Saturday, July 23, 2016

CRYING FOUL. CRYING WOLF.


There is a wonderful documentary series on Netflix about airport immigration officers in Australia. It is called Border Security. It is a study in human nature and its resistance to authority. I recommend it.
 
The lesson this show provides is simple: Many human beings refuse to take responsibility for not following what they know to be correct behavior. The guards in the show ask simple questions of travelers seeking to enter Australia. They are polite and quite gentle. "Do you have any food or organic plant material in your luggage?" is one example. Many people who are later found to have both say "No." with blank faces.
 
These people do not just lie to the authorities. They frequently argue for their immunity from the consequences of their dishonesty, usually a cash fine and confiscation of contraband. Many of these people are immigrants, most legally living in Australia. They often pretend to have misunderstood the printed declaration form upon which they have lied. Unfortunately for them, the form is printed in multiple languages, usually in their language. The guards patiently point this out.
 
Eventually, in order to resume their lives in Australia, the miscreants fess up, relinquish their contraband and/or pay their fines. They seem unconcerned or apologetic for having wasted an hour of a guard's time by trying to do something illegal. They seem unimpressed by the risk of spending time in jail or losing their resident visa. They shamelessly wave at the camera as they leave the inspection area.
 
When I see videos of demonstrations by young feminists at SlutWalks, I am reminded of this Aussie show. I am also reminded of the show when I see some Black Lives Matter videos. Why? Well, there is a culture of regressive denial of accountability for one's actions in The West. Some lay the blame on the permissive child-rearing of Millennials. Some blame the media for infusing unaccountable criminal culture into news, film, music and video games. Whatever the source, there is a definite whining unresponsiveness in those of the Millennial generation who champion the causes of the irresponsible and unlawful.
 
Crying foul when you are caught performing a foul deed is simply another form of dishonest and unethical behavior. For example, getting drunk and taking mind-altering drugs in a sexually charged situation but demanding that it be a safe space is infantile and irresponsible. To cry foul once you've been sexually compromised is simply stupid and embarrasses others who cannot believe your infantile stupidity, especially when it is displayed on the campus of a prestigious academic institution.
 
Crying foul when you are "triggered' by simple reality is also irresponsible and infantile. If you are "triggered" by something that most human beings may find distasteful but less than traumatic, you have a psychological problem which needs treatment. That is your responsibility. It is blatantly narcissistic (a symptom of mental illness) to feel that the world must change to accommodate your discomfort.
 
Crying foul when police arrest and prosecute you for illegal drug sales and/or distribution, no matter what your color or economic status, is also stupid and irresponsible.  Stupidity does not immunize anyone from prosecution. Falling prey to police intervention has its risks for anyone. Placing yourself in the path of those risks by your own behavior is your problem, not the problem of the police officer doing his/her job.
 
The generation of childish excuses is sadly also the generation of protest today. While previous generations protested to gain equal rights for stalwart citizens from marginalized minorities, today's protesters demonstrate for the right to be criminal and irresponsible with impunity. They defend the "right" of vandals to deface public property. They defend the "right" of people without any means or grounds for asylum to illegally immigrate into the country. They defend the "right" of certain religious communities to oppress women on the basis of culture. They defend the "right" of angry young women to flip off people in legitimate positions of authority in institutions of learning. They defend their own "right" to be alcohol and drug addicted with accompanying antisocial behaviors. They defend their "right" to indulge, rather than seek treatment for, their own psychological problems, such as neuroses and eating disorders. Whenever held accountable, they cry wolf.
 
They will be the recipients of the consequences of their own behaviors, regardless of the short period in history during which they may be tolerated. They will grow older. They will live with the consequences of their actions. Law, perhaps in a harsher form, will eventually prevail for the sake of the greater population who do not subscribe to infantile ethical standards. They will pay for their alcohol and drug abuse. And then crying wolf will fall on deaf ears. It will have the impact of a cardboard sign in the hands of a panhandler at an intersection.
 
 
 
 

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