Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1637, June 14th, 2011



I hesitated for a bit before writing this article because I know people will say my comments are those of an old, bitter, judgemental, hypocritical dinosaur that just doesn’t get it. But then I thought about all the job interviews I went on in the past decade since my accident and how I was looked at as a curiosity among the thirty something human resources types that have the responsibility of whether you work or not. I’m sure they thought I looked quaint and odd in my suit and tie, shined shoes and earnest demeanor. That said, this column is from your oddball blogger on the state of decorum in society today. Especially in LuLac land.
You know a few years ago I criticized chamber of Commerce head Todd Vonderheid for saying that out of town businesses think our work force needs tutoring on the business needs of this new century. But after what I witnessed this weekend, maybe Vonderheid was right. We are a bunch of ignorant heynas. And the worst part about it is we are combative, confrontational heynas.
Let’s begin with the photo in the index. There I am in May 1977 with my dad in the back yard before I went to King’s College to get my degrees. He never said much but I could tell he was proud. Not being of the generation that never wielded much of a compliment, he relayed that message to a girl I was seeing at the time saying, “You both should be proud of the hard work you’ve done”. Coming from an intermediary, one of my “petunias” as he dubbed the single ones, that was good enough for me. But notice the picture. It was a very hot day but this called for us to be dressed up. And on that day at King’s, all of the moms and dads were dressed for the occasion. Maybe it was because about 75% of the graduates had achieved something those working class parents could only dream of as they toiled in the factories, railroads and mines. Maybe it was about respect for higher institutions. Maybe it was only about decorum and respect but it was there.
Unfortunately that respect is not there today. Let’s review a few incidents. The past weekend there was a photo of two Valley West Senors texting as they sat waiting for the ceremonies to begin. I’m sure these are nice kids and I’m not picking on them personally but can you tell me what could have been so important to both of them that they needed to text a message? You go to a store and are in the check out line and before you’re gone, those thumbs start going on the miniature keyboards. Graduation ceremonies as well as church services have become jokes. I can’t stand going to Midnight Mass anymore because people think the Mass is about them. It’s not.
Let’s start with Friday night. A friend of mine has a grand daughter that graduated from Vo Tech. The last graduations I went to were my nephews Troy, Ian and Todd’s all in the same year. My friend’s grand daughter took part in "Awards Night" at the vo tech and the event began with the playing of the national anthem. Of all the people on the stage, only two stood with their hand over their heart. The students that I could see from my position behind them also stood with their hands by their side. How can the kids learn how to respect the flag and our national anthem when the teachers, administration and other dignitaries don't know how to stand and show the proper respect.? They followed the anthem with a student leading the pledge of Allegiance ....... He obviously didn't know the words and they certainly didn't take the time to listen to what he was going to say ....... he led the Pledge by saying ..... I pledge AN allegiance to etc. WTF? I could have spit nickels because they didn't take the time to teach him the proper words. They all need to be taken to task. Finally, the final insult came when I looked at the faces on the stage and realized that almost all of the various Board members who represent their school districts didn't take the time to attend the awards ceremony of the children they want so desperately to represent ........ but I guess it truly is only about jobs.
We have become a culture of good enough. A few weeks ago another district honored a student who died in a car crash. His parents accepted his diploma for him posthumously. Wearing shorts and a button down shirt outside of the pants with sneakers on. You honor your son dressed like that? And don’t tell me that I’m being a snob because I have no idea what anyone’s personal circumstances or income is. The last I looked you could buy a button down shirt for $16.00 and a pair of khakis for $25.00 at Target. It is amazing to me that people who drive huge pick up trucks that can carry half the town of Avoca in them can’t afford an outfit for under fifty bucks for a special occasion!
And let’s talk about behavior. A Commencement speaker is there to talk to the class as well as the parents. Back in the day, you could hear what hey had to say. I remember my dad quoting the late Francis Swingle when he gave the address at Pittston Area when my dad attended for his godson, my cousin Francis. But my father actually heard the speaker because everyone was listening. Not laughing, not texting, not whooping and hollering but showing a little respect.
The lack of decorum has extended to businesses too. A few weeks back I interviewed at Cigna for a position. It was a cold rainy day, about 59 degrees. I saw the workers coming in and they looked like they were going to the beach. When I worked at the on line pagan travel company I swear there were some women there wearing their pajamas! But it was okay because people wanted to be relaxed and comfortable.
When I was covering the Ciavarella trial, I was actually complimented by someone who said it was refreshing to see someone wearing a suit. Other than the media and the lawyers, people showed up in Federal Court like it was a hockey game at the Arena. No respect for the surroundings you are in is an obvious problem here.
There is an episode in Seinfeld where George Costanza is wearing sweat pants in public and Jerry said, “You’re pretty much signaling that you’ve given up”. Here in our area we pretty much have given up. And that casual sloppiness has cascaded down to the next generation. We don’t even have low standards anymore, we have no standards. And God forbid if you try to correct someone in public about their behavior. One of two things will happen, you’ll either get threatened and challenged to a fist fight for being so uptight or you’ll get a blank stare with a gaping mouth with the person you are trying to communicate with wondering just why you are so upset.
There are a few people trying to fight the good fight. But there are more of the “Ignorant and Proud” crowd than there are of the ones trying to maintain a semblance of class and dignity. The sad part about our area is this; we’re done and we don’t even know it!.


At 1:20 AM, Anonymous LAT! said...

Here, here Yonk!! You got it exactly right.

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said and very much needed to be said.
Your Lunch Buddy

At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Professor Milburn Cleaver, OPA said...

Students, a lot can be learned from Mr. Yonki's posting. I have been trying for years to drum into the younger generation that it is "not about you" but community.
Mr. Yonki touched all of the proper points, including the responsiblity of the parents. But we must understand that these very parents were more than likely raised with everything handed to them and nothing to work for.
I always say "Give a kid a toy everyday and Christmas Day is nothing; give him a toy only on Christmas and Christmas is special>".
Unfortunately, our techological advancements, via cell phones, texting, etc. have advanced far beyond our ability to manage them.
Of course, some of the old traditions remain: the partying, carousing and drinking/drug inducement. And when speaking of this depressed area where there is a bar on every corner (but the churches are disappearing) this statistic is enhanced far beyong the nation's norm.
But how do we get out????
It will not be easy, but it can be done.
We must stop raising our children from the day they are born as if they are to be the next heir to a great utopian throne.
Children, all children-- have a sense of entitlement at best, it is our task to see that they develop a sense of duty. A sense of duty not just to the home, but to God and country.
I recall a day back in the 70's when I began a new class by reciting the pledge of allegiance...some of the students did not stand. I made it quite clear to them that they had better get off of their lazy backsides and appreciate the country that did so much for them.
Many times I am maligned for criticizing the young but I want to emphasize that I only do so to help them.
Honestly, when a drill instructor calls a plebe a moron, etc. does anyone truly believe he wants to hurt the little buger??? Of course not, he wants to toughen him up because he wants the boy to be ready for war and to survive!!
We have lost that sense of responsibility. Everyone wants to go down easy street without earning a single dime to take the ride.
The graduation ceremony I attended at my university last month included many slackers with their robes and tossles adorning empty heads.
Unfortunately students, the free ride Mommy and Daddy gave you ends on graduation day. When you enter the workforce, the real world ultimately prevails upon your sleepy idealistic heads. Whoever your boss is, he/she will want results and not excuses. Continue to malign me if you must, but one day when you are flipping your fiftieth burger or taking cash from the drive thru window my words will echo and you will finally see them as not the rantings of a confused old man but an all but ignored warning.
Have I made my point, youngsters????
Class DIsmissed!!!!

At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Old Grouchy Bastard,
I particularly like to see all those sexy bitches out in public with pajamas and bedroom slippers on. And don't forget those manly GQ's with their pants down below their asses too. I can only say "Ditto" to all of your other comments. God help us, if this is what will be running our beloved country down the line. I guess we can all kiss our asses goodbye sure nuff.
Another Miserable, old grouchy,old patard.

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Pope George Ringo said...

Very insightful; this is actually a column that should have a national feed.

At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent article. Should be reprinted and distributed throughout NEPA. Problem is nobody gives a shit. Character is a thing of the past. Keep fighting the good fight, Yonks.

At 4:58 PM, Anonymous DW said...

You are an old wind bag, but a SMART old wind Bag. Spot on Dave. Enjoyed how you carved out how society is going to hell in a hand basket, and clueless about the trip. Has Respect really left the building....

At 7:08 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

I particularly like to see all those sexy bitches out in public with pajamas and bedroom slippers on.

At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q: can you tell me what could have been so important to both of them that they needed to text a message?
A: Responding to Anthony Weiner.

Dave, Nothing counts and nobody cares.
You can not discriminate, period. However discrimination is a critical function and practice for a safe, healthy life.
"Please don't eat the yellow snow."
"She looks hot on the shoulder of the road but maybe I better not pick her up."
"Speedos at MY age? Naahhh."
"Does this outfit make my @ss look big."

Ever notice how people react to you when you "present yourself" in a suit and tie?

Personally I blame "those damn hippies!"
(though I will admit to supporting the burn your bra women's movement - may be redundant)

Suzie C.

At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a request, will the guy who calls himself a professor please go away and stop lecturing everyone as though you have the answers. You my friend (not) don't have a clue. Just look at what you wrote ...... you brag about your university graduation and say that some of those graduating don't have a clue ...... well professor, why are they graduating? Sounds like you're the problem! Now go away.

At 2:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfesser Beaver Cleaver, Opie seems to really annoy people with his condescending attitude. I would think anyone combining two such great child characters would be a little less attitude disabled.
Say what you want to say, but dont lecture. Some of us do get it and even have a sense of humor.

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Professor Milburn Cleaver, OPA said...

RE: anon 10:06
Once again a youngster skims one of my lectures and misses the point...students, reading is not enough---comprehension is the key.
The young man accuses me of bragging about the graduation ceremony of which I played a part. Where he draws this conclusion I cannot say, I can only surmise that it is a product of his fast food/assembly line primary education.
Young man, I did not brag at all; in my heart I wept for these young wayward fools.
He accuses your humble academian of playing a part in their ignorance....this is silliness at best. A student can only learn if the student wants to learn.
Honestly, young man, if you are in my class at 9a.m. half awake, head banging from your night of decadence and drinking, are your facilities 100 percent??
ANd young man, would you prefer to fly in a plane where the pilot had 8 hours of sober sleep (like your professor) or behaved such as you had the night before....
I need not wait for your answer, for I know what it is.
Have I made my point, students???
Class DIsmissed!!!!!!!

At 5:48 AM, Anonymous Professor Milburn Cleaver, OPA said...

Anon, 2:15
Young man, I do not know of what you are referring to.
I do understand the Beaver Cleaver reference, but is it my fault that some communist script writer in Hollywood back in the fifties scribed a snot nose child character with my surname??
The other child character Opie; I do not get the connotation.
This is reflective of the silly nature of your instant pudding generation. Here I stand, lecturing on the ills of our day and you bring up old television shows that no one even remembers.
As I always said, "If you want a truly good turkey dinner it will take four to five hours....if you want a bad one, throw an instant one in the microwave>".
I need not ask which dinner you will choose.
DO I make my point??
Class Dismissed!!!!!

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I figured you would have to have the last word, Prof. That was the reason for the post. You are predictable and sure to take the bait and nothing but a windbag of the keyboard.


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