Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Tue, Sept. 17

Barnes: Ever had one of those days you wanted to forget?

Have you ever had one of those days you wish you never had?

You go to bed that night consoling yourself with the thought that yes, half the population is below average, but why did so many of them penetrate my day!

I think the nightly news is a culprit; a large percentage of those interviewed or quoted seem to fall into the lower half population. And yes, many are residents of our nation’s capital.

I don’t mean to be a fuddy-duddy, or go around tsk-tsk others, but I know I’m reaching the point where “enough is enough!”

Then there are those moments when I have had it up to here (I am holding my throat) with the number of “shockers” we seem to be spawning in our beautiful country. Our society is bloated with men and women committed to scandalizing others and depleted of those willing or able to evince shock.

Think about it: We have ubiquitous talk shows where people line up to divulge their darkest, deepest secrets. One moment—no matter how personally embarrassing—provides notoriety in exchange for privacy.

We used to call these folks exhibitionists, and we didn’t say it kindly or as a sign of respect.

Shock has moved forcibly into the entertainment business. Got a shocking story? Get yourself interviewed by the media, or write a “tell-all” book or sign a movie contract. Lurid, offbeat, very personal disclosures sell: the more flagrantly vile and intimate, the better.

You’ve got to be really nuts to get yourself censored. I don’t think we can sit around waiting for “entertainment” decision-makers to clean up their industry. Or for politicians who believe that self-interests and/or party interests and/or special interests are more important than the public interest. At the national and state level, we have far too few public servants and far too many politicians.

So, it is within families that good and bad taste and actions can be identified and offensive speech and behavior can be corrected. If enough people care about even the most elementary of courtesies, social disapproval of shocking and irresponsible conduct would grow and triumph.

It has always been so. It’s always been up to you and me.

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