Charles E. Richardson

RICHARDSON: Tired of the silliness

I guess as I become older, I’ve become less tolerant of silliness. It’s a virus that runs throughout our culture that masks the realities of life and the seriousness of some of the issues we face. I could point to young adults and say -- “looky, looky, how they stare at their phones” -- but just as my mind gets set to go there, along comes an adult in a trancelike stare at his phone.

You think it’s just kids driving down the road texting? Think again. Since I drive a big-hulking-gas-guzzling SUV, I can see what other drivers beneath my raised stature are doing. Yep, texting away. Silly and dangerous, too.

I can’t bring myself to watch comedies anymore. I’m stuck in the past where comedies at least resembled normal life, and if they didn’t, you knew it off the bat. There was no Mork from the planet Ork, but now you have people running around acting and talking like “The Simpsons,” a cartoon.

We’ve always had shock TV personalities that lend themselves to our baser instincts, but please, some of the trash I find while flipping through the channels now is astounding. Why, oh, why would anyone air filthy laundry on national TV? And don’t get me started about Facebook and other social media sites.

I warn children, teenagers and adults that there is no privacy. I don’t care if I’m not your “friend.” I can see every stupid thing on your page, and so can law enforcement.

I will admit that sometimes I’m tempted to answer some of my critics who post on our comment section or on Facebook with a snide remark or two, but they wouldn’t catch the humor or the innuendo, so why bother? I would rather soar with the eagles than eat with the chickens. Chickens eat anything and can’t fly high or far. Eagles are picky and can soar in the clouds for miles. I wish more people were more picky about what they feed their brains.

It’s not that I’m a technological dinosaur. I know the ins and outs of most things electronic. I tweet, now and again, but I’m not one who thinks my life is so interesting that I have to bore my followers in 140 characters or less with the quality of the apple I had this morning. I think less is more. That way, people pay attention to what I have to say.

Look at the political circus. If you’re a Democrat, you gotta love two things. First, there are 16 declared Republican candidates who have a shot at the nomination, and there are 21 others you haven’t heard about who stand no chance at all. And then there’s “The Donald.” The longer Trump sits on top of polling for the Republican Party, the more votes he loses for the GOP, a party that knows it has to attract a more diverse population to its tent if it stands a chance of winning the Oval Office. Trump is revealing the soft underbelly of the party that wants no part of that effort. I’m with the conspiracy theorists who believe Hillary hired Trump (just kidding).

Our society gets derailed by the minor. We focus on things that don’t mean a thing because we feel powerless to impact the things we ought to challenge. Case in point. Some local ministers have tight collars over a piece of art at the Tubman Museum called “Preacher Pimp” by Fort Valley-raised artist Alfred Conteh.

The pastors said they were going to have a protest in front of the Tubman after their request to remove the piece of art was rightly rejected by the museum’s board.

It’s silliness to get all fired up over a piece of art when the panorama is filled with a school system that has a College and Career Ready Performance Index of 62.2 on a 100 point scale; in a county, according to Family Connection Partnership, ranked 145th out of 159 for children living in poverty and where the number of those in poverty increased from 30.9 percent in 2009 to 44.6 percent in 2013.

Instead of protesting Saturday morning, maybe they should have followed the example of Beulahland Bible Church and Christ Chapel and give away school book bags or Union Baptist with its Back-to-School Jamboree. Why didn’t they implore their members to attend Raiderfest which featured eye exams, health screenings, financial literacy and credit recovery seminars rather than a pointless protest? I could go on, but you get my drift. Now do you see why I’m tired of the silliness?

Charles E. Richardson is The Telegraph’s editorial page editor. He can be reached at 478-744-4342 or via email at crichardson@macon.com. Tweet @crichard1020.

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