I love my parents

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This weekend my parents came down from Oregon to visit me and take care of some business things as well, but I like to say mostly to see me. Hahaha but I really do appreciate these weekends more than ever because

I absolutely love my parents.

I really do mean that. And especially considering that since I moved back to Los Angeles I don’t get to see them that often anymore like I did when I used to live with them in Oregon.

Now my parents are in their 70s, much older than most of my friends parents, so being real I cherish every moment I get to spend with them. It was also a large reason why I wanted to live with them back in Oregon for a good year and a half. But in the end it didn’t work out because the area was too isolated. It was a great retirement sort of community for my parents, but for me it was just too lonely.

As much as I love my folks, I need my friends as well.

So I moved back down to Los Angeles, which is where I grew up. Today it was particularly fun as I introduced my Mom and Dad to my best friend John and his parents for the first time. I had always wanted them to meet in the past but it just never ended up happening. However, today it did and we all chatted for hours.

It really was a great time.

Now my parents are taking a nap, I told you they were old, (Mom if you are reading this you are still very young and beautiful) and then I stepped out with John to grab a drink and write this post before I meet my parents later tonight for dinner.

All these experiences that I get with my parents when they come back and visit are very precious to me, especially those with my Father because I have found that he really has not only great life advice for me, but also good sense of what is a good deal or not. This weekend we had been looking at places for me to rent and so far I found one apartment that worked out. However, after meeting the woman she had her reservations about whether I could make the payment. Now, my parents also met her and we informed her about our family business and such and our situation. Still, she called me today and wanted more proof that we could make the payments. My Dad then made the comment to me,

“Nolan if this woman can’t see your character after meeting you, and meeting us, and going through all that yesterday, this may not be the type of person you want as a landlord. She is a straight business type, no heart. So you might very well find yourself dealing with a landlord that is always looking over your shoulder.”

When my Dad said this to me I knew that he was immediately right. I know for a fact that I would like to have a landlord that is excited for me to rent their property, as I will be honest, I take care of my places and I am a stand up guy. I really don’t want to have someone who is always watching over me potentially nagging at any missteps I might make.

I listened to my Dad and called the woman and respectfully withdrew my offer to rent her place.

It’s times like these where I really value my parents, because they have my best interest at heart and they are always looking out for me. I want to have their opinion on everything while I can still get it.

Because they have seen a lot more than me.

And I hope that if I ever become a parent myself that I will do the same and look out for my children in a similar manner. Hopefully my children will be as interested and attentive to listen to me as I am to my parents. But I will be honest, that took some growing up to do. When I was younger, especially in high school, I didn’t give a rip. (As my Mom says lol.)

But as I grew older I realized their wisdom and their older perspective. And while back then I would contest their points, often I defer to them now. With that I will conclude my post, I love my parents so very dearly much and I am fortunate to have them. I really do feel for those that never got to have parents as such as mine, and I really wish that more families would stick together and make their marriage work in such a way to benefit their children as mine did for me.

Because, nothing beats that.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

 

How could I say no

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Today I went to my usual stomping grounds, Starbucks. Lol yes I know I am such a white girl. But, I will say I am proud that I order black coffee almost every time I walk inside. I am not one of these pumpkin spice latte types alright, don’t judge me.

Back to the real post. So as I am walking in I see a pack, of wolves, cute little wolves. Yes, it was the girl scouts. They had me in their sights. Teeth baring, they smelled my blood, er my wallet. This one little one said,

“Do you want to buy some girl scout cookies?”

And then I new I was finished. They other two cute ones joined in and soon I had no choice but submit defeat and let them devour my wallet.

THEY WERE TOO CUTE.

So I bought a box of Samoas (my favorite btw) and then I made some small talk with the girl’s mothers. They were very happy that I bought a box of the kids. I thought to myself

“How the hell could you not?”

Whoever came up with the idea to have cute little girls sell cookies is a total genius.

Only a heartless bastard would decline.

And since I did not, it is a fact that I am not a heartless bastard, although I may be a total fool for falling for the whole sales pitch. Recently this Girl Scout cookies season made me think of a great sketch comedy bit. They could do a parody of Suckers, it’s an old movie that makes fun of the auto sales industry (it’s scarily true by the way) but instead have the room full of car salesmen have it be full of all these little girls. It would be so funny.

I am on to something with this idea. Comedic Gold I tell you.

But this whole ordeal made me think of lots of things. Events in the media, politics, sales in general, etc. The way to get things done is often to construct things in such a way as to make it hard to say “no.” I certainly am not saying this is right, in fact it does make me feel a bit unsure when I think of hostage situations, because that is what this is. My reputation as an individual is semi-at-stake when I cross paths with a Girl Scout. I totally want to make them happy and buy a cookie, and god forbid make them sad if I don’t.

I am a hostage.

But there are other hostage scenarios that are much more pernicious. Recently in America’s political environment sometimes there are political groups that will strong-arm businesses into supporting them lest they protest them.

That certainly isn’t right.

But what are they doing? Making it such that they cannot say “no.” The aged classic technique. And then when the people say “yes” it isn’t so bad right? They said “yes” themselves after all. Anyways, the whole experience has made me realize that you can call me a sexist. When it comes to little girls holding my wallet hostage, I have no problem in forking over the money, but as for other scenarios where political action groups hold businesses hostage and celebrities etc. for fear of huge monetary and social fallout then I am certainly not on board. I know I am discriminating.

Blame it on the cuteness.

Anyway, some things to think about it. Let me know if you buy Girl Scout cookies this season. And remember if you don’t, you are a fucking bastard.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

The Descent into Madness

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Yesterday I had probably one of, if not my most successful blog post of all time. And it was my thoughts on the Jussie Smollett case. I realized that if I wanted to have blog posts that got lots of reads, I need to write on topical matters. People read my post because it was relevant to the now. This got me thinking.

Maybe I should write about relevant issues every day?

But the more I thought about this, the more worried I have become. One major problem with the media today is the 24 hour news cycle. There always needs to be a story, something to talk about, something sensational, or else they go out of business. My post about Smollett’s yesterday was from the heart and it was something that I thought I had something to talk about. But today there really isn’t anything in a similar fashion, e.g. topical, that I really wanted to write about.

If I was to do so, that would be forced.

And then I realized that this is a main problem of today, and that it is central to the Jussie Smollett case. People want things to happen. They want a sensational story. So when something tempting like Smollett’s account is found then they run with it so they have something to print. The fact that it may work into their ideology is another plus, but at the end of the day these news networks, journalists, politicians, celebrities, etc. all need something sensational to talk about.

Their lives depend on it.

And because so then they start talking and writing about everything, often on issues that they may not even care about or are honestly not that important. Not every crime or injustice that happens is truly worth national attention. In fact, because this has been so for years now I would argue that the general public is incredibly drained, and further honestly tired of hearing about it.

Not every story should needs to be published as if it is battle for the future of our country. The more everything is written, the less we read. We are inundated with information (real or fake) and we being drowned with it. Often against our will. It truly is hard to get away from the news, even if you try your best. It’s like a parasite: it always finds a way to get in you and it just won’t leave. But worse, constant writing about issues that don’t matter, or are at least not nationally important create a

Descent into Madness.

Concluding my post today, I think it is important that we realize that not everything is newsworthy, even if it may truly be a real injustice, although I exclude what is happening from the Smollett Case, I personally think that this case getting national attention is healthy overall for American dialogue and with where we are at when it comes to just believing stories quickly and not questioning people just because they fit a narrative. But aside from truly big stories, let local jurisdictions take care of most of these other ones and let them cover it. Further write about things that honestly matter. Don’t lie. To yourself, or to your readers. Some things really just don’t matter that much. Don’t embellish the truth and make them matter when they don’t. Save the serious talk and thoughts for the things that deserve it.

Or else people will just stop listening.

And then if that happens, and I would argue people already are, then we will have a much bigger problem. And this is why I decided not to write another topical post today. There was nothing that I really wanted to write about that was so incredibly relevant to mainstream news as happened yesterday. If was to write about some story today, it would be forced and I would have been selling out my content: e.g. not writing about what I wanted to vs. writing about something I didn’t care just for views. That is not how I run this blog. And I believe that is a good thing. Because not only is my blog honest, I can proudly say that I do not feed into this madness that the media has created.

Journalistic writing and reporting should be thought about as a vocation, not as a way to get paid. If you want to make money, that is perfectly okay, but go be an entrepreneur or investor.

Sell a product, not an embellished story.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

Thoughts on the Smollett Case

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So as you all know, right now Empire star Jussie Smollett is getting a lot of attention. And that is certainly understatement. Recently, the star was the subject of a supposed racist and homophobic attack in which he was beaten, called a n*gger, and afterwards was forcibly dressed with a noose around his neck.

The story immediately sparked outrage.

Well as we all know by now, the act was a hoax orchestrated by the actor himself. The people that supposedly assaulted him were paid to be a part of it, and now the whole thing is unfolding rapidly. The actor reportedly was not happy with the amount he was being paid, and so he decided to make himself so relevant that he would likely be paid considerably well.

I think Jussie was a sort of genius. He almost got away with it.

He realized that given today’s political climate, and with the speed at which the internet operates, he realized that he could orchestrate the quote on quote “perfect crime.” Stage an attack in such a manner that no one could speak out against it and its veracity, and in fact that is exactly what happened.

Almost no one spoke out doubting whether the attack was credible. Many politicians and people came to his side and were outraged demanding for more calls to action. Imagine if there were politicians that would have stood up and asked whether it was true or not? Oh my God, they likely would have been crucified in that moment. How dare they doubt this man’s story? Would be because they might be secretly racist? Or homophobic? No, No, No. No politician, celebrity, anyone worth their smarts would risk expressing their concerns and thus risk social and political suicide.

So, everyone just accepted that it happened.

It was the perfect crime. Until that it is the story started to fall apart, and here we are with Jussie Smollett in jail. The media that so voraciously covered the story as a hate-crime, an outrage, and etc. is in total damage control trying to hide the fact that they didn’t even bother to check facts. And this is why I think Jussie really is a sort of mad genius.

What he did was wrong, but this doesn’t take away from his intelligence.

As I have recently gotten into chess I cannot help but use the comparison and say that Jussie was a sort of mad chess master. Yes, his end goal is to trick the public and deceive, but by God he did it such a way that you have to sit back and be impressed.

He saw that given the current political climate and his position as an openly gay black man he could trick the public in such a way that no one would doubt him. His mistake was that he didn’t orchestrate the hoax in a better manner, unfortunately for him the men that he paid to stage the attack confessed to the hoax while being detained.

Jussie may have been able to fool the mass media, and the general public, but he was not so lucky when it came to the Chicago PD. Had he planned it better such that surveillance footage didn’t lead police to the men who he paid to stage the attack, we would have never known what truly happened and likely next season of Empire would be bigger than ever and so would his pockets be as well.

He almost got away it.

But this whole ordeal really has made me think about the current state of American society. And it is not in a good place. We as a nation were founded upon the principle of being innocent until proven guilty and that things need to be verified before they are accepted as true. Jussie’s hoax shines a light that currently we are so politically charged the media and the general public want to believe what they want to believe. Too quickly today do we rush to believe or doubt someone just because we don’t like them; either because of their race, gender, wealth, etc. and this is not right. The facts need to speak for themselves, and we need to start looking at them.

Thankfully Chicago PD did.

Not only was justice done, and this hoax was revealed, but the Chicago Police Department did us a nation huge favor. They revealed to us how clearly biased and slanted our modern society is. Some things cannot be doubted given our current climate, lest people ruin their careers, and thus knowing that Jussie exploited the ecosystem.

This serves as a check that when things happen we need to have people step back and look at the events and then wait until the findings present themselves before a conclusion is made. It is so terrible that people judge others and that conclusions are made before any facts are shown to see whether something happened or not. I believe that people should not need an alibi to go about their daily life. If someone makes an accusation they need to have serious proof that it happened. No matter how grievous. Sadly will some people get away with crimes because there is no evidence? Yes. But the alternative is much worse. Where people are jailed, or their image ruined simply because someone made a claim that cannot be substantiated. We need to guard against this type of mob behavior. After all, there are more college graduates amongst American citizens than ever. We are the most supposedly educated population America has ever seen.

Then how the hell do we fall for these things so easily?

It’s because people do not want to look at the facts. They want to have their world views validated, and they will not doubt anything that correlates with their views. Conversely they will doubt anything that is contrary to them. The Jussie Smollett case shows this. We need to settle down, look at every case as it happens and see if there is evidence. No matter if it is a hot-button issue such as race, or homophobia, or rape, etc. We need to look at the facts and that is the bottom line.

If people are proven guilty, then it is time for them to deserve their just punishment. If merely accusations are made, I am sorry but that is not enough. Anyone can accuse anyone of anything. That doesn’t make it true.

But, facts don’t lie. And that is what we need more of.

The Jussie Smollett case shows us that we need stop believing what we want to believe, and further we need to be able to sit back, be rational, look at the events that transpired, verify them, and then draw the proper conclusion: even if it something that we wish was not so.

 

Until next time, Keep Smiling,

Nolan