Thursday, January 25, 2007

I'll be stepping up to my soap box now.

Make it Tide with Febreeze, please.

When I started blogging, I decided to stay away, far, far away from religion and politics. I just didn't want to dive into the ugly comments, snide remarks, judgmental chatter and opinionated discussions.

I'll leave that to the women on The View.

Up to this point, I think I've done a fairly good job of keeping things opinion neutral, but not so benign that you wonder where I stand.

Now on to the post, the meat of my beef. Pardon the pun.

A few evenings ago a very important person had something to say. He wanted to tell Americans about the economy and domestic policies. He wished to share the current situation in The Iraq War and new plans for its future. He requested permission to use the major networks to broadcast his speech, in a effort to reach the majority of the people in our land. All of his cabinet, minus one, were present. Congress surrounded him as he updated the people on a vitally important subject.

The State of The Union.

Whether you voted for him or not, whether you voted at all, the point is mute. When The President of The United States speaks, people should listen.

Some say, "These politicians all say the same thing over and over. They say what will make them popular. I just can't trust any of them."

Point well taken.

A few evenings ago "politics as usual" was not the issue. The main complaint was that people were going to miss Simon Cowell degrade and berate complete strangers as they were trying to catch a break in show business. America missed part of American Idol.

I agree that a Presidential speech isn't very entertaining. Sometimes they are boring, but we take these types of broadcasts for granted.

Years ago, our grandparents would have been seated around their radio listening to FDR reporting the current situation of another war, encouraging our countrymen to unite. Our parents were children then. They were seated on the floor around the family radio. They may not have understood the message being broadcast, but they certainly were taught the importance of the messenger. A certain amount of respect was given to a President, deserved or not, and people cared that their brothers and husbands were fighting for freedom.

Here we are today, 2007, the age of MP3 players and DVR. We go to work or school, then to soccer practice or ballet, rushing home to finish homework and grab a bite of dinner. Some of us are lucky if we are able to have a meal together at the family table. When it's time to sit down, to talk to each other, or to listen to the most powerful leader in the world, we would rather watch Randy and Paula or blog.

In fact, men and women are dying right now so that I can have the freedom to type this post. I'll think of them now as I write it, but I am not sure I'll remember them later when I read something funny on a friend's blog or when I sit down to watch HGTV.

Sounds pretty petty, doesn't it?

How did we get here? Can we go back? Someone please show me the way if you can. I don't like it here. I would give up the internet and TiVo if it meant I could sit on an old rug, in a damp, drafty house, listening to my President, understanding what it really means to be an American.

Technology and Hollywood haven't taken away our patriotism. We gave it away freely, dear friends. We've tossed it aside with our empty latte cups and our People magazines. It's time to pick it back up again, dust it off, polish it, set it back on the mantle- a keepsake to treasure and protect.


Anonymous said...

Good post! I'm really disgusted that I missed the speech, but I wasn't watching AI.

You're having the same problem I am. We have a link to a family friendly blogroll image in our sidebars which apparently is in a secure area now. When I pull up your blog, it asks for a username and password to enter the protected area. I went into my template and deleted the link to that image. Later they'll probably change the security settings for the site, and we can replace it. This is probably happening to lots of people.

Anonymous said...

Totally off-topic, but I saw your comment about the chickens in China and it made me bust out laughing. I'm linking to you in my blog if that's okay. It was hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Totally off-topic, but I saw your comment about the chickens in China and it made me bust out laughing. I'm linking to you in my blog if that's okay. It was hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Melanie! We do tend to take a lot for granted. I not an American but I can say it's pretty much the same in Canada.

Anonymous said...

What a great post! You totally read my mind! I've been watching the old re-runs of "The Waltons" on the Hallmark channel in the mornings. I've always said I was born in the wrong time period and seeing the way things were just reinforces that for me.

I don't know what happened to the innocence, to the reverence, to the patriotism, that Americans used to have. I know it's still there, because my family, and I'm sure other families, are trying like crazy to hold onto it.

We just don't hear about it so much because it's not "fashionable" anymore.

My family was at the circus a few months ago and when we stood for the National Anthem, there was a man in front of me with his family and they refused to stand. I noticed later that he had, for lack of a better word, a rant, on his t-shirt that said how awful America is. And this guy was an American. He set quite the example for his three sons.

So sad. Do you ever feel like you're swimming upstream? I sure do.

All I can say is may God have mercy on us.

Nancy said...

We were at school events Wed. and Thurs. evenings, so I didn't hear the speech. I have to admit that we usually do watch them, but lately it just makes me frustrated and depressed. I'm praying that America uses the same criteria in the next election that Jethro suggested to Moses for picking leaders.

lrlwreath said...

First off I do like your "soap" of choice. Second off, great post you are very right!!!

Tammy said...

*standing up, cheering...*

WELL SAID!!!!! I couldn't agree more!

Anonymous said...

Great post, Melanie. Well-spoken.

Grafted Branch said...

Oooohhhh. Good post. Really good post. And you are sooooooo right!

I'm guilty. I didn't listen. Usually I do, but I'm getting lazy, I guess. I thought I'd catch it later on CSpan...but still have not.

Against my better judgment I let the media tell me what he said. Ah! That's bad, bad, BAD!

I have long thought that this country is the way it is in this moment because this war is not costing us all anything on a practical level. There is no rubber drive, bonds to buy, etc. -- the only real sacrifice happening is happening to a select group who give their loved ones to fight. God bless them.

BTW...For a blog that "does not allow anonymous comments," you sure do have a lot of them!