France has introduced a new law that would make it illegal to cause “psychological violence” upon your spouse or live-in partner during an argument. So calling your spouse any of the following: “douche bag”, “fuck knocker”, “artard”, “whore who slept with my best friend”… all are now punishable offenses. 1st offense: a written warning. 2nd offense: monetary fine. 3rd offense: jail time/ restraining order/ forced sodomy by the entire French government.
Oh, I’m sorry, that’s not it.
Is it me or are governments getting a bit too involved in the goings on of, well, everything? I’m about 3 weeks shy of joining some radical militia in North Dakota or at least designing my own little world void of government interference. I’m not even sure if it is a matter of political party ideology because in these uncertain political and economic times I don’t see much leadership or faith in the common man’s ability to govern himself. And yes, I am the first person to admit that common men are chock-full of artards and douche bags (citation for moi), but isn’t that life? Learning to deal with people who you’d rather smack upside the head is part of this crazy journey we are all on. Getting pissed off that someone far less qualified, less intelligent, less prepared is making more money, has a better job, a better home, etc., is just a refreshing way of spurring us on– helping us realize that success’ boundaries aren’t so narrowly defined, no matter what companies and media and yes, governments want to sell us.
But first comes personal responsibility. No amount of law making can force people to account for themselves. Nor can bailing out banks and other companies when their poor business practices should be landing them in bankruptcy and foreclosure. All that does is tell them, and us, that we can act irresponsibly with little to no consequences. It is unrealistic– and consequences will come regardless. While bailouts and new laws that force us to act with decorum may subvert the known consequences, new ones will arise, and my bet is that it will be an even more unpleasant fall out than the one we were trying to avoid.
If you want to call your loved one a “dick face,” go for it, but does it solve anything? It makes you feel better in the short term, maybe. It also shifts the focus away from what the argument is really all about (and maybe that’s the reason we do it). Name-calling attacks the other person so the name caller never really has to take a look a his/ her part in what is being argued about. A solution, a compromise never really has to be reached. No one ever has to look at themselves, their behavior and how they affect the world around them. No law is going to force someone to do that.
No bailout is going to make large companies treat their workers better, or force CEOs to scale back unnecessary spending– mostly because no one sees their spending as unnecessary, no one wants to see a different way to do things. No one wants to give up 1 or 2 of their perks so that someone else can be on equal footing and no one wants to pay more in taxes to help out someone else. Everyone, from spouses to workers to CEOs, is trying to prove to themselves and everyone else that they are important– that their existence on this earth is justified. Perhaps the cell phones, the BMWs, the corner offices, the great benefits packages, the louder we all yell, the faster we all drive, the more condescending we all can be to one another, will one day prove that– I doubt it, but we can keep trying. That way, none of us ever really have to know any other person, and none of us ever have to know ourselves.