Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Alec Baldwin: Hello to More Celebrity Entitlement

posted by Linda Mintle

Alec Baldwin embodies the entitlement mentality we see so prominently displayed among celebrities and others these days. His latest incident of being escorted off an American Airline flight for refusing to turn off his cell phone when asked, is another example of celebrity bad behavior that gets a media pass.

His apology, posted on the Huffington Post, was less an apology and more a justification for his bad behavior.

The apology was titled, A Farewell to Common Sense, Style and Service on American Airlines. It should have been titled, A Hello to More Celebrity Entitlement.

His apology was not to the airlines—the very people who deserved it. Instead he justified his temper tantrum  (read what he did on ABC News) and explained why he didn’t deserve to be treated the way he was. Then he used his platform on Saturday Night Live to further make fun of American Airlines.

Here’s what didn’t sit well with me. He refused to turn off his cell phone when asked because other people were not following the rules either.

Are we in grade school here? In grade school, kids tried to excuse their behavior by pointing to the other kids who were acting out too.  “But Jimmy did it too.” That never worked for me. The teacher would only point to my behavior. And my parents would use the old saying, “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?” Apparently Alex would.

Second, he used his apology to bash the airlines for their poor service and “learned” that he cannot go around the rules if the “1950s gym teacher is on duty.” The message is, act out only when you think you can get away with it. Another great lesson to teach my children “Honey, Mr. Baldwin’s mistake was to disobey when someone was actually watching him. He should have been more stealth or waited until a flight attendant treated him more special.”

As a passenger on airplanes, I see people disobeying the rules all the time—that doesn’t make it right. And I feel for the attendants who have to deal with arrogant and angry people who feel they are above the rules. And yes, I have been treated poorly at times by flight attendants. But I didn’t get up, go to the bathroom, slam the door and refuse to comply and delay everyone on the plane. His response was childish and irresponsible. And my neighbor, a pilot, would tell you that those rules are made for the safety of ALL passengers, not as a way to control people or inconvenience them.

That is why the apology should have been about Alec’s rude behavior, not the poor service of airlines. Sorry, he needs to do more and take responsibility for being a bad boy!

Why Some Atheists Are Going to Church

posted by Linda Mintle

I ran across an interesting article on abc news about why some atheists are going to church.

The article referenced a study conducted by two sociologists, one at Rice University and the other at the University of Buffalo in the December issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

The researchers discovered that one in five scientists who describe himself or herself as atheist or agnostic go to church. The reason is what caught my eye. It is all about the children.

The 17% of atheist and agnostics who took their children to church wanted them exposed to religion. Most of the participants in the 17% proclaimed atheist/agnostics group were not raised in the church or had families who were deeply involved in religion.The parents felt that church exposure would help their children better understand ethics and morality and also reinforce their scientific identity. In other words, exploring religious experience and thought is at the heart of science, thus consistent with what these parents want to teach. The idea is to allow the children to decide for themselves if there is any merit to believing in God.

I found this an interesting perspective. First, one notes that the study included 275 scientists from “elite” research universities. Sixty one percent of those described themselves as atheist or agnostics. The other 39% did not. So it is possible to be a scientist and still believe in God. Thus, the scientific identity does not exclude a conclusion that religion is viable if you believe in science. In fact, some of us (I’m not at an “elite” university, only a medical school) actually believe science supports the existence of religion. We do not see science and religion as incompatible.

Second, I love that these scientists are exposing their children to church. If we believe that the Holy Spirit draws all men unto God, then the Holy Spirit will draw these kids. Whether they choose to serve God or not in the long run may have to do with family influence, other experiences, etc.

So I applaud these scientists for being true to their beliefs–expose the kids and see what happens. It’s gutsy and I know God can work with that!


From Parent Trap to Playboy: Lindsay Lohan Imploding

posted by Linda Mintle

Here we go again.

Lindsay Lohan, please go to therapy. You life is a mess and this latest move is not going to help you straighten things out. What is going on with this woman child? Is she too far gone that no one can speak sense to her? Maybe she doesn’t want to hear it. That is often true of people in active addiction.

Parent Trap was one of my family’s all time favorite movies. We still watch it and LiLo  is beyond adorable. I know that was years ago and only an acting role, but her move from child to adult star has been a disaster.

And now the big news is that she is featured in Jan/Feb’s issue of Playboy, including the cover, and apparently holds nothing back.  She will preview her pictorial on Ellen next week. I’m certain all of this will pay her legal bills and get her huge publicity. The circus has already begun as photos have “leaked out” on the Internet. Let the games begin…more tabloid of a wild child living the vida loca!

Lindsay’s strategy -when your life is a mess, pose nude. Darlin’, NO.

The path to healing does not include exploitation.  And don’t lecture me. I’ve heard the arguments. “She is deciding to do this so it is not exploitation, Since it is her choice, she is empowering herself, Women who choose to pose nude are taking control of their lives…” yada, yada, yada.

Reality check: Posing nude and having the population gawk at you, lust after you and think of you as a sex object is not empowering. This is the biggest lie ever. It is degrading. And someone who is not mentally well doesn’t make great decisions for her life.

I’m sad for this woman as her life is a train wreck and continues to run out of control. From her father’s prison scandals, her bulimia, possession of cocaine, jail time…all before the age of 21, it is too much to handle in the spotlight of celebrity life.

From  a therapy point of view, she has major impulse control, a turbulent family life, poor coping, drug addiction and more. This will not end well if she continues down this path. And that is my concern.

Please, please, get real help or you won’t be around for us to see your true beauty again.


Pray for Lindsay Lohan. She really needs a lifeline!

Violent Video Games Change the Brain

posted by Linda Mintle

I’ve been following the research on violent video game playing for decades. The news isn’t usually good and gamers become highly defensive whenever I post on this topic. So here we go again!

Consider this research as you choose your holiday presents. It confirms a finding we have known for years.

The study was presented at the annual Radiological Society of North America. It involved a small group of men, ages 18-29 years, who did NOT play violent video games. The researchers divided the group into two. They had one group play violent video games for 10 hours over the course of a week, and the other group did not play video games at all. Then both groups were tested with words of aggression while undergoing a functional MRI. The MRIs allowed researchers to actually see what changes occurred in the brain.

The finding: Playing violent video games desensitized the men to violence. This is a finding noted several times in other studies as well. The changes occurred in the area of the brain responsible for controlling emotions and aggressive behavior.

However, after a week of not playing the games, the brain changes returned to baseline levels. And the study did not prove whether it was the violence or playing the game that create brain changes.

With the number of violent video games that continue to be developed and marketed to our teens and young adults, we now have physical evidence that supports the idea that playing these games may make a person less sensitive to violence.


Is this something we want to continue to promote in our society?



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