When are we going to get sick of spying and tattling on ourselves?
I was reared not to tattle. If someone was caught doing something wrong, and you were questioned by a person in authority, you were supposed to not lie and tell what you knew; but to go and “fink” on someone was wrong.
In 1974, as Nixon was on the verge of impeachment for using the CIA and FBI as his personal fink squad, many wondered if so many knew what was going on why didn't they say something. One news commentator pointed out that it was very likely because we had been reared not to tattle.
Since Nixon and especially since 9/11, spying on each other and tattling have become a national pastime; now we have so-called “Reality Shows” that thrive on the worst of human nature.
No one tattled as J.F.K. plied his lecherous ways in the White House, but 40 years later we hung on every lecherous move Bill Clinton made.
Now we have video cameras on street corners, police officers in our schools, and a two-foot burrito is mistaken for a gun.
In London, homeowners bothered by loud neighbors can now ask that microphones be planted nearby so the scofflaws can be caught and fined.
Teens seem to be catching most of the brunt of our new “security”.
We have legislators passing legislation to “protect” teens. In many states, a newly licensed teen can't drive for the first six months without a licensed driver over 21; in some states, teens will be ticketed for driving while talking on a cell phone, in Canyon, Texas, teens are targeted for purchasing alcohol and many states can arrest teens for smoking.
To clarify, I don't want teens smoking, drinking, driving unsafely, or dying too young.
However, what many of these laws have in common is that legislators can pass a law that they can “feel good about” with no danger to them politically, since teens under 18 can't vote.
What have we effectively done?
A. Made criminals of our children.
B. Made them second-class citizens.
Do I want unsafe teens talking on cell phones and endangering their lives and mine? Of course not, nor adults either.
I don't want unsafe teens driving either; but at highway speeds, what good is a passenger over 21? If the car overturns all you have is another victim. Do we really believe that at 16 and one-half that child will be any wiser, less apt to drive irresponsibly?
But, once you start, where does it end?
I still don't think talking on a cell phone while driving is as dangerous as these acts I've witnessed by adults:
A. Putting on makeup
B. Balancing your checkbook
D. Smoking while attached to an oxygen supply
C. Separating two kids fighting
D. Spanking the aforementioned children
E. Kissing your wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend, (or any of the above combinations.
F. Trying to clear your lap of, a spilled drink, dropped ash, or a peanut butter sandwich, (or any other food combination).
G. Retaining a license for too long and driving with impaired abilities.
If we are going to strictly abide by all these new rules, then I want someone to check up on those cars with bumper stickers that read, “Warning, in case of Rapture, this car will be driverless.” Those drivers shouldn't be allowed to drive without a “lost soul” as a passenger.
The word for the week is caricature.
Boise City News