Throwback Thursday: “Sexting, Texting & Who Knows What!” 7/2011

Is Sexting merely the current fad of the 2000’s as some people seem to think? They compare it with fads of old like telephone booth stuffing, college panty raids, streaking, Disco, Pogs, or reality TV to name a few, but believe me, Texting is not a harmless passing fad. It a dangerous sign of the technological age we are living in and parents need to be aware of its potential for disaster.

The act of texting is a simple and often useful way to of sending a typed message between cell phones. It comes in quite handy when you’re on the go and don’t have the time to make a phone call. Sexting, on the other hand, takes the text and adds a new element to it, sending sexually explicit messages which usually include nude or suggestive photos. The word itself is a blending of the two words sex and texting. Cute huh?

We have all seen the extent of the damage that sexting can cause. Consider the recent case of Anthony Wiener caught up in a sexting affair and pressured to resign from office. An adult caught up in what has been referred to as a teen craze. In a 2009 nationwide study 20 per cent of teens admitted to participating in sexting. I can only wonder what that percentage is today,  35 %? 40? 50? A smaller study done on a college campus revealed that 67% of the students admitted to sending sexually explicit text messages, 78% reported receiving sexually explicit messages and 56% report that they had receive sexually explicit images.

I tell you, this sexting thing is a runaway train. Teens today, boys and girls alike, have become so bold and brazen that sending a nude or suggestive photo of themselves to a member of the opposite sex is no big deal. Hell, when I was a teenager it was nerve-racking just trying to keep a conversation with a girl going or to pass her a handwritten note, now all you have to do is a little text n’ sext and you’re in.

Call me old-fashioned, but this whole sexting thing needs to be stopped. The dangers far outweigh the cheap thrills.  Come on parents wake up! Your kids are doing nasty things with their cell phones. They are not the sweet little innocents you believe them to be when they’re playing with their phones. Let me tell you LOL, UG2BK, BRB, CYM, XOXO or BFF, are not the only cute little acronyms they are using. How about TTA (tap that ass) WYFM (would you f#*K me) i&i (intercourse  & inebriation ) NEED8! (self-explanatory) and on and on, many a lot worse than these. These are the acronyms they’re using.

Not only is this sexting practice vulgar, crude and dangerous. Attaching nude or suggestive photos is insanity! These photos are not PRIVATE and could wind up anywhere. The pics they send to boyfriends, friend or the star quarterback could be forwarded and wind up on the cell phones of the entire team or worse yet the internet. Someone who has it out for them may even forward the photos to school administrators, police or God forbid, their parents! This has happened! Students have been punished in school for this practice by being banned from sports or other activities, suspension and yes even expulsion.  Other teens have been charged with child pornography for sending and/or receiving photos. This is no joke, this is a serious felony. If charged and found guilty a person over 18 could receive prison time. Some states have passed laws that would allow even teen offenders to be charged with child pornography. More states will likely follow.

Although criminal charges are rare, those fun photos could easily come back to haunt the teens when they go to apply for college or their first job. The humiliation factor alone is incredible, and the fun they’re having today could come back and haunt them for years to come. This fad has spread like wildfire Kids have little problem getting naked and snapping away. Samples of sexting photos can be found on the internet, a simple Google search and you’re there. The samples I saw were extremely provocative and looked more like they belonged between the covers of Penthouse or Hustler.

So parents be forewarned, kids are treating sexting like we used to treat passing notes. Even the most unlikely teens could be caught in the texting web, peer pressure has never gone away. Work with your children, instruct them on the destructive nature of sexting and the long-term consequences if they are caught. Have open and honest communications with them. Yes, my friends teach your children,  teach them well…

Just Saying…

 

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“I Love the Music:” Rubber Soul

It seems there has always been music in my life. I’m not certain when my love for music actually began, but it had to have been in my infancy or perhaps even earlier. I have no doubt that my mother used to sing to me while I was in the womb. She had an incredible voice and loved to sing. She sang when she was happy and sang when she was sad. She sang when she did housework or hung the laundry to dry. My friends heard her singing around the house all the time and thought she sounded like an opera star. She always enjoyed singing along with the radio and her favorite record albums, but what I believe she enjoyed most was getting together with her 3 sisters at my grandma’s house and singing up a storm. Mom did have a beautiful voice, I can almost hear her now.

Sometimes, when we were driving in the car, she would turn off the music and we’d create our own. She’d lead my sister and I in rousing renditions of,”3 Little Fishes,” “High Hopes,” and “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.” Our closer was usually “Git Along Little Doggies.” We had a blast! Yeah there was a lot of music going on in my young life.

There were several artist my mom listened to whose music I liked, Ritchie Valen’s ‘Donna’ was one of my all time favorites. Then in 1961 when I was 10, I heard a song on the radio that I really liked and wanted. It was the first time I actually wanted to buy a record. A few days later, as part of my birthday celebration, my mom took me to Savon Drug Store bought me very first single. You could call it an act of conceit but I just had to have that record, Big John” by Jimmy Dean, “Big Bad John.” My mom even let me play it on her stereo when we got home and it sounded great! And so it began.

Two years passed before I bought my next 45. Already the romantic, I bought a sappy little love song called “Hey Paula” by Paul & Paula, a song about finding true love, marriage and happily ever after. Yeah, I know, what can I say, except that I liked it. I guess I was a kind of sappy 12 year old. A few months later a song called “Blowing in the Wind” by some obscure singer/songwriter, named Bob Dylan caught my ear. On the ‘B’ side was “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright.” It was another “had to have” single. At the time I didn’t realize the impact music would have on me and how it would influence my way of thinking.

In the fall of 1965, I was a 14 year old freshman in the budding stages of my musical journey. Much of my spare time was spent playing records or listening to the radio. My 45 collection was still growing but by then I was more into buying albums. There was just so much good music out there and new bands were popping up every day or so it seemed. It was a music explosion! The big music news that fall was the release of a new Beatles album ‘Rubber Soul’. In less than a week the record would hit the stores and the word was that the album was better than anything they’d done before, a real departure from their normal Beatle, yeah, yeah, yeah stuff.

At that point in history I was not a big Beatles fan, oh there were a handful of tunes that I liked and I owned a couple of their albums ‘With the Beatles’ and ‘Beatles For Sale’ but the whole Beatlemania thing was a bit too cutesy for me. Four mop-tops with their matching suits and boots. Really? They just didn’t impress me that much, I thought their popularity was way overblown. I was more interested in some of the other English rock bands that made their way to America in 1964’s British Invasion, groups like the Rolling Stones, the Who, Animals, Kinks and Yardirds. They weren’t nearly as polished as the Beatles, they were raw and unconventional which made them much more exciting. But the ‘Rubber Soul hype had peaked my interest. Something about the title maybe. It sort of got in my head. For whatever reasons I was looking forward to giving it a listen, a thoughtful listen.

A few days after it’s release a die hard Beatles fan, friend of mine, brought the new album over to the house so we could give it a listen. The rest is history. ‘Rubber Soul’ was incredible! I was blown away! The album was everything I’d heard it would be and more! Until then, the music business was about one thing and one thing only, churning out hit singles that could be played on the radio. Albums were nothing more than some of these hit singles and an assortment of fillers. ‘Rubber Soul” changed all that.

‘RS’ was the Beatles 6th studio album and is often recognized as one of the first true concept albums. It was the first album that the Beatles recorded themselves. The recording of ‘RS’ was a remarkable learning experience for the Beatles and a preview of things to come. They basically took over the studio on ‘RS’ and took control of every aspect of the recording including the album cover. They were able to take their time with this one and were more precise on instrumentation, vocals and harmonies than ever before. The resulting album was incredible and offered us a journey into the heart and soul of the Beatles, and a preview of what was yet to come.

I’ve enjoyed a lot of music since that first thoughtful listening of ‘Rubber Soul’ all those years ago, it still remains one of my favorite Beatles albums. ‘Rubber Soul’, and the much acclaimed ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ by Bob Dylan released earlier that same year, not only offered incredible musical quality, but thought-provoking lyrics as well. Both changed the way I listened to music for the rest of my life. It’s all about the music and as I said before,   I love the music.

 

“The Magic’s in the Music and the Music’s in Me”                                                                                                                                         Lovin’ Spoonful

 

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Throwback Thursday: “It Is What It Is or Is It?” 2012

The American language is riddled with catch phrases and cliches, they’re everywhere. You hear them, read them and perhaps even use them yourself. Things like “Only time will tell,” “Old as the hills,” “Cat got your tongue?” and “The writings on the wall.” Then there’s my favorites, “What goes around comes around,” “We’re not laughing at you, were laughing with you,” and “Don’t get your panties in a bunch.” I’ve used that one on more than one occasion.

Then there are all the overused catchphrases, most born from old TV shows, commercials or movie, such as, “I’ll be back,” “What chu talkin’ bout Willis?” “Beam me up Scottie,” “Book em Danno!” and one of’ my all time favorites “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” I think just about everyone is guilty of using these phrases and cliches once in awhile. Call it a lack of originality, creativity or just plain laziness, or could it be that we use them because they work well in particular situation? Duh!  Whatever the reason, cliches are alive and well in the USA.

There are just some cliches that work well. One such cliche is “It is what it is.” Five little words that are a simple statement of fact. Five words that say acceptance, “this is the way it is, so we have to accept it.” You can’t change the spots on a leopard you know. Wait isn’t that another cliche?  I think “It is what it is,” is simply a reminder that no matter how we feel about a particular person’s situation or actions, what we discuss, isn’t going to change things. It kind of like K.I.S.S.(keep it simple stupid) what I mean is, because we cannot effect a change on the situation we shouldn’t over-think or over-analyze it. We should simply accept it because “It is what it is.”

I have a close friend who is fond of using the phrase, “It is what it is,” when discussing some aspects of life or situation that is unalterable and must simply be accepted as is. Although a few years younger than myself, he is a very sensible individual and has proven to be wise beyond his years time and time again. (cliche) Through the years his counsel has been invaluable in helping me see all sides of an issue before passing judgement or making firm decisions. He’s a good friend.

I do have one small problem with the phrase “It is what it is.” It seems the years have made me a much more optimistic person than I used to be and for some time now I’ve been a true believer in change. Things change, circumstances change and yes, even people change. I’m living prove of that. Therefore, I believe the phrase “It is what it is” needs two words added to it, because no matter how unalterable or bleak a situation may seem, there is always the hope that things may change, maybe not today, next week or even next year, but perhaps someday. “It is what it is – for now”  not forever…

Just Saying…

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