July 25, 2008

And Phil Gramm got grief? How come?

Ken Shepherd nails it at Newsbusters. "The media has done little to prove Gramm wrong," he writes, and this MSNBC.com segment proves it without a doubt. In "Salvaging a Miserable Summer," the Democrat Party cheerleader site solicits reader tales of summer "woe."

For instance, Nancy Carol Marquand says "Given the circumstances of our economy, I think this is one summer we will always remember." A summer to "always remember??" Why -- just 'cause gas prices are higher than last summer? Man, either I'm weird or I'm very old school. For instance, I like to live by a thing called "planning." One adjusts to circumstances. It doesn't make me "miserable" as MSNBC refers to it; at worst you ... "settle" for what is best for you. Does this make it any less enjoyable? Perhaps. But "miserable??" You're still vacationing with your family -- isn't that what it's all about after all, not where you go?

Take Apple Plotnick (what a name, eh?). She had to "settle" for a cruise this year:

In years past, as a do-it-yourself traveler, I visited friends in Europe for summer vacations, staying in hostels and traveling by foot, train, and occasionally, car. I've also flown down to Florida for two-week vacations to visit family.

Putting together my own vacation is simply too expensive, with the dollar exchange being so low right now, as well as the rising costs of gas. Driving used to be a low-cost way of experiencing a new city, but it's become a financial drain.

Because of high costs of gas and a completely unreliable airline industry, I have decided to take a cruise that leaves from my state of Virginia so that I can rely solely on myself for transportation to and from my departure port. The cruise will also include all the hotel, gas and food costs, as well as combining entertainment with my interests in guided travel.

Now, I plan on exploring the ship, shore excursions, tours, and I will use my own feet as we dock at interesting ports of call.

"Settling" for ... a cruise? Instead of going to Europe and staying in ... hostels? Yeah, that sure sounds "miserable!!" Puh-lease!

Then there's Katie Poti who seems quite contradictory in her assessment of this "miserable" summer:

This summer is much different for us because we just bought our first home in March and have a baby due in October. I would say that even if gas prices weren't as high as they are we would still be spending our money elsewhere.

Uhh, 'ya think??

This summer has changed our feelings about vacations to feelings of frustration. It used to be easier to just pick up and go somewhere, but now with the expense of gasoline -- and everything else for that matter -- trips require more financial planning.

Bingo!

We feel like we work very hard for the money we make and the time off we get, and a vacation shouldn't feel like punishment or something we should feel guilty about doing. Instead we feel more stressed out about taking a vacation now than we would if we just took our time off and stayed home.

Maybe that's because you just purchased a home and have a baby on the way? Maybe?? Those two "little" tidbits are naturally stressful events. Sheesh -- when my wife and I found out we had a daughter on the way, get this -- we planned ahead. We agreed that we wanted our daughter to have a stay-at-home mom for her pre-school attendance years, so this meant that I had to pick up a part-time job to help make up what we lost with my wife's salary. And since we were in the market for our first house shortly after our daughter was born, this additionally meant that luxuries -- yes luxuries -- like a travel vacation were out of the question for a number of years. That's just how we placed our priorities. Call us silly.

I'm quite sure there are many folks out there who are facing REAL difficulties -- whose lives are REALLY miserable. And I seriously doubt these folks are weeping over anecdotes like the above ... and this, where a family "had" to cut a trip to the Florida Keys by two days ... and "settle" for more time in South Beach instead.

"Miserable" indeed.

Posted by Hube at July 25, 2008 09:45 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Hube - good post - can you figure out a way to add some violin music to Apple's whining?

Posted by: AJ Lynch at July 25, 2008 10:00 AM

I'll see what I can find, AJ! In the meantime, I'll add my violin graphic! :-)

Posted by: Hube at July 25, 2008 10:05 AM

It is a shame the things I see in my line of work. Most people think they are doing the right thing becuase they read an ad or see something on tv. Instead of utilizing the advice the plan ahead, they usually walk in the office when it is too late and there is nothing I can do to help. Like you said, Plan!

And the cruise person - what a fool.

Posted by: arthur at July 25, 2008 10:20 AM

The reporter asked for 'changes' to what we are normally doing for vacations. Way to miss the whole point of the article, fella. Try reading it all next time. Education is power.

Posted by: Apple Plotnick at January 1, 2009 05:55 PM

I missed nothing. If you don't like how I wrote the post, take up your anger with how MSNBC set up the whole segment. Did you miss their highlighted word "miserable?" And you talk to ME about "reading" and "education??"

Posted by: Hube at January 1, 2009 06:03 PM