pawspauseprose

Life as it arrives and dreams as they happen


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Recipe for disaster: ½ cup ego, and ¼ each of boredom and ability

selfiesAlthough we now say, Different Strokes for Different folks, it was a Sly remix of Different Strokes by Different Folks, that brought it into the family. Regardless of the origin, coupled with the freedom of the Internet, it now takes on a whole new meaning, from simple Idiom to deviant idiot…mainly because we have too much time, are paid for doing nothing and have more ability at our fingertips.

Once upon a time, cable television and HBO brought previously unheard profanity and sex into our homes, if you had a scrambler; otherwise, you got static and strange shadows, which frankly might have been a good thing. Suddenly, visions of personal privacy were no long secret, and swearing like a sailor became the norm, in everything from cartoons to the daily news…then we really hooked up! Because clicking a power button, is more than a simple turn on. Live and in the flesh tone, the world presents itselfie, via standard pose, moving gif or video…welcome to the world wide weird!

Photographs once commemorating, or memorializing a moment in time, used to be taken when someone either didn’t want to be in the picture, or was more than happy to oblige, posing and giving their best or worst shot possible. Looking back on such relics of film art, there are tears and moments of laughter, since we know that is how we’ll most likely remember those certain someone’s. So, taking that for what it’s worth, how will our grand children explain Aunt Valerie’s Vulva?

Since human dignity and personal values long since jumped ship, leaving the brain to function on its own, we’ve allowed our growing knowledge of technology, along with boredom, due to lack of employment, education, imagination or desire, to fall victim to personal vanity and ego, with vile results. Children as young as six are sending off pictures in their underwear to friends, or worse…and anyone with a free right hand (awkward pause), can click off a sensual, sexual, scintillating and/or scandalous photo, unsuitable for an instant upload, and eternal mark on the highway of cyber communication. All because they need a like, or comment from the darkness of their room and soul. As a certain Church Lady would have said, “Isn’t that Special!”

When did waking up in the morning, wanting to have a great day, do a good job and love one another become a footnote? Telecommuting and lack of real employment and education in general, has given birth to a society of misguided individuals, that see breaking the Internet, with their private parts in a public post, better than a gold watch, and unpaid ticket to popularity. It is also highly doubtful, that they will ever see the stupidity of their actions, because after all everyone is doing it!

When X rated films hit the screen, the equivalent of what is now seen on cable or Youtube, I was a newly married twenty year-old, and went to see one with my husband and another couple, out of curiosity. The theater was old, because just like in Vaudeville, when an act plays Burlesque it’s finished. No one was looking at each other either, as we picked up popcorn, and purchased overpriced tickets of $8 (a regular film back then was $1.75.) Before the film even started, I learned embarrassment also had a price, and the fact that I actually ate the popcorn, freaks me out still today.

Nevertheless, we peeked into the filmed bedroom, and watched as others did it, with reckless abandonment, in every orifice, and with devices never intended for personal use. There was also strange background music, which later triggered a gag reflex, every time I was in an elevator with musac (Google it.) I can say now, as I did that night, it was not entertainment. I also remember how none of us talked on the ride home, except when the guys laughed hysterically at some of the aerobatic poses, and areola exposures. Maybe it was because I took my values along with my curiosity, and they were mortified. Be that as it may, it took years to forget that evening, and the salad dressing used in Barbara Broadcast.

My ire if you will, is that again this week came a deluge of naked celebrities, with black lines across a top and bottom section, equaling nothing more than exhibitionism, for the sake of an ego, a troubled level of self esteem and pure boredom. Yes, I know porn is porn, and will always be around for those who need to make it, view it and desire it. However, a daily and amateur offering, into streams of communication everyone is submerged into is wrong.

These instant, mini electronic posters for adulthood, which young minds view, and copy, send a very wrong message. I don’t know about you, but Uncle Sam saying, I Want You, had nothing to do with a pair of naked breasts, or an erect penis at attention. War efforts may have a political bend, and not something everyone agrees upon, but right now the war is at home, and like it or not, we can’t afford to butt out or turn the other cheek.

The naked truth, which needs to be face-timed, is that we are creating a generation of children that believe it is acceptable to show and tell, as well as reach out and touch, what should be private and personal. Eventually, without the proper foundation and direction, they will also end up paying the price for their lights, camera and unsupervised, but emulated actions, and we will have no one to blame but our selfies.


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Touch me in the Morning…just don’t do it to my life!

picture thisI have had the honor of raising three daughters through school, and now watch as grandchildren climb the same step stool and ladder towards knowledge and success. The highlight for their efforts is seeing a class photo each year. Albeit way over priced monetarily, they are priceless in the hearts of those who posed, and those who receive.

We’ve all been there. It is the morning of school pictures, and you either have crappy hair, a zit, totally forgot and have nothing to wear, or you’ve been up for hours as if it was a Vogue cover shoot along the canals of Venice. Regardless what your take is, or was, on that memorable day, what developed after the film was processed would follow or haunt you forever, and become an icon to your youth on Ancestry.com. That being said, it also is a moneymaker of epic proportions, and in most states a well-held account by a company called Lifetouch.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a small business that has grown over the years, and hired only a few reported and/or investigated criminals, such as those noted by the FBI in Rochester, NY. However, when anyone in business has such an untouchable hold on something, things always fall through the cracks. In case you don’t believe me, see what happens when you try to hold sand too tight in your fist….get the picture? These may be the days of our lives, but they are dictated by a precious few, and if you take a look at the recurring complaints they rack up, their pictures speak more than a thousand ill words.

In our family, one  particular noteworthy shot is my older sister with her bangs held back in pin curls (consult Google or Betty Boop). In her haste to get her daughters to school, Mom overlooked the embarrassing and the obvious. There are also a couple I personally shudder at in junior high, with white yarn bows I knew looked great, stuck in at the last minute, and another, with the indentation from a leather cord, since I wanted to be a flower child, and needed to hide my accented attire outside the home. However, regardless of the toothless, hair flying crazy, those photos were who we were, and how we lived, and forever have a place in life….touched as they may have been.

So that being said, why does a single company hold the inspiration, imagination and decision for such moments? Over the years there have been many times when a photo was taken poorly, due only to the judgment of the photographer, and we were left without what we paid for, and usually no recourse, or occasionally the option for a retake. Regardless of the fix, the moment in time was gone, and when the pictures were eventually brought out, inevitably someone would say, that was the retake…OMG you should have seen the first one. Negative as they may be, dark comments forever remain in a family room.

This brings me to a granddaughter, anxious for her first school photo. Frozen was still all the rage (will it ever end?) and so, her short hair was put into a side braid, and in her heart she was Elsa the Winter Queen. However, did the Lifetouch photographer let it go? Oh Hell to the no! Instead, they positioned this sweet child with her hair pushed to the back, so it appeared she had been the victim of Edward Scissorhands on a good day, and not the beloved Princess of snow. They also decided on a background different that we had selected and paid for.

When pictures arrived, this little girl burst into tears, and said, I look like a BOY! Her spirit, memory and excitement were crushed. Lifetouch also refused to refund the ridiculous price that was paid, so we took a new photo ourselves, and placed it in her school memory book. You would think that was enough…but it wasn’t.

Today, this little girl was an official elementary delight, anxious to be with her friends and take their photos, which would also be in a yearbook (yes, don’t ask….again, Lifetouch$$$.) Bouncing down the stairs in all her creative and imaginary delight, trust me when I say she is a true original, she presented herself in a full piece panda suit, hood and ears outlining a face with missing teeth and bright eyes. Certain that was how she wanted to look; she left for school and pictures. Arriving home however, that delight was long gone.

It appears the photographer not only removed her from the panda suit, but according to very fine print on the offer all children were put in a cap and gown, which we had not asked for…it, is KINDERGARTEN NOT HIGH SCHOOL! There was also no reason to assume this would be done after they collected our money. Therefore, all the bows and headbands, special hair styles or memorable outfits were removed, hidden and lost forever, along with the memory of “Mom…that was my first school picture!”

There are only a few days in life that can never be recaptured, and that is why photography, from the days of tin type, to Kodacolor, and now digital remains a lifeblood for families. Who doesn’t want to remember catching her bouquet, or seeing a bouquet of blessings in a nursery, the first lost tooth or a football bruise worn in pride? Life touches us all, good and bad, and when it is saved for future generations, it is a gift, triggering memories and emotions, that die away with the person, leaving only a photo behind.

There is time enough, with individuality frowned upon, school uniforms issued and peer pressure demanding identical looks. However, when the cookies are still fresh from the oven, don’t we own them a chance to be sprinkled and sugared with the innocence and happiness that fades too fast? Companies that overstep their bounds in the arena of education, or a photographer, coach or teacher, need to be slapped with the nearest ruler, and read their rights, because they do not have the right to ruin a child’s laughter or dream! Just because they aren’t sexual, some touches are every bit as bad, and we trust these people to see our children to the end of their rainbows, where unicorns and pandas wait patiently for their day in the sun, where they will leave a lasting impression on our future adults.