Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I'm a boomer and I've always been in a crowd. I suppose the last letter defined generation was "Y". Now, I don't particularly like being in crowds, so I haven't always been in sync with my own generation, but I find myself increasingly out of touch with the other letters of the alphabet. I'm told it's my age, but on most issues it seems to be a matter of common sense and decency. More and more we are bombarded with the notion that we should be tolerant of whatever anyone else wants to do or say. Historically, that approach never has worked. Your freedom to flail your arms about ends at the point where my nose begins. The previously stated notion implies there are no absolutes and therefore everything is O.K. I beg to differ. In every culture and civilization that has lasted for any significant length of time there have been absolutes. In our country and I'm sure in others, we have created protected classes of people. We are constantly told if we criticize members of these classes we will face legal sanctions. Laws are made to try and punish attitudes towards these classes more severely than the actual provable offense already on the books. For example, hate crime legislation. If someone commits murder we have already made laws and penalties to deal with the offense of murder. All citizens are covered. However, when we add to this, a penalty regarding your mental state when committing murder against certain classes, we move into an area which cannot be proven, and which tips the scales of justice in favor of the protected class. I don't really need law to tell me how to properly relate to others. My parents, schools, churches, and other social institutions molded me, and in addition I am currently in the last years of study at the School of Hard Knocks. I think most of us, though silent in our protest of aberrant behavior, have had similar education. I'm really tired of the influence of these "bottom of the barrel" members of society in our fashion industry, sports, church, politics, music, schools, entertainment, and life in general. When I argued as a child about my behavior being better than someone whose behavior was obviously worse, my parents told me not to compare myself to the "bottom of the barrel" gang, but to try and model my behavior after those who were doing the right thing. It only takes a little tolerance of this selfish behavior to spoil any venue where people come together. We have all probably shown our backsides accidentally when bending over with a shirt that wouldn't stay tucked in, but I am talking about showing it on purpose all the time with clothes designed by some misfit who doesn't have good sense to begin with. So, I say to all who are from the bottom of the barrel, or who have chosen to follow this crowd, cover it up, turn it down, and get out of my face. You have gone as far across the line toward my nose as I can tolerate and I'm in a surly mood. "Don't tread on me anymore."