More Jackson County Opinions...

DECEMBER 17, 2003


Column

By:Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
December 17, 2003

Uncivilized and socially unacceptable
Last week I suggested that nasty words outnumber nice words in our modern music, TV shows and movies. I also suggested that the cause of this rude, crude, gross and socially unacceptable behavior is the second Industrial Revolution. If you think that is farfetched, read on.
I am aware, of course, that some of you do know that there was (and is) a second Industrial Revolution. And you have forgotten everything you ever learned about the first I. R. (I am not writing down to you, dear intelligent readers, but rather stating what I believe to be true in a few cases.)
Last week we reviewed briefly the first Revolution. Now, let us pick up with I. R. II and make the case that it is responsible for the obscene, obnoxious, sick, ugly, nasty words that are taking over our songs and our spoken and written communications.
The second I. R. began in Germany and Japan in the early 1930s. By 1939 - 1940 it was picking up steam. On December 7, 1941, it went into orbit in the good ol’ U.S. of A. I am speaking, of course, of World War II, the event that awakened the Sleeping Giant. Consider:
In 1939, the United States had about 174,000 men in the army; 126, 400 in the Navy; 26,000 in the Army Air Corps; 19,700 in the Marine Corps, and 10,000 in the Coast Guard.
At the height of its strength in 1945, the United States had 6 million in the Army; 3,400,000 in the Navy; 2,400,000 in the Army Air Force; 484,000 in the Marine Corps, and 170,000 in the Coast Guard.
In 1939, the United States had about 2,500 airplanes and 760 warships. By 1945 it had 80,000 airplanes and 2,500 warships. Talk about an Industrial Revolution! The Germans and the Japanese never should have awakened the Sleeping Giant.
But with so many of our men in the armed forces, who was left to manufacture the ammunition they’d need to win the war? Thank God for our women folk! As their husbands and brothers went off to war, they went down to the munitions plant.
By 1943, more than 2 million women were working in American war industries. In shipyards and aircraft plants, “Rosie the Riveter” became a common sight. In 21 key industries, officials discovered that women could perform the duties of eight of every ten jobs normally done by men.
One thing the women did not do 60 years ago, and something they still aren’t doing, is get equal pay for equal work.
Did you see this Vent in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the other day? Obviously, a male called it in. “I’m trying to understand the article about women being paid less than men. It says men earn 20.3 percent more than women, but work 28.1 percent more hours. So what’s the problem?”
I’m pretty sure the 28.1 percent more man-hours are down at the plant or office. The problem is this old saying: “Man works from sun to sun; a woman’s work is never done.”
OK, ladies, I’m fixin’ to change directions now, and I hope I don’t get in anymore trouble than I’m already in. You played a major role in the second Industrial Revolution. We could not have won World War II without you. We are grateful.
But while you had a great influence on the Revolution and the War, the Revolution and the War had a great influence on you. Remember back in the old days, when the old man’s philosophy and standard operating procedure was to keep you barefoot and pregnant and in the kitchen?
Well, during the second Industrial Revolution (and War), you discovered there was something better. When hubby came home from the War, you were down at the plant making your own money. And in the process you learned the male, macho, redneck language of the workplace.
That was the beginning of the feminist movement. Women didn’t need men the way men needed women. Women were in the driver’s seat for a change. They escaped the kitchen. This led to the establishment of a fast food restaurant on every corner, where you can get fat and get caught up on all the (pick a letter) words. Our adult women and juvenile girls quit taking orders and started giving orders.
I’m not sure this is reverse discrimination, but it’s close.
Then, to make the matters worse, women began to enter politics. Instead of the nice, lady-like, sweet, peace-loving persons they used to be, they were learning from their rude, crude, gross and socially unacceptable male political peers how to be nasty.
And the word got around, from the halls of Congress down to states, counties, cities, townships and the hood. If female politicians can be nasty, it is all right for everybody to be nasty. After all, these are our mamas and grandmamas.
And now we all have good excuses to be uncivilized and socially unacceptable. As if peer pressure were not enough, we have other motivations to be nasty: radio, television, movies, CDs, the Internet, pornography, automobiles, beer, wine, liquor, drugs, sex and too much leisure time.
I’m not blaming you, ladies. I’m not blaming anybody. We all got caught up in a Revolution and a War that changed us forever.
It was not this way when mama was barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. We can’t go back. Even if we wanted to and could, we shouldn’t. Male domination is not the solution.
So we must look elsewhere for the answers to serious questions. Who? What? When? Where? Why?
Finally, and most important, How? How do we fit in? What is our role in the scheme of things? Is there any hope that we’ll ever again be civilized and socially acceptable? What can you do? What can I do?
Really, I’d like to know. Our survival as a civilized country and culture is in jeopardy.
Merry Christmas.
Virgil Adams is a former owner - editor of The Jackson Herald.

Jackson County Opinion Index

Column

By: Oscar Weinmeister
The Jackson Herald
December 17, 2003

Hamming It Up For Christmas
On Sunday, our 2 1/2 year-old, Jack provided comic relief for an audience wider than just the family. Only after I promised to escort him, he walked up to the front of the church for the children’s sermon and proceeded to hop, skip and jump around enthusiastically while the other kids sat listening to what Pastor Tom Lewis was telling them.
We’ve only recently taken Jack from the nursery to sit with us in church, and he’d done very well the previous three or four times we’ve corralled him into a pew. He likes listening to the music, and he pretends to read the prayers out of the bulletin along with the congregation. We are also very appreciative of the crayons and paper available to assist with a toddler’s quiet contemplation.
This past Sunday, for some reason, he decided he hadn’t been open enough with everyone in church. After a timid handholding sort of walk to the front, we found a place on the bottom step for me to sit red-faced and for Jack to launch himself into his new persona: the Christmas Ham.
Tom began by talking about Christmas as Jesus’ birthday, but he was interrupted half way into his point by Jack, who exclaimed loudly, “I sat in Santa’s lap!”
Tom barely skipped a beat and started again talking about how special the baby Jesus was, when Jack announced, “I’m getting a big truck!” My head was in my hands at this point, but Tom bravely pressed on, cleverly incorporating Jack into his discussion about the nativity. He pointed to a picture of a humped animal and asked, “Jack, do you know what that is?”
“A dog!”
Another child politely mentioned that the animal in question was a camel, to which Jack answered, with glee, “Yeah! A Camel!” He then jumped theatrically off the step, stood up straight, raised his hands in the air and exclaimed, “Yeah!”
After the service, I learned that Jack had been drafted to play the innkeeper in this year’s pageant. While I wonder if his performance earlier in the morning had any influence over the judgment of the good people handling the casting of the production, I am confident Jack will enjoy his first chance to project “memorized” lines in front of more than 100 people.
He has two lines, and they are mercifully crafted. Instead of “We have no room at the inn,” he can get by with answering “No!” to the question, “Do you have any room at the inn?” The trouble comes with the next line. When asked, “Is there any place that we could stay?” Jack is supposed to answer, “There is a stable with animals where you can stay,” but so far, not in keeping with the spirit of the season, his answer is “No!” He also has a habit of laughing maniacally and doubling over after uttering the word. I have been assured that this behavior won’t dishearten the story’s heroes.
However his performance goes, we will enjoy it, and I’m supremely confident that those members of the congregation who are not in some way responsible for his behavior will enjoy it also. Besides entertainment value, if we’re lucky, in playing the innkeeper he’ll start to suspect that Christmas is about more than Santa, big trucks and ham.
Oscar Weinmeister is the assistant administrator of BJC Medical Center. He lives in Commerce.


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