Steve Cook's soul, song, and sweat.

Shinybass journal entry 11-28-11

Are we human, or are we dancer(s)?

I shamefully admit that I had to look up who actually recorded this song, because whereas I listen to new music, I am not nearly as hip on the up-and-coming stuff as I used to be. And the song is older and not from up-and-comers anymore, either, so that shows you where I have been. (It’s by the Killers). I also looked up the lyrics, which were borrowed from Hunter S. Thompson who stated that America was ‘raising a generation of dancers’. So let’s ponder that as we dive into this week’s journal entry.

(Cue intense news-like music)

The statement of being a ‘dancer’ hits hard and right on the head in this day and age. I suppose the mark of a good quote is its timelessness. Hunter wasn’t around for the explosion of facebook (He passed in ’05, and facebook was created in ’04, however the popularity didn’t soar until more recently), but he was around to see the transformation from the Greatest Generation into one of lesser values, a bunch of people more intent on having a good time and letting others do the work as we sit idly by and watch. We complain about government (which we should – more on that in a moment), but line up to get into Target at midnight. Are we camping out at the polls to vote? I’m pretty sure we’re not.

Well, we should. I am not an activist – I do vote, so therefore I am entitled to speak about issues. If you sit on the couch and complain and don’t vote, I don’t want to hear it. At all. But since I vote, I speak. And right now this ‘Super committee’ has failed to find us budget cuts worthy of their stamp. They have had three months, and once again, no one is concerned for the greater good, only their party politics, and here we are, floundering with uncertainty and half of our investments out the door. So three months, holed up in a plush room with really, really good catering, and guess what? We got nothing. The deck was stacked and set up to fail before it started. We are in trouble people.

So here’s what I propose: How about I go up to DC and help out. I have no party ties, no lobbyists at my door, no interest in any business sector, and have no favors hanging over my head. I will say this (which may throw my ‘nonbiased’ qualifications out the door): Our military should be stocked. I don’t think people understand how important the military is to keeping this puppy together. I may have dug a trillion-dollar hole by saying that, but we only need to find 1.2 trillion to trim. Anyone remember that scene in ‘Dave’ where the ‘stand-in’ President balances the budget? It may be that simple. Stop worrying about your parties, and think about the future. Not the future of your Ivy-leagued kids. The future of everyone.

And the future is looking tough. As we dance more and learn less, we are taking the process and handing it off to the rest of the world. And speaking of, Occupy folks – someone please, please, please email me and let me know what the hell you wanted. I understand that times are hard, and you have a degree and can’t find work. But at the same time, I see people on the news drive up in a SAAB and collect a free turkey dinner. Umm, how about selling the car and buying something cheaper? There’s a couple grand right there… And if you are sitting home with your degree and saying you can’t work, shame on you. It’s like the movie Vacation with Cousin Eddie holding out for a management position. We are accustomed to a certain lifestyle, I get that, but I look around and realize I don’t need so much ‘stuff’. But in the wake of economic turmoil, we set record numbers at the cash registers on Black Friday. I didn’t buy anything – my future in-laws bought us a TV for Christmas – but they work, and are secure, and have economic sense. I am speaking to the people who are broke and have iPhones. What the hell, people?

So again, my proposal is this – less dancing. Let’s better ourselves – as a country, as people, as humans. We have a lot of brain power up there, and we choose to live online rather than living in the glorious warm sunshine (metaphorically speaking on this cold Nashville day) that is given us. We are steering our children down the wrong paths by giving them cell phones at age 10. I seemed to do OK without having on until I was in my late 20’s. I know the world is changing, so instead of fighting it, how about we embrace it. I offer this little tip.

When you get the chance, call someone instead of texting them. We are getting away from human interaction – it’s so much ‘easier’ to message them on facebook, but you can’t replace a human voice. We have seen a steady decline of people who don’t know how to interact with others anymore. Then guess what? The separation begins – those who can learn and move forward will succeed, and those who take the easy path, they find themselves lacking. This country and this world provide all the tools for us to conquer and be the best we can possibly be. Take full advantage and let’s get back on top.

Steve, you have a blog, and you are on facebook, so aren’t you as full of shit as everyone else? Well, sure I am. And I have a smart phone. I don’t like it, but when looking for a restaurant, yes, it helps. And as far as the preaching about facebook goes, it’s addicting as can be, and when I fall into a game, like I did recently, then I realized how much life was spent here, in front of the screen instead of walking my boy Diesel or learning new recording tricks. It’s an easy trap. So whereas I do have an account, I am limiting my usage now, and you will find me on the Italian tutoring websites in my spare time rather than seeing what you are having for dinner. I have my own dinner to cook. That’s a bit harsh, so how about this – if you post a picture of a dinner that you made, how about being useful and including the recipe? That way it’s a post that truly shares something rather than saying ‘I am eating today’.

Man, this egg nog has me fired up this morning! As we have just sped through the Thanksgiving holiday, I guess I am getting you primed for Christmas. Be kind, be sincere, help the ones who have a hard time helping themselves, and donate something. Live and breathe and jump and learn and hope and cry and wonder and laugh and dream and succeed. It’s a pretty simple formula, I think.

OK, my word count is up around 1200, so I am going to let you off the hook for now. I hope your holiday weekend was a great one, and that your month to come is filled with happiness.

See you on the road!

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