Citizen curmudgeon.

AuthorEhrenreich, Barbara
PositionFlip Side - Column

Don't ask me about my New Year's resolutions for 2003; I didn't make any. Every other year I have resolved to be nicer, more sensitive and caring, fitter, more serene and evolved. But this year I've decided to stay exactly the same and let everyone else do the resolving. Maybe I've hit the curmudgeon point of the life cycle, but there are just too many things pissing me off.

To begin with, the corporate inanities, like the current Whole Foods shopping bag that urges me to "Share the Season." Sure, I'll share the season. Send me your address and I'll Fed-Ex you a Ziploc baggy filled with doggy-poop-permeated local slush. It's so much easier than sharing anything else, like the $60 worth of overpriced yuppie comestibles I foolishly brought home in that bag.

Or the Cheerios box the back of which is emblazoned with the words "Teaming up to take on literacy." Yes, literacy is a terrible problem, especially for those of us who've used it to read the newspapers at any time during the last six months. And believe me, Cheerios people, you've done a lot to stamp it out with that statement, so there's no need for me to join the "team."

But my fellow citizens, toward whom I once strove to be more sensitive and caring, are bugging me too. People wearing angel pins, especially people working as flight attendants or ticket agents. I'm sorry, but anyone who believes in large human-like flying creatures endowed with feathery wings should be automatically disqualified from airline employment. What does it tell us about the condition of the planes and the sobriety of the pilots when you're flaunting your faith in the body's capacity for unassisted flight?

I am furthermore driven to tooth gnashing by anyone displaying a pink ribbon on her chest. I know, I know: You're trying to spread "awareness" of breast cancer. But "awareness" doesn't do the least bit of good when there's no cure and, as we now know, early detection does little beyond expose you to dangerous and debilitating "treatments." Why not just a skull and crossbones pin as a reminder of human mortality? As a public message, though, I would favor a tiny beige knit noose to promote awareness of capital punishment.

Turning to CNN, as I do every couple of hours a day just to check on what kinds of mayhem have erupted since I last tuned in, we find well over twenty minutes of commercials per hour, or "breaks" as the anchors refer to them. No doubt we need a break or two when "the news," CNN-style...

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