What have we become? Or perhaps more importantly, where are we headed? God help us all.
Over the years/decades, we've all been forced to deal with the unfortunate fact our society is becoming increasingly violent. The wanton disregard for life and how truly precious it is has become a permanent part of our existence on this crazy planet and it shows no signs of abating. In fact, it's quite the contrary. Things seem to be getting worse with each passing day.
It's gotten so bad, we now view extreme acts of violence with a blasé acceptance. Incredible, or pathetic, as it may seem, we are no longer surprised in the slightest when we learn of a madman who entered a grade school and slaughtered 20 small children with a military-style rifle.
A guy/animal goes to a movie theater and suddenly opens fire on scores of innocent patrons, and it's regarded as just another day in America.
But this continual carnage is certainly not confined to the United States. In other countries, people are regularly blown to bits by radical suicide bombers trying to make some kind of sadistic point. In Kenya recently, some people made the mistake of going to a mall to do a little shopping and scores of them paid for that decision with their lives.
These are just recent incidents that come immediately to mind. If one had been keeping track of similar occurrences during the last 20 years or so, the list would be long indeed. And as sure as Santa Claus is coming to town in about a month, we all know we haven't seen or heard the last of it. Not by a long shot (forgive the rather sick pun).
The latest example of the ever-increasing depravity is a thing called "The Knockout Game." If you are unfamiliar with this latest form of sheer wickedness, I'll try to explain it as best I can.
Apparently, teenagers are knocking out people just for the fun of it. The FUN of it. They pick out a victim, and then from out of nowhere hit him or her in the head or face with a "sucker punch." Video clips of the attacks are extremely disturbing and gruesome. I assume if the person isn't completely knocked unconscious, the perpetrator does not win the bet or the admiration of his peers. Sick.
Pennsylvania schoolteacher Jim Addlespurger was walking home, minding his own business, when a group of teenagers knocked him out in broad daylight with no warning of any kind. He fell facedown to the curb.
"I was hit with one punch that knocked me to the cold concrete," said Addlespurger. The whole event was caught on video. "It's a horrific thing to see, and I'm fortunate that I'm alive to talk about it."
Another knockout game shows a woman strolling down the street when a stranger runs up and nails her from behind. She fell to the sidewalk immediately and was unable to move for a long time.
"It appears these are just random acts of violence," said a former FBI agent. "There's no robbery, there's no rhyme or reason; it's just simply youths making a decision they're going to punch somebody out - sometimes it's as simple as a $5 bet between themselves."
Hard as it may be to comprehend, these useless pieces of scum target everyone, women and children included, and the number of confirmed cases is growing.
I can't wait to see what the next "game" is going to be. I'm sure "The Baseball Bat Game" is right around the corner. That sounds like a real blast. You sneak up on someone and then smash his or her skull to smithereens with a Louisville Slugger. Extra points will probably be awarded if the poor SOB dies instantly.
Or how about the "Run Over Them With Your Vehicle Game?" It's easy to play because the rules are simple. You just pick out a victim, wait until you have a clear shot at them and then run over them with your SUV. Fun for the entire family.
Are you kidding me? What the hell ever happened to Monopoly or checkers or flag football? By comparison, those types of games must be considered too boring for today's youth. After all, there's no pain or blood involved, so why bother?
The older I get the less I understand it all. And make no mistake, this is not meant as a condemnation of all our young people. There are some terrific teens in this world who go out of their way to be a positive influence on society rather than destructive lunatics. That goes without saying.
But the dreadful truth is that our civilization is becoming more and more violent and it's difficult to imagine what tomorrow may bring. It makes me kind of glad I'll be gone before Armageddon takes place. It appears to be on its way.