Talking Heads

I get so tired of seeing the banner across the bottom of my TV screen at night declaring some big breaking news event. Then the camera goes to some rotund political pundit, who launches into some empty rhetoric about what it all means and what’s likely to happen next.

The dictionary defines a pundit as “an expert in a particular subject or field who is frequently called on to give opinions about it to the public.” But most of those so-called experts are just talking heads who make their living by expressing their “informed opinions” to reporters. They are easy to book and are willing to comment quickly and proffer an opinion. But what I’ve found, when it comes to breaking news, these pundits often don’t have a clue.

Written for these daily prompts: My Vivid Blog (night), Word of the Day Challenge (breaking), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (rotund), E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (launch), Ragtag Daily Prompt (rhetoric), and The Daily Spur (dictionary).

TMP — What Did You Say?

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. My peeve today is about my hearing.

Actually, there is some good news mixed in with the bad news. The good news is that more than two years after losing my sense of taste as an unintended consequence of ear surgery, it seems to be starting to return. I am actually beginning to taste food again. Hooray!!

The bad news, and what my peeve is about, is my hearing. I lost the hearing in my left ear when a growth was removed from my middle ear at that surgery that caused me to lose my sense of taste. The growth in my middle ear had eaten the tiny bones that connect the ear drum to the inner ear, which is the mechanism that converts sound waves into actual sounds. So I’ve been deaf in my left ear for more than two years.

I bought a set of noise cancelling, Bluetooth headphones to use while my wife and I are watching TV together because, in order for me to hear the sound, the TV speaker volume was too loud for her. These headphones enabled me to hear the TV without blowing my wife out of the room and worked great over the past two years. But a few weeks ago, the sound coming from the right earpiece began to sound muffled to the point where the dialogue was so muddy-sounding that I couldn’t make out what was being said.

I thought the issue was with my headphones, so I contacted the manufacturer and they promptly sent me replacement headphones. And that was when my worst fear was realized. It wasn’t the headphones, it was my hearing. Fuck! It seems I’m losing the hearing in my right ear. Both spoken word and music sound muffled with or without headphones.

I decided to try other brands of headphones. I ordered a pair from Amazon, but had to return them because they were on-ear, and not over-the ear, and didn’t have noise cancelling capability, so when I watched TV, it felt like I was in an echo chamber, hearing the sound coming through my headphones, but a millisecond later, hearing the sound — at a lower volume — coming from the TV speakers. Ugh.

Then I decided to spend more money and I bought a pair of relatively expensive Beats headphones. Here’s my comment that I posted on Amazon:

These headphones are beautiful, comfortable, well-built, and I really wanted to love them. They paired perfectly with my iPhone, but when I tried to pair them with my Samsung 65” HDTV, the Samsung TV couldn’t find them. I tried multiple times and the Beats headphones didn’t show up on the list of Bluetooth devices on the TV. I spent an entire afternoon on the phone with Beats (Apple) support and with Samsung support, but neither support team was able to figure out how to pair the headphones to the TV. So, regrettably, I’m returning them.

I figured the third time might be a charm, so I ordered another brand of headphones, the Soundcore Q30 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling headphones. Good news is that they easily paired with my TV. Better news is that it comes with an an iPhone app that has an equalizer functionality built in. This allows me to lower the base sounds and raise the treble sounds, making it so I can actually hear clear, crisp dialogue that is un-muffled out of my right ear. Yay!

But the trouble is that when I take off the headphones, I still can’t hear at all from my left ear and the hearing from my right ear is muddy, to the point that I’m constantly saying “What did you say?” or “Say again” to my wife. And she’s getting very annoyed about that. I may have to admit that it’s time to get some hearing aids.

Anyway, this is my Monday peeve. Sorry this post is so long.

Share Your World — 02/28/2022

On this final day of February, Melanie offers up another edition of Share Your World. Let’s see what she wants us to share today.

Is any one person’s life worth more than another’s? Why or why not?

In the macro sense, no. No one person’s life is worth more than anyone else’s. But in the micro (i.e., personal) sense, the lives of those we love are priceless.

Can a good person do evil things and remain a good person? Under what circumstances?

I think it depends upon how you define a “good person” and what you consider “evil things” to be. Sometimes, under the right circumstances, a good person can get caught up in some very bad things, perhaps with the best of intentions. But the outcome turns out to be bad. Or maybe desperation might force someone to do something bad. That said, for the most part, truly good people don’t do truly evil things.

Is somebody morally culpable if they take a morally wrong action at the orders of a superior? What if their life is at stake?

This is a tough one. If the cost of doing something morally wrong was my own life, I don’t think I’d do it. Although if the lives at stake were members of my family, I probably would.

People had widely mixed opinions about illegal bananas, so let’s take that a step further this week: What would be the worst thing for a government to make illegal?

Sex between consenting adults.


Given global events right now, do you have words of comfort or an uplifting thought that you’d like to share with the world?

Blogging Insights — Anybody Can Publish

For her weekly Blogging Insights prompts, Dr. Tanya provides us with a quote about blogging or writing and asks us to express our opinion about said quote.

This week’s quote is from Dick Costolo, who my Google search tells me is an American businessman who was a former CEO of Twitter. Here’s what Dick Costolo had to say:

“The Internet destroyed most of the barriers to publication. The cost of being a publisher dropped to almost zero with two interesting immediate results: anybody can publish, and more importantly, you can publish whatever you want.”

The internet destroyed a lot of things, and in some cases that’s unfortunate. But as to its impact on the publishing industry, I have to say that I, personally, have never tried to publish a book, either through a traditional book publishing company or via the self-publishing path. That said, I have no quarrel with what Mr. Costolo said about the internet and publishing. Although, from what I’ve read from other bloggers who have self-published, yes, anybody can do it, but it’s not exactly a walk in the park.

As to blogging, after writing a post, proofreading it, and editing it multiple times, I always get a rush when I tap “Publish” on the upper right corner of my iPhone screen.

So if I can publish what I have written to my blog, then anybody can. And I suppose we can all thank the internet for that.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #158

Welcome to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week I will be posting a photo I grab off the internet and challenging bloggers to write a flash fiction piece or a poem inspired by the photo. There are no style or word limits.

The photograph below is from Josh Rose @

For the visually challenged writer, the photo is taken from the point of view of a women who is taking a photo of her friend sitting across from her at an outdoor restaurant.

If this week’s image inspires you and you wish to participate, please write your post, use the tag #FFFC, and link back to this post. I hope it will generate some great posts.

Please create a pingback to this post or manually add your link in the comments.