Sunday, November 18, 2012

Honey Boo Boo and what this family could teach all of us...

I recently viewed an episode of "Here comes Honey Boo Boo." 
This is a reality show that follows Alana, Honey Boo Boo, and her family; Mom, June, Dad, Sugar Bear and 3 sisters, 17 year old Anna "Chickadee", 15 year old Jessica "Chubbs" and 12 year old Lauryn "Pumpkin." Of course the show follows daily life in the Honey Boo Boo world. From just sitting around watching t.v. to all out adventures like going out for a family photo shoot in the Georgia woods. There are trips to the little beauty pageants that made Honey Boo Boo famous on TLC's reality show Toddlers and Tiara's. 

There has been some talk around the blogosphere and talk shows and all of the talking heads seem to have some sort of level of disgust with this family. 
I have heard things like "offensive", "outrageous" and "exploitative". 

Now I don't know how any of my readers' family dynamic is set up other than my own of course but, I do know the the family unit in America is more like the Honey Boo Boo's of the world than the so called Nuclear family of the 50's and 60's Leave it to Beaver pipe dream. I mean in my family alone I am married to my second wife and we have two children of our own ages 6 and 5 but, when you add in my oldest son, 20,  from my first marriage well then you can just throw out the so called Nuke Family term. In fact I can't think of anyone I know in my close circle who comes from or has the so called nuke family!
 It goes without saying the The Honey Boo Boo clan doesn't do things the way most families would but, rest assured this family loves each other UNCONDITIONALLY! The oldest daughter recently had a baby of her own and I never once witnessed an ounce of disgust with this family! I mean in any form! Honey Boo Boo herself couldn't wait to meet and hold this little baby. It is one thing to judge a family unit for what  you might not consider an ideal situation but, we are taught from a young age how to just love and accept each other for what and who we are than I think we'd all be a little better off.
Learning something from this family is not what I thought the result of me watching this show was going to be but, dam-nit if it isn't what happened! The Mother and father may not be an ideal couple in many people's eyes but, dad goes to work every day as a chalk miner June stays at home with the kids and the siblings help out where they can. I understand it isn't what some would call perfect but it is perfect for them. Besides whom are we to judge?!?! Look around at your own personal circles and I'll bet you might find one "Nuclear Family" but, the rest of them are anything but. 
After all; isn't it just about loving one another?  At least that's what I was taught! 

To all of you out there with pre disposed thoughts of this family unit and any other family that you may not believe is the "Ideal" family, ask yourself this; do they love each other unconditionally? Do they judge you or each other? And most of all why does it matter to you what someone else's family does or how they live? 
We should all be so lucky to have a family unit like this one and we should all strive to be as accepting and loving as this family is! 
Never judge a family or anyone else for that matter, without looking at your own. None of us are perfect but, if love is the ingredient that makes us whole than it shouldn't matter one way or another.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sons of anarchy and what the Motorcycle club can teach you about business and loyalty

I have recently caught up on the entire series of Sons of anarchy. It is an excellently written and acted show. For those of you who haven't heard of or watched the series it is on FX on Tuesday nights. It has colorful language and less than politically correct stereotypes which Hollywood has accepted on television since the advent of shows like NYPD Blue and later on The Shield which also aired on FX.
Sons of anarchy is about a fictional Northern California Motor Cycle Club in a small Northern California fictional town called Charming. It is the story of a  young man in his 30's who's apparently the reluctant heir apparent to someday head the club. His late father was the head of the club until his best friend and his "Old Lady" apparently murder him or have him murdered so that they can be together.
It takes place years after those events in which have made the best friend Clay Morrow played brilliantly by Ron Perleman, the "President" of the club. or for the purpose of this blog, the CEO. His now "Old Lady" Gemma Teller / Morrow, the mother of the club. Which is played by Katey Sagal, yes Peg Bundy, whom by the way plays Gemma as if the role was written for her. It probably doesn't hurt that her real life husband Kurt Sutter created and writes the show as he has done for the FX series the Shield. Sutter also plays a Club member on the show however, he is in prison serving a life sentence for myriad murders and the like.
The show deals with motor cycle gang violence on many levels but, what the show deals with the most are the relationships of the club members. The President and his "board" members. In total there are 11 of them at the table for their quasi board meetings. They take votes on everything at the table from drug muling to gun running etc. What they deal with the most is club business.
The President will bring up issues and put said issues up for a vote. Even though their are 11 of them in the Board Room which they refer to as "Church" only 8 sit at the table even though all eleven vote.
Items brought up for a vote are only passed when there is a majority.
In any business there are always decision makers. When it is a big company there are many people making decisions. In major corporations there is usually a board which when there is a vote it has to be passed by a majority.
As far as loyalty goes in Sons of anarchy loyalty is rewarded with money and protection. If loyalty comes in question in the club it usually ends in death or some might say worse than that, when your tattoo affiliations are burned off and you are outcast by the club. I will spare you the gruesome details on how the tattoos are burned off but, suffice it to say, they don't get them removed by a doctor.

Now a business also rewards loyalty with a paycheck sometimes bonuses etc. They don't require body art and things of the motor cycle clubs' nature but, the club is no different than any other business in fact this particular club is set in the back of an auto / motorcycle repair shop. Which by all accounts is a real business run Clay & Gemma Morrow.
the club has many businesses not many of them are legal but, all make money. They have a part in porn movie business. They have the garage. There is the gun running and the drug muling and this season they are getting into a high end prostitution ring.  Some companies in the real world branch out into a variety of businesses. Usually though it is done by a huge conglomerate with experts throughout said company. It appears that the club is usually on overload with all they take on which usually ends in someone dying or someones. Real world, a small company may take on some different businesses but, none more than it thinks it can handle. If it does take on too much it will more than likely end in doom for those smaller departments maybe even the entire company.

Let me end by saying that I don't condone violence of any kind in business or real life at all but, If I were running a motor cycle club like the Sons it would be much more streamlined. Maybe the Porn could combine somehow with the prostitution ring just an example. The guns and drugs could and should be done as separate industries those two industries seem to go hand in hand in Hollywood but, in my opinion would be strange bedfellows in the real world. Just asking for trouble there.

In the end, The show is about family and the people in your life that you make your family. The common denominator this show is the love and brotherhood of this club. It is one thing to start a business with family and friends it is another to make it successful. It isn't rare by any stretch but not very common. These guys seem to make it work for 12 -15 episodes a season but, it always ends up bad for them or someone.
I am just glad it has been renewed for 2 more seasons because, I can't wait to see what happens!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Death in the family.

A few years ago my family lost another member.  He was my grandfather's brother. I was very close to my late grandfather subsequently, I spent alot of time with my Uncle Hugo as well, when I was an young Impressionable child. The senior men in my family were all blue collar guys they did what they had to do to make ends meet and support thier families. My grandfather was a superintendant, basically a handy man for a huge New York city apartment complex. I am not really sure what my Uncle did but what ever it was rest assured it wasn't easy and it wasn't glamorous. I remeber watching my grandfather getting ready for work every morning showering shaving making sure he was completely presentable. One day @ the age of 10 I asked my grandfather. "Why do you bother getting all cleaned up shaved and looking like yu are going to work at some big company?" My grandfather was the strongest man I knew, he was also the kindest soul I have ever known. He turned to look at me bent down, so as not to talk down to me and said, "Georgie I go into people's homes and fix thier problems. These are thier homes, If I don't take pride in my appearence then How can I be the best Super ?" he paused and I asked my follow up question, "But you are just the Super!" Yes but if I can be the best super then why wouldn't I do my best to be the Best super!"

In my humble opinion It is this type of attitude that is severely lacking in today's workforce. I cannot think of too many people who take personal pride in thier work nowadays. I am definitely guilty of the same attitude in certains jobs I have had in the past. I know most of today's workforce is just trying to scrape by with the jobs they have. That doesn't excuse us from having a little self pride and doing the best we can, for ourselves, and especially for our employer. If not them then how about being thankful we are able to provide something for our families.

In today's economy most of us are lucky to have a job. How about we act like we appreciate the little things in life that are not owed to us and we should be thankful for.

If you are serving tables, pumping gas (In New Jersey), educating our children or caring for our elderly. Please be thankful you have at least that job. Some of us have to have multiple jobs just to survive.

As an aside this is for those of us for who are the ones going to those restaurants or any other establishment where we are being serviced, be mindful of what that server, gas attendant, again in Jersey, or the medical staff in a busy E.R. is going through. We don't know what someone else going through be it either personally or in that same job. That server may not be looking for the next big tip he / she may just be looking for the one customer that day that is polite and takes everything in stride.

This is for all of us who struggle everyday with the everyday struggles.