Sunday, September 21, 2008

Proud Hypocrite

Last night, I was put on the spot in a way that resulted in my commission of an act that some might view as hypocritical. I was quite annoyed, but I managed to get through it without incident.

I am a firm believer in socially acceptable hypocrisy, the kind that greases gears that would otherwise shoot off sparks or come to a complete halt due to friction and physics. Not everybody understands the importance of socially acceptable hypocrisy in a culture that has veered dangerously towards brutal honesty in personal matters (brutal honesty does not appear to be the norm in the financial services industry, as we are shocked, shocked to discover). For example, a few years ago, I saw some teenagers smoking pot across the fence from the park where my kids were playing. The teenagers posed no danger to anybody, so I said nothing until we left. It was 5:00 on a Sunday afternoon, with a packed swimming pool to one side across the street and a deputy sheriff's house to the other side across the street. I felt like lecturing them with something like, "look, I don't care what you do, as long as I don't see you smoking it. When I was your age, kids smoked their stinkweed at midnight behind the dumpster at the bowling alley and had sex in their cars at the back of the unfinished subdivision. Everybody knew but didn't know, and their parents were able to be blissfully and deliberately ignorant. That kind of hypocrisy is implicitly understood as part and parcel of the Social Contract, and it helps the world function. So get with it and stop behaving like you're drinking your bong water."

In sum, I'm proud to be a hypocrite.

1 comment:

Ann said...

I am confused about what you DID that was hypocritical. Did you lecture them? Turn them in? Officer of the court and all...