Sunday, September 17, 2006

Back from Cass Lake, Minnesota

Got back from the big Cass Lake, MN fishing trip yesterday afternoon about four. My 81-year-old dad and I fished and fished and fished all week for walleye but caught nothing but perch, little perch at that, a too small walleye and a northern pike. Now don't get me wrong some of the perch were sizable, big enough to keep, but not what we were there for. We finally hired a kid who worked for the resort, Friday, and he took us to a couple of hot walleye spots. So we came home with five nice filleted-out walleyes.

Even more interesting though was our cabin mates, Dick and Tom H______, father and son respectivly, from West Des Moines, IA. They werre nice guys and my dad got along with Dick famously. Dick evidently wholesaled grocery items of some kind of other during his working life. Son Tom did something or other in real estate or insurance, I forget just what but suffice it to say it was some overpaid, sit-on-yer-ass whitecollar position.

Anyway, the most interesting conversation I heard between Dick and Tom concerned Tom's son's $300 aluminum baseball bat. Dad Dick, who is justifiably proud of his grandson's athletic accomplishments, registered mild shock and surprise that son Tom spent that amount on one baseball bat. I interjected, I thought the reason they, meaning little league leagues, and high school and college baseball programs, went too aluminum bats was to hold the cost down. Tom rejoined that high tech more or less took care of that promise.

Now here, in the conversation, is where generational differentiation rears its ugly head: Dad Dick wondered aloud about the poor kid who loves to play the game but whose parents can't afford hundreds of dollars for an individualized aluminum baseball bat could ever get his hands on such a thing. Tom nonchalantly replied that little league organizations or high school programs with large populations of unprivileged kids can simply have fund raisers, and that was that, leaving dad Dick shaking his head.

Tom H_______ is about ten years my junior but his attitude is very illustrative of an attitude prevalent among too many white, suburban upper-middle class Americans: They don't care. They don't care about those in the economic rungs below them. They don't care about fairness and equality of opportunity. This is a sad commentary on the prevailing moral climate of the United States. But in a nutshell Tom's attitude toward some poor kid whose family can't afford $300 for a fucking aluminum baseball bat is indicitive of 40-something white, suburban America; we have, we got it, fuck everybody else.

Now I'm sure Tom doesnot think of himself as an immoral man, I'm sure he's in church as I type this. But how can a nation's of Tom's consider themselves "Christian" when they just don't care?

No comments: