"When they allow a talk show host to play them like a two-dollar banjo, they demonstrate what kind of backbone they'll bring to the job later on, if we elect them. After they get elected will they continue to allow Jeff Crank to put a nickel in them and wind them up every Saturday morning?"

Barry Noreen, former columnist, Colorado Springs Gazette

Monday, May 18, 2009

“What’s Your Reality”
by John Alexander Madison
May 18, 2009

In case you missed it, it has been a pretty busy week in la la land. La la land has been described as a paradise that relives everyone from stress. This often occurs when someone is blazing (you’ll have to look that one up). They enter a state of happiness and become relaxed. This also occurs when you are day dreaming...or watching television, specifically “reality programs.” Of course, this is not reality but an escape from it.

After 38 days in the wilderness (CBS-TV’s Survivor Tocantins) J.T., a good old boy from Dothan, Alabama, walked off with the $1,000,000 top prize PLUS an additional $100,000 as the viewer’s most popular player. The reality is it was an exciting and rewarding Sunday evening for J.T. Thomas.

Meanwhile, Shawn, Gilles and Melissa are in the finals of Dancing with the Stars (ABC-TV) and, in reality, this week’s winner will enjoy all the celebrity status that accompanies the 2009 mirrored globe trophy winner.

And also this “reality-filled week” has Jillian Harris embarking on a journey to find her best friend and love of her life on the new season of ABC’s The Bachelorette. (Get real.)

While millions of Americans have been glued to the boob tube during the last 15 months (“boob tube” is defined by Wikipedia as 'American and Canadian slang for a television set') our reality is:

· Americans have experienced $4.15 per gallon gasoline prices for the first time
· The stock market took a dive from a high of 13,924 (Nov 07) to 6,440 (Mar 09) causing many Americans to lose up to 75% or more of their net worth
· Nearly 5 million Americans have lost their jobs
· Our stockholder-owned American automobile industry is quickly becoming a distant memory with labor unions being given preferred stock status
· The banking industry is close to being nationalized by the our government
· Retirement for many 60+ Americans is not in the foreseeable future
· and on, and on, and on

One reality is that the United States is undergoing a systemic change…one which many already hope can be reversed in the coming years, with a new administration. Do you believe new government policies destroying our country and killing our democracy?

America’s woes aside, for the moment, what is your reality? While it is difficult to predict the future, remember what Annie told us: “The sun will come up tomorrow!” And when it does, carpe diem! Don’t let the world pass you by, enjoy, make use of and seize the day! (carpe diem from the Latin poem by Horace).

Every day we have the opportunity to hug our loved ones; to thank the brave men and women of our armed forces for securing our freedoms; to thank the public servants who provide for our personal safety at our local police and fire departments; to take our dog on a walk; to be grateful for our health; and to give thanks for all the blessings in our lives.

So do not despair. While some things are beyond our control, ask yourself if you are taking advantage of the opportunities which are available to us every day of our lives? In the meantime, don’t forget to watch FOX-TV’s hit series American Idol on Wednesday evening when either Adam Lambert or Kris Allen will be assured multi-millionaire status. That, too, is a reality.

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