Tevye would not be happy

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - NEWS - Ted Tay­lor At Large Lis­ten to Ted Tay­lor Tues­days from 8 a.m. to noon and Wed­nes­days from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on WRDV FM (89.3) or con­tact him at ted­tay­lor­inc@ com­cast.net.

In the won­der­ful play “Fid­dler on the Roof” Tevye (and the Papa’s) sing the clas­sic song about “Tra­di­tion”. It goes:

“Who, day and night, must scram­ble for a liv­ing,

Feed a wife and chil­dren, say his daily prayers?

And who has the right, as master of the house, To have the fi­nal word at home?

The Papa, the Papa! Tra­di­tion.

The Papa, the Papa! Tra­di­tion.”

Well I don’t want to be a wet blan­ket but in to­day’s cli­mate, a time when every­body gets their feel­ings hurt at the drop of a hat, tra­di­tion is in big trou­ble. Ev­ery day, it seems, more of our tra­di­tions come un­der as­sault.

We grew up with time hon­ored tra­di­tions. Church on Sun­day, va­ca­tions at the shore, root for the home ball club, go to the cir­cus, go to church or town pic­nics, go to pa­rades, go to the fire­house or school­house and vote twice a year. We used to do that be­cause, well, that was the way it was. It was a more peace­ful and well-or­dered time. Your fam­ily did what they did, other fam­i­lies did what they did. If it turned out that what they did both­ered you, well you just paid no at­ten­tion. Our tra­di­tions re­mained in place.

But times have changed. Tra­di­tions seem to of­fend peo­ple and so­cial me­dia is com­plicit. What we loved and cher­ished now have be­come just an ex­cuse for some­body to dress up in some out­landish out­fit (funny look­ing hats, lit­tle red rid­ing hoods, black zorro-like cos­tumes), oc­cupy pub­lic or even pri­vate prop­erty, de­stroy things and stomp around block­ing city in­ter­sec­tions (mak­ing life dif­fi­cult for peo­ple who ac­tu­ally work for a liv­ing) be­cause they didn’t like what some­one else did. Work­ing used to be a tra­di­tion. It has been re­placed by com­plain­ers who don’t re­ally have any in­ter­est in it.

I first en­coun­tered these an­ti­tra­di­tion­al­ists some years ago when, while tak­ing my grand­daugh­ter to the an­nual fundrais­ing cir­cus in Hat­boro, we were ac­costed by a big-mouthed mem­ber of the PETA or­ga­ni­za­tion who didn’t like the fact that an­i­mals were be­ing used in the cir­cus (li­ons, tigers, ele­phants). This jerk con­fronted my 6-year-old grand­daugh­ter first and loudly told her to tell me not to take her to the cir­cus, “yatta ta yatta ta yatta ta.” It up­set the child and what I was plan­ning to do (punch his lights out) would have just up­set her more. So, in­stead, I did the proper thing and com­plained to a nearby po­lice of­fi­cer. But they won. Tra­di­tion be darned. No more Hat­boro cir­cus.

Not long af­ter that they as­sailed the Abing­ton Hos­pi­tal June Fete be­cause they had a small ele­phant there at the June Fete Farm. The ele­phant went away and we never went to the Fete again ei­ther. Now Rin­gling broth­ers has gone out of busi­ness and lots of smaller cir­cuses have fol­lowed. The an­i­mals mean­while are sup­pos­edly out graz­ing in some­one’s farm­land and we have no idea how they are be­ing treated. Tra­di­tion? Re­ally.

This sum­mer a fire­men’s an­nual pig roast in Malvern got can­celled just days be­fore the event was to hap­pen. Peo­ple (?) be­gan to com­plain on so­cial me­dia about the poor pig (I guess they were all ve­g­ans) and promised protests and worse if the pig roast was held. For the vol­un­teer fire­men it was a great fundraiser. That didn’t mat­ter. Peo­ple have been hold­ing pig roasts since some­body dis­cov­ered that they were good to eat. Try can­celling one in Hawaii and see how that flies. But the point here is that the pro­test­ers should have no sta­tus at all. They could re­ally be noth­ing more than some clown in his jam­mies sit­ting by his com­puter in his mommy’s base­ment. You don’t re­ally need to protest now, in this won­der­ful age of com­mu­ni­ca­tions, you sim­ply have to crank up your com­puter and threaten to protest. Tra­di­tion my foot!

I have warm mem­o­ries of our Carmel Church Pic­nic at Green Lane (Mont­gomery County Park), of the Glen­side 4th of July Pa­rade (so far that hasn’t of­fended any­one that I know of), of won­der­ful hol­i­days — re­li­gious and pa­tri­otic — and how towns used to get all dressed up with bright lights, manger scenes, trees (of late Abing­ton as a town­ship has taken a pass on Christ­mas). They prob­a­bly don’t want to of­fend any­one, but in so do­ing they of­fended me. Tra­di­tions may go, but re­sults re­main.

I used to give a quiz to my col­lege classes each se­mes­ter and that spoke vol­umes be­cause not only do to­day’s young peo­ple not know his­tory, they have no un­der­stand­ing of our tra­di­tions ei­ther. My quiz asked such things as “Where is Pearl Har­bor?” and they didn’t know. “Who won the Civil War?” They had no clue. “What na­tion did we gain our in­de­pen­dence from? And all I heard was crick­ets. “Who shot Abra­ham Lin­coln?” and it would blow your mind to read those an­swers. His­tory is no longer be­ing taught in school.

Our na­tion ap­pears to have de­cided that the sac­ri­fices of the very peo­ple that founded it no longer count. Two mem­bers of our fam­ily per­ished in wars de­fend­ing a coun­try that now peo­ple fail to honor our flag and hi­jack com­mu­nity events.

Is it any won­der that other na­tions think we are vul­ner­a­ble? Our long-held and trea­sured tra­di­tions are just about dead and if you don’t help keep them alive then you are in no po­si­tion to com­plain about what comes next. An end to all of our tra­di­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.