public is inundated with apologies lately, including one from Larry O'Donnell
for insensitively using the word "Master" when he wasn't explaining his relationship
to a dog. Mark Sanford apologized, too, for preferring Tangoing to hiking, but
he wasn't sorry enough to quit being Governor of South Carolina. All of Canada
apologized for treatment of former students of Indian Residential Schools and
NATO apologized to Pakistan for recent 'copter strikes into tribal areas. They
say Michael Steele is preparing an apology for not apologizing for his daily meal
of toes, some of which he stepped on and some of which are attached to the foot
in his mouth.
Some say this sorry trend was started by Bill Clinton who
didn't exactly apologize for not having sex with "that woman." Even before that,
on a recording of his conversation with Gennifer Flowers he was heard saying that
then-New York Governor Mario Cuomo "acts like" a Mafioso." First, Clinton denied
it was his voice on the tapes, then he sent Cuomo a letter of apology, suggesting
that, if elected, he might appoint Cuomo to the Supreme Court. Twice elected president,
he never named Cuomo to the court.
Mel Gibson apologized and sent big
flowers to a female officer, one of the cops who arrested him on a DUI. Apparently,
her ire was raised when Mel allegedly called one of her body parts a sweet name.
Mel also apologized to the male cops, but neglected to send flowers. He then apologized
profusely by phone to Hollywood biggies for calling them names not in keeping
with Christian beliefs. Seems as though everybody's still mad at Mel, even though
he's trying to mend fences almost as hard as Tom Cruise.
drove to the home of Brooke Shields to make a "heartfelt apology" for having said
publicly that her post partum depression was exaggerated, if not totally untrue,
based on his religious non-belief in psychiatrists and anti-depressants. He must've
been better than Mel at saying he's sorry because Brooke Shields told Jay Leno
"... and through it all, I was so impressed with how heartfelt [Cruise's apology]
was, and I didn't feel at any time that I had to defend myself, nor did I feel
that he was trying to convince me of anything other than the fact that he was
deeply sorry. And I accepted it." In good faith, she probably also apologized
to Tom for being so much taller.
Why not revise history some more and
tell our school kids that there was no Civil War because Grant and Lee just apologized
to each other at the beginning instead of all that sword-breaking stuff at Appamatox?
Besides, kids would have shorter history lessons to memorize, and then the media
would have Civil War Deniers right along with Holocaust Deniers, Global-Warming
Deniers and President-Obama-was-born-in-America-deniers.
What if McDonald's
had just told 79-year-old Stella Liebeck they were really sorry she burned herself
when she placed a hot cup of their coffee between her knees? They could've saved
half a million dollars. That's a hefty portion of the $1.3 million sale of coffee
they make every single day.
Even though the Pope continues to apologize
for all molestation transgressions of the Roman Catholic Church, I would've been
happy if he had just had Sister Andrea call me up and say she was sorry for knocking
my knuckles with a hard ruler back at Sacred Heart in New York.
some apologies that should've been made never were. Former-President Bush ought
to have apologized to the American people for mangling the word "nuclear" even
though he married a school teacher. I suppose we could tell our children he's
not very good at words, right after we tell them former-President Clinton's not
very good at oaths and President Obama's not very good at public options.
Summers, Director of National Economic Council, apologized to women everywhere
when he was President of Harvard, for sort of saying he thought women in science
were less capable than men. He said nothing, however, about science's findings
that the brain of a woman is smaller than that of a man. He must have assumed
science was referring to head size.
Apologies even enter American justice;
in capital crimes, the jury can find the defendant guilty because "He didn't show
remorse." On the other hand, one man was so broken up over his crime that the
jury didn't even want to acknowledge his confession and found him not guilty.
Not guilty by what? By reason of I'msorriness?
are quite a few online websites devoted to anonymous apologies and confessions.
This would presumably alleviate the need to apologize publicly, since whining
is so much less embarrassing than groveling. There used to be one called www.notproud.com,
which called itself "a delicious and compelling catalog of shame." They had subsites
named after the seven deadly sins: Pride, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony, Greed, Lust,
Anger, with an eighth: Miscellaneous. I don't know what would've gone under "miscellaneous,"
unless they're leaving room for things like being on your cell phone while driving
in traffic, wearing Lady GaGa's castoffs to school, or telling people you're booked
on Oprah when you're not. They've been superseded more or less by pre-postsecret.com,
which has notproud's archives.
There are quite a few apologies on these
websites, with rather dicey language but that's okay -- all are anonymous though
some seem to have been written by people with minds of cement.
the least offensive apologies are at www.JoeApology.com, where apologies are so
gentle ("I'm sorry I like Ben & Jerry's so much"), you know these people could
never be in politics.
Another confession website is www.RawConfessions.com,
whose motto isn't as catchy as notproud's. Theirs is "Confess or Digress." Each
of their categories seems to have the same confessions by the same people. Apparently,
they know what they did, they just don't know where it goes.
assigns random numbers to people eager to confess. Someone wrote, "It actually
feels kind of good to know that someone will read it." Sure, if the someone who
reads it isn't Sister Andrea or she'd find you, whoever and wherever you are,
and give you a knuckle sandwich.
People get quite earthy with their language
so if you check out these sites, be prepared for a quick exit. It's surprising
how many randy people are out there who want to look in other people's windows.
Everyone seems to want to confess something, and I'm no different. I confess to
wanting a karmic fusion with Kiefer Sutherland. Maybe if I send him some big flowers,
he'll call me. Then I can apologize.
Copyright Maggie Van Ostrand
"A Balloon In Cactus"
October 12, 2010 column
TE Online Magazine | Column