Wednesday, February 12, 2014

64-Crayon Protocol

Under the heading See vermilion and turquoise, not just black and white in the Lexington Herald-Leader of 08 February, retired math teacher and sometime columnist Roger Guffey allowed that “life is like a box of crayons.” The theme seemed to be that folks should change as they mature from seeing things as black-or-white (absolutes) in favor of seeing things in many colors (64-crayon protocol).

Guffey wrote, “In a perfect world, as people mature they would learn that there are very few absolutes in the world: most things are not black and white nor are they even restricted to a few colors.” He probably meant “black OR white,” but in any case the world is not perfect, as Guffey would agree, so he must logically mean that in an imperfect world maturing people will recognize nothing as black or white, just in another shade, i.e., no absolutes.

This gets a bit scary. In a society where right and wrong (white and black, respectively) are determined on an individual basis, proper behavior could be anything from committing common decency to committing monstrous crimes (shades of some kind, but never black or white (no absolutes).

Guffey might be on to something, even if accidentally. A look at current society indicates a move toward nearly anything being okay as long as one person does no harm to another, with harm defined by the former and the law reflecting the mores of the society, which have been changing drastically since about the 1960s, when the hippy-dippy flower-children came of age and forsook the mores of what Brokaw called the “greatest generation” and earlier ones.

The mores of 1919 resulted in the ban-by-amendment to the U.S. Constitution of the manufacture, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages though the ban didn't last long as the nation blasted through the “roaring twenties” to the Great Depression thirties. Alcohol was/is a cancer on society and another generation was decent enough to do something about it. Such moral rectitude is lacking now.

According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, in 1973 homosexuality per se was removed from the DSM-II classification of mental disorders and replaced by the category Sexual Orientation Disturbance. In either case, homosexuality was/is considered an illness, presumably treatable, like other abnormalities. For obvious biological/sanitation/disgusting reasons, it rendered homosexuals unacceptable in the military as well as other organizations, creating discord and destroying morale.

Homosexuals are celebrated now as bravely “coming out.” FLOTUS invited Jason Collins, a pro basketball player who recently “came out” (first pro athlete) to the state-of-the-union address as her guest. Brave. She also invited a U.S. Marine who had been grievously wounded in battle. Brave. See any difference?

The latest celebration of perversion concerns Michael Sam, a college football player who just “came out” publicly because he was about to be “outed” anyway. CBS Evening News' Scott Pelley on 10 February compared him to Jackie Robinson, former army officer who broke the color line in major league baseball, actually exhibiting courage in both capacities. Encouraged by the president, men may now marry men in many states and be treated as husband and wife, something accounted as exponential perversion/insanity only a decade ago. Social blasphemy in both cases.

Guffey took his usual shot at churches, this time for opposing abortion (and contraception anent the Catholics) but not encouraging adoption. He could have mentioned rampant homosexuality and pedophilia in the Catholic priesthood, but the fathers got a pass. He mentioned that guns kill kids every day and I conjured up a piranha evolving into a gun to carry out that circumstance. He characterized the use of drones (collateral damage) as an exercise of vengeance, not as an act against terrorists who kill infidels (collateral damage?). Drones are black?

Guffey ended with this: “Political and religious differences have polarized us into a nation that sees only absolutes – stark blacks and whites... .” He couldn't be more wrong. Murder and stealing are still thought kinda black, admittedly, but little else is seen as black, just a shade, another color...probably white. Guffey should be happy with this. The body politic is going to hell, coloring out of the lines (engaging diversity as god), and anything goes (the 64-crayon protocol, of course).

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

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