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Sunday, December 27, 2009

What's wrong with us? or: How we learned to love being apathetic dolts

I just finished reading a local blog post titled “What's Wrong With Us?,” in which the author basically assigns some measure of blame for the rampant corruption in Luzerne County on the commoners like you and I. And the piece comes off as elitist gibberish borne of self-immolation. Almost a reverse profundity in it’s abject absurdity.

And I'll not link to such a complete insult to my intelligence.

An excerpt…I'm simply convinced that there are many in NEPA who simply don't care what happens in the rest of the world. Why does that matter? not looking outward many simply have no perspective...they believe that the way it's done here is the way it's done everywhere.”

You could say I shouldn’t take this personally, but isn’t the writer painting with an awfully broad brush? And isn’t he assuming what he could not possibly know? Roughly translated, he’s saying we’re a bunch of dolts too dumb to take our heads out of the sand, himself excluded, of course.

Here’s a keeper, another excerpt…Apparently some residents of NEPA never got the memo about adults having the ability to use logic to discern fact from fiction, obedience from faith.”

Okay, so forget having our fat heads in the sand as we've been accused of, now we’re reduced to being a bunch of unthinking dolts.

Yet another excerpt……we have had generations who could only find marginal employment outside of government. It's my belief that our Economic Development officials have failed us over the years.”

And now we’re being accused of being too completely stupid to earn a living without sucking up to politicos. And that’s a pile load of horse manure.

For the purposes of destroying this most laughable of constructs, let’s use myself, your hated author as an example.

I ended up settling here, so believe it or not, some of us have actually been outside of ‘da valley.’ Yes, I played hockey long before it became the game du jour in these parts, a few decades late.

Employment-wise, I’ve had three, count ‘em, three separate high-paying careers, and all by my own volition. When the bullspit got too deep at any one job, I simply moved on. And not once did I need any assistance from anyone. And never did I need to bribe anyone.

I really hate to burst anyone’s malformed bubble, but to obtain more than “marginal employment,” you need to possess employable skills. There are no lucky people, or “more fortunate” people in this economy being that the days of following daddy into a life of low-paying drudgery and servitude at the local mill are a thing of the past.

These days, you either have skills, or you don’t have skills. And if you don’t, that’s the fault of some nameless, faceless bureaucrat somewhere? You didn’t take advantage of seminars, employer-supplied studies, online courses or available financial aid, but your particular dilemma is not of your own making? The low-paying job, the lack of benefits or a lack of health insurance is somehow somebody else’s fault? For the most part, that’s bilge. Twaddle. An excuse.

Locally, we have a guy, a blogger, who, as a result of losing his job, decided to take the bull by the horns and continue on with his formal education. Or perhaps, his reeducation. He could have taken the low road by claiming victim hood, but instead he chose to rearm.

To suggest that you and I are somehow responsible, somehow complicit while the politicos in this county are dropping like indicted flies is irresponsible flapdoodle of the highest order.

The reason our self-absorbed politicians and their appointed underlings are being disgraced into copping plea agreements is because they chose to usurp the law. They chose to break the law, they chose the low road and now the iron fist of law enforcement has come down with an excruciating painful thud.

I will not be chastised by anyone (no matter how well-meaningingly self-absorbed) for the criminality, the depravity and the immorality of others. And I will not be categorized as being apathetic while all that I’m guilty of is keeping my nose clean, raising a family and working harder and longer than I ever wanted to.

What’s wrong with us?

No, more aptly put, it’s what’s wrong with them? What’s up with people who can’t or won’t discern when enough is enough? Why would so many risk their careers, their cushy personal lives and their reputations for chump change, for mere trinkets? Why? Because they could.

So rather than soul-searching, rather than looking inward, let’s make sure they can’t do it all over again. Let us start paying less attention to the sensational headlines and start focusing more of our personal capital, our time, on the Home Rule charter movement as it continues to develop.
We need real, black and white, enforceable checks and balances. We need to put the governmental systems in place that will all but guarantee us a readily transparent, responsible and responsive county government.

And as for the hand-ringing, the guilt-ridden finger pointing, the introspection and the like, let us not forget that while our elected and appointed were giddily raiding the taxpayer-supplied cookie jar, most of us were merely too busy with our own lives to notice. All that we’re guilty of is trying to live our lives to the best of our abilities, and without breaking the many laws we encounter along the way.

For the purposes of assigning blame for possibly the worst corruption scandal in the history of this rapidly back-sliding country, look to them and not to us. More specifically, look to them and not to me.

Because while the wicked so easily prone to wickedness are being called on their out-of-control wickedness, I got no time nor any need for any self-incrimination. Nah, I’m way too busy for any of that nonsense.

Them’s my restrained thoughts on all of that insufferable subterfuge.


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