My Big Old Rant

Lately people have been sending me what I would call “rants.” These are often writings found on social media. They are usually written by angry folks who are upset about random hot-button topics, which I won’t mention here because I don’t want anyone throwing a brick through my window.

The writers of internet rants always end things by stating something corny like: “Just my two cents.” But when you consider that they’ve just written at least six pages of text, it comes to more like $12.50.

The thing is, people read these things. Then, they get mad enough to sit down and write their own social-media rants. Once these rants have traveled to the outer reaches of cyber universe, my aunt Eulah sends them to me.

I don’t know why I read these things, but I do. Ever since the coronavirus epidemic started, I have been sucked into well-written tirades penned by people who probably mean well, but who are too mad to do well.

I just finished reading one rant that was about surgical masks. The author was furious about the issue. The thing must have been one hundred paragraphs long. And the scary thing is: I actually took the time to read it.

So I’ve decided to write one, too.

Hey, why not? Everyone deserves to express their own disgust. Besides, complaining has become fashionable. Some people are so incredibly good at griping that they have become famous for it.

So the first thing I would like to complain about is children.

That’s right. I’m not holding back. It’s every man for himself. I’m complaining that childhood doesn’t last long enough. And this really frosts my shorts.

Do you remember being a kid? It was great. The world was ten times bigger, flowers were more fragrant, and time seemed to last infinitely longer.

Here’s a fact: A single year in Kid World actually lasts for about two decades. This is especially true when your mother drags you through JCPenney looking at formal outfits for her cousin’s wedding.

So it’s not fair that kids experience the greatest period of their lives—ice-cream trucks, swingsets, birthday cake, tag, roller-skating, Cheez-Its—and then one day they’re forced to make monthly payments on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

Another thing that’s been chapping my hide is music. Have you ever stopped to think how much good music is out there that we never hear? Well, there is a lot.

There is so much music in the world that if you listened to all the collected melodies non-stop until age 409, you wouldn’t even scratch the surface. Besides, by that ripe age you’d still only be halfway through Don McLean’s “American Pie.”

A few weeks ago, someone gave me an album containing the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach. I listened for two hours before realizing that this album goes on for 12 days.

There are 1,128 Bach works preserved today. And that’s just from one cherished composer. Imagine how many thousands of other baroque melodies exist. And that’s not even taking into account the music from other musical periods like the Renaissance, Classical, Romantic, Post-War, Modern, jazz, and George Strait.

I would also like to complain about a particular brand of tomatoes my wife buys in the grocery store.

Now, normally I would tell you that I hate store-brand tomatoes. Because I do. For most of my life, the only tomatoes you could get from a grocery store were pinkish atrocities that tasted like wadded up Kleenex. Until now.

My wife found some tomatoes in the supermarket that actually taste semi-homegrown. They are sweet, plump, and filled with juice.

I don’t know what these babies are called, but they have changed my world. And I’m complaining because I never knew they existed.

I also want to take a moment to cuss the weather. Especially the weather we’ve been having lately. How many beautiful blue skies can one guy take? It’s ridiculous.

Look, I love sunshine as much as the next John Doe. But do you know how difficult it is to compose a well-formed rant on social media when you’re sitting outside, listening to Bach preludes, eating a tomato, and looking at an incredible sky?

Microwaves. How come they cook food so fast and evenly? How come they’re so dadgum wonderful? I’m ticked, and I want answers.

A long time ago, our microwaves were the size of commercial generators. They were unsafe, made loud noises, and could cook things from across the room. Today we have supercomputers with buttons that say: “reheat coffee.”

Wildflowers. We have way too many of them. There are acres of flowers growing near my house and it’s getting out of hand.

I’m complaining about it because when I go for walks in the evenings, I get so overcome by the majesty of it all that I have to stop and think to myself: “Does it get any prettier than this?”

No. It doesn’t. And if I’m being perfectly honest, this world is full of colorful things that I seldom notice. Big things, musical things, little things, and flowery things that are worth every ounce of my attention.

This morning, for example, I sat on a little concrete bridge overlooking a marsh near my home. The sun beat upon my head. I tossed rocks into the water. I stared at a mile’s worth of lily pads, white blossoms, and swollen cypresses. And I wondered to myself: How on God’s green earth could anyone write one hundred paragraphs about something they hate?

When there is so much here to love.

Just my two cents.

92 comments

  1. Lita - July 10, 2020 7:15 am

    Thank you, Sean. Love to you and yours from me and mine. Stay safe and well.

    Reply
  2. Deborah Blount - July 10, 2020 7:16 am

    It’s unfortunate that more people can’t see things through your eyes. Just reading the articles on facebook often brings me to tears. I personally believe if each person in this world would choose one different thing of beauty to concentrate on for 30 minutes each day, the complaints and hate would end. Just saying…

    Reply
  3. Christina - July 10, 2020 7:25 am

    Your two cents is what makes this crazy time so much more bearable and makes us feel connected as one family

    Reply
  4. Wendy Farrand - July 10, 2020 8:23 am

    Loved this!

    Reply
  5. Richard - July 10, 2020 10:01 am

    WELL DONE! and AMEN!

    Reply
  6. Alan Clearman - July 10, 2020 10:25 am

    AMEN!

    Reply
  7. Leigh R Amiot - July 10, 2020 10:48 am

    Bravo!
    Complaining kept some of God’s chosen people out of the Promised Land.
    That’ll rearrange one’s thinking on complaining!

    Reply
  8. JW - July 10, 2020 10:59 am

    Wish I could give your two cents to everyone. The world would be a lot wealthier and happier!

    Reply
  9. Diana Green - July 10, 2020 11:18 am

    Thank you for the dose of sanity.

    Reply
  10. Yvonne C - July 10, 2020 11:48 am

    And your two cents are worth at least a million and more!

    Reply
  11. Penn Wells - July 10, 2020 11:49 am

    So, my break from social media takes place about the same time every morning, when I get up here in Norfolk, pour myself a cup of coffee, look out over the Elizabeth River, and take advantage of free psychological counseling on, ahem, social media. It’s a daily column/blog known as “Sean of the South.” I’m serious by the way, and I bless you more than you know.
    But here’s the thing. For too long, I was asleep at the wheel. That’s the nice way of putting it. More to the point I was lazy, both intellectually and physically: this democracy thing? Not my job. Oh, I voted, but on a Good American scale of 1-5, I rated about a 2.0. Then I woke up one morning and discovered our country was just a Little Bit Different than I hoped it would be. So I figured it was time to get counted. So, yes, I do speak out (on social media). And then I try to get off the sofa and ‘get out and go do’ to try to get back in the game… just as soon as I finish my coffee. And read Sean of the South.
    Bless you.
    (my two cents worth)

    Reply
  12. Irene - July 10, 2020 11:51 am

    I just love your rant today. I look forward to to your email every morning. My greatest strength is hope and it just might be yours too. Thank you!

    Reply
  13. Melanie - July 10, 2020 12:15 pm

    ❤️❤️❤️👍🏻👏🏻 Thank you Sean. 🥰

    Reply
  14. Ala Red Clay Girl - July 10, 2020 12:15 pm

    Keep on ranting; loved it!

    Reply
  15. Richda McNutt - July 10, 2020 12:21 pm

    Your two cents is worth way more than that amount – keep ranting.

    Reply
  16. Joyce Anders - July 10, 2020 12:33 pm

    I am ranting with you, Sean. I woke up to a much-needed rain, which means I don’t have to go out in the heat to water my flowers. Oh, darn!joy

    Reply
  17. Jo Ann - July 10, 2020 12:39 pm

    Thanks you, again, Sean. Among beautiful things-a couple days ago, we had our first-of-the-year homegrown tomato sandwich. Heaven!!!

    Reply
  18. Donna - July 10, 2020 12:44 pm

    Rant away anytime! I love reading all of your writings.

    Reply
  19. Jan - July 10, 2020 12:47 pm

    Love your rant! Following your pattern, there is so much to rant about and so little time – just look at all that beauty out there – God’s beauty is perfection!

    Reply
  20. Molly - July 10, 2020 12:50 pm

    Aaaaah. Relief. Thank you.

    Reply
  21. Rhonda Howell - July 10, 2020 12:53 pm

    Gladly pay you $12.50!

    Reply
  22. Nan Williams - July 10, 2020 12:58 pm

    Beautiful. Thank you. My feelings exactly.

    Reply
  23. Berryman Mary M - July 10, 2020 12:59 pm

    You are so right, Sean! There are so many beautiful things out there in the world, if we would just take the time to actually look at them, appreciate them and be grateful for a small slice of wonderful. I promise that if you begin the day with gratitude, it will be a better day for you and everyone around you. Like the old hymn, “Count your blessings, one by one”.

    Reply
  24. Michelle Emerling - July 10, 2020 1:01 pm

    Beautiful! Thanks

    Reply
  25. Helen De Prima - July 10, 2020 1:03 pm

    I count on you to start my morning right. (BTW, loving Stars of Alabama.)

    Reply
  26. Pat Morgan - July 10, 2020 1:06 pm

    Dear Sean, you are a genius! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Reply
  27. Amy - July 10, 2020 1:13 pm

    I LOVE your rant! I wish more people would take the time to look at all the beauty around them…. you made my day. Thank you Sean!

    Reply
  28. Bkr - July 10, 2020 1:13 pm

    This made me smile and cry a little. Loved and really appreciate you!! Thank you

    Reply
  29. Amy - July 10, 2020 1:15 pm

    I LOVE your rant! I wish more people would take the time to see the beauty surrounding them because it is there if they will only stop and look. Thank you Sean.

    Reply
  30. Phil S. - July 10, 2020 1:20 pm

    And the whole congregation said, “AMEN!!”

    Reply
  31. Ann - July 10, 2020 1:25 pm

    Oh boy….do we ever need this one today!!
    You bring it all into perspective…and as far as FB rants, I just want to say get a life and read Sean!
    Thank you soooooo much…this one is so wonderful…it brought happy hopeful tears.
    God bless you Sean ( and Jamie)

    Reply
  32. Jenny Liston - July 10, 2020 1:43 pm

    Utter perfection!! Thank you for this… just what I needed today!

    Reply
  33. Pam - July 10, 2020 1:45 pm

    Love your rant! We have a crazy world right now & even crazier people, life is scary but your daily comments,, stories, rants & love for us makes life feel a little normal & full of hope for better days ahead.
    God Bless & thank you!

    Reply
  34. Libbie - July 10, 2020 1:53 pm

    Thanks for the rant, Sean! Always good to read one that has an attitude of gratitude. We need more of that in this world today!

    Reply
  35. Cathy - July 10, 2020 1:57 pm

    Thank you Sean! Needed to hear that! May the Lord richly bless you and yours!

    Reply
  36. Amy - July 10, 2020 2:05 pm

    Thank you so much for positive, life affirming articles. I live in a world where folks are scared and anxiety is at an all time high (for my generation). Keep it up. I need to hear it!

    Reply
  37. Meg Widmer - July 10, 2020 2:08 pm

    I could have written this. ….are you telepathic? Thanks for starting my day (be it late), Read you all the time.

    Reply
  38. Retired Ol' Geezer - July 10, 2020 2:13 pm

    As Lawrence Welk used to say, “Wonderful, Wonderful!”

    Reply
  39. Becca, Columbiana, AL - July 10, 2020 2:28 pm

    AMEN! We need to ‘Hush the noise and end the strife, and hear the Angels sing!’ Once we see the beauty around us it is easier to see the beauty in others and count our blessings.

    Reply
  40. Karen Irby - July 10, 2020 3:00 pm

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, SEAN! I’m so grateful to finally hear a “rant” that makes me HAPPY! God bless you and yours!

    Reply
  41. Linda Broyles - July 10, 2020 3:00 pm

    Loved this so much!

    Reply
  42. Steve Winfield [Lifer] - July 10, 2020 3:08 pm

    Perfect! Exactly why we love you so much.

    Reply
  43. Jonathan Machen - July 10, 2020 3:12 pm

    Good one brother!

    Reply
  44. Judy M OBar - July 10, 2020 3:28 pm

    Wonderful article! I have often wondered how people harbor so much hate. Maybe it’s because they don’t take time to notice all the beauty around them. I was born and grew up in the country in Alabama, went to Vietnam in the late 60s, then to Virginia, and spent the next 40+ years living and traveling in several countries and states. The beauty is there, wherever you are. You just have to take the time to enjoy it. If more people would just stop and look, I think we would all be happier and better off.
    Thank you for writing this article! I hope millions read it and heed it!

    Reply
  45. John S. Riley - July 10, 2020 3:37 pm

    Thank you so much, Sean. This is so good I wish everyone in the world could read it! You are great! Every blessing! John Riley

    Reply
  46. MAM - July 10, 2020 4:08 pm

    Now that’s the kind of rant I can appreciate! My suggestion is if you don’t like getting sucked into Facebook, don’t even turn it on. My rant today would be that Facebook ever came into being. So I just do NOT look at it. Because what you see is mostly ranting and raving and mostly incorrect and not factual!

    Reply
  47. Bev McEldowney - July 10, 2020 4:11 pm

    I LOVE your two cents! Every. Single. Day!

    Reply
  48. Cathi Russell - July 10, 2020 4:12 pm

    Well said! Your two cents makes me smile every single day!

    Reply
  49. Sandi - July 10, 2020 4:22 pm

    LOL, now, this is my kind of rant!!!! You go, man! Thanks for the laugh

    Reply
  50. Lovely Laura - July 10, 2020 4:41 pm

    I’ve ranted to 1,000 ppl about your article. Well, at least 1!! Keep up the great work Sean. And thank you for the smiles.

    Reply
  51. Rhonda Porter - July 10, 2020 5:01 pm

    Dear Sean, Thanks for making me smile today! I’ve quit watching any news or getting on social media because of all the rants. I think I’ll stick with yours. Thanks for reminding me of all the things to get really ticked about. Although with quarantine I’m having one of those “kid” summers again so I can check that one off. Hugs and smiles!

    Reply
  52. Linda Moon - July 10, 2020 5:02 pm

    When one is too mad or mean to mean well, they can’t do well. Well said, Writer. Someone I knew from childhood “found” me recently. Our social-media communication will be full of memories and pictures of skies and colorful flowers from the island where she now lives…..no rants needed or allowed. We were taught by Miss McInnis, and she allowed no ranting. You are right — those four years of my childhood in that wonderful classroom flew by fast. Your two cents is worth a Million Bucks! Every Day! Love, Me.

    Reply
  53. Chris dallara - July 10, 2020 5:05 pm

    Now That’s what I’m talking about.excellent good job and a part on the back for you

    Reply
  54. Connie Ryland - July 10, 2020 5:33 pm

    Wonderful. Thank you for the fresh perspective and for reminding us all that there in beauty in the every day. Love and hugs.

    Reply
  55. Brenda - July 10, 2020 6:46 pm

    Here’s my two cents, I no longer get your blogs. It make my world SAD, I have tried signing up time after time. What happened?

    Reply
  56. Susan I Gleadow - July 10, 2020 7:10 pm

    Yessss…. Thank you for this!

    Reply
  57. Dee Frances Hoomes Wichman from Damascus, AL but now of Ocean Springs, MS - July 10, 2020 7:38 pm

    Loved it!

    Reply
  58. Diana O Meek - July 10, 2020 9:28 pm

    I’ll read your two cents’ worth any day. I am so tired of ALL the rants that are going on in the world today. Ranting does no good. Pitching in and helping those who need help does a WORLD of good—-unless, of course, you are helping someone loot a business, shoot into a crowd, tear down monuments, curse policemen, and desecrate the American flag. OOOPS! Please excuse my rant.

    Reply
  59. Shirley Jones - July 10, 2020 9:37 pm

    Exactly. There IS so much here to love.

    Reply
  60. Barbara Ames - July 10, 2020 10:07 pm

    Thanks! I needed that. I was having a bad day – fatigued, stomachache, was I CORVO’D? – I was afraid to drive………so I called a friend and she did my errand for me. I sat down and had a leisurely lunch while watching a nice program on the History Channel about the First Ladies, specifically Laura Bush! Oh, take me back to the old days…………

    Reply
  61. turtlekid@bellsouth.net - July 10, 2020 10:49 pm

    Good comment Leigh Amiot. Being ungrateful has to be a sin.

    Reply
  62. Gwen Dornbos - July 10, 2020 10:53 pm

    Thank you for the rant; I loved it. You are right.. There is so much beauty and so much to be thankful for. I choose to do that and let everyone else duke it out while I work in my garden and enjoy life.

    Reply
  63. Lisa S. - July 10, 2020 11:41 pm

    But about those tomatoes… Inquiring minds want to know. What kind are they? I NEED a good tomato right now.

    Reply
  64. Sheryll Ridgway - July 11, 2020 2:55 am

    I was so blessed today. My grocery store in Colorado actually had a potted gardenia for sale! Might not seem like much to you lucky southern folk, but it’s too dry here (and too cold in the winter) to grow, but I bought it anyway. So I’m sitting here relishing that aroma, and remembering all my special summers with my cousins in Birmingham. Thanks for today’s rant, Sean.

    Reply
  65. Teri Gresham - July 11, 2020 3:00 am

    I wish everyone saw things through your eyes. The world would be a much better place. Here’s to a beautiful blue sky, the salty air, my sunflowers, juicy tomatoes, and my family and friends that are the sunshine of my life.

    Reply
  66. Suzanne Scivley - July 11, 2020 3:24 am

    I do so appreciate your style of complaining. Tell
    Your wife hi, and tell her I was serious about y’all come to watch Boo Radley jump off our dock.

    Reply
  67. Ann Mixter - July 11, 2020 11:58 am

    Love this. Thank you for making me smile.

    Reply
  68. cheryl - July 11, 2020 4:23 pm

    Excellent! Thank you.

    Reply
  69. cronkitesue - July 11, 2020 6:59 pm

    Worth at least two dollars.

    Reply
  70. Susan Kennedy - July 11, 2020 11:11 pm

    This is the best rant I’ve read since 2019!! Keep it up!! 😘

    Reply
  71. Karen Good - July 12, 2020 12:05 am

    ❤️

    Reply
  72. Raydene Kelly - July 12, 2020 12:23 am

    I wish all rants were like yours.

    Reply
  73. Livy Abele - July 12, 2020 2:33 pm

    Wonderful! Thank you!

    Reply
  74. johnallenberry, PhDude - July 12, 2020 10:10 pm

    Sean I don’t think you’re doing this rant thing ri— yanno what? You’re doing just fine. Keep it up!

    Reply
  75. joyce mills - July 13, 2020 4:51 am

    Yes🎉🎉🎉

    Reply
  76. Susan in Wausau - July 13, 2020 4:57 pm

    And kids grow up too fast, dadgumit! Just yesterday my granddaughter was a baby in my arms, wiggling to get down while I pinched her pudgy cheeks. All of a sudden she’s eight! Just what kind of cruel joke is this!

    I truly love your columns, you goofiness, and your profound truths that just blow me away sometimes.

    A while back you wrote something that I’ll never forget. I hope I quote you correctly. You wrote “ Life evaporates. It rises toward heaven so quick that you’re lucky if you catch a glimpse.”

    Since my best friend just passed, I understand this on a whole new level. Try to enjoy every minute and let’s remember how good this life is. Just to have you and your family in my life has been a wonderful blessing.

    Reply
  77. Ellouise Pennington - July 13, 2020 9:43 pm

    When I die and go to Heaven; one of my many questions for God will be, “so how ‘bout that Corona Virus? Did it accomplish what you intended?” She will answer, “sure, Precious Love, everybody slowed down just enough to take stock of what really matters, and my favorite child, Sean, summed it all up one day when he looked at the wildflowers”. Then, she will say to me – “Why do y’all call some of my flowers ‘wild’? When I gave their beauty to you, everything was ‘wild’”

    Reply
  78. Pingback: Rant0matic: My Big Old Rant – Sean of the South

  79. Catherine Pratt - July 20, 2020 7:40 pm

    Yes, rant on about all the beauty in the world and don’t forget the value of friendships, like your wife, kids and Jeri🙂. Your writing makes my day. Thanks!

    Reply
  80. Kathi Harper Hill - July 20, 2020 9:36 pm

    Glad you got that off your chest. You forgot to mention dogs and cats. Where’s the rant?

    Reply
  81. Jana Frost - July 22, 2020 4:09 pm

    Amen! Just what we all need to hear. Thank you!

    Reply
  82. Emily Lex - July 25, 2020 3:05 pm

    This is incredible. Thank you!

    Reply
  83. Shannon Primicerio - July 25, 2020 4:32 pm

    This made me laugh out loud. Such a great perspective. Thank you! You should rant more often.

    Reply
  84. Julie Partridge - July 25, 2020 5:52 pm

    And I just want to complain about the fact that I didn’t come up with this brilliant idea first – brilliant! 😉

    Reply
  85. Melia - July 26, 2020 12:34 pm

    Thank you, Sean. ❤️

    Reply
  86. Amy Armstrong Easton - July 26, 2020 11:47 pm

    Love this, Sean! You just rant away anytime you feel like it…🙌😁💕

    Reply
  87. Mj Christopher - July 31, 2020 2:43 pm

    Thanks, Sean! I really enjoyed reading your “rant”!

    Reply
  88. Aunt Si or Martha Black - August 14, 2020 7:30 pm

    Awhhhh, Come on, give us the other $12.48 worth as soon as possible! I need a good rant & I’m so weak from giving mine, I am plum wore out from telling it! I’d rather have yours anyhow……….

    Reply
  89. Larry Conley - August 14, 2020 8:59 pm

    Way to bring it back home, Sean.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  90. Diane - August 15, 2020 1:59 pm

    Wait a minute. I want to know more about these tomatoes.

    Reply
  91. Vicki Holley - August 15, 2020 6:37 pm

    You always bring a smile to my face and laughter too. I love your perspective and your writing. You couldn’t be more right, “How on God’s green earth could anyone write one hundred paragraphs about something they hate? When there is so much here to love.” You have the best 2 cents! Rant more!

    Reply
  92. Mary Hicks - August 23, 2020 2:43 am

    To many blessings down here to rant all the time!! Loved your rant though!! God bless you and Jamie!!💕💖💗💓

    Reply

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