Friday, April 29, 2011

Snarkiness is an American royal pain

The royal wedding of William and Catherine was achieved today amid all the pomp and over-the-top ceremony the world expects of such events and I think it's wonderful. We can well use more royal romance and less political bickering and personal nastiness. What really has me close to the boiling point is the contentious snarkiness I've been reading and hearing for the past few days from Americans who can't seem to find anything nice to say about anybody, much less the royal couple.

If you'll pardon the implied vulgarity, when did being an a-hole become cool?

The word, "snarky" by the way, is an actual word going back to the early 20th century. It is defined as "irritable, unpleasant and scornful." Though, ironically in this case, the word may be British in origin I'd have to say it has become as American as the disrespectful and snotty attitude it displays. American society today is rife with nastiness. Even as we're in a concerted national effort to teach our children to neither tolerate or be a party to bullying others it seems a huge percentage of adults can't follow their own advice.

What I really don't understand is the need so many seem to have to criticize and scorn people, events and traditions for which they have no personal affinity. You don't like the royal wedding? Don't watch! But keep your rude, nasty, sarcastic comments to yourself. You're bringing me down and I resent it.

Seriously, look at these kids. They're beautiful. They're happy and they're performing a real-life Disneyesque fairytale ritual. What's wrong with that?

This habit of compulsively expressing rude, unsought opinions and displaying offensive disrespect for others has become a national epidemic. The ugly American is everywhere and I am deeply ashamed of us.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Morning song, the reason for the road

Morning is God's way of gently shaking me awake with a smile and saying, "Get up, knothead. You're not finished yet."

I love mornings, by God. Always have. And by morning I mean a half hour or so before dawn. It's the grand reawakening of my little corner of the world. Sunrise, birds, the dew; the works.

Sunrise outside my home in Southern California is always spectacular. Sunrise everywhere is spectacular, amid mountains, deserts and seascapes. Even urban alleys and poor, blighted neighborhoods are washed by a hopeful light at dawn regardless of weather and transitory human circumstance.

A new day. A thing of beauty and grace.

I'll turn 60 in a few months. Though I've missed a few along the way I estimate I have had the thrill of experiencing nearly 20-thousand sunrises so far. I don't mean to be greedy but I'd sure like to see a few thousand more.

And, isn't there something extra special about a sunrise on the open road, away from home? 

Whether holed up in a cheap motel, staying with family or, best of all, waking up in my RV in some exciting new place, daybreak feels like the Christmas mornings of my childhood: promises of wonder in yet unopened gifts.

I'll take mornings wherever I find them. 

I'm not finished yet.
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