Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Miss Straight’s Views On Spoiling. Plus Some Other Stuff

You may recall Miss Straight from this post here.

Here’s a more recent tidbit. Miss Straight’s daughter asked when Miss Straight would be picking her up form this or that after school activity. The response:

Miss Straight: Ride your bike.

Daughter: But I don’t wanna.

Miss Straight: Then walk.

Neighbor Lady also says kids are getting too spoiled these days. I find that I agree.

So what? Yes, but these kids are the ones who will grow up to throw cups of beer at basketball players in another ten or twenty years. Quite frankly, if these kids were just taken over their parents’ knee once or twice, Artest wouldn’t have had to do it. Yes I blame the fans. Why do they get such a thrill from abusing others? These people do and say things they would likely never do to anyone they know personally. And yet doing this to a stranger is somehow appropriate?

Now that I think of it, it reminds me of the way the Dems behaved during the campaign. Just instead of throwing cups, they shot up Republican offices and destroyed campaign signs. Oh and attacked soldiers home from Iraq from behind. Oh and spitting on an Iraq veteran marching in a parade. Oh and rampaged through Republican offices, destroying property and sending people to the hospital. Everyone knows the Dems are the soft mommy party (perhaps the violence noted above can be attributed to PMS?) and the Repubs are the stern daddy. I think we need more stern dads in this country. But hey, I’m open minded. Stern mommies are fine with me too.

Of course, you can’t blame the fans without blaming the NBA for letting it get this far. If the NBA would get rid of these fans we wouldn’t have these problems. If other fans didn’t tolerate the behavior of the jerks, we wouldn’t have these problems. So why aren’t the conscientious fans or the NBA doing anything? It all goes back to the Declaration.

I’ll loosely paraphrase for you. Or if you want quality writing, you can look up the actual text. Jefferson pretty much said it’s easier to take crap. And it’s easier to take a lot of crap sometimes, than to do what needs to be done to correct a situation. But eventually, a point is reached at which taking the crap is no longer an option. I call it the Popeye Point. It happens when you’ve stood all you can stand, and you can’t stands no more.

I’m not saying we should march on our nearest sporting arena with muskets. Using necessary violence to purge those who are lesser is something I’d like to save for when I become benevolent dictator. No, my advice is for the players, and if I were a player, here’s what I would do.

First cup, or battery, or whatever that gets tossed, I’d have my team leave. Hit the showers. Get on the bus. Go. Why should I feel compelled by the NBA to take abuse or be assaulted? Fans don’t like it? Give up the attacker. That’s the part fans play. Bust the guy, and the players can stay and finish the game. If not, game over. Have him arrested and prosecuted. That’s the part the NBA plays. Bar the criminal from the arena. That’s the part the home team plays.

Am I really saying forfeit every game? No. Because it costs money to go to games. It’s very easy to pay $50, or even substantially more for just one person to go to a game. I’m not paying fifty bucks so the criminal next to me can throw stuff at the players. Screw that. It won’t take too many games before fans are eager to point out the criminal in their midst. What if they don’t? Here’s something for you: both teams take a loss, not just the visiting team. Neither team has an advantage in criminal fans then. If they still don’t, here’s another alternative. Flush the fans. Eject everyone in the offending section. How do you know which section? Run dedicated cameras for each section. Record each section of the stands. A cup flies, you’ll know which section it came from easily enough. You may even be likely to identify the criminal from the video alone. But who’s going to pay for the cameras and the people to run them and observe the video when necessary? The criminal. Sue him in civil court to recover the costs. And how do you get away with it all? You put in the fine print on the back of the ticket with the rest of the disclaimers.

Or something like that. I think this election may go down in history as the Popeye Point for red state America. Bush won an undisputed election, Republicans gained in the House and Senate, and even a few Dems are beginning to realize that an insulated, elite bubble does nothing but shield the elites from recognizing that the majority of the country does not agree with them. Have you found yourself wondering if a common culture of values was as important as many of the political issues on which the election was decided? And I don’t mean taxes or defense or education or crime. I mean just common civilized behavior. I’m not going out on a limb when I say that our society has become more rude, am I? There just seem to be more jerks.

Our Nobility Index was at an ebb, slowly driven back since (do I really have to say it?) the 1960’s. I suppose every generation tries to throw off the yoke of the ones who came before, but this time the grand experiment was a little more grand than usual. Maybe it was abortion. Or higher divorce rates. Or the sexual revolution. Some sort of code of honor or citizenship were steadily eroded. What was once considered inappropriate behavior (at least in public) is now often glorified; today, nobody seems to care much about what anyone thinks. How many people do you see every day who ought to be embarrassed by their actions, but aren’t? If your answer is somewhere near zero, you may be one of the people the rest of us are nodding our heads in recognition about.

The Nobility Index sank to new lows by 2000. Even then, things did not immediately improve. There was almost a sense that the will to fight a culture war had been lost. We had become numbed to the impositions on our civic honor. 9/11 changed things for a time. There was a new civility. We realized things weren’t as bleak as they seemed. And then there was the presidential campaign that just ended.

2004 was a long year, and there was plenty of time to for the spotlight to shine on our opponents in the culture war. Michael Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Penn and countless others whose behaviors should have been embarrassing, but weren’t. The perception of John Kerry was that he wasn’t trustworthy, and many of those who worked for him or supported him weren’t so trustworthy either. He never did sign that Form 180, did he? He never seemed like a straight shooter who had some sort of convictions. He never shook the perception of being wishy-washy. And whatever we felt was wrong in our culture and society, there was someone (and often several someones) on the Democratic team that implicitly or explicitly supported it. Or, again, was perceived to support it.

Look, after a time, you can get a feel for the quality of any person you know. You can tell if so-and-so is a good person or not, on whatever scale you use to decide such things. When I think about the New York Times, Dan Rather, everybody who knowingly peddled the phony AWOL story (and that was pretty much all of them), various celebrities, most of the 527’s, Democratic party officials, Kerry campaign spokespeople, most Dem-supporting talking heads, and even Kerry himself, sure, I don’t agree with many of their ideas. The thing is, separately from their political ideas, I just don’t get the feeling that they are good people. Maybe I should be more delicate and say that they don’t seem like the kind of people I would want to know and spend time with on a personal level. These were not the people I wanted to vote for. I’m not going to vote for a candidate if I think he’s not a good person. Once that threshold is passed, then I’ll think about politics.

This election was different because the campaigning and the advertising and the 527’s and cable news and the money were all hugely more intense than in past elections. The super-intense spotlight the Dems were able to shine on themselves only exposed them for what they were. That sounds more dramatic than it is. I just mean that it really stood out that these were the people who oversaw the damage to our culture. We weren’t numb anymore. Now we’re awake.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?