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Topic: Are we all incompetent, stupid victims?
Message: Posted by: ChrisZampese (Aug 10, 2003 05:09PM)
OK, the title of this thread may be a bit...abrupt, but that's what I feel we are these days.
It would seem that we are unable to take care of ourselves, or accept responsibility for our own actions.

What I am getting at is the amount of ridiculous laws in place to save us from our own stupidity and lack of common sense.

Take the following as an example (this is a very broad and widely publicised example, but it serves to illustrate my point):
The lady that burnt her mouth while drinking a McD's coffee, then sued McD's, and now warnings have to be put on their coffee cups stating that the bevarage contained within may be hot? WELL DUH!!!
I think we need to start taking responsibility for our own actions.

We are creating a society where 'common sense' (an individuals ability to make rational, sensible decisions) is fast being replaced by 'The Common Sense' (ie common sense pushed upon us by law).

By doing this we are also creating a society where everything becomes 'someone else's responsibility'. I think the classic example (and the most worrying) is parents attitude to their kids schooling. More and more we are seeing parents who refuse to assist in the education of their children, don't encourage them to learn at home, don't teach them manners or how to pay attention, and then blame the teachers for not teaching their children.

We need to grow up and stop blaming others, take responisibilty and make the world a nicer place to be in.

- End of personal rant, I imagine this post will probably not last long!,, but thanks for listening anyway! -
Message: Posted by: blindbo (Aug 10, 2003 05:33PM)
So, my wife calls into me for dinner.
I say, be right there...just want to read one last post...should be a second....

It is YOUR post. Not short. Takes longer to read. Provolks deeper thought. Stimulates a response.

Wife is mad because dinner is getting cold.

This is all YOUR fault, Chris.
Message: Posted by: MisterE21 (Aug 11, 2003 01:12AM)
I agree wholeheartedly with the above post and have made similar comments in hundreds of conversations.

Case in point: Last weekend, my wife comes in the apartment, smoke coming out of her ears. I assume she must have found out about that collection of magic books she doesn't know I bought but, no, the 4 year old from downstairs has been busy coloring with crayons. I ask why this bothers her so much...she says it's because he was doing it on CARS IN THE PARKING LOT!!!! Oh my goodness...I would have NEVER done such a thing, even at the age.

To make it a bit more amusing, an hour later we had to pound on his apartment door for an hour to get his freakin' mother to come out and get him off the nicely dented roof of another car in the parking lot!

While I would never have been drawing on cars, I can say with certainty that if I HAD done such a thing, I would not have been out of the house later that day (probably not out of the house for a week or two) to be sitting on cars!

What in the world happened to responsibility!?!?!?!?
Message: Posted by: Donny Orbit (Aug 11, 2003 02:47AM)
I too agree. I also find it unbelievable how much of the things that go on in the world today are attributed to media. A giant slaughter at Columbine is attributed to Marilyn Manson and Matrix movies, whenever the parents are the quickest to point fingers. All the while neglecting the fact that they didn't have any interest in their childrens so called after school activities, or for that matter the websites they were browsing.

XX
Message: Posted by: Kathryn Novak (Aug 11, 2003 03:19AM)
MisterE21- Be glad he was using crayons, and not a rock! My cousin did that to my dad's car last year. Dad flipped on the parents, who blamed him for yelling at the child and not helping his "creativity". At which point he took the child off of his car, and placed him on theirs. My cousin promptly drew a cloud, trees, and a dog. :lol: My point is that parents can sometimes have warped ideas about what is best for their children. Parents ARE putting more and more responsibility in the hands of the schools to raise their children. Their kids sit there for 7-8 hours a day, usually while the parents are at work. So, logically it falls that the school should be helping to teach them to be decent human beings, right? I mean, the parents ARE releasing the care of the child to the school for close to 8 hours a day- sometimes more, if there are any extracurricular activities involved. But the fact of the matter is that most adolescents are NOT easy people to deal with (I should know, I was one myself recently). It's extremely hard to teach them ideals like respect, honesty, hard work, goal setting, prioritizing, and courtesy when the people raising them have to compete with the constant barrage from likes of Eminem and Dr. Dre, the movie industry, and the internet- which often show, tell them or suggest to them to do exactly the opposite of what's listed above. Not to mention that the school also has academic material and criteria to teach! I think parents sometimes feel they can't control their kids, can't compete with the entertainment industry, or possibly feel that the child will learn the lesson much better if they learn it the hard way. The result is that the child/teenager gets neglected, and sometimes never learns common sense.
Message: Posted by: irossall (Aug 11, 2003 06:52AM)
I think that it is great that the government is starting to pass laws to protect us from ourselves. Here in the Seattle area we have cameras on many corners to watch what is happening on the streets, and in some areas if someone is speeding or goes through a red light, a ticket with a photo is sent to you in the mail. No more time wasted by being pulled over by a policeman and waiting for him to write a ticket. Infrared camera technology is improving so much that now instead of just glowing human shaped images being seen through building walls, it can now be determined if the image is male or female. The feds want to have blimps with the new high tech cameras and hearing devices to be in place 24 hours a day over every major city in the nation (part of "homeland security") so that we can all be safe in and out of our homes. We no longer need to be teaching responsibility to our children; Uncle Sam will be there to take care of any problems that might arise. George Orwell was right, just a little off on the year. The bottom line is, the less we take care of ourselves and take our own responsibility for our actions, the more that the government will.
Iven :thumbsdown:
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Aug 11, 2003 07:08AM)
One could take the perspective that a moral compass is lacking in some aspects of our society. One could just as well seek a moral compass based upon taught beliefs... as they compare to socially rewarded behavior. I suggest using behavior as a more accurate measure of 'right' and 'wrong'. That which is 'right/moral' in a society is rewarded.

Interesting to consider the implications of having schools impart/imprint basic moral values on children... as opposed to parents.

Let's apply the basics as taught (USA):
spelling is phonetic vs MANY words are not
all men created equal vs slavery common at the time
Land of the free vs capitalist republic
america as natural leader vs history of empires

These and other similars might suggest to a student that language exists to conceal meaning, and that 'doublethink' is an expected moral compass.

By the way, at least in the USA it's supposedly our government, not 'the government'.
Message: Posted by: jonesc2ii (Aug 11, 2003 07:57AM)
Well, I'm a parent and (does he have to mention it in EVERY post?) I'm autistic.

I WANT to be allowed the responsibilities; I WANT to be allowed to make decisions.

I THINK (though I could be wrong) that the original post was aimed more at governments than at parents. Obviously, in my situation I have a great deal more contact with 'the services' than most. And here is my rant:

I am not fit to be left in sole charge of my own children! I have been telling people this for many months. I need some help. Because I'm not working Mrs Jones goes out to work. But that means that I'm the 'responsible' parent left at home.

But I can't be responsible. I'm not an idiot and I'm not willfully or purposely irresponsible but sometimes I am just not able to take care of them.

Then maybe we shouldn't have had kids? Well, it's too late for that debate; they're here. And maybe if I had been diagnosed sooner (instead of at the age of 32)... oops...calm down.

So, having been made redundant from 5 computer programming jobs in 5 years, having ended up in a mental hospital following a stress-induced breakdown, I made the decision that I should find another way of making money. So, I am working hard at becoming a pro magician. Of course, this isn't taken seriously. I am being told that I MUST go out and get a job so that my wife can stay home and look after the kids.

Well, of course, that would be the simple solution. But how is it beneficial to the family if I end up back in the hospital, almost catatonic?

I was having unbearable side-effects from the medications I was on so I stopped taking them. Now, everything is my fault. If I'm not willing to take their advice and their meds, they're not willing to help.

I don't need hand-outs, I don't need sympathy and I certainly don't need to be told what I should be doing with my life. I just need a little help.

Blah, blah, blah...

..there's plenty more rant where that came from but I need to remember that this might not be the best place to be venting my frustrations!


I really WANT to help educate my kids. They are great kids and very intelligent and they need a lot of stimulation that they aren't getting from school. So, we (Mrs Jones and I), read with them after school, do painting and writing, visit zoos and so on. But, apparently, the solution to all our problems is to send me back into the slave world, I mean, workplace.

Iven, 'The bottom line is, the less we take care of ourselves and take our own responsibility for our actions, the more that the government will.' - this is true. But it is working the other way round. It isn't a lack of responsibility leading governments to back Big Brother schemes, it is the introduction of government schemes without thinking it through that leads to a lack of responsibility. We are not consulted about the introduction of cameras everywhere, we are TOLD that if we have nothing to hide we should have no problem with them spying on us.

...Grrr...

...Blah de blah...

:lol:

...sorry...I know, back in my hole. :( :lol:
Message: Posted by: hkwiles (Aug 11, 2003 02:26PM)
Chris,
Well said!! common sense from a young father -sounds like you should be able to bring your "sprog" up OK.
I'm grateful I was brought up in the 50/60's and even my 24 and 29 year old "sprogs" seem to have got through the difficult part unscathed.

Howard -one sad old geezer who still keeps harping on about the good old days!!
Message: Posted by: Caleb Strange (Aug 11, 2003 03:55PM)
Interesting thread, everybody! On the issue of warnings for idiots, my favourite is:

'This Superman cape does not enable the wearer to fly.'

Kind of the ultimate reductio ad absurdum on this issue of personal responsibilty and the litigious society.

JonTown's suggestion, to look at what we do, rather than say, cuts to the heart of the matter, for me.

Regards,

Caleb Strange.
Message: Posted by: Magix (Aug 11, 2003 07:33PM)
Well said, Chris. You took the words right out of my coffee-burned mouth. (Lawsuit pending, can't discuss it on the advice of my attorney.) :eek:

OK, which is more idiotic? Suing McD's because you were burned by hot coffee or suing McD's because you're fat? Please don't get me started.

But that will be the next warning that the courts will order McD's to put on their products. Personally, I think that if you can't figure out that coffee is hot and french fries have fat in them, you are probably top stupid to live.

I long for the day when more people start taking responsibility for their actions.
Message: Posted by: Kathryn Novak (Aug 11, 2003 11:48PM)
Then there's the fact that people actually aren't that stupid. Some of them will sue for anything, trying to see if they can make a quick buck or two.
Message: Posted by: Jon Gallagher (Aug 12, 2003 12:03AM)
People are very quick to point fingers.

Too bad they can't figure out that when they're pointing at someone else, there's always four fingers pointing back at themselves.
Message: Posted by: Kathryn Novak (Aug 12, 2003 02:51AM)
Correction: There's only three fingers pointing back at the pointee. The thumb also points straight forward. :lol: Point well taken, however.
Message: Posted by: Wolfgang (Aug 12, 2003 11:39AM)
[quote]
On 2003-08-11 07:52, irossall wrote:
Here in the Seattle area we have cameras on many corners to watch what is happening on the streets, and in some areas if someone is speeding or goes through a red light, a ticket with a photo is sent to you in the mail.
[/quote]

They experimented with that in Houston, but people shot the cameras out. Now THAT'S taking responsibilty for solving your own problems.
Message: Posted by: RandyStewart (Aug 13, 2003 08:18AM)
Hate to do this and almost take us off topic but Jones made a comment that caught my attention. He mentioned the difficulty of taking care of the kids all day while wife is at work. He mentioned needing a little help in that dept. Well said Jones! I'll take it further by reminding you that a little help here and there is what we ALL could use. My life has been full of help when I really needed it.


[quote]
On 2003-08-11 08:57, jonesc2ii wrote:
I don't need hand-outs, I don't need sympathy and I certainly don't need to be told what I should be doing with my life. I just need a little help.
</quote>

My friend Jonesc2ii,

I'm not too proud to admit that's exactly how I made it in just about anything I succeeded in. Ouch! actually that did hurt a little bit. Parents brought me into the world, fed, clothed, and nurtered me - something I couldn't do for myself.

As a strong-willed child ie "pain in the ***" at times, I was further helped to understand rules and basic functions in society. The Army further aided in that area.

As a teenager and later young adult in college I used some of my parent's and government's money to pay my way. Something I was unable to do for myself.

As a apparently "responsible" and pretty bright adult I've experienced lay-offs, getting fired once, walking away from truly unfair working conditions, and unemployment benefits process several years ago. I even went on to take a chance and succeed and fail in two of my own businesses and several other major losses by age 30. All the while knowing all I needed was a little help. Eventually I was allowed to see the light and spring back into action. That also, was only possible with a little help from a couple key people in my life.

Things are much better these days. THE DARK CLOUDS OF MY PERSONAL LIFE ARE USUALLY GONE OR MINIMAL AND EASILY HANDLED.

However, to this day I benefit from the help of business friends who allow certain introductions and business deals to occur.

Despite occasional brilliance and tenacity on my part, (strokes ego) It sounds like a great deal of my daily upside is ongoing help from others.

[quote]
On 2003-08-11 08:57, jonesc2ii wrote:
I really WANT to help educate my kids. They are great kids and very intelligent and they need a lot of stimulation that they aren't getting from school. So, we (Mrs Jones and I), read with them after school, do painting and writing, visit zoos and so on. But, apparently, the solution to all our problems is to send me back into the slave world, I mean, workplace.
</quote>

If you deal with your kids with the same thoughtful and intelligent contributions you offer here, talk about an awesome learning and living experience! Sounds like you already know how to further enrich your family's life. Now the employment issue is another thing. Don't let it bother you if you have to hold a punch card job while pursuing your plans to go pro. And as far as the autism goes, hell I don't think I've met a truley sane magician or businessman anyway.
Message: Posted by: ChrisZampese (Aug 14, 2003 10:05PM)
Just found this link on the net. I havent had a chance to check out the validity of these cases, but if they are true then they really illustrate my point. Kind of fits well with Kathyrn's point too...maybe these people are not so stupid!

[url=http://www.tech-sol.net/humor/true46.htm]crazy court cases[/url]
Message: Posted by: zeroG (Aug 15, 2003 01:25PM)
Am I alone, or am I the only one who thinks that lawyers' main goals are not to protect people.
Why does everyone immediately take the side of big business?
When I got into magic, I thought that my new peers would be artists and free thinkers. People who would look deeper into a situation to avoid prejudices.
Chris, do a little research on the original case that you mentioned. You might see things from a different point of view.
Look at what motivates lawyers. There may be some answers there.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Aug 15, 2003 02:15PM)
The American ideas of 'redress' and 'jury of peers' and 'right to trial' and 'innocent until proven guilty' do great things to prevent institutional abuses and dogmatic enforcement of policies against the will of the governed. While it took two hundred years to get the miscegenation laws removed, and we still have laws preventing people from civil marriage, the process continues...

If you are addressing the double standard of 'corporate' law and establishment... well that may be worth investigating. The political/economic issues of captial/human rights will be with us for a while. It takes a good deal of will to avoid getting distracted by hot-button issues.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Aug 15, 2003 02:34PM)
[quote]
On 2003-08-14 23:05, ChrisZampese wrote:
Just found this link on the net. I havent had a chance to check out the validity of these cases, but if they are true then they really illustrate my point. Kind of fits well with Kathyrn's point too...maybe these people are not so stupid!

[url=http://www.tech-sol.net/humor/true46.htm]crazy court cases[/url]
[/quote]

You will find these "Urban Legend" court cases debunked here

http://www.snopes.com/legal/lawsuits.htm

You can find out about the left out evidence in the McDonalds Hot Coffee Lawsuit here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A429950

And while I too champion the cause for personal resposibility we as magicians should know that things are not always as they seem
Message: Posted by: zeroG (Aug 15, 2003 02:50PM)
Bravo, Payne!
Message: Posted by: Maestro (Aug 16, 2003 01:24AM)
[quote]'This Superman cape does not enable the wearer to fly.'[/quote]

This sort of makes you wonder... If a person actually thinks that wearing the cape will enable them to fly, will putting a little warning on the tag really have any effect at all?
Message: Posted by: jonesc2ii (Aug 17, 2003 03:08PM)
Shouldn't they put the same warning on LSD?

:D
Message: Posted by: ChrisZampese (Aug 17, 2003 03:35PM)
[quote]
On 2003-08-15 15:34, Payne wrote:
[quote]
On 2003-08-14 23:05, ChrisZampese wrote:
Just found this link on the net. I havent had a chance to check out the validity of these cases, but if they are true then they really illustrate my point. Kind of fits well with Kathyrn's point too...maybe these people are not so stupid!

[url=http://www.tech-sol.net/humor/true46.htm]crazy court cases[/url]
[/quote]

You will find these "Urban Legend" court cases debunked here

http://www.snopes.com/legal/lawsuits.htm
[/quote]
Thanks for that link Payne. I had a feeling they may have been urban legend.

As for the McDonalds fiasco I would rather not turn this into a corporation vs individual debate (although that would make a great topic in itself) as I was merely using these examples to illustrate the point that we are getting a bit soft in the western world, and tend not to accept responsibility for our own actions.

Good point though...I should do my research a bit better!
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Jul 10, 2004 09:41PM)
The "does not fly" warning was on Harry Potter toy Nimbus 2000 brooms, too.

However, I should point out that when "Peter Pan" was first published, children were reportedly actually jumping out of windows, thinking that they really could "fly if they believed they could" as Peter claimed. That is reportedly why Disney added the qualifier of flight ALSO requiring "a little fairy dust."

When the Batman TV series was exported to England, boys were doing the Peter Pan folly again, trying to "fly like Batman" (and Batman didn't even fly in either the series or the comic books)! Adam West actually had to film a disclaimer, aired in the U.K., to tell British children that he could not fly and that they shouldn't try either.

So, yes, children (and a few adults) can be that gullible.

Steve
Message: Posted by: Partizan (Jul 11, 2004 05:23AM)
Look at the focus of todays role models in respect to yester-years.

In the good old days, All of the boys wanted to be a HERO and fight for good and justice. Bringing down evil villans and bad people.
Today, All of the boys want to be the VILLAN. They want to be the bad person and inflict sorrow upon the planet. They want to be HERO-killers.
The girls of today are encouraged to be sexually active/aware at younger and younger ages. and get an attitude that cuts.
The media and all of its incarnations have much to repent for. Though they never will.
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Jul 11, 2004 09:17AM)
Chris, I agree with the bones of your thread entirely. My parents were married in the 1930s. Shortly afterwards Chancellor Hitler decided to invade Poland and Britain was plunged into a war she was not prepared for. My dad worked in a reserve occupation at Fairey Aviation - not much of a Company, but it did produce the model of plane that destroyed the Italian Navy. Rationing, air raid shelters, bombing by the Luftwaffe, - not much of a start to married life! In 1949 they had a child late in married life (me). The war was won by our truly great nations, New Zealand, USA, Australia, Britain etc. at desperate cost to us all (God Bless us all)! But life was a struggle. What now is considered to be on the 'poverty line' would have been considered rich and luxurious then!
But despite all this hardship my parents' generation brought up their kids to respect others and their property. To have a sense of decency and responsibility. I have tried to influence my sons (to good effect to date) along the same lines.
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Jul 11, 2004 09:49AM)
I disagree, Partizan.

I think it is more that our 'heroes' have become flawed 'antiheroes.' Add to that that our idea of what is heroic often involves violence and the near-arbitrary choice of an 'enemy,' and the result becomes less mysterious.

To me, heroes should be folks who advance peace, love and thoughtfulness. Unfortunately, there's very little 'exciting' about peace, love and thoughtfulness.

Hence, all of our so-called 'heroes' are paramilitary berserkers and blood avengers who label some person or group 'the enemy' and blaze away with 50 caliber full-auto noisemakers, or hack away with katanas or medieval great swords.

Obviously such events as the Napoleonic Wars and the Spanish Inquisition taught humanity nothing. Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

We are technological giants, but moral and philosophical infants, taking global temper tantrums.

Steve
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Jul 11, 2004 09:58AM)
Sorry you Canadians, I did not mention you! After visiting Dieppe, Juno Beach, your cemetaries in France etc. how could I not comeback and apologise!
Message: Posted by: Partizan (Jul 11, 2004 12:38PM)
I hear what you say Dr_Stephen_Midnight and reply so...

I was making a comparison between Yester-years heros Vs todays villans.
The Villan of today has bi[EXPLEATIVE DELEATED]s and drugs and guns. they don't take [EXPLEATIVE DELEATED] from anyone. Their objective is self indulgence achieved through the pain of others. This is todays role model.

Too me. A hero is a person who selflessly devotes their life energy to helping others. Whether[sp] this be in brief bursts or as a lifes coda. They hate to see innocents taken advantage of. and will stand up to lifes big bullies.
Villans are just nasty and just wish to futher their own needs at the misery of others.
The media has the choice of which model to portray, and you have the option to eat the [EXPLEATIVE DELEATED] they feed you.
Message: Posted by: jonesc2ii (Jul 11, 2004 02:33PM)
[quote]
On 2003-08-10 18:09, ChrisZampese wrote:
I imagine this post will probably not last long!
[/quote]

Almost a year, so far! I wonder what the average shelf-life of a thread on here is...?
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Feb 20, 2005 03:46AM)
Still here almost 18 months later!

And by the way....

we all like to bleat about others not taking responsibility for their action but when was the last time you took the full blame for something...

its harder to do then you'd think...esp. when we have a legal system that makes it oh-so-easy to blame others whilst making a healthy profit.

Heck! Australia has a prime minister who won't say sorry to the aboriginal children who were stolen from their parents by the government and won't say sorry to a mentally ill AUSTRALIAN woman who was locked up in an immigration detention centre for 10 months before someone noticed she should be there!

If HE won't do it...why should anyone else.