2013-10-30 / Opinion

‘Glass houses’

by Alex McRae

The only thing people never run short of is problems. Unfortunately, there is an even bigger shortage of solutions.

That’s always been the case, and always will be. Luckily, the solution to every problem—except the Obamacare website—is in the Holy Bible.

The Bible even has a solution for the world’s most common problem, namely, pointing out the shortcomings of others. If this fault were an Olympic event, I’d have to rent a used double wide to house my gold medals.

It’s pretty simple: the Bible says we shouldn’t find fault with others until we clean up our own acts. I was reminded of this piece of wisdom twice in the last month. Twice. When something crosses my mind that often, I feel moved to write about it. Here goes.

Let’s start with an apology. I have recently come down extra hard on young people who spend what I consider way too much time playing video games. I have labeled this activity not just a waste of brainpower, but gateway behavior that can lead to even worse things, like car theft, dope smoking, sloth and liberalism.

I begged video game addicts to mend their ways, to hit the “Off” button and savor the joy of face-toface contact with real, live people. Or even pets.

During a recent couchsurfing session, I caught some TV ads for new video games that teach youngsters how to be better gangstas or global terrorists. I seethed, and thought to myself, “What’s wrong with kids that get hooked on this trash? This is America. Our precious children should be out chopping firewood or inventing the cure for hemorrhoids.”

To make myself feel better, I decided to bake some biscuits. It takes a while. Probably because the person who designed the pre-heat feature on the household oven was distracted by an online session of “World of Warcraft.” But I digress.

As I waited (and waited and waited) for the oven to heat, I went to the Internet to perform some tax deductible research for my new book about the hidden connection between quantum physics and catfish hydrodynamics.

By mistake, I was directed to one of the half billion cat videos lurking online. I am between cats now and miss mine dearly. So I watched one video. Then another…

Twenty-five minutes later, the oven’s preheat alarm beeped. I had not moved a muscle. My face reddened as I realized I had sat there glued to my chair for almost half an hour, mesmerized by moving pictures of cats doing stupid stuff.

I shuddered when forced to admit that after years of yapping at youngsters about video game addiction, I too, had been sucked into cyber bondage.

A few days later a similar situation arose. Instead of surfing the Internet I was outside watching the back yard squirrels. I can’t tell whether they love autumn or hate it, but cool weather puts them in high gear.

They race around all day, plowing under leaves in search of treats or chasing each other around the yard, up the trees and across the deck.

It’s actually a pretty great show. Especially for someone with my IQ. But after a while I found myself saying, “Look at those squirrels. How stupid. All they do is chase each other around and hunt nuts. What could be a bigger waste of time.”

Then I realized I’d just spent fifteen minutes watching them.

Who’s the idiot?

The Bible says, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” From now on, when it comes to complaining about people watching video games (or squirrels), consider me unarmed.

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