Boundaries

It’s official. There are no boundaries anymore.

Someone heckled the President of the United States when he was addressing congress. It was a Republican, a Southerner and, unfortunately, a Wilson (no relation). Unbelievable. (If you google it, you’ll find a paid ad by Joe Wilson who is now capitalizing on his fifteen minutes of fame. Nice.)  I don’t care what your views are on Barack Obama. . .He’s the President of the United States. George Bush had to travel all the way to the Middle East to get treated with such indignity.

Michael Jordan, a hero in North Carolina and all over the world, was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame. Yet instead of humbleness and grace, he astounded us with an “I’m the greatest” speech about his “competitive nature.”

“There’s no “i” in team,” he said, “but there’s an “i” in win.”

On national TV, he said this to his own children: “I wouldn’t want to be you because of all the expectations…”

I am stunned. What on earth does this man have left to prove?

Kanye West jumped in front of teen Taylor Swift as she accepted an MTV Video award to announce that it wasn’t Taylor, but rather Beyonce who had created “one of the best videos of all time.” I’m sorry. What?! And who are you?

And Serena Williams surpassed them all as she threatened a line judge on the tennis courts of the U.S. Open. “I’m going to take this ball and shove it down your (bleeping) throat.” Really? Have we come to this?

Sitting in a parking lot at the grocery store over the weekend, I was fully entertained by a thirty-year-old man on a cell phone. He wasn’t upset. He was just walking around his car having a casual conversation on his phone. Yet in that conversation, he unleashed a spew of expletives not heard since Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” let loose on the neighborhood bully.

I was watching “Weeds” for the first time last weekend while visiting my parents. (I don’t have HBO). My mom came in and sat down, but she didn’t stay because she was offended by the language. Wow. Would my kids be offended by that language? I doubt it. This kind of language is so common, we’re becoming immune to it.

All of us are guilty of using profanity on occasion. But it may be like a gateway drug – just an opening to move onto more offensive behavior. I, for one, am offended by what I’m seeing and hearing lately. I just hope we, as a society, can pare it back so that my kids will be, too.

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