Vile Bodies

Six Omens for the New Year

January 01, 2013

4. Nobody keeps their word. Once I was put up for office in a district favored to be won by hard work and agreed to the commitment. Lamentably in the days before the official campaign the boundaries were redrawn from 56% in my favor to 98% against me. Young supporters advised an out but I declined. When one gives his pledge to an enterprise he doesn’t take a flyer because circumstances change. A man’s word is his word, and that’s all there is to it. Of course I lost (though by only 92%).

These days people look you straight in the eye and tell whatever lies they please. They give their word on condition of convenience. If they say they will do something it is entirely dependent no better offer or easier pathway presents itself.

Most of my life you could do business with a handshake. Today you couldn’t trust a blood oath on a stack of Bibles unless in writing fifty pages thick. It is the most shameful exhibition of adolescent behavior and these weak characters don’t even seem to notice it is to their dishonor not to be honest.

5. People forgive everything. One of the more amazing developments since around 2000 is the fathomless well of apparent forgiveness. It’s astounding. Family members forgive murderers, victims forgive their attackers, and everyone forgives everything.

Some claim this is an effect of religious fundamentalism in the nation, while others believe it stems from near-sedation levels of antidepressant medication ubiquitous throughout the land. No one has the free will to be angry anymore.

But for anyone who comes from more traditional parts of Europe it is dumbfounding to watch anyone forgive the arsonist who burned down their house because he had a bad upbringing. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways.

6. Everyone is afraid of being racist. I’ll forgo discussing race because it simply doesn’t matter. If you are breathing in the West today you will at some point be called a racist, with or without cause. Around 1990 this became the worst thing that could possibly happen to you.

People have wept on television before millions simply to convince audiences they are not racist. They grovel as if it is better to be a whipped dog than a marked man. They don’t give a damn about their actions as long as no one impugns their motives.

Why does anyone care what Al Sharpton or Shaneequa at the supermarket thinks about their racial beliefs? In some cases such as employment, it’s obvious; but to say most people are obsequious in order not to get fired is a canard. Most are simply indoctrinated. They would rather be raped than be racist. It wasn’t always this way. In fact, until recently it wasn’t this way. And it’s disgusting.

A friend and I have a running argument. He says all things change and we cannot linger over the past. My rejoinder is that I have no qualms with the fact that things change; I would merely like to see them begin changing for the better.

I hope to see a few more positive adjustments in the New Year to come.

 

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