Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Wacky Wednesday, Now in Coconut Flavor!

My friend/partner in crime Paul P. sent me an e-mail containing hilarious parodies of well known children's books. This one is appropriate for today.


Because "Dear Abby" caught my eye, and the subject was intriguing.

It's a subject the good folks here at Rancho Sudiegirl (including Iggy, the forgotten staffer we currently use as a doorstop) are WILLING to tackle, by Christ.

The subject is: What is REALLY wrong with society today?

Abby's answer (or whoever the hell Abby is these days...I personally think it's some guy from Duluth but what do I know? I have two cats and a mummified coyote on my personal staff...) was that there is more than one. What she specified at that time was not noted in the column, but other folks felt prompted to give their own opinions.

Among the reasons were the following:

  • Personal responsibility
  • Greed
  • Intolerance
  • Apathy
  • Lack of good parenting/breakdown of the nuclear family
  • technology
  • no respect, no discipline, no courtesy and no consideration for others
When I read each response, I decided that HERE and NOW, for the sake of all bloggers/readers who actually give a tinker's damn about this that I would dissect each reason and share my viewpoints. All eight of you (or maybe ten...I dunno) are down with that, I'm sure. So on that note, here's the first one.

I guess the first thing I have to giggle at with all these answers (not just the first ones) is that these answers aren't anything NEW. Here's the first one...

The main problem in our society today is lack of personal responsibility -- from the deadbeat dad to the CEOs of major companies manipulating financial statements for personal benefit. Our society will prosper only if we all take responsibility for our actions.
Uh - OK.

Lack of personal responsibility has been around since Biblical times (the controversy with Eve and the Apple, Cain and Abel with "Am I my Brother's Keeper?", Pontius Pilate washing his hands, and Peter denying Christ three times before the rooster crowed), and continues today. Please note that statement of this fact is not me being OK with's me saying "It ain't new, folks...even if Oprah raves about it, it ain't new." So there's that.

Secondly, some things simply ARE NOT our responsibility, period. As I'm slowly learning with DD and his addiction, I can only do so much. I can be his friend, but I should not cover for him or feel that I'm the only one who can save him. I have to say that his problems are too big for me, and he should be the one to take "foot in hand" (a Dawson-ism) and get the help he needs. I can listen and give my opinion, but everything else is up to him.

It's greed! The unwillingness to consider how our behavior affects others. We have become so obsessed with material things and a "what's in it for me" mentality that we have forgotten to live by the Golden Rule. -- JUDY IN WICHITA, KAN.
Gee...did Judy and Mike call each other? Aren't lack of personal responsibility and greed intertwined in some way? Think about it. Greed doesn't allow for any responsibility other than what benefits the greed-or. (Is that even a word?) Lack of personal responsibility lets you off the hook so you can do what YOU want, which is greed/selfishness/indulgence/whatever.

Again, greed has been around forever. It's not like some guy named Pete who lives in Topeka woke up one morning and said, "HEY! I think I should invent a concept that causes a person to want so much that they become paranoid and are against anyone else prospering in this big world. Should I call it 'Harriet' or 'greed'? I think 'greed' sounds better..." It's a quality that everyone in this world has felt or been affected by in one way or another. It's what historical events have centered around in many instances. It ain't new, folks.

But is a smidge of greed good? I'm not talking about "Wall Street" and Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko saying, "Greed is good." But a minute amount of greed...isn't that OK if it's tempered with altruism? In other words, no complete selflessness on the part of humans, just enough so we're aware of others on this planet, but not so much that we're perpetual doormats?

Third...this is actually one I agree with:

Society's greatest problem is intolerance. It breeds all the other problems. We're intolerant of other people's views, religions, looks, sexual orientation, languages, mode of dress, career choice, whether to parent -- or not. We're in the business of NOT minding our own business. -- MARILYN IN THE GARDEN STATE

I agree with a twist. I agree that intolerance is a problem in the sense that we're intolerant about the wrong things. We're intolerant about things in other people that we have no power over! We're intolerant of viewpoints, race, religion, physical/mental things, sexual orientation, ethnic groups, and other things that really aren't our damn business anyway.

What we should be intolerant of is the things in society that prevail such as crime, below-par education, pollution, and other things of that nature - i.e. things we CAN change with our words and actions. We should be intolerant of these things as opposed to the other stuff. These are things we can change about our world in big and small ways, by volunteering, voting, speaking up and educating others. Granted, sometimes the biggest mouths are the smallest participants, but intolerance about the things in society that can be changed by us SHOULD wind up getting changed by us. So I guess Garden State Marilyn and I do agree...we're intolerant about the stuff that is none of our business anyway. We need to be intolerant of the things that ARE our business and make changes.

I think I'll write about a few more of these things tomorrow. I don't want Mighty D.'s brain to blow up because I wrote a long, wordy-ass post.

Bye, y'all...