Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Age of Outrageous

There have always been people who acted, dressed, and behaved somewhere outside the mainstream, but they were usually mocked, laughed at even, and not taken seriously.  Just in my lifetime, however, I've seen this attitude change dramatically.  Time doesn't stand still.

While the early rock 'n roller's music was...ahh...different, they still looked pretty "normal" with their suits and ties.  Baby steps.

But then came the rebellious '60 's and the hippies and Woodstock an all the rest.  Long stringy hair was in, along with tye-died shirts and sandals (if not bare feet).  Grunge was in, to the shock of The Establishment.  And it wasn't just a few who joined the movement, but kids by the MILLIONS became the "sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll" generation.

At about that same time outspokenness, for better or worse, arrived on Main Street.  Archie Bunker laid all his prejudices out for us on All In The Family, and the battle lines were drawn.  Some loved Archie, while others were repulsed.

By the 1970's, the more outlandish the better.  That's how you made a name for yourself, that's how you stood out in a crowd, and life was now all about "standing out".  Kids wanted more than ever to be like KISS or other shock groups of the time.  Outrageous became cool.

  Today we have the social media phenomenon.  True, we now know what all our friends had for lunch, and everyone loves the cute photo of me and my dog I just posted, but it also gave sicko's a stage to shock us with their outrageous-ness.  A couple of misfit kids in Colorado shot up their school and became folk-heroes to many other kids, who in turn shot up their schools in Connecticut, Florida, Texas, and    ?_,  copy-cat style.  

A terrorist mows down a hundred innocent people on a street in France, and before long a copycat does the same thing in NYC.

Now we have a President who just makes up stuff on the fly and Tweets about it at 4 AM to his adoring base, and they all but foam at the mouth.  "If it's on the internet, it must be true!"  

Now conservative Roseanne Barr can call a black woman the offspring of an ape, and liberal Samantha Bee can return the insult by referring to Ivanka Trump on live (cable) TV as a "cunt".  REALLY?

To me the take away on all this is that the more outrageous you are, the more attention you bring to yourself, and that apparently makes it all OK.  That isn't necessarily bad.  I liked Elvis and Janis Joplin, Steve Jobs and even that Gates guy.  Many brilliant people who did good things were often unconventional looking (Albert Einstein) and acting (Robin Williams).  But too often people are using their individuality and outrageous-ness to hurt and insult and destroy.  If we some day crash and burn, we'll have no one to blame but ourselves.  Lets not encourage and enable those who are destroying us.  There's nothing cool about hurting and insulting and destroying.



  1. Once again, well said. Are you running for office someday?

  2. Our modern day education and parenting are to blame for ignorance and lack of civility. At least that's what I think.

  3. I love different, mean and obnoxious for the sake of being mean and obnoxious...not so much.

    I preferred the days when our entertainers entertained and their political position was their private political position...come to think about it, other than bumper stickers and lapel pins, no one really used to pushed their political position years ago.

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