It’s been awhile since I hopped on to one of Colleen Chesebro’s Poetry Challenges, and as one known for not tolerating injustice, I felt compelled to join in this week’s poetry challenge with a Senryu. This week’s challenge we are free to choose any form of syllabic poetry we like, but must include a color.
Black hearts, empty souls
Stealing freedoms, women's rights
Darkness reigns Supreme
If you’d like to join Colleen’s weekly challenge, please visit the original post.
Today I’m talking about my aversion to self-checkout registers in stores. I hate them!
What spurred this post was a meme I’d seen on social media where people are up in arms in the comment section about having to self checkout at Walmart with cart loads of stuff, some leaving their carts and walking out. Below, find a few samplings:
“I refuse to self check out. It puts people out of work and contributes nothing to the social security tax base or income tax. It’s Walmart’s way of not paying wages. Plus most folks are part time so Walmart doesn’t have to pay benefits.”
“When I’m in line waiting to pay for my groceries, and the nice assistant manager tells me there’s an opening at the self checkout, I look at them and say, “I’m sorry. I don’t work here.”
“I think we should get a “ I cashiered myself discount “ since they aren’t paying anyone to ring us up”
“Hire the cashiers back!”
I can definitely relate and not a big fan of self-checkout for various reasons besides the complaints noted above. Grocery shopping has never been one of my favorite shopping past times. I go with my list, gather my goods and go to checkout. I’m used to bagging my own things in some supermarkets, but, ringing items through on a self-checkout doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting out faster.
I’ll take my local pharmacy, Shopper’s Drug Mart, as an example here. I’ve developed a habit of going there only on Thursdays. Thursdays are Senior Days. Ya, ya, I’d hardly consider myself a senior, but I’ve been getting that discount for years.
It began about eight years ago at the Shopper’s near where me and my husband lived for years. I’d pick up his prescriptions and do a shop. I asked one of the pharmacy girls if I could get the discount since my husband was a senior. She told me she’d certainly ring up my things with a 20% discount. That was it! Since that time, any other Shopper’s I’d spend money at on a Thursday, I’d ask for the senior’s discount and got it. At the time, I was further away from being a senior and was puzzled that I wasn’t asked for identification. I asked the clerk if she needed proof. I was told then that clerks weren’t allowed to ask for I.D. for this discount and that if we claimed we’re seniors we’d just get the discount. That worked out well through the years. . . until the self-checkout machines came around.
As you can imagine, Thursdays are the busiest days at Shopper’s. The one closest to me is a nightmare to checkout from on Thursdays. With usually only one cashier on (these days) and three self-checkout machines, prepare to spend longer in line. We have Shopper’s points cards where we earn extra points for items we purchase. The cards get scanned at checkout, but Shopper’s has yet to come up with a cure for the missing access to the ‘senior discount’ selection at self-checkout. What currently happens is the ONE cashier on duty has to leave the line of waiting paying customers to go over to the robots and swipe a ‘special’ employee card into the machine to take off the extra 20% for those who braved the robots. So we are in fact waiting on one cashier line and sharing that cashier with all the lost self-checkout customers who can’t get their discounts at the machines. Not to mention, most of the elderly seniors don’t have any concept of digital payment. Sometimes I question if the 20% off is worth my time.
This self-checkout business is a nightmare for many. I detest it more in grocery stores. How many times have you been self-checking out and an item doesn’t scan? Yes, we are at the mercy of computerized everything. And no, they aren’t foolproof. When we checkout with an actual cashier, it’s their business to call a stock person and go check the price of the item if it doesn’t scan. At a self-checkout scanning machine, it’s enough to make me leave the whole lot of stuff and walk out. This isn’t my job. I’m wanting to pay for goods and the robot I’m at isn’t complying and there’s no help. Yes, I am going to leave if there is no help around.
Now, I know that some stores have ‘helpers’ around to help serve shoppers when glitches occur, but that’s not always the case, especially since I’ve noticed less people working in these stores. It isn’t a secret that North America is recognizing a shortage of employees for many businesses. With the advent of Covid and people working from home or leaving their non-essential jobs, which are in fact, very essential to the average citizen, I’ve noticed plenty of closed checkout aisles in many a store.
I’m not sure if all those people ranting over the situation at Walmart aren’t justified in their thinking, but I do feel the same way as many of those commenters. Greed has taken over everywhere with price gauging, giving less and taking more from us from service to pricing, but, I do know it sure would be nice to see people working in stores instead of these damned robots!
I haven’t been back writing much lately, due to my husband’s recent passing. But that doesn’t mean through my grief that outside influences haven’t been getting my goat, like the way our province of Ontario has become a big joke for the incompetence of our government on the handling of containment and the sorrowful lack of vaccines, and the system of no law and order when it comes to how they are rolling out vaccines at random.
When I got my first vaccine in early March, my doctor’s office managed to get me into a local pharmacy that had openings, but not for my lack of trying, I could never get through the line to book, it’s much easier for a doctor’s office to connect. The pharmacist who gave me the jab had told me there is no return date booked for my second vax, but it will be four to 12 weeks. Well, no return date, and our province has decided four months will suffice. Why? When the directives are 4 to 12 weeks by the pharmaceutical suggested dosing, and we don’t have enough vaccine around, Health Canada ‘decided’ four months is sufficient. Do we even have any data of efficacy for that long of a wait gap?
Our province did not begin vaccines with a plan of law and order. In fact, front line workers are only RECENTLY being called on for their turn. I guess they forgot that all the people who work in factories who go to work and bring home the Covid to their families are creating wild hotspots within our city and contributing to the 3000 plus daily cases daily we’re still getting. This is a fire that can’t be extinguished because our borders are a joke, as is our government, and vaccines are being sent to us willy nilly. The general public is lost and speaking out about the joke of a system where they have to look for popup places, often getting shutout because if you didn’t stand in line from the wee hours of the night waiting for them to open, you more than likely lose out. We’re like a bloody third-world country here!
Gratefully, while I was watching the Canadian news the other night, the media announced that @VaxHuntersCan, has taken it upon themselves to establish a responsible group to take over where the government sorely missed, using social media to help Canadians get a heads up on where vaccines will be offered daily, how many spots, how to book, and who is sold out. From VaxHuntersCan, came another branch @VaxHuntersTO, they post specifically to Toronto’s availabilities. Note their slogan under their name on Twitter – “Here to help people navigate the overly complex vaccine rollout and do the Ford government’s job for them.” Yup, thanks to them they are helping Canadians out where our government fails.
Now, here’s the bug up my ass. As I am living in solitude and grief with the passing of my husband, I am ANXIOUSLY awaiting my second dose, where I know not where and if it will come from, so I can get the heck out of here by July/August. But hey, this country is farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr from even getting close to vaxxing Canada with round one.
Here’s something that niggles at my mind. The only reason my age group was randomly called out of order, which allowed me to get the first vaccine, I found out from the pharmacist, was because at that time, (the age allowances have been changed several times since for those eligible for the Astra Zeneca – just another reason people have no confidence and don’t know what to believe about safety), the pharmacy’s vaccine was soon to expire. That’s how I got in.
Fast forward to a few days ago, when I began following @VaxHuntersTO on Twitter, they announced two pharmacies (close to me) that had lots of spots left for the Astra vaccine, that are supposedly expiring in May. So I called up both those pharmacies and told them I noted there were lots of spots on the website still available. A lot of people don’t want Astra Zeneca for whatever reasons (most of which because the government has changed their mind on age limits), so I asked if I could come in for my second dose and was refused. I didn’t hang up without making a comment, reiterating that they have vaccines, nobody is coming for, they’re about to expire, but they will go in the garbage instead of vaxxing anyone waiting for dose two. Yes apparently, in our Covid capital of Toronto where we can’t get enough vaccines, they will throw them out before giving anyone a second dose.
DO YOU SEE WHY I NEED TO GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE???
So I’ve been DMing on Twitter with one of the persons running this VaxHuntersTO site, sharing about my discoveries and they are as appalled as I am. Apparently, ‘the person’ I’m chatting with runs a clinic downtown Toronto, and they told me that they will have left overs and they will personally DM me to invite me in for round two!
Thank goodness for competent citizens because certainly our government cannot seem to get their shit together!
Note – I’d also like to add that my first dose vaccine came from India. Ironically, when India was doing so well before this next tragic wave hit them, they kindly helped Canada out with Astra Zeneca from their plants. My heart (what’s left of it) goes out to India for the horrific predicament they are in right now. It’s gut-wrenching to watch those poor people in desperation to save their loved ones. I know Canada and the US are sending them equipment, oxygen and ventilators as they so desperately need for this killer next wave that is unrelenting there. I hope other countries will send along some healthcare workers to help ease their under-staffed situation, the same way so many are helping out each other in so many other countries, including my own.
People are dying everywhere, kindness and compassion are essential in these times everywhere and from everyone. We are all one as the world.
Seriously! I really saw this on an American entrepreneurial show – Shark Tank. As soon as I saw it, I was appalled, and it seemed the Sharks felt somewhat the same. Is there anything left for us humans that doesn’t require technology?
For those not North American, Shark Tank is an interesting show where a panel of wealthy branding business people have entrepeneurs come up to share their new business ideas or inventions where they hope one of the Sharks will like their idea and invest money into it and promote it. Let me tell you, there are some great inventions on that show – but there are some others that make me go hmm?
A couple had invented an app that allows you to alert your partner when you’re ‘in the mood’. Yes! You read that correctly! Hey there’s nothing more stimulating for me than my partner alerting me he’s in the mood, so ready or not here he comes. Um, not from the world I live in. As far as I’m concerned, romance used to be initiated by contact, words, wooing or whatever means, but certainly just because my partner’s mobile phone buzzes me with a circular green light flashing on my phone to inform me he’s in the mood is an actual real turn off. ‘In the mood’ denotes to me just that – hey, I’m in the mood to get lucky, sure hope my partner can help out. Ya, oh so romantic. Not!
The fact that people actually invent this stuff is sad. Spontaneous sex is the best. If you have to use technology, use a vibrator. That way, you can do your own thing when you feel the urge without disturbing someone who is sleeping beside you. Sheesh, I thought booty calls were bad enough, but sending your own partner in the same bed as you a flashing green light message that you’re ready for sex sounds a little too robotic for my taste.
Why do people have to keep re-inventing the wheel? There are just some things that a machine cannot do and cannot replace, such as the human touch.
There’s a reason it’s called romance. Romancing by way of the heart, mind and touch is what excites and stimulates a person’s senses with desire, which might be old fashioned, but prompts a natural response and is the ultimate enhancer for initiating the process to get in the mood. A buzzer call only tells me someone’s horny and needs someone to relieve them. Not exactly what I’d call a turn on.
I went out for a measly twenty minutes. This is what ensued.
Hub and I were just about ready to venture out north to our old neighborhood pharmacy where our prescriptions still remain because of the most helpful pharmacy girls and pharmacist whose advice is invaluable. Anyhoo, I digress. When I was finally ready, hubby wasn’t having a good day physically, so I told him I’ll go north and pick up his pills and do whatever else was on the list. He insisted we’ll go together tomorrow. But in the meantime, I was dressed and masked and ready to go so I thought I’d take the opportunity to run out myself to the fancy supermarket a few blocks away, to pick up some nice steaks I’d noticed on sale when we were there only three days prior, but walked by them because we don’t typically eat a lot of meat. But we were having company on the weekend. And it was a special occasion since our good friends were coming for dinner – the friends we usually always got together with once a month pre-Covid, and now haven’t seen for 8 months.
So, I crossed that stopover off my list of stops for the next day and drove to the fancy supermarket. I didn’t take a shopping cart on the way in, because of course, I only went in for one thing – the steaks. The rest of my grocery shopping would be done the next day at the big grocery chain store.
I headed straight for the meat department and was grateful to find the lovely steaks still on sale. Then I remembered hubby asked for some nectarines, which were located at the complete opposite end to the meat department. This of course meant I was to pass many other aisles on my way to the nectarines. Did I mention I had no cart?
I doubled back when I realized I’d passed, first, a beautiful shrimp ring also on sale and a package of turkey bacon. I picked up one of each and piled them onto the four-pack of steaks.
As I was scrolling over a mental list in my head thinking about my menu for my gathering, I was nearing the butternut squash, just the soup I had in mind to make for an appetizer. So I picked up two boxes of already peeled and cut cubes (yes, I cheat, I hate dealing with whole butternut squash) and placed them on top of the shrimp ring. And while I was at it, right in front of me were some beautiful vine tomatoes. I managed to be able to pick up a cluster of four.
Last, and certainly not least, I made it to the nectarines. By this time, my two forearms were balancing my Jenga pile of food. My right hand cupped, shielding the pile from falling, which left my left hand free to grab a plastic bag, then transfer it to my right hand to hold while I leaned over to pick out some nectarines and placed them in the bag.
I put in however many my two fingers grasping the bag could hold and just as my mission was complete, I turned to leave and my purse hanging over my shoulder, knocked over one lone nectarine onto the floor. I stood there looking at it on the ground for a moment, all the while calculating how I could pick it up and restack my tower of food again. A woman standing barely three feet away from me had been watching me, as though she was waiting for something to fall. I stood there and sighed after the fallen nectarine, locked eyes with the woman looking at me as though I was mentally signaling her to offer a hand, but she made zero effort to offer to pick it up. I glanced again at the fruit on the floor then once more at the woman, shook my head at her and walked away.
The woman called to me as though she was the store warden, “Aren’t you going to pick that up?” .
I turned to her, now two aisles past her and shouted, “I can’t believe you’re such an uncourteous bitch!”
I was stunned. I’m the kind of gal who puts myself in other’s shoes. I could not have stood and watched a woman with her arms overflowing holding a stack of groceries, right beside me dropping a fruit and me not automatically reaching down to grab it for someone as a human kindness. You know, kind of like someone holding a door open for the person immediately behind them?
After checkout, I spotted the lottery booth had no lineup and thought it was a good opportunity to buy a ticket for the big pot. I approached the plexi-glassed desk and stood for about a minute to see how long it would take for the girl to lift her head from her cell phone and acknowledge the presence of a customer. But she didn’t. So I left.
I was pulling out of the small plaza up the last row of a dozen, closest to the exit. I braked to check for cars coming in and out before making my right turn onto the exit, then was about to proceed with my turn when a car booted up the drive , didn’t stop or care that I’d not yet completed my turn yet, but she proceeded to attempt to complete her turn into my lane with nowhere for her to fit her car and blocking me from being able to complete my turn because clearly, there was nowhere for her to go until I turned. That was it for me.
I opened my window and screamed out to the woman and let her know how #$#$@#@ ignorant she was, and told her to back up and let me get out before she could turn in. I also added there were a dozen other rows she could have turned into but had to try and fit in the lane by cutting someone off. I’m tired of these lawless people on the roads and parking lots any and everytime I go somewhere in the car. There are scary drivers on our roads, and I don’t know how many of them ever got their license.
I was going to run a return parcel over to the post office but I’d had enough for one day. One half hour.
I reminded myself just how comfortable I am living in my bubble at home. Maybe too much.
Lord knows with the amount of time I spend on the computer, I’m enabling my digital footprints to stretch far and beyond. We’re caught in a web of our personal lives, living somewhere in the digital library of bits and pieces of everyone, somewhere. We are losing that ability to remain anonymous as digitalization progresses. Privacy is quickly becoming obsolete in today’s digital world.
Doyou ever think about the fact that anytime we go out in public we are susceptible to being videoed and/or recorded? Anyone, anywhere can take our picture and use it however they deem. Nary a public place is without a camera for their ‘security’ purposes, but nonetheless, we’re recorded. Personally, I feel there’s wayyyyyy too much information for strangers to have access to and then to do what they please with it. I don’t like it!
Maybe we’re just getting too complacent and don’t pay enough attention to it anymore, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. There is nowhere safe anymore it seems. And this isn’t just about once we step into the outside world, but we invite the same into our own homes – some unknowingly and others quite willingly. Just think about all the digital gadgets we all have in our homes. From computers with webcams and microphones to our phones tracking our every move, and Smart TVs – there are potentially eyes on us if we don’t remain cognizant about smart digital use such as turning off mics and covering up webcams when not in use.
And as if we don’t have enough technological spyware following us, enter Alexa. I refuse to have one in my home. I feel there’s enough ‘big brother’ going on in our personal lives and I’m doing my best to keep from being spied on as best I can in the cyberworld, but let’s face it, if we work on computers daily, the best we can do is help minimize the invasions. All these digital methods come with way too much convenience in exchange for our digital footprints being sold to third parties to be shared, often exploited, and lord knows who else, so they can follow us around on our digital apparatus and flash advertising at us.
The way I see it is, if I have a computer, Ipad and cell phone within reach, do I really need to purchase an Alexa bot to move into my home so I can ask it to do things for me? Am I too lazy to Google something myself? Am I too lazy to press a button myself to turn on music or turn off a light? Do I really need to place an order on Amazon with a bot? The answer to all above are no. Besides, I’d much rather log onto Amazon and search around for things myself, and do price comparisons, and of course, read reviews before purchasing anything – not just a book. I personally don’t enjoy a bot living in my home listening to everything that transpires in my life, my phone calls and personal discussions, because you can be sure it’s being stored in someone’s archives. No thanks. I’m not interested in living under surveillance more than I already must. And if the day comes that I’m too lazy to get off a couch to press a button, then there’s something really wrong.
Everything we can imagine is at our fingertips – literally. Who would imagine with so many newfangled freedoms of technology we’d have to give up more of our privacy with everything we order, signup up for or merely browse. It’s the price we pay to be part of the digital movement. And if I can find ways to eliminate digital footprints I will.
So how do we attempt to keep the exposure down? Notice I said down, and not off, because in today’s world, if you have a digital gadget there’s never going to be a way to remain completely anonymous. But there are some things we can do to keep the invasion at bay:
Cover your webcams with a post-it-note
Turn off the mic on computer/tablets when there’s no need to use it
Turn off the location on your cell phones so Big Brother doesn’t follow you everywhere and only turn on when using maps for navigation
Don’t leave your Alexa on all the time (if you must use one)
Another note of caution when house hunting – Beware when viewing properties. Many homeowners have their webcams or apps on their phones set up to view inside their homes while away, similar to Nanny cams. We don’t often think about these things when we’re in the moment and focused on the task of checking out a property, while it’s very likely the current owner has their cameras set up so they can listen to feedback from potential buyers. The days are gone where we can freely check a property and voice our concerns or comments without them being listened to. Pay attention to what you talk about while viewing, particularly, snarky comments and conversations about potentially placing an offer on the property. Save all that for once outside the home. Trust me, I have first-hand experience at this!
Do you have something you’d like to add to this conversation?
Today’s post is another call for fairness for consumers. As someone who is a very organized and expertised shopper, I want to say something here to online businesses who oversell their stock, just like the airlines do with over-selling seats.
Wouldn’t it seem simple that when ordering an item from an online store and your order is confirmed that you should expect the delivery of your product? Ya, so did I. Wouldn’t it seem simple that when there are ‘x’ amount of items in stock that as each person orders one, the number available would go down by one in their system? Ya, that’s what I thought. But apparently, that’s not how they do things at TSC, our Canadian home shopping network.
Let me preface this by saying, I practically have a mortgage with this company. I’ve ordered from them for over 20 years, and although I’ve had my share of discrepancies with them over the years, this one just bites!
Over 3 weeks ago, one of my favorite clothing lines came on TSC. I’d found the perfect evening legging to complete an outfit I intended to wear last weekend.But I still never received them. I’d sent 4 intermittent emails to customer support inquiring as to where the hell my pants were – to no avail. Because, as usual, NO REPLY. When I went into my account to check on the status of the order, beside the item number was the word ‘backordered’. Backordered? WTF? As a seasoned shopper on that channel, I know full well the items that go first on airings. The pants I’d ordered were a popular item. I ordered those damned pants on the very first airing to lock in my order – OR SO I THOUGHT.
I placed my order, along with some other items, a few days later I received the other items – no pants! The receipt said ‘pants to follow’. This does happen occasionally that they will send a partial order and follow up a few days later with the balance. But no, not this time. I placed my order and immediately got notification, ‘thank you for shopping TSC your order has been placed.’ After a week had passed and no pants, I got suspicious. After checking my account order status and seeing backordered, I sent customer support an email. In fact over the course of another week I’d sent them 4 emails but AS USUAL they never replied.
Yesterday I started to get really concerned because I was counting on those pants to go with a jacket I’d purchased to wear to next weekend’s family Christmas party. Since I had no email reply, I went onto their Facebook page and messaged through there with my inquiry. The response was about as helpful as anything I’d received so far. So, I knew it was time to place a call.
After the usual 100 button pushing and waiting on hold for half an hour I finally spoke with a rep to ask where the hell my pants were. Yes, I admit, I wasn’t feeling very friendly. I received the typical ‘Oh, so sorry, the pants are sold out’. I lost it. And that’s when my rant began.
I asked her how a giant company like Rogers who owns half of Canada it seems, including our home shopping channel, doesn’t have an ordering system that serves the consumer. How on earth could my pants be sold out when I ordered in first airing and the pants remained on other airings as available for 2 days that followed? The hosts on that show display an ‘items left’ when they feature an item. On day 2 there were still ‘items left’ but somehow my friggin pants are SOLD OUT! The rep kept coming up with lame excuses amid her apologies, telling me that they were probably sold out before the airing. LOL I replied, are you kidding me, those pants were available for 2 days because I kept checking myself as I saw them as I was eyeing some other items.
“You oversold the item, just like the airlines do with seats!” I replied in a huff. How can such a big company run a business like this where people order an item and it’s not counted as sold automatically? How can a giant corporation like Rogers who owns them, have such a lame shipping system? She continued on trying to pacify me, apologizing that the item was no longer available and no more would be coming in stock. I was livid, and asked to speak to a supervisor. She told me there was no point because there were no items left and the item shouldn’t be showing in my cart. Oh really, and wouldn’t it have been nice IF I WAS INFORMED IT WAS OUT OF STOCK? More apologies, again for not receiving an email!
I told her I want to speak to a supervisor because I want to let them know that you can’t treat consumers like this. Eventually, I spoke to the higher up who again apologized profusely and tried to tell me the same excuses the rep did. I set the record straight with her, letting her know this isn’t how to do business, their support is terrible, and stop telling me bullshit stories about stock. She retorted by telling me they send emails out when something is out of stock. I reminded her, just one more incompetent thing on them because I NEVER RECEIVED ANY EMAILS, other than when MY ORDER WAS CONFIRMED!
I’m a seasoned shopper there, I know how it all works.”You guys failed to deliver my product ordered first airing and those stragglers a day or two later who ordered received their pants and I didn’t.” I told her again how bad their stock strategy was and as a courtesy to the public I will be writing an article about this. That was when I got offered a credit on my account. But that was not enough to stop me from sharing this rant!
I am soooooooooo tired of big corporations. I’m tired of taking whatever is dished out from companies because our hands are tied and there’s nothing we can do when business isn’t done properly. No, my complaint didn’t magically make them come up with my pants, but I had hoped to instill some sort message to upper management that may miraculously be passed on to the powers that be. Yes, I got a credit, big deal, that didn’t give me my pants and that doesn’t justify their shit business policy and sorely lacking customer service. Just sayin’.
I know I’m not going to change the world single-handedly. But by speaking up, we have to let these companies know when they’re in the wrong. If nobody speaks up, nothing will ever change! We must keep them accountable!
Have any of you been chumped by bogus protocol with online ordering?
If it weren’t for the press, who would keep us abreast in a world fuel injected with fake news and social media propaganda? It’s the press who keeps check on issues and people who are making the news for reasons both bad and good. It’s the reporters and journalists who speak out on what’s wrong, calling out leaders who aren’t doing their jobs, calling out propaganda in the mainstream social media used to sway and spin and stir up shit. Propaganda was Hitler’s initial method for instigating his extermination plan. Now we have social media to assist as a huge method to capture headlines – both fake and real.
Egan states in her article, “A mediasphere designed for spectacle can’t be expected to fix the oversimplification it creates. We need writers for that, and we need them badly. Literature, like democracy, is built of a plurality of ideas.” She continues to speak on how every form of literacy creates a perception for the reader, which helps to instill empathy and explains how writers throughout the ages have had the ability to help overthrow repressive regimes.
“Literature is an antidote to the blunt distortions—good vs. evil, us vs. them—that are so easily exploited by those who would manipulate us.”
How many times have we seen on the news journalists around the globe risking their lives to report on some of the atrocities going on around the world and getting jailed or even killed for reporting a truth? And the reason for these crimes against journalists is merely because those authoritarian governments or people holding power feel threatened when publicly exposed. Writers, reporters, journalists write to keep the wrongs in the forefront for the public to watch and listen to, giving the public the chance to judge for themselves so as not to be lured and eluded by untruths.
Writers need to be writing to exploit injustices and to preserve democracy. When free speech is compromised, so is democracy. When did a party difference of right or left begin to replace right and wrong? Why does a simple tweet of calling something a hoax make it so just because a leader thinks he can cancel out facts by standing on the highest soapbox and shouting out the loudest. This does not make it so. And this does not negate all the fact finding the journalists and their inside sources who put their lives on the line for every day do to educate the public.
From my vantage point, as one who follows world politics closely, it appears like the world is in a battle with mankind. Greed is the number one reason for much of the state of the world. Big money corporations taking over for much of the world’s political climate because of the kickbacks they receive in return, a system of money going to money, the rich getting richer and the little guys paying for most of their sins through their own pockets. Who is there left to defend us middle class and low income earners? It’s the writers and reporters who keep us abreast of these issues, among many others. No, they can’t solve the world’s problems, but they certainly can shine lights on these issues to give us fair and truthful information, leaving us the readers, to discern on our own the reported discoveries.
The old adage, “You can lead a horse to water . . .” often occurs when facts are offered up but many sheeples prefer to follow the masses, not doing their own homework on the state of their environments, societies and even their countries. If you’re on social media a lot like I am, you can read all the messaging from good vs. evil. There are people calling out injustices and others pushing them. And if we aren’t well informed on truthful facts, it’s so easy to get caught up in the world of fakes news and ill intentions. The era we are living in now globally is an era of uncertain times for sure. And uncovering the truth for every situation being exploited into the mediaverse are the gifts we receive from journalists around the world who are often sacrificing their own safety while getting to the heart of each matter.
Personally, I feel as though God is shaking his head at what man has done to his world. He watches with salty tears, but doesn’t interfere in our choices because we all have free will. But all the greed, anger, and propaganda floating around and shoved done our throats now seems to be at the breaking point of the proverbial camel’s back. I can’t help but think God has done it before; he’s wiped out the earth and started over with Noah’s Ark, only this time I don’t believe there’s an Ark to save us. By abusing mankind, our brethren, and our planet, it feels as though the Ark isn’t coming and if we don’t change course on these issues of injustice, we’ll be left behind to swim that creek with no paddles.
In the era in which we’re now living, changes happen swiftly – and most are not for the better. It’s too easy to fall prey to fake news because it’s manipulated to do just that. Those who may not have time to watch TV news, pick up an old fashioned newspaper, subscribe to an online factual newspaper, and those who listen strictly to propaganda news stations with distorted facts to sooth the wrong-doers, social media paid and sponsored ads created to target the uneducated are all rampant and attract those who easily fall prey to fake news. It’s up to each of us to pay a little more attention to what is going on in the world around us. It’s easy to take for granted the freedoms we’ve come to enjoy and expect. But when red flags are presented we should all be caring about reinforcing everything good that seems to be vanishing in our world like, courtesy, kindness, and compassion, and the very core of our freedoms.
Writers should be writing, and that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to write about world politics if that’s not our strong point. But writing books, articles, essays, and short stories are a great way to create empathy for the reader. Words that make people feel something, words that invigorate people to open up their emotions, words to invoke compassion, can all create new discoveries for a reader – no matter the subject content. Reading is education in a host of realms. It’s us as writers who can contribute to educating others, whether it’s to keep people factually informed, or to create an atmosphere with story to invoke thought or awaken hearts with compassion.
This short video is part of the Times article where journalists speak up for freedom of the press, and tributes to those journalists jailed and killed for speaking the truth. They are resilient and relentless to continue to report the truth.