Thursday, June 24, 2010


Yes, I actually have a negative 'bucket list.' It's all the things I mean NEVER to do before I pass. One item is, I'll never hear a Lady Gaga song. Doing splendidly with that one so far. I am gonna have to lay off Bruce Springsteen songs for a while though; got a jumbled up dance mix running in my head. Caught myself other day, singing "tramps like us, baby we was born in the USA."

I'm not sorry about it though. Which brings me to the subject of contrition...

Our culture has a strange relationship with expressions of remorse. Examples of that abound in the news this week. You got Congressman Barton, apologizing to BP, therefore demonstrating, sometimes saying "I'm sorry" can create anger. There was a decent point to be made there about not rushing to demonize biz, but Barton flubbed it. Then he had to apologize for apologizing.

And one can even behave in ways seemingly unapologetic, thereby ratcheting up anger. That CEO of BP, Tony Haywire I think? He's in a weekend yacht race, and Gulf Coasters don't like it. Doesn't seem very remorseful. I understand his position too though; he must be saying, "What, what? I don't tell them not to enjoy their yachts do I? Why don't they stop picking on me?"

Get right down to it, apologizing has become an anger management/damage control tactic. It's largely meaningless. Pretty much means "I regret having been caught."

Other examples abound; seems like a General, athlete, movie star or politician is apologizing every time you turn around. It's very boring.

I'm actually starting to like people who AREN'T sorry. I find them quite refreshing. Australian bloke Paul Nigel Sniddon for instance? After a string of personal reverses, Paul embarked on a four day drunk. Ended abruptly after missing a curve, and blammo! He's upside down in car, unable to open door, waiting for jaws of life to arrive. So he decides to have another beer in the meantime.

How exactly one manages to drink beer while upside down, I don't really know. Perhaps he had a flexible straw handy? Either way, there IS a third McKenzie brother you hosers! When EMT's arrived, the obligatory 'have you been drinking' question was answered with "Oh yeah, a bunch!"

Sure, Paul could've broke his fool neck driving drunk. Could've done a vehicular homicide, depending what part of Australia he was rampaging through. But? Upon reaching the logical outcome of his bad choices, Paul just relaxed and opened another brewski; waiting to own his choices with a lighthearted shrug.

There's something refreshing about that attitude. Or, as a great songwriter once sang... "There's a darkness on the girls in their summer clothes racing in the streets tonight in Atlantic City."

I just hope those girls aren't racing yachts, that's all I'm sayin'.