Friday, August 13, 2010

Random Age

You can gauge how cash-strapped, broke or near bankrupt a government/society is by the vice it legalizes. Marijuana, casinos, gambling, numbers racket, prostitution, etc.

For instance, while the government spends millions in anti-tobacco efforts it will never completely ban smoking because the high tax on tobacco is big revenue. Even while making smoking socially unacceptable - folks are still subtly encouraged to smoke, we now have social smokers and closet smokers and fatcats with cigars. I wonder which room in the WH Obama hides in to light up.

Pols, who once spouted about drugs and gambling as a "threat to our way of life," change their rhetoric when considering the same vice as a means to generate tax revenue. It's just a matter of convincing the sheople to agree, which is no problem if the vices are easily available anyway.

Soon the fat tax, tanning tax, marijuana tax will be with us. Prostitution too, why should Vegas have all that revenue from an old and now "victimless" vice. We've made pornography an acceptable career choice for women haven't we? What's a little S&M and donkey show filmed between consenting adults. Today's porn industry produces a whole lot of jobs and respectable tax revenue. (Acceptance of pedophilia is on the horizon, trust me.)

Legalizing vice won't stop black market entrepreneurs, never has, never will - there's just too much money to be made in illicit sex, drugs, gambling - but imagine the nationwide revenue on legalizing and "regulating" vice, the jobs created from enforcement and the never-ending cleanup. A libertarian's wet dream.

What the lower classes fail to understand about taxing vice is it's simply another way to tax the have-nots so the wealthier among us can avoid paying more tax. And it has the added bonus of the self-destructive masturbatory have-nots wallowing in the sewer while the haves remain out of touch and untouchable from the profitable stench.

All the revenue collected from the "sin tax", as we've heard so often in the past couple of decades, will be used for education, wildlife, healthcare, environmental programs. Promise, really. Just look how well these areas have done since legalizing the numbers racket/gambling, hiking taxes on tobacco, alcohol, etc.

I suppose I'm getting old - as the vices that make me uncomfortable don't seem to make most folks flinch at all.

I'm appalled at least once a day by what I see either in mainstream media or my local vicinity. I remember years ago being shocked if someone was publicly vulgar - now I'm shocked when someone is publicly polite.

Instead of icons like Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn - we have modern popstar skanks, toting illegitimate children, telling us women don't need men to have babies; greasy tattooed mannequins posed on the red carpet pretending they think for themselves. Some of today's biggest female icons can't seem to exit a car without showing labia. Others are aging gracelessly, nipped and tucked, becoming a "spokesperson" for one cause or another. That reminds me ... Betty White.

I used to like Betty. A sweet, talented, funny lady, champion of animal rights - now reduced to an old woman reading dull sexual one-liners from cue cards on the banal and boring "Hot in Cleveland." Why oh why Betty, why... oh and Sandra Bullock, admirable and classy, now given to swapping tongue with Meryl Streep and Scarlett Johansson - why? Competing with Britney and Madonna? Miley Cyrus? Girls Gone Wild? Since it's obviously not spontaneous, is it planned from the publicist/agent's couch?

Perhaps it's America's culture of randomness that grieves me... random sex, random breeding, random relationships, random lives, millions living on a haphazard course, no purpose ... where anything and everything can be done without remorse, shame, or guilt. People adrift.

Is it just me that misses the days of censorship? When vomit, feces, mucus, semen, urine, blood, were not part of nightly prime time. When heroes didn't have to gut and/or decapitate someone to look strong. When we had to use our own imagination to complete a scene that faded to black. When children were never portrayed as the victim in a gruesome graphic crime scene. When parents were counselors, not props for 10-year-old mini-adults making smartass remarks to canned laughter. Scoff and snort at Ward and June or Cliff and Clair if you want.

Folks are so confused they think debauchery is elegance, think perversity is sophisticated. I remember when we shunned and pitied the coarse and stupid, now we reward them with reality shows, record contracts, book deals, offices, power, status.

I ask myself, is it me getting old now that thinks we're legalizing and accepting social degeneration. Am I just uncool because I see more and more of American society as horribly offensive, repulsive?

John Stevenson, retired Air Force, engineer, old coot philosopher of sorts, says: "The Western Culture came to America with the early settlers from western Europe, primarily the British Isles. It was predominantly based on the Christian religion with elements of English jurisprudence and commercial law. It was a productive and uniform culture which extended into the minute detail of human behavior. It was extremely successful in the development, in a space of only two centuries, of the United States from a small isolated community of pioneers to the productive, wealthy and powerful country that it is today. This culture is now under mortal attack, is severely wounded and will succumb in the near future. It has already lost over half of its supporters and its enemies have the high ground in the media, justice, governing, and education institutions. Its life expectancy is now less than two more generations through our public schools."

There's a lot of truth in that statement.

In my lifetime I've witnessed the denigration of this western European Christian culture's achievements in the US. Seldom a mention of the wrongs that were righted. From a community of pioneers, including people of color, we have become a nation of special interest pimps and whores, appreciating nothing that came before. A citizenry so dumbed down we nod our heads and follow those who flagellate us with our own history. A nation of sociopaths, we participate in our own national suicide ... and call it progress.

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