I understand that the feeling of outrage is delicious. We all need to get our anger out and there’s nothing so great as righteous outrage. But like anything, a little of something can be good where a lot can be bad. Think: water. It is because of this push towards outrage that I often find myself on the receiving end of stories like, “Did you know that Target forbids their employees from saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to their customers?!”
Statements like these would have set me off… when I was 13 years old. But over the past 40 years I’ve learned a few things. One is that these stories are often not true. For example, Target never told its employees to stop using the word “Christmas.” So when I hear something along these lines, I usually sigh and assume it isn’t true. But another thing I’ve learned is that when the story is true, it is almost always way more complicated and nuanced than claimed.
No Greased Pig Chases!
This brings me to Wednesday. My father has a regular lunch date with his friends on Tuesday. And so my father told me something he learned from his friends: the Sonoma County Fair had canceled the greased pig chase. This is where a pig is smeared with grease and children run around and try to catch it. According to the experts at the luncheon, it was canceled because someone thought it was cruel to the pig.
Learning this put me in a difficult position. First, I was pretty sure the story wasn’t true. Second, I do think it’s cruel to the little pig. I know I wouldn’t want a bunch of five year old kids running around trying to catch me. But given other things we do to pigs, a greased pig chase isn’t high on the list of cruelty. For example: burning pigs (don’t watch it). So I found it hard to believe that suddenly people were freaking out about greased pig chases.
Political Correctness — in 1971
But it is true that people do care about the issue. Greased pig chases (and related activities) are illegal in Minnesota. But this isn’t the result of our political correct culture that has gotten such a boost from Donald Trump. That law was passed in 1971. Is that the case in California? No.
I went online and found Free Family Fun at the Sonoma County Fair. And there on the 24th of July was, “Catch a greased pig on Farmers Day.” Maybe if a single man at the luncheon actually cared about greased pig chases, they would have known this. But I doubt anyone at the luncheon had ever participated in such an event — or even seen one outside a movie.
Growing Old Sucks; Grow Up!
But they were all only too happy to grouse about the fact that the America they knew is being destroyed. Of course, it isn’t an America that they ever knew. It’s just an excuse to bitch: kids today don’t get the joy of doing what the vast majority of children never did in the past. But as I noted: it’s understandable.
I can see as one grows older, one naturally feels that their culture is dying. That’s because it is. But it isn’t because liberals like me are murdering it; it’s just the way the world works. Poor children learn that rich children get more ice cream. The universe isn’t fair. Why can’t old people learn that the culture leaves them behind?
But barring that, they could at least find real things to complain about.