We dive into politics not in the sense of are you a democrat or republican but more along the lines of are you spending all your time talking or all your time listening. I talk about the struggle between believing you’re right and listening to other people’s point of view. This podcast episode isn’t about being right or wrong or left or right it’s about remembering and relearning how to listen.
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Tony Randazzo : It’s hard to speak your mind these days. voicing your opinion is tough and a climate where you’re either seen as an ultra conservative or a bleeding heart liberal. But what about our perspective? What about the Gen X perspective? Hi, I’m Tony a latchkey kid from the 80s and 90s. Now I’m in my 40s wearing cargo shorts, collecting Star Wars figures and reminiscing about the days before my first cell phone. The jennex perspective as for us caught somewhere in between boomers and Millennials are we see things a bit differently? I’m tired of staying silent. It’s time to rant, discuss a load and debate. You’re in Tony yet his guests as they tackle the topics of Pop Culture, Sports, religion, and yes, even politics. If life’s a Rubik’s Cube, we’ve got the experienceTo tackle it, welcome to the Gen X perspective with Tony Randazzo.
Unknown Speaker: Hey everybody, it is September 1. Andwow, how the summer has flown by. Wow, wehave been just going full steam ahead in our business. We are in the service business. We own a family run winery in Clayton, New York called coyote moon vineyards. And this is tourist season, or at least now the end of it. So it’s been a crazy, crazy summer as you can imagine, as different as things are in our world with trying to manage customers. So September 1 20.20 Wow, here we are. And we’ve so far made it through tourist season, or at least the height of it. And here we go moving forward. So starting tomorrow or the next day, we actually start picking grapes in our vineyard. Kind of an exciting time. Now, I know this doesn’t have much to do with the Gen X perspective. But you know, hey, it’s my perspective. So I guess it is the Gen X Gen X perspective. So we’re picking grapes, this starts now and it’ll go for the next month or so based on the varieties and what we got going on. So we’ll be out there getting all these grapes off the vines and turning them into juice and then very quickly, changing that process into making wine and tis the season so we’re kind of pumped and excited and it’s early, because it’s been hot and dry up here in upstate New York. And here we go. Now I’m trying to get caught up and get ahead maybe with an episode or two so that when we’re working like crazy in the vineyard, I don’t miss a week and not get a episode out the way I want to. So with that all being said, I was kind of laughing and thinking about something. Yesterday I was over at my dad’s house, and he’s a boomer Of course.And we were he was getting Time Warner or getting cable Time Warner Cable come in putting cable in and internet and for the longest time in the rural area that we’re at we’ve had a different kind of cable and or at least internet and they finally brought it out our area and he gets hooked up and knowing that it’s always a process when you change something especially when it has to do with technology. What a freakin nightmare right? Every little thing. That either has been working or doesn’t work or kind of works absolutely isn’t gonna work once you start changing things around. Now all in all, it only took yesterday and today and everything so far seems to be working but it got me thinking about when I was younger, and I put something up on Twitter about this just to kind of offhanded comment earlier today about I remember the days when a big deal was having to I don’t know get up from your chair in school because your pencil broke your pencil and you had to re sharpen your pencil. Nowadays, it’s because your hard drive crashed or your internet provider changed or your IP address is now wrong or something’s mismatched and this whole new industry that was born out of us Gen Xers that created all this garbage and all this craziness how much more Complex our life has gotten. Now, if you go back and ask my parents or my grandparents the same question, you know, their perception is going to be the same thing. You know, I remember when I, you know, I got all my news from the newspaper once a week on Sundays, and we didn’t care much What about happen, you know, downstate or somewhere else, because what really mattered what was happening in our community and, you know, the big deal was, you know, going back, you know, the departure from horse and carriage to cars or from you know, taking the bus to school as opposed to walking. I remember talking to my It was my, my grandmother, and I remember talking to her about when she grew up when she was very little, and she had vivid memories of riding a horse to school. Oh, how things have changed, right? So we started thinking back about how crazy our life have gotten. And I was just talking to somebody else. And they were kind of reminiscing about how things have been different since COVID. So they were always on the go. And they were always busy, and they had things going on all the time. And they were overbooked, essentially, all the time, running all the time. You know, dinners and parties and meetings and PTA and I mean, you name it. I mean, just busy all the time to stopping, being forced basically, to take a deep breath and chill out and be able to reassess your life and what’s important and what you can and can’t do and the things you thought you couldn’t live without you can and being able to think about what’s really important, and focusing on those things. Now. That’s all fine and good. Unless you own a business that was considered essential during the pandemic, and your job really didslowed downas an example. Now, alcohol winewas considered essential, at least in New York State. And I believe it was in most states, at least the production of so our farming operation especially.We were allowed to continue farming and when COVID head was right about the time thatwe start pruning our vines and getting ready for summer and squirrel spring and summer. Now,they didn’t wait and slow down because of the pandemic and not grow. We had to bring employees and then start working and start dealing with vineyards in the farming aspect of what we did for a living now.That was going to happen if we had anybody out there not.Sowe were fortunate, in my opinion, fortunate that we were able to stay open.We weren’t able to have anycustomers in our retail stores, we were able to modify, a kind of like almost like a taco pickup window kind of situation where if people needed to buy wine from us,or any other products that we sold, they were able to either call ahead or order online or honk their horn in the parking lot, we would bring it out to them. So that we were basically as a low contact or almost a no contact kind of situation. And for a while it was no contact, they would call an order and we would set it on the bench outside with their name on it, they would come pick it up and off, they would go. So we were able to modify our business, the best we could to accommodate the situation we were in in New York andand that’s gotten really it’s been really fascinating.And really interesting, and everybody has an opinion on every governor in every state and you know, I’ve heard on both sides of it New York, that they love what the governor did they hate whatThe governor did. I don’t think anybody in any state or anywhere in our country got out of this thing unscathed. If you owned a business, or if you were an employee, we were all really in the same boat. Maybe not in the literal sense of we were affected the same way. But we were all affected inbecause of this whole pandemic thing. My my thoughts in starting the podcast today and talking was not to talk primarily about thistopic, and I’ve kind of steered away from it because it ties so much into politics.But I’ve been really reluctant to start bringing it up because although my intro does say that we’re going to discuss politics and in in rant and have these discussions.I’m not trying to polarize people against me in any way.I would very much rather prefer to pose the questions in the thought provoking questions and let people come to their own conclusions. Now, I am a firm believer in debate.I tend to lean more conservatively myself,although I am a registered Democrat, and there’s a big story behind that, but really it doesn’t matter in small towns now I’m in a small town. There is no Republicans and Democrats here. You’ll see it in people’s front yards this time of year, but really local politics, it’s just about doing the right thing for the community. It has nothing to do with being a Democrat or a Republican or an independent. Butthis day and age, howpolarized people are, with everything going on, you really got to be careful and that’s really unfortunate and anywayTo say that out loud, you got to be careful about your own beliefs. Why do we have to be careful about our own beliefs? Are we embarrassed?No, it’s not about being embarrassed or being private. It’s about being attacked. And I’m talking both sides here, I’m not talking that one side is doing all the attacking or the other. Now, if you’re extreme left or extreme, right, you’re going to have your own opinions on this for sure. But the reality is,folks, every day, we all get up, we all get dressed, we all can carry on with our day, whatever that is.We all eat every day. We all sleep every day. Hopefully. We all live and we’re all stuck on this planet together, some of us closer to others than other people. But you know what, we’re all kind of in this together now, to act rude, aggressive, some of the aggressive stuff that I’ve seen on television I even hate saying the words, butpeople are out there. They’re protesting. They’re throwing Molotov cocktails. They’re burning stuff down. That’s not peaceful protests. That’s violent. And it’s destruction of private property. And that’s not okay. I mean, in general, I doesn’t matter whatyou thinkis appropriate. And again, we all got our own brains. But you know what, I kind of look at it this way. When I see the news, showing whatever, on TV now, are they grandstanding or not? are just showing that one horrible moment? That’s literally a moment. Yeah, probably a lot of the times, but I would never, ever want to be treated that way. by anybody.And I’m guessing most of the people that are out there, especially people that are peaceful protesting, they don’t want to be treated that way. They don’t want to be associated with people that are acting like fools out there and causing damage and being aggressive and hurting other people. I don’t think that that’s what this is about. And, and I have heard some people say, you know, now it’s time for the revolution and it’s time to, you know, fight fire with fire and I have a hard timedrinking that Kool Aid and having that belief, I think that we can get a hell of a lot further talking and listening in probably more listening than talking in most cases, probably in almost all now.people being killed unjustly by law enforcement or aggressively that shouldn’t be tolerated in any stretch of the imagination. Now on the other side of that,We’re hiring these people to do a job under a certain set of circumstances that for whatever reason, and whoever did it over time, created these rules, guidelines, laws, whatever it was that these police have to follow. Now,I’m all about looking at every single rule law in the way we do things and reevaluating and changing what’s appropriate for today. At the same time, we should be re educatingand retraining if we want our law enforcement officers to do it a different way.And I also believe that if they do something wrong, they should be held accountable, which seems to be happening right now. But burnin shit down and goingCrazy. Man, I understand being passionate about what you believe in. And I by no means have walked a mile in anybody’s shoes that’s lived in the ghetto or the inner city or been afraid for their lives every time they get pulled over by the police. I mean, I can honestly say that I’m nervous every time that it happens, do I fear that I’m going to be killed? And no, I’ve never felt that way. And I can’t imagine feeling that way. Or being told as a small child by your parents that you have to be mindful of that. I can’t imagine it. And I can’t walk a mile in those shoes. It’s never happened to me. I can’t pretend to fully understand it, nor am I gonna and nor am I gonnadownplay it. Andan act like it’s not real or it’s not important. It’s as real to them. Asyou know, getting up and going to work is real to me every day, anand my heart goes out for those people. And I’ve beenbelieve that we need to change things in an intelligent way that works. And I don’t believe that violence is the way or the key. I don’t think it ever has. And it’s never really solved anything long term, especially on our own soil. We are all Americans. We are allproud, I think of our country. We all love our parents, for the most part, at least the parents that deserve to be loved. And, and there’s got to be a way through this. And I think that we can get there and I think that we will get there. And unfortunately, this is all happening during a political season where you got the left and the right and they’re both gonna grandstand this and rile people up in a way thatin some ways can be really dangerous and really scary and in other ways. You always got to ask yourself, Is this really going to changeAnything and I’ve mentioned this in previous podcasts where Come on, you know, every day you wake up after an election, did anything really change? Is anything really changing right now? No. And I’ve asked a lot of people that question lately and a lot of people have said that they’re really concerned about what’s going to happen that day after the election. No matter which way it goes, that this time they really are fearful and and that is actually more frightening than the idea of a democrat or republican being in office is that if the general publicis fearful either way, we got a big problem on our hands come You know, the next morning, because somebody is going to freak out and that’s going to be more than just one somebody and, and not to doom and gloom it because I have more faith in humanity than that. It’s it really brings back that nssettling, in secure, kind of in your gut kind of deep seated fear that I talked about when I was a kid, about, you know about the election cycle in the season and what’s going to happen when a new president comes in. That’s kind of back this year in a way that I hadn’t experienced in a long time just in the way of talking to people and how people are talking. And kind of how people are acting as well in general. I have the good fortune of dealing with people every day that are on vacation, that are just trying to have a good time for the most part, but I also am dealing with the local population and my neighbors and friends and family and people around me every day. And you can feel an underlying tension about everything. You know,in our family, we have school aged kids that are getting ready to go back to elementary school and middle school and high school.And all the uncertainty around that because there’s so much rhetoric and stuff on television and in all these different communities about what’s right and what’s wrong and who’s right and who’s wrong, and what’s going to happen andseriously, our kids, we’re going to politicize our kids. That’s wonderful. You know, I’m really proud of that. Notwe need to figure out a safe way to keep our kids engaged and educated however, that looks and I’m open to every and anything myself. But it’s got to be talked about and figured out, it can’t be just one person or one board of directors or one, whatever, making all the decisions because frankly, you’re gonna, a, they’re gonna blame you for whatever happens because you didn’t get everybody’s input.And B, it’s just not the right way to be. It is definitely painful to reach out to people and say, okay, what’s everybody’s opinionOn this, oh my god, talk about hard to get anything done.I work in a family business,emphasize the word family, I got my father, my sister, my wife, my brother in law, all these people that we all have to answer to, including our employees.That, you know, if if I want to be a dictator, and make all the decisions, and everybody can just deal with it, well, that’s great. Butthat doesn’t work long term usually end up with no employees. And if you did have your family involved, you don’t have any family anymore. Usually. You got to kind of listen to everybody. You got to pay attention everybody’s feelings and realize that everybody’s not always going to get what they want.But as long as they felt heard, at least, you listened. And then sometimes when things are going right, and you’re debating correctly, and you’re conceding and your opinions being modified and changed based on your conversations and your experiences, you’re not right every timenor are they and that’s called compromise. And that’s how things get done. It takes a little bit longer. It can be painful. But it’s definitely a better way to go about things than just making the decisions yourself. And I see a lot of things in oursociety, local politics,where the few are making the decisions for the many, andthat just leads to problems long term.Especially if things don’t go the way that they thought that he did. You end up with a big pile of steaming shit on your hands, but you got to deal with and that’s no fun. I’ve seen that happen. I’ve been a part of that. And I’ve sure I’ve made that mistake more than once myself. But uh,really, this comes down to just stop being assholes to each other.Listen to what everybody has to say.form an in an opinion based onlistening to the facts, listening to the people around you. Listen to what’s going on, open your eyes, close your mouth.And I know that sounds a little preachy, but it’s really my opinion. I you know, and somebody could come right on or send me an email or send me a message and blast me about this all and counterpoint, everything that I have to say, and you know what? I encourage that because how am I going to change my perception? Or what I believe, unless somebody challenges what I’m saying or doing and, and I think that’s where the lesson comes in. And that’s where this whole thing coulwhere we could really learn something from each other’s again, listen to each other. Listen to what other people have to say, challenge my beliefs. I’m open to that. I think that is the most powerful, amazing thing.Is to shut your mouth and open your ears and your eyes. I learned thatalong the way in my life in many ways, there’s this very influential man in my life. We’re gonna go back 25-30 years ago, and his, his name was Randy.And he worked in the outdoors, and he’s to this day still works withwayward, young adults, kids that have kind of lost their way, you know, they’re in their early 20s, late teens, and just kind of trend that they were just lost, including myself at the time just lost where I’m at what’s going on? And I remember being really upset at one point with him and it’s like, Why don’t you say anything and he would always laugh at me.And an A, I always had, for the most part, already knew the answer to the question or whatever. I was puttingstuff about me would always laugh at me and, or laugh really with me. Because I’d be so ramped up so pissed off, so lit up about whatever my parents hating me my life sucks, I don’t know, whatever it wasand he would just laugh and had this jovial laugh and smile on his face and when I finally calmed down enough to open my ears in my eyes and shut my mouthhe never had to say much other than you know, so how are you really feeling I you know what’s really going on? So you’re saying all this crap?What’s kind of at the root of this whole thing? What’s really going on here? You know, what’s, what’s the history what, what’s the deal? and Randy over the years, I’ve touched base with him, you know, having a bad week, having a hard day and I’d call him or look them up and tell them whatever was going on and I don’t ever rememberhim giving me a solid answer to anything other thanhaving some magical mysterious way of getting me to look at whatever my situation was or my issue was in a way that helped me work through it. No, I know that sounds allmystical and hoity toity and weird and whatever, buthe always listened. He never had all the answers. He wouldn’t try to fix me.But he would listen. And he would be respectful. And if I was full of shit, he would tell me I was full of shit, or at least asked the question. Do you think you’re full of shit right now.And when you needed a hug, he would give you a hug. When you needed to cry. you’d let you cry. You wouldn’t try to stop you when you were mad. He’d let you be mad. And then when you were to a point where you could listen or talk, he was still there to listen andAnd never had to saya lot. He never had to fill the conversation up with words of this therapist, and I’m smart, and I know what I’m talking about. He always had the ability tohis power was his ability to listen. And I think that all of you, including me, and I have to remind myself of this all the time. Sometimes you just gotta shut up and listen to what people are saying. and nine times out of 10, they’re not looking for an answer from you. Nobody is going to listen to this podcast and say, you’ve answered all my problems and you’ve solved all my answers, Tony.I’m just here toput it out there in the universe, that maybe there’s a different way to think about everything.politics, religion, race,love whateverYou know, I,I mean, I’m still at the age where I can remember that.For mostpeople that were gay, back when I was a kid coming out how dangerous the word dangerous comes to buy it, and it was back when I was a teenager a kid. If you were a teenager nine times out of 10 being my age, when you were a kid, you came out and said, you were gay, you were shipped off to some sporting school somewhere to be basically re educated and freakin brainwashed. And I know that still happens today, I’m sure on some level, butpeople are far more tolerant. I mean, things have changed. For I believe that wholesection of people in our community. I don’t think that it’sdone changing and I think there’s still work to do with equality and treating peoplefairly and equally. I mean you got to remember when I was a kid, a gay man or woman getting married was I believe against the law you couldn’t you couldn’t do it and be I think you could even get arrested and go to jail if you tried to do it or if somebody did it.That’s not necessarily the case anymore. Not and again, still got work to do there. I don’t think it’s done and and i think that has to do with race as well. There’s a lot of work to be done. I think anybody with a level head will say thatthings have changed over the years. But there’s work to be done. And and things I hope will change and people will feel safer and get a fair shake.And I hope everybody the best when it comes to that.Those of us who arekind of banging around Gen Xers, figuring thingsout. You know, we’re the great inventors, right? We invented the internet, we invented all sorts of crap.Need to maybe put a little bit of energy intohow to help each other out andtry to help this younger, especially this younger generation, man, these kids arepassionate and vocal about how they feel. Not that we weren’t in our parents. sure we’re, I mean, look at history and look at the 60s.I think we were a little more laid back in our generation. We had things a lot differently as well. But we need to be paying attention to how people are feeling and what’s going on and try to give them again, in my opinion,give them an ear.Take a deep breath, listen to what they have to say.I know we have a pandemic going on, and there’s lots of opinions about that and how they hate their governors or theirmayor’s are this person’s making the wrong decision andwe’re worried about our jobs. We’re worried about our careers. We’re worried about our kids. I understand all that. But you know, we got totake a deep breath. We got to listen to people. And, you know, I mean, really, that’s my opinion. I’m open to changing it. So, you know, hey, any counterpoints. Anybody want tochallenge me on anything that I talked about. I’m more than willing to talk to anybody about it. And I encourage that and endorse it. And I’m very passionate about that free speech. And I’m all about it. The other thing getting to the end of the podcast today, we officially launched the podcast last week. I had three episodes kind of done already and a fourth episode came out last Friday. We’ve had over 100 peopleor so sign upunsubscribe, which thank you very much everybody out there for supporting the podcast in its infancy and I hope it continues to grow. And thank you guys so much for everything God bless you andreally be safe out there and I look forward to hearing from you guys in the near future. Peace. Thanks for listening to the Gen X perspective with Tony Randazzo, where we see things a bit differently. Let’s get social. Find us on Facebook by searching Gen X perspective, Twitter, at Gen X underscore podcast and on Instagram at Gen X perspective. You can also find us online at Gen X perspective.com. And reach out to Tony directly at Tony at Gen X perspective.com. to maybe you can talk strategy on how to beat Super Mario Brothers three. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Gen X perspective. Wherever you get your podcast Thanks for listening