Staring At The Ocean

Aug 23, 2019

Having spent the past week separated from my daily routines, I have had the luxury of spending some time simply “thinking”. OK, to some, it might look like I was sitting in a chair staring out at the ocean. But I was cogitating, and I happened to consider some of the things that pass for “normal” under today’s apparently highly flexible standards.

Today, for example, many people appear to live on high alert for the slightest sensation of being “threatened”.

A majority of their triggers aren’t even on my radar. Consequently, I admit being stumped as to what people are so excited about.

God forbid anyone use certain words with specific definitions in their correct context.

It sends some millennials racing for safe spaces or closets for their anti-facis masks or pink hats so they can go shout their rage at ….someone.

Think I’m joking?

OK, look up the following words. When you find the synonym I’m referencing, you’ll know it.

Here you go:

“odd, strange, unusual, funny, peculiar, curious, bizarre, weird, uncanny, freakish, eerie, or unnatural”

Words have definitions, but people today are inflamed by their <i> sound </i>, context or actual definition be damned.

Conservatives complain they can’t use words in context. Liberals complain conservatives have “hijacked” patriotic symbols. Both groups are crippled by the dread of triggering a negative feeling.

Seriously? How about this phrase - in any context: “grow up.”

Stop saying you feel threatened when what you mean is you’re mad because you didn’t get your way.

Don’t play the race, sex, or gender card - until you the facts necessary to make an informed judgement.

Recognize the fact you occasionally might be…wait for it…wrong.

Notice I didn’t write mistaken because I didn’t mean mistaken, I meant meant “the opposite of correct” not wrongly-interpreted or wrongly-perceived.

Wrong means “not right.”

Interpreting it any other way is….you guessed it…wrong.

We’re all wrong about some things.

It is wrong, I believe, to suggest that everyone is the same. You’re mistaken if you expect me to suddenly accept the idea of human homogenization.

Humanity’s a unique stew, not a pasteurized, processed confection where very bite’s exactly the same.

As difficult as this might be some to accept, it’s our differences that bind us. Not a blind acceptance of every belief, custom or value.

Let’s say you don’t like my driving a big vehicle. That’s your right, but it’s only your opinion. I don’t think it wise to drive a underpowered, overgrown roller skate on the interstate.

That doesn’t make either of us wrong, although I’d suggest you evaluate your odds in a collision with anything larger than a bumblebee before taking to the interstate on a cross-country drive. You could be politically correct and clinically dead as a result.

Because, whether you accept it or not, certain vehicles are banned from the interstate highway system because their presence creates hazards for everyone using the road - including you. It’s not a conspiracy to take away your Vespa or prevent your driving your tractor to market.

The current inability for some to accept rules is why grocery store express lines now say “about a dozen items” rather than “ten items or less”.

Groceries have dealt with so many irate customers who are either: a) english majors who can’t count, or b) math majors who can’t read, that they’ve thrown up their hands in figurative surrender.

We’ve watered down dress standards to the point that it’s now fashionable for women to wear underwear as outerwear. I accept that some of you are now labeling me “intolerant”.

And I respectfully disagree.

Because…I’ve never posted anyone’s photo in “people of Walmart” because I think someone’s a little large for their current fashion choices or are wearing makeup that makes the Joker look conservative. I don’t go for publicly “shaming” someone because they’re too-fat, too-thin, too-anything.

That, however, doesn’t mean I won’t snigger when someone’s outfit makes them look like one of the dancers in the ballet scene from “Fantasia.”

If your friends, family, spouse or significant other is OK with a that outfit, it’s your deal, not mine.

As one of my more “enlightened” (liberal) friends told me once: “name calling never accomplished anything, jackass.”

He was serious. I am joking about what he said.

But he’d be offended at my “being mean-spirited by singling this one little comment out to embarrass him.”

If I were being mean-spirited, I’d use his name. That would be mean-spirited, because you’d recognize it.

Here’s something we can agree on: it’s nearly the weekend. Revel in that realization, because another summer has nearly come and gone.

—Jim Shepherd