A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
What this world needs is an International Day of Blame. A single day, set aside each year, so people could legitimately blame all their various misfortunes on anyone who’s ever done them a dirty.
You don’t have to be Stephen Hawking to realize that grievance has become a growth industry in this world. That’s right: there’s an entire industry built on the premise that everything is somebody else’s fault.
The most visible proponents of this are government agencies and the uncivil servants who dwell there, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. There’s another whole layer of NGOs waiting down the block to back them up. Then there’re activists. Remember when activists were real people who saw misfortune and injustice and took time out of their lives to try and right a social wrong? Not anymore; contemporary activists are permanent employees of the grievance industry. It’s their 9 to 5 job. Their children’s lunch money and school clothes depend on it. After that, there’s a whole strata of sub-scum hangers-on who feed off grievance as if it were manna from the gods. There are harassment officers, community organizers and various advocacy groups. There are also the legal-fecal lawyers who perch like vampires, waiting to sink their fangs into any social complaint that used to be settled with a harsh word and a rude gesture. And of course, there’s the media. In the history of civilized behaviour, no other collection of ne’er–do-wells has played The Blame Game with such ruthless tenacity as journalists. Media personalities wake up in the morning blaming the sun for shining if it’s a hot day and either Obama or Trump if it’s cloudy – and they make millions doing it. It’s no wonder I blame Phil Donahue for ruining journalism.
Anyway, since finding fault has become an international pastime, it’s time we had a day for it. The Day of Blame could be March 1st — halfway between St. Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. The sugar shock feel-good of Valentine’s Day has worn off, and the pre-Celtic alcohol run-up to St. Paddy’s hasn’t kicked in yet. Spring is coming, but it hasn’t arrived, and the late days of winter are still cold and miserable. It’s a perfect time to sit around and bitch about who’s been nasty to you since birth and the reason your kids are ugly.
This thing could catch fire like a meth lab with a short circuit. People would be having dinner parties with their exes and blaming them for all their love’s labour lost. Children would be phoning their parents — collect — and blaming them for every petty neurosis they’ve suffered since puberty. Grandparents would write letters to the grandchildren, blaming them because they’re lonely. Students could blame teachers; teachers, students; and on and on.
Hallmark alone would make a fortune on “It’s Your Fault” cards. Not to mention florists selling dead flowers to anyone who’s ever been dumped and newspapers selling full-page ads to every middle-aged Star Wars nerd who believes George Lucas pooped on their childhood. Every transgression, every setback, every disaster, calamity and mishap would be fair game — and, more importantly, somebody else’s fault.
But the true beauty of the Day of Blame is it’s one special day — that’s it. For the other 364, we’d all have to shut up, quit whining and take some personal responsibility. It would be wonderful. There would be no more snivelling about how bad life has treated all of us. And maybe — just maybe — we’d finally realize that, in our affluent western society, we don’t have that much to complain about. And actually, most of the real blame for screwing up rests on our own little pass-the-buck shoulders and nearly everything else is just life — get used to it.
So I propose a toast to an International Day of Blame. It might be just what this world needs.
FYI — Day of Blame is the intellectual property of W.D. Fyfe. If you want to use it, go ahead; but you must give me full credit for the idea and at least 10% of the gross income. Otherwise, I will find a scuzzy lawyer and make you very sorry.