Snarkling Clean

Snarkling Clean- because you don't have to cuss to make fun of stuff. Two dedicated readers discuss romance novels- from what made us weep with joy to what made us want to poke pencils through our eyeballs.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What's Happened to Us?

I watched a great interview with a guy I regularly drool over. A Gladiator. Master. Commander.

Russell Crowe. I think he's a fabulous actor, and he's a perfect subject for a romance hero. But the thing that got me about the interview with Mr. Intensity was his answers to the inevitable rehashing of the Phone Throwing Incident.

Don't get me wrong- grown people should be able to control their tempers, at least to the point where they don't throw things. Especially at other people. I am not condoning Russell's actions, no matter how personally appetizing I find him.

When the interviewer- Steve Croft, 60 Minutes, I think- questioned him on the matter, Russell said something along these lines: "Where I come from, we would have thrown a couple of punches, gotten up, shook hands, apologized, and that would have been the end of it." Instead, police were called, charges filed, and so much press over a third-degree misdemeanor that called for a $160 fine you would have thought he was Hitler incarnate confessing to mass murder. Add to that the concierge who had the phone chucked at him sued him for several million dollars for pain and suffering. Russell made some not-too-nice insinuations about the American legal system and how easy it is to abuse it.

As a patriotic, proud, bleed-stars-and-stripes American, I have to agree. I can remember a time when two guys might have let their tempers get the better of them, and yes. After the fight, they would have stood up, shook hands, apologized, and that would have been the end of it. When did Americans get so pissy? The image we all like to have of ourselves- the John Wayneish pioneers, tough, hardy, honorable- has fallen to the wayside. There are people like that still around, of course, but those noble souls are being outnumbered and outvoted by brats who think they are actually worth hundreds of millions of dollars if they spill their own freaking coffee in their own freaking laps.

I get infuriated when I think of how much time and money is taken up in our courts with frivolous stupid lawsuits that, in time gone by, would have been settled with a handshake, or, at the least, with an arbitrator. And for no more reason than this- many Americans have become pissy little whiners with a horribly inflated sense of what they're owed in this life. How many people who truly need judicial intervention have to practically forsake it because the courts are so clogged with these spoiled children?

Granted, we're all so money-hungry I'm sure there's a ka-ching factor at work here too. You can't slip on a grape in the grocery store without three ambulance-chasers trying to convince you that you don't just need money for the doctor or time off work, but compensation for your pain and suffering. Yes, I let my two year old loose in the store and he threw the grapes on the floor and I didn't stop him, but I have pain and suffering, you heartless corporate conglomerate! This is your fault, somehow!

I remember the old Bloom County cartoon that depicted a lawyer suing a camera company because they were negligent in not warning customers Do Not Photograph Psychopathic Paparazzi-Hating Celebrities For Injury May Result.

Which brings me back to Russell Yummy Crowe. I suppose he could sue the hotel for the psychological pain and suffering they inflicted on him by their inferior phone service preventing him from contacting his family, right? Or he could have done what he did. Accepted responsibility, apologized, paid his fine, and, I'm sure he wishes, that was the end of it.

That used to be the American Way. Too bad an Australian has to remind us of it.


Blogger Missie said...

But how do you really feel?

Just kidding.

Don't throw your phone at me.

I am on your side.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Robyn said...

But my pain, Missie, my paaaaaaaaaaaain! Don't just agree-Give me some money!

6:30 PM  
Blogger quirkychild said...

I once heard America called "Whine Country".

Speaking of lawsuit happy Americans, you guys really ought to have a warning on this site for your legal protection. Someone's liable to sue for injury to sides for laughing so hard. Just so you know.

9:19 PM  
Blogger December Quinn said...

Ugh. I totally agree. When did we all decide we were entitled to things? Like parents suing schools for failing their kids, when the kids didn't earn passing grades?

It drives me NUTS.

2:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just discovered your site today and I wanted to chime in. It seems to me that America is turning into an entitled society--by that I mean "give me everything for nothing", "I want to be rich but I don't want to actually WORK for it", and "if you look at me cross eyed I'm gonna sue for pain and suffering". Everything lately is someone else's fault; I work in public service and we get constant flack from patrons--they screwed up, but it must somehow be our faults. Makes you want to scream.

On to more positive things, love your site! Your blogs are funny and enjoyable reads. Thanks!

PS: My Barfly name turned out to be "Tootsie Roll Tangueray."

4:44 AM  
Blogger Bernita said...

Think also there's an element of violence by proxy.
It's "not nice" to hit back, so let's get someone to do it for us, like the courts.

6:05 AM  
Blogger Robyn said...

Whine Country- I love it!

Oh, DQ, don't EVEN get me started. That is a whole other post. As far as my mom was concerned, if you got in trouble at school, you got in trouble at home, because you got in trouble at school.

Starving, I love your name! Thanks for your kind comments.

Bernita, I hadn't thought of it that way. Then again, I had brothers who would hit anyone I was afraid to. ;)

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, boy. I so totally agree with you.

I hate that it's being indoctrinated in kids. What a sad state of the country. Fifty years ago, we were all about the American Dream and working one's ass off to make a better life. Now? Hah!

1:58 PM  
Blogger EA Monroe said...

Hi Robyn! It's a small world. Who'd thunk we could hang out in Canada at Bernita's place and discover we live in the same town! We've probably bumped into each other out and about and never realized it!

Russell Crowe is a classic. I have his phone number! Well, actually the Russell Crowe's phone number I have is a Heidelberg service tech. Probably not the same RC. Darn.

I bet all the lawyers that graduate from OU College of Law every year contribute their fair share to the frivolous lawsuits. They gotta have something to do to pay back their college loans. ;}

If you're ever out and about by Action Printing over on Tecumseh Road, stop in and say hiya.

I love the humorous comments you and Missy do for the book covers.

Good luck with your writing!

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

You just quoted Bloom County.

You are so my friend.

3:12 AM  
Blogger Robyn said...

Jenny, I am an ardent admirer of the Bloom County Stud Squad.

EA, I used to work at the eastside Albertson's. We'll have to go to the new Starbuck's sometime- but NOT during lunchtime. The thing's right across the street from the high school! What were they thinking?

7:11 AM  
Blogger EA Monroe said...

Hi Robyn. I live on the eastside so I probably saw you at the eastside Albertsons! Starbucks across from the high school -- we've been cracking jokes about hyper teens. Wait until school's out now. My son went to Norman High.

8:28 AM  
Blogger Missie said...

I want to go to Starbucks with you guys! Why is no one inviting me to Starbucks? I feel discriminated against! Is it because I am model thin, super rich, and majorly intellijennt that you guys are leaving me out? Is it the jealousy eating you alive that makes you dis me in this manner????

I am so suing both y'all for my pain and suffering.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Girl con Queso said...

Great post. Great point.

7:50 PM  

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