There’re a few things I think the world would be better off without. Wouldn’t it be great to ring out the old year and leave these things behind with 2006? Here’s my list:
The Iraq War. Sure, I know this is unrealistic, but we’re dreaming here, OK? No matter what one’s political philosophy, surely we can agree that we wish either the war was over or, more to the point, our soldiers and sailors were home.
Saddam Hussein. Personally, he’s history. Let’s hope his legacy is also history. He left us with one last ludicrous image, a mass murderer carrying the Koran and mouthing religious statements on his way to the grave.
Vitriolic Partisan Politics. The Founding Fathers knew there would always be factions, and in some sense this fact is a strength of the American republic. But the disappearance of gentlemen politicians like Gerald R. Ford has not been good for our democratic polity. In their stead, we’ve witnessed the emergence of politicians who confuse disagreement over ideas with disrespect of persons. These politicians on both sides of the isle loathe one another. This cannot be and is not good for the country.
Poster Boys for Poor Sportsmanship. France’s World Cup Zinedine Zidane, NBA’s Allen Iverson, MLB’s Barry Bonds, Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban, Denver Nuggets vs. New York Knicks, NFL’s Terrell Owens, Olympian embarassment Bodie Miller, perennial poor sportsman Coach Bobby Knight.
World Poker Tour. This isn’t about competition. It’s about gambling, greed, and a gullible audience.
“Truthiness.” This new word for an old problem—not telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth—describes “authors” James Frey, O.J. Simpson and “publisher” Judith Regan, and Harvard undergraduate Kaavya Viswanathan. It also describes political “spin.
“Oh My God!” Is this the only phrase television and film writers know for demonstrating surprise? I, for one, am tired of hearing this phrase constantly on television programming, even from the mouths of children. From a Christian perspective, this is using the Lord’s name in vain and a violation of the third of the Ten Commandments. TV and movie writers, “Get a clue. Find a new phrase indicating surprise or concern.”
E.D. Commercials. Am I the only one weary of erectile dysfunction advertisements? O.K., we know this physical condition exists and that products like Viagra and Cialis, to name only two, are made to address the problem. So why do we need to keep hearing about it on nighttime television?
Voyueristic, Self-indulgent “Reality” Shows. Enough with hearing about everyone’s feelings. I watch television to escape and be entertained, not to live through the problems of someone else’s life, especially immature, narcissitic people.
Celebrity Worship. This is an old one, but wouldn’t it be great to leave behind in 2006 the lives and foibles of TomKat, Brangelina, Britney Spears and Fed Ex, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Ritchie, and Paris Hilton? Does what these people do really matter?
Soft Porn in Mainstream Advertising. No one can say with a straight face the sex saturation is not the primary, regular, and overwhelming mode of presentation in virtually all mainstream advertising. I venture to guess that any given man alive today has through media seen more female flesh than any one hundred men a century ago, even men faithfully married for sixty years.
Same Sex Marriage Debates. Who, even one generation ago, would have believed there would come a day when this kind of immorality would be openly discussed, embraced, and even promoted? I do not wish to deny any person, no matter what their sexual choices, their citizenship rights to life, liberty, safety, or opportunity. On the other hand, I see nothing good coming to a culture that legalizes sexual perversion.
“Evangelicals” as a New Political Word. Since the 2000 presidential election, “Evangelicals” has become a media term for any religiously devout Protestant who holds to so-called traditional views of morality. Such “Evangelicals” who hold such views are no longer considered part of a long heritage of American Christian beliefs but rather representatives of some strange new “fringe,” Far Right, or otherwise extremist group. I think this is an unfair and an inaccurate characterization and I am weary of being labeled improperly.
Poor Cell Phone Etiquette. I use a cell phone—regularly. I don’t use it standing immediately beside another person. I don’t use it loudly in restaurants. I don’t generally interrupt meetings with others to take cell phone calls. I was actually in a funeral home recently, talking to another man in the line waiting to pay respects to the deceased and extend condolences to family members. The man felt his phone ring, took it out and looked at it, then said “Excuse me” and proceeded to interrupt his conversation with me and conduct business on the phone in the funeral home waiting line. That one was over the top for me—and this fellow is a nice guy. But he’s addicted to his phone.
What would you like to leave behind in 2006?
© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006
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