Posts tagged Embarrassing Sixties
Here’s what gets me.
It seems to me that whenever society identifies and labels a “problem,” it is more concerned with identifying and blaming the “cause” of that problem, much less trying to solve the problem and even much less determining that a problem really exists.
I believe all problems can be blamed on stupidity (to put it harshly), lack of intelligence (to put it moderately) or lack of common sense (to put it mildly).
For example, take a problem that exists between men and women. Please!
Now, the common methodology of problem solving consists of (1) Identify the problem, (2) Imagine all possible solutions to the problem and (3) Select the best possible solution.
Have any of the disgruntled participants (that is, all men and women) bothered to identify the problem other than to make erroneous, inflammatory generalizations such as “All men are rapists,” “All women are emasculators” or “All people are stupid”? (Okay, okay! That last generalization was mine.)
As I see it, the problem from women’s point of view is women are jealous of men (to put it harshly), women are dissatisfied with their traditional roles in society (to put it moderately) or women think men are pigs (to put it mildly).
From the men’s point of view, women are making a big deal over nothing (to put it harshly), women are dissatisfied with their traditional roles in society (moderately) or all men are pigs (etc.).
The only simple identification of the “problem” is “A problem exists between men and women.”
Logically, that is no more helpful than the incomplete and asinine syllogism of “Pigs is pigs,” “Business is business” or “Men are men and women are women.”
Many people believe problems are solved by blaming the cause of the problem, changing that cause and voila! Problem solved.
Fine, but first you have to identify the problem, and so far all we have is “The problem is a problem.”
Assuming that a problem exists (which is true, because some people are unhappy and everybody’s desired state is happiness), what if we accepted the notion that not all “problems” can be solved? What if we decided (1) a problem exists between men and women, (2) problems have always existed between men and women and (3) how can we live with those problems as comfortably as possible?
Well, one way is to stop blaming men for the problem, stop blaming women and start blaming nature.
“What?” you say? “Blame nature?” you say? “That’s stupid!” Right! If you would rather blame the cause of problems than solve them, blame stupidity, because if we were all smarter, we would prevent problems from ever occurring.
Stupidity is simply the quality or state of being very dull in mind.
Let’s face it: According to the Bell Curve of Intelligence, some of us are very dull in mind. Nobody wants to be, but facts are facts. In fact, the majority of us are dull in mind.
Which brings me to the Embarrassing Sixties. I believe the “problem” between men and women gathered momentum during that silly decade.
Baby Boomers were protesting that everybody should be treated as equals. Men burned their draft cards to protest the war in Vietnam. (“Hell, no! We won’t go!”) Women burned their bras to protest the war of the sexes. (“Hell, no! Let ‘em flow!”)
Now, as a young man I was turned on by all the sudden influx of unfettered breasts, knowing the only thing separating my eyes from forbidden fruit was one thin layer of cloth, not cloth, latex and wire underpinnings.
And while nobody was watching, we all got stupider. We started to believe that everybody was equal, or else, they should be. We started to give every kid a colored ribbon in school races, because no one should have low self-esteem. We started to ignore rules of grammar in school compositions, because creativity should flow and not be stifled. And we started to believe that men and women should be equal, because … fair is fair.
But Nobody said life is fair. Men and women are not created equal. Men have penises, testosterone and agressive upbringings. Women have vaginas, estrogen and passive upbringings. And those are just the majority of the people on the old Bell Curve of Sexuality.
Previously, men could get into trouble by repeating the lyrics “You are woman, I am man: Let’s kiss.”
Why can’t we just accept the mantra, “We are all people: Let’s lighten up”?
I rest my case.
Here’s what gets me.
This obsession some of us have–well, a number of us have–okay, okay!–a lot of us have to get our names in the newspaper and to be the best at something–anything!–has really gotten out of hand.
For example, some people’s days aren’t made until they can try to convince a whole community to change its collective mind about some very important matter (to them) just by getting one teensy editorially mangled letter-to-the editor printed in the newspaper of their community of choice.
Then, if they are lucky, that one-letter writing campaign will start a response from the other side of the very important matter (to someone else), and a true dialogue develops. (Except, of course nobody is doing any actual talking and the newspaper’s editorial-page editor probably has a policy of no more than one letter per month published by the same letter writer.) Sometimes, these very important matters (to everybody) can range all the way from “Why isn’t the sidewalk in front of my house fixed?” to “I think we all should worship the Rammalammadingdong god Ram Lam.”
For another example, other people’s weeks, months and, yes, sometimes years aren’t made until they can get their names and records published in the official “book of weirdness,” the Guinness Book of World Records, which really became famous during the Baby Boomers’ best years: the Embarrassing Sixties.
Maybe you saw a story many years ago about a gathering of record holders at the Empire State Building. (This was ironic, because Fame, like all world records, is fleeting, and just as the Empire State Building used to be the world’s tallest building, the gathering included the sometime-in-the-future former ”most tattooed man,” “longest grape catcher,” “longest apple-peel peeler,” “most basketballs dribbler,” “most married couple” and–get this one–”most versatile human.”)
Now, you are probably thinking, “How can they prove that guy’s got the most tattoos, that guy caught a grape thrown from the greatest distance, that gal peeled the longest apple peel, that guy can dribble the most basketballs at once, that couple got married the most times and that guy–get this one–is the most versatile human? And just what does ‘versatile’ mean, anyway?”
Well, sorry to break their bubbles, but they can’t! Those people just got their first! If you want to get there second, you can be a weird (Sorry!) world record holder, too!
Walter Stiglitz, the Tattoo Man of North Plainfield, NJ, admitted that even after 5,552 tattoos, he still had room for another small one “here and there,” including his “privates,” which, unfortunately, he should never have referred to as “small,” regardless of its size.
Paul Tavilla, the Grapecatcher, caught a black Ribier (with seed) thrown 50 mph from 327 feet away for the ground record. That left open the record for other grapes thrown 51 mph from 328 feet and many more records at greater speeds from farther away with and without seeds.
Kathy Madison, the Apple Peeler from Wolcott, NY, peeled a 20-ounce cooking apple 2,068 inches in 11-1/2 hours on Oct. 16, 1976. That left the record book open for 21-ounce apples; 2,069 inches of peel and up; 11 hours, 29 minutes and down; and every day except October 16!
Bob Nickerson, the Dribbler from Gallitzin, PA, dribbled four basketballs in 13 maneuvers while telling bad jokes. What is open? Five basketballs, 14 maneuvers and up or–even better–good jokes!
Carol and Richard Roble, the Most Married Couple from Hempstead, NY, had been married in all 50 states and the District of Columbia–always on November 30. Mr. Roble said, “I don’t know if we got sex in every state, but close to it.” What is left for the record book? How many cities are there in the U.S.? How many countries in the world? And … well, you can take it from there.
And Ashrita Furman, the Most Versatile Human–. Oh, forget it. He probably has that title locked up, anyway.
Now, if you wanted to start your own category, have you thought about the World’s Most Prolific Letter-to-the-Editor Writer? Nah, who writes letters anymore?
Go for the most tattoos, especially including the small naughty bits.
I rest my case.