Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Spork - The First Sign of the End of Civilization

I'm continually astounded by the accelerated decline of our society. It's evident in almost everything and everyone I come into contact with. The Chinese are playing God by altering human DNA, some country has most definitely cloned human beings and Americans are oblivious to anything farther than their backyard (if they are lucky enough to own one).

What got me on this rant? Well it's been building up since I first saw the spork about 20 years ago. What's a spork? It's an evil creation that's half spoon and half fork. The Chinese experiment I read about in the Times must have triggered my buried memories of it. Let me give you some historical context. When I first became a teacher 25 years ago we had a very nice, clean teachers cafeteria. In them we had tablecloths, window shades and yes, stainless steel cutlery. After a couple of years in, I noticed plastic cutlery and overall, things started to seem a little shabby. A year or so later, no cutlery. A spork, with a napkin, enclosed in plastic. The clock stopped working and no one fixed it. The table cloth got dirty and no one cleaned it. It became tattered and was thrown away. The choice of food went from four or five to one. Exact change had to be used because no change was available. Eventually the teachers' cafeteria was closed because not enough people were using it. By chance or circumstance? Perhaps Bloomberg got his ideas from the iniation of the spork. Create deterioration and close the schools, but that's only schools. What about our quality of life?

It seems as if we have become a narcissistic society only interested in ourselves. I see people with these selfie sticks and shake my head. If you say "Thank you" to anyone under 40, you get a "No problem" in return. Think about that. Why would doing your job, or doing something nice be a problem? Everything is now a problem. My buddy was side swiped while walking across Tremont Avenue and the car never stopped. He wasn't hurt, Thank God, but the car stopped at the light! The guy stopped because he didn't want to get a ticket via the light's camera. It seems as if people will not even do what's expected, never mind decent, unless they'll get called on it. Eventually there's going to have to be cameras everywhere. The churches have to lock their doors because people have robbed them of their candlesticks, chalices, and poor boxes. Also many statues and graves have been robbed from cemeteries around the country. This would have been unthinkable 20 years ago.

It doesn't stop there. Journalism has taken a nose dive in recent years. It became evident to many when that NY Times reporter was caught fabricating stories. This was shocking to many of us, but really inevitable considering the accounting, banking, and Wall Street scandals. What's a little less noticible and much more troubling, is the continued lowering of all standards in which those incidents were only the most visible examples. There seems to be complete rejection of the most basic tenant of Journalism - objectivity. (The only time I now see objectivity is when the author should be subjective, as in writing about witnessing a tragic incident.) I consider Journalism almost sacred. When I read article after article, from Chalkbeat and the Post to the NY Times, exhibiting bias by what is said and unsaid, I feel a little nauseated. The bar for everything has been lowered and we as a people have been as well.

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