Why this country is turning to shit


I wrote a restaurant review about a little place in my neighborhood.  I wrote that first piece about a year and a half ago; June 2009.  Since that first review, and the two subsequent reviews (I’m not a journalist but even I know you have to experience something more than once to write a credible review) the comments have come flying in.  Most of them trying to belittle me for not liking this restaurant.

People seem to have a problem distinguishing what an “opinion” is.  Moreover, they seem to have a problem with individuals expressing their opinion.  Just about every comment had direct, or indirect, language that insinuated I don’t have a right to my own opinion.   Yet no one saw the ludicrous nature of these comments.  A comment from a dissenting point of view is fine, but when you comment on the quality of the “chicken fingers” at a self-titled  authentic” Italian restaurant, I think we’ve veered off track, just a bit.

I simply gave my opinion about a restaurant that I think is sub-standard. If other people think differently, and accept the food from this place as “good” then that is THEIR opinion.  If people wish to tout the wonders of Stugazzi’s, they should start their own blog rather than taking shots at me for my opinion.  We have something called the U.S. Constitution that guarantees my right to free speech.  You should read it sometime.

The reaction to these posts is reflective of the bigger picture.   After my 3 posts about the restaurant,  I wrote an article on Tyler Clementi, the 18 year old college freshman who committed suicide because two very mean classmates “outed” him in a live online video.  Nobody commented on that article.  But when I had the audacity to question the authenticity of Chicken Fingers being authentic Italian cuisine, the public was OUTRAGED.

I don’t know if the public is distracted or stupid.  Do they simply WANT to be distracted so as not to deal with the realities of the world?  Or are they so dumb, and so self-centered, that the most important thing to them is sticking up for their local pizza joint.  In my opinion, you have a personal and moral responsibility to right social wrongs before wasting time commenting on the wait staff at the local “choke and puke”.

So why is this country turning to shit?  Because no matter what, it’s all about ME, ME, ME.  This country is filled with selfish, self-centered, dumb people who care only for what’s in it for them, and how they can vent their rage.

I know what it is like to feel beaten down.  I lost my job and was out of work for 18 months.  I was alone, meaning I don’t have a partner in life to help me through the tough times.  My car was repossessed and I was within days of being evicted from my apartment.  I was refused food stamps because I had not proven that my car was repossessed.  When I finally proved it, there was a hearing.  In that hearing it was decided that I took too long and I must have been hiding something.  So I was denied assistance.  Do you now how difficult it is to prove that you DON’T own something.

But I’m still here.  I”m still writing.  I’m still helping the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan by sending them packages of things they need that the government won’t provide.  I don’t earn much money anymore, because there are so few jobs where I live.  I would relocate in a minute if I could come up with the money to do it.  I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got.  I’m falling behind, and falling through the cracks, but I’m still here.

My point is (and if I wrote this piece properly I would’t have to tell you what my point is) that even through hardships, the way to stay sane is to give of yourself to something or someone else.   America is supposed to be a charitable nation.  I just don’t see it.  That’s not to say there aren’t good Americans doing good things with their time and money.  But charity is not pervasive in our culture.

And I can prove it.  Again, I’ve written hundreds of posts on this blog but I will focus on two:

Restaurant Review for Stugazzi’s in Springvale, Maine – 27 Comments and over 1300 viewers

Tyler Clementi – A personal memorial –  Zero comments and 5 viewers.

That’s America.  We’ll stick up for our fried chicken fingers before we’ll stick up for gay people who are so isolated they feel the only way out is to kill themselves.

And that, my friends, is why the Tea Party candidates will probably win in many elections across the country on November 2.  The Tea Party knows how to distract Americans.  All the Tea Party has to do is shake the shiney keys in front of the babies.  The shiney keys are fear, hate, and lies.  The shiney keys are “nobody in Washington cares about you” and “they’re gong to raise your taxes” and “big government” and “spending”.  And the babies are you.

Americans will eat this shit up because they are too dumb to think for themselves.  And nobody wants to make tough decisions.  They’d rather defend their chicken nuggets than their neighbors.  And that’s why this country is turning to shit.

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