5 things I just don’t understand
1. People who are genuinely surprised by acts of kindness. It happens to me all the time, and I am truly shocked that anyone would find small acts of humanity and courtesy so unexpected. Have people just stopped doing good things for each other? Do adults just ignore it when a child is struggling and his mother has her arms too full to help? Why is it so shocking to hold open a door for someone if you arrive first (regardless of gender)? Are we all in such a hurry that we can’t allow someone to step in front of us in a line when we have far more items in a cart than the other person? Are these not expected traits in the people who surround us? Are these not traits we want to see in each other? It almost offends me that people find kindness so unexpected and so surprising. I long for the day when unkindness is the random act.
2. The belief that a person is entitled… to anything. Who are you, and who am I, that we should expect to be given anything at all? Why do we demand good things in life? Why do we feel it is our right? Because we are Americans? Because we make more money than 97% of the world? This entitles us to nothing more than the widely-held belief that our country is arrogant and misguided. We are not owed anything in this life, in this world. And if we continue to expect others to treat us as something greater, someone superior, then we will eventually get exactly what we deserve. But it won’t be a good thing and it won’t be pretty. It will, however, bring great joy to the parts of the world that want nothing more than to see American taken down.
3. The creating of “celebrity” and constant focus on those who proclaim themselves to be. I don’t think I even need to write more than this. Celebrity is fleeting and there is no longer news in the news. We don’t need 24 hours on 50 television stations to tell us this. We perpetuate it ourselves. Isn’t it time people earned the fame they achieve? And isn’t it time to give that spotlight to the women and men who perform the hard jobs in our society, who struggle to overcome true difficulties, who manage to stay married and raise strong families despite all the odds against them? Isn’t it time we honored heroes who actually are heroic?
4. On the subject of celebrity and Hollywood, in particular, I completely don’t understand what puts offensive, idiotic and sexual comedies at the top of the box office. Has the world lost its ability to think? Are we truly just animals responding to the basest stimuli? I am shocked to hear laughter and praise for such horrific characters and situations created by people like Judd Apatow, Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell. What is funny in this? It’s offensive on so many levels, and simply for the sake of being offensive, yet these are the films that people happily spend $8.00 to see. All the while films with heart and intelligence and good storytelling get completely overlooked. I’ll never understand it. And there’s no justification. Isn’t it time our movies became interesting again? Isn’t it time someone had an original idea already, with actual intelligent dialogue, without attacking something (or someone) for laughs, and without using innuendo to fill in a script? This is not truly comedy, and this is not something to be proud of.
5. And lastly, I am truly perplexed by the whole Twilight phenomenon, not to mention the resurgence of interest in vampires. Does this happen in regular cycles? Did Bram Stoker begin a trend that comes back every 20 years, like fashions or musical influences? I can understand rehashing what once worked — and I went through my own vampire stage back in the ’80s, when Kiefer Sutherland was cool the first time around — but I do not get the Twilight thing. All this swooning fandom over what is essentially a young adult novel made into an overly sappy film? It simply perplexes me.
As does so much.