I remember when an apology not only used to mean something, but when people would actually stand behind their words.
I also remember being expected to apologize when I was youmg, when I wronged someone. And, somehow or other I took it seriously.
Unlike my step-kids, many years back, who clearly said "I'm sorry," because they knew by saying those words, whoever was upset with them would lay off. But, the apologies clearly had nothing to do with remorse, as I remember them mumbling to themselves as they walked off.
I am not sure--though I hope--they now don't utter those words unless they mean it.
But, I find it disturbing these days when our politicians and celebrities apologize after wrong doings.
Mel Gibson and Michael Richards make good examples of celebrities who drank just enough to let their guard down, and the results were nasty ethnic slurs. Then, both apologized, suggesting they were not really like that. Yeah, right. Possessed. For, the reason we do refer to liquor as "spirits," is that it was thought the stuff came with demons it unleashed when consumed.
But, the reality is neither of these guys would have said the things they did if they did not hold the beliefs somewhere inside. Which makes the apologies ring false, to me. Maybe they are sorry they got caught being racists. But, I would bet neither of them minds being one. If they are honest enough to see themselves for what they are, anyway.
How about Manny Ramirez and his HGH use? Or George Huguley, the Virginia Lacrosse player who killed his girlfriend, esentially suggesting his snapping her neck was an accident?
OK, maybe I am stretching it, but it is depressing. No one takes responsibility anymore.
And, as bad as say British Petroleum is about just that, no one is worse than our politicians.
Mark Sanford is sorry for having an affair with the woman who proved to be his "soul mate." Joe Wilson yells at the president, "you lie." Richard Blumenthal lies about his Viet Nam service. Or, my recent favorite, Joe Barton apologizes for our shaking down the same irresponsible British Petroleum.
In all the cases above, all these guys made vaunted public apologies.
But, the thing is, we all KNOW none of them has any more of that remorse than my kids did when they were little. They are all just sorry they got caught, or in Barton's case, called on the carpet.
Ideally Barton is one who would scream for his right to free speech. So, when he spoke, he noted that he was speaking for himself, and then he apologized to BP for forcing the $20 Billion escrow relief fund. Suddenly, Barton has to apologize for apolgizing.
Which, incredibly, he did..
Which I don't understand. Because, either he was lying when he apologized the first time to BP, or he was lying the second time, when he apologized for apologizing.
Either way, it tells me Barton has absolutely no convictions. If he had an ounce of courage, he would not back down, and stick by the original apology and his view that we should leave corporations like BP alone when they mess up. Because that is what he believes, and well, that is his right.
I personally have no use for people like that, let alone electing a leader who lacks what Saturday Night Live's late Mr. Lupner also failed to have: a spine.