This movie was watchable but don’t expect a lot from it. It was very predictable. The cast did a pretty good job, especially the kid, Jackson A. Dunn, who plays the main character Brandon. He is the bright spot in this rather dull film. His transition from sweet kid to crazed killer was done well by him. The over-all story was very similar to the origin of Superman with the exception that Brandon was sent here to take over the world. Once activated he goes on a rampage, killing anyone would oppose him. I personally think that the whole thing doesn’t really make sense. He was raised to be a humble farm boy with good values and at the drop of a hat comes a psycho. There should have been some drama in his life that made him resentful and mad so that when the time comes the switch was what made sense to him. Instead, you get a good kid that goes super bad. If you have nothing else to watch, flip it on and give it a try but don’t plan to be overly happy you did.
For the last few days I have noticed a Black Lives Matter ad popping up on my Netflix every time I open it. Since I believe this organization is not only bad but doing nothing to help the black community I get very frustrated when seeing it. Like most things, I thought maybe it would go away after a few days. By this morning I was ready to blow and wanted it gone. I contacted their support, thinking they would at least listen and send my complaint up to management. Instead “Cathy” copy and pasted some replies and basically told me she would be happy to cancel my service. This whole disagreement could have been resolved if they had just told me how to turn it off.
“Manage Profiles >> Edit Profiles >> Edit Maturity Settings >> Under Title Restrictions enter “Featured Collection” and click Save”
Instead they spoke to me like my business didn’t matter to them. I am not going to convince you to do anything, just read over the conversations and decide for yourself. I have turned it off for now but I will be looking for another streaming app and most likely will be leaving Netflix. I am just tired of these companies being political.
“Your issue is: Stop with the BLM crap everything I open my app or I am cancelling my service! I don’t pay for this service so I can be lectured!
You are now chatting with: Cathy
I understand. No worries. Let me help your email address please?
Thank you. You are having issue with the app?
I am having an issue with you post a BLM message on my screen every time I open the app.
I see…I apologized for the trouble.
Im checking on it.
What is the exact details showing on the screen? If I may ask?
It a full screen Black Lives Matter ad with shows or something listed under it, that I have to click past to get to the home screen. If you want to put that stuff on the slide, that’s your business but I should not have to click past it, to get to the home screen
May I ask your device?
Netflix does not push advertisements to members using our service. If you’re seeing ads or pop-ups when streaming video from Netflix to your computer, your computer or browser has most likely been compromised by adware or malware. To remove it, use the anti-malware, anti-adware or anti-virus software recommended by your computer manufacturer or a trusted IT professional.
“We believe that one of the ways Netflix can have a direct impact is through our stories. The Black Lives Matter collection speaks to racial injustice and the Black experience in America – and we hope that highlighting these titles can help increase empathy and understanding.”
I should not have to click past it, to get to the home screen. Turn that part off or I will be cancelling it.
I see. Thank you for the feedback. For all Netflix titles, we work hard to maintain the artistic integrity of our content creators, and present their work unaltered.
If you decide to cancel We will understand and respect your decision.
Still with me?
not for much longer. Your Political stand is much more important than your paying customers so, I will be leaving you service asap
We understand. We value our customers. Netflix is an on-demand service, so members can choose what to watch based on the detailed descriptions of the titles. In this case, we are just notifying our members of what titles are available.
bull crap, I have been a member since the DVD days and I have never been stopped before getting to the home screen for an ad like that.
You are have decide to get political.
We appreciate the feedback. I apologized personally. Would you like us to proceed the cancellation?
I will be doing that by the end of the day after I sign up for another streaming service.
I see. I understand and respect your decision about this.”
The time has come when I believe all of will have to decide what kind of country we want. That sounds like a bold statement and something just a decade again people would have called a conspiracy theory but hear me out. From the beginning we have been a two-sided country. Some colonists wanted to leave the British Emperor, and some did not. Some wanted an American King, and some did not. In the end we chose to leave and we chose a republic, not a monarch. We need this because the majority of people understood that it was the best option for the people. It allowed them to be free from tyranny. If the elected reps didn’t do what the people wanted, the people would remove them. They set up a brilliant blueprint for a free society. It truly put the power of the country in the hands of its people. Along the way we used the blueprint to ensure all Americans regardless of race or religion would all have those freedoms. Nothings perfect, but it was working better than even the founding fathers could have imagined. Wars came and went. We debated over rights and wrongs. We took opposite sides on issues from time to time but one thing remained, we all wanted to have the freest society we could or at least that’s what we thought.
Quietly during the second world war a small seed was planted.
“Government can do much people job of taking care of people than private industry.”
The seed led to welfare, social security, government loans, government house…etc. All of which sound like great ideas on paper. We have a “safety net,” as many like to call it, encase something happens. There were two major problems with this idea. First, when you have a safety net, it takes away the fear or losing and will make some people lazy.
“I know I have to walk this tight rope, but if I can’t or if it’s too hard, the safety net will catch me.”
The second is that it gives government powers that it was never supposed to have. It was never supposed to be that kind of protector. It was meant to protect for foreign treats, not ourselves. These ideas now made the government a wealthy parent who would coddle us if we didn’t work hard enough to take care of ourselves. Now a parent instead of an employee the government took charge and decade after decade they took more and more control while handing out mountains of rules and debt.
That brings us to today. We now have a group hell bent on not only growing that original seed but using it to replace the amber waves of grain with fields of socialism. This group no longer wants a free society, they want power and government control. With that said some of these people are not evil and not even really socialist, they are just under the impression that it would be fairer for everyone. I call these people the “that’s not fair” crowd. They don’t really want people’s freedom removed, they just want everyone to have the same things. The rest are power hungry devils who want to destroy this country and everything it stands for. The latter is winning among that group and I believe that the rest are going along in fear of the devils. They have now spread from the government into all types of media and they will lie, steal or kill, to accomplish their goals. Our country is being pulled apart by these lies.
“White people are racist”
“All cops are racist killers”
“Black people are scary”
“Men are chauvinists”
“Men are stupid”
“Minorites aren’t able to help themselves”
“Mothers are always the better parent”
“Women are way smarter than men”
“Believe all women”
“Divorced dads are dead beats”
“Know your truth”
“Everything is normal”
“The new normal”
I could go on all day, but I think you get the point. These lies don’t even have to match up with each other. They will tell you one lie, then tell you something completely different the next day. They have used these lies to splinter this country into factions. Small groups of people that can be controlled with lies. The side effect of these lies is fear, and that is going to crumble this country. Right now, fear of other races, cops, and an invisible sickness are the tools in use. Look what it is doing to us. We are telling on each other for not wearing a mask and “social distancing” while our cities are burning because “Cops are bad”. This has to stop. You can’t have freedom when the people will help enforce unconstitutional mandates by power hungry governors. You are playing right into the socialist hand book. They can’t maintain or control the people without the people being willing to tattle like children on each other. They know this and they are using it to force rules upon that break your God-given rights.
You also can’t have freedom without peace. Believe me I was more than outraged about what happen to George Floyd but burning down cities is not the way to deal with it and it will make things worse. These riots are planned and executed by the very same devils that I spoke of earlier. It’s done for two reasons. The first of which is to attempt to get rid of our President. Like his style or not, he is a man that like freedom and I believe he wants us to return to a free society. The devils don’t like this man because he speaks out against them and they want him gone at any cost. The other is to force the government to take over policing. This is something they have been trying to do since 9-11 when Homeland security was started. If Trump is forced to send in troops to squash these riots, it will not only look like he is using them to get his way but it will set the president for a power hungry socialist like the last guy we had to use them at will. This is a very dangerous time and I believe the days of not getting involved and the “it doesn’t affect me” attitude are over. The time has come to stop this in its tracks.
Trump will be forced to call in troops to stop this. It’s not long, just property damage, they are murdering people now, and it has to be stopped. The socialist Majors and Governors aren’t doing anything to stop it, so someone will have to. I hate to see that happen, but as President, what do you do when cities are burning and people are dying? The thing we can do is know this and understand that he is not trying to take power. I believe what he will do is call in the National Guard to return order and then the local police will then take it from there. With that said, if he was to use this as some kind of power grab, we would need to stand again him as well. I don’t believe that is the case though and when he does as I believe he will, we need to support him for it. We need to stop voting for people who have socialistic beliefs. You can no longer have the view of (he or she is in the same party as me so I have to vote for them.) You need to choose the person that you believe wants freedom, not socialism.
The other thing we must do is stop allowing and helping to enforce these mandates by these people. As free people we have the right to manage ourselves. If this virus scares you, then you have the right to wear whatever you want to protect yourself or even to stay home. If it doesn’t scare you, you should the same rights. Fear is getting the best of people and they are giving the state and local governments control over how we manage ourselves. Let me be clear because I know some of you are thinking it. I don’t like stupid laws that are freedom suppressive and over reach. I think they should be done away with, period. With that said, those are laws passed through proper channels. These COVID-19 mandates are not laws, they are orders from 1 person being carried out by others below them. As business owners, customers and citizens we have to stand up to these mandates and refuse to be forced into following them. Stop telling your customers they have to wear a mask. Stop telling your employees they have to wear masks. Business are forcing their employees and customers to wear a mask, stay six feet apart and following these mandates to the letter because they fear their overlords will smack them down. As a business owner, stop it. Stand up for the rights or your customers, employees and yourself. If you’re too small to standalone, join with others and stand together. As a customer, stop giving in. If you go to the door and they tell you “You have to wear a mask” turn around and walk away. If you go in and it’s a two hour wait because half the tables are closed down or there is too many people in the building, leave. When no one is shopping or eating there, the business will be forced to stand up. As an employee, tell your employer no. You may lose your job but again if enough people do this, the business will be forced to stand up. The people of this country have to take it back from the socialist who would see it destroyed. We have to stand united as free “Americans” first and correct the course we are on. Then we can discuss any other issue we might have as a society. I only hope that it is not too late and it can be restored.
I have spent many years feeling guilty because I missed my grandfather (Papaw) more than I missed my grandmother (Mamaw). I wondered why that was because I was extremely close to both of them. My mother and I lived with them until I was almost four, and then I spent every summer and Christmas break with them until I was fourteen years old. They were more like parents to me than grandparents. Papaw passed away just after my thirteenth birthday, but Mamaw lived many years after that, passing away in 2011. Though his death was very sudden, hers was expected and less of a shock to me when it happened. What did shock me was how well I handled it and the fact that for a long time after that I would only miss her when I thought of something she had done that was funny or caring. To the contrary, there hasn’t been a day since 1987 that I haven’t missed Papaw. It bothered me but you can’t help how you feel so I kind of stopped worrying about it. Fast forward to a few months ago and I woke up one morning and had a thought. What if my anger with her was keeping me from dealing with her loss and missing her? See, though she did live much longer than Papaw, her death was, debatably, mostly her own doing. No, it was suicide but, in my eyes, it might as well been.
Let me tell you a little about her and maybe you’ll understand. She was probably the strongest and my willful woman I have ever known. This is a woman who would get up before the sun, make a fire in the stove, and cook breakfast before most people were even starting to wake up. Nothing ever stopped her from doing what she wanted to do and if someone needed help, she was the first person there. Sure, she had her flaws like everyone else, but she was extraordinary. I watched her face each challenge in her little head on and she never just gave up. Then the unthinkable happen, she gave up. For some reason this woman that I respected and loved so much did a complete one-eighty. She now had an attitude of entailment and a deep need to be taken care of despite there not really being that much wrong with her other than being overweight. She was also taking mountains of medication that I knew couldn’t have been good for her but she insisted she had every ailment known to man. Her loving sweetness had soured and she could be quite hateful when she wanted to. I was disappointed at first, but soon my disappointment turned to aggravation and eventually anger. I was furious that she had changed so much and was no longer the woman I loved so deeply. All my children knew of this great woman was that she complained all the time and was a little mean. That was heart breaking. I wanted them to see the Mamaw that I had and feel the love that I once felt from her. The last few years of her life I barely saw her. I just couldn’t take watching her turn into this person I didn’t know. I was so angry at her. “Why did she do still?” I kept asking myself.
Then one afternoon I got a call that she was dying. At seventy-nine years old she had decided; no more meds and she was ready to go. By now that medication she had been on, had ruined her body and without them things would start to shut down. It took days for her to pass away and twice I stood by her bed telling her it was ok, but it wasn’t. I told her what I thought she wanted to hear, but I was still angry at her for the years of transformation. I wanted so badly to just yell at her and tell her to snap out if. It was too late though, my Mamaw was gone and my kids would never know the woman I did. We buried her a few days later, and that was the end of it, or at least I thought it was.
Now, as I was saying earlier, a few months ago, and I woke up one morning and had a thought. What if my anger with her was keeping me from dealing with her loss and missing her? Why this thought came to me, I don’t know, but it didn’t. Was I really still mad at her? When I thought about it, I realized I wasn’t and it was time to move on passed the hurt I had felt. Maybe my anger was justified, maybe it was wasn’t. Either way, it was over and nine years of absence had forced me to rely on memories of her, not my anger. There was twenty-seven years of great memories to drown out the ten or so years of bad and now the bad stuff is just a small spec on the bottom of the pool. Sure it’s there, but it’s not keeping me from swimming. Time has brought me to a place of forgiveness. Today, I write this with a loving memory in my mind and heart about my Mamaw and I miss her very much. I think about her almost daily and that a good thing. I wrote this in hopes that it might help someone else out there struggling to let go of past hurts and anger. If you look in deep, you might find that Time brought forgiveness for you as well.
All my life I heard from people, the news media and movies about the “Titans of Industry”. Men and Women who take risk and dare to forge new paths in business. You know the people I am talking about. That person in your company that makes everyone sweat and sit up straight when they walk into the room. No one wants to get on their bad side for fear of losing their job or even worse, being blackballed in their industry. This person owns the room and the conversations there with in. They push the company forward with their bold, cut throat decisions.
At least that’s what I always thought, anyway. It turns out that they aren’t Titans at all and mostly just people scared to make waves. I stated noticing this many years ago when Human Resource departments started to take over company policies. Many of these CEOs, Presidents and Chairmen knew these new policies were ridiculous and not conducive for a good workforce, but they caved in and allowed them to be implemented. Then I watched as HR slowly took over every company I worked for. They ruled the roost, and these so-called Titans did nothing. Page after page of politically correct nonsense became the law of the land and has ruin many formally great places to work. Now we’ve moved on to an all new issue, the dreaded Covid-19. At first, I understood some concern. This thing was a little unknown, though in my opinion it was mostly hyped, and it was probably smart to be cautious. I don’t think the shutdowns were necessary at all but a making your employees aware and asking anyone who is feeling sick to stay home, is not a bad thing. It’s the same thing most companies do for the flu every year. A little caution is not what we got. These companies folded like a house of cards and many shut their doors. This cost the companies millions and their employees lost jobs. Sure, the government over paid unemployment benefits but those took a few weeks to kick in and there are people that still haven’t got theirs. Not to mention it will take months if not years for some of these jobs to come back and what will these people do when that fat unemployment extra runs out? The companies that did stay open soon implemented rules on their employees that make no sense.
- You must wear a mask at all times.
- You must wear gloves at all times.
- You must wipe down every surface every fifteen minutes.
- You must stay six feet apart at all times.
They started doing stuff like stacking boxes in front of counters and desks to keep people apart. Hanging signs everywhere telling people the rules and to wash their hands. Talk about not having any faith in your employees. If you think the people that work for you are so dumb that they won’t wash their hands unless you they see at least five or six signs coming in and out of the bathroom, then you might want to get some new employees. As for the other new rules, hot masks and gloves aren’t good for anyone’s health. They over heat your and lower your oxygen levels, which can affect your immune system. There is no way I would force someone to wear those things while trying to do their jobs. Not to mention, they really aren’t doing anything to help. If there is something out there you can catch, you’re probably more likely to get it because you are constantly touching your face to adjust the hot, uncomfortable mask on it. Even better some of these companies have now start forcing their customers to wear them to come in and buy their products. Talk about bad customer care.
“We want your business, but put on this nice hazmat suit on first.”
Where are the Titans? Where are these leaders of industry who should be standing up for their employees and customers? Very few of these people stood up against this over reach of government power of everyone’s rights. These are the people that have the power and the money to do so, but they have not. Most of the people I saw fight back are small businesses. People who are so scared of loosing their business that they stepped up and took a risk. Many of whom have been jailed and had their licenses stripped. Elon Musk is the one CEO of a large company that I’ve seen stand up to this and you saw what happened, the government caved. The government knows they can’t push him around and that he has the money and power to push back. With that said, I here he is still going to impose the above nonsense on his employees but at this point, just fighting to reopen is a step in the right direction.
My point to all this is, we need those Titans back now more than ever. We need the people who will fight off government over reach. Someone to stand up and say, “ENOUGH! We are going back to work and getting people’s lives back.” We need the Titans of Industry from days long ago, not the Cowards of Industry we have today.
Good TV shows are hard to find!
More and more I find myself re-watching TV shows that have long since ended. One of these shows, which I have watched about 8 episodes in the last week, is The Mentalist. I noticed it on Prime a little over a week ago and it has pretty much been the only thing I have watched since. It is such a great show and has a fantastic cast. The main star of the show is Simon Baker, who also stared in a show call The Guardian. Maybe I will write up something about that show sometime as well, it’s another great one. The Mentalist is about a man name Patrick Jane who loses his wife and daughter at the hands of a serial killer named Red John. A lot of back story revolves around catching him, but each episode has its own story and plot. Cast is made up of characters you can believe are real. Each having their own strengths and weaknesses. Each having a role to play. The acting is top-notch and the chemistry is some of the best I have ever seen on a show. The only one I can think of, off the top of my head, that would match it is JAG. The episodes are well written and thought out. They are not always hard to figure out, but there are some surprises along the way. It has smooth camera work and not a lot of jumping around and quick takes to make it look edgy or complex. I really just can’t say enough good stuff about it.
As I was watching the first few episodes it dawned on me that there really isn’t much out there like it anymore. Each character is well written and has their own style and characteristics. It was women on the show that really stood out when you compare them to today’s female characters. They are nothing alike on the show, other than both being cops. They all have ranges of emotion and handle themselves like women in the real world. nowadays, every woman is written the same way. Five foot three, one hundred and twenty pounds of tough chick. Don’t get me wrong, that works sometimes but not in shows that are supposed to be realistic. Most people, women and men, in the real world know their limitations. Not the women in shows of today. These women have no limitations and no flaws. They can do no wrong and are “unstoppable”. There is nothing worse than a show full of loud mouth, bossy, tough chicks that look like they would fall down if the wind blew hard. There is nothing appealing about it and in fact I would say it’s a smack in the face to women. Most women don’t act like that. They know there is a lot more to a person than something so one dimensional. How much fun is a story there the person can’t lose or is flawless? Even in the old school action movies, the heroes were flawed. Most of the time they had lots of flaws and the only thing they were good at was this one thing they needed for the movie.
This is all caused by lazy writers that are more interested in their agenda than telling a good story. They start with bad characters who they know nothing about other than their “oppression” type (gay, female, ethnic…etc.) and then go about writing a story that speaks out about that so-called oppression. This makes for bad stories and even worse characters with no depth or personality. It makes someone like me, who has always loved TV shows and movies, not want to even watch it anymore or at the very least not watch anything new. You just get tired of the same lame characters and the same BS story lines.
- White people are bad.
- Men are bad.
- Orange man bad.
- Any life style you have is normal and everyone should accept it.
- Women can do anything a man can do.
- Women don’t need a man.
- Everyone is oppressed.
These few things cover just about everything on TV now, and I am fed up with it. They have ruined several shows on Netflix that had great first seasons with good stories and characters with a crappy second season with terrible stories and characters. It’s as if they can’t help themselves.
This brings me back to my opening point, which I find myself watching more and more older shows. Maybe that’s what it will take for these companies to catch on that they are putting out garbage. If everyone stopped watching the new stuff and tuned in to old shows, they would see people don’t want this crap. If you do, make sure you check out The Mentalist on Prime. The show is funny, dramatic and just well put together. You’ll be glad you did.
One last thing, if you find a new show that doesn’t have all the SWJ stupidity, leave me a comment and let me know so I can check it out.
As many of you know the movie Man of Steel starring Henry Cavill has not been held up a good Superman movie. I have heard it called lackluster, crappy, garbage…etc. I personally think those words and sentiment is unwarranted. Sure, the movie is not perfect and there is some stuff I didn’t like about it.
First, I think they didn’t set up Clark very good. That side of Superman is extremely important, and you lose something when Clark does really show up. He is the humanity of Superman and helps set him apart from other super heroes. Clark, unlike most alter egos, is very simple and humble. He’s not a billion, a test pilot or even a police forensic analyst. He’s just a report out doing a normal 9-5 job. Here is this man who could do anything in the world he wants and he is content to be normal. To me that’s extraordinary and worth the time to set up in a story.
Second, I don’t like the way they killed off Jonathan Kent. Unlike the first movie in 1978 where Clark didn’t know he could have saved his father, this time he stands there knowing he can but on a simple wave off by his dad he doesn’t. That is out of character for Clark or Superman and was a bad idea.
Third, Let’s face it. Lois was terrible. Amy Adams is a fine actress, but she just can’t pull off Lois Lane. Especially after seeing Erica Durance play her for years on Smallville.
Lastly, the absence of the Superman theme. It just doesn’t have the same feel without it.
I am sure there are a few more things I could nitpick about but those were my biggest complaints. Despite those things, there was a lot of good there.
First, Henry is a great Superman! Sure, his Clark needs some work, but I think that is easily fixable. He looks sound and acts like you expect Superman to. When you see him run out on the helipad and grab the failing structure, you see Superman. Top notch in my book.
Second, after the terrible fight scenes in the original Superman movies we finally got a realistic battle with Superman and a supervillain and it didn’t disappoint. These scenes could not have been any bigger or better.
Third, Krypton was really cool. The design of the one from the original never really made sense to me. How would grow food on a planet of nothing but crystals and all the white clothes made no sense. Don’t get me wrong, it was very cool back the day but still not logical.
Fourth, Jor-El was great in this movie. Russell Crowe mailed it. This is the kind of guy that would risk everything to save his son. No matter the cost, his son was going to live. Crowe is great in just about anything and he brought his A-game.
Finally, for the first time we got to see some of the struggle a boy would have to go through if he had these powers. Learning to control them. Learning to hide in plain sight. This would not be an easy thing to do and they should that. Unfortunately, that didn’t translate well in the adult Clark scenes but it was great seeing a young Clark struggle and it not just be because he wants to show off.
The long and short of this is that I think this was a pretty good movie and they could easily fix the mistakes with a sequel to it. It’s a shame they kind of gave up on it so quickly and tried the silly Batman vs Superman, which was a God-awful movie. If you haven’t seen it or maybe saw it when it first came out, give it watch and see if you again or disagree with me.
Most jobs you do until your time there ends, and afterwards you stop that job and move on to another. For example, I was once a construction worker. I spent years doing just about every type of construction there is from concrete to trim work. At thirty-three, I stopped working in construction and became an IT guy. Someday I will stop do that as well and I will no longer be and IT guy. That doesn’t mean that I won’t use those skills from time to time, especially the construction skills, but it won’t be who I am anymore. At seventeen I became a dad and while for the first two years I wasn’t able to be with my daughter as much as I wanted (Long story…lol), starting at nineteen I was a full-time parent. I took to being a dad the way a fish takes to water. It was like I was born to be their dad and I loved it, even the times when they would drive me insane. Through divorces and times of financial ruin, my kids were my life, and they never left my side for very long. I took them everywhere I went mostly and it was never a burden like it is so some people. By the time I was forty I had five kids and as of two years ago got married to a great woman and added three more children in the mix. All these children netted us, eleven grandchildren. All in all, our family Thanksgiving and Christmas last year was thirty-one people.
I have often thought I would like to relax and only be Papaw. The guy who lets you do things you’re not allowed to do. The guy who never raises his voice or jumps on you for being too loud. The guy so says “Leave those kids alone” to the parents, when they are doing something they shouldn’t be and the parent are getting on them. It sounds like a great job, but…I struggle to give up my first job. In my defense, we still have one living at home and he has a few years before he leaves the nest. The reality is though that being a Dad is who I am. Everywhere I go, I “Dad” people as my kids would say. If I am there, and your kids are misbehaving, I just might get on them about it. I don’t mean any disrespect or rudeness by it, in fact, I am trying to help. When I was growing, that’s people did. If you were out in public acting like a punk, there was always someone around to tell you to knock it off. Back then, though, parents didn’t get all offended and mad over it. My poor mother was always grateful I’m sure, when some guy in the grocery store looked at me, being a brat and wanting everything in sight, and said: “Hey boy, knock it off”. This would scare the crap out of me and I would do as they instructed me.
On the flip side, I am not all discipline. Often, I am the guy playing with the kids and making them rowdy. I have made many people cringe by spinning and flipping kids head over heels. I don’t know what is so exciting about flipping in the air, but most kids sure love it. Kids are fun and I love to see them laugh and enjoy life. Some kids have little fun and excitement in their lives, and if I can help them have a little fun, I am all in. The point to all this is that some men never stop being “Dad”. It doesn’t matter whose child you are or how old his kids are when he is in the room, he’s “Dad”. He doesn’t mean to offend you or make you mad, he’s just doing his job. No different from the man that would come in to fix your furnace or put new windows in your house. He’s had this job so long it has become who he is, so cut him some slack.
Growing up, I never gave much thought to my last name. For a short time, I even had a different one, though it was only in public and not legal. In my mind, I was a Starnes and my last name didn’t really matter. To give you some insight into that, Starnes is my mother’s maiden name and up until I was around 7 years old it was the only family I knew. It was then that I met my dad and the rest of the Pendleton clan. I had a step-father, but that’s a disaster I may share with you another time. I was very close to my grandparents, especially my grandfather (Papaw) and it was his name that I was proud of. After all, he was the man that had been there for me every day up until that point in my life. I spent a lot of time with that side of my family and have always been closest to them. I never considered myself anything but a Starnes even though that wasn’t my name. Being a Pendleton was just my name and to be honest, I had no pride it. Even after my dad came into my life, we never really connected the way I did with Papaw. I don’t really fault him for that anymore; I know he did what he thought he had to do. We all make mistakes and some of those mistakes come with problems we can never fix. I wonder sometimes if it was that lack of pride in my name that led to my broken connection with him and my brother who share my name. Don’t get me wrong, I love them all and if they needed me, I would drop what I am doing and would be right there. I’ve just never had a connection with them the way they do with each other. The same can be said of my sister and brother on my mom’s side who have a different father than I do. I often joke that I am an original, one of a kind. The only Pendleton-Starnes walking the planet. I found it humorous, even if no one else did.
Anyway, I never really thought about it until my boys started to get older and I could see the pride they had in being Pendleton. They aren’t proud of it because of the name itself but because it belongs to me. They are proud to be my sons there for the name means a lot to them. I have girls too and they are also proud of having their father’s name but they will all take another before it’s over when they choose a man who will give them a new name. Their kids will have that new name and they will grow to be proud of that name. The boys though will have kids and those kids will be Pendleton, not Starnes. I have to be honest at first it bothered me. As I said, I had always seen myself a Starnes and the fact that my Papaw’s name will be forgotten someday by my branch of the family tree really hurt me. Sure, my children and my grandchildren will know about him but would their kids or their kids’, kids? Thinking about all this is what led me to these questions.
What’s in a name? Is it important? According to Romeo “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” so what does it matter?
After thinking about it long and hard I concluded, it does. Your name is the only thing you really have to pass along that can’t be taken away. Money, power, fame and even faith can be lost, stolen and forgotten. Your name when giving to others can’t be taken from them, no matter what. It connects you to your past and your future. It ties you to everyone who has had/will have it, good or bad. A good name can open doors for you and a bad one can get doors slammed in your face. Every town has that one name of a group of people who are known to be nothing but trouble and everyone avoids them. Someone telling you “Don’t go down there, the So-in-so’s live down there” will tell you right then, you don’t want to go there. My name was unknown where I grow up but I didn’t always bring it honor. I was a troubled teen at times and though I was harmless, I could be frustrating to people at times. I recall one of my daughters ended up with a teacher that I had in High School and like her father she questioned things and the teacher was not at all surprised that she was mine. Though he and I had respect for each other back then, I always knew how to push his buttons and I know there were days he dreaded watching me walk into the room. I picture him looking down on the class roster years later and seeing “Pendleton” and thinking “Oh God no, not another one?”. My daughter and I laughed about it when she told me but it did worry me. The fact that my children could suffer because of my stupidity in the past, wasn’t fair to them. Fair or not, it is all in the name. People that I have wronged or not left a good impression on will put that on my descendants. That’s something they would not have to deal with if I had done better in my youth. If had taken pride in who I was and understood what my name would mean to them and their children. Just knowing that I wasn’t just screwing up things for me but that I could be costing them a job, a grade, respect…etc might have made me think a little more about my actions. Who knows how it could have changed things.
Despite anything I did though, my kids love me and are all very proud to be Troy Pendleton’s children. This makes them proud to be a Pendleton. To them, it means they belong to me and each other. It makes us all family. Watching and listening to them talk about it and making it sound like it’s some exclusive group has given me more pride in the name than I ever had growing up. I am now proud of it because they are Pendleton and I am proud of them. Though a part of me will always be a Starnes, I know I am a Pendleton. That doesn’t mean I’m not a part of that family, it just means I can’t damage it or improve it. I will not be able to tarnish the Starnes name nor will I be able to bring it greatness. The Starnes name will be left to the fate of my uncles’ sons. Pendleton is my name and with that comes the responsibility of leaving it better than I found it or at the very least not making it any worse. You have the same responsibility to your name, whether it was the name you were born with or the name you took when you got married. Treat it well and if you belong to the “So-in-so” family, redeem your name by being the person everyone thinks you’re not. Rise above the bad rep and work hard to leave your kids with a name they will be proud of.
Something came to me today as I was out walking. The US Media just love companies who go to other countries and open up business and do things for that community. They fawn over these companies as if they were the greatest company to ever open their doors. When was the last time you saw the Media make a big deal about a company who opened up a new factory or warehouse in small town America? Think about it for a minute. Can you recall a story on a news network or social media about it? I can’t and I stay up to date with the news. Why is that? The one obvious answer is, the US Media doesn’t really care about the US people. To be fair, they don’t care about the people in other countries either. Now, I can’t prove that or course, but I will tell you why I am convinced, this is the case. The US Media is owned and operated by people who make money off misery. It sells big time and bad news takes priority over everything. You might be saying to yourself “But Troy, if they love misery then why cover feel-good stories about other countries?” which is a valid question, but you are getting head of me, I’ll get to that…lol. As I was saying, these companies love to make money and misery sells. They spend 90% of their time looking for the next shocking event or terrible thing they can report on. The other 10% they run feel-good stories so you don’t get burned out on the misery. Here’s the trick though. 3rd world country stories are like the golden ticket. They can sell you misery and happiness at the same time.
They go over there to do this wonderful story about this company. Let’s call it “Bill’s Shoes”. Bill’s Shoes is going to open up a factory in poorest part of some country and give 200 people jobs. Sure, they only pay $2 a day but it’s way more than they have now. It’s a happy tale of “Bill’s Shoes” making the world a better place. It’s also a story about misery, because these poor people have nothing and they look like they have nothing. In the US even, our poorest people usually aren’t doing that badly. Most people will do whatever it takes to keep a roof over their head, food on the table and clothes on their back. That includes welfare and charities supplying them with those things. If “Bill’s Shoes” decide to open up shop in Small Town, USA, the people there being helped wouldn’t be pathetic enough for it to be a “Happy Misery” story, so they don’t bother covering those things. You might be thinking “Who cares?” but what you have to keep in mind is publicity matters to companies because it’s free advertisement. “Billy’s Shoes” wants to sell shoes and make lots of money. If they can get tons of free advertising from the US media for opening a factory in a 3rd would country, why would they open up one in small town USA. My point to all this is, if the US media cared about the people here they would go out of their way to praise companies who open US businesses and put lots of people back to work. Sure, it might not be a good “Happy Misery” story but it would encourage business to locate to a place where are people need good jobs. This would be a huge boom for some of our small towns that are fading away. Instead the media attach business like Amazon for not paying what they think they should pay. I know New York is not a small town but they did lose almost 2000 jobs because the media and a very ignorant politician attached them and kept them from bring those job to the people who needed them. It would have been vastly different if they were opening up a new location in Mexico or some other country. Then again, I could be wrong and this could all be the opinion of one man…what do you think?