When I grew up, achievement was something to be recognized and rewarded. We were raised to try hard, to reach for the stars, and our role models were those who had overcome adversity and beaten challenges through brains or hard work.
But now? Now achievement is to be suppressed lest it hurt the feelings of the merely mediocre.
Librarian wants to block super-reading kid from prize contest.
Where have you gone, Joe Dimaggio? Where, indeed...
In my day, our heroes were men like Neil Armstrong and Audie Murphy. Military men, sports stars who had talent instead of drugs and who either lived good lives or kept their indiscretions under wraps, historical figures who helped build America and make it great--these were the role models of my day. But they've been replaced by unrepentant scumbags in Hollywood and the sports arenas, people who deserve no admiration but get it anyway because they have good PR toadies. And let's not even go into loser reality-show "stars" and other no-talent hacks like the Kardashians, people who are famous only for being famous. These are the ones that today's youth emulate, in large part because they don't know any better any more. Achievement is for nerds, and work is for suckers, and if you make it somehow, a man who never built or ran anything but won the presidency just because so many voters confused the 2008 election with a reality TV show will be along shortly to tell you that "you didn't build that". And then he'll take it away from you or tax you into poverty to the cheers of many who hate you just because you dared climb higher up the ladder than the level of their hammocks.
We're fast becoming a Harrison Bergeron nation, and I weep for my country.
Now if you'll excuse me, I feel a need to clean a few guns.