THE DEATH OF SHAME
Ashlee Simpson semi-apologizes for lip-synching on SNL, after slagging lip-synching. She says she "holds her head up high" and explains she had to do it because she was hoarse.
The point of an apology is you feel bad. You are not holding your head up high. You're lowering your head in embarrassment.
There seems to be a bit of confusion about the notion of taking responsibility. Ronald Reagan "took responsibility" for the deaths of the Marines in Beirut, which, it turned out, meant that no one had to take responsibility. Various administration officials "take responsibility" for things, which seems to mean, "yes I did it, now go away."
If you "take responsibility" for a massive screwup, there are supposed to be consequences. E.g. Ashlee could offer a free concert where she actually sings. Administration officials who "take responsibility" are supposed to resign.
Used to be in Japan, you took responsibility by committing hara-kiri. No need to go that far, but guys, where's your shame?
How about Condoleeza Rice taking responsibility for her massive, massive screwups in failing to coordinate the intelligence activities of the CIA, FBI, State, etc., which is after all the reason her job exists? How about resigning?
How about Colin Powell taking responsibility for lying to the UN by resigning?
How about George Bush taking responsibility for the missing WMDs by saying, at a bare minimum, oops, he faked us out, my bad?
Why does everyone brazen it out? What's wrong with our society when we reward people for brazening it out?