It seems that everyone and everything everywhere is turning today’s melting pot of cultures foul. After dealing with all the negativity and arrogant attitudes out in public and on the job, there seems to be no patience left for family, or for personal timeout.
In a Winona store, I came across a sign advertising a stack of wooden wall plaques for 44 cents each. The quote on the top one is priceless. I grabbed it up, and proceeded to sift through the rest. They were all the same, this quote by John F. Kennedy: “Let both sides explore what problems unite us, instead of belabouring those problems which divide us.”
Many are blind and deaf to the gift of words.
Rallies, for the benefit of a political party, are far from tea parties! As things get down and dirty, are more and more railin’ against Palin? Imagine that teeny-bopper voice, laced with its giddy overtones, bleating from the U.S. presidential throne: “Yah, sure! You betcha!” How would a TV audience know whether they’re watching a state of the union address or a rerun of “Saturday Night Live?”
Believe it or not, there are more than a few new millennium seniors who are offended by a dirty mouth. Lo and behold, a January newspaper insert, “American Profile,” featured an article called “Clean Comedy.” It seems there is a refreshing new breed of stand-up comics who keep their audiences laughing with “bleep-free humor.” Bob Newhart has avoided off-color jokes during a career that has thrived since the late 1950s. Bravo!
“Toddlers & Tiaras” is a TV show that looks too much like parents exploiting their little tykes, who, as young as one year old, are dressed in lavish costumes, to compete, and are subjected to the strenuous ordeal of makeup, hairdos and, sometimes, even fake teeth. Some throw fits and cry because this is all too much for them. Some are given sugar treats to pep them up when their energy is beginning to fade.
Along with all that glamour, each girl has to strut her stuff on stage in front of a panel of judges and perform her cutesy routine. On the sidelines, parents, the girls’ coaches, and other fans, throw out encouragement that sounds more like the cheering section of a sports event. An adult grossly mimics the routine for the child to follow.
Heated, emotional reprimands are sometimes directed at the little contestant who didn’t perform well. Sadly, these miniature beauty queens often seem to turn into the snooty, demanding, and smart-mouthed damsels they are expected to emulate. Some things are just plain wrong!
Far beyond bad taste, the show with video clips of “the world’s dumbest” - whatever, is a prime example of making light of tragedy and violence. Stunts gone terribly wrong, and one idiot causing harm to another, seem to play like comedy hour at the Greek Coliseum. These displays make light of human cruelty and foolish bodily harm. Where’s the humor in that?
Here’s the most anal one of all! There are certain individuals who are hot under the prissy, starched, white shirt collars because our country’s man in the Oval Office has been seen in public wearing a sweat suit. Others have committed similar faux pas by daring to strut their stuff in blue jeans, swimsuits, and, most disgraceful, parading around in the blue room in a bathrobe. Have they no shame?
Is chivalry dead yet? With every noted lapse of time, the subject seems to come up, usually women in reference to the male gender. WANTED: guys who will come to the rescue and go out of their way to be considerate and polite!
Common courtesy is uncommon these days. Remember the infamous words of Forrest Gump: “Stupid is as stupid does.” I’m not sure what it means...but any gift of words spoken with conviction and innocence is worthy of consideration.
Janet Burns can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org