For those of you unfamiliar, “Bizarro” originated in the Superman Comics and was revived on Seinfeld. Essentially, it means “polar opposite,” so there was an evil anti-Superman, an anti-Earth, and so on.
However, it may not be strictly fictional or, alternatively, I may no longer be sane.
Not long ago, I posted on social media about a woman who ordered a book, then refused to pay for it, return it, or even communicate about it. She simply took the book and didn’t pay, which is normally called theft. Yet some people castigated me for raising the issue, feeling her privacy should be protected.
Periodically, I object to senseless profanity of Facebook, and block the user. I find virulent obscenity used to express simple terms to be indicative of low intelligence and total insensitivity (outside of locker rooms and private meetings). Yet, there are always those chastising me for not being more flexible and listening to the ideas while ignoring the “innocent” expletives, or for not honoring someone’s “free speech.”
I saw two guys in business suits attempt to sneak into the United air lounge in Denver, and when turned in by someone else (not I) they became resentful and obnoxious. Some of the other guests thought that they should have been left alone.
What’s going on here? Are we a society so permissive that anything goes? It’s bad enough that ill-advised school districts have removed “top ten” lists and valedictorians in a futile endeavor to improve everyone’s self-esteem by pretending no one is performing better than anyone else, but do we now waive all the rules on civility, membership, and discourse? Apparently at Brown University we do, because it’s okay for that bastion of liberal thought to boo and harass the former Police Commissioner of New York off the stage after he was invited to speak. Free speech? Learned discourse? Not in our universities, if you please.
Society moves forward and people’s lives are improved by emphasizing the best, not the worst, and by striving for higher standards, not the lowest common denominator.
Except in Bizarro World.
© Alan Weiss 2014