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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine.     March Theme: "In Touch"     Volume 1 Issue 3     ISSN# 1708-3265

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Aunty Nasty
with Nasturtium Blackwitt PhD. M.E.D., F.D. (Min. H.R.D.F.), Pr. Dip. P.K.C.

Warning: Some readers may find her opinions abrasive, disturbing, or even offensive!

Yesterday afternoon I was so fed up with all my idiot patients, I decided to clear the calendar, lock the office, make myself a nice cup of tea, and relax on my client-couch.

I decided to watch a "National Geographic" program, about this intrepid adventurer who finds a "lost tribe" and manages to capture on film "never-before-seen native ceremonial dances and secret rituals."

I thought it would be most educational to learn about this barbaric tribe deep in the jungle. One wonders about the ways their society would differ from ours; unexposed, as they are, to the technological marvels we so take for granted.

Hmmmm… it's very interesting… they appear to have a lot of ritual markings on their bodies, strange metallic-looking objects stuck to their skin in the weirdest places, and they're doing this unintelligible chanting, in time with some repetitive and quite peculiar body-movements.

But wait a minute… Oh my God; it's a Music Video!

Dear me, I accidentally tuned my TV to the wrong station - and I was horrified! This was no long-lost pre-historic tribe; it was a Music Video Channel showing one of the currently hottest groups! And the worst of it all is… I was actually watching for quite a few minutes before I realized my mistake!

My God, these and the other pop superstar idols are what our children strive to emulate as their role models; racing to copy the jargon, fashions and body-movements they see on the screen.

Heaven knows, the kids suffer from such enormous peer-pressure in our school system as it is, all the way from having to wear the "in" clothing or be ridiculed, to keeping up with the current trends in language and music.

I'm sure most sane parents wonder when the heck their kids have the time, or the space in their brains, for the learning they're supposed to be doing in school!

Whether it's about decorating styles, colours, music, clothing, cars or language; if you're not riding the crest of the latest wave of what's 'in' you're definitely 'out'. And this nasty habit isn't limited to just our children; it applies to some of the adult population, as well.

And let's face it; any of us can unconsciously slide into the habit of following the herd. The media constantly bombards us with all this 'in' stuff; and, just as with any repetitious dogma, we sometimes find ourselves automatically using whatever the current saying might be.

So why are so many people obsessed with the need to keep 'in touch' with the latest fads and trends? Is it from a fear of being unique, or different, (or perhaps even in control of one's own mind)?

I must jump in here to the defence of the many parents who are trying to raise normal kids. How the heck are they supposed to convince their children they don't have to run with the pack, when their chums at school treat them as social outcasts if they don't conform? There is so much good to be said for Mothers and Fathers who make the time to home-school their children.

Perhaps, like me, they would rather keep 'in touch' with good old-fashioned God-fearing values. 'Please and thank-you', manners and courtesy, dignity and respect (and a sensible dress-code) would go a long way towards ensuring a better quality of life for all of us.

Yes, I said good old-fashioned values. Remember the time when a handshake was all it took to make a binding contract? "His word is his bond," meant exactly what it says. When a person told you something, they really meant it.

None of this funny stuff where they say absolutely insulting or horrible things and immediately follow up with a big smile and say "Only joking" or "Just kidding." That's way too close to cruel practical joking for my money.

And what about all these new-fangled TV shows where people get "Punked?" Isn't this simply an excuse for making fools of folks, for an audience of millions?

There's a word in German - "schadenfroh" - which roughly translates to "getting pleasure out of watching someone's embarrassment or misfortune". Practical joking so the masses can enjoy someone else's suffering, is what I call it.

The question is - what kind of weirdo actually signs up to be the butt of the joke? Only a masochistic personality would be so stupid. Oh well, I suppose it takes all kinds. (I guess I should be grateful actually - because they do help to keep me in business).

Seems old Andy Warhol was right on the money when he said, "Everybody wants their fifteen minutes of fame." These days, I think it's more to the point to say, "Everybody wants their fifteen minutes of shame!"

Psychologists and psychiatrists will all agree the belief "even negative attention is better than no attention" is usually the driving, subconscious rationale of the patient who is "acting out".

And talk about your "negative strokes" - have you seen any of these TV shows where people leave their home, only to come back and find some God-awful "renovation" has been perpetrated on their living space… and then when they walk in, (cameras rolling, of course), they're supposed to be thrilled?

Some of the end-results would certainly never make the pages of "Better Homes and Gardens"; they'd be more recognizable in the daily newspaper under the heading of "some vandals came while you were out, and trashed the place." Such poor taste, I tell you.

My goodness, if anyone broke into my home and did what some of these people do in the name of "decorating", I'd call the cops and have them hauled off to jail! But then, if I tried charging them with malicious damage or vandalism, I'd really be no better than the rest of the mindlessly stampeding herd of idiots, whose automatic response to just about everything is to scream, "Sue the bastards!"

Nowadays the whole nation is going to extremes of egregious litigation. Its 'sue them for this' and 'sue because of that'… one idiot judge allowed a totally frivolous lawsuit where some greedy bugger sued (and actually won a judgement against) a fast-food place, because "the coffee was too hot, and they burnt themselves when they spilled it!"

Not only did this twit get money out of it for "pain and suffering", but the chain of fast-food restaurants had to totally re-vamp their cups to avoid a future similar claim - since the precedent had now been established, and legitimized, by this dumb lawsuit. Now they have to put warning labels on the hot drink cups.

Ye Gods and little fishes, what'll be next? Will someone sue because his or her iced cappuccino was too cold? Did they get brain freeze? (I wonder how much that would be worth?)

And what about the woman who sued a supermarket (successfully, to boot) because there was this child running around, out of control, who caused her to have some kind of accident? Guess what? It was her own kid! Can you believe this?

Supermarkets are getting to be scary places! Last week I went grocery-shopping, and I gotta tell you, if I go through one more checkout where the cashier tells me to "Have a nice day" after I spent an hour stressed out in the store, dodging some woman's outta-control bratty kids, I just may slap her silly with a bag of frozen food. "Have a nice day" my butt!

And, after you get your groceries, if you still have the stomach for it, go on out into the main shopping mall and take a gander at today's youths.

Oh my dear Lord… will you look at the little girls! I mean, just look at what is happening to our innocent little girls! If they're dressing to be "in", they look like brazen little prostitutes, strutting around with bare skin showing all over, and tattooed and body-pierced in the strangest places!

Our little boys are every bit as frightening; acting out the baggy-panted, swaggering, foul-mouthed, drum-beating, ear-rings-all-over images they see presented to them by the media as "the latest ideal."

It pains me to think these are the people who will be the future leaders of our countries. The role models sure ain't what they used to be, my dears. I fear our hopes for the next generation are going down the toilet!

All this venting has been just too much for me and now I'm absolutely exhausted. I have to lie down. Would you mind getting me a cool cloth for my forehead on your way out?

Oh, and by the way, "You have a nice day!"

Ms. Blackwitt is a noted psychologist who specialises in dysfunctional behavioural and abnormal sociological interaction. Her column features insightful commentaries on familial relationships, as viewed from her unique perspective.

Affectionately known as 'Aunty Nasty', amongst her many honours and awards are a Ph. D in 'Mammalian Excretement Dispersal' and a Degree of Familiarity with The Ministry of Human Remains and Dysfunctional Families.

Ms.Blackwitt also served in the Armed Forces on a 6-year tour of duty as a Diplomatic Peace-Keeper in Washington, D.C., during which time she rose to the top of her team, quickly attaining the exalted rank of Private, and was subsequently transferred to Bikini Atoll, (with undisclosed rank) where she gained extensive hands-on experience in Mammalian Excrement.

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