How, after being taught honor and selflessness modeled by the Greatest Generation have we become the greatest nation of kvetchers and crybabies ever to plague the third planet from the Sun?
What the hell happened?
I would say you know exactly who you are, but I really don’t think you do. Or more likely, you just don’t care that your less-than-lucid rants on social media, at school board meetings, on I-25 and even in the halls of Congress are scaring the hell out of everyone else.
Just a couple years ago, not long before the pandemic, which I vaguely remember as relatively pleasant, my daily, slog through the Valley Highway at the crack of stupid would be shockingly upended, once sometimes twice a month, by some moron careening past 70 mph traffic to get to, what, the front of the next car?
Those were the days. Now, these weaving madsters appear every time the regions’ choking traffic is scant enough to permit cars to weave, tailgate, brake-check and thread inside autos never built for such maneuvers, driven by people who should never attempt such escapades.
When stopped by traffic, unwitting co-motorists or even cops, these people angry and insolent.
They’re indignant not just behind the wheel, but in the skies, too. Newspapers every week are cluttered with stories, like the one about a Texas woman recently charged with assaulting an airline attendant for reminding the woman’s husband to put his mask back over his face after falling asleep in his seat.
Police said Debby Dutton, 50, of Cypress, Texas, became irate on a summer flight when an attendant tapped her husband on the shoulder to wake him and have him pull his mask back over his face. Witnesses said Dutton got out of her seat and shoved the attendant twice while dressing her down.
You don’t have to scroll down your Twitter feed very far to feel the pulse of the racing rapids of rage over wanting to burn President Joe Biden at the stake because Olivia’s much-wanted Christmas toy is stuck inside a shipping container off the coast of California instead waiting on the shelf at Target.
County commissioner and school board meetings have been filled with parents apoplectic over school officials insisting children and teachers wear masks to school in an effort to keep schools open in the middle of a deadly pandemic.
It-is-a-pandemic. A pandemic. To date, there are hundreds of thousands of your friends and neighbors who won’t see more than 10,000 of their Colorado family, friends and neighbors this holiday season because the pandemic virus killed them.
My friends are among the dead.
But in Douglas County, officials there groused, then mewled, then threatened and ultimately had a tantrum over the local health department simply insisting everyone indoors at public places wear a mask to keep hundreds or even thousands of people from dying from the pandemic virus.
Others, or possibly the same people, are seething because the price of gasoline has risen so sharply that sating the nation’s growing lust for gas-guzzling pick-ups and SUVs has made them a tangible family budget buster, even for the weller-to-do.
Millions of Colorado residents are choleric because the nation’s leaders, or about half of them, continue to press for serious changes in how we energize the globe in an uninteresting requirement to reverse the climate change that right this very minute threatens our very existence.
Dozens of people last week were killed and hundreds more made homeless in a matter of hours as storms never seen before raged through the South.
It was but one of dozens of undeniable recent signs that the planet we have overheated is poised to strike back at us.
Just last week, hurricane-force winds, unheard of in December, wreaked havoc all across the Midwest and even Colorado, now the home of endless wildfires and ozone pollution.
The word on social media? “Where’s my goddam white Christmas this year?”
Where’s my favorite scotch, electric bike, ammo?
Long the pampered people on the planet, when did we become so sadistically spoiled?
Not all of us, of course. While many of us are clamoring for TVs so big we don’t have walls big enough to hang them, more people than ever in greater Aurora have no home at all. With thousands of people rushing to Colorado, lord only knows why, rents have skyrocketed, putting tens of thousands of people at risk who can’t even begin to live on their minimum wage jobs, or even those dollars-an-hour higher.
And while thousands of your neighbors demand to go maskless anywhere, any damn time they want because, freedom, there are, right this moment, about 23 million Afghanistan citizens not just hungry, but facing death from starvation within weeks as winter gets real in that country.
There are millions of Americans irate that the state and federal government keeps begging them, cajoling them and now forcing them to get vaccinated, while hundreds of millions of people in other countries are desperately begging for the vaccine Americans snub, well aware it saves lives.
People are actually raging because the government wants to save their miserable lives for free and for no other reason than to save their miserable lives.
And our kids? We now let them have guns to settle their adolescent disputes, as seen on TV.
Is it because they see it on TV in dramas, the news or from our elected leaders modeling much the same puerile vitriol?
Is it Congressmember Lauren Boebert’s fist-pounding tirades in Congress, defending a real-live, rag-tag army of insurrectionists, hellbent on ending the United States of America by trying to install Donald Trump as a dictator? Is it her smug, sneering bigotry against Muslims?
Even in Aurora, are other residents pleased to see newly elected Councilmember Danielle Jurinsky sport a “Thin Blue Line” t-shirt during her first meeting as a working city lawmaker? That’s the message Jurinsky chose to convey in a cynical snub to about half of her constituents, who are people of color, looking to the city council to fairly press ahead with reforming the police department. It’s a police department under fire from residents, cops themselves and top government agencies for provably, systemically abusing Black residents. Why wear that and tout a message from “We the People?” Just because she can?
We have become a city, a state and nation of spoiled, cruel and thoughtless brats, incensed that we are asked to consider the needs of anyone but ourselves and those few we deem worthy.
We are increasingly infuriated at the prospect of having to treat others as we expect everyone to treat ourselves.
Rather than race each other to the cliff, take a moment to talk someone away from it, especially if it’s yourself.
Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]