Saturday, July 23, 2011

This texting thing...

As you may know from some of my previous ramblings on here, I at times take issue with certain fads or social conditions I see around me. There is probably no more aggregious habit of late, than that of texting.

Texting itself, is just another means for people to "stay in touch" with each other. But it has grown from a simple convenience to some sort of manic, wide-sweeping addiction. You've seen them... Those people who wander along stoop-shouldered, aimlessly, disregarding everything around them as they frantically seek to inform others of their present doings or to read of how one of their many contacts has finally made it to their local Bridgehead.

To say nothing of our innate sense of laziness as humans, which has led to the birth of 'text speak'. This is no more than a bastardized version or phoenetic diction, meant to save time while conveying the basic gist of a conversation. The drawbacks to this are evident when many young people are called on to write any type of correspondence. They are functionally illiterate and show no grasp of even the basic concepts of English grammar or sentence structure. 

This they do while ignoring traffic signs, vehicles, their children, the dog they're walking, those around them... Seriously??? It's enough to make you scream. Or at least approach and clobber them with a piece of 2x4, 'cause they'd never even see you coming. Muggers must be having a field day with these plebes. So much for being aware of potential dangers around you... the very first premise of surviving in this world.

I can't tell you how many drivers (the vast majority of these being women...) I have seen, who are guilty of this infraction. It is unacceptable in any form to text and drive, but I have a particular loathing for those who drive and text with a child or children in their car. Or for anyone who does so with a passenger next to them. Are you fucking kidding me here...??? Frankly, if you are a passenger in someone's car and the driver is texting as he or she drives, if you don't take steps to make them stop, or pull over so you can get the fuck out, you're as much a brainless moron as they are and obviously deserve whatever calamity awaits you. Obviously if you're a child, you're pretty much S.O.L.

We watched a young mother having lunch with her child at the local McDonald's. Not once did she raise her eyes from her phone to engage her child in any type of conversation. The young boy sat and basically had his lunch all by himself. She will no doubt one day wonder why her child never really developed any sort of bond with her, or why he never really pays any attention to what she might say.

It is one thing to be aware and in tune with today's technology. Being tech savvy does have it's advantages in today's society and to be sure, in many instances if you are 'not connected', you will miss much in the way of information, programs and services which otherwise might be available to you. You know... the important stuff.

But being a slave to the trends which accompany these advances, does not 'connect' anyone. Instead, it promotes a society which is becoming more and more isolated and unaware of the actual reality that surrounds us.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

As we leave Afghanistan...

Photo by David Goldman - AP

On 30 June 2011, it was broadcast by the media that Canadian combat troops were being withdrawn from Afghanistan. Once more, Canadian troops had been called into battle and had acquitted themselves in exemplary fashion. But now what? Not all of our objectives had been met, the enemy was still firmly entrenched and bent on destroying any advancements our mission there might have accomplished.

I cannot rid myself of this spirit of unease, as I wait for the other proverbial shoe to fall. The fact that our combat troops have been withdrawn from this theatre of war, does not mean or imply that we have no more boots on the ground. There are still contingents of Canadian service personnel active in Afghanistan. Their mission now is to train the still-fledgling Afghan National Army (ANA).

I cannot imagine it otherwise that with the departure of our combat troop strength, the Taliban will no doubt be emboldened. Now would be their most opportune time to mount a 'surge offensive' of their own. How would our reduced personnel cope with such an attack? Would they even be able to maintain control of the airfield at Kandahar? These are things I think about, when I lie in bed at night...

I somehow think I may not be alone in this.