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by Ron Cruger
rcruger@san.rr.com
Stomach turning stuff!
 I’ve never been called a prude or a “girly-man,” but what’s going on now is bothering me. There is a growing disregard and a apparent disdain for civility, decorum and gentility going on in America.
           To illustrate – a new toy, coming on the market just in time for Christmas giving is a doll called “Stink Blasters,” and it’s designed for children 5-years and older. This collection of dolls features “B.O. Brian.” “B.O.” has a distinctive characteristic – squeeze the doll’s head and (to put it delicately) it releases a “peee-uu” odor.
           The other dolls in this collection are “Toe Jam Jimmy,” “Burpin’ Buddy,” “Butt Breath Bob,” “Barfin’ Ben” and “Porta Potty Paul.” A classy group of toys. Perfect for your young child!
           These aren’t the only dolls that will be on the shelves of your favorite stores during the holiday season. There are the “Bratz Dolls,” of which we’re not sure that you’d want your 6-year old daughter to be this doll’s best friend. Barbie looks like a nun compared to this hooker-attired chick, who looks like a young street-walker.
           If your kids are a bit older you can turn to one of the newest video games, “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.” This artistically designed game offers your children the opportunity to take their homies on a drive-by shooting raid on a rival gang and it’s completely up to the player to decide on how much crime is committed as you drive around, plugging your rivals.
          The recent brouhaha in Detroit, between the Indiana Pacers, the Detroit Pistons and the folks who paid their good money to attend the recent NBA basketball game was a loathsome and disgusting example of sport in our society gone mad.
           With individual ticket prices to an NBA game ranging from $50 to $70 a seat it seems that having a few 6 foot 10 inch, well-conditioned athletes, jumping into the good seats, throwing punches at spectators, is a bit more than one would expect (or want) at a professional performance. 
            The scene of the mayhem in Detroit has been played and replayed on TV thousands of times across the country. The shameless exhibition by these professional athletes running into the stands, attacking paying customers will forever be embedded in the minds of our viewing children and those kids who attended the game in person, setting an example of how to handle the pressures of life. We can only hope that the children watching this disgusting behavior will identify it for what it was - a shameless display of frenetic, abominable conduct. The worst in America’s sport’s history.
           Last year, at an annual Thanksgiving ritual in a small California town which brings together thousands of off-road enthusiasts wild mobs roamed the sand dunes as racing sand buggies buzzed around the recreation area. Rangers were pelted with cans and bottles and strong arm robberies were held in broad daylight. A few years ago authorities made 70 arrests-including five men involved in a fatal shootout. Law enforcement personnel issued more than 1500 citations. The area was rife with drunken driving, drugs, nudity and other law-breaking problems. Not an uplifting, learning experience for any of the enthusiast’s children attending the event.
           Perhaps the frightening abundance of neighborhood youth gangs and the horrible, random schoolhouse shootings are the partial result of our children watching the crass and dangerous behavior of us adults. Perhaps the mean-spirited music, the violent movies, the savage television shows all contribute to a growing violent and turbulent society in America.
           I’m sure that a 5-year old child watching scenes of war on television, listening to the lyrics of a hate-filled song and receiving a “Stink Blaster” doll called “B.O. Brian” for Christmas isn’t on the road to understanding the deeper meaning of decorum and gentility.
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