While the making of lists at year’s end should definitely be a chapter in any “Handbook of Creating Quick Content,” I’ll submit that there’s never any harm in looking back. We are developing shorter and shorter memories as the tempo of information change increases, which has led many to speculate that we’ll lose our passion for changes in gun control any minute now. Let’s not do that.
While anybody can create a “Top 10” list of some sort, I’m offering what I hope is something of a twist: “The Stop 10 List.” Below are 10 people, situations, repeat mistakes… call them what you will… that I think need to be stopped in 2013. The order, building to number one, is only one means of sorting out the impact of some of these; your own list may vary.
10: Fake Life
Attention, so-called ‘pro life’ groups: How do you feel about two people creating a baby so that they can incite millions of dollars in free publicity over an 11 month cycle? Seriously, this is ‘celebrating life’? Thank you Kim “PT Barnum” Kardashian for proving us wrong: We thought your fake wedding was the end of nauseating self-serving ‘reality’ stunts. Coming up next: Kanye pretends to have an aneurism…
9: Baggage Charges On Planes
Who is not going to bring a suitcase with them on a plane? Why not try charging for use of the on-board restrooms? That would give everyone a better picture of how we’re being treated right now.
8: Phone Solicitation
I’d rather you stuck 25 Thai restaurant menus into my front gate than ring my phone (and violate my privacy) 25 times. If a dude from any one concern, political or otherwise, rang your doorbell three times a day you could pursue a restraining order. Why can’t we stop the same behavior with our home telephones?
7: Drugs Do No Harm
Parents of my generation feared their children being involved with illegal drugs. Now the very real threat of drugs comes from those available legally by prescription, with overdoses claiming more lives now than OD’s from ‘street’ drugs. Additionally, big pharma must stop selling “medications” that have more side effects danger than efficacy. In 2013, let’s stop huge pharmaceutical corporations realizing record profits from side effects pain and abuse of their products.
6: Obstructing Progress
At the time of publication of this column, has the fiscal cliff deal gotten through Congress? If not, why not? If there were people on the PTA at your child’s school who did nothing but block everybody else’s ideas and suggestions, you’d vote them out. Republicans no longer have a philosophy or “view”… they’re just bullies. Stop the obstruction of progress and the destruction of the American middle class.
5: Empty Films From Empty Heads
There’s a difference between pop culture and no culture. That’s right, Tarantino… your number is up. I would happily sign a petition condemning overrated weaklings for exploiting important elements of history such as World War II and slavery as a weak-minded means of making money. (Did I already use the word “weak”?) Stop now, Quentin. Take five years off… then say, “Now I’m going to make a worthwhile film. Who can I get to write it for me…?” (See also “Gun Resolutions”)
4: Gun Resolutions
Take one evening and idly flip through all your cable channels for an hour. Keep flipping until you find a narrative deploying guns to resolve conflict. Mark that down, and move on. Just give this an hour… that should be enough.
3: Stop “There’s Nothing We Can Do…”
Three quick examples of when we did something: Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, Cigarettes, Lead in Paint. Don’t even start with me that we can’t turn around the virus of guns.
2: War And Killing Children
You’d think this would be number one, but you’ll see my thinking here in a moment. Ask someone passionate about the Middle East, either side, “Is there anything more valuable than the life of a child? Then why are we still killing children for real estate and control?” Bad news for those who feel there can be no other way in these conflicts: This is the 21st century, not the 12th.
1: U.S. Off Oil
More than religion, oil instigates homicide on our planet. The most powerful nation on earth must use its big brains to get us not only off fossil fuels, but out from under the corporate shadow powers that keep us in this untenable position. You know why we went into Iraq and yet you still must buy gasoline for your car because alternative energy sources are kept from us. Stop it, big oil: You’re literally killing us and the planet.