We were sitting at the dinner table. I was twelve years old and we had the TV on and were watching the news. The first few segments were always about battles fought in Vietnam and how many Americans lost their lives that day. Then the announcer read a story that enraged my Father. Cassius Clay, (Muhammad Ali) was refusing to enter the service after being drafted because of political reasons. My Father, a WWII vet, was livid! I recall him saying something to the order of “How dare he refuse to serve the country where he lives and has made good money.” I liked boxing and Clay was my favorite back then. I could not understand why my Dad did not like him. I sat silently while my Dad let out steam because I knew it would not do any good to argue. Looking back, I am glad I kept my mouth shut, because I now realize why my Father was so upset.
My Dad and I went on to argue about many issues over the years. Some political, some generational, but the outcome was always the same. I always left thinking my views were the right ones. Heck, I was a teenager and I knew everything! I was enlightened! What did an old man know? He grew up in the stone ages. This was the sixties dude! Get with the scene already!
Well, now I’m approaching the ripe old age of Fifty-eight. Things I once thought were harmless have taken on a completely new meaning. The old adage “With age comes wisdom” makes complete sense now. Every generation had different outlooks on things. Values and morals have changed with each one and not necessarily for the best either. In the sixties, I thought it was okay for a celebrity to dodge the draft. Today, it’s permissible to dance nearly naked making sexual overtones on broadcast TV. I can only hope that the children, who idolize these so-called stars, as I once did Cassius Clay, will come to their senses and not permit their kids to watch such things.
I know to some I sound prudish, but if you stop and think, what are the benefits to airing such vulgar displays on TV? Did this improve the world in any way? You can tell me to change the channel if I don’t like it. However, I’m not talking about myself. I would never watch anything such as this. I’m talking about the impressionable teenage minds that saw this with or without parental consent. Although this is not the only inappropriate thing on TV, I am using this example because it was recent.
I want to say one more thing before I close. “Daddy, you were right! I didn’t understand, but I do now.” God bless y’all and have a great week!