As I am getting older, my hearing loss is beginning to worsen. In my youth, I could hear a pin drop anywhere in the house. Now that I am older, I would have difficulty hearing a bowling pin drop on my foot! In addition, I realize that my sight is beginning to worsen. It really sucks to go to the Dollar Store to buy those $1 ‘cheaters’ just to read the newspaper.
My next concern about getting older is that my mind and thought processes may begin to degrade in the same manner of my hearing and sight. I find that I am continually doing ‘self-check’ exercises to find out if that is occurring. Because Grandma P is on Facebook, I often look to see if there are any new postings relating to the grandkiddies, the nephews and nieces, and all of their children. While looking for those pictures, one cannot miss all the self-evaluation tests available. What state should you live in? What classic painting would you be? What percentage of evil are you? These are all self-evaluation tests available on Facebook. I must admit I have taken those tests. What state do you live in? (Confusion! Ok, I am lying. It really said I should live in Louisiana, but I will never admit that to the Bayou Mauler!) What classic painting would you be? (Edvard Munch’s, The Scream) And, my absolute favorite. What percentage of evil are you? (80% – Which is disappointing as I was hoping for a perfect score!)
All in all, I think my mind is still good for a few more miles. Do a service check, rotate the tires and change the oil every 5000 miles, and I should be good to go!
The one issue that is befuddling to me, however, is this……………who are today’s heroes?
As I was growing up, we had many heroes. More importantly, it was not difficult to separate the heroes from the villains. My favorite hero was Roy Rogers. How could you not like Roy Rogers! He had a beautiful palomino named Trigger. He had a German Shepherd named Bullet. And he had a girlfriend (in real life, his wife), Dale Evans. He only shot to wound, if he had to shoot at all. He always brought the bad men to justice. He and Dale never kissed on air, and I don’t believe they ever had a show where they acted as if they were married. Nowadays, they would have had to do an R-rated sex scene just to get on television! But, I digress. This was geared towards kids and it was done well. He was my favorite onscreen hero.
There were plenty of other heroes. Hopalong Cassidy was dressed in black. Sergeant Preston was a Canadian Mountie. Gene Autry was the singing cowboy. In real life, he made more money singing ‘Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ and owning the California Angels than he did as a cowboy. I always loved Superman, played by George Reeves. If I could have been any of my heroes, I would have wanted to be Superman. He was bulletproof, and he could fly. Two qualities that would be very useful in today’s society. More importantly, he was for….”Truth, Justice, and the American Way.”
We were brought up to respect the military and the people who served in the military. This was not difficult, as we were baby boomers and were born right after the end of WWII. In my hometown, you could not sling a cat without hitting a dozen veterans or a VFW. I had five uncles, all of whom served in the military as did my father and grandfather.
Being from a small Midwestern town that was located in a small, rural county, we knew all the police. That included our town cops, the county sheriff and his deputies, and the highway patrolmen. They were all great guys, and they were our neighbors. I personally witnessed a drunk stagger out of a local bar and the highway patrolman give him a ride home because he was too drunk to drive. My…how things have changed!
Our local fire department was solely staffed by volunteers. There were no full-time fire fighters. When the very loud siren went off, these dedicated men would drop whatever they were doing and rush to the fire hall. My father worked at a car dealership. Two of the mechanics rushed out to the fire station when that siren sounded. Many of the volunteers were local businessmen. I recall seeing the owner of the local hardware store dashing out of the door while serving a customer when the siren sounded. All of the fire equipment was serviced ‘after hours’ by the volunteers. I did not appreciate until I was older, all the time these men spent training, maintaining equipment and fighting fires to help their neighbors. It was not uncommon to have three fires in a day during a dry summer. Grass fires would begin, threatening a house. Those volunteers were always there. This was quite a sacrifice on their part, considering there were less than 1,000 people in our town, but the fire department covered an area of about 300 square miles.
Now we fast-forward to today and this is where I begin having difficulty separating the heroes from the villains. Is it today’s society or is it my mind riding off into the sunset? So help me out.
Who are today’s heroes? If I were to believe the media, I would think the current heroes are Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Michael Sam.
Why would I think that? Because the first four on the list, as a result of their untimely deaths, have provoked either rioting and looting or retribution on the police. In some instances, their deaths have resulted in both.
Freddie Gray and Eric Garner both had impressive arrest records. Without going into specifics, it has been determined that they each had over 30 arrests. Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin did not have as impressive an arrest record as the other two, perhaps because they were both younger. Make no mistake, they both had difficulties with the law, but much of their records were minimized because they were minors at the time.
These four individuals have been portrayed in the media, and by the highest levels of our government, as being victims. The media implication has been that by resisting authorities and by being victims, they are heroes. I can somewhat dismiss the media’s role in this ruse because of their desire to ‘sell the news.’ What I cannot dismiss is that the President of the United States, or his Attorney General, have either indirectly or directly gotten involved with each of these incidences – thereby lending credence to the notion that these four individuals were victims (and ultimately, heroes!) (Remember…”If I had a son, he would be like Trayvon Martin.”) More importantly, it has been implied by the media and the POTUS that the police are at fault for these deaths.
The police? The police have come under fire (LITERALLY!) since these events have occurred. The same people that feel justified to riot and loot now have been unofficially sanctioned by the media and by our government to declare war on the police. Officers were shot at and killed immediately following the Eric Garner arrest in New York City. Numerous officers were injured, some seriously, whilst trying to quell the riots and looting that were taking place in Ferguson and Baltimore. Two officers were killed recently during a routine traffic stop in Mississippi. The mayor of Baltimore, Mayor Stephanie Rawling-Blake, gave the order for the police to stand down…”Let them loot, it’s only property.” What? Are you kidding me? The one detail she conveniently forgot to mention was her home address. If those looters were coming down her street, do you think she might have changed her mind?
My confusion about who are villains and who are heroes gets amplified when it comes to Michael Sam. Michael Sam was a former college football player that admitted he was gay just prior to the beginning of the NFL draft. No big deal, right? Well, it was such a big deal that, once more, the POTUS got involved by calling Michael personally to tell him how ‘brave’ he was to admit he was gay. (Taya Kyle, Chris Kyle’s wife, did not receive a phone call after her husband’s untimely death.)
Brave? When I was growing up, brave was running into a burning building to save a child. Brave was serving your country and fighting in a war to defend that country, your family and God. Brave was running into a burning car crash to pull unconscious victims from a fiery fate. Bravery is a policeman trying to quell a riot while having rocks or Molotov cocktails thrown at him. Bravery is a fireman trying to save property and lives under threat of incineration. Compared to those deeds, I would say that Michael Sam coming out of the closet would post a negative number on the bravery scale!
As I have mentioned, I can give the media a partial pass because of their willingness to sell advertising. I cannot give the POTUS a pass, however, because his actions are geared for only one thing…to garner more votes! Specifically, black votes. Either he is confused or I am confused about who the villains and heroes really are.
It amazes me that people willingly want to be military, law enforcement and firefighters, especially when they are vilified for trying to do their jobs. Treat them well. Honor them. Thank them for their service. After all………..if you dial 911 and no one answers, what would you do? Choose your heroes wisely, for your life may depend on it!
P.S. Last year, I declared the first week of June to be Corporation Appreciation Week. American corporations are still paying the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Be nice to them. Contrary to what Hillary Clinton has said, they do create jobs. Thank them for giving you a job, or paying their corporate taxes so the government can hire you.