Cereal Crimes

I’ve taken some time to considering a few issues conditions and circumstances, I feel could meld into a problem greater than they would otherwise be individually. The connected concerns relate to health, nutrition, family finance, a change in kitchen skills, menu planning, meal preparation,  the advertisement, chemist created, and processed foods.

My first concern was the health of family, friends, and frankly all my human fellows. I see the trends our culture spreads. As we’ve become less healthy in our living style, other counties have taken up the same dangerous path, our changing work and life habits have traveled.

Our change in Nutrition, or what would become known of as nutrition, came with advancements in industries technology and transportation. These sectors required, an ever-increasing work force to support and grow these businesses sectors. First this growth removed time from those already working, as they worked ever-increasing hours. Then the advancement required and took a new workforce. These new workers, drawn from what were at the time traditional family homes. A workforce last employed in war production. When these laborers last worked, they were not just wanted but desperately needed, to make up for those sent to fight overseas.

Family finance had begun to change too, and one income was no longer enough, as public and private debt grew and slow inflation decreased the buying power of the dollar. However, we continued to strive for the instilled ideal, we called the American Dream. The choice was in general, lost for men and women right then. Whether to stay home and raise a family or work, was no longer a question. This new and close to life requirement occurred, just as real calls for women’s rights gained their highest acknowledgment in the public’s eye, for the growing movement. Which for some sharpen beliefs in conservative or traditional values, as it simultaneously changed how the future would define it.

With the change to the family structure, whether it be two parents working, dual parental guardianship between two homes, post divorce , or the fast advance of single parent families over the next two decades, habits further changed in how we fed ourselves, and most particularly our children.

The skills of a new generation changed, as practices from the previous were not longer passed on. The understanding of how to manage a kitchen was lost, as counter space became a pile of plastic and wires, with generations of supposed labor-saving devices. Each of these seemingly to prepare quick, refined, and packaged food stuffs.

Shopping for the weekly groceries had changed. People now had less time. and available stocks of chemically altered, preserved, long shelf-life, long traveled edible products had increased. The shopping of the past, where people purchased fresh ingredients to created meals from, had turned to something mostly seen in Sunday meals and family holidays. Everyday eating had and has turned into something on the run in a bag and a box, to something quick at home from a bag or a box. The term “Convenience Foods” was accepted by the public, and became the pillar of our diets.

Taking the changes over time, and a silent American philosophy, our changing diet’s damage would continue. What is this philosophy? “Bigger is Better”. So we super-sized our diets, wastes, closets, food budgets, cars, health issues, costs and debts.

In all, these problems aren’t only from within, or made strictly based on the time constraints of what we see as the modern world. No. We’ve had more help than we realize, in changing our habits. Our growth into this modern age came with the technology of mass visual media, mass marketing and advertising. All of these capture the mind after you work long hours. All of these manipulations have confronted, and will continue to affect, entire generations of latchkey kids. Visual media becoming a time filling device, as much as entertainment or an electronic baby sitter. But the resulting effect of visual media, even in small children, is readily observed.

There aren’t many of us who haven’t seen the conflict between parents and their children on the cereal aisle or with impulse items at check out. These conflicts often happen over brand named products, and include children younger than reading age. I’m sure many have noted this phenomenon, whether with your own children, or by simple observation on your own shopping journey. But, have you ever asked why? Have you ever asked, are these impulses instilled in me?

With out a doubt, they are in all of use who experience the subtle manipulations of marketing and advertising. Our actions, like over eating, brand name recognition, wanting of a new updated upgraded and improved everything has come over the ether and into our homes each day. We’ve been trained over generations of change and supposed advancement. We’re manipulated by commercials made with the best and brightest in psychology and psychiatry, participating in their creation. Our entertainments reinforce the Clockwork Orange programing. With convenience foods like chips, pizza, and soda taking center stage, but in subtle placements.

Dissatisfaction and boycott, complaint and notification to a complicit press, don’t often bring change. Reason awareness and dissemination of education, as to these bumps weighed options and mind manipulations is a start. The path behind us destroyed. and the other we influence are destroying their paths back, never looking behind.

Our true revelation of the path we’ve tread is still ahead. What caused our turns on this path, who set up the signs, and who changed them, like a table-cloth, is still to unfold. But for now, as you sit down for your next 16 oz steak, pint of Ben and Jerry’s, or giant tub of movie theater popcorn with extra butter, maybe some of what I’ve mentioned here, could be food for thought.

 

Relationships Money and Violence

I’m not a fighter, in my relationships. I don’t yell rage or menace my partner, when there is friction. I would never raise my hand or strike my companion. Unfortunately my ways aren’t the ways of all men. I would even say the problem of abuse, and issues that can be the catalyst for abuse, are on the rise. I certainly don’t have any statistical proof of my supposition. It’s more a visceral response, based on what I see.

There is very little that will stress a relationship more, than difficulties with finances. With conditions as they are, I imagine there are more stressed relationships than there were 4 or 5 years ago. The true assessment of this hypothesis, I’ve done with my eyes and ears, when out in public and at home. I take what I observe today, then compare to memories of similar experiences in my past.

I’m not one to get out much, but like everyone else I must shop. This is a great time to observe the interactions of couples shopping together, and they are a dime a dozen. Also, shopping requires money, so the stress dynamic is in play.

The main arguments on the isles seem to come from impulse and convenience items or goods that are intoxicating. I’d put 1/3 of the shopping couples conflicts, in the intoxicant category. And yes, here it’s usually the female of the couple appealing for temperance. So with this observation, I can look at other situations and see if the same dynamic applies.

I can’t say I’m blessed, as a man in his mid-forties, with teenage as neighbors. I am though, blessed with much activity to draw in and draw on, with my living arrangements. I also think looking at the interactions of young couples, just learning about what real relationship require, is an excellent time to see the reality of monetary stresses at their base level. Young people having less money than established adults, generally speaking, creates a volatile environment to monitor.

I think it might be tradition, or even an inbred sense of responsibility, but this type of stress taints the mans behavior, more so than the female. Although this is merely my personal observation. I believe this is where the behaviors come into play, that shame men on the whole. This too is only my observation however, in the area of yelling I believe the woman have the men beat on this action. It’s easily though, the most socially acceptable of the behaviors. As for rage, that goes to the men, from the sound that comes through my living room wall. Finally we have menace in the mix. This is an action that leads to the domestic violence that sickens me, and that I deplore.

I know the monetary stress is taking its toll. I know this because, the issue has seeped through my walls. I know it’s gone too far for a couple, when there financial issues wake me in the night. I see the relationship is at a tragic point, or should be, when I’m reaching for the phone, wondering if I should make a call. And, it’s completely beyond repair, when I’ve dial the police, because the slam against my wall had me thinking, I was going to have a house guest.

It’s amazing though, that a males ego and pride can lead to such anger, as well as violence. To me a difficult challenge should be met by a coming together. Obstacles should bring to a couple, unity of purpose. The roll of help-mate not hurt-mate, should be the practice of both parties. That though, was not the experience of last night.

Are these abusive practices on the rise? Yes, I believe they are in the younger generations. Whether it’s a lack of two parent families, because of divorce, or a step back from two parent families traditional roles, there seems to be an unwanted result. Possibly it’s a product of media influence. Whatever it is, I don’t like the trend I see, or the future it represents. I also feel, outcomes like last night, give men on the whole a bad name. And frankly I don’t think the penalties for such behavior go far enough. I’m not arguing for harsher sentences. I am though asking other men who aren’t abusers to shun those who are. To look at your group of buddies, and remove from your circle those who are giving you a bad name. Don’t make excuses. Don’t listen to their justifications, as there aren’t any. In the words of Isaac Asimov “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent”.

 

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