'Backpedaling towards Family Fun'
Risk takers don't think that things will end badly until after the fact.
This is probably why memorable events in our history, whether stupendous or stupid, occur because ballsy exhibitionists or social thrill seekers aren't afraid of the 'post-risk press conference.'
Greek historian Herodotus once said (and by once I mean in 484 BC) that, 'great deeds are usually wrought at great risks.'
This is pretty obvious, or at least has become pretty obvious by the people that inhabit this planet proving it several zillion times over since it was originally muttered.
For every 'one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind' we also get 'Houston, we have a problem.' For every 'ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for you country (JFK)' you also get 'One of the most difficult parts of my job is to try to connect Iraq with the war on terror (W)'.
Without the people that we either love or love to hate taking the risks that we either can't or won't make, this existence that we reside in would look and feel about as dull and meaningless as a Friday night at the Cleaver residence.
No one would ever 'raise the bar', make profound statements, change anything for the better, or merely brush a bit of color onto a primarily black and white canvas.
To say it simply (in my best English accent), 'it would be utterly daft.'
Sometimes those that are judging the actions of the risk taker and just plain wrong, and their botched review of the person is the thing that is taken down in the 'I wish I could have that one back' category.
This was an early Bob Dylan review in the summer of 1965 from a British publication:
'Dylan is saddled with a quite horrible backing dominated by syrupy strings, amplified guitar and organ•€¦..The monotonous melody line and Dylan's expressionless intoning just cannot hold the interest for what seems like the longest six minutes since the invention of time.'
The song being reviewed was 'Like a Rolling Stone' which is now thought of to be one of the most important if not the most important rock songs of all time. This is a perfect example how some things are ahead of their time, and people aren't ready to fully embrace them.
This reviewer's lack of foresight, or lack of desire to hear something like Dylan was doing, made him stand next to the coach who kicked Michael Jordan off the high school basketball team, as one of the dumbest people that are supposed to be knowledgeable in history.
You don't have to look very far around this town to see risks that have taken off (Leighton Moore's Seacrets) and risks that didn't (Danny Robinson's 'Life begins at 2am'). In hindsight, people were not ready for an after-hours club in Ocean City in 2000, and it seemed like anyone over the age of 30, either wrote a letter to the editor or filed some sort of grievance against him from the moment the doors opened. It didn't even serve alcohol.
It appears that around these parts, people are okay with certain forms of debauchery, as long as it's something that they can understand or want to publicly be part of. The line drawn in the sand in this town is the line of 'family fun'.
I was going to call this column, 'scenes from a St. Patrick's Day parade', but the amount of risks that people were taking with their livers this past weekend warranted nothing that was fit for print. My plan was to go through the crowd and interview people on the history of St. Patty's Day to see if it is a Irish holiday or an 'Excuse to get Pissed' Day, but I couldn't decipher through the slurring on the tape, so the column will never be.
I guess it would be considered good old fashion family fun.
The sex shop that has recently opened in North Ocean City is sure to bring all the 'Ocean City is a family resort' flag wavers out in full force. Expect letters to the editor and pissed off puritans all over Delmarva.
First of all, there are other places to purchase adult videos in this area, and there creepier things that go on after dark on the boardwalk in June then in the adult section of any place on Delmarva. I think that people hate the 'idea' of having that in their backyards, just like someone would hate the 'idea' of having a landfill or a Bennigans in their backyards too. God forbid it lower your property values.
Here are three things to remember before you stand on a soapbox and get all offended that it will ruin things for the children that come to Ocean City.
- What do you do for the kids that live here now other than yell at them to get off your lawn?
- The business will probably not make it, and it will have nothing to do with your letter, it will have everything to do with the fact that several other businesses in that exact spot failed too and the good old rule of supply vs. demand.
- It's right on the highway, so where are all the people getting porn going to park without all the fingerpointers seeing them and spreading nasty little rumors about town?
People like the idea of taking risks and risk takers more than actually taking them. We as a country are more voyeuristic than exhibitionist. We watch rather than do.
We point fingers when our athletes use steroids to perform, but we deem them as expendable creatures if they don't perform well. Is it our faults for making them so competitive that they choose to cheat?
We figure, what we don't know won't hurt us, until it's right in front of our faces.
Think of it like this: so many pro-lifers want kids to be born for the sake of saving lives, but what do they do to help these children once they are born?
If we are told to support our troops, then why are so many of them having such a hard time getting jobs when they get home?
I suppose now is the time when people either get all up in arms, or the time they start to backpedal.
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