Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Paradise Lost: A Stolen Refuge

     In the relatively short span of my lifetime, fifty two years and counting, our culture has been transformed from one of civility and decency, to one ruled by the crass and unruly. Those who just a few decades ago would have been banished from public participation in activities with decent persons, have now, in too many instances, been given preferential treatment over those with a sense rooted in decorum and grace. We are subjected to the preceding premise in more and more areas of every day life, from rude and selfish public behavior, to offenders actually being rewarded for their rule breaking.
     To Witt: My friend and I enjoy camping in the great outdoors and have been frequenting a family campground in mid Ohio for several years. We chose this particular location because we had grown tired of the party atmosphere that many of the other campgrounds tolerated much too easily. We were thrilled to have found a place whose stated motto was, "A quiet refuge." A place that not only featured the beauty of nature, but that catered to those who wished to enjoy its serenity unencumbered by the distractions and detractions of everyday life. All that changed this past weekend when our "quiet refuge" was stolen by the bad behavior in full exhibition by fellow campers, and complicity on the part of campground management.
     My friend and I were assaulted by the barbaric behavior of a tribe of miscreants that camped across from us and spent their trip not engaged in the pursuit of nature, but in a drug-induced vociferous odyssey that lasted through the night into the early hours of the morning. When my friend and I complained to campground management, they said they would talk to the group and let them know that if their behavior did not change, they would be asked to leave. The following night was worse, and the next morning when we approached management again they tried to placate us with empty praise for the groups manners and respectful behavior towards campground staff.
     As the reprobates across from us were leaving the park they drove their multi-vehicle caravan by our site, blowing their horns, clapping, and making as much noise as they could. As if to flaunt their victory over dignity and decorum. Our experience left us soured on the campground that was suppose to be a "quiet refuge," but also less sanguine about the general civility of our culture. The larger point beyond our ruined camping trip, is that there are fewer and fewer, if any, places one can escape the ribaldry of the immoral who would take not only comfort, but pleasure in wallowing in the sewage of human behavior.  
     Our neighbors from hell for two days at the campground are products of a society that has raised a couple of generations of children to believe they are the center of the universe. It is the result of a culture that teaches members of certain victim groups that not only are they entitled to respect, they are entitled to withhold their respect for others. It is a culture that has turned its people away from moral behavior in favor of the debauchery of selfishness. It is a culture that is in the death throws of anti-culture and depravity. It is a culture that had paradise in the palm of its hand as a result of its virtue, but has allowed the vice of ignorance to swallow it whole.

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