Admittedly, it’s a little late to make resolutions for 2008, but seeing as I only make them for other people, I don’t think the same time constraints are in order. So, while the rest of you are selfishly occupied trying to diet or break your nicotine habit or swear off your unseemly addiction to so-called reality TV, my focus is on trying to improve society in general.
For openers, I’d like to suggest that the athletes, both in college and the professional ranks, break a couple of really obnoxious habits this coming year. I, for one, am sick and tired of watching baseball players point to the sky each time they cross home plate after hitting a home run. It’s as they’re suggesting that God had personally lifted the ball over the fence, when we all know that most of them owe their inflated power stats to steroids, and not divine intervention.
But football players are even worse. I suppose it all began with that idiot, former New York Jet lineman Mark Gastineau, who always pranced around after sacking a quarterback. Now you see the same boorish behavior each and every time a cornerback deflects a pass or a linebacker makes a tackle. The offensive players, not to be outdone, feel compelled to boogy all over the end zone any time they score, even on one-yard plunges. As some football coach, who was obviously as turned off as I by these egotistical displays, once put it to his players: “Behave as if you’ve been there before.”
Not only are these celebrations stupid, but except when they occur at game’s end, they tend to be embarrassingly premature. I mean, one second some 300-pound bozo is strutting around because he’s tackled a running back for no gain, and the next second the same guy has deked him out of his shoes and scampered 65 yards for a touchdown.
Next, I would like to see an end to the War on Drugs. It’s a colossal waste of time, money and resources. I am not an advocate for illegal drugs, but for commonsense.
I don’t use drugs and I very rarely drink alcohol, so I’m not campaigning on my own behalf, but what difference does it make to you what some fool decides to smoke, snort or shoot into his arm?
If you make the junk legal, we’ll not only be able to collect tax revenue, but the price comes down and users aren’t forced to steal in order to finance their habits. Plus, overnight, it would free up jail cells so that we could put an end to early release for those cretins who should never see the light of day.
On the other hand, if a person gets stoned on drugs that would now be legal and, say, gets into an automobile accident, I wouldn’t let him cop a plea by blaming it on the substance. It’s time we started holding people responsible for their acts. So, if you decide you’d like to try rehab, that’s fine and dandy. But don’t wait until you’ve been arrested. This is the real world and not a board game. You shouldn’t get to use your addiction as a Get Out of Jail Free card.
The way things stand, illegal drugs are a multi-billion dollar business with most of the money going directly into the hands of vicious criminals who use it to bribe corrupt police officers, judges and politicians. The rest of the dough goes to Islamics who use it to finance terrorism. So much for those assorted Hollywood celebrities and Wall Street yuppies who insist that their recreational use of cocaine isn’t hurting anyone.
Yet another downside to having made this stuff illegal is that it promotes hypocrisy. We Americans get to look down our noses at poppy farmers in Afghanistan, drug lords in Colombia and cops in Mexico, all the while overlooking the odious fact that they’d all have to start earning an honest living if millions of our fellow countrymen didn’t constitute the world’s single biggest market for this crap.
It took Americans just 14 years to conclude that Prohibition did nothing more than make folk heroes and millionaires of bootleggers, speakeasy owners and Al Capone. But, now, after several decades, we still haven’t caught on that this latter day prohibition is an even bigger disaster.
Have we really gotten that much stupider since 1933? Perhaps so, or maybe it’s just the drugs. In either case, we should all grow up and resolve in 2008 to face the music and acknowledge that sometimes good intentions don’t necessarily pave the way to Paradise, but to Hell.