On A Rant…. by Nancy Brophy

As a younger woman I used to have patience. At least I think I did. Now I need everything to happen instantaneously. And when people make jaw-dropping TSTL (too stupid to live) statements I want to strangle them. Among this group are politicians who’ve decided science has no value and therefore one can say any outrageous thing he/she wants without repercussion.

In defense of the American people let me remind you that we’ve just had an election that shows stupid statements can bite a person on the ass.

During the debates a young man asked the Presidential candidates what guarantees he would have of a job when he graduated. The response he received was basically talking points. I would have answered that question quite differently. In what generation has the government been responsible for making sure young people had jobs?

Too many people are waiting to be spoon feed. When did America lose its entrepreneurial spirit? People who can’t find jobs invent them. They look around and find something missing and figure out a way to supply that need. I may have told this story before (sorry  if I’m repetitive – but it works well to illustrate my point).

A church sexton (janitor) was being let-go because a new upper level church official decided that everyone needed a certain minimal education requirement that the man did not have. Apparently he couldn’t read. As he walked around the streets of London trying to decide his next move, he realized he’d walked for blocks without seeing a tobacco shop and he wanted a smoke. A few years later he was interviewed by a young woman who marveled at his rags-to-riches story and the success of his string of tobacco shops. “Do you have any idea where you would be now, if you could read?” she asked. The man smiled. Yes, he knew exactly where he would be. He would be sexton of St. Andrews Parish.

Do I think Americans are suffering more than ever? Yes, we have a lousy economy. But I believe my generation has made some major mistakes with their children. Not everyone is a winner. And we must stop telling each child they are and setting up no-competition events. In order to be a winner, you must undergo adversity. You must learn to fight for what you want/need.

Mary Tyler Moore said, “You can’t be brave, if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.”

I once lived next door to a young man who had the remarkably good fortune of having a trust fund. He graduated from college with a degree in accounting and went to work for his father’s firm who treated him like every recent college graduate. The young man, whose name I’ve long forgotten was so offended at the measly salary that he quit and bought himself a Ferrari. Now, it may not seem to you that an unemployed young man with a Ferrari was kind of pathetic, but it was.

A friend of mine who is a teacher complained recently that at her school a fifteen year old boy with emotional problems wasn’t working on the same project as the rest of the class. However, the school systems way of dealing with it was to speak gently to the boy and then move on. When the teacher did that, the boy responded, “I’m fine, get the f**k away from me.”

Call me old-fashioned, but isn’t there a principal’s office for a reason?

We have shooting tragedies in our home, schools and malls and yet we can’t have a meaningful conversation about gun control, because taking away our semi-automatic guns that fire a bazillion rounds violates our constitutional rights. This is the point where I know I’m old. This is point where I have no patience. This is the point where the TSTL statements really get to me.

However, the best come back I heard was rather than post armed guards in every school, why don’t we post a teacher in every gun shop and gun show and give her a ruler to rap a few knuckles.


Posted on January 26, 2013, in General and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I now have an overwhelming urge to stand on your lawn just to see if you will yell at me to get off of it. 😉


  2. Thanks, Maggie – Good points.


  3. I am with you on the limited patience for TSTL statements–especially with politicians. Unfortunately, I believe too many politicians make statements to try to win an argument or persuade toward an agenda, rather than to actually think about and solve a problem. Political races have devolved to being constantly running for office and having no time to do actual work. I wish I knew how to solve that problem. I’m afraid I don’t have the patience or heart to tackle it.

    As to parenting, I’m of mixed feelings. Yes there are those who give their children too much or, worse, ignore them because they are too busy taking care of their own needs/desires. However, I don’t know if our generation did a worse job than previous generations or not. Is it worse to beat your kids, or put them to work at 15, out of ignorance or poverty? Or is it worse to give them too much, or let them be raised by others, as you pursue your own dreams? Of course, better is somewhere in the middle. I suspect that the majority of American’s and parents are somewhere in the middle but they don’t make news headlines and they aren’t used as exemplars to match a political or advertising agenda.

    Every generation has its newsmakers and rebels, but they are the outliers from the norms. In my parent’s generation it was beatniks. In my generation it was hippies. In my kid’s generation it is the fluxers–without belief in economic viability, company loyalty, or religion–fluxers move from one career to another and believe in the “take care of me first because no one else will” motto. I know I’m a pollyanna, but I see in the fluxers two groups: one that is civic minded and creative that harkens back to the best of the 60’s culture without the drugs; and one that is go for the money because it may not be here tomorrow. I think the civic minded, creative thinkers will win the day and, unfortunately, will probably rarely make the news headlines.


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