Guilt…..

I took a long walk this AM and before I left I looked up the definition of guilt. That’s not to say I am still in my Lenten/Passover mode but it was just a fun concept to roll around in Ted’s Head during my trek.By definition it is taking responsibility for a crime or malfeasance where you have done harm to someone. You have violated some sort of personal or societal maxim. 

There are serious guilts.You have killed someone. Perhaps a Ponzi scheme has been your life’s work for several years. Rape, pillage, embezzlement and drug running are what I would call big time. Then there is a lighter note.

I love to give the guilts to my kids. The best defense is a good offense. Nothing penal just being my usual smart ass self and having fun. A good deal of guilt is ethnic. Irish guilt is “I’m fine don’t worry about me. Saints preserve us and praise God.Now run along.” Jewish guilt is much more direct. An orthodox grandmother can cut you in two with her whining and lamentations. Ah but Italian guilt is the worst…the long cold silent stare. Al Capone in heels. Then when they call a conclave of the paisan sisterhood at your niece’s First Communion you are screwed. 

In guilt a manifestation of your plight can be pacing the floor going over your transgressions in minute detail. It can be trying to figure out if they are just tired or never going to talk to you again? How about the sinking feeling as they stare at you and all you can do is keep saying “What?” over and over again. Usually the biggest problem is getting them to verbalize the reason for their venom. Is that all? I thought it was something serious. Uh oh. 

We let’s go beyond family. I am supposed to feel badly because I have too much money in the eyes of the world or then again maybe not enough. My house is too big to you and too small to my wife and kids. Gays tell me I am not showing them proper respect and the conservative right says you are sacrificing your morals by being nice. Blacks say they have been oppressed for centuries and I owe them. The flip side says I am too liberal and it’s every man for himself. For just about everyone I do too much or don’t do enough. What’s a guy to do?

 “Collective Guilt” is a concept in which individuals are responsible for other people’s actions by tolerating, ignoring, or harboring them, without actively collaborating in these actions. You could be a German in WWII and no matter what your personal ethics you were deemed a monster. Every one on Wall Street is a greedy bastard. The Jews? Of course they all killed Jesus. Every one of them.

Where does this all come from? I think it is mostly a convenient or ignorant way to confront a problem. Why screw up a good line of thinking with facts? You are gay and I am macho.It’s weird and deviant for you to love one another. Case closed. I am white and you are black. You are all crooks, pimps and murderers. There can’t be a decent one among you. Can’t we even talk?

No we cannot because no matter what I say it is going to be politically incorrect. I have to be careful not to offend someone who is perceived to have a disadvantage. This is getting fun but terribly whacky. Okay you want to have a dialogue. But I cannot express my true feelings because you will be hurt. Then again you don’t mind inflicting pain on me. Is this just me?

I wonder if this makes democracy impossible? We have all these diverse groups running around with their own idea of heaven. With over 300 million participants there are going to be a whole bunch of different points of view. When we try to distill it into six or seven major subheadings someone if not all are going to start to scream. How do we get consensus?

The first and most important thing to do is take a Bromo and chill out a little. Let’s not try to read into every word I say or facial expression evidence of this nuance or that. We are not negotiating nuclear weapons. We are trying to achieve some sort of common ground.But it is that insistence on every syllable being perfect that cuts off any discussion. “Just what did you mean by that?” Maybe the downtrodden want it that way? If I keep you back on your heels I have the upper hand for a change. Fascinating.

Wedding cakes seem to be the cause celebre. You want a seven tier special for you and your spouse to be who happens to be of the same sex. The baker is just to the right of John Birch. He’ll bake the cake but won’t put the icing on it. You want to make a stand and so does he. Personally I think you should both get over it. On either side we are talking about a tying of the knot which is usually not a life and death situation. And yet we ALL want to amp it up and the rite of joining takes the second or third spot in importance.

“Don’t be so sensitive.” How many times have we heard that? It is actually quite apt. Don’t take yourself to be center of the universe. Gays, straights, blacks, whites, females, males all have their right to do whatever they want but don’t continually jam it down our collective throats. Don’t give me the guilts because I ain’t going to buy it.

I am as compassionate as the next guy. I try to make the world a better place but let me work with you. Paint me in a corner and my reaction will be predictable. This goes for the disadvantaged and well as the elite. It has to start now and not when the other side gives in. Take a step, get a life and grow up. We have a lot of work to do. Me? Guilty as charged.

As always
Ted The Great

Factoids:
Ted The Great has uttered somewhere in his life the Chinks, Spics, Guineas, Hebes, Polaks and probably the N word. I don’t consider myself racist or homophobic but I have spoken of these in jokes, anger or just common talk. It was and is wrong. Mea Culpa. As a matter of fact mea maxima culpa. That’s just in case I run for President

When I hit a putt short I will more often than not utter to myself “Hit it you fag”. This is not in any way associated with gays but rather as a boy you were a fag if you were anything less than the Incredible Hulk. Nothing to do with sexuality.

I have been called on occasion(too many) an a__hole. I have chastised my compadres who hurl this invective at me for their utter degradation of the species known as a__holes by including me in their ranks. Then again I shouldn’t worry because in most cases today a__holes are a majority not a minority.

We protest discrimination, animal rights, civil liberties, the environment et alia but there is no hue and cry against the trafficking in human beings. To wit the fact that several people were indicted for importing over 15 girls 10-16 years of age for the 2013 Super Bowl in New York so high rollers could have their fun. Do you have a 10 year old niece, daughter or granddaughter?

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