Friday, November 16, 2012

Common Sense

I haven’t vented in a while… Call it a sabbatical, call it laziness, or maybe I had a deal that just let me out early for good behavior. Regardless, not much has changed. Barack Obama is still President, Real Housewives is still a popular show, people still find it a good idea to put a microphone in front of Donald Trump, and we still don’t have hoverboards as Back to the Future promised. Above all that has remained unchanged however - people are still stupid.

General David Petraeus, whom I will always consider an American hero for his service, and achievements as a military leader, gets himself caught up in a scandal involving a relationship with another woman. And that’s not what I have issue with. Immoral? By my standards, yes… But it is none of my business. It is a matter for his wife and himself to contend with. The stupid part is his leaving an electronic paper trail that the affair was going on, and leaving himself – a man with the highest level military clearance – open for potential blackmail, or worse. He has since lost his position, and will now have a black mark next to his brilliant career when it comes to posterity - Stupid.

On to the NHL… An inability for the NHL and the player’s union to come to an agreement regarding revenue allocation, and contract amendments has resulted in a lockout. Each side has conceded a bit, but not to the satisfaction of the other side. Where it gets really odd is, currently, they have cost their fans just over 300 games in the 2012-13 season. And the negotiators, in their infinite wisdom, have decided to take a 2 week ‘break’. It wasn’t very long ago – 2004-05 – when the NHL lost its entire season due to a similar lockout. It took years to rekindle any interest or excitement in hockey. Its popularity really only just came back full force in the last couple seasons. Why risk that again? – Stupid. 

Twinkie, anyone? Get ‘em while you can… The recently bankrupt Hostess Company is being forced to close its doors for good on Friday 11/16/12. It’s ‘doors’ include 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, and 570 outlet stores. Why, you ask? Hostess was forced, due lower operating capital to offer its union workers a contract requiring some concessions regarding salary and benefits. Not to posture, or strong-arm, but because they are broke. The Teamsters recognized this, and accepted. The Bakers Union however, refused, and consequently went on strike. With the inability to continue without the 5000+ members of the Bakers Union, Hostess said they would be force to shut it down for good if they would not come back to work. The union would not acquiesce. So, instead of accepting a bit less salary and benefits-wise, they, and the remainder of the 18,500 Hostess employees will lose their jobs… Stupid!

Like so many snippets I see and hear every day, these things just don’t make sense to me. You want to keep your present salary and benefits to the degree that you’re willing to lose your job? Look at our leaders; Presidents, Generals, CEOs, etc - and, yes I get it, men of power... (ego + women = trouble). But why the digital correspondence that will eventually out you? We constantly see pedophiles getting caught in sting operations, yet every other week we hear of one stupid enough to agree to meet an undercover cop posing as a 12 year old girl. (Though, honestly, criminals being stupid, I am all for). But, my favorite has to be when we occasionally hear of the well-respected high school football coach sticking his phone down his pants, snapping a pic, and texting it to one of the moms he is interested in. Not only stupid, but has that ever worked ladies? Is this a romantic nuance I’ve failed to explore? (allegedly, anyway).

I think it all comes down to common sense. Maybe I’m wrong, and guilty of glorifying my youth, and upbringing, but I recall common sense being far better represented when I was younger. Why should the process of thinking something through, and assessing potential outcome and fallout before acting, be so less prevalent now? I wish I knew, but no matter how you slice it, (shameless Wonder Bread reference), common sense ain’t so common anymore.

“Stupid is as stupid does” ~ Forrest Gump

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