Are you REALLY being serious?


im not sure if you are serious

By Kenneth Justice

~Earlier this morning I was at coffee and sitting next to me was an older gentleman who was quietly reading. He’d actually been sitting next to me for the better part of an hour, minding his own business as  he had some book he was deeply enthralled in…..when all-of-a-sudden a young guy who had been sitting on the other side of the coffee shop from us, got up, walked straight toward our tables and confronted the older man,

Do you got a problem with me man!” the young guy barked

The older gentleman was startled (as was I) and in a bewildered voice said, “Excuse me?”

I asked you what your problem with me was!” the young man continued,

“Uh, I don’t know what you’re talking about, I was just reading my book” said the old man.

And with that the young man turned around, walked back to his table, and went back to work on his laptop.

—) There was no apology from the young man

—) There was no explanation for the outburst

—) There was no more conversation

The kid simply walked away and that-was-that.

The entire situation was obviously quite odd. The old man and I couldn’t figure out at first if the kid was being serious or not. “Perhaps he thought I looked at him crossly” the old man whispered to me after the kid walked away.

Isn’t this where life is at in Western Culture lately; people are literally out of their mind? Whatever went through the young guy’s mind I will never know, he was way too intense and pissed off and I wasn’t about to walk over to his table to see if he wanted a free counseling session.

People are on edge

Whether it’s the bad economy, whether its people are out of work, whether it’s that we’ve just forgotten to teach the younger generation good manners; the simple truth of the matter is that too many people are out of their minds!

Too often I find myself unable to figure out if people are being serious or not. There is so much craziness running rampant in Western Culture that a lot of people are spewing out all sorts of things and it’s difficult to determine what-is-fact and what is merely emotive frustration.

It doesn’t help things that Print-Media and News-Journalism is moving towards a precipice that appears to be pretty absurd. More and more articles I read on ‘respected’ NEWS sites are becoming a joke;

Consider these front page articles from Huffington Post;

–) “Britney Wears A Bra Top in Vegas“- a story about Britney Spears outfit

—) “It’s actually impossible to be more awesome than these two“– a story about two actors

—) “Kim Kardashian Hangs Out With Oprah Like It’s No Big Deal“– I think you can figure out what that one was about.

Instead of finding important pieces of NEWS on the front page I’m confronted with silly blather and nonsense. Hey, it’s one thing if you go to the celebrity section or to a Website that focuses on that kind of stuff; no problem, but to put it on the front page of a News Site; Really???

I mean…..come on now! Really?? Is that what classifies as important NEWS in Western Culture now? It’s no wonder that people are losing their minds….because NEWS journalism has apparently lost its mind; its replaced any level of integrity it had in reporting the NEWS with salacious celebrity gossip and silliness.

Perhaps it is no wonder why there is so much injustice in the world still; the people who are running the NEWS sites care more about telling us what Miley Cyrus is up to then the things that matter the most. And let’s be honest, the NEWS media has the ability to influence a lot of people. Whether we like it or not, they print the NEWS that people will end up spending their day thinking about.

A host on a cable NEWS show here in the States recently admitted that part of her clause in working for the station involved only wearing skirts; she wasn’t allowed to wear pants because the station wanted her legs on display for the television viewing office. Is it just me or is that outrageous? It’s the year 2013 and women’s bodies are still being used as props to sell the NEWS?

Of course….we all knew that NEWS stations do things like that…..but it’s another thing to get the actual hard facts from a reporter telling us she had to show of her legs.

I really need another cup of coffee,



Categories: Culture & Society

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44 replies

  1. It is the kind of news that is there to measure yourself with. Kind of, look this is how you should look.To hide true news from being noticed. News is a magician. “Look left and you can’t see what is right”
    Other than that we and i mean all people need to start respecting each other more. “It should not be earned it should simply be”. But that is me talking.

  2. Man, all these things happen in front of you at cafes. You are lucky in a way. When i have the time for a coffe, everything is so boringly smooth and tranquil! 😉

    • Vassilis,

      half of my life is spent inside cafe’s lol….i’m a coffee shop/café bum. Since I was fourteen years old I would walk up to the local coffee shop to read, meet people, and have fun conversations.

    • This habit of yours would cost you a fortune here in Greece. The coffee used to have at least 3.50 Euros and at the more centralplaces up to 7 or some times 10 Euros! Only recently they have slightly reduce it to 1.50 to 5.50 …

    • I’ve read that before and it seems pretty wild that coffee is so expensive over there! Did you know that coffee is usually the MOST traded commodity in the stock exchanges? (Sometimes oil takes the number one place I think but its usually coffee).

      Isn’t the coffee you drink in Greece espresso? Because espresso is expensive here in the states but the majority of us don’t drink it.

  3. Unfortunately, media is a business, and they have to go with what sells. That doesn’t excuse them from such trivial things as journalistic integrity, but it provides insight into their bottom line. This is also where the “shock jocks” come from. It’s nauseating to say the least.

  4. The news prints what the owners tell it to print. There is no “news,” or “truth” behind the news. We are fed news that is selected by others so that we know only what they want us to know. When real news comes out the person telling it has to hide or move to another country or is killed or silenced in some way. And women’s bodies sell everything. Absolutely everything. As long as people watch/read the garbage that is put forth that’s what we will keep getting. What you see is often what people want. Sad. I agree with what you said. As for the confrontation with the older gentleman…hardly know what to say. A lot of the things that kept us civilized, like good manners and common sense, have gone and we are not the better for it.

    • Hitandrun, great comment

      Here is what I have been wondering lately; is there a way we could do the print news…better? I mean, with the Internet people like you and me now have the ability to create NEWS sites that are every bit as influential as the traditional mediums….but what would we do differently? How could it be better?

  5. Being serious is very important. It is hard to be completely serious But I try very hard to be at least moderately serious, somewhat serious or kinda serious. Seriously.

  6. The worst of it is that when they actually do a story on some newsworthy topic, it is shamelessly slanted. If it’s not Huff Post, it’s the Guardian or Fox News. It’s pandering at its worst, and it’s pathetic.

  7. I feel like we all got “Big Brothered” and were too distracted to notice. They may not call themselves a Ministry of Truth but that is what our media has become.


  9. I don’t drink coffee but I need a cup this morning too! I think the problem we are having in most countries is called the lack of: the lack of emotional support, the lack of affirmation, the lack of having enough to “keep up with the Joneses”, the lack of whatever society say is important. And, yes, Kenneth, I mentioned once again ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ as being a root of discontentment, and later filtering into our social structure and creating hostile environments. LOL’s. If people [especially the young] stopped long enough to reflect on what drives them they would see it is usually money and the lack of material items. And because they are driven by such things they can’t see how much ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ is making them discontented with life and others. And sadly the media makes it worse by broadcasting the successes of other’s as if wealth is easily ascertained. Again, great post.

  10. I would have walked up to him and smacked him across the face with his laptop and tell him now I have a problem

  11. Is this the best of times or the worst of times? Hard to tell these days….

  12. So on target. Yesterday on our local news station the reporter covered so much craziness that he ended one segment by saying “it is the wild west out there!” Ditto. Sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball and go to sleep to get a break from the messes.

    i rarely drink coffee but you made me want to drink expresso!

  13. That’s just BS. Workplace abuse, and the kid in the shoppe must be smokin’ something good eh? Or bad… Our society is in a continual state of decay. People are very angry today.

  14. The media sold out a long time ago, there’s no such thing as unbiased news anymore (if there ever was in the first place), most of the US news outlets are used to push political agendas by either misreporting (aka straight up lying), or not reporting at all, except for fluff pieces and they can’t even get *that* right most of the time. Once upon a time there used to be an ‘editorial’ page where opinions were printed, nowadays it’s all opinion from front page to last page, even the comics are oftentimes used to push a political agenda. Freedom of speech is becoming an old-fashioned thing of the past, even now as we bloggers write whatever we want the gigantic political machine is working hard to shut us down. I’m sorry I don’t have time to hunt down the links to back up what I’m saying, I don’t consider myself a ‘journalist’, I just like to write, but with people like Senator Dianne Feinstein trying to legislate who and what is considered a ‘journalist’, I get an icky feeling in my stomach.
    As far as the kid harassing the older gentleman, I’m really glad I wasn’t there, I might have punched* him in the face ;-D

    *I’m not a violent person, I just get crazy when I see a lack of respect for older people 🙂

    • “trying to legislate who and what is considered a ‘journalist’”

      I’ve been VERY bothered by this issue as well….the government needs to stay out of the business of deciding who and what is considered a journalist; its none of their business

  15. More coffee Kenneth? Van Gogh boasted to Gauguin that he had 24 coffees in a day. In the 9 weeks they painted together they produced literally billions of dollars worth of art. Keep up the good work!

  16. Maybe the kid was mentally unstable? If the older man really did nothing to invoke that outburst from the young guy that is the only reason I can think of for the young guy to explode like that.


  17. So bizarre, it sounds like the guy had strong mentally health issues, I’m glad he didn’t get violent! Very disturbing still, here you guys are enjoying the charm of a coffee shop and are jolted by such anger. I hope your future coffee endeavors are more pleasant. By the way, I think ‘reporting unbiased news’ took a back seat to ‘what sells’ ever since the news became a profit center.

  18. News is a business, nothing more. It always has been. People just buy cheaper information and think less these days.
    We are a self absorbed society with an overgrown sense of entitlement that is met with apathy rather than being kept in check. Prioritization and perspective happen behind closed doors, one person at a time. If we’re lucky.

    Here’s hoping our luck changes sooner rather than later –

  19. Great article! And I totally agree with you. But it’s not just happening in the Western Culture. It’s plaguing the entire world. People everywhere are losing their minds and they claim they have some kind of depression causes by upbringing, pressures, stress, whatever excuses they can come up with and whomever they can blame their personal insanity on. Sometimes, you can’t even tell if they are SERIOUSLY having any psychological disorders at all. There are times when I feel like telling them: ‘Stop using depression as an excuse to be mean to others’. But I’ve always had to stop myself because there are too many super sensitive people out there who are always just ‘way to intense’.

    As for News Journalism, no one really knows the difference between real breaking news and leisure news anymore. Is our society going backwards?

  20. A society blinded by what the media finds important. In a (sort of) related idea, I was thinking about this recently: people often say that the world is getting worse and worse. The more I think about it the more I think that’s not quite right. We’ve become more obsessed with the news and news has become more accessible. There has always been murder, rape, hideous crimes, abuse, wars, greed, etc. We just hear about it 24-7 now. No getting away from it…unless we unplug of course. And that could be some people’s best cure for anxiety and worry. Turn off the TV and the computer and go enjoy a walk. It might just change your view.

  21. Kenneth – we’ve had this discussion a few times now I think. I agree it’s terrible that celebrity gossip seems to be a focus BUT it’s what READERS want. Why do you suppose articles are usually done in the inverted pyramid (with the widest ranging info at the top and most details at the bottom)? Because people are simply not likely to get that far in reading and the writer MUST get at LEAST the most important, vague details in or the reader will not have learned anything. It’s sad but that’s how it is. What is happening in journalism is at lest in part a reflection of what is happening with readers and what the vast majority of people are paying attention to, gross but true. Publications have to have that crap just to stay afloat in terms of the business side of it. If it were just ACTUAL news and none of that fluff, many more publications would go belly up. As for the skirts – I totally agree but guess what, they do that because that’s what viewers want. You can’t be in business to report ANY news if you don’t have viewers. I think it sucks too but it’s not JUST the media’s fault this has happened. People are disillusioned and don’t want to hear the truth about the world so they resort to crap. They would rather numb themselves than actually pay attention to things they need to; it’s their choice. I often find many people who complain about it (not all obviously) are the culprits. They’re reading that crap and yet complain about it. *Shakes my head* I would also say that as a society, we tend to use the word “crazy” far too loosely. People are emotionally stupid quite frankly. So many youngsters haven’t been taught how to properly control their emotions and yet it’s not just young people who are not showing control. We’re a society that thrives on violence. I always hear about how people don’t like a hockey game UNLESS there’s been a fight. It’s hockey, there isn’t suppose to be fighting but that’s what people want. They love that MMA stuff to – just totally violent fighting. In a society like that, of course there are going to be anger management issues; of course there’s going to be people who take their cues about anger from video games and movies (not that I’m blaming the media). I don’t think people are out of their minds, but I do think that people have just not figured out how to handle their emotions in a constructive manner. I can’t help but feel like it’s easier to just blame it on being “crazy” or being out of one’s mind, than it is to confront it for what I think it is – emotional stupidity/immaturity. This co-relates to the fact that it feels as though parents are hovering too much, being helicopter parents and not letting their kids learn how to deal with the real world – that’s another issue and I’ll stop there lol.

    • Okay….im gonna walk perilously close to disagreeing with you 😉 take a certain blog i know of, while the content isn’t PhD degree philosophy, the articles do however touch on important and relevant topics……and people are interested! They keep coming back to read more…….why? Because the competition from the major media outlets is filled with triviality. Readers know that if they go to the particular blog they can find something to read with a little “teeth”, something that is less fluff and more substance.

      I believe it’s the inability’s and shortcomings of the major media Editor’s that is killing news journalism. The editors are hiring journalists who don’t have the necessary creativity to write about serious, important topics that connect with readers.

      Huffington Post started out as a great concept; write important articles in a more modern vernacular……but in the past couple years their home page is overrun with celebrity gossip……

      But don’t get me wrong, I agree with the overwhelming majority of the points you made……….I just feel that the people who do the hiring at these media outlets, and the people who assign the stories to the writers are to blame…..

    • do you know how many of these journalists when they graduate are idealistic? they all talk about wanting to improve journalism, etc, but they get beat down through the years as do editors. people get tired of fighting or they are in a position to where they have to keep their job so they don’t fight. major news organizations these days have become like most major corporations – the ones at the very top are monitoring what gets covered and how because they have a vested interest. people say the media is JUST liberal or JUST conservative – well no – it depends on who owns that publication and what the owners/publishers’ interests are and who they’re “buddies” with. There used to be hundreds of news organizations and now we’re down to just eight major ones – it’s becoming a monopoly and it’s easier to control them that way; it’s easier to keep really good in formation out of the news that way. THAT’s what’s happened to the news. It’s too much of a business and not enough of well news. The gossip is the money maker and the heads to these groups are interested in money (and to be a lil’ conspiracy theory – they don’t want any news to let out that will make them look bad). The pee-ons (editors and journalists) are typically (perhaps not always) just as much victims as the readers are. But again, don’t forget that people have their choices and as much as they may bitch about that stuff, they always read it. they always talk about it. do you have any idea how much money a papparzzo makes? Why do real news when you can make big bucks off of some stupid gossipy photo? Rags pay ridiculous amounts of money for that because it makes them a ton of money. News organizations have their fault in this, of course, but as a business, you do what the trends are don’t you? i have some strong opinions about blogs too, which is why i fought having one for a long time and really, now thinking on it, im a lil disappointed in my own blog and what i’d had meant to do with it. that’s another conversation though. my point is though that there’s always finger pointing, it’s always someone else’s fault and no one takes on responsibility for themselves – this includes blaming the media for everything. the media has fault, but to say it’s just the media is quite frankly unfair and untrue. the media has made mistakes in how to use the internet to it’s advantage and that’s a big part of why rags and newspapers are going down and probably part of why they then rely on gossip to help keep them afloat – poor planning. but if it didn’t work, they wouldn’t do it. and just a thought here but the Huffington Post is part of the problem. they way they would layout their newspaper with more “modern” ways lent itself to going that way along with forcing other newspapers/publications with having to go that way too in order to compete. people quit reading longer stories with more actual information in favor of how the Post would do it – short bits of information. granted – as i said before – some of that was already happening but the Post, perhaps not all by itself, expedited that process. this was all stuff i learned/examined when i was in j-school. anyway, i suppose i’ve taken a bit of a strong stance on this lol. i can’t help it. i agree there are problems in the news industry – they have their faults but it’s also reflective of the times. think about it – still less than half the country votes – i bet majority of those folks are the ones reading the crap because they don’t want to be bogged down with “seriousness.” i think those two things go hand in hand.

    • Jen, well you’ve definitely give me a ton to think about 🙂

      one sentence really stands out, ” i have some strong opinions about blogs too, which is why i fought having one for a long time and really, now thinking on it, im a lil disappointed in my own blog and what i’d had meant to do with it. that’s another conversation though”

      okay…now you’ve got me curious!!! What are your strong opinions about blogs? I’m dying to know!

    • lol my lot in life – to give plenty to consider 🙂 though, in retrospect, i suppose i came off as bit of a bully lol. sorry. i suppose i take it a bit more personally than i should but given my background… it happens. as for blogs… i’ll shot ya an email 🙂

  22. social engineering started in 1964. the great society was sold to us as an end all cure for social injustice.
    the manipulation tactics are as you have listed them have produced generational predictability when it comes to response to media. advertising was designed to spur impulse buying. the data gathered was analyzed to predict buying patterns. the repetitive subliminal input has created a generation of propaganda activated drones. anyone not fitting in, will understand how cruel non conformity can be.

  23. Reblogged this on How my heart speaks and commented:
    A telling tale

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