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Trends we will regret

We’re all guilty of at least one.

Every decade, we’re facing with the joys and horrors of trends. Sure, they’re cool now, but in 20 years you’ll probably be laughing at how ridiculous you looked.

The 1970s welcomed paisley corduroy and pale yellow wallpaper. In the ’80s we had neon leg warmers and big hair. In the ’90s we regrettably listened to boy bands while playing POGs, and today we’re dealing with equally horrifying trends. Sure, they seem cool now, but you may come to regret them just as your 1987 high school yearbook picture or ‘NSYNC posters.

Here are 10 trends of the 2000s we’ll most regret:

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Fired for marrying the wrong person

Growing up we’re all conditioned to believe that someone, someday, will come along and take your breath away.  When this happens, love will show you new things you’ve never thought about and turn you into a new person, giving you grand new experiences and adding to the list of things people try to accomplish in a short life span.  In essence, marriage and love will change your life.

Most of the time that change isn’t being fired from your job. But such is the case in Fort Myers Beach when they fired one Scott Janke.

The Fort Myers Beach official was fired for a simple wrongdoing: marrying an adult film star, Anabela Mota Janke (stage name Jazella Moore) last October. When the Mayor and town council caught wind of the couple’s wedlock, Scott Janke was subsequently fired hours later.  The council even came out and said Mr. Janke did great work and had shown tremendous character and there were never problems, but that his marriage to a porn actress would impair his ability to function at his job.

It obviously didn’t affect his performance from the wedding to the date of his firing.

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Quick facts on Scientology

Like many other people, I knew very little about Scientology. I knew something about Tom Cruise and another something about placentas. Until recently, that was just about all of the time I was willing to dedicate to learning about it. After seeing the hundreds of people who have dedicated their lives to it as I drove through Clearwater, Fla. where the headquarters resides, I decided it was time to dig a little deeper.

Scientology was founded in 1958 by L. Ron Hubbard, who was an American science-fiction writer. The church’s religious texts are from Hubbard who wrote on things like “dianetics.”

Dianetics, according to the Church of Scientology International’s Web site, is a “spiritual healing technology” that can alleviate unwanted feelings or thoughts. The ultimate goal is to obtain the state of “Clear,” which can be obtained by the thetan (spiritual being of a person) going through dianetic auditing (something akin to counseling).

According to the official Church of Scientology Web site, “Scientology is about the individual man or woman. Its goal is to bring an individual to a sufficient understanding of himself and his life and free him to make improvements where he finds them necessary and in the ways he sees fit.” They believe that each person has a different truth, saying “Only those things which one finds true for himself are true.”

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Twitter takes away from verbal socialization

Twitter has officially taken over.

I’m not really sure how or why but there is talk of Twitter, “twittering” or “tweets” everywhere. I have a Twitter account and I’m proud to say that it doesn’t consume my life…at least not yet.

Apparently because of this I’m behind the times. (And if YOU’re not on Twitter, then you’re seriously not with it.)

Its popularity increased earlier this year when all the celebs began to “tweet.” Even the old ones! I guess America was surprised to know that Barbara Walters could use a computer.

Twitter has become what all other social networking sites dream to be: phenomenally used worldwide and all over the news. Its verbs have quickly become more acceptable to use than ones like “Facebooking” or “MySpacing” and I wonder why. Social networking is the only way to go with friends, family and co-workers.

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Honda Fit vs. Toyota Prius

It seems like only yesterday when the “cool” car to drive was a BIG SUV. Well, those days are gone, and now everyone wants to conserve gas and save the planet. There’s no easier way to do this than by driving a cute little subcompact car, or a hybrid if you’re nasty.

I’ve been driving a 2008 Volkswagen Jetta and my lease is just about up. I decided to be proactive for once and start looking at some possible cars so I checked out the (seemingly) two most popular options: the Honda Fit and Toyota Prius.

They seemed pretty similar to me at first, but there are some distinct differences. I found my information on Edmunds, which is an incredible Web site that can answer any question that you have about any car.

This is what I’ve found:

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Fearing free speech: The American way

Years ago, I used to listen to a radio “Shock Jock,” as they were called, named Bubba the Love Sponge.  His show was probably the most entertaining way to spend the morning drive anywhere in Central Florida, and even in other states where his show was syndicated.  It was borderline crude and blessed with gratuitous amounts of controversial topics, often skirting the line best displayed by cable TV and HBO.  It was refreshing in its own way.  All the things that may or may not have been important were discussed, but they were talked about in a way that made sense and at least made you think a little about a topic, sometimes making a listener more interested in something thought to be obscenely boring at first.

Then some pitchfork wielding soccer mom brigade accidentally flipped on the radio and listened to the show for a minute, and to their horror, their teenage children enjoyed the show.  And of course, no good parent would ever dream of letting their child think for themselves or find interest in anything that was not written on the 30-year plan set forth at birth by the parents for him to go to med school, marry a nice Catholic girl and live in the house next door with a white picket fence.  

God forbid the kid show interest in anything that delved into the moral gray area between normal people and the zealots that follow faith with blinders.

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What’s love got to do with it? Apparently, not a whole lot

The following may or may not, as in my case, having been disillusioned with the concept a few relationships ago, come as huge shock to you: love isn’t the only key to a healthy, lasting marriage or relationship. It seems a team of Australian researchers from the Australian National University might have actually discovered the key ingredients to keeping those romance fires burning, or at least what outright extinguishes them.

As reported by Reuters, the research team found that age, previous relationships and whether or not a partner smokes are all factors that influence the length of a relationship.

Aptly named, “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” the study followed almost 2,500 couples, married or living together, from 2001 to 2007, and identified, analyzed and tracked the factors that surrounded those who remained together and those who divorced or separated.

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Sexual abuse in the college sphere

When we were younger, our parents would always tell us “Don’t speak to strangers.” Today, children learn about “Stranger Danger” in schools across the country. As children, we don’t realize the terrors of what can result if you get caught with a creep. Adults give special attention to ensuring that children are safe from the horrors of life. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but we do try.

Once one crosses over into being a teenager, there isn’t as much of a focus on reminding people to be careful. Assuming once we get to a certain age we “should know better than to put ourselves in harm’s way.” It seems that by the time you’re in high school, you should be able to discern right from wrong, let alone when you get to college.

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Politically correct is sugar coated disrespect

America was founded on the basis of tolerance for all.  We would welcome the thoughts and ideals of massive groups of people and blend them within our grand population.  Assimilation into the American culture was the way things went for years.  And as all things once built on grand ideas and a better way of life, people began to feel more entitled than others, either through their own successes, or the hardships they and theirs had faced during their ethnic history.

As time went on, the culture as a whole mingled without slavery and later segregation, a new breed of discrimination has risen.  This discrimination hides itself behind “fairness” and “tolerance,” but it is actually the greatest form of social oppression possible in a free country.

Political correctness is a disease that cripples creativity and free thought.  It represents the chains that hold our society back from evolution, all while keeping the population from completely melding together as a whole.  Racism, sexism and religious intolerance are all reinforced by the politically correct, while people believe it is an effective means at proving they aren’t.

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Phelps leads Americans down high road

At 24, Michael Phelps has lived the high life; both literally and figuratively.

Unfortunately for Phelps, for a while, the poor guy’s incredible Olympic achievements were outshined by the ominous photo… with the bong. The photo, published in January by the British newspaper News of the World, flushed Phelps’s “All-American good guy” image right down the drain. His reported $500,000 deal with Kellogg’s was also quickly dropped.

Sure he groveled and apologized to his fans for his “inappropriate” behavior. And sure, we forgave him. I mean, have you seen the guy swim?!

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