Amusement Parks & Greeting Cards Are Emotional Vampires

When was the last time you were really afraid?

And by afraid I mean OOGA-BOOGA afraid, not just your run of the mill high anxiety, heart attacking fear of death, taxes, and regular terror afraid.

For many folks, I bet their answer would be the dread they recall experiencing at a recent horror movie or maybe a wild ride on a death defying amusement park attraction.

But whether its movies, rides or mountain climbing, anyone attempting to scare themselves to a greater degree than the skilled strangers operating said endeavors would have to work very hard indeed to manage their own emotions more efficiently than the curious dudes to whom they relegate their precious lives.

Fear On Demand

Perhaps we are witnessing the last vestiges of a trait that started dying out long ago and is now needed so little that we feel compelled to stand in line and pay dearly to have our fear wrenched from us in some of the most mind bending and creative manners possible.

Of course, fear isn’t the only emotion being conjured by the civil engineers of human agitation and society. Nope, sentiments from raucous pride to profound grief are being capitalized upon through sports, nationalism and religion and once those emotions are generated they are sucked out of every producer via conspicuous consumption as if the human spirit was endless in supply.

And just like fear has a home in culturally acceptable methods of release, human exultation is being constantly siphoned off in strategically placed community centers called Greeting Card Shops, where the gravest of mind robbing quietly occurs day in and day out.

Real Scary Only Works Once

Take a moment to consider these points as they illuminate the lack of control we experience with of our own minds and emotions:

  1. Scary rides become less scary the more they are ridden. Habituation describes how our emotions unconsciously respond to repetitive impingement.
  2. In the same manner, each greeting card verse you send which is authored by someone else slightly cripples your ability to compose the same sentiment in the future. Before long you have neither the will nor the ability to produce your own written greetings and the very talent which only slightly separates you from the animals silently slips away.


  • Exercising Creativity – Try sending out 20 purchased greeting cards to friends versus making up the same number of personalized cards and see if originating those messages doesn’t knock you unconscious. (or make you drunk 😎 ) Like a muscle being worked, your brain is better off for having flexed its creative ability.
  • Put Your Words In My Mouth – The more slobbering mass produced examples of sentiment you willingly receive from well wishers, the more credence you lend to the mockery of personalized expression of sentiment. The squeaking wheels of our lost ability to assemble words which reflect our truest feelings soon need a lot more than grease to get moving.
  • Adding Insult to Injury – Sadly, when we do hit the ditch, the very folks who care most about us will likely send more greeting cards, crippling us both more in the process.

Prostitutes Make Money Not Love

The emotions and minds of almost everyone in our culture is being manipulated without approval by the likes of movie producers, greeting card authors and carnival ride operators who profess to truly understand what is best for mankind.

I get the feeling that our mind master’s stultifying antics are affecting us much more than anyone recognizes and I fear that their repetitive brain numbing is having far reaching implications on our ability to experience and convey our individual emotions.

And even though everything looks calm in the excercise yard of society, I’m wondering if a few of us shouldn’t tunnel out anyway. Just in case…

Thank you, friend.

Barry out.

Barry Williams

Much of what I write will be quite understandable to insane folks.

The rest will be, uh, less understandable...

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  1. 2
    John McNally

    I’m with you on manufactured greeting cards, I’ve never liked them, artificial and impersonal, and I resent the assumption that I have to send one on certain occasions.

    On the other hand I like being frightened, in a safe environment. My friends regularly try and give each other heart-attacks, by hiding behind toilet doors and jumping out. It’s always a good laugh when you’ve had a few to drink. 🙂

    John McNally recently posted..The Customer is Always Right

    • 3
      Barry Williams

      Thanks for your comment, John. Playing with fear, you gotta like that… 😉

      I see an insidious plot directed by our handlers to suck every speck of gray matter out of each person’s head so they will never be able to think of anything better than supporting the winning team, idolizing the winning-est player and vacationing in the most winning-est locations.

      The absurdity of civilized society today is alarming and anyone pointing out said absurdity is certain to receive a sideways glance and closed ears.

      Jeepers I wish I could just go with the flow…

        • 5
          Barry Williams

          Yep, I took quite a few classes on subversion in school. Well, they weren’t really classes because there was no teacher and they were held outside, usually with beer. My religion is nonconformist and I’ll be danged if I’m gonna cut my lawn short like everyone else. Heck, I wouldn’t even be able to continue peeing in my front yard without the long grass so yes, I’ll take the shirt…

          Thanks so much for your comments, John. You are a good man, I can tell.

  2. 6

    Hi Barry,

    You have written an interesting post here and I plan on leaving a comment about it below. But first, my sister used to work as a custodian in a school and I told her about your blog when I visited during the 100 blog challenge. Your comment about you reminding a kid to throw his trash (I think you said a cup) in the trash can, made her laugh. Some people may not get that, but if you have lived it, you do!

    Anyway, I certainly can relate to your analogy about amusement parks and greeting cards. I am starting to see the hidden genius within you! I am also wondering how you managed to get Victoria’s Secret adds on your blog when I am only getting soy bars? I am thinking you are on to something here.

    Keep up the good work!


    • 7
      Barry Williams

      I’ve been a janitor all my life and they are the unsung heroes of every culture in the world.

      Now, don’t get me wrong, I was never the heroic type of char person, I was more like a shovel leaner or fill in superintendent who is uncertain what to do next and so whom did nothing.

      But I saw a lot of stuff get cleaned and that is where I received my comeuppance so thank you for noticing.

      You have an excellent blog Mark, thanks for visiting mine.

  3. 8

    Interesting stuff Barry
    The gaming market is huge, people spending their days cyber living, soap opera type programmes pumping out mulch…Kids texting each other as they walk next to the person they are texting

    This is crazy but I saw a programme on Sir Edmond Hilary’s son climbing Mt everest in the footsteps of his father, there is no doubt that climbing everest is a massive and dangerous undertaking… but even that had been turned into a kind of packaged holiday for the brave, He actually phoned his father from the peak… well almost there were seven or eight others trying to stand on it.

    I believe your last two paragraphs to be very true,I’m with you Barry
    Vince recently posted..Learn To Write Your Sales Letter Before Creating Your Product

    • 9
      Barry Williams

      Thank you, my friend.

      Of course, I am employing metaphor as well as describing actual human endeavors which grate at our ability to experience life to its fullest.

      A couple of hundred years ago we would have been hard pressed to scare ourselves silly without strapping onto a 45 gallon drum and heading over Niagra Falls or purposefully taunting a hostile Native tribe by running buck naked through their camp.

      Today we can experience the extremes of almost every emotion at will and that is what concerns me. Are we compromising our ability to experience reality by going to the edge too often and are we being taken there without conscious knowledge by handlers unknown?

      You know, just wondering…

  4. 10

    But do we actually experience…are we really going to the edge?. I would bet most peoples anxiety comes from financial worries…(and I have definatly been there) at least in our opulent hemisphere and I agree those worries are manipulated by handlers, and thus…
    There are more people truly living on the edge of survival now than 100 years ago…. maybe because there are just more people in the world?
    I really like your blog Barry I have just posted a link to a property forum I am a member of…. it will definatly get them thinking
    Vince recently posted..Learn To Write Your Sales Letter Before Creating Your Product

    • 11
      Barry Williams

      I agree with you – far too many folks are living on the edge and that concerns me.

      Are we so emotionally invested in stuff that matters little (like brands, television and fashion) that we have nothing left to provide to those so desperate for assistance?

      Thanks so much for posting a link for me Vince, I really appreciate your interest.

  5. 12
    Bill Murney

    Hi Barry

    I refuse to buy any kind of greeting card, they are a total rip off.
    Sorry – guilty, I did buy my wife one for our 40 wedding anniversary. I may buy her one for the 50th, if I’m still alive and kicking but it stops there!

    Scary? I have always liked to live on the edge – wreck diving, sailing, risky mountain scrambling. Now, scary is the effects of too much alcohol and the feeling the next day.

    Keep on keeping us amused.



    • 13
      Barry Williams

      Hey Mr. Murney,

      Bully for you on the greeting card front! Damn those sappy card writers for snagging you on your anniversary, though. Perhaps over the next couple of years you could think up a phrase or two which you could provide the missus on her fiftieth.

      You know, something like:

      Roses are Red, Violets are Blue.
      I’m surprised we’re still married and I bet you are, too.

      I am certain that your little poem would provide the most talked about anniversary ever and on your sixtieth celebration you could tell her about it being a big joke and all.

      Anyway, if I had a wife, that’s what I would do…

      Thanks for the comment pal.

  6. 14
    Bill Murney

    Hi Barry

    That’s a brilliant suggestion and oh so true. I am going to steal that and set up my own online greeting card company before you copyright it.

    I think I will call it ‘iCards & hers’. I could be bigger than Bill Gates in a couple of years and he’s six foot two.

    See you soon


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