Today (and yesterday), I was impressively productive–so much so that I took the luxury of some Me Time tonight. With my partner firmly entrenched in a new episode of “Alaska State Troopers”, I sought out some fresh literary meat.
Pretty much everyone and his/her dog is familiar with the Freshly Pressed feature of WordPress. In fact, it’s almost every blogger’s dream to be one of the Chosen ones. Their web traffic and stats catapult into the stratosphere. Their reputation reaches new and never-before-seen heights.
But the whole idea of these blog posts is that they’re not “trying”, by writing what they think people want to see. They’re spilling their inner guts, straight from the heart, exposing every fiber. And the WordPress staff attempts to spread the love around a variety of topics. If only my cable company had a fraction of this type of variety…
I make it a point to check out the Freshly Pressed section periodically. Tonight was the night, and it did not disappoint, either.
I read a sobering, refreshingly gritty, and candid post from a blogger who spends a lot of time with the homeless. A day in the life of a homeless person is even more different than any of us might imagine. It’s a whole different culture, with its own vernacular, territorial issues, daily goals, and to-do list. People have names like Shakes and Hippo, they battle to stay straight and sober, some meet with probation officers, and there’s a certain salty tendency to tell it like it is.
I read an eloquent, slightly-irritated rebuttal to the claim that Generation Y is a herd of intellectually-retarded, lazy, tech-toy-addicted, entitled idiots. This Generation Y-er, him/herself a stark counterexample of the stereotype, made the excellent point that they are being blamed for simply being a product of what previous generations have created. They’re not to blame for the system; they’re merely operating within the system, trying to function, survive, and perhaps inch ahead, even if the latter is hopeless and futile.
I read a post about a recovering misogynist. A female herself, she hated her fellow females for a long while. This post rang quite true for me as well, as I hated the Sea of Hot Pink Packaging that every girl is supposed to go ga-ga over in the toy aisle. On some level, I felt that I was being manipulated, steered into some inferior corner that was just “for girls”.
It was as if the marketers were saying, “here little girl, go play with unrealistic heavily-made up cutesy stereotypes whose only worthwhile feature is their skin-deep culture-biased beauty, because Lord knows y’all aren’t ever going to mount to anything else”, while boys are simultaneously given meaningful toys like Matchbox cars, Legos, and GI-Joe “action figures” (hey guys–you do know that they were “dolls” too, right? But lucky for you, yours amounted to something other than perfect shiny blond hair and a trendy wardrobe).
I do still hate the stereotypical woman, but now my (dis)taste has deepened; these days, my utter contempt is directed toward incessant manicures, shopping trips, stay-at-home-motherhood–but only those who feel entitled to special breaks/considerations or government subsidies because they’re doing “The Most Important Job In The World(TM)”. But I digress…
Also on this evening’s menu was an op-ed that raised the question of whether or not unpaid internships are really genuine experience-builders or just thinly-veiled exploitation (temporary slavery).
There’s something for everybody, including the quintessential dissenting viewpoint, written by a true Christian who calls her faith-brethren out on some of the asshattery of which some members of Christianity are especially guilty. Kind of like prehistoric Google admonishing her fellow cohorts “Don’t Be Evil”, this lady truly means it, and gives several awesome pointers that should make even the staunchest atheist proud. She didn’t sell herself out to appease atheistic people, or the devil, or anyone/anything else–in fact, it’s quite the opposite; she took an important step toward building a bridge between the Christian faith and everyone else, challenging fellow Christians to actually emulate Christ himself for once.
And if anyone else suspected that education was gathering speed on a downhill slide, your intuition is correct, but for reasons people aren’t necessarily aware of. A no-doubt-gifted teacher’s half-farewell/half-confession should serve as a real eye-opener for multiple types of people – parents, students, employers, college staff and admissions departments, and indeed the public at large. All the good teachers are leaving if they can, and this post wastes no time explaining why.
And last but not least, a memorable blog post hit especially close (but getting further away every day) to home. This particular post was written by an anonymous cop as an open letter of sorts to the self-absorbed yuppie bitch (see above on my hatred of most women) whose toddler was Trampolining in the back seat while she gabbed on her cellphone and weaved in and out of traffic at 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, finally culminating in the complete blow through a red light.
What started off as snarky, realistic humor took an abrupt Turn for the Grim about halfway through as he recounted the lasting impression of a different toddler who died at that same intersection a few days prior, due to injuries sustained in a crash caused by another complete douchenozzle who ran that same red light.
From the funny to the touching to sad, Freshly Pressed will cover a wide variety of topics, spurring as wide a range of emotions and thought processes as you’ll allow it to. It’s definitely worth the bandwidth (and then some…) !