The News Blues

It is morning in America in this last week of June 2011. The news is interesting, which, by nature of the word itself, once was a redundant phrase, but anymore makes perfect sense.

The news is disheartening.

Anthony Weiner has made it official: He’s leaving government. It appears he was a hands-on favorite for New York mayor in 2013. But instead of filling that role with integrity and honor, he’ll forever be known to the friends of his forthcoming child as “that weird sexting guy.” Nice title.

Too bad, though. I was just working on his campaign slogan –“No more photos, women, self-obsession, or lying – just good government.”

Of course, for him to make himself an official sleaze bag, he had to wait for the press to attach a “gate” to his name by going on a 40-minute pre-truth rant on June 6, complete with tears. At this event, he told the world we had to understand. We don’t. “Weiner-gate” now becomes part of our national vocabulary. Nice.

Let’s see, what else is brewing? Oh, it seems Universal has decided to put its LeBron James basketball comedy movie on hold for awhile. Huh? Wonder what’s driving that? Could it possibly be that the complete lack of integrity that just simmers out of this “King” (of what?) has the whole country spitting out the bad taste?

There was always the debate over whether athletes should be role models for children. Clearly, this one should be just that. Next time he appears on television, go get your child, point to the screen and say, “Don’t be that, OK?” There endeth the lesson.

The national media is finally catching on to what Clevelanders have been screaming since last July. “Where’s the beef?” Yeah, sure, he’s the image of a hero, but as empty of soul as a cardboard cutout.

He was asked what he wanted to be a few years ago and the first thing that tumbled out of his mouth was “billionaire” – the term “champion” has only recently been added along with “teammate”. Good luck with that billionaire thing – do they give rings for that?

Elsewhere in the news, house values continue to plummet. Foreclosures and unemployment — these two elements have initiated a whole new category in the U.S., the category of those who have simply given up. Not fully employed, not fully unemployed, but kind of floating around – cutting lawns, walking dogs, cleaning houses.

Two of the longest-running economic indicators have always been housing starts, which gauge how much building is going on, and home sales, which indicate how many people are moving up and buying up. Today, these indicators have much less “weathervane” value.

Back when we made these categories indicators, we thought people would always want to own a home. Now, home ownership is not as seductive an investment as it once was. But the price of rentals, they’re going up for sure. By all means, let’s avoid commitment to buying at all costs.

I tell you, folks, throughout the passage of time, the news of the day has always brought about shaking heads and words of reluctance as man looked into the future.

But I have seen an entire human life now — the first half of mine and the last half of my father’s — and I can tell you the one thing that always made things better was integrity; integrity that was born of commitment.

Parents that stayed together, companies that valued and held on to good employees, grandparents who helped influence their children’s children.

What do we have today? People twisting every which way they can to avoid commitment, avoid acting responsibly, and neglect conducting themselves with any respect.

I know life trends go in cycles and circles, but I gotta tell you – without that committal heart, our ability to rebound may not have the elasticity we used to be able to call upon.

Nice gift to leave for the kids, huh? A bunch of loose ends unable to ever be tied together, approached and resolved.

We can do that tomorrow, maybe.

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