Thomasville Times Enterprise

Opinion

February 26, 2014

Wanting common manners to be fashionable again

THOMASVILLE — I don’t know about you, but I am ready to see common manners become fashionable again.

 Last week, Ted Nugent was called down by the media for calling President Obama a ‘mongrel.’ Even though Obama himself called African-Americans ‘mongrels by their nature’ on a popular talk show some time back, it really doesn’t matter. Nugent was in the wrong and he eventually apologized.

A couple of years ago Bill Maher came off looking like a jerk for calling Sarah Palin a word I won’t repeat and even making fun of her mentally handicapped child. Even though the media didn’t call him down for it, he still was still no less a jerk for doing it. Maher never apologized.

Of course, when you look to Ted Nugent — a brash rock guitarist that used to enter the stage swinging on a Tarzan rope wearing only a loin cloth — and Bill Maher — a comedian whose potty mouth would embarrass the most crass person you know — to help set the national ‘tone’ for civility you get what you pay for.

 Both men are clearly intelligent, but intelligence clearly doesn’t reflect morality or simple common courtesy.

 But that’s not what really bugs me. No, the thing that strokes my fur the wrong way is seeing the folks in the representative parties brushing off such rudeness as somehow acceptable. Like with Nugent, too many on the right said, “oh, that’s just Ted, that’s how he is, ho ho, tee hee . . .” or with Maher, too many on the left said “oh that Bill, that’s just him, ha ha, he he . . .”

 Sorry, that’s just not good enough. Just because someone is always a rear end toward others doesn’t mean you have to condone or accept that behavior ‘just because.’  Right is always going to be right, and wrong is always going to be wrong, and condoning rudeness ‘just because’ is just as wrong as the act itself.

 The old-fashioned and apparently out-of-fashion precept of ‘if you don’t have something nice to say then don’t say anything’ might need to be revisited by some on the right and left.

 We ought to be calling down rudeness as unacceptable, especially from people who are that squarely in the public eye. And if they simply refuse to change their tune, ignore them and eventually they will either get in line or fade away.

 I want to send out a huge salute to hometown boy Cameron Mays. For those not in the know, Cameron is the brains behind Next Level productions, and was mainly responsible for bringing the Switchfoot concert to the Rose City this past Monday.

 If you missed the show, all I can say to you is that you missed what might have been the most impressive musical production I’ve ever seen this side of a civic center. The Kopecky Family band might be the only opening act that I wanted to stay on the stage longer than they did. And Switchfoot — absolutely one of the most impressive musical acts I’ve seen. This Grammy-award winning band still has it, and in spades.

 Cameron works out of Vero Beach, Fla., these days, but clearly has not forgotten about his hometown. He didn’t have to bring such a well-known band here, but he did, and the crowd that was there absolutely appreciated it.

 Thank you, Cameron, for remembering us. We all hope you’ll do it again, and soon.

Speaking of concerts, let me give all y’all (the plural of y’all) an update on the CommUnity Concert our band, Root 3:16, hosted last Friday night to benefit the Rescue Mission food kitchen.

 Two weeks ago, we were struggling with concerns about lack of ticket sales and trouble lining up items for the silent auction part of the event. At our band rehearsal we said a simple collective prayer: “Lord, help us make this event a success.”

 The very next day, a gentleman contacted us asking if we could use a Harley Davidson motorcycle as an auction item.

 Let’s just say we took that as a sign.

 After having 20 tickets sold at the time, we had over 300 in attendance Friday at the First Methodist Church. Local talent, including John Garmon (and his backup singers), Chris and Dana King, Nina Scott and our band performed. A great barbecue meal was served, more items than we could count were auctioned off, and everyone had a great time.

And, in the end, about $17,500 was raised.

 The lesson learned? If you approach something sincerely and with God’s heart at the core of it, the best thing you can do is put it in motion the best you can, pray about it, stop worrying about it, and then get the heck out of the way.

 If it is supposed to be, it will be, and that’s not just in concerts. If you think about it, that’s a rule that can cover pretty much everything in life.

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