There I was, a young pre-guru lad, still in my sensitive formative years, sitting on grandma’s porch out on the Taker homestead. Aw, shucks, I may even have been chewing on some amber stalks of grain.
The neighbor came over and started talking to my grandma. I was just a youngin’ so I didn’t pay no mind to their adult conversation.
Until… suddenly, the neighbor just dropped the N-word!
I sucked in my breath. Holy shit, I thought, someone is in for it now. I got the hell out of Dodge to make way for the can of whoop ass I knew my grandma was about to open.
Except… that didn’t happened. Grandma didn’t use the word herself, but she as hell didn’t kick that fucker in the nards, either. In fact, she acted like nothing happened at all.
Although I was young, I’ve never forgotten that moment. It is still vivid in my mind. I learned an important lesson that day. I guess it’s hard to forget certain moments frozen in time like when you got your heart broke. It was all part of my Intro 101 to this planet, I guess.
Fast-forward to present day where I’m, obviously, a seasoned traveler and enlightened guru in this game called life. Shit like that no longer surprises me.
What the fuck? Cliven Bundy just said what? Double dribble? Come again? The owner of an NBA basketball team just said what?
I guess I’m not as enlightened as I thought. I still can be surprised.
And, like always, this got me to thinking…
I wrote recently about the “criminal” next door. The criminal who lives in your neighborhood. That person who got away with something vile because the system just don’t catch everyone who deserves it. Or, the everyday Joe who, given the right set of circumstances, will hit someone with his car and run away and leave them to die lest taking responsibility for their own actions interfere with their own existence.
Lurking below the level of outright criminal, however, is the “asshole.” Yes, we have some of those. Even now. In the year 2014. Which is, by the way, the most futuristic year this planet has ever known.
Bundy and Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, are just two of these assholes. But now I can’t help but wonder: How many other assholes like them might there be?
These are people who live and work in our communities. They’re on the boards of non-profit organizations that do good things. They go to our churches. They are involved in the lives of our kids. They are frequently held up to the rest of us as paragons of virtue. But what if these are the very same people harboring thoughts that I personally find repugnant and utterly beyond redemption?
I wonder. Just how many assholes are there in our society? Are people like this the aberration or, perhaps, am I the one who walks alone?
What do you think? What percentage of us are really like this? 5 percent? 10? 50? 80?
Dad told me, “Life isn’t fair.” What he failed to add is that we seemingly do everything in our power to exacerbate that in a quest to make things as grossly unfair as possible in an effort to hurt, control, and deprive each other of absolutely everything to feed our own selfish desires.
I guess dad was a master of understatement.