Romanticizing Evil

 

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What is it about the bad boys/girls?  Why are some people attracted to what they should instinctively know is bad for them?  Why are predatory, controlling, narcissists romanticized for entertainment value?  Unfortunately, I do not have the answers to these questions…only more questions.  It is a disturbing trend I have noticed in the last decade or so.   I recently saw a trailer for a new show on Netflix called YOU.  The trailer shows a stalker pouring over his next victims social media.  The narration is powerful and somewhat intoxicating, and I quickly clicked off of it, because I knew where it was going.  Same old story girl meets boy, gets stalked, controlled, tortured and killed.  I have made an effort to be careful what I watch, what sort of content I allow to occupy and program my brain.  But then I read a post on facebook raving about the show and equating it’s main character Joe to Dexter.  So I decided to watch after all.  I liked the show Dexter, we’ll get more into that in a bit.  The writing and narration in YOU are superb, but the content as I first had feared is most disturbing.  It is entertaining in a macabre way.  But what disturbs me most is that the main character Joe, a mentally ill, predatory stalker, and killer has fans, lots of fans.  That’s right…there are some, and a lot of them are young girls, who think Joe is the bees knees.  WTF?! How is stalking, and killing, for whatever reason hot, or romantic?  Because Joe is intelligent, slick, and has a couple of altruistic penchants some are willing to overlook his killing ways.  Even the actor Penn Badgley is shocked at the amount of adulation his psycho character is receiving.  Lets be clear, Dexter is nothing like Joe.  Dexter used his dark passenger to mete out justice where the system failed to.  He only killed those who truly had it coming, with the exception of those who got too close to catching him.  While Dexter could be charming, the series was careful to show his lack of emotion and empathy.  I worry that shows, books (50 Shades of Grey), are being created and written that glamorize, and romanticize predators.  Even psychopaths that aren’t killers (the vast majority) still leave landslides of emotional abuse and wreckage in their wakes.  Instead of glamorizing and romanticizing we should be teaching our sons and daughters what warning signs to watch out for.  They need to learn when further investigation is appropriate, and when to walk, if not run for the hills.  Of course, that’s not the responsibility of the entertainment industry, but at what point do they have to bare some responsibility for the harm their content can and does cause.  Why can’t we have shows similar to YOU that show a smart young woman who realizes the danger and escapes it while bringing her stalker/killer to justice? A show that shows the bad guy as a bad guy and shows the red flags to look for to flesh him out?  I would like to see in the next season of YOU the tables turned on Joe by Candace, who he clearly thought was dead.  At best we can view these type of shows, books, movies as teachable moments.  We should as parents watch with, pause to explain or wait till the end and have conversations about content.  That’s our job, but we can’t be there 100% of the time and the likelihood of our youth viewing something like this and forming the wrong opinion is a real threat.  Media, shapes us, and not always in the best ways.  We must be vigilant, and like with all things we vote with our dollars.  If we feel something is truly harmful we don’t have to watch, we don’t have to let our kids watch, if we can help it, and if they do, it is up to us to make sure they have all the right information to form valid, healthy opinions.

 

Hope for the Future

I recently learned that we will have the option to purchase green energy in our community at lower prices than what Edison charges.  This begs the question, if this is possible why haven’t we been doing this all along?  The answer, a greedy for profit business model designed only to benefit the for profit company that uses it.  Edison has enjoyed an unfair monopoly which has failed to serve well it’s customers or the planet.  As you might expect they are doing everything in their power to stop us from choosing to pay less and protect our environment.  How you might wonder, well they under collected funds due to a higher than normal 2018 energy demand and have left us holding the bag.  We are always left holding the bag unbeknownst to most.  The reason we are aware of it now is because the CCA is luring their customers away and Edison wants to charge us exit fees to cover their losses.  Some say they could have managed their contracts/funds differently to avoid the loss, but why would they care when they can just pass it on to us. Hence, the uprising.  California has been experiencing record heat and an almost year round fire season due to climate change.  People want green sustainable energy that is controlled locally. This would ensure an Enron type scandal where California energy prices were manipulated by greedy traders who could care less about the swelter we suffered as long as their pockets were lined, can’t happen again. Edison did not protect us then and they still want our money now.  At least one person died during the Enron Scandal that resulted in rolling blackouts during a record heat wave here in California when their dialysis machine lost power.  I read that we can reduce our emissions buying green power by 9%. That’s huge, and if cities all over start doing this and other things green, there is hope to alter our climate crisis.  By law we are automatically switched to the new CCA when our local government votes it in. As consumers we have the choice to opt out and stay with the greedy for profit Edison that has gouged us for decades.  Hopefully consumers will read up on the CCA Clean Power Alliance and not give in to Edison’s scare tactics.  This is what it is going to take to really enact change for the better.  We cannot rely on strictly for profit businesses or our current administration to do what is best for us.  We have to do it ourselves.  We have to take charge locally.  Together we CAN make a difference.

That Stupid Turtle Sign Won’t Bring Your Baby Back

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I know this might piss some people off, but it needs to be said.  It is NOT okay to let small children play in the street.  There is a lady that recently moved in to our neighborhood and she lets her toddler children play in the street.  Our street is a very busy street. It runs parallel to the main street that an elementary school is on.  That street has speed mountains so people come down our street instead so they can go faster and avoid the speed bumps. The residential speed limit is 25 mph.  While many, myself included, obey that speed limit, a greater many do not.  This lady also lives near the corner which makes it even more dangerous because a driver has even less time to see and react to the sudden appearance of something in the road.  We also have a lot of contractors that live at that end of the block so there are big vehicles parked all along that area which makes visibility even worse.  One day I came around the corner and had to come to a complete stop because her children were in the middle of the street riding slow moving motorized toys.  She puts this stupid turtle sign out in the street and thinks somehow this means it’s okay to put her children in harms way.  Every time I see that stupid sign I want to run it over.  Streets are for cars not children.  Now I understand that there are locations that don’t offer kids a safe place to play, and I get it. Cities like New York where many homes do not have back yards or front yards. I get it. Cul-de-sacs where there is better visibility and it’s not a through street. I get it.  Dirt roads that don’t have much traffic, I get it.  Older kids who can watch for cars and get out of the way, I get it. Little kids are irrational, and unpredictable, and very likely to run into the street from between parked cars where a driver won’t see them until the very last minute. Our neighborhood has very large back yards and there is literally an enormous park complete with very wide walkways, a large jungle gym play area and even a duck pond where you can feed the ducks, just a block away.   In our city we have tons of very nice parks that are located in almost every neighborhood.  I think our park is the nicest because of the duck pond.  We use to take our children over there often when they were young.  So why would any decent parent choose to put their kids out front in the street where they are very likely to get hit by a car when they have an easily accessible safe alternative? Why!?  The fact is a 25 mph impact can still cause serious injury and even kill depending on the circumstance.  Why would any decent parent even take that risk?! I often enter my street at the other end so I can avoid that area altogether. I don’t want to be the poor driver that through no fault of my own hits one of those kids and has to live with it the rest of my life.  That stupid turtle sign won’t bring your baby back, but good parenting and not allowing small children to play in the street will keep them from getting hit in the first place!?