Though well into the late senior years at our house, we like to think we’re still flexible in adjusting to new ways. We try to accept and adapt. “Change,” they say, “is the only constant.” We like to think we’re open to that.
Well, at four score and two, I’ve “hit the wall.” The politically correct and the do-gooders have lost me. I’ve been wavering for a long time, but, chances are, they’ve lost me permanently.
What finally pushed me over the edge was the decision at an Ohio radio station to stop playing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” That hacked it!
Anyone who can find “sexual innuendo” and “suggestive lyrics” in Ricardo Montalban singing the words to Esther Williams has one of the sicker minds around. And the station “management” that pulled that song from its rotation should be ashamed.
Listen to any contemporary music format - especially Rap - and you’ll hear lyrics of sexual assault, murder, cop killing, rioting, Satanism and on and on. In fact, Rap had its roots in protest and violence. Many of its popular “stars” have been killed in violent ways.
Compare those “lyrics” to recordings of “Baby, It’s Cold...” by Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Mel Torme, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney or any of the dozens of other artists who’ve crooned those words. Even Lawrence Welk!
We live in a crude world. Much more so in the last few years. Nobody chose it. But, here we are. I’m often amazed at how much vile junk is on Facebook, Twitter and the rest of the “social” media. I try not to use most of the terms or even condone much of it. Still, I admit to passing some of it along as “humor.” Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. But, that’s our world today.
Go to any sporting event. Pay a hundred bucks or so and sit in the audience of nearly any show by today’s top performers. Even ride public transportation or just walk down any street. Crude doesn’t even come close to describing what you’ll hear.
We also live in a world where too much attention is paid to a few people - a distinct minority of people - continually trying to push their lifestyles, beliefs, religion and demands on the rest of us. The “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” fiasco is simply the latest and most outrageous example.
Most of the time, the naysayers for almost anything use religion - or “personal discomfort” - as the basis for their objections. Ironic that, at the same time they’re using their beliefs to justify umbrage, the numbers of people attending church these days is in distinct decline.
There’s another anomaly at play with many of these pious folk. While using religious beliefs as justification for trying to control the rest of us, many of these same people are devoted followers of a President whose warped lifestyle, repeated violations of his marriage vows, corrupt business practices and serial lying they accept. Even venerate.
We’re told the first settlers came to this country seeking religious freedom - the right to practice what they believed without interference. A couple hundred years later, those who put our national demands for freedom on paper refused to adopt a national religion. “To each his own,” was the idea.
I grew up in a small Oregon town where a little old woman genuflected to parking meters and believed God spoke to her from fire hydrants. Crazy? Maybe. But no one stopped her or, to my knowledge, ever objected.
Religion, in belief and practice, is - and should be - a private matter. On that issue, we’re a nation founded on the basis of absolute religious freedom. But, it cuts both ways. Accept and believe what you will. But, show me the same courtesy.
There’s a recent catchphrase going around. “Stay in your lane.” It most often means, “you do your thing and I’ll do mine.” Makes a lot of sense. Especially when it comes to religious beliefs and practices as those disparate gentlemen wrote many years ago.
The manager of that Ohio radio station - and others who cave to minority voices making ridiculous demands - should use some common sense when making decisions that affect the rest of us. We don’t all “march to the same drummer.”
One more thing. Based on a long life dealing with the public, when it comes to those who opposed Ricardo’s crooning, I’d like to see their Internet browsing history. But, I’ll just stay in my lane. For now.