Perceptions

DSC03923

Humidity, lush landscapes, and cool air forced through little vents occasionally remind me of you.   Insulated and isolated from the world outside in our rental car we proceeded with our mission. Brief interludes of camaraderie, when we were united against a common enemy, or a random life obstacle I recall fondly.  Moments when we were on the same team, team family, and had each other’s backs, or was it that I just had yours?  Did I mistake your uncommon lack of cruelty for kindness, acceptance, and love even? Did I?  The trouble is… I can’t be certain.

 

©Dani Heart

6/14/2019

 

An Open Letter to Brick and Mortar Retailers Everywhere that Harass their Customers

 

IMG_2765

Dear  Home Goods, Target, Kohls, Petsmart, (Insert your favorite store here),

Stop harassing your customers! It used to be so much fun to go shopping.  It has turned into a hassle at the checkout, and sometimes even before.  If you want to stop losing SO much business to Amazon, give customers what they want without the hassle.  I am SICK and TIRED, of being aggressively targeted at check out to sign up for your tracking promotions, store credit cards, or to give to whatever charity you have decided to support with the harassment of your customers.  Checking out used to be a breeze. The order would be rang up and we would offer whatever form of payment and that would be the end of it. Now every employee you come into contact with will attempt to coerce you into signing up for a store credit card.  A polite no thank you doesn’t seem to get the message across. You are then made to feel stupid for not wanting to save whatever percentage off they are offering at the time.  When you say no thank you again in a firmer tone, they usually reply with something like “I’m just trying to save you some money and help you out”.  No, you are trying to meet your sales goals so that you can get that bonus or whatever and help yourself out!  Every savvy consumer knows that store credit cards are a rip off. They have high interest rates and are designed to lure you into carrying a balance and paying that ridiculous interest.  I LOVE Amazon! I know…it’s dangerous, but I love the ease and accessibility.  You can find everything on Amazon. You can read reviews, do research, all right from the comfort of your home. Amazon saves your payment info, if you let them, (which is why you should always enable two factor authentication) you push the button, without the hassle of a complicated pos, and voila your items are delivered right to your door.  If you are a Prime member your items usually come within a couple of days.  No fuss, no muss! It’s pretty hard not to love it.  I have now bought things on Amazon that would have in the past been unheard of mail order purchases, like a bed, and a bed frame.  I read the reviews and did some research, and pushed the button.  Lo and behold in a couple days a bed showed up on my doorstep.  It was fricking awesome!  It’s a better bed than the tempurpedic we once paid a couple grand for.  So why would I physically go to a place where I am going to be harassed.  So far the only good reason is, you want to touch what your buying before you buy it.  There are some things that are better seen in person before purchasing.  It doesn’t seem to be enough that we shop at your stores and give you our hard earned dollars, no… you want to collect and sell our info too, and coerce us into high interest rip off cards.  Be warned, there is very little these days that you can’t get on Amazon, and unlike YOU they appreciate, cater to, and don’t harass their customers.

Sincerely,

Frustrated Consumers Everywhere

 

Romanticizing Evil

 

IMG_3016

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.