(I miss George Carlin – he always said what needed to be said.)
As this year moves forward, I find that I’m having a recurring thought about the state of the people in my state (California). I would really like to get this out in one breath, so here goes:
We have lost our courtesy, our compassion, and our intelligence. We all walk around in the same sloppy clothes, watch the same movies and television programs, read the same books, and think the same thoughts. Rudeness is the new standard of behavior; rewards go to the rudest on television,so we mimic what we see so that we can be rewarded. There is no individuality, no critical thinking, and no creativity. Everything is programmed, curated, and manipulated for our maximum enjoyment by a corporation with a computer program. Everything is slick, and cold, and neat – no holes, no mistakes, no passion. Everything is boring, and from the looks of it, Americans have given up on taste, manners, and style.
Ok, back to the post. I am aware that there are intelligent, clever, interesting, fun, down to earth people out there. I am fortunate to know many of them- however, it is a little discouraging to go out into the general population and observe the behavior that is now appears to be acceptable. It’s not so much what people are wearing, although that is part of it – what you wear is important in determining how you feel, and how you feel can have a huge impact on how you behave. It’s really more about how people act towards one another; a few weeks ago, I was at Target, pushing my cart up and down the aisle, shopping for…everything, and a woman turned down the aisle that I was in, pushing her cart. Rather than backing her cart out so I could get through, she just stood there and stared at me, waiting for me to move out of the way for her. People don’t move out of the way for you; you are always expected to go around them, no matter how many boxes or bags you’re carrying. And if children are out with these adults, they are usually screaming, crying, or being generally obnoxious (to be fair, the well-behaved children usually don’t capture my attention, so my observation is a bit skewed.)
I was out at breakfast with my girlfriends last week, and we were catching up on our lives, when it occurred to us that there was some background noise that didn’t seem to subside. We realized that there was a screaming child at the next table, and the adults at the table weren’t making any attempts to make the child stop; not only did they not do anything, they were laughing. This went on for a good ten or fifteen minutes, until one of them finally took the child outside. I won’t get started on what I observe in the way of , or substantial lack of, parenting skills; I will say this: just because a couple is biologically capable of having children, that doesn’t mean they should.
I have no solutions for what I’m seeing; it’s like the ATTACK OF THE STUPIDS in 3-D, and it’s playing everywhere, in malls, movie theaters, and restaurants. I love where I live, and I know I sound a little discouraged about it all; maybe it’s different where you live. I hope so, because there are days when the Golden State seems a little tarnished. Maybe we can all put down our smartphones (at least something is smart in life these days; eventually all of our intelligence will be sucked into our smartphones, and we won’t be able to make a move without them), and start talking to one another to find ways to be…better, damn it, just better than we are now.