Crazy, old-fashioned me

Some suggest that I am living in the past; that I’m too old fashioned. I’m the first to admit that we have made progress and are a lot better at some things than we used to be. As a society, we are not as racist, and women are finally getting the rights they should have had all along. We’re more aware of our environment and most of us don’t throw candy wrappers or beer cans out the car window any more. However, this crazy, old-fashioned guy thinks we’ve thrown the good out with the bad. We’ve overdosed on too many things, from pop culture to pills to political correctness.

I’m so old-fashioned, I feel you shouldn’t buy something unless you have the money to pay for it. How archaic is that! And that goes for our government too. I’m so stuck in my old ways that I believe if you sign on the bottom line, or make a handshake deal with someone, then you ought to honor your commitment. I feel strongly that if someone is paying you to work eight hours a day then you owe them eight hours of work, and you shouldn’t be talking on your cell phone for two hours of it.

I know I sound like my grandpa when I say that thugs who murder, rape and kidnap little girls ought to be put to death, and the sooner the better. We shouldn’t have to support these beasts until they get out of prison or die. I’m not some Wild West vigilante, but would a little common sense and justice in our courts be too much to ask?

These days, when obese people are routinely getting lap band surgery, gastric bypasses and having their stomach shrunk, I admit I have some beliefs that seem rather backwards. For instance, I believe that unless you have a glandular problem, if you get fat it could be your fault. Perhaps you are not a victim and McDonalds didn’t cause your obesity. Maybe you did. In my mother’s words, “You shouldn’t have let your eyes overload your belly.” But then perhaps I’m just overly sensitive about all this because our lovely 23-year-old niece just died as a result of the surgery.

I like cats and dogs as much as anybody and feel a responsibility to treat them well, but shouldn’t we be just as concerned about the rights of a taxpaying public lands rancher in Nevada than we are the rights of a Lhasa Apso? I don’t think we should leave trust funds for pets, dress them in designer clothes and jewelry and take them to doggie spas for pedicures, but if that’s the way you want to spend your money that’s your business. But I also have the right to think you are nuttier than Jamoca Almond Fudge.

I’m so stuck in the past I don’t even talk right any more because I think an African American who was born in this country is no more African than I am a Chimpanzee American just because I may have had one as an ancestor a few generations ago. If you are a citizen of this country you are an American, period. And I love Mexican people as much as anyone, probably more, but illegal immigrants are still illegal. I’m so out of touch I think our laws ought to be obeyed and enforced every chance we get.

I may be living in the past but I’d still appreciate a little courtesy. Please turn off your cell phone during our National Anthem or a prayer. No one is that important. I’m old enough to remember when polite people still said “please” and “thank you” and I feel that no matter how liberated we’ve become, a gentleman still offers his seat to a lady. And if I had a son who was 28 years old and still living at home he’d better be mentally or physically handicapped, looking for a job, or studying to be a doctor so he could one day take care of his mom and me.

I feel we were better citizens when we said the Pledge of Allegiance to start each day, and I’m so out-of-date that I can recall when the Constitution guaranteed our rights, not the political make-up of the Supreme Court or the diplomats at the U.N.

I’m so old-fashioned that I still believe that what you do in your own home is your business, that farmers and ranchers are heroes, not villains, that you should respect your elders, buy locally and not talk with your mouth full. I think government has no business in business.

I hope I’m not offending anyone or being politically incorrect when I say that old is not always wrong, and new is not always better.

Lee Pitts is a California ag producer and newspaper editor.

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