The blame game must have some rules to it


So, I was flipping channels on the television the other night, hoping I would find underwater dwarf wrestling or somebody playing a pan flute while juggling plates, and I settled on yet another drama that I catch from time to time, but have never developed an emotional attachment for or against.

I knew enough of the backstory to know that a woman’s boyfriend was murdered, and she had been blaming the central male character for not getting to the scene in time to save him. At one point in this recent episode she was faced with more facts and came to the conclusion that she was actually the one responsible for her boyfriend’s death, because her boyfriend would have never been at the scene of the crime if it wasn’t for her.

And my head nearly exploded.

“No,” I yelled at the television, accompanied by a mini-shower of half-chewed corn chips and gummy bears. “The guy who killed your boyfriend is responsible for him dying.”

This has always driven me nuts. People want to assign blame and find others responsible for anything bad that happens to them, or in their periphery.

George W. Bush did not cause those towers to fall in New York, or the Pentagon to be attacked, or those brave souls to go down fighting over a field in Pennsylvania. You want to blame someone? Blame the terrorists who hijacked the planes with the sole intent of committing murder. Blame Osama bin Laden for creating an atmosphere among his zealots where this was encouraged.

Is President Obama at fault for a sluggish economy? No, this economy was in shambles for years before he came into office. Blame companies shipping their manufacturing and accompanying manufacturing jobs overseas. Blame decades of U.S. policy of bailing out other nations. This didn’t happen overnight, folks.

Oh boy, I’m on fire today. Let’s keep rolling with it while it’s there.

A police officer is not to blame for you getting a ticket if you were driving over the speed limit or barrelled through a Stop sign, and the judge is not at fault if you got a tough sentence at your trial.

That kid in school who gets bullied is not to blame because he or she maybe doesn’t dress the same as others or concentrates more on classes than parties, and the same goes for a 320-pound offensive lineman in the NFL who graduated from Stanford and whose parents attended Harvard. The insecure nimrods who have to boost their own worthless self-esteem by putting down others is at fault.

If your home is burglarized, the person who broke into the sanctity of your home is the one who is in the wrong, not you because you didn’t get a security system for your house. And if you happened to forget to lock your car one night and somebody goes in and steals your GPS — well, I’m sorry, but it’s the criminal’s fault for that. I would guess 99 out of a 100 people who might walk by and notice your car is unlocked would not help themselves to your personal belongings.

I don’t care how a woman dresses or how much alcohol she might have consumed, it is not her fault if she is assaulted. It is the rapist who is to blame. Plain and simple.

The person who puts on Pittsburgh Steelers attire on a fall Sunday and walks by my house is not at fault for ... No. That is entirely that individual’s fault. My house is Ravens Country, and there will be a verbal barrage that rivals anything this world or any other has seen if ...

But I digress.

It is not the person’s fault at the airport ticket counter that your flight is late, so maybe it would be wise to not ridicule and demean somebody who is trying to give you other options to get to your destination. It is also not your server’s fault if your favorite meal is not available at the restaurant you are at. In that vein, the same goes for our reporters. I’m usually the one who puts headlines on stories, so if you don’t like one, blame me. If you do like one, credit our news editor, M. Patricia Titus. She usually does the clever ones.

I guess if I have a point, it’s this: Place blame on things where they belong, and stop trying to assign it somewhere else. I think a lot of our problems in life would be solved if we took the simple route and identified the real problems in the world.