I recently sounded off on my Facebook (social networking) page about bigshots behaving badly and their thinking that a quick apology — even if it’s sincere — fixes everything.
There have been lots of well-known offenders lately, all living proof of the incivility that exists these days. Some examples?
There was Cong. Joe Wilson, who shouted “You lie” as President Obama spoke about his cost estimates for healthcare reform to a joint session of the House and Senate.
The issue isn’t whether or not Obama’s figures were accurate or not. And it’s not about Republicans vs. Democrats. The issue is bad manners and where this heckling occurred — the hallowed halls of Congress, not at a town hall meeting.
Another example of bad behavior is rapper Kanye West. While singer Taylor Swift was giving her acceptance speech for Best Female Video at the MTV Video Music Awards, West jumped onto the stage to protest that singer Beyonce had not won. He ripped the microphone out of Swift’s hand, interrupting her speech, and said, “Taylor, I’m really happy for you, and I’m gonna let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.” And you, Mr. West, are one of the biggest jerks of all time.
More recently, at the U.S. Open, defending champion Serena Williams was penalized and lost a match after screaming at a line judge over a call. Among other things, she said, “I’m going to shove this ball down your @#$%^& throat.” Classy.
All three offenders apologized. Maybe they’ll be forgiven. But their poor judgment and impulsive actions, thanks to sites like youtube.com on the Internet, will live on forever.
On the topic of poor judgment, I certainly hope TV talk show host David Letterman enjoyed his admitted sex-in-the-office flings. He’ll no doubt be on the witness stand one of these days answering lots of questions about them.
I feel sorry for his elderly mother, Dorothy, who has occasionally appeared on Letterman’s show via satellite. According to the Internet, she is still alive.
It’s hard to feel sorry for Letterman — he created his own mess and should have known better. But this situation must be a particularly difficult time for his mother and other family members.
My wife and I were in St. Louis on a recent Saturday to visit our son Brendan and his boys, Pierce and Cade. The plan was to watch Pierce play high school football at noon at LaDue, Mo. Then we’d watch Cade, who is on a 10-and-under hockey team, play that evening in Affton, Mo.
The football game never took place. It fell victim to a thunderstorm just minutes prior to the kickoff. But we did get to watch Cade play hockey.
Afterwards, as we were leaving the rink, some older hockey players took to the ice for the next game, and the team name on their jerseys was quite familiar. They were the Q-C Junior Flames, who kept the name of that Quad-Cities minor league hockey team that no longer exists. The Flames were in Affton to play the St. Louis Junior Blues.
It’s a small world.
Copyright 2009 by Phil Roberts, Creative Enterprises. This article appeared as a column in The North Scott Press.