Wednesday – July 15, 2015

It’s Frisbee Wednesday again. No more fooling around. New England has turned up the heat … and unfortunately, the humidity too. It’s in the 90s with 99% humidity. As someone said, “It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity.” (I could not find the book from which this quote was taken, but I remember reading it. If anyone can locate the source, let me know.)

On the way to be on the radio.
On the way to be on the radio.

There’s been an excess of stupidity lately. It’s hardly a new phenomenon, but for some reason, it’s more “in my face” this summer. I would like to blame it on the weather. Heat makes people snappish and bad-tempered. It gives me a headache. Ultimately, it makes everyone stupid.


It even makes the dogs stupid. They will sleep wherever they can find a cooler spot, no matter how dangerous — despite living in air-conditioning. It’s too nasty out there for man or beast.

Most people don’t realize how sweltering it gets in New England. How hot and how the combination of super-heated air and ultra high humidity makes it feel like Disney World in August. It feels like there’s no air out there.

72-WNEX Radio_020

We live in a region of extremes. No wonder the American Revolution began here. Talk about hotheads. Sam Adams had a real mouth on him. He kept needling everyone until we began a hopeless war against a super power … and somehow (with a little help from our friends, the French) won.

Because we won that war, we now live in a free country where any moron can proffer his worthless opinions on social media or, for that matter, network news. Is this a great nation or what?


So we got an invitation to guest on a radio show last weekend. I will not give the name or call letters. Or say who hosted it. Because the host and hostess are lovely, sweet, kindly people. Shockingly unprofessional and painfully ignorant, but well-intentioned.

In studio.
In studio. Looking happier than we felt.

Good intentions are not enough. You need to know something about the subject you are discussing on the public airwaves. Otherwise, you sound stupid.

The subject of the show? Movies (what else?). The call-in person being interviewed was the daughter of a super famous Hollywood star who is no longer with us. Suddenly, our host, who had been uncharacteristically quiet, began the classic “old-timer’s rant.” Don’t you just hate when that happens?

“The movie business,” declared our host as he ramped up his complaints in which he extolled the good old days to the detriment of anything recent, “Isn’t like it used to be. Today it’s all about money. Not like the greats of the past, like Cecil B. DeMille. Now, it’s only about making money.”

Unlike the old days, when they did it for free? For art? Because in the old days, they treated talent so well? Were so concerned with truth and accuracy? When studio heads were generous, fatherly, treating their employees with respect and concern for the well-being and careers?

More traveling.
More traveling.

I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but making movies is a business. It has always been about money. Sometimes we get lucky. A movie maker who can afford to take a loss makes a movie just because he or she believes it’s worthwhile. Such benevolence was as rare “back in the day” as it is now. Hollywood was and is all about the bottom line. Everyone knows it.

Those golden olden days made gazillions of dollars for the guys who ran studios. They paid pitifully low salaries to anyone who worked for them and wrote contracts forcing actors, directors, cinematographers, and many others to grind out movies by the truckload without regard for quality or if a vehicle was suited to the talent. All that mattered was money. Moguls became rich as Croesus and laughed all the way to the bank.

We sometimes forget — even those of us who are “into” movies — most of the stuff churned out by Hollywood is/was crap. For every classic we love, maybe 100 (more?) junk films were pumped out. Movies that have been (thankfully) forgotten.

Studios don’t own talent today. Actors, directors and others make their own deals. They can’t be forced to make movies they feel will make them look stupid, or represent values they do not share. They do it anyway, but no one holds a virtual gun to their heads.


Blanket ranting about the good old days by people my age, and weirdly, a cross-section of ranting younger people who can’t use senility as their excuse — as if everything new is automatically bad and everything old was great — makes old people look like imbeciles. It gives seniors a bad name and causes young people to think we are stupid.

No one can control the big mouths, supersized egos, and free access to media that morons have. I sometimes wonder how many of these ranters are in early stage senile dementia.

That’s when “we live in a free country” kicks in. We’re stuck with morons because they have the absolute right to be stupid, ignorant, and proclaim that stupidity and ignorance to the world. What’s scary is how many people listen to and believe it.

Good to be home!
Good to be home!

Can’t we add a teeny tiny codicil to the First Amendment requiring free speech include a semblance of fact? A hint of truth? That there be a relationship between what one is saying and reality?

Thank the universe I retain the right to not listen.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.


  1. It’s always a case of money, no matter what. I never trust anything these days because money is always behind it. and the next time you are on radio and if it is possible, send me a link so that I can hear your voice, although perhaps it doesn’t work. I have often heard my son when he has something to say on radio in connection with his job at the ministry for communications (mainly to do with TV stuff – don’t ask me what exactly)


    1. They do have a feed for this, but the show was so bad this time … really pathetic … I would just as soon no hear it or burden anyone else with it. Garry’s very good (as you might expect) at doing this stuff. He’s an excellent interviewer, but in the face of this particular combination (and I didn’t have a microphone — or headphone — or a chair), I could see he just wanted to run. I could hardly blame him. He actually gasped when Our Host started his stupid ranting.

      I could just SEE the look on my granddaughter’s face listening to this particular “good old days” rant. OY.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. No!!! Don’t ruin my golden years for me! Having just crossed the 40 milestone, I’m more and more looking forward to that magical age, whatever number it may be, when I can become a bitter old man and do nothing but bitch about everything that isn’t still like my good old days! We even have the heat and humidity thing covered here, so I can go into full thermonuclear gripe mode…

    Well, I guess I can still look forward to the Geritol…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do they even make Geritol anymore? Maybe it’s the lack of it that is causing so much trouble with the aging population.

      I have no trouble with ranting. I do plenty of my own. I try (do I succeed?) to not do blanket condemnations of everything that has happened or changed since the last World War.

      Gotta go milk the cows and hitch up the old buggy and drive into town, now.


  3. I had to laugh at the placement of Garry’s photo right where you say that heat makes everyone stupid. Was that intentional?

    As for old people’s rants – in my day, youngsters listened to and respected their elders no matter what was being said.

    Or not. But the statement sounded good.

    I’ll have to figure out what photo I can use to respond to the “stupid old people” prompt. I must have a selfie around somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right. I moved the pictures around and changed them, too. Strange and unintentional placement. I think you’ll find a bit more to work with now, too.

      We may have listened quietly to our old folks ranting, but most of us were just twitching with eagerness to be gone as soon as we were released. The main difference is that Uncle Jack didn’t do his ranting on the Internet … or the radio. If he sounded (and probably was) senile, we kept it “in house.”


  4. Oh dear, I do feel bad when the word “stupid” is coupled with “old”. I was hoping for more of a “wise” designation. I plead guilty, I have been know to rant (and I’m not going to stop that any time soon).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s kind of my point. People who do that — and some of them are not nearly old enough to get a pass for extreme age — sound like morons. They do. They say stuff which is not merely annoying, but outright incorrect and ignorant. If you’re going to conduct public rants (public is the key word … what you do at home is no one’s business but your own), then at least don’t make all of us sound bad. A few accurate facts are a good place to start.


      1. My rant about the traffic was rather public. DId you see the video “Getting Nowherer Fast”? Well the traffic in Beijing is insane. It is almost like that here in Canada.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Saw it, responded to it. That wasn’t a stupid old person rant. It was you know, normal. SOPR is a separate species of rant where everything invented or occurring since 1950 gets blanket condemnation and everything old was PERFECT.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. No, it wasn’t. And ranting about how great the old days were and how horrible the new days are just sounds like you are … well … stupid. There are awful things going on now. There were awful things going on since forever. I think most people are aware of it. Then, there are the ranters. They don’t seem to know anything at all.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Yes, there were a lot of bad things that happened in the past and, unfortunately, there are a lot of bad things happening now. Hopefully, with our experience, we bring a better insight to the problems of today.


              2. I love it when they talk about the good old days when criminals were stand up guys, professionals who had ethics and boundaries. Sure!


  5. I have the right to be silent, but not the capability. 🙂 Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, considering one had something to say and I think that’s were the problem starts. Too many talk without thinking and without knowledge. They talk or type because it makes them feel important for just a few seconds. The freedom of speech got overrun by stupid a long time ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stupid seems to be overrunning everything.

      I don’t think people should be silent. I’m not silent. I never want to be. I DO think folks should know what they are ranting about and not merely spout bile, vitriol, and bullshit. Stupidity is incurable, but ignorance can be fixed. More people should fix it and if they don’t care about truth, facts, or reality, shutting up is a good choice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If I don’t know what people are talking about then I am quiet. I listen and learn, often ask questions, but I don’t pretend to know. I think we both mean the same, say what you please, but for Heaven’s sake shut up if you don’t have a clue 🙂


  6. Seeing your photo of the red chairs always brings back memories of the years I had my own woodworking shop. I built everything out of wood back then. There were rocking cradles, convertible crib beds for infants, bookcases and entertainment centers. The little table/magazine rack between your two rockers would be a piece of cake to make. I miss those days that are far beyond my abilities now with all this arthritis. Still, I had the good years and made the most of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bob, I have always envied folks like you. People who can use their hands to make things that last for years. It’s a gift.


      1. I grew up with a hammer in my hands because my father was a contractor building houses from the ground up. He had skills in every trade involved and I was his helper.


  7. The old days were not necessarily the good old days. I agree. Elvis Presley made dismal movies but they raked in millions for the movie moguls. Actors were under contract and were forced to make these junk movies. They were basically owned by the studios who determined who they were to marry and what they had to do. Not good for the LGBT actors who had to cover up who they really were.
    I love that photo of the two of you together. You do look happy even if you weren’t.


  8. So true. I’m sick and tired of listening to old timers officers who rant about their golden days. It sounds as if everything wrong is happening in forces now a days. When the society has changed so much and values have also changed then how can forces be indifferent? How can things be the same? Ultimately those who join coming from the society only.
    When I go home in vacation then of course I hear my grandparents and their friends remembering good old days when things were cheeper and money had little importance in life. Let me see how I handle this prompt.


    1. A lot of people apparently want to believe everything in the past was perfect and everything new is junk. It’s the song they play over and over.

      Some of the Old Timers are not so old, either. A lot of them are closer to my son’s age, in their late forties or early fifties. Not so old, but they feel left out of the modern world. I guess it’s easier to complain than figure out how to fit in. And the change never stops, does it. It can’t. It would be like the world stopping its rotation.

      We would fall off the earth if it stopped turning.


    1. We have an attic fan too, but it’s no contest between it and the heat. Even with air conditioning, it gets stuffy and breathless in here. I keep it on low because I can’t afford to run it higher. My asthma (and Garry’s) thanks me. Even the dogs sometimes stop sneezing for a while. Fortunately, the worst of the humid season will be over in a couple of weeks and by mid August, it usually starts to cool down quickly. September and October are usually glorious, our two best months. I’m trying not to get TOO cranky. I liked your piece. It said a lot in just a few words.

      My muse has been playing hide n’ seek with me all summer. Actually, since spring.

      Liked by 1 person

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