Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The way we live now

What kind of a world do we live in where a deranged figure can open fire on a college campus?

Perhaps more importantly, what kind of a world do we live in when the latest singer to fall on "American Idol" gets more play than the above incident?

I'm not one of those doomsdayers who stands around predicting the end of civilization as we know it. I've always taken the Reagan approach --- that America's best days are ahead.

Sometimes I wonder.

Pay attention next time you have to drive downtown during rush hour. Yesterday I kept a count of how many people either cut me off, tried to, or did so to other drivers. I lost count at 13.

Yesterday at lunch: Some guy was in such a hurry to get up to the cafeteria line that he slammed the door in the face of a 70-something year old woman. Never turned around to say "sorry" or "kiss my ass" or anything.

But this one takes the cake. A friend works for the register of deeds office downtown. He received a phone call from someone at a title company looking for an address on Oswald Street.

"Oh," he said, "like the guy who killed John Kennedy."

"Who?" the person on the other end asked.

"John F. Kennedy, one of our presidents, was shot and killed by a man named Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas, in 1963," friend replies.

"Oh," the caller says. "I'm about half that age. I've never heard of it."

"Do you mind," friend asks, "if I ask where you went to school?"

"Anderson County High School," the caller says.

God help us all.

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