How many times have we heard of a horrifying crime that was followed by the outcry of how the violence is Hollywood’s fault? This battle cry has been around for longer than I’ve been alive. Of course, it wasn’t always Hollywood that took the blame. Over the decades many a construct or even person has been blamed for the decline of civilization. Over the past decade Hollywood has been joined on the metaphorical guillotine by the Internet and all that it provides; Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, etc.
Throughout history mankind has sought someone or something to blame for its woes rather than actually do the one thing that frightens them more than anything. You might ask what this one thing is and for me the answer is obvious. When was the last time any of us just paused, took a deep breath, and looked in the mirror? I do this every morning simply because I was taught that we all have free will and our choices have consequences. Yes, boys and girls you heard that right–consequences. When last did we as a country, hell for that matter, as a species stop for two seconds and think about what we were about to say, do, or anything else in-between?
Turn on the television one of these days and tune into any of the numerous court room shows that are in circulation; Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Alex, etc. These give us a peek into the mind set of a younger generation of people who have grown to adulthood believing that they can do as they please, when they please, and there will be no consequences.
Sadly even some of my own generation have convinced themselves that the old adage a tit for a tat is a good excuse to act like a jackass. For example in my day job I have to deal with people constantly. Most folks I deal with are reasonable people although a bit dense at times. Then there are those who want to cause trouble because they believe their word should be considered law. I manage rental property and an anonymous note sender has haunted my footsteps since I started this job. The notes are immature and childish often whining about the silliest things. The latest was about another tenant’s doormat; it was two big, it looked ridiculous, and they needed to move it. When I ignored the anonymous complaint then a note appeared on the door of the tenant in question. I told the tenant to ignore the note. A week later said tenant came home to discover the mat covered in fresh paint. After much discussion the tenant told me they were going to put the mat back out and I gave them my blessing. A few days later the mat vanished, we never found it. The tenant then put out another mat and to my amusement nailed it to the floor. Let’s see that one disappear shall we.
So, what was the point of that? Seriously, folks, it’s just a doormat, but someone felt the need to be an ass about it because they didn’t like the choice of size and/or style that the tenant had made. How dare someone have the audacity to ignore their anonymous complaint over something so obviously asinine. When did we descend into the mentality of a bunch of four year olds? This reminds me of something that should be aired on Jerry Springer. I can see it now Your Choice of Doormat Pisses Me Off tomorrow on the Jerry Springer Show.
Yes, there is no doubt that 99.9% of what Mr. Springer has on his show is fictional drama, a sideshow that’s created to entertain, and amuse. But then again, he had to have gotten the idea from somewhere–right? I imagine Mr. Springer sets down with his cup of coffee every morning and skims the numerous papers from across the country to find a story somewhere that he can use in the execution of his show. Sorry, Mr. Springer, but no matter how hard you try you’re no P.T. Barnum. At least Barnum never sold it as anything other than bullshit. He wasn’t trying to fool himself just his audience.
I grew up in a time where the internet and cell phones didn’t exist. Where girls kept diaries instead of airing their dirty laundry on Facebook, MySpace, etc. My world had satellite dishes but they were as big as VW Bugs and I witnessed the birth of MTV. This was my world as I entered high school. If two students had an issue with one another they met behind the gym at three o’clock and they’d have a show down with fists. They did not come to school with their dad’s semi-automatic hunting rifle and blow away half of their fellow students and their teachers.
Instead of living our lives as compassionate human beings who take credit for our own choices, no matter how bad they may be, we’ve become a society of lookie-loos, attention hounds, and blamers. Yes, there are those people who have issues that resulted from circumstances beyond their control, but not every person on the planet had evil parents that ruined their lives. The point is that it is our life, our responsibility, and we as a nation and a race need to get a bloody grip before it’s too damn late. We need to stop using one excuse after another for our failures. Let’s step up to the plate when we need to and if we don’t hit a home run the first time continue to try instead of having a hissy-fit.
Simply put that squishy pink thing inside your head is there for more than keeping your skull from caving in. Say hello to your brain, folks. Use it before it dries up and turns into something resembling a prune.