By Jeannine Roediger
There are no two ways about it; we live in a strange society. Every time I look around I can see some of these strange paradoxes that keep me wondering about the intelligence of mankind. I wish I could interview each of you, because I know you could think of some really good ones yourself.
I ask myself these questions often and look askance, even getting very frustrated, with some of these ironic situations. For instance, we've all had it happen, at least those of us who wear eye glasses. Suddenly your lens falls out and there you are too blind to find the screw and too blind to fix it if you could see to find it. Then it hits you why in the world does that frame have the screws facing down so when they come unfastened they fall out? At least if they were on the top side you might have an idea it is happening before it is too late. See what I mean?
Oh ya'll, how about this one. If you ever watch some of those "judge" shows on television you often see someone admitting in this public forum that they are using and buying drugs. Are they arrested on the spot? Are they convicted? Is there a law that says they are exempt? They have freely confessed. Nothing happens! I can't imagine why not. Strange!
Then, go into almost any store that sells clothing and you will find coats, jackets, sweatshirts, shirts and tee-shirts that carry the logo of the maker or the logo of some other company. Now are these tee-shirts or coats cheap? Not on your life. You pay big bucks for these iconic symbols that give that company millions of dollars in free advertising. Strange isn't it? How did they get people so brainwashed that they will buy advertising for some company where they have no financial investment? Beats me.
What about gas prices? That's a hot topic for sure these days. Prices go up even when the price of a barrel of oil goes down. Oil companies profits are huge regardless if that price goes up or down. The excuses we hear are "Oh, there's maintenance going on at refineries" or "Middle East unrest." Well, there is always maintenance going on at refineries and the Middle East has had its woes as long as I can remember. So what makes gas prices rise? Probably too much hot air!
Television is a good place to look for ironic things as well. If you have cable or satellite television, how many of the channels you can get are really full time advertising? Count those, then add the channels that repeat programming or movies until there are no new things to watch on those long, winter nights. Or get out your watch and check how much time is devoted to advertisements, sometimes almost half. Let's not forget how much we pay for all that convenience, repeats, advertisements and all. It would be much better to support your local public television, it seems.
Then there is always that labyrinth of tinned voices we hear when trying to get a question answered from some companies. You call and the canned voice choices you get just don't fit your question, or once you get where you are going in that tangle of voice, you can't seem to get an answer at all. Some companies, and I won't mention any names, may have some "frequently asked questions" on their website, but they never match the question you are asking. Somehow I don't think my question is unique or new, I just think they don't want to hear from me. What happened to customer service?
Did you hear that the Encyclopedia Britannica is no longer making a print edition? It took thousands of years for mankind to learn how to communicate through the written word, now we're back to UR, BFF and U2 for words instead of complete sentences. It's like another language has been born. Yes, I do text, but I tend to use complete words and sentences even if it takes me a bit more time.
They talk about Twitter and Facebook being social networks, but most of the things written there won't take the literary world by storm. It's usually mundane and mostly unnecessary. Blogs can be interesting if the person has a unique talent or knowledge. But, I still like to hold a book in my hands. The only thing one can say about the Encyclopedia Britannica is that we will save some trees, and there's something to be said about that.
I'm thinking about buying a new printer. I would like one that is wireless as all those cords going from one device to another are just too hard to clean around and hard to connect. It would be nice to have one that prints easily on both sides and does great photos. But I have discovered, after going through about three over the years, is that printers are pretty cheap but be prepared to pay a premium for ink cartridges. Also be prepared to have to purchase more of them for a new printer as they just don't seem to last long.
Now I know that it's the bottom line they are worried about, but I am sure they could come up with a way to make those cartridges cost less and last longer. At least the company I use sends prepaid envelopes to send empty cartridges back so they don't end up in the trash. That's a plus.
So, it seems to matter where you look you can find some quirky sides of our society. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The only thing left to say is "what are they thinking?"