Past Opinion Articles
Article for the week of 7/11/06
A Sucker Born
By, Puns McKenna
Have you ever seen Harry Andersonís Hello Sucker, comedy routine? Funny
stuff that. And have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe the logic
and wisdom behind his routine could apply to real life? Well if you have,
then youíd be correct. There truly is a sucker born every minute.
Isnít it amazing how the lessons of life are couched in entertainment,
buried so deep, that we just accept them? Yes, thatís right! We can be
taught! Sure a number of the lessonís we learn in life are due to some
unfortunate circumstances. However, for the most part, we learn the lessons
of life from our entertainment. Books, Newspapers, Magazines, Television,
Movies. Those are the mediums that we receive our entertainment in right?
Of course right!
So whilst weíre sitting there watching our movies and TV shows, weíre
also learning lessons. Some are good, some are bad. And the unfortunate
truth is that not everyone recognizes whether a lesson is good or bad.
Heck! For that matter not everyone recognizes that there are lessons being
conveyed by our entertainment.
According to Mr. Anderson, and no Iím not talkin about Neo from the Matrix.
According to Harry, thereís a sucker born every minute. Iím inclined to
agree. Everyone is a sucker at some point in their life, itís how we learn
not to be so gullible. Have you ever seen those offers on TV for some
gadget or gizmo that say: ďYouíll never need another one.Ē? Do you really
buy that? I donít, but there are millions of people out there that do.
We see something that sparks our interest or piques our curiosity and
we almost immediately go for it. And why do we do that? Simple! Because
weíre easily swayed. Buying into whatever the snake oil salesmen are selling
is easy. Itís the logical approach thatís the hardest to master. Another
nugget of wisdom that Mr. Anderson hands out is this. There ainít no such
thing as a free lunch. And heís absolutely correct. Some one somewhere
has to pay for all those things that are advertised as being ďfreeĒ.
So the next time you see something on TV that says ďFree TrialĒ or ďBuy
our product and get this absolutely freeĒ. Caveat Emptor. Let the buyer
beware. And the next time youíre watching a movie or TV show, or reading
something in your favored form of print media. Take a close look at it,
and see if you can find the lesson. And always rememberÖ
A Sucker is born every minute, and a Fool and his money were lucky to
get together in the first place. See? P.T. Barnum and Harry Anderson,
A couple of wise Hucksters.
Nothing if not Something
By, Paul Mann
(Editor and Pun Meister)
(Monotone voice) We are all individuals. We all think for ourselves
and do not the let the powers that be suggest to us otherwise. We are
not mindless robots. Beep.
If youíre expecting me to blast out some sort of hippy loving, tree hugging
left wing peace crap then you might want to stop reading now. Of course,
those of the super Colonel Klink, conservative right wonít like what Iíve
got to say either. Or maybe you will; that depends on how much of your
own person you really are. My mission this article: to have fun poking
at the worldís placeholders and time servers of our society. So be afraid,
be not afraid and feel free to make your own decisions.
Throughout our daily lives itís often easy enough to settle into a routine.
Most of us donít ask a lot of questions as long as we are just getting
by. We shuffle from home to work or school throwing in a variety of trips
to places such as the supermarket and maybe the occasional 2,000 calorie
hunk of mass produced fast food. Yet, one has to wonder how many of us
are actually happy with our lives. Are we simply taking the most convenient
spot in the line or are we attempting to achieve something in the drudgery?
Iím not sure what inspired genius came up with the phrase ďdonít rock
the boat,Ē but I really would like to towel-whip that person until my
arms popped off. Itís this kind of attitude that keeps people in place.
Itís all well and dandy to live and ďget by,Ē but for goodness sake, set
a few outward goals and actually given them a try. If you have dreams,
donít count them as foolish, live them. Donít be afraid to rock the boat,
falling out does not mean you will never get back in. (Unless you are
eaten by a shark, but thatís another matter.)
But Mr. Humor Columnist, we have a family and bills to pay so you donít
have any business telling us what we can and cannot do. Bull crap. I can
tell you what to do till Ralph Nader wins the presidency, but it wonít
make a bit of difference unless you try for yourself. Iím not sure how
many times Iíve heard how people feel they are stuck in a situation and
continue to make themselves miserable because theyíve fixed themselves
with a no exit strategy. How do you know unless you try?
Now Iím not saying that people have to drop what they are doing and change
their lives completely. Some people barely need a change at all. Sometimes
itís just adding that one additional element to their lives. Want to be
a writer? Put those fingers to the keyboard. Want to spend more time with
your kids? Get your butt out of the chair. Want to invent a new fishing
lure? Get in that garage already. Want to learn to dance? Well go on and
shake that groove thing. Want to be a humor columnist? UmÖ. Iíll get back
to you on that. Nothing is earned if you donít make the first move.
I could keep going and lampoon the effortless, but Iíve got my own life
to live. (That and I donít want to be late for work) Are you living yours?
What have you done lately, what have you achieved, are you just going
to sit there and not make your situation any better? I canít make anyone
not be a time server or space saver, but I can offer you at least one
motivational poke in the side. After all if we never take our chances
we might as well believe that we are nothing without something.