Ruth: It’s no joke that we have lost our minds

Times Columnist Dan Ruth. [Times file]
Times Columnist Dan Ruth. [Times file]
Published June 4 2018
Updated June 6 2018

You get up in the morning, and the sun is shining. The birds are chirping. The garden is in full bloom. It all seems so nice. And then you unfold the paper and realize it is never too early to start eyeing the liquor cabinet.

This is the sorry state we live in.

Demands for apologies abound.

Roseanne Barr apparently awakened recently and thought it would be a great idea to tweet out a racist rant directed toward former Obama administration adviser Valerie Jarrett. She dismissed the ensuing clamor as simply a bad joke gone horribly awry, because she doesn’t get enough sleep.

But Barr claims to be a "professional" comedian who ought to know a bit about what’s funny. And publishing a Islamophobic rant about a private citizen who has been out of government for almost two years falls woefully short of guaranteed hilarity.

The left was suitably huffy and puffy about Barr’s career implosion until Samantha Bee decided to utter a crude reference about Ivanka Trump on national television, proving anvils falling on prominent heads is a bipartisan exercise. And once again the apology train added a car.

You could argue both Barr and Bee are symptoms of an unhinged culture, where common sense has become a scarce commodity in the pursuit of attention whatever the cost to a reputation.

What were these people thinking? Who knows? But they are not alone.

At some point U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-What’s Your Sign?, came up with a brilliant gambit to hold a "Women’s Summit" in a bid to woo the female vote.

So far, so good, until some of the topics for the event included stuff like gardening tips, weight loss advice and financial planning guidance. You know how those little helpless ladies can be — preoccupied with their begonias, shedding those pounds to be more attractive to that big lug in their lives and struggling to handle a checkbook. Poor dears.

No one in Bilirakis’ political orbit had the gumption to suggest to the clueless congressman he risked coming off as a condescending sexist.

The EPA — that’s the Environmental Protection Agency —wants to roll back auto emission standards. The Trump administration is imposing tariffs on allies like Canada, arguing our steadfast neighbor to the north is a national security threat. What threat? Buffalo being invaded by Labatt-swilling curling devotees?

Meanwhile the president’s lawyers, the Keystone Kops of the Constitution, are claiming (with straight faces) Trump cannot be questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller about obstruction of justice issues since the president possesses unlimited power, and thus it is impossible for a president to obstruct justice even into an investigation of himself.

At the border, the federal government is ripping children from the arms of their parents who have crossed into the country illegally. This is being touted as a keen law-and-order strategy. And maybe it is, if we were Syria. That ought to teach those tots a lesson, never mind the potential psychological damage being done to innocents.

The Founding Fathers just ordered another round.

We live in a Jabberwocky parallel universe where tasteless jokes are dismissed as merely unfortunately bad comedic timing; where comrades in arms are viewed as threats; where clean air is regarded with alarm; where a president can claim he is more above the law than a banana republic despot; where toddlers are treated as faceless pawns in the immigration debate.

But wait. The Irwin Mainway Bag-O-Glass Award goes to …

A few days ago, a company called Valve announced it would release a new video game titled Active Shooter, which allows players to compete in a scenario revolving around a school bloodbath. One can choose to be the murderer or the SWAT team responding to the carnage. What fun.

Or consider a corporation arrived at the conclusion that creating a video game depicting the mass murder of students was a potential windfall. That’s EN-TER-TAIN-MENT!!!

Valve urged consumers of Active Shooter not to take the game seriously. "This is only meant to be a simulation and nothing else."

You have a right to be infuriated, but not surprised. Only in America would images of butchered students be offered up — for a fee, of course — for the dining and dancing pleasure of the public.

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