Ron Colone: On the subject of all those scars

RON COLONE

I saw this question posed on social media today: “What is your No. 1 pet peeve?” A friend I’ve known since high school answered, “Hypocrisy.”

I thought, "yeah, alright," until I remembered that this same friend recently went off on a rant about having to wear a mask to get into the store, and about feeling pressured and bullied to get a COVID vaccine, citing “personal freedom” as the reason for her consternation and opposition. Yet, I have never once seen or heard her complain that her grandkids cannot attend kindergarten without proof of the following vaccines: five doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis; four doses of polio; three doses of hepatitis B; two doses of measles, mumps and rubella; and two doses of varicella.

I’ve never heard her complain about the “No shirt, No Shoes, No service” sign, or that she can’t smoke in the restaurant, or that she can get fined and ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt — in her own car, or that she has to buy insurance, or that prostitution is illegal, or that assisted-suicide is prohibited in her state. All of which, to me, adds up to hypocrisy, or at the very least contradiction (the difference being that the former implies moral superiority). It also suggests that her reason for speaking out has less to do with her commitment to the cause of freedom and more to do with politicization of the  issues — or perhaps, concern over the side effects, but not “freedom."

Hypocrisy is widespread, and it is neither the exclusive domain of the right or the left, the old or the young, the educated or the uninformed:

  • Take my friend, who all of a sudden seems very concerned about women and girls in Afghanistan but could apparently care less about women and girls in Texas;
  • Or, the politicians who impose strict health regulations on their city and state, and then go out and get caught red-handed violating those same restrictive measures that they’ve recommended for everyone else;
  • Or, the people who are outraged over the death of 13 Americans in Kabul but have no grievance about the 120 Americans who died last weekend in America — from shootings;
  • Or, the people who say private businesses should have the right to decide who they will serve and how they want to conduct their affairs … unless it infringes upon the LGBTQ community;
  • Or, the parents and legislators who say decisions about schools and school districts should be made at the local level … unless, we don’t like what the local board, administrators and teachers recommend, then, yeah, let the governor decide;
  • Or, the people who believe that change is possible, and that we can all learn, grow, develop and evolve — socially, spiritually and emotionally — yet who insist that any evidence of having ever worn blackface at a costume party or in a variety show is grounds for immediate dismissal from your job;
  • Or, the people who complain about socialism but have no qualms about sending their kids to public schools, or driving on tax-paid roads, or calling the police or fire department, enrolling in Medicare, or taking in a game at the ballpark or stadium;
  • Or (and this is one of my pet peeves), the person who blames the loss of jobs on our porous borders while talking to Siri and listening to music on the digital streaming service after having just gone through the self-serve checkout line;

It’s easy and obvious to complain about hypocrisy, but those doing the most vigorous finger-pointing are likely no purer of heart and intentions than the rest of us.

With that in mind, I may as well just come out right now and count myself among the hypocrites, because I’m sure there’s something I’ve said or done, somewhere along the way, that contradicts something else I may have stood up for or spoken out against, which will almost certainly cause someone to take offense.

But remember, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Suppose, for the last 25 years, in an effort to educate yourself, you’ve made a point of reading and researching and seeking out information on various health and medical conditions that you or a loved one have had to deal with...

Essential Ron Colone: Start your day off with a little perspective. A collection of musings from columnist Ron Colone

It is hard to provide a short bio for Ron Colone. Writer, performer, business owner, concert promoter, music historian, baseball fan, proud son of Detroit for a start. There's so much more. We at the Santa Ynez Valley News have been lucky to work with Ron in various roles for more than 30 years, and we want to make sure you have a chance to read more of his thoughtful and insightful work. Here are a few of our favorites, let us know if you remember one that we missed and we can add it in. 

Ron Colone can be reached at ron.colone@gmail.com

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