I read Albert's column and found it interesting.
First, anyone that tells you they have more than three or four close friends is either lying or unemployed. We all have lots of acquaintances, but true friends? Let's say you're a male- and you find out you have E.D.- how many people are you going to tell about this? If anyone- one or two people at the most, correct? (Most people, unless they're paid spokesmen, will keep that quiet). Similarly if you find out your spouse has a boyfriend (and you're not yet to the 'out her to everyone' phase- and that outing is usually in some harsh language and public place)- do you tell everyone in your rolodex or just a select few? (And no, neither of those affects me- I'm not a liar and I have a job, so I would only tell my few close friends- and as much as I like the people on this site, I don't tell deeply personal secrets).
An area that confused me was where he said that there were both written and unwritten laws- that may be so BUT one group cannot be prosecuted for doing what another group did (barring a change in the law in the interim). If group A paints 'Jesus is Lord' on a rock, and no one bats an eye, then when group B paints over it with 'Satan is Lord,' to scream for prosecution is to show your true colors- you don't really want the second group prosecuted for defacing public property- you went them silenced (or you want group A's message out). Sure, the unwritten law is that you accept religous messages from 'mainstream' cults, but the written law is that both groups have the same right to deface the rock and thus MUST be treated equally.
Finally, regarding the social contract as it relates to my money (taxpayer dollars)- i cannot understand it. I do not understand using my money to build a baseball stadium in the Bronx (or a soccer stadium in Rochester for that matter). i do not understand using my money to provide bread and circuses to the masses. If you're above age 12, you really have no excuse for watching fireworks displays or parades (unless you're doing so with someone under 12- ie: a grandfather with his grandson, etc). I don't get the attraction, much as I don't understand the fascination with movies or television. My life is busy enough (ie- not so devoid of meaning that I have to allow someone else to entertain me) that I don't need the distractions. It's been said that an intelligent person is never bored...so who has time to hear the next vapid joke on TV (as noted in the past, I do occasionally stream TV or have it on in the room while I'm out of town but it's always as background noise. I honestly cannot remember the last time I sat down and said 'I want to watch this show/movie.' Even sporting events are listened to as I do other work.)
So if the above makes me a lonely man, so be it. I happen to think it's better to be lonely and self-aware than to be deluded and have lots of acquaintances you mistakenly call friends.
-Zjabs (Rochester's Official Columnist)
© 2012 Zjabs - 5/2/12