Lunatics to the Left, Lunatics to the Right, and Not a Drop to Drink

Monday, September 20, 2010

God. Oh God. Oh God, God, God. It is getting worse. Maybe I’ll take cyanide.

I find this inspiriting headline polluting my inbox like rotting road-kill. It's from Broward County, Florida:

“Child Still Expelled for Toy Gun – a Year Later Parents want their child back in school. School board says no way.”

See? Florida collectively is out of its tiny little mind. What if this crepuscular pathology spreads to other countries? Or planets?

“School board officials said the rules are quite clear and that the toy gun constituted a weapon.”

Me, I figure the school-board officials constitute a pack of priggish low-Board simians who ought to be swinging in trees instead of trying to run a school. But then, I’m a curmudgeon.

Think about it. Kid – he’s eight – shows up with toy gun after watching 12,000 hours of shoot’em-ups on the lobotomy box, Luke Skywalker blasting funny-looking milkmen like a pretty little mollycoddle turned psychopath. Kid sees war coverage with heroic GIs in Afghanistan killing anybody they can see. He watches recruiting ads for the Marines, who carry guns and want A Few Good Persons. Why would he possibly be interested in a toy gun?

And why would nominal adults, even the barely educated variety characteristically found on school boards, want to wreck the kid’s life? Actually of course it is passive aggression, an attack on the tyke, said attack masquerading, or perhaps marauding is the better word, as high moral endeavor. See, they’re protecting Western Civilization.

The US these days rolls in passive aggression. The country grows daily more mean-spirited, more wrapped in a miasma of diffuse anger, but you still can’t just go up to a child and hit him with a ball bat, or throw acid in his face. No. Instead you find a smugly righteous way to set him back two years in school, thus making him into a guaranteed social misfit. How very…I don’t think “intelligent” is an adequate word. Perhaps “sublime” is better. Or “supernal.”

As tensions grow in America, as divisions flourish, and the nation leads up to something unseen but ugly, prissy vindictiveness and moral sadism become normal. We have become a gotcha culture, watchful for transgressions meaningless but forbidden, so that we can make the malfeasor squirm. How we enjoy the squirming, the writhing on camera, the heavy punishments inflected for nothing.

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