Sunday, January 6, 2013


(2 Timothy 3:1-5) But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come.  (3:2) For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  (3:3) without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good,  (3:4) traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God;  (3:5) holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof: from these also turn away.

blame |blām|

verb [ with obj. ]
assign responsibility for a fault or wrong: 
• (blame something on) assign the responsibility for something bad to (someone or something): they blame youth crime on unemployment.

Blame-Shift 101 is a required course study in order to graduate and integrate into the New Enlightened Society. Suggested reading includes but is not limited to: 

Feeling Is Smarter Than Thinking  by Ernest Whiner 
Sticks And Stones Break Bones but Words Really Hurt  by Dr. A. Weenie 
How To Use Guilt For Fun and Profit  by Ima User
Do As I Say, Not As I Do - Practical Applications for Self-Righteousness  by Truss Meh 

and the wildly successful, 

Lies, Statistics, & Alternate Realities: A Short Course in How to Convince Anyone of Anything by I. C. Sheeple.

Recently a news item appeared announcing that a six-pack of incarcerated criminals had come together to file a lawsuit against companies that produce alcoholic beverages. Their justification: “they were in prison because they were alcoholics” which clearly was/is the fault of breweries and distillers. 

This is reminiscent of the headline grabbing lawsuits against cigarette manufacturers over the last several decades that have netted unimaginable windfalls for the plaintiffs because the cigarette companies were deemed to be deviously enticing in their advertising. They also secretly added addictive ingredients to their cancer sticks. How diabolical! Apparently, warnings on the packaging, as mandated by the Surgeon General, that cigarettes are bad for health were not enough to deter those who chose to ignore the warnings and thus could not therefore be blamed for ill health directly attributable to smoking. 

Who doesn’t know that, in the big picture, blame-shift can be reduced down to greed seeking to redefine and exploit liability. Deep pockets are easily and legally picked in a licentious culture. Given so much precedence it follows that these six poor victims...uh... prisoners will likely get their day in court and perhaps will even win their case. It is a sign of the times and a slippery slope as well. Blame-shift for gain soon becomes a standard of its own and a pattern that inevitably turns into blame-shift on the smallest personal scale. Sort of like a virus that spreads to become epidemic. All signs point to this effectively having already been firmly established in the modern operating psyche. It is now not just socially acceptable to refuse to claim responsibility for individual choices and behaviors, it is the expected norm. It has been a slow boil. It wasn’t established overnight but because of “feel-good” nurturing and self-soothing it has suddenly matured and grown teeth in but a single generation, becoming a force to be reckoned with. 

“We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers–you can blame anyone but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you want to change, you’re the one who has got to change. It’s as simple as that, isn’t it?” ~ Katherine Hepburn

Unfortunately, the inevitable and ever so untenable consequences of this revised standard loom darkly. Sooner or later the piper must be paid for what amounts to nothing more than a collective free pass for bad choices. Once a society elects to downgrade the principles that underwrite all that which keeps civilization civil, the anarchy waiting at the bottom is a short swift slide away. 

What could possibly go awry from this feel good stream-of-consciousness credo that declares that all responsibility for any individual act is actually communal and  therefore can and should always be deflected and shared? The possibilities boggle the mind. In a matter of seconds I can point the finger at a plethora of individuals for directly or indirectly causing me problems. Using the new model I should be able to blame Domino Sugar Company for making me fat. 

Let’s take it to the absurd, just for contrast. If you are a creep who abuses or mistreats others, your behavior is not your fault. You should easily be able to blame someone in your past. If you are dumb and not educated you can blame the educational system. If you are inept at anything, have no social grace, lose jobs because you do not work or play well with others, and/or you are maladjusted in any regard, rest easy, you do not have to take responsibility for your actions. There are circumstances in your past that can be conjured up to cover you. Murderers, thieves, liars, cheats, and other miscreants just need a group hug because sometime long ago, they didn’t get one. 

Even in jest I can’t force myself to blame anyone or anything else for my life choices. I guess I am just too old to adjust. I’m a relic from another era, another paradigm where individualism included not just individual rights but equal measures of individual accountability as well. Consequences once belonged entirely to the individual. But nowadays, nothing belongs to the individual which means we now live in a tenuous “no-fault” age. Of course, beneath all of this is something a bit more sinister that silently encourages the current blame culture “I’m-okay-you’re-okay” delusion supporting that no one has to repent for anything. After all, what is there to repent for when any/all transgression can be efficiently diffused and absorbed into vague abstracts?

I can’t predict how long this downhill slide will take before it hits rock bottom so I might not live to see the piper come for his dues. Maybe that’s not a bad thing. I’m quite sure it isn’t going to be pretty. Who/what will catch the blame I wonder?

Don’t even think about blaming me. 

For Christ,

“It comes down to trust. Who can ever trust the credibility of someone who is never able to admit fault?” ~ T. Glady

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