Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A New Year, An Old Jewbacca


I am constantly annoyed by things in this world. At least eight times every trip to work in the morning and probably close to double that on the way home I feel the urge to kill rising in my gut.

What troubles me so? The lack of awareness and respect that seems to pervade every part of society.

And this morning, I saw in living color on my very own television something that drove that point home. It was a show called "Parking Wars." It was (is?) filmed in my fair city and follows the employees of the PPA (Philadelphia Parking Authority) on their appointed rounds.

Having been the victim of their ticketing on several occasions I am familiar with their special brand of handcrafted day-ruining (though there was a time when it was cheaper to let your meter expire and get the ticket than it was to park in a garage). But I also know that if I let my meter expire I am going to get a ticket. Same if I double park, park in front of a hydrant, or park in a handicap spot. I accept the fact that there are rules for a reason and that there are people who's job it is is to enforce those rules. Heck, I WROTE parking tickets in college.

This morning I was watching this show over breakfast and was regaled with the tale of the young woman whose friend double parked, blocking a lane of travel in Center City Philadelphia. Simple, no? Double park, block morning traffic, get a ticket, grin sheepishly, pay the fine, move on....right?

Wrong. Accost the ticket writer, scream about the unfairness of it all, use the "2 seconds" argument, use the "my friend is from New York and didn't know better" argument, rally the passers-by, accuse the ticket writer of malfeasance, scream into the camera about how unfair it all is well after the ticket is given. That's how she chose to handle it.

Why does this person not see what they did is wrong? Ignorance and nil respect for the people around her, that's why. And in a nutshell, everything that is wrong in the world today..

Interestingly enough, when I opened the paper at lunch today (yes, opened the paper...the actual paper...delivered to my home every morning) and turned to the "Style and Soul" section to read the comics (a daily tradition since 1982) these two articles greeted me:

Double-Parking? Age Cheating? Who Cares?

which was directly below, in the print edition this gem:

A Flash of Celebrity

The latter article is about a company you can hire to send out three idiots with cameras to follow you around for three hours, at $1000 a pop, to make people think you're famous. $1000. For. Your. Own. Paparazzi. The very thing actual famous people want outlawed. You can hire them. To follow you around. I...

And the former article is an interesting essay into why people cut corners and break small laws. In short, why people are ignorant and have no respect for their fellow humans.

Probably because they are too busy hiring their own paparazzi. And it only hurt my heart and brain all the more when I read that the paparazzi company got its start following around U of D students while they were bar hopping. I don't mind U of D students bar hopping (have you ever been to Newark?), but I feel a stabbing pain in my alumni pride when I find out they gave credence to this d-bag idea.

So, in the space of roughly 5 hours I got to see, crystallized in front of me once on a flat screen and once in a "dying" medium, why this world is F'd up. And why its important for me to raise my soon-to-be-here child with the following simple credo:

Do the Right Thing.

If everyone did the right thing, I would not spend a good portion of my day in a blind rage planning a kill-crazy rampage. And there would be less ignorance and more awareness and a lot more respect.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Breathe and try to focus on the positive.