Saturday, April 16, 2016

MORE SHAMING



Yes. We don't need less shaming in our society, but more. And that shaming should be vocal and freely administered to those who simply are too thick or demented to understand that some behaviors are antisocial or dysfunctional for themselves. 

Driving in a densely populated urban area will provide ample evidence of the need for more social shaming. Passengers in any car with a texting driver should immediately call that driver an idiot and grab the phone from their hands. The same action should be taken when the driver is using a hand-held phone or eating or slurping a liter-size drink. For example, yesterday morning a car came alongside mine with a moron eating toast while driving. He looked over at me while chewing like a cow with blank bovine eyes. I simply shook my head and mouthed the word, "Moron." He sped away as though I'd aimed a gun at him. 

A great amount of attention is being paid to so-called fat-shaming, especially among women. Guess what. Being obese is unhealthy. Point of scientific fact. If you are proud of being unhealthy, like the jerk who blows cigarette smoke into your face and says he loves to smoke, you are simply stupid or mentally ill or both. If you are struggling to correct being overweight, you should be applauded mildly. After all, getting slimmer is for your own damn good, not mine.

Alcoholics and drug addicts who refuse treatment once it has been made clear to them that they have a problem can do with a good dose of shaming. I recently had an illustration removed from Facebook because it was critical of female heroin addicts who intentionally get pregnant while using. Yes, there is a movement to coddle these women, thereby encouraging the production of another generation of addicts. I shame recalcitrant addicts relentlessly by raising the subject of their inebriation when they stop me repeatedly in my neighborhood to beg for money. Why? I do not do it to be cruel. I simply know from working as a nurse with recovering addicts that no addict seeks help when people happily hand them money for drugs and alcohol freely. Duh. Truth is that the most adamant anti-shamers would be too scared or simply uncaring to risk such an intervention on a personal level. 

Antisocial children are another category of the enabled shameless. I'm not talking about the suburban kid who innocently stands up on subway seats when excited. I'm talking about the brat who provocatively throws a full cup of sugary drink on the floor of the subway while the parent carries on texting. The target of my shaming in these situations is the stupid and lazy parent. "Is he/she mentally retarded?" I might ask. The stunned parent will often shrink from me while shaking his/her head "No." "Oh," I will continue," then you might consider teaching him/her to behave like a socially responsible human being in public." When I have done this, the child usually shows more response than the parent who will either get up and move or bury his/her head back in his/her smartphone screen. I also like shaming pushy young people when they sit in handicap seating while people stand in crowded subway/bus aisles with canes and crutches. It's easy. I address my comment loudly to the air, "Isn't it amazing how selfish some people are to hog the handicap seats while handicapped passengers stand." 

What has happened to us as a species? Tolerance movements have been about valid issues of racism, homophobia and sexism. Somehow we have allowed these to be exploited by those who cast their own obnoxious or unhealthy behaviors as victimhood or entitled right. I believe much of this has been rooted in increased alcohol and prescription drug abuse in the U.S.. Drug companies, street-drug cartels and alcohol peddlers have had a field day with relaxation of policing against drunks/addicts and commercial indoctrination by psychologists and MD's about the superiority of drugs over self-development, education and restraint. A low-cost and effective antidote is shaming whenever/wherever shaming is due. I think shaming those who refuse to call a problem a problem is a good place to start. 


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