Y'know what I do with free-floating guilt? I laugh at it. I screw up enough things on my own to feel guilty about, without self-importantly taking on all of everybody else's guilt. If you feel really compelled to apologize for something you didn't do, would one of you stand up and apologize to the lady I reamed out in traffic this morning? She was talking on the phone and nearly hit me. I'm cool with what I did, but to your way of thinking she probably only deserved a mild chewing out instead of the F-bomb parade that I rolled out for her, with me as the leading drum major, the guy in the vintage car waving, *and* the University of Wisconsin band. If you see a big pile of stuff in the middle of New York Ave, don't worry about it - it's just all the F-bombs I dropped.
I figure as long as y'all feel guilty about the aborigines and foreign policy and Clemens' drug dealer's sensitive feelings, maybe one of you has some guilt to spare and could do with apologizing on my behalf. Hell, if you feel particularly guilty, maybe one of you could open up a "I'm Sorry for What that Jerk Did to You in Traffic This Morning
Meanwhile, I'll be waiting for that
What am I getting at? Weellll... I think the recent spate of vacuous apologies highlight one of the things that's a major problem the world. We all want to apologize for crap we have nothing to do with ("Sorry that my ancestors were bastards to yours" , but most of us have trouble mumbling "I'm Sorry" to people we actually have wronged in the present, in close proximities to our own apologizing selves.
One the one hand, it seems to me that apologizing for what somebody did to the aborigines a hundred years ago relates to a false sense of pride in your own self-righteousness. Honestly - what can you really say? Do you think it makes their condition better? If somebody apologized to me for what they did to my great grandpa, I'd tell 'em to piss off. It would be meaningless to me, and in a way, sort of insulting - what the hell, if you didn't do the wrong act, you aren't responsible for it. How can you possibly turn back the clock and unring the bell? I saw the Superman movie recently on cable, and even in the movies, trying to change the past looks really hinkey. In real life, it can't be done.
On the other hand, I think that a failure to treat others right, and a failure to apologize to somebody you treated badly comes, I think, from a lack of humility. This resembles public figures who step up, "take total responsibility for what happened," then fail to resign and go away. Well, you aren't really taking responsibility for some massive screwup, if you commit a firing offense then fail to resign. Right? Or am I missing something here? Seems to me there's a lot of that kind of behavior lately. It's a little dishonest at it's core. You screw up, cop to it, apologize, and move on. Somebody else screws up... don't go confessing to it and apologizing. Confessing to sins you didn't commit isn't the hallmark of the saints, people, it's the hallmark of the mentally ill.
And on the gripping hand... I am apologizing for not not posting more this week for all y'all. It's been a rough week at work, to the extent I can't even really put it into words. I like to give you a daily chuckle, and when I don't... I've let the team down a little bit.
So I promise that once my brain stops working as a finely-tuned albeit overworked machine and reverts to the normal, oxygen indebted, jelly-like, liquored-up state, I'll post some amusing bits.
In the meantime, I'll have to amuse you with what my son said when he walked into the man-cave Tuesday while I was spinning out two hours of zone 2.
"Oh no, daddy! There's a big leak on the floor!"
Yeah, there's a lot of that too, lately.
These are all just my thoughts of course... if you're offended, I'm sure there's somebody who would be happy to apologize on my behalf. Either way, I take full responsibility for it.
While you're looking for something to read to compensate for my diminished output, might I suggest Jerry Pournelle's Lucifer's Hammer? It's a good sci-fi alternate history, asking "what would have happened if an asteroid hit the earth in 197_?" If you're more into spacegoing sci-fi, I recommend Niven & Pournelle's Motie series, about the unintended consequences of colonization, and how the colonized can sometimes colonize the colonizers.