It’s four, IN THE FREAKING AM, and I have been awake for an hour, cursed with a racking cough caused by my fall allergies, dry-crisp air, along with the smoke from the twenty wildfires raging, ALL keeping me from being able to “dream a little dream of” you. I have coughed so much my ribs hurt and I guess I am a grumpy old man…but not for the reasons I have been thinking about and, since I have this time on my hands, the thoughts I am going to write about.
Lord have mercy! Dear God, can you please put a bridle on my thoughts? My “unbridled” pondering transported me to another time and place…another lifetime. Maybe it was a “semi” dream, standing in front of a sociology class fully clothed, attempting to explain what it meant to be a minority. Like a lot of kids, my students believed minority meant numbers, which is or WAS a factor. I was attempting to explain, “it is more about power and control.”
My example was me, the older male WASP in the room. At this time, maybe thirty years ago, we were the most hated group in America. “What do you mean Coach Miller?” Well, that would be the most powerful group in the United States, grumpy old white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant men, fighting to maintain control over anyone not white, not of Western European ancestry, not Christian Protestant or, and of course, not male. One of my “little Johnnies” asked, “Shouldn’t you add teacher to that group?” Yes, Little Johnny, yes.
I would say, if recent developments are to be believed, this situation has not changed very much except the covert battle to keep our world like the television program “Mad Men”, if not “Leave it to Beaver”, may now be raging overtly, much like the wildfires around my home, ever expanding, destroying everything in its path. Grumpy old white men, destroying “the weeds” in our path…just to hold on to the power we somehow believe we deserve. Before my brother points out that I am painting all white men with a broad stroke…well…yes I am so I will add the word some. Better bro? Remember it is a system we have always been a part of and therefore we probably don’t even notice.
I continue to see “some” Grumpy Old White Men railing against all the social ills in the United States. Notice I said social ills. I don’t deny ISIS, the economy, taxes,the job market and more all suck. Socially, however, we Grumpy Old White Men seem to have all the answers while pointing our fingers at “them.” Unfortunately, there are those sneaky three fingers pointing back at us. I believe Grumpy Old White Men have created much of our social ills by going to war against everything that is not us. Women who don’t believe we are their saviors, other races, religions, and sexual orientations, even “globalization”, anything to maintain the status quo for the grumpy old white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant men, and the traditions WE have created. After all, if we created them, they must be righteous.
For more of Don Miller’s unique views of life, humor and Southern stories of a bygone time, try http://goo.gl/lomuQf