Grrr! Birth of an Oblivion Nation

According to The Grrr! Lexicon, Oblivions are people who commit regular acts of rudeness toward their fellow man — without ever realizing it — due to the fact that they are oblivious to the world around them.

The only thing that has Oblivions' attention is exactly what they need at any given moment.

If they need a cup of coffee, somehow an Oblivion will hear the Starbucks clerk announce “Next guest,” and no matter how far back in line the Oblivion is, he or she will yell out their order as if nobody else existed.

Or, an Oblivion and his spawn will commandeer an entire down escalator at a mall near you.

More than likely, the Oblivion spawn will be sitting on the escalator, playing with a toy fire engine with its siren blaring and lights flashing.

As you maneuver your way around this despicable display of selfishness, tsking or giving dirty looks to the Oblivion parents of these Oblivion children who are gleefully using the escalator as their personal playground, you will be wasting your energy.

Because Oblivions don’t notice you.

It still amazes me that in our great nation, one needs a license to operate a moving vehicle, a permit to renovate a kitchen or build a deck, a diploma to prove one is educated, an identification card to get into the building one works in, a social security number to get paid, proof of legal age to enter a nightclub, a government-issued identification card to travel by air, a credit card to obtain your E-ticket at the self-check in machine, a certificate from the board of health to perform manicures (but apparently not a green card), a green card or passport to enter into the country, an international ticket to buy cheap whiskey at the Duty Free shop, a ticket for your dry cleaning, but … but …

All you need are the requisite private parts to have children.

The fact that Kevin Federline has four children with two different women, and the fact that there are millions more men and women who aren’t famous (or infamous) but just like him in this world having kids — is the reason Oblivionism even exists.

Morons beget morons.

And Oblivionism isn’t unique to any class or race or religion. Indeed, some of the biggest Oblivions out there are among our nation's wealthiest.

Just look at the moronic things that come out of John Kerry’s mouth (or wife Teresa Heinz Kerry’s) every few years, and the Kerrys are some of the most highly educated and wealthy people in the world.

That didn’t stop the Massachusetts senator from offending every member of our nation’s armed forces.

But since some Obliviots (harsher forms of Oblivions) will now accuse me of picking on liberal Democrats — because as we all know everything in this country is Red vs. Blue these days --allow me to pick on a conservative Republican then, for being just as oblivious as Kerry.

Someone like Rush Limbaugh, for instance, who thought it would be fun to joke about Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease after the actor appeared in a political spot for stem cell research.

“Either he didn't take his medication, or he's acting,” Limbaugh quipped.

Medication? Is that a subject Mr. Oxycontin should be talking about?

But he’s an Oblivion, and he has a show to do, so in his infinite wisdom he said it, and opened himself up to people like Frank Rich, who gloated about last week's election results in his Sunday New York Times column.

Funny, though, how contributors to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia don’t scatter pro-liberal quotations on Mr. Rich’s bio-page, like they do anyone who leans even a little to the right, no matter what the original context of those quotes may have been.

But I digress.

So when did Oblivionism rear its ugly head?

It’s hard to pinpoint any exact time, but it correlates with the “Everyone Wins” movement of awarding trophies to the last place Little League baseball team or the local soccer club, for fear of damaging the self-esteem of the little ones.

And all this time I thought self-esteem was earned through achievement. What do I know?

The birth of Oblivionism may correlate with the “Purple Ink Movement,” because school assignments marked in red ink are just too negative and might scare the little ones. Funny how A's and B's and “Nice jobs” in red ink aren’t so scary. But what do I know?

I guess Oblivionism may have come to pass right about the time in an Oblivion’s life that the Starbucks clerk actually served that coffee he ordered without making him wait in line like the rest of us.

Or the time the person in the 10 items or less line was rung up with 100 items.

Or likely it was the time when Mr. Oblivion complained to the coach that little Johnny Oblivion needed more playtime at shortstop — despite the fact that he was more suited for running stats than bases — so that little Johnny gets put in the game just in time to make that crucial error that everyone knew he’d make, costing his team the game (yeah Dad, that’ll do wonders for the old self-esteem).

The sad part about Oblivionism is that there are Oblivions reading this column right now, nodding their heads in agreement.

Remembering Ed Bradley

Yeah, well, I'm in a mood, despite perhaps the best broadcast I've ever seen in my life, which was Sunday night's "60 Minutes" tribute to the late Ed Bradley, on CBS.

For anyone aspiring to be a journalist, or for anyone who appreciates talent, this broadcast was better than any eulogy you'll ever hear.

Someone really smart said recently that if you want people to say or write nice things about you, then simply "hurry up and die," because once you're dead, people will say nice things about you.

That's true. But in Bradley's case, Sunday's broadcast was a touching, cool, tasteful and non-exploitative look back at the life and times of a legendary man.

But then I went to my DVR to watch the Giants v. Bears football game, and my tears turned to Grrrs. First of all, John Madden needs to retire. I don't care how great he once was. I don't care that my favorite PlayStation game has his name all over it.

I don't care that when football enthusiasts think football broadcasting, they think John Madden. I don't care that Al Michaels is supposedly a great color guy either. I think Madden/Michaels is pretentious, boring and anachronistic team.

Give me Joe Buck and Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms and Matt Millen (bring him back to the booth). Bob Barker is finally retiring. It's about time these guys do, too.

I also don't want to see the starting defenses or offenses for each team introducing themselves in that little video box. "Joe Jock, University of NFL."

Dude, I don't care what you look like without your helmet on. I don't care what you sound like. I don't care that this is your 10 seconds of fame on national television. How's this? Make a great play, and we'll take notice. Just play football.

And while I'm on it, Grrr readers, do you dance around the office when you do your job? Do you do some proprietary dance or walk through the building with an outstretched "I'm number one" finger?

I'm really tired of seeing professional athletes dancing and posturing when they do their jobs. Tired of it. Just stop it. You look stupid. Let me clarify for you: S. T. U. P. I. D.

Get over yourself. Would that more people were like Ed Bradley.

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