2012: controversies ahead

You ever wonder if you were born in the wrong epoch? 2011 ended and I must be one of the few people in the U.S. and Canada who wouldn’t recognize a song by Justin Bieber, if I ever heard one. I don’t get what the fuss is. I watched Lady Gaga on New Year’s Eve and laughed. She is not that talented, except when it comes to marketing herself. Amy Winehouse would make her look like a debutante and in terms of controversy, Madonna would make Lady Gaga look like an altar girl.

Not that we need more controversy. There was plenty of that in 2011. The “Governator” ended his 25-year long marriage to Maria Shriver, after he admitted having a “love child” with his made 10 years ago. The question is: How do you manage to keep a deceit like that for 10 years? And how did it come to light?

On a lighter side, the Indian Minister for External Affairs, S M Krishna, gave the wrong speech at the UN Security Council meeting in New York earlier in 2011. He read three full minutes of his Portuguese counterpart’s speech on global warming, when an Indian chief diplomat finally pointed out the mistake. At that point, Mr. Krishna said, “Can we play the Rick Perry tape now?” Just kidding…

In Sports there were many bad guys this past year. If you ask me, I don’t even want to hear about the NBA right now. And the story out of Penn State, that still makes my blood boil. I am hoping that whoever is guilty will be put away for a long time. And I am convinced that if Penn State were a Catholic Church, people would be occupying its grounds right now, demanding that it be shut down.

I am reminded of the poem honoring the valor of David and his son Jonathan, after they died in battle. The famous line reads, “How have the mighty fallen.” If there is a sure prediction for 2012 it is that the mighty will continue to fall. It is part of human nature. We have a tendency to self-destruct. Controversies come to us as magnets and we are so stupid.

Some people don’t like to call this depravity. A friend once heard me use the term “total depravity.” He took an exception with it. He said, “Depravity, yes, but not ‘total’ depravity.” He was a romantic. Someone said, “There are a thousand angles at which a man may fall, but only one at which he may stand upright.” Not a bad thing to remember in 2012.

I have served my kids notice: never underestimate the power of your own propensity to do wrong. “The heart is deceitful above all things; who can know it?”

So this year, don’t expect me to go to a Justin Bieber show, watch “Housewives” on T.V., start a fan page for Lady Gaga or a campaign to rehabilitate Mr. Sepp Blatter. My mind is too quick to wander into uselessness without these distractions.

Ivanildo C. Trindade