Control Issues

In today’s hyperactive social media environment, it does not take long for good reputations to get ruined by a bit of breathless over-reaction to common problems.

A quick tweet, a tossed-off Facebook post, a carelessly shared You Tube video, or a thoughtless headline might be all it takes to permanently shame a good citizen.

Or a starlet.

Or a spacecraft.

Yesterday’s New York Times headline, “Russian Space Station Cargo Ship Is Said to Be Out of Control“, smacks of the same type of discriminatory treatment given to a string of young, boisterous female celebrities, all of whom were declared, at one time, officially O.O.C.

Trail Baboon Sing-song poet laureate Tyler Schuyler Wyler insisted that I give him a moment to come to the defense of the poor, maligned Progress 59 capsule with a few lines of soon-to-be-forgotten verse.


One cannot be a star today without a robust hide.
And for anyone who reaches high, expect a rocky ride.
But as long as I’ve got pitch and yaw, a cargo, and a goal.
It’s unfair to try to shame me with that trope – “out of control.”

While it’s true I’m not mature, (this is the first time I have flown)
I’m more stable and more focused than that wingnut, Lindsay Lohan.
I admit our mission so far hasn’t made the throngs admire us,
But I’m not as O.O.C. as that sad train wreck, Miley Cyrus.

I may tumble out of orbit very soon, it now appears.
But I won’t completely self-destruct like gaudy Britney Spears.
So I don’t feel like a failure, though I’m sinking by degrees.
I will simply resupply a patch of Earth that lacks debris.

What’s the worst thing that’s been said about you?

74 thoughts on “Control Issues”

  1. When I was 13 I get accused of shooting a woman along with a group of friends the story will follow sometime

    The printing of my driving while intoxicated in the newspaper has not been very complementary
    My wife claim during our divorce proceeding that I was a child abuser by forcing homeopathic medicine on my children didn’t present itself very well
    And on a blog yesterday someone accuse me of having crooked teeth in a pot belly

    Liked by 3 people

    1. at 13 a gruop of 4 of us went down to the river as i have previously stated we often did. on this particular day two of the guys thought it would be fun to shoot squirrels so one brought a 22 rifle and one brought a 22 pistol.
      you know as i tell this story it occurs to me that maybe boys taking guns on a walk to the river may not have been a good idea but at the time it never occured to us. one guy asked his mom for the shells to his 22 before we left and she grabbed them for us woithout a thought.
      different times 1968ish.
      we went down to the river and there were no squirrels so we were bored and the guys with the guns shot at a tree then a can then a piece of wood floating buy int he river… aout 1/2 and hour later as we were standing around in a guy circle doing nothing in particular a police car drove down to the river bottoms which was unusual and what was more unusual was that they got out and were acting freaky like we were dangerous or something with our little squirrel guns. they asked us waht we were doing and we werent hiding anything . told them we were just hanging out and doing a little squirrel hunting and there was nothing going on and they got our story and cuffed us and took us to jail. it turns out a lady 1 mile away in the dump had been standing next to her trailer and a bullet evidently somehow went through the back of her neck and knocked her front teeth out. they determined we must have been the origin with the bullet we shot at the log in the river which must have deflected off the water turned skyward and landed in her mouth. long story for an odd event . but i was in the paper as being picked up for shooting a lady in the dump. one of the guys dads was a lawyer who was upset that the paper printed the names of minors in a shooting incident. odd all around. one of the 4 guys ended up being shot and killed by another of our neighborhood kids who was out of his mind after eating some bad acid he manufactured in his basement. it was not a uneventful childhood out here in the burbs. i am so lucky i didnt like hallucinogenics. it could have been ugly.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. no they stuck to it and the insurance wouldnt let it go to court because they might lose so the gave the lady a fistfull of money and we all got to spend a day i the courthouse waiting for the wheels of justice to turn.
          it upset me enough i thought about righting the world by going into law then realized i would have a life full of exactly that and went off in another direction instead


      1. A similar event happened to a boy who lived a mile from us. A 22 bullet hit a girl in the back of the neck, not with any real damage, but scary. The police were told by a gossipy neighbor that he often shot his gun carelessly, which i suppose he did. but a bullet, a 22 short, would have traveled more than a mile. They impounded his gun and he never got it back.


        1. yep same deal. i dont think my two friends ever go t their guns back either. we had 22 shorts in the pistol and 22 longs in the rifle so the thought was that it was feasible.


  2. Rise and Get Paranoid Baboons!

    I don’t even want to THINK about the worst things said about me or who might have said them. Two minutes of that train of thought and I will be looking under every rock for my enemies.

    Having grown up in a small town in which character assassination and gossip was the coin of the realm, I am acutely aware of these negative dynamics. This was the small town version of social media. For centuries this kind of shaming was the primary source of social control and pressure. It is SO effective.

    Social disapproval is now visible because of technology, but it has always been present.

    Now I have to go check under the big rock in my front yard for social terrorists. Then I will change my name.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. yeterday clyde wrote of his grandaughter in 6th grade who is victim of other people creating false twitter id and throwing her under the bus. i think there ought to be a crime named for this type of underhanded slimey behavior. if twitter is where they live then it ought to be posted on their twitter account of what they have done and request an apology be made public. children can be mean but mean children ought to face consequences and be called out for hurtful actions. its like allowing people who are cruel to animals or invalids to go unpunished. it gets my blood boiling. you can disimiss it but it should not be passed over without consequence.
    lindsay lohan, miley cyrus brittney spears they can fend for themselves and the printing of misdeeds are part of the deal. my dad told me when i was about 5 never to do anything you wouldnt want printed on the front page of the paper. i have felt like i was living a hidden life many times because of that damned statement. i do many things i would prefer not be printed on the front page of the paperbut i am working on it. wouldnt life be wonderful if everything you did could be proudly printed and broadcast. thats my vision when i get my life together. i wonder if mother theresa ever ever looks over her shoulder. ill bet its not an issue for her. im still working on it.
    can you believe the pope said women should be treated equally. i almost choked. maybe he will make a difference. i like that guy with the funny hat. hes alright.


  4. I cannot even guess what has been said of which I am not aware.
    I was a member of a class grades 1 to 12 famous for its bad apples and for its general meanness. But that group would not even reach the baseline of meanness of kids today, with or without their phones and tablets.


    1. But, trying to forget all that, my son shot video of his 20-month-old son reacting to his first Mariachi band. All ye folks of music would enjoy seeing him react to their music, trying to forget that in a decade the boy will be in the midst of it all.
      A joke for you all from Mr. Tuxedo: “When you think about it all eggs are poached.”

      Liked by 3 people

    2. i think that today there is such access to stuff like stories that would have been way out in left field when were young that these kids gorw up thinking csi and tv shows on the internet and hbo are standard ways of viewing the world. its a new reality and a lot of it is disturbing. innocence used to allow you to discover the world was an ugly place later if you were lucky enough to come from a place where the world wasnt ugly. it must have been like living in the twighlight zone if you were in a place where it was happening in a world where no one was aware of the existance of horrible stuff. i imagine it still is…
      im getting off this track sorry
      this is why i tld my daughter to consider the consequences of becoming a therapist. do you really want to spend your life listening to other peoples nightmareish lives. i ccant imagine.
      thank you jacque and renee for fixing the world. we need you. but hey renee, how come you take kids away form their families anyway you mean old witch.


        1. I am an expert witness for the county social services in abuse and neglect cases as I am the child or children’s therapist.


  5. I have been shouted at in our Walmart store by two separate persons on two separate occasions as a terrible person who takes people’s children away from them. That was embarrassing. I was also called a spoiled only child by a few people when I was a little girl.

    A ND state representative was recently called a hypocrite for voting against anti-discrimination legislation for gay and lesbian citizens while living as a closeted gay man. I am proud to say the person who outed him was one of my daughter’s friends from high school. I don’t know if the representative more upset about being called a hypocrite or having his conservative constituency find out he was sending photos of his genitals to people on a social media site.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. cant we just put them on the front page of the paper?

      i looked up chip kidd who is guest author at the next library authior presentation and his tedtalk made me think of your comment for some reason. check it out

      Liked by 1 person

        1. its good but not that good. when i looked in on it it was a different ad. when i repated it it was a dupe never mind the second one


    2. OH, I am so sorry about the Walmart shouting. I used to get some of that, too. I hated it.

      When I worked in a small town as a social worker, and when my son was really small, we went grocery shopping. He grabbed a fly swatter off a hook and whapped me with it on the rear end and in the face, before I intercepted it. I heard a ruckus behind me.

      A family I worked with saw the entire incident and found it hilarious.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. with the above statement i am surprised it doesnt happen more
      go to target where the wife beater% is down a hair (or is it less in upper income than in lower?)


  6. I was once tarred with a “smarty pants” feather in a job review. A co-worker felt that it was bad that I used long college words when I spoke and wrote (she and I had other issues, but this was something she wanted to hang her hat on, it seems). So, yep – at an educational non-profit I was dinged on a review for using my words. I am absurdly proud of that.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. A pileated lives in my ravine. I have shot about a dozen mediocre photos of him. He will come to my suet feeder.
      last night I was sitting and writing four feet away from my seed and suet feeder hanging six up in the air. I noticed a feather stuck in the board on the other end of the feeder. Then the feather flew off. It was a downy woodpecker. He came back to eat suet, hiding on the other end. After a minute or two he came to my end to eat and study me, maybe sizing up my head. We sat there, about three feet apart for 10-15 minutes.
      I gather small corn cobs from the field by us and put them in a suet cage. A distinctive feisty squirrel claims ownership, hangs from his/her hind legs to manipulate the cobs to gather all the kernels. But the squirrel has been gone for days. No other of the dozen or so around have touched the corn. Now suddenly the squirrel is back. I am watching right now I am wondering if the squirrel is a female who gave birth a few days ago.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. saw your post a couple days ago saying the squirrel was gone. glad your buddy is back
        i think you have carried your life sitting in the woods as a boy in under the quilted sky and watching the animals by sitting so still you caught them to your big boy current life. the critters get a kick out of too ill bet.


      2. My dad was proud of the large flag pole he set up in front of his home on Lake Minnetonka (where CB now lives). He wouldn’t pay for a real flag pole, so he set up a big pole and looked for a thingie to top it off properly. To his immense delight, he figured out that a toilet bowl float made the perfect topper if he cut a hole in it for the pole and spray painted it silver. That exactly sums up my dad’s sense of humor. He was earthy and slightly subversive. A proud flagpole topped with something from a toilet was perfect for him.

        One day he was shocked and outraged by a pileated woodpecker that flew to the top of his flagpole and hammered the toilet bowl float, knocking it cattywampus. He ran at the bird screaming, threatening to shoot it. Days later, the same pileated came back and beat up the toilet bowl float again, which knocked it back into position. Day after day the woodpecker attacked Dad’s flagpole, alternately whacking the toilet bowl crooked and then straightening it the next day. Dad decided the woodpecker was in on the joke, and he quit protesting its assaults on his flag pole.

        Liked by 4 people

  7. Speaking of tech and social media: because of my problems with my provider, I moved my email to gmail, which I knew was going to be a pain, changing my identities in many places. (Apple accounts have been terrible to do.)
    Also, are several places which have my email from whom I want to hear, such as Michaels, and several I would like to lose track of me. BUT, most, maybe all, of those places found my gmail address without my telling them. They must have spiders that search the huge free providers like Google and Yahoo. Word Press found me.
    BTW, For the most part my problem is fixed.


        1. its free and the problem is you dont know how many tag alongs have not updated. i still get emails sent to my email address from 20 years ago and if i dump it (it is free also) i dont know i lose them.


  8. The worst thing said about me, of which I’m aware, was that I was having an affair with one of the partners of a CPA firm where I once worked. It was complete and total fabrication, and I have no idea how that got started, but it really made me angry.

    I’m fairly sure, though, that worse things have been said, things of which I’m not aware, some of which might actually be true.


  9. I have told this before: in 1972 a couple weeks before school started I walked into the school office. The secretary asked me what I was doing there. She said the principal was about to interview my replacement. The rumor was around that I was drafted. So they went to hire without calling me.


  10. Nerd, geek, anal-retentive, control freak, smarty-pants – I’ve heard them all, although I have to say, most of these were childhood and middle-school epitaphs. Although if anyone saw the state of my house these days, I’m sure they’re drop the anal-retentive and control freak immediately.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. At the risk of being labeled a smarty-pants, I will venture to guess that you meant to say “epithets” – at least, I hope they weren’t writing actual epitaphs for you in middle school. 😉

      Liked by 4 people

  11. When I edited my magazine I was accuse of being a liberal who didn’t share the conservative values of many of my readers. Guilty as charged. I was proud of such attacks.

    When I headed up a program to help poor minority kids succeed in college, I was accused of being a lackey of a bigoted white university administration. I secretly agreed that I probably was, although I defended myself publicly. I take it for granted that I–like just about everyone else–is guilty of prejudice.

    Nobody has ever hurt me with such accusations as deeply as I have hurt myself with things I consider defects in my character.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. My teenage grandson refused to spend the night at our house because it has a “weird, creepy vibe.” I assume that the vibe of a house comes from the inhabitants, although he has not called me weird and creepy. Yet. At least not to my face.


  13. the difference between the old broad out there dancing and the dancing grandma is more a statement about the person making the comment than the lady out there dancing. dont let the bowling alley crown cramp your style grandma. you were elated to be the dancing grandma. rephrase it in your mind and assume thats what she meant.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. When I dance, I intentionally scan the crowd for smiling faces. I just had never heard anyone speak to my age before and carry the delusion that no one notices my age, PJ and Tim, but thank you for your comments.


  14. One of my college roomates get mad at me and took me to task for my “show me a graph” attitude and what she perceived as my distain for her interest in more airy-fairy and arcane topics in psychology.


  15. A person named Westley called me a wart faced buffoon. I challenged him on this and he had the unmitigated gall to call me a pig and a miserable vomitous mass. I was very upset and skewered him with my rapier.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Evening kids–

    I was looking up Jaclyn Smith so I could post something about yesterday’s topic. and then I decided just to keep that to myself.

    I don’t recall any exact words said about me except one play review that called me — and most of the cast– ‘…Excess baggage’. Ouch.

    I’ve been yelled at on the townboard a few times when we didn’t vote the way people wanted. I find it interesting they threaten to vote me off and then we never see them again and they don’t come up to vote. So… how does that work, then?

    When I first got appointed to the townboard (to fill a vacancy of a man who passed away) I called his wife and asked how he handled certain things. She said some nights he’d come home and he’d be so upset he just had to have a bowl of ice cream.
    Good advice.


    Liked by 2 people

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