Historians have said that if you want to gauge the health of a nation or culture, examine its celebrities. The type of person who is feted in a nation is representative of the tastes and sensibilities of that nation. For example, healthy nations will often celebrate their military leaders, ground-breaking scientists, and great statesmen. Less healthy nations are usually fascinated with entertainers: athletes, musicians, and actors.
But in today’s world of 24-hour news cycles and omnipresent media saturation, it is often the headlines which serve as cultural barometers and moral thermometers of our nations. The stories which occupy the corner of page 11 or get sandwiched between competing Fathers-Day-Sale ads can offer a naked glimpse into a community, unvarnished by makeup, studio light, or editor with an agenda. Sometimes it is just these stories which show us who we are and what we’ve become. Enter Alvin Golliday and Kristen Beck.
Alvin Golliday is a security guard at an East St. Louis middle school. Given the events of Newtown, the role of school security guard has taken on an importance which cannot be overstated. Mr. Golliday decided that his security guard wage could use some augmentation and so he began selling marijuana out of his car in the school parking lot. When the police were called to the school last Friday to conduct a drug sweep, the only drugs they found were in the vehicle of the man tasked with the protection of the students inside.
Kristen Beck was the first female Navy Seal. She served on Seal Team One and finished her full twenty as an E-8 at US SOCOM. She earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star in her career. And she did all this as Chris Beck, before undergoing a hormone therapy to become Kristen. (S)he has now written a book entitled Warrior Princess which details “the journey of a girl in a man’s body and her road to self-actualization as a woman amidst the PTSD of war,” (according to Amazon).
This is our nation in microcosm. These two seemingly-unrelated news items encapsulate both who we are and the situation in which we find ourselves in the early 21st century in America. As a nation, we are “transitioning” into Kristen Beck.
When Chris decided to become Kristen (on LinkedIn of all places), he put his sexual preferences ahead of the well-being of his brothers in arms. There is likely no closer-knit group of individuals than a SF unit. They live and die together, literally. And now, thanks to the abolition of DADT and individuals like Chris, every SF operator will be wondering in the back of his mind whether the guy watching his back is watching his back or watching his back.
In the same way, today’s America increasingly values “self-actualization” over unit cohesion. Who cares what’s best for the country or my neighbor, I wants mines dammut! We have moved beyond instant gratification to instant self-actualization of every perversion, predilection, and aberration under the sun.
So what if studies demonstrate that children raised in same-sex households fare more poorly in multiple indicators of social well-being than those raised in households with both a mother and a father? Force adoption agencies to adopt kids to gay households or shut them down!