Have you seen some of the recent strange-but-true news items that have made your favorite outlet in recent weeks? Back when I worked as a disk jockey at a music radio station, I'd keep track of strange news items and present them on the air in a "can you believe this?" format, which also lends itself perfectly to this forum.
The most recent item in my stack of stuff came out a couple of weeks ago and features that wonderful state of New Jersey. A young fellow named David Gilespie filed a complaint in June of 1998 that a bar in Cherry Hill called the Coastline was discriminating against men by having a weekly "Ladies Night". For you Quakers in the audience, Ladies Night means women don't pay a cover charge (or maybe half the cover charge) and get half-priced drinks. It varies from spot to spot, but that's the least you need to know. Mr. Gilespie claimed that such a practice showed gender bias, and he wanted it stopped.
Perhaps Mr. Gilespie and his slacker friends were only playing a prank - if so, it went about as far as it could go: New Jersey’s top civil rights official, Frank Vespa-Papaleo, actually agreed, and ordered the Coastline to cease and desist. Even though a jury in a court of law did not come to this conclusion, the decision is lawfully enforceable.
The issue caused such a fuss that New Jersey's governor, James McGreevey, said it was utter nonsense.
And I have to agree. Ladies Night is, what, one night a week? What's the big deal? My buddies and I like Ladies Night because the drunker they get, the better we look. Methinks either Mr. Gilespie had not figured that out, or he had, and it made no difference.
NEW BREASTS FOR MY LITTLE GIRL
A couple of guys on the radio the other morning - Armstrong & Getty, on 910 KNEW in San Francisco, a great talk show team that deserves a national show - brought up an article they read about teenaged girls getting breast implants, and it was enough of a shock that I hopped on the Internet to track down the article myself.
I found it on a site called Women's E-News. Girls in their late teens are indeed getting implants as high school graduation gifts, and it’s a national craze. They need to be prepared for college, you see, and apparently the only way for a girl to be properly accepted is to have a big rack. Parents are more than happy to fit the bill.
I can't help but wonder how parents bring up the surgery option for their breast-impaired little girls. Maybe something like this:
"Honey, your father and I have been talking about your graduation gift, and we were wondering if you'd like a new Ford Thunderbird or breast implants. Because, really, you're flat as a board."
I can't even imagine the father taking part. That's just gross. And what happens when the girls come home with the new equipment? Do they show off for the family?
To quote the article: "[according to] the American Society of Plastic Surgeons…only 978 girls had the procedure in 1992. Women between 19 and 34 account for a large segment of those getting implants; 114,005 last year. More teens visit plastic surgeons this time of year. 'You see it around graduation,' said Dr. Rod J. Rohrich, the society's president. 'You see it around holidays and spring break, especially around the Christmas season.' The phenomenon is taking off across the country, but doctors say implants are especially popular in Texas and California."
Ah, yes, Texas and California. The usual suspects when it comes to crass irresponsibility.
With everything we've learned about the dangers of implants over the years, here is a generation that looks at altering their bodies the way grease-monkeys alter their cars.
Parents have failed to do their job properly in raising their children to be mentally strong and confident. That's not a surprise, considering most parents have no idea what they're doing, and should not have been allowed to breed to begin with. (Perhaps we need to change the definition of “birth control” to mean those wanting kids must pass a background check, psychological review, and obtain a license, so we know that they know at least the basics of good parenting and won’t just prop their kids in front of the television while they hustle to keep up with the Jonses. But that won’t work with the amount of “horniness” permeating our culture. I digress, excuse me.)
The daughters of these “parents” are trying to fix their inside problems by filling themselves with plastic on the outside. If they didn't like the way they looked to begin with, the issue would never come up. They will learn the hard way that this formula doesn’t work.
I know, I know .. it's also the fault of the proverbial male chauvinist pig, who demands that his woman have huge boobs. Well, bunk. Yes, women's breasts are an attractive feature, but I have yet to meet a guy who will admit to really giving a lick as to what his wife or girlfriend was issued by Mother Nature. You have Hollywood as well getting into the mix, the women's magazines, etc., so none of this is a surprise. But the thought of these children altering themselves in such a fashion, when most of them aren't even finished growing yet, is disturbing.
And I have to say it .. where the parents have failed to make their daughters strong, the feminists haven't picked up the ball, either. Take that, Gloria.
On a more serious note (too late), both of these "can you believe it" stories show the continuing erosion of common sense and the continuing advancement of materialistic pursuit in this nation, ultimately leading to the inevitable destruction of the Empire of the United States.
Thomas Jefferson (one of the Founding Fathers for those of you who are victims of public school) said it best: “Material abundance without character is the path of destruction.”
There’s no “character” in any of these stories.
For my fellow twenty-something’s and early thirty-something’s, this is the world our parents have given us. Next chance you get, be sure and say thank you.
Brian Evankovich lives in California where his motto is: “Slackers, unite .. tomorrow.” Send your cards and letters to firstname.lastname@example.org - he's ready to believe you.