Posted March 21, 2021
Shaddup You Face
“It’s a nice a place, ah shaddap-a you face!”
From “Shaddup You Face” by Joe Dolce
I remember when “Shaddup You Face” was all over the Phoenix air waves. I especially remember my co-workers and I jokingly telling each other to “shaddup-a you face”. It was always said in jest and we always laughed when it was said. If you’re not familiar with this 1980’s novelty song, then I encourage you to stop right now and listen to it. It will most assuredly bring a smile to your face.
This song comes to mind as we all are witnessing a harsh phenomenon on social media and that is freedom of speech . . . except when we don’t agree with or like what the other person is saying.
If George Orwell were alive today and witnessing this, he might write, “All speech is free. Some speech is more free than others.” That seems to be the vibe on social media today.
Yours truly seems to be getting this message directed at me loudly and clearly.
You see, I pretty much always post and write things that are about entertainment of interest to baby boomers; uplifting things; (hopefully) humorous things; thought-provoking things. I usually stay away from partisan political comments (I think both parties have sold our country down the river long ago and think that they’re self-serving. Just look at their bank accounts before and after taking office).
Because of that, I guess people have come to the conclusion that either I don’t or shouldn’t have a “political” opinion and, if I do, to just keep it to myself. Okay. Fine. However, it soon became apparent that the definition of “political” was in the eyes of the beholder.
Case in point: About a year ago, I posted something that was considered political but neutral. I was texted by someone that I should remove it. That it would be politically divisive. That, because of who I am (whoever that is supposed to be. I suppose it’s because of publishing Boomerocity), I should not risk being “divisive”. I disagreed with the person but, since I valued the relationship I had with them, I deleted the post.
A few months later, that same person posted a politically explosive comment. I privately sent them a screen shot of their aforementioned admonishment.
In effect, “That applies to you, not to me. You know more people than I do.”
The year prior, an acquaintance injected politics into an ongoing thread I had going about a music awards show the country was watching. I kept neglecting to take the bait. They demanded (yes, demanded) that I either agree or disagree with their point of view. When I told them that I wasn’t going to be bullied into participating in their political commentary, they unfriended and blocked me.
I’ve watched this happen repeatedly since then. People loudly announce that if their friends support (insert your least favorite politician’s name here), then they should just go ahead and unfriend the poster. Some friends were lost and relationships damaged by such needless hyperbole.
We are a nation of hypocrites.
We demand to be heard but we refuse to listen.
We condemn the heinous acts of some while overlooking like-kinds of acts by those we happen to like.
We have come to a place and time in America where people pay exorbitant prices in their careers, businesses, and relationships for certain political beliefs or for certain behaviors.
What if I told you that we’re wildly hypocritical in our supposed righteous indignation?
We are outraged by the “immoral” acts of a politician of one political party but overlook the same actions of ones in the political party we choose to align with.
One side calls certain acts as “treasonous” while overlooking equally questionable actions by members of their own “side”.
We’re vehemently opposed to sexual exploitation of children, correct? Yet, some of our favorite entertainers have allegedly behaved inappropriately with young people. We still listen to their music and watch their video, don’t we?
The #metoo movement? A very real and serious problem is called out by that movement. However, we used to call such behavior “the casting couch”. In the music business, it was just expected that women would “put out” for musicians. But boy! Do we still listen to their music and watch those old black and white movies, don’t we?
They just don’t make ‘em like they used to, huh?
All of this is wrong so let’s make sure that Lady Justice is truly blind – even if it sends our favorite people to the pokey. Let’s insist that both parties clean up their acts and truly focus on the real needs of this country while we continue to properly right the real wrongs. Our country has been a work in progress for over two centuries and we can continue to be if we choose to.
In areas where we have differences of opinion (and not whitewashing crimes), we need to all pipe down, take a deep breath, and stop and smell the roses. We need to read more good books. We need to hang out with friends (and not discuss politics). We need to get back together with friends – especially those we’ve run the risk of alienating ourselves from – and enjoy a meal together; maybe play a great board game.
In other words, we need to get back to the basics.
I’m pretty sure that I stepped on toes of “all sides” and ticked off the self-appointed who decide what is acceptable today. I didn’t get the e-mail that announced who it is but I know they’re out there. I only got the note that I’m supposed to shaddup-a my face.
Note: I encourage you to check out Joe Dolce's website, JoeDolce.net, to see what all he's been up to since his hit, Shaddap You Face, was released.