chinese economic advisor. "Engineers build bridges...Financial advisors build dreams. And when those dreams become nightmares..."

That first line really made me think. What do we build these days? This is the fundamental difference between our country and China. They are building things...making things...and we really aren't. We desire a lifestyle filled with leisure and, thus, people make shit loads of money off of services in this country.  I have a friend who used to be in the NBA that owns one of those basketball gyms. What exactly is he offering society? There are businesses in China that are building machines to make solar power an efficient alternative to coal and oil. People around the world are buying this technology. How can the global market "buy" a training session from a former NBA player? Why would they even want to? Why is having this training so important to have in America? They can pretend for an hour or two that they are Mike. Cars, clothes, shoes, soft drinks....ironically, most made now in other countries!

I've been asked several times on this blog to point to ways private corporations and the wealthy people that run them are in control of our lives and directly harm us on purpose in the name of profit. I've offered some small and specific examples but they were mere threads in one giant quilt. The answer to these continued questions is much larger than some of the small examples I have mentioned.

Sit back and think about what I have written regarding the mass media's victory over the other four areas of socialization. Think about how they permeate every aspect of our lives now. Imagine what our culture was like before Michael Jordan (car, clothes, shoes, soft drink) and what it's like now. On a systemic level, it has, I fear, been irrevocably changed.

Now, ask yourselves....

Who owns the mass media?