Month: March 2013

Flash Forward/Flash back

It is 1974 and our community road was just paved. All us kids are running on the new pavement, barefoot. The new pavement feels hot on our bare feet and we know  that when we go home with black feet, our moms are gonna kill us (or at least ground us for the weekend). The pavement is a welcome improvement over the old dirt road that we lived with so long, and  from  the dusty days when the trucks blew by and the wind stirred up dust storms everywhere.

Dad was working as a janitor in one of the old barracks that the United States had just abandoned. There was a ton of  work in the town, not always easy work, not  always work that paid good money, but a job just the same. In fact, if you wanted a job back then, you found one.

Groceries cost a fortune, but we grew most of our own food anyway,so mom and dad never  complained. The air was fresh to drink, water was clear and clean, and any food you did buy was safe to eat. Those were without a doubt the good old days.

Flash forward to 2013. That same pave road has never been repaired and is in a state of disrepair. Governments refuse to spend money on  rural areas, so most small  communities are in the same state as ours is. Work is like a dirty word, with cuts to government jobs occurring on a daily basis. Nobody’s job is safe. Most of the money is spent on the larger areas where work is also focused, and nobody seems to care for the environment anymore. If you want to work,you are forced to pack up and head for the wealthy provinces where family values are a thing of the past, and crooks and drug dealers flourish.

We now have to deal with the environmental impact of Fracking, Which is a dangerous process of  extracting oil  from the ground, one that pollutes both the land,  the water, and  the air, but nobody cares, after all,  someone is going to get rich from this.  Not the people  whose  lives will be cut short from side effects and disease, caused by the chemical and toxic  waste created from this process, not the poorer  people in the province.

Nowadays it is less expensive to buy a two liter bottle of pop than  it is to buy a liter of milk for your kids, and some people living on low income are forced to choose between  eating  healthy or not eating at all. We buy water because we poisoned the fresh stuff that passed through the ground beneath our feet. Most areas cannot boast fresh air, or even  a view of the sky, a result of trading poverty for employment  and selling our souls to the companies that poison  the environment.

Not meaning to sound bleak, truth is stranger than fiction. I wish instead of flashing forward to 2013, I could go back to 1974, when things seemed so much better. Where have we gone in 39 years? Just Saying!!

A candy bar for your troubles

My kid came home from his bicycle ride yesterday carrying a candy bar. When we asked where he got it, he said that some guy needed directions, so he helped the guy out and was rewarded with the candy bar.

Just the thought of some  stranger stopping my son on a roadside and giving him candy scared the hell  out of me and my lady. Thank heavens our little guy had the sense not to open  the candy bar. God only knows what could have been injected in it.

It got even scarier when I questioned my son to find  out that the guy’s car was a silver SUV, the same one that made several other trips up our street. When I went after the idiot  in my truck, he took off out of  town. I made a report to the police, but since he didn’t actually do anything wrong, they couldn’t do anything.

We live in a very scary world where such acts can be considered dangerous. Those days trust is such a delicate thing that a person has to be cautious to his actions. Possibly the guy didn’t mean any harm, but when you have child abductions occurring basically on your doorstep, you cannot afford to take any chances.

When the incident was over, my lady and I had a talk with our son, congratulating him on coming directly home and not eating the candy bar. At the same  time  we explained the dangers of helping that stranger on the roadside, describing how the guy could have easily grabbed his arm when he went to retrieve the candy. I hate to scare my kid, but I believe the best way to protect our kids from the pedophiles and maniacs out there is to explain the dangers. God! Things were so much easier when we were kids!…or at least it seemed that way!

 

Privacy in the 21st century

This is not  sightsnbytes, rather it is an altered photo that could get the poor guy in trouble with his lady
This is not sightsnbytes, rather it is an altered photo that could get the poor guy in trouble with his lady

Above you see a photo depicting SnB getting ravished by two wordpress groupies. Before you jump to conclusions, this was not me.  This was a photo of  me  altered using easy to use software on the www.faceinhole.com  website. This photo is just one example of the harm that can be caused by an overzealous imagination, a cell phone camera, and a bit of software.

Imagine a world where your every move could be photographed, or even worse, videotaped. Imagine a world where anyone could take that picture or video, upload it to a website and alter it. Sounds like science fiction to most, but this happens each and every day.

To add to this grief, a person can take your picture, and in minutes, send it to thousands of their friends, all without your permission. We don’t have rights anymore, at least not when it comes to privacy.

A while ago a friend of mine thought it was funny to take a picture of some lady who was stuck in traffic and post the picture on Facebook. The poor lady looked frustrated, and the girl who posted it thought it was a big joke. What if the lady was dealing with painful personal matters, a family death, etc? Hundreds of thoughtless people commented on the photo, poking fun  at the lady, whom of which none of them knew anything about.

Ah Facebook. Damn Facebook. I know countless people who have been hurt by pictures posted on this incredibly popular website. Pictures of people  in nightclubs, drunk and disorderly, consuming alcohol underage, half dressed, etc., all  featured on people’s Facebook  with our without anyone’s permission or knowledge. Where are our rights?

If twenty years ago or so, someone described a time where everyone  carried video equipment, and filmed you whenever they wanted, someone  would accuse you of being  paranoid. Nowadays it is quite normal. With high tech devices such as the iphone in even the biggest moron’s hands, everyone  is capable of not only videoing and photographing a person without their knowledge, but also altering the picture into whatever compromising situation they feel  fit.

This past weekend a friend of mine received a suspension from their job. Apparently he and his lady were at  a popular nightclub, drinking and dancing. Seeing how his job entails working with the public, one of his clients thought it would be fun to take a video of him dancing with his lady, and altering it so that it appeared that he was acting in a porno video. The video was then uploaded to Facebook. Sounds difficult, but it really isn’t that hard. Like the saying goes…”There’s  an app  for that!”

Personally I believe there should be a worldwide ban on cell phones  that contain cameras. At least  with a real camera, a person has some  knowledge that their privacy has  been violated. Just Saying!