The Pantsing of America
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to fall into a long, long sleep only to awaken and not recognize your surroundings? If you had been in a medically induced sleep in let’s say – 1980, and were to awaken almost 40 years later, what would the wonders be? The shock? The surprise? The horrors?
Of course there is no “normal” waking up after that amount of time, but imagine for a moment that there could be. The advances in technology alone would be enough to transfix that person. It’s hard to even imagine the societal changes. Those of us in our fifth decade may have seen the greatest 40 years of change our country has ever known. We’ve lived through those years of imagined sleep. Now we find ourselves as the beneficiaries of all that transition, as well as being answerable to the chaos.
At 57, I consider myself old enough to have observed and probably taken part in the transformation of a society, both good and bad. In just two generations I have seen the explosion of mechanization, computerization, and animation in everyday American life. On the other hand though, I fear I have watched before my very eyes, the degeneration of what was once a respectable and honorable union.
And just standing by makes me responsible for it.
I wonder however, as I see the carnage left by corruption and blatant disdain for order and respect, if it is really so new. Or has it been hiding – waiting – ready to pounce upon finding an excuse to justify itself and warrant its Godless presence?
Don’t mistake my questions for ignorance. I’m damn mad about it. It’s one thing for someone else to come up from behind and take down someone else’s pants. It’s something completely antithetical however, to pull down your own trousers, bend over, and with intent, show your shiny backside to the entire world.
I, along with you have watched the shameless actions of some New Yorkers as they douse police officers with water, friends all around, cheerleading these offensive and technically illegal actions. When did this become acceptable? The Law of Diminishing Returns applied, says that once these behaviors become happenstance, it will require a greater risk or thrill to satisfy those who feel the need to disrespect and degrade the men and women that are simply doing their jobs. Who knows what they’ll add to the water next time?
One of my internet feeds this morning yielded video of a man being detained by a state trooper after being stopped for going 101 miles per hour in his car. The officer, doing his duty, makes the man come to the back of the car (while his female passenger is videoing). The man is not compliant, saying he has done nothing wrong, and refuses the officers directives. The officer is now forced into handcuff the man for resisting arrest along with the traffic violation. The whole time, he and his woman passenger are screaming at the officer because “He didn’t do anything wrong!” When backup arrives, the man is then treated with force and he still resists while the woman goes bananas.
The act is bad enough. But the comments from individuals who have watched the video are simply repugnant. Although there is some support for the officer, the vast majority of the comments reflect encouragement for the arrested man to sue, and even more disgusting – turn the circumstances into a racial issue. The man was driving 100 mph. Should be end of story. But it’s not.
The behaviors of many in our nation are beyond unacceptable. Their blatant disrespect for both authority and patriotism should make every other American embarrassed and ashamed. This is our country – our union – our family. Like it or not, this aberrant ideal reflects on us all, and if you’re not pissed about it, you should be.
A couple of weeks back three young male athletes attended a national presidential debate. They were invited by one of the candidates that was participating in the debate. Why did these three young men stand out to receive such an invitation? They were highlighted by the media for “taking the knee” during the playing of our national anthem prior to a high school football game. Of course – they are just kids. They likely had no idea the implications of the choice they made, or even why it was important. They were simply emulating the actions of a professional athlete whose initial reasoning for kneeling during the anthem has long since past, and the real basis behind it has been revealed. But now, like the creator of this “movement,” they are celebrities. He needs to be victimized by every part of American history, and due to his visibility, American kids are finding it convenient – and popular – to do the same.
Believe it, one of the most precarious environments in our country right now is public school – its hallways and classrooms. And the person walking the tightrope every second of every school day is the teacher. Many students are waiting – cameras at the ready – for one conflict – one slip up – and hopefully – another video of criminally acceptable behavior to go viral.
Listen. The worst part of all of this is the way it is all being excused – explained away. According to them, there are viable reasons for adults and adolescents alike to behave this way. It’s not their fault! It’s either the economy, the condition of the city, bad teachers, poor community leaders, and best of all – yes – our president. EVERYTHING, it seems, is “Because of Trump.” This extends from the smallest neighborhood to the highest positions in the government of our country. And it’s a shame.
Having to make everything you do the fault of someone else is bogus, lazy, and cowardly. Being a victim doesn’t strengthen your position, it weakens it. Criminal behavior or the violation of rules does not help you gain ground, it ensures that you lose it. Intentional and blatant disrespect of authorities doesn’t elevate your status, it makes you the smallest, dumbest fool in the room.
The world is watching, people. And they’re laughing at America. They should. You and I would too if we were in their positions. The idea that our Republic is a stable union worthy of replicating is a frightening one right now.
I’m just sayin’