Monday, December 21, 2009


Freedom is what makes this country great.  Freedom to talk about issues, freedom to worship in a manner that aligns most closely with your beliefs, freedom to drive a Lexus in the left hand lane at 55 mph.

Ok, so I'm kidding about the last point. Mostly.

I was telling Penny (who calls me the pessimist) that as a society, the US has to be one of the most screwed up societies in the world.  We're governed by greed, worship celebrities, and are so insulated that we often have difficulty seeing past our own noses.  That all being said, why is it, that when you look at just one person, they seem so level headed?  In other words, why is it that the individual pieces are so much different than the whole?

I just remarked that the most important news today would be the story about Brittany Murphy passing.  This is terrible news, indeed, as it seems she was a talented actress that got mixed up in the wrong crowd and in most likelihood, OD'ed at the age of 32.  But let's put that in perspective.  One child dies every five seconds due to starvation.  A child who couldn't possibly provide for themselves, dies one of the most painful ways possible.  Brittany likely overdosed, or died due to a complication from her eating disorder.  Her situations were avoidable, in my opinion.  My point being, what's more important to all of us?  Where should our focus be, in order to have a fair and just society?

Another example...Congress is on the verge of passing the health care bill.  Yet how many people really understand what it means for them?  I'm not talking about the rhetoric crap that's spread around in emails by biased parties, I'm talking about really understanding the bill, and how it relates to them, their children, and their parents.  Now, I certainly realize that the bill is over 1000 pages long, but where does someone go to get an honest, unbiased opinion?  Certainly not the media.  They are more interested in Nielsen ratings and internet hits, by trying to lure people by "informing us" why Brittany Murphy died or what Kate Gosselin is wearing while shopping for her kids.

Maybe I'm turning in to a grumpy old man, but I think the truth of it is that I see how great we are as individuals, but how badly our society is turning out to be.  Americans are born into a country where the possibilities are endless, but we are quick to embrace self-destructive behaviors rather than face difficult choices.  Why workout five times a week when you can just pop a pill?  Why force your kids to go outside and ride their bikes when you can let them play xbox 360?  And then we wonder why you have to drug them into a stupor so they can "pay attention" in school?  We're becoming a society of the quick fix.  Why have a nice relationship when I can just tweet about things?  Why have a nice meal when we can snarf down a bunch of genetically altered McD's in less than 10 minutes?

It does make me sad, and makes me wonder what kind of life I can expect AB and Kieran to have seeing just how far things have careened off of the good and middle path in my short time on this earth.

At least I had a great bike ride yesterday.

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