Sunday, February 12, 2006

NUFCED by wikkidpissah

The First amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

God bless Terrell Owens. His 2006 Pariah Tour is just underway and, so far, his former and future teammates are giving America the best example I've seen in a while of how society is supposed to work in dealing with one who feels society should serve him above all others. Let me explain...

Among animals who live in social groups, behavior that is unsafe or unacceptable to the herd is not dealt with by attack – it is dealt with by isolation, and then, should it persist, expulsion from the peer group. Now, I’m not one of those who believes that we should follow what those leftover animal instincts inside us do; in fact, the entire point of life is to grow beyond genetic & societal dictates to be the best individual (and member of society) one can become. But peer pressure, a force most often given a negative connotation, exists to be the greatest tool for the reform of individuals within a society.

The reason for the bad rep of peer pressure is its recent history. Before the playing field was leveled by the defense of civil rights for all, its force was used to punish weakness, differentness, independence. In the 500 years (a yawn & stretch in anthropological evolution) since the Protestant Reformation & the Inquisition (which was the Catholic reaction to it), the group has persecuted the individual in the worst possible way. And, although the heavy percentage of Puritans in early American society kept that trend going, the entire basis of our glorious country and its founding documents was to end persecution in all its forms.

Don’t worry, kids, the civics lesson is almost over - stay with me. In the fiftysome years I’ve been alive, society has either levelled the field or provided the mechanism to do so for almost every segment of our great society. The greatest problem these freedoms have created has been in governing the behavior of individuals who have perverted our new liberty in the name of license, in the name of doing whatever the fuck I wanna do & y’all be damned.

It cracks me up, whenever I clamp down on someone for being indecent or inconsiderate, to hear their battle cry, their rebel yell, “Freedom of speech, maaaaan”. Let’s get this out of the way for once and for all: THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO PROTECTION OF SPEECH OR ACTION FROM ITS NATURAL CONSEQUENCES! Our founders understood freedom to go hand in hand with responsibilty and made the mistake of thinking that, once the people were protected from persecution by our institutions (which, as you can see above, is the sole guarantee of our 1st Amendment), free people would usually act in recognition of the public good. That is because a mechanism was then in place for self-governance that hardly exists any longer: peer pressure.

Hear this now & hear this well: You are SUPPOSED to harsh your bud’s buzz when he’s outta line; we are SUPPOSED to collect around moviehouse talkers & other public nuisances to show them the error of their ways; we are SUPPOSED to boycott Samsung for introducing popups that can’t be closed; we are SUPPOSED to protest corruption loud & long. This is how a society is SUPPOSED to work: freedom from persecution, freedom of expression, freedom unto responsibility. The reason bullying has become so prevalent these days is that we’ve forgotten that the strong are supposed to protect the weak and that forming groups of ascending size and power to handle those who would victimize are how we achieve strength.

Terrell Owens is truly a singular athlete. Singular in that, while he may not be the best receiver in football history, his ability to both beat defenders deep & beat them up short makes him possibly the most unique. Singular in that he believes his physical superiority to others gives him license to assert it upon every social occasion. Singular in his view that football can be played outside the team concept. And now, hopefully, singular in becoming the first non-felon to become an unemployable athlete. Every place he casts his presence or interest in his quest for employment, groups of individuals with past, present and possible future dealings with this beautiful beast have popped up to shout, “Bad dude. Mess you up. Stay away”. Now, I know that some franchise will likely end up hinging their hopes on this magic miscreant & fear that his legal team might attempt to cast this castigation as restraint of trade. But this is how society is SUPPOSED to work. If the animal, no matter how fleet its flight or strong its fight, cannot contribute to the welfare of the group, it gets cut out of the herd. God bless Terrell Owens. Nufced.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should practice what you preach!