According to a recent imaginary survey conducted entirely within my head, portraying yourself as a perpetual victim has surpassed baseball as Americas national pastime.
I say that in light of the fact that these days its the exception – rather than the norm – that somebody actually takes personal responsibility for what they do or say.
In what has virtually become an art form of sorts, people now engage in all sorts of mental gymnastics and twisted logic to justify why nothing is their fault. Here are a couple of examples that prove my point:
– Lets start in California – of course – where Democratic Gov. Gray Davis faces a recall election on Oct. 7. In a triumph of denial over reality, the sniveling Davis simply refuses to acknowledge his incredible unpopularity due to mismanaging the states budget and the fact that he might be voted out of office. Davis whines that the recall is a right-wing power grab and a hostile takeover by the right. He conveniently ignores the fact that the recall effort gathered more than 1.3 million valid signatures, far more than the approximately 900,000 required to trigger the first recall of a governor in California history. Davis also seems oblivious to the fact that Cruz Bust a Move Bustamante – his own lieutenant governor and fellow Democrat – is running in the recall election. Davis is not, as he would have you believe, the victim of a quasi-legal Republican conspiracy (despite what the Clintons are telling him). Its just that nobody likes him because hes run the worlds fifth largest economy into the ground to the tune of $38 billion.
– Lets stay in California, where victimology is running rampant in Hollywood. Crybaby celebrities like Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon claimed to be victims of a blacklist when some people took exception to those stars anti-American comments leading up to the war in Iraq. These sensitive thespians are not in any real way censored, of course. Theyre just upset that there are consequences to unpopular speech. Another subset of professional Hollywood victim is the actress who is over 40. A documentary by actress Rosanna Arquette, Searching for Debra Winger, currently running on Showtime hammers the tired Hollywood-is-sexist mantra home. What gives? I see 40-year-old-plus actresses on television and in the movies all the time: Whoopi Goldberg, Daryl Hannah, Sharon Stone, Diane Lane, etc., just to name a few. Oh yeah, these rich, successful women are really suffering.
Next column: Some local examples of people playing the victim card!