Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bumper Stickers and Bikini Girls

We’ve all heard someone say, “Now THAT’S what’s wrong with this world today,” right? Here’s one for ya—a bumper sticker Sean-Martin and I saw last Sunday that said:

I saw it.
I wanted it.
I threw a fit.
I got it.

Why anyone would be bragging about acting like a two year old is a blot on our culture in and of itself. Why would this be attractive in anyone’s mind? So, I gotta say it:
Now, THAT’S what’s wrong with the world today!

How about a bumper sticker that says:

I saw it.
I wanted it.
I worked my ass off.
I earned it.

That used to be the American Dream, didn’t it? Generations before us weren’t afraid to put forth whatever amount of effort was required to attain the material possessions they needed and wanted to provide for their families.

How about a bumper sticker that says:

I saw it.
I wanted it.
I threw a fit.
My mother beat my ASS and I shut my damn MOUTH!

Or a bumper sticker that says:

I saw it.
I wanted it.
I saw someone else who had even less than I did.
I was suddenly grateful for all that I have in my life right now.

Or:

I saw it.
I wanted it.
I realized that the only reason I wanted it is because I live in a culture so all-consuming that I am only PROGRAMMED by marketing agencies to want it, and in another three months this thing I want now will be completely meaningless because I’ll be manipulated yet again to want something else.
I did an inventory of all the truly important things I have in my life, and decided that I am the one who determines the value of all that I have.

Or another possibility:

I saw it.
I wanted it.
I tried to get it, but it didn’t work out.
I realized then that people don’t ALWAYS get what they want.

I’m not trying to poo poo on anybody’s dreams, but this epidemic sense of entitlement is grating on my nerves of late. This belief that things can be attained without effort or skill or talent or ability and can be had for the asking—merely by wanting it is ludicrous! I get sick of people telling our kids, “You can be anything you want…” and ending that sentence right there, very irresponsibly, without telling them they’d better learn to bust a HUMP!

This kind of smoke-up-your-shorts advice produces people like “Bikini Girl” (does anyone even remember her NAME? NO!) who showed up to audition for American Idol in a swatch of material held up by strings and stiletto heels. When they passed her on to Hollywood she announced confidently, “I’m going to be the next American Idol because… because… because I AM!” I looked at the TV and shouted, “Honey, SOMEBODY in that room is going to be the next American Idol BECAUSE THEY CAN SING!” The outcome for her was really rather sad. At some point she had to put some clothes on and sing a song. Yeah. That’s when her situation started to disintegrate.

How many boys have I taught who truly believe they are going to play professional football? I’ll tell you: too many to count. No Plan B. These gentlemen do not study, do not get good grades, and have no intention of going to college. I’m not sure how they think they are going to be recruited by the NFL, but somehow in their minds, like Bikini Girl, it’s all going to work out. Why? Because that’s what they want!

You know what’s great about all this hoo ha? I AM A TEACHER! I have kids who walk through my life, year after year, just waiting to learn a thing or two. They may come IN deluded, but by God, they’re not going to LEAVE deluded! This summer, I’m making sure there is a “reality” component in every single lesson I teach! Like my good friend and fantastic educator, n!c, says, “It may not be in the standards—but I’m not afraid to teach it!”

7 comments:

Felicia said...

Daisy, you're starting to scare me... You're sounding more and more conservative: "...worked my ass off and earned it." AHHHHHHHHH! I've gotta say, I can't agree with you more. As a parent, I feel it's part of my job to teach my boys that much IS possible. BUT they have to do the hard work to make it happen. And THEY need to be the ones with the compassion, ingenuity and generosity to aid the downtrodden in lifting themselves up not some distant government program that is less effective.

Teresa said...

I agree with Felicia.

We are teaching our children that they can pursue a dream, but they need to be shrewd with the money they earn and take business classes so that THEY manage their money and not someone else. Mick Jaggar has a business degree from Oxford and instead of spending his money partying, he invested it. Gene Simmons from KISS did the same thing. Success is earned, mistakes happen and that is often the best way to learn and become successful. Failure should be seen as a stepping stone to success, not a character flaw.

Teaching our children compassion and giving, regardless of their success is essential to their growth and maturity as human beings and children of God. When the government takes over the compassion, they take the human-ness out of it and therefore, the joy of giving is depleted. Additionally, the government has a history of being ineffective when it comes to helping (can you say "Foster Care"?). Those who want the government to take over healthcare do so at the risk of their own health, which is why Canadians come here for healthcare and are willing to pay for it. (Did I just go down a rabbit trail? Oops)

Rachinlv said...

All I have to say is, "You go!" I love the last lines about not being in the standards, but still teaching it. HELL YEAH!! :-) Love ya!
Rachel

TXB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TXB said...

For that one passage about conscpicuous consumption, Daisy, it's gonna take about five bumper stickers using small print :) Reminds me of Lily Allen lyrics: "I am a weapon of massive consumption / But it's not my fault / It's how I'm programmed to function." Anyway, on the subject of bumpter stickers, I cracked up the other day when I saw one that said, "Jesus loves you. Everyone else thinks you're an asshole."

Deidre said...

I have nothing profound to add - I agree that you categorically CANNOT be anything you want to be? I want to be 5'9'' and weigh 135 lbs - NOT GONNA HAPPEN! I want to sing in church - NOT GONNA HAPPEN! Doesn't matter how hard I work or how much I want it. I can only be what I can be. I can only be what God created me to be. I can do my best and tell the truth. That's what I can do and be. Incidentally, those are pretty much the only two rules in our house - do your best and tell the truth.

As for bikini girl - let me just say - as a woman and a HUGE American Idol fan - I am ashamed and appalled! I honestly wanted to poke her eyes out with a pencil. I admit - not "my best" thought - but definitely TRUE to myself!

The Wiese Family said...

I love you Daisy!! Thank you!!! I agree 100%!!! I have been sick of this for a long time.

I laughed and nodded my head though out the whole thing! You go girlie!