Your Grrrs, and don't forget to play Spot the Oblivion below...
Patrick from Elk Grove, Calif.: In response to "Chopper Dave": Let me ask a simple question for this simpleton: What if everybody ran straight pipes? Then who'd hear you? No one, that's who! They have an incredible device used to alert someone of your presence. It is called a horn. It works for everybody else, including those who ride "quiet bikes" like Goldwings or even a Ninja. Do you need to rev your bike at 11 o'clock at night to avoid getting hit in your driveway? How do YOU hear police, fire or ambulance sirens when you're busy "BRAAAAP"ing down the street. No, "Chopper Dave," you're just an inconsiderate buffoon. God forbid you should ever have an accident, but if you did, and you ask the folks who hit you, "Didn't you hear me?" They'll probably just shake their heads and wonder why you think a loud bike will save you from an accident. Loud pipes are no substitute for a horn. Use it sparingly and people will notice it. Ride defensively, ride safely and you'll probably get to where you're going without having to annoy your neighbors and the rest of us.
Mike Bowser Jr. writes: As a young author myself, I find it disturbing that this individual could do such a thing. What an author writes is their own art and not something that someone should dismantle and make their own. What also pains me is that this person probably has enough money and handouts to live a prosperous life while the rest of us real authors have to struggle. Do you know how hard it is to get a publisher, a real publisher, to even read your works if you have no cash? It's almost impossible. I have a book published by a vanity publisher that doesn't market the book. I made a whopping $27 in royalties in the past year an a half and this half-wit gets a $500,000 advance and a movie deal for something that they didn't put their sweat and tears into! What a crock.
Hunter P. writes: At first I didn't know where this article was headed but by the end I couldn't agree more. As a 26-year-old in the working class, I thought you were dissing my generation. But at the end of the article, I realized it was nothing but the truth. What do you do when you get caught? Use the Martha Stewart defense. Totally busted? Ken Lay it. In an age of Paris Hilton-style fame, those who commit good deeds are all but invisible to the public. Sadly, these concerns are not those of an out-of-touch older generation lamenting the youth. They are the realities that encompass reality television, and the real news where you lie, lie, lie until totally, inexorably exposed, and then blame someone else for your screw-ups. Unfortunately, all we as young adults see is don't admit to anything, and it pays to be superficial. Great article, and keep up the good analysis.
Jim Pipkin writes: Hi Mike. I've been writing and singing original music for 30 years -- what sort of suggestions do you have for how I can get press? I thought about robbing a bank, but that puts a lot of stress on the tellers, and they're underpaid as it is. Public carrying of firearms? Nah ... I live in Arizona, it is expected. Drunk driving arrest? No dice, I just can't bring myself to drink and drive. Drugs? Possibly, enough people in my barrio sell them. But they die young.
Ah, decisions, decisions -- to be a popular jerk or an unknown, decent sort. I made my choice, I guess. "People" will just have to struggle along at the newsstands without me!!
Lee K. writes: What is Harvard teaching if a student doesn't understand what plagiarism is? That was one of the most important basic lessons I learned during my college years, as I assume it was for most people.
Scarlett in Cell Phone Oblivion: Grrr! to Melissa, the girl who had my cell phone number before I did. I moved from Tennessee to Oklahoma in May of last year, and in July, I had my cell phone number changed to a local number. Sprint claims that they only give out numbers after they have been inactive for at least 90 days, so my new number should have been inactive since April 2005. However, I received numerous phone calls for Melissa, mostly occurring in the summer/fall time frame. They started to slow down, and then in January, I got a call from her grandfather. I thought they had completely ceased when yesterday, I got yet another call for her. Apparently this oblivion has fallen off the Earth and failed to notify even her own family.
Michelle in Chadds Ford, Pa.: I can’t tell you how sick and tired I am of hearing about the unfortunate events at Duke University. Is this really, really important news for the country?? Yes, it is disgusting, but why does such a disgusting thing make it onto every major newscast? Aren’t there more important events going on right now?? Grrr! I am irritated that while watching what seems to be a mediocre newscast of the weather, suddenly the news changes and they are talking about rape. How does one explain rape to a 9-year-old? Why can’t I just watch the news with my kids and not worry about what they are going to say next?? Shouldn’t I be the one to explain the existence of modern day demons to my child as their parent?? I think all TV news should stop with the negativity and just focus on the good. Our society would be much happier then -- think about it! ( FYI -- I am not a pacifist!) Better yet, the USA could save money with the war in Iraq if we just put a satellite TV in everyone’s home offering just these two channels: HGTV and Food Network! When I win the mega-million dollar lottery, I am going to create a television news channel that only reports the POSITIVE news around the world. Maybe I can market it to those two afore mentioned networks, since they are the only channels appropriate for “family” viewing. Grrr!
John M. comments on my last column: And GW didn't mention any "issues" with his WMD claims and everyone agreed with his WMD conclusion before the war.
And Donald Rumsfeld didn't mention concerns about his war plans from his generals,
And Dick Cheney didn't get it a little wrong when he said the Iraqis would welcome us with roses and the war would take "weeks not months,"
And GW didn't know anything about the Valerie Plame leak and would fire those involved until those involved needed to use him as cover for their actions,
And the Republican Congress isn't responsible for ballooning deficits,
And the Republican Congress and GW aren't responsible for massive increases in entitlement programs, and neither GW nor Donald Rumsfeld have anything to do with the widespread torture going on by government employees, and GW always follows the law, unless the law conflicts with whatever he feels he needs (or wants) to do to "get the job done" (what is the job by the way?)
Oh wait, I guess it isn't just pop stars and ex-Democratic presidents propagating the me, me, me, I'm too irresponsible to take or be held accountable for my actions dogma.
Leslie in Pa.: Hey Steven S., does the "S." stand for sexist??? You twice blamed the mothers of "Missy Walmartians" for the girls' inane behavior. What about the fathers? Last time I checked, they have a role in raising their daughters, too, and deserve 50 percent of the "credit" for how their daughters turn out. I hope you're not a dad because your comments reveal what kind of uninvolved dad you would be. My daughter, in a similar age bracket as the girls you complain about, is a smart, considerate girl who doesn't dumb herself down to try to get attention (a la Kellie Pickler). I am proud to give my husband, a positive influence and great dad, 50 percent of the credit for her upbringing. So quit pandering to society's tendency to excuse dads from the tough job of parenting ... shame on the absent or uninvolved dads, and kudos to the many great dads out there! Keep up the good work ... the results last forever.
Rachel H. in retail writes: I have seen it in a couple of readers' Grrs and may have seen it in one of your own articles, about the "rude, lazy people" who work in retail. I currently work in retail at a large department store, and try to be very polite and work hard. I realize that you have met rude people who work in retail, but have you ever thought of the many rude people that we have come through our lines while we are at work? I have had many people yell at me, especially over the holidays, for no other reason than that I could not return whatever it was for cash because that was not how they paid. Unfortunately, this is store policy and I cannot do so without getting yelled at or in trouble. However, they do not care whether or not I get yelled at, because it "isn't their problem." Also, I have had people trash our fitting rooms with clothes because we should be "working for our paycheck." I work very hard for the very little I am paid, and thinking of that, I understand why there are lazy, rude people in retail. So when you mention the lazy, rude people in retail, remember that there are those of us who aren't lazy or rude, and that there are many consumers that are much more rude to us.
MF writes: Mike, what is it with the rudeness of people today. Where I came from it was common courtesy to say hello and be cordial when you pass someone. Then I moved to the big city, and when I pass someone in the hall at work or even my neighbor in my apartment complex, more often than not I will say hi and they will ignore me. Sometime they even look me right in the eye with a look of disgust like "How dare you talk to me I don't know you." That in turn discourages me from being friendly and I become like them! That sure makes for a sad existence.
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