Tuesday, January 6, 2009


OK, the holidays are officially over. After my brief hiatus from the blogosphere, I think it's about time I get back into the mix. The problem is, I just don't know where to start. Sure, I could join the Frey and post something about "Blago/Burres/Obama-gate", but really...who cares? And who's really surprised anyway. I could post something about Israel going into Gaza. But once you've said "It's about friggn' time", what more is there to say? Instead of writing yet another op-ed about the world of politics, today I'm opting to touch on something a little more...cultural.

The week prior to Christmas I was in the middle of my traditional last minute approach to ruining the true meaning of the season by giving-in to the shameless commercialism that the Savior's birthday has now become, when I had an epiphany. There are too many idiots in this world. I'm not talking about the "common" brand of idiot; people who drive a Prius, fat people that drink 72 oz. diet sodas, or Obama voters. No, I'm talking about the new level of idiot known as the "self mutilator".

As I was searching the shelves of a well-known book store chain trying to find a children's version of "A Christmas Carol" I was approached by one of the employees who asked if he could help me find something. One look at this individual nearly caused me to reply "Yes, you can help me find my faith in humanity's ability to survive your generation's presence". But tis' the season, so I politely said "No" and went my merry way.

I would best describe this "person" as a parent's nightmare, adorned with all manner of tattoo, piercing and surgical modification. Beyond his "Flock of Seagulls" hair and his "flock of demented retards" clothes, his face was the most distracting...and depressing. His speech was afflicted by a tongue piercing, and his ears were weighted down with giant bolt-like hardware that protruded through holes the size of silver dollars in his earlobes. This was accented by a nose and eyebrow piercing. Despite his polite and helpfull manner, I couldn't help but wonder if it would be safe to give this individual access to my credit card. After all, according to his self inflicted "look at me" kit, judgement did not seem to be one of his priorities.

Before some of you label me "narrow minded" or "out of touch", consider this. Other than deep seated emotional issues or questionable psychological status, what drives a person to go to such lengths to draw attention to themselves? As a blogger and author, I want attention as much as the next guy, that is unless that "next guy" happens to have a bone in his nose and some sort of demon tattooed on his neck.

Judgement is a lost art. Fewer people practice it now more than ever, and our society is suffering the effects. When people act out like this, there is a message that they are sending to us. They are telling us that their parents dropped the ball somewhere along the line. That forces you to ask what else about this person did those parents drop the ball on? What other judgement issues are beyond this person's ability to comprehend? Can these people really be trusted to serve me and my family in a professional manner? If they are willing to disfigure themselves for the sake expression or attention, what else are they capable of when no one is looking?
This also says something about the people who are willing to hire these weirdos. Do they have no pride in their own business? If not, what else do they not give a crap about? Are they more concerned with looking "tolerant" than keeping a valuable customer base? Are they trying to make some sort of statement by hiring people with mental issues?

Is there anything "wrong" with this type of behavior. Probably not. But it does speak volumes about you when you are so uncomfortable in your own skin that you think it's a good idea to puncture it for no good reason.

I never did find the book I was looking for. But I did find my way to a bookstore where I didn't have to worry about losing my appetite...or my credit rating.


Blair said...

Just be glad you were buying a book instead of food at a restaurant.

Roadhouse said...

I checked out your blog. I get to Charlottesville quite often. Don't even get me started on restaurant service.

JMK said...

This is part of an incrementally increasing problem in my view.

It's generational and it's generational because we are seeing the generational impact of the loss of our national "rugged individualism" and our respect for self reliance and Liberty with each passing decade.

I can see the trajectory very clearly in my own family, my grandparents were incredibly self0reliant. They not only "never asked for anything," they never expected much" from their fellow citizens, whom they knew were as busy as they were, nor their government.

My Dad's generation was reared in the Great Depression, he fought in WW II and Korea and then came out and worked 38 years in the FDNY during the "riot years" in some of the busiest firehouses in NYC.

That guy never had an easy day in his life and never expected less. While he wasn't quite as self-sufficient as my grandfather, who built his own house with a single friend, he was self reliant enough.

It was that generation that made the first mis-step and they made it out of the best of intentions.

After WW II America's was the only economy left standing and times were good....real good. The GI Bill allowed millions of men who'd never been able to get into to College in the past, get in and go.

In turn, they sought to make their kid's lives as easy as possible. Yes, there was discipline and chores and expectations, but they were the first generation to give more and expect less from their kids.

After that, the flood gates opened. The generation that grew up in the sick 1960s saw "discipline as punishment" and saw "tolerance" and "not judging" as the highest moral dictates....and THEY raised a generation of, while not entirely, overwhelmingly spoiled, self-centered brats...and now some of those lost souls are breeding yet another generation that seems the least connected, the least slef-motivated and most dependent and entitled YET!

The question is, where do we go from here?

Will the coming economic tsunami intensify beyond our wildest imaginings - there are some DOPES who think the current economy is "the worst since the Great Depression", when it actually pales in comparison to the Carter years - taking into account how limited those imaginings are?

And if it does, will it refocus us on the things that made America great - that self reliance, private property rights, individualism....OR will it result in a weakened generation simply surrenderingn and giving in to total dependancy?

If it's the former, we may reclaim our greatness.

If it's the latter, we may well wind up serfs to a growing and avaricious Chinese empire...and deservedly so.