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January 21, 2005

Fur Bow Ties, Armadilloes, and Texas Long-Horned Steer

All represents to me a nation of meanness.

On Inauguration Day, my sister and a couple of our friends, had a discussion about meanness. I thought I saw tears well up in my sister's eyes, evidently the victim of it herself, on a local level. Haven't we all been.

I brought up the subject because I had gone to The Detroit Free Press, as I do daily, and thought about how much I missed my hometown (although I haven't lived there since 1987). I saw a photo of a man in downtown Detroit, doing something good for his city. I remembered how, when I lived in Detroit for most of my life, goodness and niceness permeated everything one did. Despite the bad rap Detroit has for crime, the normal populace has a good word for one another, a good deed to perform for one another, a smile, a respect for one another's point of view. There was no power grabbing, and credit was given one's due.

People in Traverse City, on the other hand, have no respect for any other viewpoint, power is the order of the day, and there are no pleases, thank-yous, nor appreciation (other than that given for toeing the line).

I wondered aloud if it was because of tv. Is it because of the Jerry Springer show, or the Bachelor, Bachelorette, or the Apprentice? Or Survivor? Where everyone who isn't "fighting naked" is back-biting their own team members? Or, is it, as my sister suggests, a result of day-care, where manners are not taught?

Or is it, as my husband maintains, trickle-down meanness? A president and an administration who has set the tone. Everyone for themselves. Our way or the highway. You're either with us or against us.

And so we as a nation go after anyone who doesn't think like we do, city officials find it necessary to go after the very people who voted for them. Co-workers are belligerent toward one another. Road-rage, shoving, pushing, and in-fighting.

How mean is it to import a Texas long-horned steer and a couple of armadillos for a pre-inaugural ball? Pretty mean.

Posted by Gadflygirl at January 21, 2005 09:31 PM


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