Category Archives: Thoughts On….

Thoughts On the Ellen Show Controversy, Mental Illness, and Toxic Workplaces

Anyone who has been in the working world for enough time would easily be able to list the issues they have with their current job or had with previous jobs. But there is difference between the average complaint and a toxic workplace.

Actress and comedian Ellen DeGeneres has hosted her own talk show for the last 17 years. A mainstay of daytime TV, Ellen comes off as the best friend the audience wish they could have. But recently, the reputation of the show and it’s namesake has been tarred by complaints of mistreatment of behind the scenes staff.

As of Friday, three of the program’s producers were fired and Ellen has since apologized.

Working in a toxic environment is akin to psychological torture. Logically, you know that you need the paycheck and the benefits that come with the job. But, at a certain point, it becomes a question of whether or not it is worth your mental health to continue at a job in which you are seen as worthless and incapable.

Over the past few years, the subject of mental health has become a topic that has come to the forefront. I’ve spoken many times on this blog about the importance of being mentally healthy and physically healthy. Part of that is feeling respected and appreciated at work.

Unfortunately, this will not be the first company, nor will this be the last company to create a less than ideal working environment for their staff. I just hope that this is a lesson on how not to treat your staff.

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Thoughts On the Boycott of Instagram & Twitter

Antisemitism is a disease. How does one route out a disease from one’s body? You hit with medicine. In this case, the medicine is truth and the power of the average person.

In response to the antisemitic posts appearing on Twitter and Instagram, a boycott has been called on both platforms for 48 hours starting this morning.

There is a distinct line between freedom of speech and spewing hate. Until the people who run the social media world realize this and follow the rules they created, they will be as guilty as the ones who spew racist and antisemitic lies.

I know that this boycott will be difficult. But if we do not move forward with the boycott, the message that racism and antisemitism is acceptable will continue it’s destructive grasp on this world.

#NoSafeSpaceForJewHate

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Thoughts On Kanye West’s Mental Health Issues

When a subject is taboo, the first step in removing the taboo is starting a conversation about that subject. Sometimes, that conversation starts with the headline of a known name tied to that issue.

As of late, rapper and entrepreneur Kanye West‘s behavior has become so erratic that his family has asked for compassion as he faces another brutal battle with Bipolar Disorder.

I normally loathe to discuss this particular family, but this topic hits too close to home.

Mental illness of any kind is not a joke, nor it is a drama king/queen’s way of getting attention. It is a real health condition that requires support and access to medical care. Until we realize that and put in the structure needed to help those who suffer, it will never be on par with physical illness.

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Thoughts On Ted Yoho’s “Apology”

There are two ways to apologize. There is the sincere apology in which one truly feels contrite for what their actions or their words. Then there is the forced apology in which the words are said, but the speaker feels none of the emotion.

Earlier this week, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), had an apparent run in with Representative Ted Yoho (R-FL). According to news reports, he called her a b*tch, among other things. When he was publicly called out by her on the House floor, his apology included the following statement:

“Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I’m very cognizant of my language”.

His “apology” if you want to call it that, was bullshit.

Aside from the bullying and sexist aspect of his chosen phrasing, I would like to call out two important aspects of his “apology”.

  1. That word is a female slur, equivalent to other racial, religious, and sexual orientation slurs that I will not repeat. I would love to see the Representative’s reaction if his wife or one of his daughters was called that name. I doubt he would be so callous in his response.
  2. If AOC was Caucasian, older and agreed with the Representative’s political views, I doubt he would have chosen that particular phrasing.

The fact is that over the millennia, men have become too comfortable in the power that has been theirs from birth. Now that women are speaking up, stepping up and taking that power, some men can’t handle it.

Women are not going to scurry quietly back to the neat little boxes that we have been forced into for far too long. We are going to take what is rightfully ours. It’s about dam time that we did.

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Thoughts On the Recent Supreme Court Rulings

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. However, that does not mean that I as an individual citizen has to agree with every ruling.

Though it is not written in stone, it is a tradition that all Presidents release copies of their tax returns and/or financial statements. Since you know who won the election nearly four years ago, he has come up with every excuse in the book as to why the paperwork has not been made public. Today, SCOTUS ruled that the tax returns have to be released to prosecutors in regards to the cases building against him in New York.

On the surface, the decision by SCOTUS (including you know who’s choices to join the court) seem like a 100% victory. It’s not, the fine print says that much. But it is a giant step in the right direction. The big baby is not immune from prosecution and must conform to the laws like anyone else.

The other ruling concerns the constant determination by the right (and the current administration by extension) to deny a woman her right to contraception. Instead of directly denying a female employee access to birth control, they are leaving it up to the prerogative of her employer.

If you can, imagine the following scenario: a pregnant woman goes to her doctor for a routine checkup. She is told that there has been a change to the fetus. It is no longer medically viable. She could carry the pregnancy to term, but there are risks in doing so. She could also end the pregnancy, but her employer does not believe in abortion. If she chooses an abortion, she will have to pay a potentially outrageous sum out of pocket because of her employer’s beliefs.

Does that sound right to you? It doesn’t sound right to me. From my perspective, the only thing my bosses should be worrying about is my ability to do my job. My personal life (medical decisions included) are frankly, none of their dam business.

Happy Thursday.

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Thoughts On the 4th of July

Today is America’s Independence Day.

I wish today was an ordinary 4th of July. But as we all know, 2020 is not an ordinary year.

If nothing else, the protests following the murder of George Floyd and the issues created by Covid-19 has revealed the cracks in American society. If none of this was happening, it would be easy to ignore them. But one cannot ignore long standing issues if they are in your face 24/7.

We are at a precipice. We can either put our rose colored glasses on or we can finally start the process of becoming the nation that we could be. This is not the first time we have been at a crossroads. We can move forward as country. We can heal and accept that collectively, we have made mistakes. We only need to step up to the plate and learn from the past.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing this weekend, have a happy and safe Independence Day.

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Thoughts On Sarah Cooper and the Lincoln Project

In times of crisis, we look to our political leaders for guidance, comfort, support, and most of all, leadership. Given the multiple crises that the United States is currently experiencing, it should be a no brainer for those in the halls of power. But, as anyone who is reading or watching the news lately can tell you, the lack of national leadership from the top is not as forthcoming as we need and expect it to be.

Which is why we need to remind those in the power that we, the citizens, are the bosses. Not the other way around.

Enter Sarah Cooper and the Lincoln Project.

Sarah Cooper is a comedian and author whose recent video’s of lip-syncing you know who’s comment has gained national attention.

The Lincoln Project is, I think a perfect representation of the times we live in. Run by a group of prominent Republicans (one of whom is George Conway, husband of Presidential mouthpiece Kellyanne Conway) their goal is to ensure that you know who does not win the election in November.

As Americans, we have a proud history (even with all of it’s flaws) of being a free people who stand by the ideals that are the cornerstone of this nation. If we do not speak up and vote in November, the country that we proclaim ourselves to be may no longer exist.

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Thoughts On the 25th Anniversary of Jagged Little Pill

I don’t know about anyone else, but when I was a teenager, I felt a little lost. I wanted and needed someone who spoke to me and for me. I found that someone in Alanis Morissette and her breakthrough album, Jagged Little Pill. Produced by and co-written with Glen Ballard, it became an instant classic the moment it was released.

Yesterday was Jagged Little Pill‘s 25th anniversary.

As an artist, Alanis gave her listeners the permission and room to feel. Some of the lyrics are not pretty or easy to hear. They are difficult, challenging, and speak of the hard truths in life that we all have to face at some point. As a woman in the music business, she faced the same prejudices that female artists still face today. In writing how she saw the world, she became a trailblazer, an icon, and a hero for women.

I have loved this album for the last 25 years and I hope to love it for another 25 years.

Happy Anniversary, Jagged Little Pill.

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Thoughts on Memorial Day and Covid-19

Memorial Day is normally about barbecues, getting together and remembering those who gave their lives to protect the freedoms that Americans hold dear.

But as we all know, this is not the normal Memorial Day.

I feel like today is more poignant and emotionally heavy than previous Memorial Day. Covid-19 has taken the lives of nearly 100,000 Americans, some who are serving or have served in the military. It reminds us of the risk that these men and women take on, not knowing what fate has in store for them.

May the memories of those gave their lives for this country over the centuries never be forgotten.

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Thoughts On The Baby-Sitter Club Trailer

There is something about a favorite book from your childhood. No matter how old one gets or what adult circumstances you find yourself in, reading that book immediately takes you back.

For decades, The Baby-Sitters Club has been a beloved series of novels for multiple generations of women. Written by Ann M. Martin, the books told the stories of an enterprising group of young women who start a babysitting business.

In July, a reboot of the beloved series will make its debut on Netflix.

My former thirteen-year-old self is doing a happy dance. To this day, I can’t help but smile when I think about what these books meant to me at that stage. There was a character that was relatable to everyone. The stories were both universal for the age of the characters and for general life experiences that we all can understand to one degree or another.

Looking back, I can see how the books inspired its former readers. The stories were not just about boys and romance (as much as one can be at that age). They were about young women who were independent and determined to succeed while doing a service to their community.

To say that I am looking forward is an understatement.

P.S. Ask anyone who grew up in the ’90s and they will tell you that the phone in Claudia’s room was the epitome of cool. Kids today with their own cell phones know nothing of what it was like to wish for a phone like that.

P.P.S Alicia Silverstone (Clueless) is playing Kristy’s mother. If that does not make us ’90’s kids feel old, I don’t know what does.

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