Notes on Political Venality, Pomposity and Associated Stupidity.

Monday, February 21, 2005

"Mean People Don't Suck"

It's seems the worst sin that you can be accused of today is being "mean" or "mean-spirited," which is, I suppose more or less the same thing, though the "spirited" part indicates that it's not just a random event, but something deep in your soul.

A young co-worker of mine recently responded vociferiously when her boss called her on the carpet for something she failed to do. She never denied the error, or expressed any "Boy, I really screwed that up" remorse. She was, instead, annoyed that she had been "yelled at." I've known her boss for years and I know he never yells. Never. In the decade I've known him he's only gotten peeved with me a few times, and he has never raised his voice. I say this because I believe that what little "Britney" (a nom de plume, but fitting) saw as "yelling" was nothing of of the sort. It was simply a boss doing what they are often forced to do, which is get people in line with some stern words.

But young people today, in far too many cases, have been coddled from day one. They are delivered directly to the bus stop by Mom and Dad. They get every toy they want, every electronic gizmo. Every thing. And no one could ever tell them NO. In school they were dealt with by teachers who had to keep on their kid gloves the entire time, lest they risk a lawsuit. Britney could be a snit or a full-out witch, but Teacher could never really get her under control. Mommy-Daddy saw to that. A recent article in Time dealt with the generational issue of kids who (if you'll excuse an reference to "Galaxy Quest") Never Grow Up, Never Mature!" And while this can seem, on the surface, like a minor problem, it really isn't. If young people are unable or unwilling to step up and become adults, to take the reigns and assume responsibility - what is left for us? I am reminded of H. G Wells "Time Machine," where the Eloi mindlessly accepted their fate. Are we prepared for an entire race of people mimicking the cluelesss Yvette Mimieux of this movie? Is that our future? Maybe so. Just strap yourself into the Barcolounger and watch the mannequin across the street turn from sassy to sonambulant.