While driving one day, I noticed a bumper sticker on the car ahead of me. It read, "My kid can beat up your honor student." What, exactly, is this bumper sticker saying? What is the goal? What does the parent who displays this statement say to his child when he comes home with Ds on his report card? "That's OK, you can always beat up the honor student."
This, I believe, is another example of the commercialization of underachievement and disrespect. Ultimately, parents who tacitly promote the message to their children that disinterest in school or trouble keeping up their grades can be overcome by "beating up" someone who has achieved something special must accept responsibility for the course their children's lives take.
However, where a dollar can be made on the submerged feelings of resentment, there is an enterprising free marketeer to help elevate them to the surface. If resentment will sell, let's sell it. If disrespect will sell, let's sell it. If underachievement will sell, let's sell it. These peddlers of anything under the sun must also share the responsibility. To them, our great altruistic society boils down to caveat emptor, buyer beware.
KEVIN R. O'CONNOR