Friday, February 19, 2010

Forget "Decade," let's go for "Era" of Responsibility

If y'all haven't figured it out by now, I'm an "individual responsibility" protagonist, to say the least. Certainly, there's room for collective responsibility, but for a society to be "free," the individual "mandate" should take precedence. I've written several posts, calling for a more bifurcated style of governance--one line for the "responsible," and one for the "irresponsible." I've more recently called for a "Decade of Responsibility," (and we're definitely off to a shaky start). However, strike that...because NOW we need to strive for a new "Era of Responsibility."

First, we have the tragic case of Joe Stack, the "whack job" who flew an airplane into an Austin, Texas-based IRS center because of what could be described as a paranoid schizophrenic Alice in Wonderland. The idiot flew a single engine, fixed-wing Piper PA-28-236 aircraft (registered to HIM, by the way) into a crowded office building (around 10:00 a.m. on a Thursday!!)...despite reports by those who knew him that, "he was just trying to hit the IRS, not people," well, that obviously rings hollow because the bastard KNEW the place would be full of employees. His "manifesto" said much the same (i.e. "nothing changes unless there is a body count").

That's right...manifesto...and yes, I read the "manifesto," which was sent to me by a concerned reader. I guess my rantings have given some cause for concern...but, I don't think so...Stack, and those of his ilk, are the antithesis of all that I believe (in). I DID read his verbiage...the rambling, nonsensical language was lunacy at best and irresponsibility to the core...he blamed EVERYONE but himself. Multiple times during the "story," he mentioned "my retirement," or "my retirement plans back to zero." He didn't mentioned his assets...obviously an airplane (along with flying lessons, etc) or his musical career (apparently he was an amateur guitarist)...and he barely touched upon his marriages, properties, divorce settlements, etc. He "decided" not to file taxes one year because he had no quote-unquote income. Is he naive, stupid, or narcissistic? I opt for the latter.

Let's contrast that with another current national story...Tiger Woods. Now, I'm not a huge Tiger Woods fan. I'm from the Tom Watson school (Watson has called Woods on his past "disrespect" for the game by swearing, throwing clubs, acting "off-putting" toward fans, etc) and while I appreciate Tiger's skills and abilities, I'm not like the "hero worshippers" in the media who collectively turned their backs on his indiscretions (and we all know what those "indiscretions" included). As I've commented previously, Woods could be golf's own "Mark McGuire/Sammy Sosa," in that the media has apparently been willing to "turn a blind eye," to Woods' behavior, including boorishness, infidelity and yes, as not to quash the game's new found prominence.

That being said, I listened to Tiger's "manifesto," this morning...and not once, NOT ONCE, did he blame anyone other than himself for what he and his family are currently experiencing. THAT, my friends, is a breath of fresh air...and while I found myself watching "less" golf when Tiger played (in the past), I will now increase my efforts substantially to follow his game and progress. Previously, I was put off by his dominance, well, not so much his dominance, but his ability to intimidate other golfers. I used to think, oh my God, if you're a PROFESSIONAL golfer, wouldn't you DEDICATE yourself to beating him? However, it appeared many would raise the white flag just "hearing" that Tiger was in the field. Oh well...

Bifurcate this! Which path are you going to take...a manifesto by a spoiled, pampered narcissist, looking to blame everyone and everything but yourself...or a staid, forthright, and earnest verbal statement by a celebrity athlete, perhaps equally narcissistic, who without question takes responsibility for problems of his own making? I know which way I'm going.

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