Susan G Holland
4 min readMar 17, 2024

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It’s Hallowe’en and Mardi Gras all year long!

Is this the “real world?”

I see people writing with concern about AI and how it’s cool and the newest thing. I see Pink Barbies wooing strangers with lots of make up and suggestive clothing. I see men falling all over themselves about T&A and even the youngest girls dressing intentionally like what we used to call call girls.

We have handsome tv personalities presenting themselves as so suave, and so desirable, and rich, and full of what my mother used to call “wild oats.”

The news coming through in every visual and audio version of Fake, and Comic, and Hilarious, and Shocking make it a world of Good and Bad Clowns, like at the circus.

Are Circuses getting “old school?” Soo boring?

The public is out-doing Circuses now. And the clowns are magicians.
The Big Show is no longer just trained horses and lions and elephants and people doing life-defying tricks, showing morbidly fat, or thin, or little, or maimed, or physically bizarre humans in a zoo-like display to Wow or Disgust viewers.

Our diet of entertainment is just hurtling into the horrible, the scariest,
and the most hideous renditions the most evil-minded of blood and poison and hate and murder. It seems as if the menu for entertainment has become really boring and blah unless it’s shocking! More shocking than the last one!

What happened to us?

I have written elsewhere about the trick played on tv and movie screens when I was being taken on dates to movies (think 1950–60) that were, sure, romantic, or mysterious, or scary, but they were not something my parents would consider uncouth or dangerous. One trick the movies had was that they secretly slipped into the roll of film a single frame of something that watchers would not notice actively, but their eyes and brains saw .Something that made you thirsty for Coke, or hungry for popcorn, or dying for a cigarette! (my father actually used to walk out in the middle of the film to have a smoke!!)

Oh, there was the “Troc Theatre” on the way to Philly where everyone knew the sex addicts went by dark of night for naked and seductive entertainment. “Adult entertainment.” You mentioned it with a rolling of eyes if you were a decent person. The Troc was something the girls in sixth grade at school talked about in whispers. The closest we girls ever got to being sexy was with lipstick secretly put on while walking to school, and Kleenex padded into the fronts of our sweaters .

How did little girls learn about the Troc theatre? Must have been mentioned in the adult world of conversations and in the Morning Inquirer and the Evening Bulletin newspapers in those little ads near the movie advertising.

Back to the current era! What does “everyone know” here in 2024?

How do we get people riding bikes naked in big cities? Why aren’t we all naked in big cities? What will we do when nakedness is not “normal” for cities? Shoot each other??? Until shooting people becomes “normal?”

What do the children talk about in sixth grade? What do they see and hear in their modern homes, and what do they see on TV, and especially, what are they reading on the omnipresent cell phone?

What gets attention? How can a 12 year old boy or girl be noticed? When they go to school, what sort of social life is occurring there? What will make the other kids notice them for? Who are the main “guys” there and the main “girls?” Are some of the groups part of a secret special gang who have power that other students wish they had?

Artificial Intelligence! We can seem to be something we are not. We can fool around like that. It’s fun when it’s a costume party, but what sort of invented behavior belongs in real life?

And we parents talk. If parents are talking about truth at home, it matters how the parents declare “truth” when they are speaking. It better be real truth if they are talking in the family. And the matter of asking what the real truth is! Very important.

None of us can believe everything they read in the papers, and hear on television. Sorting out lies is a critical skill. Kids know when their parents lie about things. They ask. Sometimes the parents take time to help them sort out the truth. Sometimes the parents don’t. They have their reasons.

We all need to ask for truth. We need to label things that are fake. Call them circus? Require something like an indelible stamp by law?

Maybe we need to figure this sort of thing out for voting!! Only one indelible stamp per vote?

© SGHolland 2024

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Susan G Holland

Hacked too often here on Medium; and here I trusted it all these years! Beware!