How old do you have to be to act responsibly?

How old do you have to be to act responsibly?

The recent unearthing of an interview with Schwarzenegger in 1977 has created a lot of buzz about whether or not it is relevant to his campaign for governor in California. [Article] But what interests me more are the methods by which this information is dismissed by his supporters.

The most common answer? “He was young.”

What a crock. He was nearly 30 years old when he gave the interview! He was certainly older than that when he finally started controlling himself. This gets me wondering — how old is adult? We are supposed to accept that something someone said publicly when they were three decades old is off-limits and shouldn’t be looked at to examine their character? You can say “it’s the economy, stupid” all you want, but the fact remains that at SOME point it must matter what people say and how they act.

Obviously our culture has pushed adolescence well into the twenties. Instead of expecting young men to become reasoned, responsible individuals in their teens, as was once the custom, degrading behavior is now excusable all the way into graduate school, where drinking and partying is the “social interaction” that is supposedly so necessary to human development. Now it looks like adolescence needs to be pushed into the early thirties in order to not be embarrassed by the disgusting, misogynistic opining of a body builder who wasn’t “liv[ing] [his] life to be a politician.” How about common decency? Not so common I suppose. But hey, can people change? Of course.

Yes, people can change. And they shouldn’t be judged by things they did in the past if they have really, honestly changed. But you would think that someone who has matured past animalistic activities would have something deeper to say than “I haven’t lived my life to be a politician.” What about living your life to be a father? His response really bothers me. I wouldn’t want to be so harsh about this, but this dismissive attitude is repugnant.

California Republicans are just happy that someone with an R after their name might actually win in October — either that or they just can’t get past how “cool” it would be to have the Terminator or the Kindergarten Cop in Sacramento. But unmitigated party loyalty is not an excuse for saying “he was young, it was 25 years ago” when something bad comes to the surface about their anointed candidate. Make arguments about the economy and about running as “the people’s governor.” That’s fine. But saying that a 29 year old man is just “young” is ridiculous.

So how old do you have to be to be expected to act responsibly?

Al, Arnold, and Reality

Al Sharpton, please cash a reality check from Ben Stein. Actually, that one’s good for any utopist. All joking aside, the bottom line is that the Constitution is supposed to recognize rights, not create entitlements.

You guys who are itching to vote for Arnold: be warned that Arnold’s economic advisor thinks California’s taxes are too low. Drudge is reporting today that Arnold’s campaign won’t promise no new taxes. Has it occurred to these people that the California government is spending too much money?

Why I am a Utopian Reject

I do not mean to suggest that the world or the United States in particular is a realized utopia for anyone. Militant feminists are still trying to find a way to make men irrelevant, atheists are still trying to banish any notion of deity from public view, extreme leftists are still trying to impose their moral code on society, extreme right wingers are generally trying to do the same thing, moderates are still trying to figure out “why can’t we all just get along,” educational elitists from all points of the political spectrum would like compulsory attendance to their neo-fascist institutions to be more strictly enforced and rigidly executed to churn out even more followers they can exploit, and MTV is still trying to reduce the attention span of the average pimple-faced teenager to less than a nanosecond.

I am a Utopian Reject because there exists not a single idealized vision of human society that suits me (that is, idealized by modern ideologues), or of more importance, I do not suit any purveyor of utopia, whether liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, fascist or libertarian, spiritual or religious.

Being a Utopian Reject does not have anything to do with mindlessly protesting against establishment, abstaining from the electoral process (if you happen to live in a country with one), making your mind a god, or avoiding a bar of soap and a shower. Hippies may very well be societal rejects, but they are stupid and lack rudimentary reasoning skills — this is not what is meant by being a Utopian Reject. Multi-platinum musicians who never overcame teenage angst and feel guilty about being paid so much to be so worthless are not Utopian Rejects just because they feign intelligence in political or social matters, no matter what rhetoric they choose to parrot.

Purveyors of utopia from all political, social, and religious persuasions cannot overvalue the ignorance of the masses. No architect of utopia could hope to work with an independently wise and knowledgeable population and expect to make any progress. It is therefore the case that utopians almost invariably identify the same “problems” and the same “goals”– and only sometimes manage to concoct unique “solutions.”

I am a Utopian Reject because the utopian constructs of society designed to processes citizens like so much bologna into neat little packages largely failed on me. This is a mixed blessing, to be sure.

There are Utopian Rejects all over, in any political party or any religion. Most of them haven’t quantified their rejection from utopia. The more cognizant one becomes of their rejection, the more difficulty they have fitting into the round holes their square personalities have been hammered into.

Utopian Rejects don’t necessarily all agree on any particular set of values or truths, but all would agree that there really is no such thing as utopia.

I do not pretend to represent all Utopian Rejects, only myself. I believe in absolute truth, I believe there is right and wrong, and that most “gray areas” exist out of laziness in reasoning rather than some imagined equality of values. I do not for one minute think my mind is my god and I do not make a man or philosophy my final authority.