The Theater of The American Absurd, by Andrew Joppa



“Civility and political correctness, contrary to the thinking of many, are not the same. Civility constrains behavior and words based on genuine caring about others, while political correctness is only a facade of caring while hoping to cultivate public approval.”

― Ben Carson


What follows should seem to be absurd…and it is. If you don’t find it to be so, then our culture has destroyed your ability to think rationally as it has for many millions of your fellow citizens. The only problem being that it can’t be meaningfully differentiated from a dozen comparable circumstances, of a like sort, that are currently operative in America. We have become so ludicrous as a culture that even something offered that is patently ridiculous on its face, cannot be dismissed out of hand as impossible.  In fact, nothing is impossible in America except rational discussions of meaningful significance. So, let me plunge into the theater of the American absurd to make my pointIf we can’t escape from the absurd, we are destined to die as a nation because of it.


Oh… how I remember…like it was yesterday…I remember everything like it was yesterday except things that happened yesterday.


When I was 12, I won the Yonkers Little League home run crown.  As I went up to receive my trophy, I could hear some parents whispering…” but, he’s so short.”  Oh… how I suffered. How could they be so cruel?  It wasn’t my fault I was short.


When I tried out for my High School basketball team, I was 5 for 5 from the floor in a scrimmage game. I still didn’t make the team.  You know why. Oh… how I suffered. This was anti-short bigotry of the highest order.


When I wanted to date Jane Doe (name withheld…wait…her name was really Jane Doe) the 5’9” HS queen of the entire world, she said, “I really like you, but we’d look funny together.” (P.S. I’ve seen her recently and she now looks funny all on her own.) Oh… how I suffered. I almost gave up on the opposite s*x…almost. (NOTE: For clarification purpose only. The opposite s*x to my maleness is a woman.


When I found out that men made, on average, several thousand dollars more for every inch over 5’10.” Oh… how I suffered. I still wonder if I can sue for all those lost wages. I keep wondering if I’m entitled to reparations for all the money that was made for tall-people by underpaid short-people.


Thank goodness I sprouted up to my present height of 5’7” …. leaving all the bitterness behind. Now I can almost touch the net.


Well…almost all…I will never forget, nor forgive, all those that discriminated against me for being vertically disadvantaged.  Their insensitivity left scars from which I’ll never escape.


As a result, I have spent all my spare evening hours roaming through city parks, tearing down the statues of tall people…those who received the rewards that I so richly deserved. I know I would have been president…a new Mickey Mantle…a Hollywood leading man or a great author if I were only 5 or 6 inches taller. (I’m not sure about that “author” thing.)


I wrote to the NFL and The NBA complaining about their lack of short men.  To prove they discriminate…the average height in the NFL is 6’3” and in the NBA it is 6’6”.  There it is, a smoking gun of bigotry. What more proof do you need?


In addition, I petitioned the government to put up statues honoring others who were diminished because…well…they were diminished.  Winston Churchill 5’7″, Napoleon Bonaparte 5’6″, Mahatma Gandhi        5’4″    , Andrew Carnegie 5’2,” Paul Simon 5’3”, Yuri Gagarin 5’2″, Charlie Chaplin 5’5″         , Bono 5’7″   , Ulysses S. Grant 5’8″, Pablo Picasso 5’4″, Tiny Tim 2’8” …immediately came to mind. One can only imagine what these men might have been able to accomplish were it not for their being discriminated against because of their height.  They might have been something special…might have had some impact.


My wife, who is also vertically disadvantaged, had her own horror stories to relate.  With tears rolling down her face she told me how her tall friends would ask her, “How come you’re so short?”  To this day she wails mournfully, “How come?????…How come???…What did they mean…how come????”  The bigotry didn’t stop there, as many called her “Munchkin” right to her face, or at least to the top of her head, and the boys in their shop class made her a pair of stilts. She used them right through High School including her senior prom. Even now, as she becomes continuously shorter, she refuses to watch the Wizard of Oz or clowns at the circus using height extenders.


Nah…I’m just kidding.  I couldn’t have cared less about any of that.  The tears of my wife above were tears of laughter.

Nah…I’m just kidding.  I couldn’t have cared less about any of that.  The tears of my wife above were tears of laughter. (I repeated it, so you didn’t miss that I was kidding. In America you never know. There are sillier things than the ones I was talking about being discussed in somber tones.)


However, since you live in “modern” cultural America many of you might have started to become misty eyed over our feigned plight. I could probably start a #GOFUNDMESHORT page and rake in big dollars. I am, however, thinking of starting a group named, Short Lives Matter. How could gullible Americans turn me down?  The one thing we all have in common is that at one time in our lives we were short. For some it was when they were two, for others when they were 22.


We are asked to believe that we are permanently damaged if we are rejected for any reason at all; that we will bear the scars of these “wounds” for the rest of our life and there will be triggering events that might result in some variation of Post Insensitivity Trauma. For example: Someone saying “shortbread” might send me into a frenzy of despair. Even worse was being on the “short list” for promotion…it was presumed that I would see right through their coded, “tall person” language and have to spend hours in the men’s, or some gender neutral, bathroom.


I can only wonder how my Jewish friends made it through successfully with so much anti-Semitism.  They almost seem to thrive because of it, not in spite of it. It is impossible to understand how Asians, who receive more than their share of insensitivity, are able to push it all aside and sit on top of the American economic pie…with every Jewish kid I ever knew just below them.  Many of us that grew up poor (and that overstates my childhood economic circumstance) with no societal influence or resources to draw from…managed to be OK; certainly not wealthy…but OK, and OK is OK.


What about all the things I apparently missed out on because I’m short and grew up poor? Well… I don’t have a boat…I don’t want a boat. Don’t give me a boat. Don’t even ask me to go out on your boat. Sitting on a floating object in a broiling sun doesn’t do it for me.  My Citizen watch keeps time as perfectly as any Rolex…maybe better, and I don’t have to worry about it being stolen.  I have little interest in “swirling” at dusk in evening wear at some resort in Bali. I don’t like going out to eat…it bores me to tears.  My wife is a better cook then any chef and likes doing it.  I can’t tell a bottle of Night Train from a bottle of the best French wine.  I don’t know or care what a truffle is. OK…I do care…what is a truffle?   I don’t begrudge anyone who has or likes those things.  I don’t envy them nor would I trade my life for theirs.  My life is not about “them…it is about “me.” My life is not a competition with others…it is what it is…and it “ain’t” bad. I’m not going to beat myself up because my life isn’t as superficially “good” as their life.


If, on the other hand, I was an ignorant lout (accept for the moment I’m not)…if I used profanity to say hello…If I was untrustworthy…if I was a thief…if I was violent…if I rioted and burned and broke things…if I dressed in fifty shades of polka dot with matching tattoos…if I had so many body piercings I couldn’t get through a metal detector… If I never held a job longer than it took to take a break…If I was a soaring mountain of ignorance…then all bets are off.  The negative life results of these phenomenon aren’t due to trauma and insensitivity.  These are behavioral issues where different choices can be made; not by others…but by us.  It is always easier, however, to blame “them,” whoever the “them” are, rather than blaming ourselves.


Our daft American culture suggests that all of us have been either been lucky or unlucky …discriminated against or not…advantaged or disadvantaged, privileged or not privileged; that no one has created their own life…either for the better or for the worse.  As Obama, a man who never built anything, said in one of his frequent moments of profound ignorance…” You didn’t build it.”  What absolute nonsense. What balderdash (I love that word). NOTE: I think I few laudatory words should be offered, at this point, for Barack Hussein Obama. Look where he got to after being conceived and/or born in Africa; was fathered by a man he didn’t know in what was just beyond a one-night stand with his mother; was mentored by a gay communist, Frank Marshall Davis; spent much of his adolescence in a drug addled stupor and was raised entirely by “ucky” White people. That he overcame all of that and became president is unimaginable. But he was right…he didn’t build it.


It becomes deadly serious, however, when government believes it must intercede to undo the results of the bad voluntary choices made by individuals.  Government’s job…perhaps its primary job… is to undo illegality; it is not one of artificially contriving life outcomes because someone had their feelings hurt and can’t get over it.  People who are damaged by their sensitivities being offended had little of value going on before that…they just needed an excuse to explain their life shortcomings (oops…I’m now going into a self-imposed frenzy).


Wallow too much in sensitivity and you can’t deal with life, or the truth.

Neal Boortz

Check Also

“The Wisdom of The Wise,” by Andrew Joppa

  The use of quotations has been described in many ways.  One cynical writer offered …