Wednesday, December 15, 2010

And in Other News . . .

I just read in the newspaper this morning that the term "beauty sleep" is true. Seems people who get a good night's sleep really are better looking. Since my main talent seems to be sleeping, I should be doggone gorgeous any day now! Of course they were comparing those who got a lot of sleep to people who stayed up all night. Oh well, for a while there I thought there was hope.

Why is it that people who commit crimes are so intent on demonstrating just how stupid they are? You frequently see a case of a burglar getting caught in a chimney or a ventilation system because he thought that was the easiest way in to a store. The latest case of public stupidity is the motorcyclist who entered the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas, swiped thousands of dollars' worth of chips, ran out, and took off on his bike. Uh, the casinos have serial numbers on those chips, Buddy, so they know which ones are missing now. Lots of luck cashing them in!

The serious side of today's news: the man who went to a Panama City, FL school board meeting with a spray can of paint and a gun. He was angry because his wife had been fired. He painted something on the wall, drew his gun, ordered everyone out except the school board members, and finally shot at them. Apparently he was seeking suicide by cop since he didn't actually hit anyone when he fired point blank. A security guard wounded him and then he fatally shot himself. My question? How in the world did this guy think his actions would solve the problem of his wife being fired? Now she has all kinds of problems besides her job situation and she's alone - better off without this wacko but still . . .

Then there is the high school basketball player who shoved a referee who called a foul on him. He went nuts and threw the ref on the floor like he thought he was in the WWE (or whatever that wrestling show is). Now he can't ever play basketball again. I'm dumbfounded as to how we got here. Why is violence the first thing so many people think of to solve their problems?

We can't just blame it on video games or television. That may be a component but the vast majority of us see it for what it is, nothing to do with reality. I think we've created a violent society somehow: beginning with lack of simple courtesy, on to road rage, examples like parents of young athletes losing their tempers, widespread gang activity, and even more widespread - bullying. I've been a victim of bullying and you probably have too. Why does it get so out of hand now?

I wish I knew the way to turn things around but the only way I know is for parents to be conscious of what kind of example they're setting for their children. All the school programs in the world, all the public service announcements by celebrities, all the DARE and similar programs aren't going to do it if the kids are being raised by people who are out of control themselves. My generation was lucky in that our parents (1940s and 50s) thought the parents they should emulate were the kind on "Leave it to Beaver," "Father Knows Best," and the "Donna Reed Show." It was a much kinder world and I miss it.

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