There are few people on the planet more jaded than Dr. Brian F. Sweeney, Sr. My dad once scribbled his rules of life on a torn piece of paper and tacked it to a board for our staff. He stole most of it but he believed all of it.
His favorite was, "No good deed goes unpunished." It is an ancient rule once borrowed by Star Trek as Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #285. Why would the ultimate capitalists ever want to perform a good deed? A fair question given what those on the left in government want to do to them.
I watched The Last American Virgin with Senior when I was in high school. In that movie the main character does everything he can for a young pregnant teen just to have her go back to the loser who abandoned her in the first place. My dad cracked a smile at that point and said it was the best ending to a movie he had ever seen.
That movie crossed into my thinking recently when I heard a Theory of a Deadman tune called, "Gentleman." The message is that often women do not actually go for the nice guy so why be nice.
To be fair, men are more shallow then women. If I see an attractive woman the first thing that pops in my mind is not whether she knows pi to 100 places. The difference in my 43 years of life is the talk that used to be limited to the locker room has progressively gone mainstream.
Over the decades political correctness has taken over the country. It is to the point now where Obama supporters can pull racism claims out of thin air and the media does not even think about asking a question. At the same time pop culture has forgotten about innuendo and just flat out glorifies all kinds of decadence.
There is nothing wrong with a little decadence. However, as a society we need to remember there is something more important than self indulgence. The animal instinct has to be controlled and instant gratification is not the answer to everything.
The recession has been blamed for lower marriage rates but society seems to be moving in a direction where marriage is something only homosexuals want. There is an understanding that marriage can interfere with selfishness. The realization is the way to prevent divorce is to never marry in the first place.
Our children are growing up in a world where everybody gets a trophy. Everybody gets to win because we cannot possibly have losers. Sound familiar? It is. It is just like "sharing the wealth."
The thinking process is toxic. Nobody is allowed to get ahead or they are demonized. How dare they win. Mitt Romney is worth millions? He must be evil. He does not understand that everybody deserves a "livable wage" even if they do nothing. Oh, and a trophy too.
Pop culture is the looking glass. There was a time when movies and music still managed to have valuable life messages. The animal instinct was there but it was buried. Now the messages are buried behind mountains of animal instinct.
It is how we got from the classic political undertones of Star Trek to the fairy tales of Star Wars. It is how classic female pornography like Steel Magnolias has been replaced by Magic Mike. Do not be concerned though because in true politically correct fashion any film on homosexuality will still be critically acclaimed.
It is not a world where you dig the messages out of the literature. It is barely a world where people write in complete sentences. It is a world where there is not the power of suggestion and playful banter. It is a world of corseness and primal desire.
One of the major criticisms leveled against me by conservative friends is my relatively liberal social views. The argument goes that you need that moral compass to truly be able to have true conservative views. It is often laced with religious overtones.
They need to hear another of my dad's favorite expressions, "Eat *excrement* and die!" The long list of supposed politicians with the moral compass that have fallen makes that clear.
It is completely possible for people to fulfill their animal instincts and still remember to delay their gratification when needed. The moral compass provides a direction that is often impossible to follow.
Adults can navigate those decisions easier than children. There is a danger when the children seeing adults fail to navigate. It is especially damaging when the pattern is repeated again and again.
A generation is growing up thinking that the government will always be there to give them a trophy. And if they cannot afford to they will tax the people who actually tried to win to get there. Who needs to put an effort in anyway?
And when it comes to relationships? No worries there. Just do what feels good. Do not worry about mistakes because you can get a reality show especially if your mom is a knucklehead who was given a trophy for not even finishing the game.
The worst part about my dad retiring last year was I can go longer look over and see his jaded perspective. It is not there to push me back a little from the edge. I always knew he was right in his special way but I also never wanted to be that jaded.
I still believe in good deeds. I still believe in working hard. I still believe I can be an animal and do things the right way. I have to believe there are enough people left who think that way. And maybe some day we can actually put some of them into office.
I refuse to be jaded yet. There is only one rule on the piece of paper for Junior. Men should not go see Magic Mike.