Friday, March 20, 2015

The Evils of Parental Alienation

For many, if not most parents the thing most dear to them is their children. Nothing can match the love they feel for a child from the time they are born to the time the parent departs this world. Sometimes though life gets in the way. That special someone you chose to have a child with no longer seems that special, and due to divorce or separation you lose daily contact with your child. Usually this is not a problem, but in 11-15% of divorces parental alienation is an issue.

What is parental alienation? Parental alienation is when one parent seeks to alienate a child from the other parent. In, other words one parent seeks to cause the child to dislike or even hate the other parent. This is extremely damaging to the child/parent relationship not just for the parent being alienated, but also the parent doing the alienating. The reasons one parent seeks to alienate a child from the other parent vary. Nearly all though stem from an inability of the parent doing the alienating to separate their relationship with the other parent from the relationship of their child with that parent. Thus because the parent doing the alienating has negative feelings towards the target parent, they feel the child must also. In a worst case scenario the child becomes a weapon of revenge for perceived wrongs. The parent doing the alienating tries to deny the parent being alienated a relationship with the child to get even for things they feel the other parent did to hurt them.

There are many ways a parent may use to alienate a child towards the other parent. It usually is not limited to one thing. First, is denigration of the other parent (bad mouthing the other parent). The parent doing the alienating constantly says negative things about the other parent to and around the child. The parent doing the alienating essentially demonizes the targeted parent. This results in the child holding negative feelings towards the targeted parent. Children expect their parents to be truthful and honest with them, and therefore have little reason to not believe a parent when they are told for example, "he does not want to see you" when in reality a visitation is missed due to work commitments or illness. One particular insidious form of denigration of the targeted parent is unfair comparison to a stepparent. The parent doing the alienating may  make statements that the stepparent is always there for the child while the real parent cannot be. This can also take the form of making children pick out Fathers or Mothers Day cards and gifts for the stepparent, but not for the real parent. The child may be encouraged to show excessive affection for the stepparent, while being encouraged to show dislike for the biological parent.

Another common method of alienation is control of access to the child. The parent doing the alienating may limit and even block contact with the child. Calls to talk to the child may go unanswered, attempts to arrange visitation by the targeted parent may be met with stalling or constant rescheduling. In extreme cases, a parent trying to alienate a child may relocate and leave no contact information for the targeted parent. This interference in contact between the child and the targeted parent may be justified in the name of protecting the child. The parent seeking to alienate the child may justify what they are doing by claiming the child is better off without the other parent. Sometimes, this is due to false accusations of abuse, but often it is merely the parent doing the alienating feeling that the targeted parent is otherwise unfit. The targeted parent for example may have fallen on hard times and missed a child support payment or missed a visitation due to illness which the parent doing the alienating may take as evidence of the targeted parent being unworthy to be a parent. Or the parent doing the alienating may not approve of the targeted parent's significant other, or feel that the targeted parent has done things they deem unethical. When contact is denied for long periods of time, the child may see the targeted parent as absent from their life, and blame the targeted parent for this absence.

In some cases of alienation the targeted parent may be falsely accused of abuse. The parent doing the alienating may call abuse hotlines, law enforcement, and other agencies to report the targeted parent for abuse. The form of abuse the targeted parent is accused of may be verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual. With false allegations, allegations of verbal and emotional abuse are the most common as those are the hardest to prove or disprove since they leave no physically visible evidence. Often what is simply a matter of difference in parenting styles may result in accusations of abuse. For example, the targeted parent allowing the child to stay up later than usual may be accused of abuse. Similar to accusations of abuse are accusations of neglect. This may mean physical neglect such as failing to provide or care for the child, or emotional neglect such as in being seen as not supporting the child in a hobby the child likes to do. While the offenses of abuse or neglect may only be minor (a parent is sharp with a child for yelling at them or a parent has no means to support a child in a hobby), the alienating parent will blow them out of proportion.

Finally, the alienating parent may use fear to manipulate the child into disliking the targeted parent. This usually is not caused by any form of punishment by the parent doing the alienating, but more to do with how the alienating reacts when the other parent is mentioned. This may be as minor as "we do things this way, and I do not care what your other parent does." Or it can be as major as a child suffering emotional consequences for showing affection towards the targeted parent. The alienating parent may emotionally or even physically withdraw from the child when the child shows affection towards the targeted parent.

Parental alienation has consequences both for the child and the parents. With children it  can result in a host of psychological problems ranging from low self esteem to self hatred to depression. A child who has been alienated from a parent is more likely to do drugs or attempt suicide. Programmed to hate or mistrust the alienated parent children internalize these emotions leading to self hatred and mistrust of themselves. This can lead to depression, mental disorders, suicide attempts, and a general inability to build trusting relationships with others. It can result in something akin to post traumatic disorder. For parents it can be nearly as devastating. alienated parents suffer depression, low self esteem, may engage in substance abuse even attempt suicide all as a result of their feeling inadequate as a parent although through no fault of their own.

Unfortunately, there is often little a targeted parent can do. A parent denying contact to a child may only be fined a small amount if taken to court and left once again to deny access to the child after a time. Meanwhile, a parent engaging in emotional manipulation of the child by bad mouthing the target parent may go untouched as such things are difficult to prove. And while with false allegations of abuse a parent can be cleared, it may not be before the damage is done to the child/parent relationship. Too, it costs money to fight parental alienation in the courts, and with parental alienation being difficult to prove these costs can easily skyrocket. This puts disadvantaged targeted parents at a severe disadvantage in that they cannot afford to fight in the courts for their child. Since parental alienation is not classed as abuse in most states there is little a targeted parent can do.


Parental alienation ends in one of two things, either hatred for the parent the child is alienated from, or more often than not the parent that has done the alienating. Even with reconciliation with both parents there are almost always feelings of mistrust and further the chance that the child that was alienated from a parent will do the same with their children. This is damaging to all parties involved. Young children tend to love their parents more than anyone else, and for many parents their children are more dear to them than anyone. Parental alienation therefore is one of the worst cases of abuse that exists.


From 'Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome': Reuniting with the Targeted Parent

The Impact of Parental Alienation on Children

Symptoms of Parental Alienation

A Family's Heartbreak: A Parent's Introduction to Parental Alienation

Friday, March 13, 2015

Dutch TV Show Shows How Both Patriarchy and Modernity are Flawed

Recently, I read a story called This Accidental Experiment Shows the Superiority of Patriarchy. You can read it here: http://www.returnofkings.com/32053/this-accidental-experiment-shows-the-superiority-of-patriarchy. In the piece, the author describes how a Dutch version of Survivor showed that patriarchy works and matriarchy does not. In doing so he overlooks factors that may have been the reasons the men set out working towards their survival while the women were content to sunbathe.

Now, I must point out, I have seen only portions of Expeditie Robinson Aflevering, and since I do not understand Dutch I do not know all of what is being said. I have read up on the background of the show though, and in doing so I did note some things. While it may appear the men and women were from similar backgrounds, they were indeed not. The women's professions were: students, a ground stewardess, a journalist, a nurse, an air hostess, a product manager, and an establishment manager. For the men the professions were:  student, accounts manager, PR employee, managing director. nurse. musical actor, mechanic, and butcher. Whoa, wait a minute there... the men had a mechanic and a butcher? How did a mechanic and a butcher wind up with a bunch of desk jockeys and an actor? The women did not have a mechanic and a butcher. Which brings us to one of the points of the author of This Accidental Experiment Shows The Superiority Of Patriarchy tried to make, that the men built a hut while the women did not. It was the mechanic that started the building of a hut. The other men did not seem to have incentive to until he did. What if the women had had a mechanic amongst them?  The women had no one accustomed to physical labor in their day to day profession, while the men had two people accustomed to physical labor. What's more the men had a person whose profession would be very helpful to survival on a deserted island, a butcher. Having someone that knows how to cut meat for consumption to me would be very desirable. The women had nothing comparable.Perhaps if they had had a mechanic the women might have also had a hut? Perhaps if they had had a butcher they may have thought to hunt for meat?

The truth is those of us who do not know Dutch know nothing about the contestants other than their professions goes to show this was anything, but proof of patriarchy's superiority. Even were we to know Dutch how much about the contestants' backgrounds came out in the show? How many of them were ex-military? How many had hobbies that could be applied to survival on a deserted island? Did the producers coach the teams? Did the producers leave out footage that showed the women were foraging for food? There are many factors not just in the backgrounds of both the men and the women, but in the actual filming of the episodes that may have contributed to what was seen on the TV screen. It was a far cry from a fair social experiment.

Even if it were a fair accounting of what actually took place on the island instead of showing the superiority of patriarchy, I think instead it shows not just its downfall, but that of modernity as well. Here we have several members of the fairer sex incapable of survival in primitive conditions. One must ask why they are incapable? And I do not think it fair to assume it is due to their sex. I think instead one must look to their backgrounds and what culture expects them to be. Even in a progressive society such as the Netherlands has women are not expected to have the same interests as men. Sure, they can hold the same jobs as men, but what about hobbies, their lives outside of work? Are women encouraged to take up hobbies that may prepare them for survival in the wild? Even here in rural Missouri, an area that would be considered backwards by European standards in regards to women's rights, women regularly hunt, fish, build things with their hands. They do not sit around in offices, get off work, and then go out to  eat dinner, do yoga, party, spend time with friends, or whatever. I think instead of being a commentary on the advantages of patriarchy Expeditie Robinson Aflevering was a commentary on sexist views in regards to women's roles still held even in Europe and here in the States as well. The women did on the show what their society expected them to do, not what they were truly capable of if society had expected something different. In essence, they did what patriarchy expected them to do. Perhaps had they been raised in an egalitarian society things would have been different.

It goes far beyond patriarchy though for not only did none of the women strive to survive, but in the beginning most of the men did not either. In the first episode you see the mechanic building a hut. What are the other men doing? They are lounging around not unlike the women.  Were it not for the example set by a couple of men it seems to me unlikely that any of the men would have done anything rather than lounging around either. So if anything, Expeditie Robinson Aflevering was a commentary on what modern society has done to us. Indeed, I think it difficult whether to blame patriarchy or modernity. Regardless of the reason for the way the show played out I think it does anything but show the superiority of patriarchy.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Huntsville Community Club Steps into the 21st Century

The town of Huntsville, Missouri has been slow to embrace the internet. The city itself does not have a website, and those organizations that do have websites have theirs hosted on the sites of the national organizations they are a part of. The sole exception to this being the DAR chapter that has its own site The Methodist Church has a website as does one of the Baptist churches. Now though the Huntsville Community Club has a website. It is one of the oldest organizations in Huntsville so this makes a big step for the town of Huntsville. I am hoping the Community Club unveiling a website will encourage other organizations as well as businesses to do so also. The town itself is also working on a website.

The Huntsville Community Club website is a small one consisting of only a few public pages, and a private members area, but it is a start. It is hoped with time the site can be used to promote events hosted by the Community Club, and also help members keep up with what is going on. Last year the Community Club used the internet to promote the Randolph County Old Settlers Reunion and Fall Fair posting the schedule to Huntsville Facebook groups and one of the member's websites. Having the schedule online and able to be downloaded was a big hit. Folks downloaded the pdf file of the schedule and had it on their phones to consult throughout the three day festival. And it cut down on the number of paper schedules that were handed out. This will in the future save the Community Club in printing costs. This year the Community Club will be using the website to not only have schedules online, but event posters. It is hoped that by using the internet to promote Community Club events community involvement will increase. You can see the site at: http://www.huntsvillecommunityclub.org

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bill O'Reilly Lied, Why am I not Surprised?

First it was Brian Williams lying about an incident involving a helicopter being shot down, and now it has been discovered Bill O'Reilly has lied about many things concerning the war between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the Falkland Islands. Apparently, he lied about everything from having a gun aimed at his head, seeing his photographer get run down, to even being in the Falkland Islands to begin with.  If these lies were not enough it has also been uncovered that Bill O'Reilly lied about being outside the door of George de Mohrenschildt's daughter's house when Mohrenschildt shot himself. O'Reilly claims he heard the gunshot that took Mohrenschildt 's life. George de Mohrenschildt  was a friend of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. All of these claims have been disputed by people in the know (read http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/25/oreilly-suicide-mohrenschildt_n_6749182.html and http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/02/24/the-bill-oreilly-scandal-made-simple/).

I am not all that surprised that Bill O'Reilly lied. He works for a network known for embellishing the truth. However, this goes far beyond simple embellishment even beyond the realm of slight exaggeration to flat out lying in such a degree as to be unimaginable. Were the lies simply about one instance such as the riot in Buneos Aires, or something similar then we might be able to chalk it up to not remembering the situation correctly. But there are simply so many lies, enough to make one question anything Bill O'Reilly says. Still, even given that I am not surprised. O'Reilly in order to please Fox News' audience had to create this image of himself. To be pro-war he had to be able to show he had been in a war zone. To be taken seriously he had to allow people to know he was there when headlines were being made. Essentially, he had to create this credible persona. The problem is he lied about things easily checked, things that there were witnesses to that could say he was not where he said he was, and now that image is beginning to fall apart. Whether it will matter to his elderly viewers is hard to tell. They may chalk the idea of O'Reilly lying being just more iberal propaganda. Nevertheless the story has gone viral with many tweets and memes making fun of O'Reilly.












The internet certainly is not showing O'Reilly any love, and at this point even Fox News has stopped defending him. The only question that remains is whether his elderly viewers are paying enough attention to learn he was lying, or if they even care.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Air dates of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" in its First Twenty Years

 My brother and I were discussing A Christmas Story and how folks have tried to date it using clues in the movie such as the Little Orphan Annie decoder ring, a calendar on the wall, the appearance of Wizard of Oz characters, events in sports mentioned by the Old Man, and so forth. I brought up that perhaps since the movie narration is done by the adult Ralphie looking back perhaps his memory of events in his childhood was faulty. Thus he could remember his Dad mentioning some baseball player being traded that Christmas and got mixed up and thought it was  Bill "Bullfrog" Dietrich. "Bullfrog" was actually traded three or four years earlier than the year the movie seems to take place. The same explanation could be used for an upcoming game between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears that was mentioned in the movie, and many other things.

This conversation segued into a conversation about our own memories we found not to be accurate. And I mentioned that when I was younger I thought Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer always aired on December 1st. This made me curious so I searched online for a list of air dates of Ruldolph.... but could not find any. Still curious I went searching through old TV listings to see if Rudolph... ever aired on December 1st when I was a child and found it did one year. In the process I came up with a list of air  dates of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer when I was a child. I expanded this list out to its first twenty years. Note, this list may not be totally accurate as stations sometimes aired network programming at different times. However, I did try to cross reference between station listings to make it as accurate as possible. There is always the off chance though two stations both aired it at a time different than the network on the same night though.

Air Dates of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer  the first twenty years it aired.
 
1964: Dec. 6
1965: Dec. 5
1966: Dec. 4
1967: Dec. 8
1968: Dec. 6
1969: Dec. 5
1970: Dec. 4
1971: Dec. 6
1972: Dec. 8
1973: Dec. 7
1974: Dec. 8
1975: Dec. 3
1976: Dec. 1
1977: Nov. 30
1978: Dec. 6
1979: Dec. 5
1980: Dec. 3
1981: Dec. 14
1982: Dec. 1
1983: Nov. 27
1984: Dec. 1

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Many Film and TV Versions of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"

Two years ago I undertook an endeavor to see what the most accurate film adaptation whether in the form of a motion picture or made for TV movie was. Just prior to the Christmas season I read Dickens' book _A Christmas Carol._ As I went through watching the various adaptations I would reread it to refresh myself of its contents. What follows are my commentaries on the various adaptations that I posted on Google Plus. These by far are not all of the adaptations. These are merely the ones I got to watch during the holiday season of 2012. There are more which I did not have access to. Each adaptation is called by the name of the actor that played Scrooge except for the Disney animated version which is simply called the Disney Animated Version. One version I did not comment on was the musical Scrooge with Albert Finney. Being a musical it departs from the book in many ways, but generally follows the plot of the book and its scenes in a fairly loyal way. It is unique in that the ghostly death coach appears when Scrooge enters his home near the beginning of the book. As I recall it does not appear in any of the other film adaptations I cover.

Google Plus Post on December 19, 2012 Sim, Scott, and Hicks Adaptations

Last night I read Dickens' A Christmas Carol to see how the movies differ from the novel. Thus far this year I have watched the Seymour Hicks version, Alastair Sim version, and the George C. Scott version of the movie adaptations. None of these versions are loyal to the novel. The Seymour version added dialogue and characters to some scenes, alters some scenes so they appear very unlike those in the novel, and omits some very important scenes that are in the novel. Fan, Scrooge's sister does not appear at all in the film. It does include one scene not seen in the other two films but in the book. Finally, Scrooge has very little interaction with the ghosts. Indeed, they only appear on the screen for a couple of minutes.

The Sim version left out several scenes in the book, added several not even hinted at in the book, inserted characters in scenes where they do not appear in the novel, and altered other scenes and dialogue. The added scenes are not even hinted at in the book in a couple of cases, and only alluded to in others. The added scenes do not appear to add much to the story other than to establish that Scrooge is a rather stingy fellow, or to establish things that were established later in the book.

The Scott version left out scenes from the book and added dialogue in the opening scene in Scrooge's office, and altered at least one scene by leaving out characters. None the less it is the most loyal version of the three films even with the added dialoge in the opening scene.

None of the movies are really loyal to the book, although I have to say of the three, the Scott version is the most loyal with the Sim version departing from the novel the most with added scenes. The sad thing is if scenes had not been added to the Sim version, more scenes from the novel could have been kept in the screenplay and other scenes not altered, it would have been the most loyal of the three. At 86 minutes the Sim version is long enough to cover much of the novel. The Scott version is longer at 102 minutes, and spends more time with each scene from the novel. If dialogue had not been added in the opening scene and here and there, some of the scenes from the novel that were left out could have been added instead.

One thing I find interesting in the Hicks, Sim, and Scott versions is the need to reference coal in the opening scene. In the  Hicks and Sim versions Scrooge gets after Cratchit for trying to add coal to the fire. He does this too in the Scott version going as far to lecture Cratchit on the use of coats and waistcoats as an alternative to using coal. None of this dialogue appears in the book. Neither Scrooge or Cratchit ever mention coal. In the book it only described how there are very few embers in the stoves, and that Cratchit is trying to warm his hands by the candle. I think adding these lines to the films about coal seriously alters the character of Bob Cratchit. In the book we are given the impression he is loyal and obdient and would not seek to displease Scrooge, and when he does he is very apologetic. Our impression of him is altered with these added lines about coal in the films. With the Scott and Sim versions they also insert Belle in the Fezziwig scene. I think that is because they feel a need to introduce the character. In the novel we first see her when she is breaking up with Scrooge. She makes no appearance before then. In the Hicks version the school scenes do not appear at all. In the Sim and Scott versions only the second school scene appears with the Sim version being seriously altered. 

Google Plus Post on December 22, 2012 Patrick Stewart Adptation

I watched the Patrick Stewart version of A Christmas Carol. It has several scenes that appear in the book, but do not appear in many of the other movie versions. One scene is that of Cratchit in his upstairs room with Tiny Tim's body when the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is showing Scrooge the future that may be. The only other movie that it appears in is the Hicks version. It also shows the first school scene with the Ghost of Christmas Past that does not appear in many of the other movies (though never has that scene from the book appeared in its entirety  nor has the second school scene appeared in its entirety for that matter). And it shows the lighthouse and ship scenes with the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the scene with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come and the debtors happy at Scrooge's death. It does leave out the scene of Belle being happily married with the Ghost of Christmas Past though which I think is an important scene in the book. Some of the dialogue is altered from the book, some key lines left out oft times not for the better in my opinion. That is not to say that the alterations are bad, it is just to say that they lack the power of the original dialogue Dickens wrote in my opinion. One particular line that is omitted when the Ghost of Christmas Present appears is noticeable to anyone that has read the novel or seen the other movie versions. There are also some lines left out from when Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come  visit Cratchit 's house that is pretty glaring. However, where the original dialogue from the book is used unaltered, it is sometimes more powerful than in the same scenes from the other movies. And some dialogue from the book omitted from some of the other movies is included. I guess that is the trade off. The scene when the reformed Scrooge visits his nephew Fred plays out differently from the book, but none of the movies are very loyal to this scene. There is an added scene at the beginning which while it is  not seen in the book fits nicely in the movie. There are some anachronisms such as people singing "Silent Night." "Silent Night" was not translated into English until many years after the novel takes place. But then you see similar anachronisms with the other movies Overall, I would say it is a toss up between it and the Scott version as to which is the most loyal to the novel. It is odd as they are both made for TV movies, while the others were feature films. I have yet to watch the 1935 Reginald Owen version of A Christmas Carol, but at 69 minutes it is the shortest of the movies, and therefore much perhaps left out. I will try to watch it tomorrow.

Google Plus Post on December 23, 2012 Reginald Owen Adaptation

I watched the Reginald Owen version of A Christmas Carol. Of the versions I have watched (Hicks, Owen, Sim, Scott, and Stewart) it is the least loyal. There are scenes from the book that do not appear. For example Belle does not appear at all in this retelling. And there are major plot changes such as Fred is not married, he is only engaged, and Scrooge fires Bob Cratchit. There are added scenes that do not appear in the book (a church scene with Christmas Present, and various scenes throughout the movie), and many of the scenes from the book are altered sometimes to make them appear very different. The school scenes are condensed into one, the scene with Fezzywig is abbreviated (there is no party), and the ending is changed drastically (Scrooge shows up at Bob's house with the turkey and presents for the kids instead of being in the office the next morning). The dialogue is often different from the book, either changed or not appearing. Never the less despite it being the least loyal version it is very enjoyable. Ann Rutherford is fun as Christmas Past, and the Lockharts were very convincing as the Cratchits. I also watched Mr. Magoo's A Christmas Carol. For an hour long cartoon (with commercials) it is surprisingly loyal despite taking the ghosts out of order. It is very funny. Next for me to watch is Disney's A Christmas Carol. I have heard this version is very good and that it contains scenes from the book that do not appear in some of the other movies.

Google Plus Post on December Disney Animated Version
 
I watched Disney's A Christmas Carol.  It is the only animated version I am doing commentary on. There are some added scenes, and some changed dialogue. Some lines are left out here and there. Entire scenes from the novel were left out in some places as well, while others appear in this version that do not appear in the other adaptations. Both school scenes are included although in abbreviated form which is the norm for the film adaptations of A Christmas Carol.  The scene with Belle happy with her husband seven years before the events of the novel does not appear. There is an exchange between the Ghost of Christmas Present and Scrooge included that is in the book that does not appear in the other adaptations. The lecture by the Ghost of Christmas Present about how many see Scrooge as less fit to live than Tiny Tim does not appear. The scenes with the miners, the lighthouse, and the ship do not appear. And the scene with Ignorance and Want is altered slightly from the book. There are added scenes with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. A sequence with Scrooge running in the streets of London from a wagon driven by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in a shrunken form has been added. I do not see it adds anything to the story.I think they would have ben better leaving it out, and instead keeping scenes from the book that do not appear. He is still shrunken when he comes to the pawnbroker's. In the pawnbroker scene only two of the five characters that appear in the book appear. The scene with the debtors happy that Scrooge has died appears, and it is rarely seen in film adaptations. The ending is altered with Scrooge's housekeeper being in the house when Scrooge awakens. She is not the house in the book, and only appears at the pawnbroker's. Scrooge also grabs on back of a carriage and slides along as it goes, that is not, of course in the book. Overall, were not scenes added to give it more the character of a cartoon (which it is), it would be a very loyal adaptation. At least it would be no less loyal than most of the live action versions. Yes, scenes are left out, but this is done with all adaptations. After the Stewart and Scott versions I would say it is the third most loyal of the ones I have seen (Hicks, Owen, Sim, Scott, and Stewart) in my opinion. Were it not for added and altered scenes it would be the most loyal in my opinion.
 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Review of the Torch Browser

I started using the Torch Browser back in June of 2013. I had been having problems with Chrome when surfing Google+ to the point that it was really hurting my ability to use the social network. When a friend who was having similar problems recommended Torch I went and downloaded it. Thus began my love affair with the Torch Browser. Alas it was not to last.

When I first started using Torch it was fast, faster than Chrome in fact. I loved the download accelerator, the share button, and Torch Music. It was by far the best browser I had used with Google Hangouts. What thrilled me even more is I could use all my Chrome extensions with it.The download accelerator lived up to what it was claimed it would do. Downloading files was a breeze when compared to Firefox or Chrome. And I loved being able to share to Facebook or Twitter without having to install an extension. Since I share links to websites quite a bit that feature was particularly wonderful. And gone were the days of buffering, bad audio, and glitchy video with Google Hangouts. Most important my problems with Google+ were gone. I could now browse my stream without it hanging while I scrolled.

Overtime though with each new version Torch got slower. As they added more features I had no use for like Torch Games and Torch Shopping my browsing experience was becoming less enjoyable. Still, I soldiered on convinced I had made the wise choice. Regardless of what they did to change the Torch Browser it was still better than Chrome. And while I could not find a way to get rid of things like Torch Shopping it really was sort of out of the way so it did not bother me.

Then came the latest version. I had Torch set to automatically update so I was not surprised when greeted by a new version. The first thing I noticed was the extension FaceLift. As I used Fluff Busting for Facebook I really had no use for it. So I decided to uninstall the extension. Guess what? It was not listed with the extensions. Deciding this would not stop me I went to the Torch Browser's extensions directory and deleted its folder. Problem solved. Torch ran as always with the extension being removed no problem. A week later I encountered another problem. Torch was taking a long time to load websites. We are talking dial up connection, Internet Explorer slow. So I cleared the cookies and cache, ran Spybot Search and Destroy and then Malware Bytes. Spybot Search and Destroy got rid of some Internet Explorer cookies while Malware Bytes found no issues. That seemed to take care of the problem. Then two days later, the slow loading problem happened again. After several hours of fighting with it I gave up and opened Chrome. Chrome ran fine. Unsure of Chrome given my past experience though and frustrated with the Torch Browser I turned to Firefox, and have been using it as my main browser the last couple of months.

Then came last night. The last few weeks McAfee Total Protection's Vulnerability Scanner had been wanting me to update VLC Media Player. The problem? I do not have VLC Media Player installed on this machine. I figured it must be a plugin so I checked Torch, Chrome, and Firefox for the VLC plugin. It was nowhere to be seen. Flustered, I went to my registry and deleted every key that had anything to do with the VLC Media Player (I had it installed at one point so there were a few entries). I fired up the Vulnerablity Scanner and guess what? It wanted to update VLC Media Player again. This had me flabbergasted. So I opened File Explorer and entered the search term "VLC." A minute or so later I got results. It was indeed a VLC plugin making McAfee think I had the player. And guess where it was? Right there in Torch's directory. That for me was the last straw. Had when I loaded the plugins for the Torch Browser it had shown the VLC plugin I would have known what the problem was. That and the fact that I got a "blocked risky connection" warning from McAfee upon opening Torch, something I only get while using Torch was enough to get me to uninstall the browser. None of my other browsers has ever caused me such problems (I now have Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer).

The thing is uninstalling the Torch Browser saddened me. It had served me well. It was for over a year my favorite browser. I had recommended it to many people who also found it useful. It may well have been the most useful browser I have ever used. But alas, I like speed when it comes to browsing the internet. I have no time for anything that is slower than Internet Explorer, and certainly no use for something that makes me remember the days of dial up and using Internet Explorer after Netscape imploded. I have a high speed cable connection and like to make the use of it. Too, I did not like extensions and plugins being hidden from me. I want total control over such things esp. something as trivial as an extension to customize Facebook, and certainly control over something as important as a media player.

Would I recommend the Torch Browser to someone now? No, I would not. Even my friend that recommended it to me stopped using it long ago. Sure I could have uninstalled it, and then did a clean install and seen if that changed things, but I was already irritated with the addition of features I did not use or want. What had been a very useful browser was suddenly becoming bloated. Doing a clean install just seemed like too much work for a browser I had given up on. I would not try to convince someone not to try the Torch Browser now. They very well may find it useful. I would not recommend it though. For me I am back to relying on Firefox and Chrome, and I am quite happy with that.