Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Do We Live in a Strange World, or What?

This is a very strange world we live in, so much more so than I remember it being when I was a kid. It’s not that it’s better or worse. I’m generally not one to sit around rhapsodizing about the “good old days”. When I was a teenager there were no smart phones, no computers, no internet and no such thing as the Cadillac CTS, so, come on! But still, I can’t escape the feeling that our world has grown exponentially weirder year by year since the sixties in ways great and small. Just a few examples follow.

Our government shuts down 21 embassies in the Middle East and warns Americans abroad to avoid going to “American type places” because of some grave terrorist threat. But we here nothing about it from our President’s lips until he goes on the Jay Leno show. The President of the United States goes on the Jay Leno show for the fifth or sixth time of his tenure in office. It seems like the most natural thing in the world for the leader of the free world to be mucking it up with a comedian on late night television, joking about his “bromance” with John McCain. Strange.

From family values conservative Mark Sanford to flaming liberal Anthony Weiner, it seems that no personal failing disqualifies anyone from public service anymore. Sanford, when governor of South Carolina, lied to his own staff about his whereabouts, then uses tax-payer money to fly to Rio De Janeiro to hook up with his soul mate, leaving his loyal wife and house full of children behind. In the days of my youth this would have been a shameful disgrace that would have forced him out of office and the public eye…FOREVER. Meet the new Congressman from South Carolina’s first Congressional district! Strange. Anthony Weiner’s escapades have been well chronicled here, and incidentally would have been impossible when I was a kid since we didn’t have Twitter. Nevertheless, there he is running for mayor of New York, capitalizing on great poll numbers among young women. Strange.

On the very day that Major League Baseball announces that A-Rod will be banned from the game until the end of the 2014 season, he makes his season debut for the New York Yankees. Wait, what?

Johnny Manziel, a college football player who as a freshman single handedly put his University, Texas A&M, on the map and enriched said university immeasurably, is about to be declared ineligible by the NCAA for taking $7500 from an autograph broker for signing his name to a bunch of memorabilia. It seems that everyone associated with this kid has made a boatload of money off of his football exploits, except Johnny Manziel. Strange kid, even stupid kid, but an even stranger and stupider system.

But, there’s no point pining for the past. This is the only world we have, so we should make the most of it, I suppose. Still…what a strange day and age.