Do We Need To Shout ‘Help Me!’

F'n Scary Scarecrow

The so called blogging experts tell me that I am doing this wrong. I don’t spend enough time working on my headlines or try hard enough to fill my posts with the perfect mix of SEO laden content. I post too frequently and don’t focus on any one topic.

The words you read here are filled too frequently with the sad, simpering sounds of unhappiness and people don’t like that. Nor do they like it when I fill my screen with kind of light-hearted goofy insouciance that makes some people guffaw and others grumble. I am not supposed to write about religion because I offend too many people when I say Happy Holidays or pepper my posts with Jewish jargon.

And let’s not forget that the political posts that populated this place infuriated so many. The blogging experts didn’t like that. Hated when I excoriated Palin and asked how I could support Bush. Railed at me for saying that Obama’s foreign policy made me crazy and asked how I could praise him for popping Bin Laden.

No can we forget the wacky people who wander in and try to post 1,987 comments accusing me of barbarism for supporting circumcision. Did I mention that I was called juvenile for telling them that foreskin doesn’t protect the penis from an errant tooth.

If you have made it this far than it is probably clear to you that I am a cranky, crotchety curmudgeon who might be in need of a vacation.  Actually I just threw in cranky, crotchety curmudgeon because I like the sound of it. Blame it on the Lewis Black bit I am listening to right now. It is one of my favorites.


Sometimes I step away from the blogosphere because the noise begins to grate on me. It is the sound of 1,987,748 posts about how to be a better blogger, 392,283,322 about PR, 567,789 on how to use blogs for SMBs and of course a billion on children. The problem is that sometimes it feels to me like all I hear is broadcasting- there is no back and forth.

And sometimes when there is the back and forth between blogger and community it is nothing but inside jokes. That is cool. I get it, understand it and appreciate it but sometimes I still feel like I am on the outside looking in.

So I step back and disconnect. I take a deep breath and look around the world. I am no different than most of you. My life is moving a million miles a minute and in order to maintain my sanity I just need to slow down and breathe.


Yesterday I saw something that has stuck with me. I walked out of the Target on Sepulveda and saw a man lying on his back.  Another man stood over him waving his arms wildly and yelling, but I don’t know what he was saying. The six lanes of traffic between us drowned out his words and made it impossible for me to tell if he was happy, sad or angry.

He looked like he had been on the street for a while as did the man who lay just in front of him.  I was in a rush but for a moment I stared hard at the man who was on his back and tried to determine if he was ok.

I watched three kids walk by him and measured their reactions. They didn’t react in any way other than to walk around him. I decided that the guy who lay on the sidewalk was ok and that this was simply where he had chosen to rest. It wouldn’t be the first time that the sidewalk had been used like that and probably not the last.

So I got in my car and drove off to take care of other errands. But all night long and most of today I have felt conflicted about it.  Have I grown so accustomed to seeing homeless people that I no longer am shocked or disturbed by it. And I wondered if maybe the man who was standing was yelling “Help Me.”


My daughter asked me what I thought our lives would be like when I turn 50 and I laughed. I said “different” and she asked for a better description. It is a solid eight years away which in some respects is far too close for comfort. I am not nearly old enough to think of 50 as being anything but old. Yet I realize that it doesn’t sound as old it used to.

She looked up at me expectantly and I told her that when I am 50 her brother will be in college and she’ll be a high school girl. She smiled broadly and I asked her to stop growing up so quickly. She smiled again and said “even when I am big I’ll still be daddy’s girl.”

All I could do was hug her and smile. The little things in life sometimes have the biggest impact.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. This post first ran in June 2011 but the comments about blogging and the blogosphere are still applicable.
People still look at homeless people as if they are a natural part of the scenery and I wonder if we have become desensitized to their presence.
It is an uncomfortable feeling. I don’t have perfect answers to that or to many questions I think about but I like to believe I am someone who would try and fail than fail to try.
See you in the comments.
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  1. Janine Huldie January 23, 2015 at 10:22 am

    I definitely agree that it is the simplest things that make me wonder and what truly does keep me coming back to blogging, because I do love to share my thoughts even on the most mundane occurrences. And yes not a fan of the actual business and politics behind the blogging scenes, probably why I left corporate to become a teacher back in the day!

    • The JackB January 25, 2015 at 8:24 am

      @JanineHuldie:disqus Sometimes those conversations about the mundane become the most interesting ones to participate in. I don’t know if it is because they are the easiest to relate to or why, but they have some magic legs.

  2. John Kinnear January 23, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Great post Jack. I get frustrated too. The business of blogging is my least favorite part of blogging. I just like to write.

  3. Guest January 23, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Great post Jack. I get frustrated too. The business of blogging is my least favorite part of blogging. I just like to write.

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