Wednesday, July 18, 2007


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I couldn't think of anything to write about today, so I resorted to what is probably an old trick. I closed my eyes, opened the dictionary to a random page, put my finger down on the page, and opened my eyes. Whatever word was beneath my fingertip would be today's topic. The word turned out to be "influence."

That's an easy enough word to work with. Just about every aspect of our lives is affected by some outside influence these days. We are bombarded with advertising everywhere we go, all geared to influence us to buy a particular product or use some service in favor of all others. We are deluged with print ads, TV ads, radio ads, billboards and signs everywhere, ads at the movies, ads on our computers, ads in our bills, even ads while we're stuck on hold.

Many of the ads we're over-saturated with show us sexy, smartly dressed (or not -- because sex does sell) people, obviously successful, apparently having the time of their lives. The message seems to be that if we subscribe to the correct services and buy enough products to make us look that way and dress that way and behave accordingly, we, too, can be successful and have lots of fun.

Our thinking is influenced by our teachers and mentors, our families and peers, our politicians and leaders and, overwhelmingly, the media. Free and independent thinking is all but discouraged any more. We're led to believe that we'll be much happier and productive citizens if we think along with the pack, follow the accepted dogma, and keep it politically correct.

So, okay, I think that pretty well covers "influence." What about you? Are you susceptible to outside influences or do you tend to ignore them?

The TWISTED LINGUISTICS posse rounded up these ruffians today:

resdiences - A stoned and resonating audience.

put the kabash - One Egyptian bad-mouthing another's spirit.

Rounded up by Roxan:

i do not read french well, so the ssyntextual simularities i can not really precieve...

i defy you to go to the libary

acctually them most helpful

she planed the whole thing out

bring out the cool-aid

Who'd like to take on the death-defying feat of not only defining these but using each one in a sentence?

You Would Choose Love

Money may buy a little happiness, but not the happiness of true love.
You rather have a true soulmate than a private jet.
And while many people may claim they would choose love too...
You're one of the few who would really do it.


Scary Monster said...

Anyone telling you that they ain't be influenced by external stimulii would be an out right liar or a damned fool. Me be strongly influenced every morning by two opposing fillips, the mewling of me cat wanting to escape the confines of me abode and the other be the face of Mrs.Monster as she greets me in the morning. One pushes me towards a feeling of love and tenderness, the other frustration and disgust. Which be which? Enquiring minds want to know.


Serena Joy said...

I would not dare try to guess which is which, Scary. LOL.

You are correct. I think you'd have to live in a cave or on another planet to escape external stimulii these days.

Kanrei said...

The opposite reaction is still influence so yes I am influenced by society. I always tend to drift towards the unpopular and less-known things until they become popular and well known. At that point I tend to lose interest in it so I am certainly influenced by others, just not the way they intend.

Anonymous said...

First I'd like to say I've been influenced by this post to stand up and be proud of my individuality.
When the other cats want to go out and hunt birds and mice I stay home and write my blog.
I was the first cat on my block to stand up and freely admit to using catnip, something I usually do while listening to Josie and the pussycats.

I never had a pet rock.
I never had a baby on board sign
I never cut my sideburns off so high my hair looked like Moe.
I never had a white jumpsuit or wore Polyester clothes.

Serena, this was the strangest set of questions I've ever seen in a blog quiz.
Would you rather be with someone who is flirtatious with everyone or someone who's unemployed?
I answered unemployed and I still came up with marry for money.

Variant E said...

Reading comments to your posts is an influence in and of itself.

Serena Joy said...

Then you're in good shape, Kan. Resistance is the absolute perfect response.

Um, Josie & the Pussycats, TC? I think I'm just a little worried about you.:) Thank GOD you resisted the polyester sideburns and stuff. I thought that was a mondo bizarro question, too. I mean, come on, forced to choose between an unemployed philanderer and a serial philanderer? LOL.

LOL, VE. The comments are the best part, always way more entertaining than the post itself. Are you over your African airplane food poisoning and feeling better?

Charles said...

I especially hate the ads with people telling, actually ORDERING you to do something, especially the ones for unaccredited college degrees that aren't worth anything.

I'm a firm believer in independent thought. If you can't think for yourself, why bother taking up oxygen?

she planed the whole thing out- as she made her canoe to escape the criticism of her wood work.

Serena Joy said...

I don't like being ordered around, either, Charles. Some of those ads DO sound a lot like orders, and they definitely don't work on me.

I like your "planed" definition.:)

Anonymous said...

serena..go eat some ice
(how about that for an order?)

Charles said...

Call 1 800 386-2968 (1 t00 dumbyou), now.

Liz said...

I like the quotes on your side-bar, especially the, 'But where are you going to get that many werewolves?' That really makes me laugh. I don't know why ...

tfg said...

On the rare occasions that I watch TV, I'll watch all the channels to avoid the commercials.

Pink said...

I'm an outright liar and a damned fool. I'm not at all bothered by external influences. I have enough internal ones.

All those voices won't shut up long enough for me to get a good nights rest


Roxan said...

I was influenced by the quiz to realize how much more I would love a man with money. LOL

Variant E said...

Yes, thank goodness I'm passed that food poisoning incident. Normally I adapt very well to jet lag but not that time. Well, I get to do it all over again Sunday night as I head to Aruba and then Venezuala.

G-Man said...

I tend not to be influenced by outside forces. I'd like to think that I am some romantic lone wolf type.
maybe it's the biker personna showing a bit..
I NEVER read a review of a movie before I go see it, Those effete snobs usually only love europeon movies that would only be a good cure for insomnia...
Whoa..sorry about bthat one!! xoxoxbgxoxoxoxbgxoxo

Serena Joy said...

I wouldn't actually mind following that order, TC.:)

Charles, can I dial that number on a regular telephone? Who should I ask for?:)

Those quotes crack me up, too, Liz. It's actually time to get some new ones.

That's good strategizing, T.:)

Pinks, if you'll put a little caulk in your ears and then duct tape the maxi pads over them, I find that that keeps the Voices out. When you're all taped up, drink some vodka. You'll sleep.:-)

Roxan! I am shocked. You're just saying that because that Irish guy kind of bit the dust.:)

Glad you're feeling better, VE. Hope the next leg goes much better.:)

G. Romantic lone wolf. Hmmm. There's an image to ponder.

I read the reviews and then go see what the critics hate. That usually works out real well.

G-Man said...

We should become movie reviewers!!!
G-Man and Serena..
(Parenthetically Reviewing)
Sorta has a ring to it eh?

"And what did you think of SPIDERMAN3 G-Man"?
"It sucked"
"YEP, too much romance, and not enough of Kirstin Dunst in a tight fitting dress while standing outside in a rainstorm"!.."And what did you think of it Serena"?
"Toby Mcguire looked super awesome in his cute Spidey-Suit".
"All righty then...DVD"

Serena...? We could do this!!!

Charles said...

You can call it. Its an 800 number, so it should be toll free. I don't know who you should speak with, but whoever they are you should tell them what it spells. Be sure you ask who the company is so you can share it with the rest of us.

Serena Joy said...

Works for me, G. Let's do it (parenthetically speaking). I'd have to insist on seeing better than Toby Mcguire in his Underroos, though.:-)

God only knows what that number goes to, Charles. Monkey wrestling? Amazon porn queens? PublishAmerica?:)

snowelf said...

Serena--I saw actual tape called Duck! Tape today!!

I just HAD to report in!



Serena Joy said...

Oh, cool, Snow! Where'd you see it? I want some.:)

Corn Dog said...

LOL Pink!

I'm driving under the influence of your blog right now. Say "right" the Southern way with the long "i" sound. That is the way I always here it in my mind.

Serena Joy said...

LOL, CD. I was just talking yesterday to somebody about those long i's. I'd almost forgotten how to say, "Riiiiiiiight. Honey, go fetch me some iiiiiiiiice." :-)

Yoda said...

There's influence all around us, 'coz we are social creatures. A human by himself/herself is nothing more than a monkey who can walk upright.

I control the influence on me by balancing out everything ... for example, don't just get your news from websites in one country ... I read news from all over the world. Sometimes you'll be amazed at the different versions of the same story say in China or in India!

puerileuwaite said...

I have reason to believe you may have written this under the influence. I'll need to take you in the back of my cruiser for further questioning.

Serena Joy said...

Hi, Yoda. You're right, we are social creatures, hence quite susceptible to various influences. And boy, do the versions of stories ever change with each incarnation. Remember the 'Telephone' game?

Officer Puggy, am I going to get grilled? Will there be handcuffs?:)