Millennials and their love of Net Neutrality.

480px-Commodore_2001_Series-IMG_0448b

Photo by Rama. Wikipedia Commons.

 

Have to admit it, getting older has its perks. The biggest perk is what my father used to say to me all the time when I did something stupid.

“I’m not smarter than you, I’ve just lived longer and experienced more.”

Which, to my chagrin, was true. Enter a point I was trying to make to a group of Millennials this week on Facebook. The subject? Net Neutrality. To this up and coming generation, it is the end of the world. Big corporations are now going to ruin the internet with fees for every click.

(I probably will owe Google/ Comcast/ and Joe’s ISP Services a few hundred by the end of this post.)

While I could argue the pros and cons of Net Neutrality in this blog post, I would rather concentrate on the Millennials reactions, here are the highlights:

I was called stupid.

I was called a Rich Repugnant (I assume Republican)

I was called ‘tinfoil hat wearing Nostradamus’ (My personal favorite)

And incoherent.

I will give them credit at insults and tear downs. By far, they are superior to my abilities. Which was sort of my point in the back and forth. I was in their territory.

Consider the stylish computer at the top of this article. I learned about computers on one of these in my Senior year of High School…back in 1982. It ran on DOS, and only DOS. My smartphone can do more than that old personal computer. Yet at the time? It was cutting edge.

As a Baby Boomer I grew up with 3 network channels, newspapers and the radio. Research meant going to the library. A lot of time and effort had to be put into knowledge. In my childhood, and even into my twenties, the world was a very small place. You learned patience, not because you wanted to be patient, but you had to be.

Want those pictures of a night out with friends? Take them to a little booth in the parking lot of the nearest K-Mart and drop off your film. Come back in a couple of days and pick up your prints. Oh, you are going to have to drive over to your friend’s place to show them. Mail a print if they were visiting from out-of-town. Hopefully your finger wasn’t on the lens, retakes and do overs didn’t happen back then. The inventors of Instagram weren’t even born yet.

So, am I another older generation whining about the softer younger generation?

No. I am not.

I love this day and age. This to me? Is just flipping awesome. You have no idea, unless you are of my age or older. Even Generation Xers can’t really relate. They had Cable and Atari games. For me, and many of my Baby Boomer friends and relatives, this is an amazing time to be alive. It is the capability to have knowledge at the tip of my fingers that still gets me. I so dearly wish I grew up with this technology.

However, if I did, would I have as deep of an appreciation for it as I do now? Doubtful. I never appreciated indoor plumbing. Never thought much about the automobiles my parents had when I grew up. Color Television was cool when we got ours. Yet we always had a television in my house (B&W T.V.’s were very common up until the 80’s). My parents, even with T.V.’s, still listen to the radio often.

There are many things I grew up with that I took for granted. My parents thought they were marvels. My grandparents were even more in awe by modern inventions. Then again, they thought my parents were soft. Guess when you remember when automobiles first came out, and you didn’t have to hitch up the horses to the wagon to go to town, those who grew up with automobiles would be ‘soft’.

Millennials, and I have two of them myself, grew up with immediacy. The world was at their fingertips almost at their beginnings. Oh, they remember flip phones, and when smartphones came out. Most, however, can’t ever remember not being around computers. If not at home, certainly in school. This is a generation that has grown up with the internet, everything that has the utmost meaning to them came from the internet. They connect with friends via the internet, they find love through it, they find causes to believe in. It has, by default, become their Sacred Sanctuary.

My little ‘argument’ on the Facebook post was a little experiment into the psychology of Millennials. While I am not a professional in mental health, I am a curious person. I purposely found ways to politely antagonize those Millennials into defending Net Neutrality. While I made some good points, I have a confession.

I really don’t know squat about Net Neutrality. Just a tidbit here and there. And honestly? I am not that concerned. I do not believe my internet bill is going to skyrocket. Nor do I believe innovation will be crushed by corporate giants. Sorry Millennials, I have been around too long. I’ve seen this before, and I can promise you, you will see it again.

What I do believe is that Millennials see Net Neutrality as more than a cause du jour. This is tantamount to Tipper Gore’s desire to ban Heavy Metal, or banning the Beatles Music from radio play. The internet is their “Everything” and those who dare to curb it, charge for it, or defy it, they…well they will face the wrath of a Generation.

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Bad Word.

curse words kz

By Js Kendrick

 

Do you say bad words? I do. I do my best not to let those words fly in improper places, but on occasion it happens.

On my local news feed was a NBC story (A Today Story) about a woman who thinks it is fine to curse around her children. And you know the internet loves a good story. So guess what was trending? Some 67% of all respondents to the Today article believe you shouldn’t curse in front of children.

But it got me thinking. Cursing is called ‘Bad Words’ in my household. Bad words are a little paradoxical to me. A majority of my bad words wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow of the local pastor. I of course use euphemisms. Honestly I use really bland euphemisms.

That doesn’t fly with my youngest two children. Alexis and her younger brother Nick, don’t let me get away with it.

“Bad word Daddy.” I will hear Alexis say chiding me.

“Seriously? Flipping is bad?” I ask puzzled.

“Yes.” Nick will say in agreement.

I guess I shouldn’t be upset, they’re actually agreeing for once. Yet ‘flipping’ is my harshest euphemism. Dumb, Stupid, Idiotic…they weren’t too sure on that last one, but they caught the inference. Those words get me into far more trouble. They of course, understand the meaning behind them, however context still eludes them.

Cursing, even euphemisms, at children is never acceptable. Even the mother who thinks that cursing in front of children is okay agrees with that point. Most adults do not react well to being cursed at, especially if they are driving down the road weaving all over the place as they text and you are just trying to remind them they only get one lane at a time.

 

“Curse words are used by people of lower intelligence, because they can’t articulate properly” – My Father.

 

That is how I grew up. My father was from the Greatest Generation (you know those guys from Saving Private Ryan and Pearl Harbor?). He was very stern about cussing. We weren’t allowed, and if we did, well we got a lecture. But my brother asked me a question not too long ago.

“Hey did you ever go to work with dad?” He asked. “Did you hear his mouth?!” leaning forward for emphasis. I smiled at this memory.

“Yeah, I went to work with him when I was 12, that was interesting, I think I learned more curse words that day that I ever knew existed!” I said to my brother. We both died laughing.

Yet it was the truth. The man who told us that cussing showed that you had a lower intelligence, could make a sailor grab his dictionary of ‘Curse Words and Other Sailor Profanities’ and flip through it quickly to keep up with him. Only at work. I never heard him curse at home. Basically, my father was a hypocrite when it came to cussing.

[Editors note: United States Navy personnel do not have such a book.]

Cursing for me was always tricky. For years I worked in an industry that profanity wouldn’t go over well, we typically had customers come through our shop, so cussing at my work project usually went over poorly. Customers frowned upon that sort of thing. Especially if it was their project you happened to be working on.

Now I work in the trucking industry. Basically truckers own the rights to ‘Curse Words and Other Sailor Profanities’. It’s almost a second language to us. Coming home from work I have to shift gears, on occasion I miss a gear. (Trucking Joke there).

[Editors note: Truck Drivers do have such a book.]  (okay, no we don’t.)

I do my best, but on occasion a bad word slips out. Usually it involves pain, fast, unexpected pain. And I get the look.

“Daddy you said a bad word.” I am told.

“Yeah sorry, but I just cut off my leg with this axe.” I say in my defense.

“Still a bad word, Mommy! Daddy’s bleeding on the floor, can you get a band-aid?” I hear.

[Editors note: That didn’t happen.]

But you get the point, bad words are not allowed in my house. Except when their older sisters come over. My little ones say nothing as their older sister engage in foul language. I tap it down when it gets a little out of hand. Yet there are the looks, then I hear about it after their big sisters leave.

Oddly enough, well I guess so far, I have not heard little repeaters. Alexis and Nick will overhear those words, yet never repeat. Actually the answer to cursing at home or not to curse at home has little to do with the words. It has to do with how you accept and deal with the words. It comes down to your own households moral compass. Even if they are said, and you let it be know it is improper, kids will pick up on that. If you find it totally acceptable well…you’re going to hear it. That doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen. Trust me on this, your child will curse at one point. You may or may not hear it, but it will happen.

As for the article and the trend du jour I have the answer that my brother always uses. They aren’t my children. I have my own to worry about. While the internet and social media debate this topic, I have to deal with the word ‘Poop’.

[Editors note: Poop for some reason is not considered a Bad Word in my house, it’s just too flipping silly.]

 

 

For those interested, here is the original Today article.

http://www.today.com/parents/mom-says-it-s-fine-curse-front-your-children-t113761?cid=sm_npd_td_fb_ma

Is that a butt?

Alexis Self Portrait

Alexis, Self Portrait.

By Js Kendrick

 

So…I came across a butt tonight. Kind of took me by surprise actually. I had originally planned to write about kids asking those “Why is the sky blue?” questions, had a funny story about my second oldest, Kayla, when she was about 8 asking me where blood came from (specifically where did it originally come from. Bone marrow, apparently, was not the answer). I had a cute angle and all. Needed a picture to go with it. So I searched my photos.

That was a mistake.

“Whoa wait! Is that a butt? Are you bleeping serious?!” I said to my laptop as I looked at the picture. My laptop didn’t answer me, just sat there on my kitchen table, showing me the incriminating evidence. I had to cock my head sideways to make sure I wasn’t overreacting. No, it was a butt.

This wasn’t a cute butt, nor a sexy butt, not even a famous butt. It was a blurry butt of my daughter Alexis. Taken a good year or so back. I have a hunch she had help from a certain little brother. That or she understands my phone better than I do, which wouldn’t shock me either.

This butt must go!

Of course I deleted it, noting the message popping up warned me it would be deleted off my cloud too. You’re darn right I want it off the cloud! ‘Click’ / Delete.

Then I scoured the endless photos I have. I have quite a few photos, no, I have zillions. Quite a few of them blurry and well of very odd and artistic angles. Mostly close-ups of my younger children. Some of stuffed animals and of course of our two cats and dog.

I didn’t take those pictures. Yet I looked at them. I wondered.

[Cue Gears Grinding in my head].

“So…they take my phone to play games, then take pictures, make silly videos, and this stuff is synched with my cloud, which is synched to my laptop…”

I had blurry butt pictures. They are getting smarter. This is a major issue with children, the older they get, the smarted they seem to get. Damnit.

“So what will they do next? Start uploading pictures to the web? Um, can they do that? Not sure I could.” My brow furrowed. The gears ground to a halt.

Okay I’m pretty sure I am safe for now. They do have tablets, yet we of course put blockers on them. Even on my phone, for say YouTube. And we try to keep on top of it, but yeah, they are getting smarter. So…yeah, going to have to figure it out.

This is not my fathers camera. My dad had a Polaroid. It used film. If I took a picture I used film, that was found out. That went over…poorly.

Now, I can take as many pictures as I want on my phone, same with their tablets. My little Nexters have their Millennial siblings beat hands down. I was freaked when my older two played games and talked to strangers (They called them ‘other players’ sure…) and used web cams. They were over 18 at the time, still, dad here.

But what now? They are only 9 and 6. What do I have to combat in 5 years time? We already do all the ‘internet safety’ discussions. The ‘sometimes the little skits on YouTube that feature little toys are not always meant for little eyes’ talks.

We do our best, be as vigilant, as parental, as possible. Then I get photos of blurry butts on my phone. Seriously?

I should point out that I am a big believer in technology. I find it fantastic. I can get the weather anytime I want, know what is going on in the world, converse with friends that live thousands of miles away, read about anything and everything. For me? A baby boomer who grew up with 3 channels and computers the size of warehouses? This day and age is just…awesome!

Except for blurry butts.

Blurry butts I can do without.