Sunday, February 10, 2013

Why I'm Wrong About Mostly Everything

My perspective has been all wrong. As one gets older, other people don't lose sight of what is proper and right. What really happens is that, as you get older, you become wrong about what is proper and right. If everyone else thinks things should be a certain way, you are not the lone keeper of truth -- you are a rebel thinker; you are incorrect in your assumptions. If "perception is reality," and you perceive things differently than everyone else does, you are out of touch with reality, especially when it comes to social issues.

A young -- and highly respected -- former student responded to my recent (satirical) "The Emperor Decrees" post about sports. His contention is that that showboating and arrogance in professional athletics, today, is just part of the game. He also believes that a player's behavior off of the field is irrelevant. I disagree, on both counts. It's why I have stopped watching certain sports.

Anecdotal evidence tells me that my former student's contemporaries mostly feel the same way as he does; therefore, I am wrong. Period.

Recently, I had a conversation with someone slightly older than myself. I mentioned that I recently saw a statement that maintains that the average Londoner is captured on surveillance cameras hundreds of times a day. Shaking my head, sorrowfully, I also mentioned the intended use of drone surveillance machines by police departments. Expecting to hear "Good God. Orwell was right," instead, I heard, "Well, it's necessary with terrorism these days."

Experience tells me most people I come in contact with don't mind being recorded and tracked; therefore, I am not simply in disagreement with those who would line up to be lined up -- I am wrong. I am not the voice of reason -- I am simply wrong.

The other day, in the car, I had a discussion with my son. He was preparing to go to his first dance at school. I ran through a list of things for him to consider: be a gentleman; hold the door for a lady; treat her with respect.

Observation tells me that young people don't think all of this is necessary; it's all irrelevant to the dating dynamic. Modesty doesn't exist in many; silly gestures of politeness are a waste of time. I am wrong. I am teaching my son to be a dork.

But, you know -- I think I will continue to teach my sons the wrong thing; I will continue to lead them down the wrong path. Hopefully, the lads will someday each meet a young woman who is as out-of-touch as they are; who practices the very same naughty, improper, anachronistic vices of politeness, modesty and respect. Partners in weirdness.

I will also continue hold my revolutionary ideas and I will continue to spread them as best I can, like some benevolent disease, into the collective brain of society.

I'm going to lose this battle. I know that. I mean, if Orwell tried and lost, who the hell am I?

Still, I can't stop, strangely. I'm 45 now. Hopefully I have another good 45 years in which to keep screwing up -- in which to just keep getting weirder and weirder and weirder...


  1. Not wrong - the mass opinion is not the right one (as you know) - but a bit lonely. I know the feeling. Greetings, friend.

    1. Sigh. I know it's not right. But it is. I'm having an international pity party, Zoe. Will you bring the crisps?