Tuesday, October 10, 2006

U.S.A. = United States of Apology

My, but we are a sorry bunch, aren't we?

Every day I open the paper or read online where someone is apologizing for something: Mel Gibson makes anti-semetic remarks, Avril Lavigne spits on paparazzi, Denny Hastert harbors and protects pedophiles (as does the Catholic church too, for that matter). Actors, musicians, politicians (and even popes) are eating crow on a daily basis these days for slips of the tongue or social faux pas.

Janet Jackson went on national television (as her family does) and gave a gut-wrenching mea culpa for something that was termed a "wardrobe malfunction". Kate Moss said she was sorry for disappointing people regarding her cocaine addiction. Ashlee Simpson regretted lipsynching on Saturday Night Live, but blamed her band. Hugh Grant took his show on the talk-show road, apologizing for cheating on his girlfriend and getting a blowjob from a hooker in his car. Before all that, though, who can forget Rev. Jimmy Swaggart's tearful plea for forgiveness for having sex with a hooker in a motel room.

But is it enough for them to simply say "I'm sorry"? Because there seems to be so many of them lately that it almost doesn't seem to mean anything anymore. Back when Jimmy was throwing himself on the altar, that was real news. People weren't going on national television to air their dirty secrets and apologize for their shortcomings. But the days of reality television brought us a constant barrage of nipple-slips and fuck-ups. We see people constantsly saying or doing the wrong thing - in short, being themselves - and I think it has desensitized us to being ... well ... sensitive.

Granted some things, like cheating on a spouse, should remain a private affair. The public doesn't need to know this. However, sexual predators need to register with local police departments - and that is a community affair. And certainly covering for someone who is a sexual predator carries some kind of legal weight. At least I would hope so. Because in a land where the lawmakers are the ones breaking the law, anything is possible.


  1. Dop, I totally agree with you. If we, the people, allow our lawmakers to get away with acts that are clearly against the law, then to be honest we deserve all of the crap that is thrown at us. It constantly amazes me at how the people in this country allow "our government" to continue to spit on our laws and the Constitution. When will it ever end?

  2. Man, I loved this post! Thank you, Dop!

  3. Here's one problem- here in Arizona men caught having consensual sex in some "public" place (a car, in the wilderness, etc) can be arrested and charged with a felony. They end us being listed as sexual predators and this stigma follows them around forever afterwards. The people making and enforcing predator laws can pick and choose who they are applied to and can change the nature of who gets charged, that frightens me. How long before the Christian Right pushes to make homosexuals predators?