Monday, May 24, 2010
Ignorance is Bliss...
by Mr. L. Sherlock
I am not an advocate of ignoring problems. My nature is to confront them and to try to solve them, if possible. On Saturday evening, I was faced with something of a dilemma.
My wife and I went to O’Reilly’s Pub in Oakdale, NY to listen to a local band called "Funkin’ A". That pub is where the band got its start and we’ve been there many, many times. We went early to have dinner first as the show was scheduled to begin at 9:30 PM. The pub caters to all comers, and there were families and couples of all generations gathering when we arrived. The multiple TVs had everything from the Met/Yankee game to Nickelodeon on.
At about 8:30 PM, I heard the distinct sound of big Harley motorcycles pulling up outside. Something of a chill went up my spine as I was cast back some thirty years to my bar fly days. I had had some close calls involving bikers looking for, and usually finding, trouble in those days. Lo and behold, six rough and loud people enter this otherwise low key establishment. They set themselves up directly next to our table, standing at the half wall separating the eating area from the bar. So I had a ring-side seat, as it were.
The first thing I noticed after they entered was their outfits. Black jeans and shirts, of course, but it was the logos that caught my eye. One was essentially giving the world the middle finger and another was a “white supremacy” statement. Ignorance on parade is the best I could figure.
Now the make up of the regular folks at the pub was multi-ethnic and age diverse. I don’t know what these characters were expecting, but we, the crowd, did not feed into their act. Mother’s with their children walked right past them, unnoticing. People continued to watch the game or conversed with the band (also multi-ethnic) as the set up and did sound checks. Nobody paid them any mind, at least not outwardly.
I knew from past experience that these particular bikers were looking for someone to react to them. And, I knew that confronting them about their hate attire was just the trigger they were looking for. If they had started something, they were outnumbered, but they wanted someone to start with them. That would be their defense; their ‘freedom of expression’ defense. Theirs is a warped reading of the First Amendment.
Well, as I said, nobody was buying what they had to sell. They had one drink, exchanged some words with the bar tender and split. With the sound of there bikes echoing away, I hoped they would meet the same cold shoulder where ever their next stop might be.
This time I think ignoring the insecure and faulty platform of their ignorance was the right way to deal with the situation. As expected, the rest of the night was great.
PS: The Funkin' A rocked!!