Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Transformation of Bruce Jenner

It was 1976. I had just graduated from high school. I was working at Lowe's hardware on Broad Street saving every dime for a planned trip out west at the end of the summer. I was supposed to go to college after high school but I wanted to travel the country first. That summer was an Olympic Games year. They were held in Montreal and the only things I remember about them were that the Communist countries were winning all the medals, and America had a Decathlon champion named Bruce Jenner. He was amazing, a one man phenomenon of California cool and athletic grace combined with movie star good looks. The gold medal looked good on him. After those games he went into show business with some television movies for awhile then disappeared until he resurfaced in a reality show called Keepin Up With the Kardashians which I can proudly say I have never watched.

This morning, I was minding my own business trying to stay well informed when I ran across a story announcing that Bruce Jenner is undergoing a " transformation" into a woman. Apparently he and his family are thrilled. So far it's been little things like growing his hair out, wearing makeup and showing up at family gatherings with manicured nails, but soon we are assured that the changes will be more noticeable, more flamboyant. To satisfy the American appetite for all things puerile, Mr. Jenner is having the feminization filmed, to be aired at a later date as a reality series.

I am doing my absolute best to be a modern, sensitive and caring man. I really am. With the assistance of my two grown children, I have boldly stepped into the 21st century by broadening my food choices,(Indian cuisine), eliminating boorish thoughts and dated, harmful words from my vocabulary,(Kraught, towel-head, Jap etc..), and come to become more tolerant and understanding of lifestyle choices that I find personally disgusting and abhorrent. But, there are times when I see
pictures and read stories about a man like Bruce Jenner turning himself into a woman, and I just
wonder what the hell is this world coming to?

From the story I learn that the appropriate response to Mr. Jenner's "decision" is acceptance, even celebration. I should be thrilled for him that he is finally finding happiness. Moreover, I should be inspired by his "courage." It's as if he has just announced to the world that he has decided to devote the rest of his life to feeding the hungry in Bombay. Clearly, God made an awful mistake knitting him together in his mother's womb and blessing him with an Adonis physique and the athletic ability of a small "g" God. The fact that Mr. Jenner used the sexual organs that God gave him to produce 6 beautiful and devoted children was a cosmic accident as well. A friend of the family is quoted as saying that "Bruce feels as if he has finally cast aside a bag of bricks that he has carried for so long. He feels free."

Reading the story, it dawns upon me that despite the efforts of my children, I still retain the ability to
be shocked and saddened by what 95% of all human beings that have ever walked upon this earth would have considered a sickness. It seems that 21st century man is the first to be asked to celebrate the degenerate. But, that last sentence would probably be considered hate speech nowadays. When in truth it is simply an honest declaration of my heart. I can summon no admiration, no celebration. I see no courage. I see a confused, addled man-child living in a reality television universe that has transformed the concept of truth into an incomprehensible mess. The only emotion I can summon is pity.