Tuesday, February 6, 2007

An Equal and Opposite Reaction

So, I’m taking my dear friend Jeffoise to the airport this morning for his flight home. We’re stopped behind a car at a light. The light turns green. And the guy just sits there. A while. We’re talking 10-12 seconds (time it out, people, it’s longer than you think). So, I do what I think is the polite thing, giving a light touch to my horn.

I mean, come on, we’ve all been there. You zone out and someone gives you a little goose and you wave to say, “sorry and thank you!” and drive on your merry, zoned-out way. Oh, no! I got THE GLARE in the rearview mirror. The guy is giving me the death stare for the next four blocks. And it got me to thinking about how prevalent it is in this country to not accept responsibility for our actions/missteps. Unless, of course, you’re O.J. and there’s money to be made and you don’t REALLY have to confess.

The late, great Richard Pryor did one of the funniest routines about a vase getting broken in his house and asking his daughter what happened. She says “I’m gonna tell you, ok? I’m gonna tell you. See, we were running—but we weren’t really RUNNING running—‘cause you told us not to run in the house . . .” It’s awesome.

I think all of America has adopted the “it’s not my fault” philosophy. I watched a child accidentally knock something over and break it. As he began to cry, he said, “It’s not my fault.” Yes, it is your fault. It may have been an accident, but it IS your fault. Accept it. Own it.

“He’s not MY President. We didn’t REALLY elect him.” Yeah. We did. It’s your fault. And it’s even more your fault that you let it happen a second time. And now it’s your fault that you’re probably not going to involve or engage yourself in any meaningful way in the NEXT elections.

You know what? ALL of our parents screwed us up. We’re ALL excellent candidates for therapy. What we define as normal is a lie. Fucked up is normal. Deal with it. Get on with it.

And the next time someone honks at you because you almost hit them during a lane change, don’t flip them off. Accept responsibility. Give ‘em the wave with ALL your fingers (okay, not jazz hands, but a simple country wave).

And that, my friends, is my curmudgeonly attempt to make the world a nicer place. And it it doesn’t work . . . hey, it’s not my fault!

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