02 January 2008

What kind of people are we?

What kind of people are we?

When you think about whether you like a person, what's your criteria?

Me, I like smart, witty people. But although I'll laugh at a mean comic's jokes, I don't want to hang out with them. My brother Curtis knew comics who were awful people. Funny, awful people. He doesn't hang out with them any more, although, like me, I suspect he still laughs at their jokes.

Through my brother Paul, on the other hand, I met some self-consciously do-good types in the film industry. One of whom left me completely cold when it became apparent that he was a do-gooder in theory, but not so much when the opportunity presented itself.

Nobody's perfect.

But in general, we don't choose friends who care only for themselves, who hurt others, who see money as being more important than people, and who don't pause to take care of the lost old lady, the dog in traffic, the crying kid.

At least I don't. Fact is, I want systems in place that keep the dogs out of traffic, that protect the vulnerable, and don't leave it to the vagaries of private charity and someone else's personal responsibility.

That's just me, sure. I'd like to think, however, that with the exception of a few misguided and ideologically blinded libertarians, plus a few more hard-hearted conservatives without consciences, most Americans feel the same.

What do you think?

Who are we, we Americans?

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