Old and Entitled In America

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

And no I’m not talking about the flagging state of our national social programs for the retired, aged and elderly; oh how I wish I was speaking of the continuous alarmist rhetoric surrounding when social security will be out of money, what will happen to Medicare, the effect of massive baby boomer retirement on these program’s structures, the entirety of the workforce. No instead I mean something much more subtle; for the last nearly 2 decades the social focus has been on increasingly spoiled, out of control young people cossetted, feted, fawned over, shielded from both failure and consequences by the neo parent convinced their child is special and making it their life’s mission to make excuses for them, resulting in young people incapable of holding a simple job and practically destined for a prison sentence. Perhaps best exemplified by the likes of Justin Bieber, Lindsay Lohan urinating in mop buckets, egging houses, DUI and the latters continued life as an obvious addict. However in the background of headline stories showcasing the crass, craven ever elevating depravity of kids, teens we seem to have overlooked the same characteristics in adults; once again, not the neo parent, neo adult  maximum age 40-45, felt by those older to be little better than those in high school, in the middle of their college years, but the older persons who put the old in old school raised in the era of venerating elders for their wisdom, knowledge and invaluable life experience, expecting the same when they reached that span of their life. Problem, their younger counter parts have nothing on them when it comes to perpetrating the worst of humanity, yet society sees it differently. Rather than admonishing adults, asserting they should be ashamed of themselves for behavior they are long past old enough to know better about engaging in, we see it as some kind of poetic justice when the 80 year old woman with cat food in her purse soundly thrashes everyone from a would be robber to a “young’un” impatiently trying to get her to cross the road, hurry down a store aisle or cuts ahead of her in line, when the man on the bus hands out a good old fashioned ass whooping to a young buck who thinks he can start something because the other is old, helpless. We see it as an almost instinctual response to a modern world without patients, respect or manners, least of all for senior citizens; we see movies like the Medea franchise and think it’s a humorous comeuppance for the young and disrespectful on so many levels, not realizing how rude, disruptive, chaotic, violent and, in extreme cases dangerous, these behavior patterns and people can be.

 http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video/family-hell-live-nanny-24533127

More than nuisance calls to cops, public disturbances where alcohol somehow isn’t a factor but if it wasn’t involved it leaves you wondering what was, as people post on YouTube incidents caught on cellphones that would have the subjects’ fellow 1950’s generation blushing or standing there with their mouths hanging open appalled by the display. More than the obviously confused, possible Alzheimer’s sufferer who likely wandered away from his nursing home, his care giver, is the people who prey on, use their advanced age and implicitly implied trust to get over on people, usually younger, perpetrate a con or get something for nothing. Prime example the nicknamed “nightmare nanny” who once she was fired from her position, for refusing to work, also refused to vacate the home she was living in, in exchange for nanny services, light cooking and housework. Further complicating things, California tenant law that says essentially she is a tenant and therefore has rights, including, at the time of the video links above and below, a key to the home, lawful ability to come and go anytime day or night the family barred from so much as entering the spare room she was given, though they own, are buying the home and even landlords have reasonable access usually with 24 hour notice. Beyond the dubious questions of who puts an ad on Craigslist looking for a nanny then let’s this unchecked person have access to their kids, beyond who sets up something like this without a written contract, written agreement, if nothing else rudimentarily typed up and signed by all adult parties involved, remains how much sympathy there is for this woman even after news investigations proved there is more to the story than an “entitled,” well off, “has resting bitch face” and a superiority complex mother who suddenly wanted the live in nanny at all hours of the day and night, wanted her to do excessive cleaning and miscellaneous chores while not even paying her a wage, instead just offering room and board. Yes there is plausibility toDiane Stretton’s story they wanted her to work more hours, an obscene amount of hours, she got sick and was unable to work for a time, her purported COPD, or was it the flu, the story varies depending on which news account you read, even that she quit because of poor conditions, poor working relationship with the family, but then there is looking at her history, sidestepping for a moment, before her nanny position she was homeless, let’s face it in the post-recession era anything can happen especially to older workers. There is the indisputable fact she wouldn’t leave once she was fired and there are places for people to go; homeless shelters, after the media frenzy began she was living in her car, which we’ll assume was paid for long prior to her interactions with the young couple, she still had money from somewhere, despite not being paid a wage, to put gas in it, to drive to the empty parking lot where ABC news tracked her. She still had the means to track down a lawyer to assist with her case against the couple alleging wrongful dismissal and elder abuse; yes there are pro-bono and legal aid lawyers for a variety of legal proceedings, types of cases, yet to get one as expediently as she did from places usually inundated with requests, she probably paid something. Bringing us to the other 36 lawsuits, small claims, family court battles she has been involved with, earning her a spot on California’s Vexatious Litigant list for, in their view, abusing the system.

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video/live-nanny-leave-speaks-24533171

Yes the Bracamonte’s are bordering on idiotic for seeking childcare on an online site similar to a cross between dating forums and e-bay, yes there is some question as to labor laws broken in that their “nanny” was paid no wage, yes it does appear somewhat excessive that in the last chance letter/contract Stretten was to sign or be out in 30 days, to expect a 64 year old to push a carpet steamer around once a week, but as commenters on many stories have pointed out, she accepted the terms up front and considering her repeated forays into the legal system, shouldn’t she have known that wasn’t legal, shouldn’t there have been a red flag going up making her insist on a written contract? And the horrible letter was drafted after the former refused to work what her employers deemed was maybe 10 hours a week; instead she seems to have used the presence of only an ad to solidify her claim in court, a perception substantiated when looking at the Bracamonte’s upscale home, testimony she used their pool and other resources simultaneously refusing to work. Adding to the con artist smell of our nanny from hell story, allegations she has done similar things before involving various friends and family; next leading question being, who should know better, the young couple with 3 kids or an older individual who has been around the block a few times? After all she did tell 20/20 her lesson from the experience, when she gets her pension, she’s living in a place all by herself; wait she’s eligible for a pension but living in a homeless shelter, according to friends been homeless 8 years, she’s eligible for a pension but answering an ad on Craigslist for childcare services? Hard to tell which one sounds  less above board the family seeking a nanny to fit their situation or and older person possessing other options at the very least making herself look like she is out to get a lot of something for nothing.  Contrasting our clearly worker employee situation, providing jobs, functional scenarios ideal for older workers, those who are retired, looking to supplement income, looking for accommodations fitting there income are the actual good Samaritans also profiled on the news willing to open their homes to neighbors on hard times, mothers and children. Good Samaritans who don’t want anything and people who utilize an offer vs. using someone.    

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/homeless-children-the-hard-times-generation-27-06-2011/

Speaking of people who believe there age or minor authority, on a job, their job title, position on the neighborhood, community board of this or that gives them more allowances, abilities than it actually does, who seem profoundly ignorant of the most basic tenets of law there are the jaw dropping cases regarding what the heck is going on at United States postal service across the country. We’ll come back to the lazy ones found hiding undelivered mail in storage units, burring, burning it in ditches, how many of these people have gray hair and were raised in the era of hard work; first there is the curious incident out of Missouri, 3 years of missing mail and the postal employee potentially responsible, making news when she threatened the man who was cleaning up one of her whopping 9 properties in exchange for rent, with eviction. Not only does the tenant describe horrible smells, an inability to move in for the first month owning to the derelict nature of the home, he became increasingly disturbed upon finding not one but dozens of postal mail bins like you would see in a post office, on a postal truck housing hundreds of pieces of obviously undelivered mail including bills, bank statements, checks, social security cards, a military ID, a birth certificate. Compounding the insult to injury on the public’s trust is Marcy Galapo is a postal supervisor denying directly to news cameras there was any mail in the home referred to, calling it a plot by her estranged son to get back at her; then proceeded to go to the home accompanied by her supposed boyfriend, who could pass for Santa Clause sporting a white hair and beard, if it wasn’t for his deplorable behavior reportedly assisting her in barging into the home kicking in the door to the tenant’s, bedroom, who is, surprise, surprise not her son. However unlike persons in California shocked about squatters’ rights and tenant law, people in Missouri can rest easy once police saw the mail they called the feds, who are now scrutinizing Galapo. Tying into our next story detailing old people admitting not to health problems, not to having worked exceedingly hard into what many consider to be someone’s golden years, conversely shamelessly stating they are lazy; most simply shook their heads when a barely 30 year old mailman hid thousands of pieces in a storage space, couldn’t believe the brazenness of the one caught throwing packages marked fragile out of his vehicle toward the resident’s door, garage,  though they couldn’t see his/her face on film, surmising he was one of the young wastrels to whom our future is lamentably entrusted, forgetting people like the man in the second video below, good job, good benefits, options for a retirement package/pension and you willingly throw that all away being lazy? It raises real questions about who is truly unwilling to work in America today; is it the coddled generation, is it those 18-25 who have to have the perfect job to give it their time or is it people detailed above? Is it young people who need life lessons on what makes the world go round, how things work, analyzing these instances it seems older people need a tutorial in work ethic, in the basic rules of law and order what you can and cannot do on a job, what your title your position, your employment empowers you to do, and more to the point, what it doesn’t.   

http://fox4kc.com/2014/02/18/fox-4-problem-solvers-discover-postal-worker-hoarding-undelivered-mail/

http://abcnews.go.com/US/video/lazy-mailman-admits-burying-mail-tavern-job-18845987

 Or the grouchy old man walking his dog who accosts and goes on to steal the skateboard of a young teen told by cops he could skate there, in an empty parking lot or the skate park at a nearby location. He uses his authority as member of a neighborhood association of some sort to confiscate the board saying his dad could come and retrieve the board without, at that time, getting the young man’s address, phone number or providing a contact medium the boy could subsequently give his parent(s) in order to claim his property; indicating he had no real intention of returning the board to the teen or his father.  Still viewers commenting on the video call the teen out for using foul language on the older man, the “adult” when footage clearly shows the old man came up to both teens and began a confrontation by saying “fuck you with the skateboard” while trying to take it from the other, to which the latter responds in kind. Escalating matters, when the boy states his parents are not home, are working, father not going to be back for days, the man asks who’s responsible for you, boy responds I don’t know, man says that’s the problem. He then asks where the young man lives, he gives the general area and 3 minutes into the 6 minute video, he starts saying you’re not even supposed here it’s for residents only, you’re not a resident, your parents don’t pay; too bad the old man didn’t start out by asking where they lived, simply explain that because they were not members of the immediate area, neighborhood they were not allowed to use the park. Yet the young man upon learning this information says fine can you give me my board so we can go, reminds him he is stealing his property; old man’s reaction to tell the person walking with him to call the police and report a crime. When the incredulously asks what crime the man goes do you have the authority to skate in the park, references a no trespassing sign that is nowhere visible and not because the video is sometimes pointing at the ground, neither is there a no loitering sign, a no skating on sidewalk sign. Teen tries to further resolve situation asking them to call the cop, have him come down there, woman with man pipes up saying it would be one thing if you weren’t breaking the rules but you are; you gotta learn sometime. Frustrated boy says it doesn’t matter enraging her and causing him to try and take the skateboard of his bother or friend who is waiting to see how the altercation plays out holding his board and walking, not riding on it. Again told he doesn’t have the authority to take either board woman can be heard saying we can take anything we want. The heart of the issue here, adults who think they have authority they don’t; turns out he was skating on a public driveway and sidewalk next to the neighborhood only skate park and upon seeing the video people in the area are rumored to have removed him from his supervisory position on the homeowners association.

Problem solving 101 clearly state your issue, calmly ask someone to leave a space if they are making trouble, trespassing, somewhere they aren’t supposed to be when asked genuine questions about why answer them, avoid foul, vulgar language at all times and do not attempt to take a person’s property unless it is a threat to you or others.  Had he started with: where do you live, an explanation about the park or so much as noted the kids were skating on the public sidewalk, driveway instead of trying to argue those things weren’t public, he might have had a point worth considering. And counter to what many reading might think, at that point no ma’am it didn’t matter what the “rules” were, why, he had already made it painfully obvious if you gave him his belongings he would leave. Also poignantly clear, he had no idea he didn’t have the “authority to skate in that park” until you told him. Important too is the beginning of the video showing he didn’t confront them because they nearly ran into him, ran over him, he’s not a man using a mobility aid walker, crutches, wheelchair or scooter for whom their fast paced, erratic movements and skateboard tricks might make it difficult to simply go around and get on the sidewalk. His dog doesn’t appear to be a service dog just a pet he was out walking, he appears otherwise fit and healthy commiserate with his age, leading viewers to believe he initiated contact and confrontation simply because they were there. But since skateboarders as a group are seen as delinquent miscreants causing trouble everyone over 30 sides with the adult; despite, contrary viewer comments, there was not damage caused by him and the other teen, they were not smoking, drinking, spraying graffiti, being loud, they were not, as is commonly cited reasons for disliking skateboarders in general, blocking the sidewalk, almost running people over, causing a hazard for pedestrians.  If it is to be believed there was a trespassing sign and a sign indicating a neighborhood only park, there was glaring confusion and what kept the young man there was his board, the old man was indeed stealing; plus for all his being unsupervised the worst thing this young person did was try to find a place to skate, to occupy his time having fun, being physically active and earnestly attempting to bother no one. Nevertheless news coverage always starts teens beat homeless person, teens stomp homeless person to death because they were board, teens harass old person, no mention of the provocation, no mention of antagonistic nature surrounding their approach, older persons recurring inability to mind their own business in non-abusive, non- life threatening situations.                   

Unfortunately it only gets worse from there; none apart from elderly people at least 50 and above can be more catty, petty and mean, prone to throwing downright temper tantrums and often videotaped having exaggerating reactions to fender benders, being asked to follow standard rules of public order like waiting their turn in a line. Instance one encompasses a slightly younger lady apparently angry she was cut off on the road then flipped off (i.e. the rude hand/finger gesture); the male driver of the other car began filming when she exited her car and began ranting, coming towards his car loudly announcing she was going to call 911, accuses him of harassment, at one point saying his filming of her was discrimination, huh? What started it all, he pulled over, in front of her on a residential road merging to one lane because he lived there and was parking on the opposite side from where he lived in the most logical available space. Regardless, after repeated explanations he lived there she continued on. Video two continues with persons possibly hitting their midlife crisis age or could it be menopause; once more a woman apparently screaming mad about a fellow passenger on the city bus eating food claiming she and her children were stinking up the bus. She goes on for 4 plus minutes calling her an unfit parent because she cussed the woman out when attacked, repeatedly asked her to mind her own business and as she got louder asked her what she was on, why she couldn’t shut up, let it go; woman’s response in between asking if she thought the bus was her living room, telling her to stop having kids because they would grow up ignorant was to 1minute and 51 seconds into a 3:54 minute video remind the offending passenger there is no eating on the bus. Forget there is some reference to the chip eater being diabetic possibly suggesting she was eating in order not to pass out with her children while riding; sadly where eating is permitted you are still subjected to comments like the following“…No one should eat on public transportation: it’s gross, it makes a mess, it attracts vermin and it stinks the place up. Don’t do it. I encourage anyone that sees other people eating on buses and trains to step up and fart on their food because these heathens need a dose of their own medicine.” Though she might be technically correct she loses all credibility in her handling of the situation, rattling off a long list of things people shouldn’t do on the bus to avoid disturbing other people, oblivious to the fact her yelling stands out worst of all; you can hardly hear the abused woman’s responses over the other person’s loudness and buss mechanical noise. Too fellow passengers spoke up for neither person telling us something; if it was so offensive take it up with the driver in a calm, rational manner and let him settle the issue with the rules. Instead she is more than disturbing passengers she is disrupting order on the bus, a far greater potential danger. Next in the proceeding trio is the ultimate example of why older persons have lost the respect of the younger generation; watch as this old enough to be a grandfather “gentleman” has a full blown, absolute two year old temper tantrum over a deep dish pizza to the point of breaking plates, grabbing food off the buffet, which wasn’t allowed, when the manager tried to calm him use the polite, respectful form of address calling him sir he gets increasingly belligerent repeating over and over he wants his deep dish until he is herded out. Then once outside he is still throwing pizza boxes at the windows, loitering before the video cuts out. Almost nothing or common place compared to adults calling 911 over uncooked waffles, missing Jell-O, incorrect fast food orders, refusals of marriage, the 72 year old man requesting his wife participate in group sex, a man’s wife looking at his Facebook page, a broken i-phone, grown men with gray hair and business suites duking it out on an L.A. freeway.              

Taking a cue from Mr. “respect my neighborhood authoritah,” apoplectic about skateboarding teens, another, elderly black man this time around, takes the award for most bizarre theft as he  stole the dentures from his female friend’s mouth after she rejected his romantic advances. His argument to police he paid for them and was now taking them back; except his payment for the teeth was not predicated on a romantic relationship, he offered to pay, made good on that offer, at which point they became a gift not a loan not an item paid for with strings attached. Meaning no you can’t just take it back because you paid for it; cops agreed arresting the man on yet to be determined charges. This and the scenario above exposing a common trend among the older crowd who think they have unrealistic jurisdiction over people younger than them, over things given as gifts; both men are harkening back to discipline tactics they likely used with their kids, misbehave I take away toy, item, privilege, act out and I can take away anything of yours, because I paid for it not you, usually done with clothes or an asked for expensive backpack, pair of shoes. Misunderstood is that only works if you are the parent, guardian, babysitter or relative currently responsible for the minor child as opposed to some random older person on the street tactics that do not work past age 18; even among domestic partners, married persons seeking divorce and division of property there are legal proceedings to go through if you can’t do it alone amicably. And that trend has been proven to have disastrous consequences; it is the core undercurrent behind recent headline shootings perpetrated by older people on significantly younger individuals. Everyone remembers George Zimmerman strikingly younger than most exposed here still displaying the same paranoia about who belonged in his neighborhood, still thinking he could use his quasi “authority” as not even official neighborhood watch to harass Trayvon Martin resulting in a fight costing the latter his 17 year old life. Causing outrage, a jury bought Zimmerman’s claims of self-defense acquitting him on all charges, court having no choice but to give him back his guns. Michael Dunn found guilty on charges related to the shooting death of Jordan Davis, including the attempted murder of 3 friends also in Davis’ car; altercation began when Dunn, according to court testimony, asked a carload of teens outside a local gas station to turn down their loud music, at their refusal he thought he saw a weapon and went for his conceal and carry firearm firing several shots at the car as it sped away, a minimum of one hitting and killing Davis. Nearly as appalling as the case of Curtis Reeves who shot and killed a young father texting in a movie theater after he was struck with a bag of popcorn believing it was a weapon; topping the audacity charts he is a retired policeman who had close calls with patrons in other parts of the movie theater before needlessly snuffing out the life of Chad Olson. Adding insult to injury, certainly for the family of Olson, Reeves just recently received a bail hearing and was granted bail; his lawyer talking about how happy he was, how Mr. Reeves could get on with his life, be with his family. But Chad Olson doesn’t get to go back to his life, his young daughter has to grow up without a father; reeking of total inequity in the justice system is that when convicted Steubenville rapist Ma’lik Richmond was released after a year in juvenile detention and his lawyer appeared to be trying to make the public feel sorry for his client, Richmond, not the lawyer, bore the brunt of public scorn. So because Reeves is old we give him a pass and say nothing; you shoot someone over loud music, over texting in a movie theater, shoot and inevitably kill someone over trivial things? That’s what it has come to today, spotlighting who has an exaggerated sense of self importance, thinks they don’t have to tolerate anything they don’t like, exactly whom is incapable of handling routine life scenarios in an expectable way, socking to many.       

http://pix11.com/2014/04/17/man-steals-dentures-out-of-womans-mouth-after-she-rejects-him/

 http://abcnews.go.com/US/video/cop-granted-bail-florida-movie-theater-shooting-24531139

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/14/dick-cheney-defense-spending_n_5585129.html

It’s even present in our leaders; I had a cab guy not too long ago describe congress as a bunch of whinny babies who need their diapers changed and no, he wasn’t referring to John Boehner’s propensity for water works. Nor is it long serving government members who look like walking fossils to us 30 something’s forget teens, Thad Cochran, Charlie Rangel types; rather it’s when Hayley Barbour stood up at the republican governors convention declaring the republican party needed a proctology exam circa 2012, had a point yet was immediately ejected. It’s when people are willing to play chicken with the debt ceiling on a one person, hand full of person’s crusade to change Washington no matter if it downgrades our credit nationally, internationally, no matter if it shuts down the government meaning certain citizens, holding jobs don’t get paid, but of course not themselves, forget if it makes you the government official(s) look stupid, causes our country to be seen as an embarrassment when we can’t even keep the lights on. Forget it detracts from real, tangible work needing to be done in order to solve larger issues, handle things paramount to the American people and the future function of our nation; equal pay for equal work a relatively simple measure making a big difference, raising the national minimum wage another that can be done, has public support and the ability to make huge positive impacts to people. Instead our “leaders” are calling for the president’s impeachment over the immigration boarder crisis partially caused by people who can’t cooperate long enough to bring the bipartisan bill on the subject to a vote; we have a house speaker more interested in suing the president over perceived misuse of executive order employed amid congressional inaction than working to logically confront issues. But perhaps the last straw for the younger crowd today in thinking positively concerning older people was former Vice President Dick Cheney said we should fund the military before food stamps roads; never mind you’d need less food stamps able to funnel that money into defense spending if you allocated money for roads simultaneously correcting our crumbling infrastructure, putting an eye toward future needs, fueling construction jobs keeping more people employed and able to care for themselves. Never mind solid infrastructure, good roads means goods flow easily and efficiently allowing businesses to flourish, hire workers, influence the economy, ultimately ending in increased revenue for the federal government, for his precious defense spending without taking it away from the poor, destitute and barely eking by, many of them children.  But such is the mentality of old and entitled in America.       

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About Natasha Sapp

Proclaiming an edgy voice of reason to America,while bringing back the common sense to social issues.

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