Friday, January 14, 2011

Political Incorrectness

I’m glad it’s Friday. I don’t think I could take one more day this week. A while back, I wrote a blog about the possibility of eight days a week. I’m recanting it. As well, the weather has created a fitting ambience for my stress level the last several days. Overcast, cold and dreary.

That being said, I will effectively end this week with one last rant. And then I’m determined to venture to the flipside of a negative mindset.

I haven’t talked about politics in a while, so today’s subject broaches a few more things with which I have some issues. Yeah yeah…I know you’re all surprised. It’s so unlike me to share my opinion.

Issue no. 1:  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

A lot of agencies and businesses are closed Monday to celebrate his birthday, which is actually tomorrow (1/15).

Before you make assumptions or jump to any conclusions, let me just preface my explanation by telling you I don’t have any personal problem with the man, may he rest in peace. I don’t disagree that MLK was a notable figure in our history. He was an important influence and advocate for the civil rights movement, and encouraged America to embrace a color-blind approach to societal acceptance.

This is not about race. It is about respect and recognition for other great men (and women). I realize that if we adopted a “holiday” to celebrate the impact and significance of all of those who changed history, we’d be off year-round. Rather than embark on a timeline of events that I think are suitable mentions, I will tell you the most important date that comes to mind…

September 11, 2001.

This day in history marks a profound significance to my generation. Much like the Vietnam War did for my parents, and World War II did for my grandparents. September 11 and the events that followed set forth a series of actions and consequences that, at present, we are all witness to. It still burns me up when I read and hear the vitriol directed at former President Bush as a result of this. I think many of those people could stand to benefit from reading Decision Points (his autobiography). Read it, and then give me your opinion of President Bush. The insight into his mind and what he struggled with as a man facing adversity, humanizes him. Something all of us can relate to. I must take a deep breath, and remind myself that the people who so carelessly toss around insults rarely have the facts at hand before mouthing off. Nor do they care to be educated. It’s much easier to put up a mental block to hide behind, rather than be humbled by the realization of misinformed and false accusations. I think President Bush handled his time in office, specifically the events of September 11, with a caliber of class and Christian faith that our current administration can’t hold a candle to.

The service men and women who risked and lost their lives, and the countless thousands who perished in the wrath of terrorists, still brings tears to my eyes. Our armed forces, who face things daily that our worst imaginations can’t conjure up…their worried families, who can only hope that prayer surrounds them and the hand of God protects them…the emotional hardships the families of the victims have to endure…granting us the freedom to complain about our lives, our bills and what we’re owed. All of these things are trivial when compared with the value of a human life. That tragic day set the pace, now ten years later, for a war we are still fighting. A war to conquer genocide, tyranny, persecution, and terrorism. To name a few.

I think a holiday of reverence to tribute those affected by September 11 should be established. Just as MLK delivered insightful oration that impacted a nation, these men and women have bled for us – figurative and literally – and delivered a concept of peace that impacts the world. They should be honored.

Issue no. 2:  Blame-shifting

I touched on this a little in issue number one, so I won’t go into great detail. I think a quote by my friend, Jim Murphy, sums it up…

“…What is more dangerous, a lone gunman venting violence or those who instinctively place the blame at the feet of their political or ideological opponents?”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. And I couldn’t agree more.

Why are we so quick to point fingers? Every single person on the planet deals with their share of problems. We all go a little mental sometimes. The majority of us just have a better psychological handle on it than the other few. These few are the ones that open fire on a classroom full of innocent people, or sodomize a child, or get physically violent, or rape, or murder…I could go on. I don’t excuse these behaviors by any means of the word. It sickens me to the very breadth and depth of my soul. Being a Christian, I have to remember that God created these people, too. His reasons trump all of those we can’t begin to get a grasp on. No matter what these people have done, they are still someone’s son, or brother, or cousin. And most importantly, they are still a child of God.

However, it is no more the government’s fault than it is society’s that these catastrophic events occur. What should bond us to take stand against these brutalities is instead eroding the very moral fabric of humanity that allows us to feel compassion for our brothers. We turn a blind eye to it and close our hearts to reaching out. We instinctively place blame rather than take a good long look in the mirror to evaluate what we can change inside us. We don’t care or take responsibility for ourselves because we are too busy pointing fingers at others and demanding answers to impossible scenarios crafted by psychopaths and narcissists. If we start caring for our enemies, then it stands to venture that we broaden our capacity to love and accept unconditionally. And forgive. And progress. And stand united.

George Bernard Shaw said, “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples, then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”

The above concept applies to every aspect of the way we think. If we stopped butting heads and took time to recognize that trading one thing for another still only leaves us with one thing, and that sharing ideas and aspirations opens the door to endless possibilities of the mind, we might discover that we stand for the same things. Just based on different principles attained from our unique walks of life. Principles that shape who we are as human beings, and give us individuality and uniqueness, which makes us all precious. Regardless of political affiliation, culture, color or creed, we all survive with a beating heart and the blood flowing through our veins. Until we stop thinking of our opponents (whatever the circumstance may be) as a three-headed monster, we will never get beyond the boundaries of placing blame.

Issue no. 3:  Some simple concepts I’d like to see applied (not all of them are political)

I would love to throw the idea of political correctness out of the window. It is a direct contradiction to the First Amendment. ‘Oh, you have free speech, but don’t say anything that offends me. My mind and self-esteem are so fragile that I just might break into tiny little pieces. And I might sue you.’

Common sense should be rewarded. Although, is there really such a thing as “common sense”? Is it just “good sense”? Whatever it is, some people are lacking a great deal of it. I think a ‘Common Sense Course 101’ should be offered starting in junior high. I think people should have to pass a mandatory test on the subject at the end of each year to be able to advance to a higher grade.

People should have to retake their driver’s tests frequently. Like, every 10 years or so. There are a lot of people who don’t need a driver’s license. And there are a lot of people who should no longer be driving. Here is my idea: when a person reaches a certain “ripe old age” and the limitations of achieving that age start to hinder their driving abilities (and it is proven), then their driving privileges should be honorably revoked. They are a danger to themselves and to others. America’s unemployment rate is high. The states should gather up the unemployed, educate them in a rigorous course of driving skills, and assign them to a person who should no longer be driving. The salaries to compensate these “drivers” would cost less for the state than road repairs, clean up, etc., due to the accidents caused by our “vehicular operationally challenged”. (Hah! How do you like that for political correctness?)

Gossiping should be an arrestable offense. Extreme, I know. But most of it is hurtful and often unfounded.

Women, when you reach a certain age, I think some hairstyles are more appropriate than others. I know you’re attached to your long hair, but when it’s thin and straggly and hanging past your butt, it’s time for a style intervention. Likewise, if your hair can’t fit through a standard doorway, it’s time to fire your stylist. Or ask your friends to be brutally honest with you.

On that note… Men, the wife beater tank top and hairy potbelly do not equate sexiness. Especially when accompanied by a plumber’s crack. Nor does a toupee. Embrace your baldness, I say. Look at Bruce Willis and Vin Diesel. They own their baldness. Own yours. Confidence is much sexier than a bad comb-over.

Passing gas or picking your nose in public is unacceptable. Period.

So is the use of certain spices when cooking in a confined area.

The price of gas shouldn’t be based on supply and demand. Meaning, they supply it and then demand we pay the outlandish prices for it. It should be no more than $1.00 per gallon. This is possible. It is. All the oil resources we need are right here in America. We’re just too lazy to try and work for it.

I think every man in the world should experience one menstrual cycle in his lifetime. I know this is medically impossible. But the “myth” behind PMS would be forever debunked.

Certain patterns and color schemes do not go together. And one should never wear knee socks with flip-flops and shorts. Oh, and golfing attire should seriously be reconsidered.

The price of McDonald’s fries should go up to $50 a serving. I’m convinced obesity would rapidly decline if this were to be implemented.

A track of children’s laughter should be played periodically throughout each day. If that doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will.

Well, that’s about it for today. I feel much better forcing my views on you. If the world ran according to Kellie…well…it would certainly be an interesting place. Like Disneyland on steroids. Every ride would be operated by a Hugh Jackman look-alike (shirtless, of course), and Morgan Freeman and Anthony Hopkins would co-commentate all of the winning Aggie football games. Or they could just cite numbers from the phone book. Makes no difference to me.

And air would taste like chocolate when you breathe it in.