Item: A 55-year-old husband and father, the widely respected teacher of honors English in a Charlotte-area high school, is arrested by police after allegedly using the camera on his cell phone to take “upskirt” photos of a woman and her daughter shopping at the grocery store.
Item: Two once and future aspirants to be president of the United States — Newt Gingrich on the right and John Edwards on the left — sneak away from their cancer-wives to have secret affairs with younger women.
Item: Four twenty-something men from the TV reality series “Jersey Shore,” including Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino and “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio, breathe air, eat food, drink water and use up additional valuable resources that would otherwise be consumed by more-deserving biota.
Man has always been a scourge on the planet. The delicate ecological balance that existed among millions of species for millennia has been hopelessly thrown out of whack by the evolution of modern human beings. Now, instead of a world populated by lush forests, sky-blue lakes and majestic wildlife, we have strip malls. We have Branson, Missouri. We have off-shore oil drilling rigs. We have the Volkswagen Jetta. All, the perverse product of Man.
And we have men, a particularly egregious subset of Man, constantly in the news for their irresponsible behavior. Not a day goes by that, from some corner of the globe, comes a report that a male has done something wrong. A crazy guy in China has broken into a school and knifed dozens of helpless children. A slacker dude in Berlin carelessly tosses his burning cigarette from a train and starts a fire. A well-meaning husband in my own hometown puts a dirty dish in the left side of the sink when he’s been told a thousand times to rinse it first in the right side, because he should know by now — after living in the same house for 15 years — that’s where the garbage disposal is.
I am both a man, and ashamed of being a man. It is high time that we men clean up our acts and become positive contributors to society.
C’mon, guys. I call on all of you to knock it off.
Why is it always a male who is in the middle of trouble? It’s a rare occasion that we’re fortunate enough to witness a woman blowing herself up in a crowded marketplace or winning a Senate primary with a vow to destroy Social Security. It’s almost always a man who is screwing things up.
What is it about the presence of external genitalia that turns people into anti-social misfits? Sure, your underwear is a little less comfortable. But that hardly seems like a good reason to launch a Nazi reign of terror across Europe.
Some blame not the sex organs themselves but the hormones they produce. These chemicals pulse through the endocrine system and prompt otherwise sensible citizens to commit crimes, precipitate bank failures and produce situation comedies for ABC. There’s supposed to be a little something we like to call a “system of morals and values” to keep bad behavior in check, but that system seems to grow weaker every day. It doesn’t seem to matter that your mother told you not to hurt others and your wife told you she really likes the look of a particular purse on sale just a week before her birthday. You’re not listening.
Do I have to repeat myself? YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!
The time has come for us to shake off the immaturity of youth and act like grown-ups for a change. We don’t need two hundred thousand people marching on the mall in Washington to tell us that it’s wrong to hold up a Subway. We don’t need an intricate structure of securities laws to know that we’re not supposed to bilk aging widows out of their life savings. We don’t need the world’s largest religion to issue decrees from its pontiff in Rome that it’s wholly improper to sexually abuse the young children of the flock. (Okay, maybe we do need that last one.)
What we do need is a return to common sense, a return to honor and accountability and virtue and decency. We need to measure our actions against the Golden Rule, not use it to hit people with.
I call on all men everywhere to start behaving themselves. Enough already with the genocide and the thievery and the cutting in front of people who have been polite enough to wait their turn.
Act like a man. Don’t act like a man.