I’m about 100 pages from the end of The Bear and The Dragon, and let me tell you Tom Clancy fans out there - this is not the book to recommend to a Clancy newbie. It’s been the hardest read I’ve had in a long time, and not because of anything to do with the language. I mean, I like how Clancy pays attention to the political side of battle in his books because it adds a verisimilitude that other war novels don’t have. That said, this one was almost entirely political and I spent more time wondering when the SEAL team was going to show up than I did enjoying the heavy politics and behind-the-scenes.
So, as some of you know, I have a pretty hefty CD and DVD collection at home. What can I say? I’m a media whore.
Anyway, I normally don’t loan these things out because I typically have bad luck getting people to return things, much less return them in the pristine condition that I keep them in. See, when I borrow stuff, I return it within a week because I figure if I’m going to borrow anything I should probably get around to looking at it in a timely fashion and return it in a timely fashion as well.
I went against my better judgment and brought a couple of movies in for some guys in my department to borrow. I figured I would get them all back in a week or thereabouts, pending on the schedules of the guys in question and when they would be able to check these things out. I was even out of town in training the following week (last week), so that’s a good two weeks to get things back to me.
I got all but one of my movies back in my allotted “patience period.”
I asked the guy who didn’t return my movie if I could get it back. “Oh, yeah, I’ll bring it tomorrow.”
Tomorrow came. Where’s my movie? “Oh, I, uh, forgot it at home.” Hmmm. Okay, I guess. Well, it’s Friday, so bring it Monday.
Monday arrived. Where’s my movie? “I was at a friend’s house all weekend.” And how, precisely, does that affect you returning my God damn movie?
And now it’s today. I’ve been told the movie was once again forgotten at home but this time he’s going home at lunch to get it. Here’s hoping.
Where am I going with this? Well, basically, my point is that I guess some people have a certain inherent level of responsibility and some folks don’t. Now, I’m not at all saying this guy is irresponsible, just that some people don’t “forget it at home.” He’s a younger guy, and what I begin to wonder is if all young people today are the same way, where certain levels of responsibility (or respect?) don’t exist (or don’t matter?), whereas my generation has a more inherent sense of such things. Then I wonder whether it isn’t the same way between my parents’ generation and mine - do they think we lack responsibility and/or discipline? Probably so.
And that sort of worries me, because if the trend continues then what I see on the horizon is anarchy rather than salvation. Maybe too much freedom and not enough discipline is not necessarily the best way to bring kids up. Or maybe I’m extrapolating too much from a single isolated case.
Finally, I got a message a bit ago from the guy in charge of YouBored.com, a site where I have entered contests before and won free movie passes. Remember my Malibu incident? Well, they’ve since updated the look, feel, and quality of their site and they seem interested in enhancing that quality further by recruiting yours truly to become a volunteer staff writer. I’m waiting to hear back on the details, but it could be a cool thing. I’ll keep you posted.