26 setembro 2006

Pra variar... Fred Reed

Fred fala sobre os problemas culturais na América:

"Other uneases brood over the landscape. Women dominate domestic politics and so we have the Fear State. With them security security security trumps liberty or taking chances of any sort, and so we must ban pocket knives. They are afraid of guns, want kids to wear helmets on bikes, and think tag is a violent and dangerous game. Yes, there are exceptions, but fewer day by day. We must fill in the deep ends of swimming pools and fear second-hand smoke and things that go bump in the night. I suspect a lot of this vague anxiety stems from the lack of a settled and satisfying place in society."


"A thing about society now is that nobody knows the rules any longer, if there are rules. In the past, from about the lower middle class and up, women behaved as ladies and men as gentlemen, concepts now identified with oppression. Even the lower classes were usually courteous after their fashion. The arrangement had its uses. When general agreement enforces consideration of others, life is better. You can go for days without wanting to strangle anybody.

Today, many people are civil, but many aren’t. You don’t know what to expect. Do you respond to abuse by being abusive in return? Or get walked over? That is the question. We now have Road Rage. In the streets you find people pushing onto the subway like piglets looking to suckle, and throwing the finger. Women are worse, apparently confusing ill-bred pugnacity with virility. (Men are careful how they treat each other, as there are consequences. Women do not suffer consequences. It must be nice.)

Further, the ghetto rules everywhere, seeps in, or threatens. Americans are not social climbers, but social descenders, rappelling deliberately into the grubby depths. On the radio one hears regularly such lyrical confections as “Muthahfucka, muthafucka, she a ho, shit.” Ah, but the chief rule of discourse today is that one must never offend the offensive. You must never suggest that they straighten up and mind their manners, mouth, grammar, and work ethic.