March 19, 2006

Well, Ex-cuuuse Me!

Wherein I admit I was wrong.


"I'm sorry too, Dimitri. I'm very sorry. Alright! You're sorrier than I am! But I am sorry as well. I am as sorry as you are, Dimitri. Don't say that you are more sorry than I am, because I am capable of being just as sorry as you are. So we're both sorry, alright? Alright." -- President Muffley on the phone with Premier Kissoff in "Dr. Strangelove"

FIRST LET ME SAY I'M SORRY I WROTE THIS APOLOGY and that I also wrote this. . I'm sorry because after you read this apology and that other article you'll be sorry too.

Still you might want to print it out and use it for your own apologies to come. It is now clear that all Americans must be ready to apologize for everything to everyone every single day of the week for the rest of their sorry lives. Be prepared.

I begin by noting that at present, as so often in the past, I'm sorry. Yes, I am very, very sorry. It was all my fault and I am sorry for it all.

I am sorry, as always, for what I said. It was thoughtless and rude. It wasn't really what I meant or felt in my heart. Many have taken my remarks to mean other than what I said. Why, I even meant them to mean other than what they meant when I said them.

Well, the damage is done and I can't undo the past. All I can do is stand here strapped in the pillory of the present as all those whom I have so wrongly and without malice slandered cry like the little girly-men they are, even the girls. But their pain is now my pain. I cringe to see them writhe with the bleeding agony of those raw wounds I ripped open by my harsh and unconsidered remarks.

I feel really bad about this. I feel even worse that I, through my abject failure to realize how deeply the dull hatchet of my speech would chop into them, even, yea, down to the living blue-veined bone -- that I simply stood by and allowed the burning salt of my senseless scorn to pour without limit into their raw and festering souls. I am, as I said, deeply sorry and feel bad besides.

In passing, I would like to note for the record, that I did not know the gun was loaded.

But I have heard the rising torrent of justifiable outrage; the howls of those whose most sacred, festering and inane ideological beliefs I have eviscerated with the senseless whirring chain-saw of my words. To them I offer, in deep and abject
humility -- since I am, because I spoke those words, lower than a cockroach's stool stuck to the bottom of a homeless hermit's shabby sandal in the storm drains of Las Vegas -- my most sincere if unworthy apology. I have heard the skin-shuddering shrieks of those who have been sliced into bloody gobbets of flesh by my remarks. Though I am unworthy to feel that pain, I feel it still as if it were a red-hot 3/4 inch Makita drill bit driven into the base of my skull and left there set on "Wash-Rinse-Repeat."

True, I am not yet one of those Olympian apologizers such as the oafish and overweight Senate slime-ball Dick Durbin whose driving need to make a drooling apology is noted over 1,000 times in our papers of record. Nor am I even fit to look at the handsome, well turned out, and always intellectually crisp ruler of the known universe Karl Rove who is currently running a distant second in the "We are going to stamp our feet and hold our breath until he apologizes " sweepstakes.

Compared to those two mighty Sweeps leaders in the media's current "You've heard it before and you'll hear it 15,000 times more in 24 hours" approach to information, I am a piker. Hardly anyone has called on me to apologize for anything I've said, except for perhaps my wife when she asked me if her new dress was slimming. Being on the telephone at the time, I told the truth and said I couldn't say since I couldn't see it. She made me apologize for 178 minutes for that remark -- and they weren't night-time, weekend or rollover minutes either.

Nevertheless, we live in such a craven, soft, moist and testosterone-lite society that it would be wise to always be apologizing for something you either have said or may say. In America these days we are a bunch of sorry sons-of-bitches -- male or female -- and we'd best be saying we're sorry all the time.

So, well, I am sorry. I apologize. I didn't think about what I said when I said it. I hurt feelings when all I meant to do was to either maim, kill, or tenderize. I deeply regret that I diminished your self-esteem. I regret even more that I left you alive and able to talk to the news media over the noise of your sucking chest wound.

But since that is the case, please accept these following sentiments as my boilerplate apology, and remember to refer to them often in the decades to come:

I come to you today penitent, conscience-stricken, regretful and contrite. I have been touched by your pain and deeply regret my words. I repent them with every shred of my soul. I am, for having hurt your feelings and bruised your tender buttons, a base and abject man mortified by my cheesy, contemptible, insignificant,. shabby, small, and pathetic being. I know now the low things I have said and I am filled with remorse, melancholy, and self-reproach. If I could have myself flogged fleshless by an flock of Carmelite nuns on Methamphetamine I would so. But I can't locate those sisters right now, so I must continue to apologize.

I therefore continue to apologize.

I am so wretched to have said the bad words to you. They may well have been true, but I forgot that your feelings, no matter how puerile, always trump the truth in this world. So I admit that even though they were true, my words were unworthy of me and hurtful to you. I see your raw suppurating feelings oozing to the top of your mind and erupting from your mouth wrapped around your screams. I shall carry that Polaroid with me for the rest of my days right next to the organ donor card in my wallet. Can I fill one out for you?

But I digress.

I am compelled by my inner idiot to say that I bleed for you, wish only to console you, empathize with you, and open my heart in an anguished lament that my words, wittingly or unwittingly, have raised upon your soul these unlanced boils of your metaphysical angst. It is my hope you will allow me to lance them and to bandage them in the saline soaked cloth of a this apology.

I come before you today an abashed, chagrined, conscience stricken, guilty, shamed, demeaned, crestfallen, humiliated, penitent and mortified man. I can only seek, humbly, that one thing that will make me whole again after ripping the flesh of your feelings so senselessly. That one thing is the infinite balm of your acceptance of this, my guilty apology, and your forgiveness.

In this I hope to be resurrected to the realm of the acceptably human. I live in this hope because I have a deep and abiding faith that although I am really, really sorry, you are the one person in the universe who is a sorrier son-of-a-bitch than I am.

Thank you for letting me share.

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Posted by Vanderleun at March 19, 2006 10:47 AM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.


While fully acknowledging that there are circumstances that merit a heart felt apology, let me just address some advice that my father gave me to all the serial apologizers:

"You need to shut the hell up before I give you something that you'll really be sorry about."

Note: Much more profanity was involved, and you can rest assured that he wasn't kidding.

Posted by: Old Dad at June 24, 2005 11:30 AM

mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa...

Groveling sounds better in Latin.

Posted by: dymphna at June 24, 2005 11:32 AM

Is saying 'sorry' the confessional of the leftists?

But since they are self-absorbed, instead a small enclosed stall in which only a priest hears the cries of sorrow from the penitent, it's a conference room packed with the press and their cameras to capture and replay the confession ad infinitum?

"Go, my son, and hear your words replayed for two weeks, or until something more interesting comes along, on all the news outlets and then you shall be free from your sin."

Posted by: Rusticus at June 24, 2005 12:47 PM

"You owe me an apology."
-- Cole Oyl, father of Olive.

Posted by: The Owner's Manual at June 24, 2005 1:25 PM

So, did O'Reilly call you on the phone and cry or something?
There's a world of difference between making a mistake and needing to apologise. I may think that Donald Trump is an jack*** (new obscenity rule noted), but I doubt my apologising will do him any good (or ill).
You sound like you need a beer, dude. Go get a cold Dos Equiis, and watch some cartoons or something.

Posted by: ed in texas at June 24, 2005 1:59 PM

Once more, with feeling.

Posted by: neo-neocon at June 24, 2005 8:06 PM

Cockroach stool!!!????
Please do not say Cockroach Stool!!!

Would be a good name for a heavy metal band, though.

Posted by: flannelputz at June 24, 2005 8:45 PM

A million years ago I told a Gunnery Sergeant that I was sorry for something I'd bollixed.

What an education that was.

"Don't apologize. Marines are NEVER "sorry". Take responsibility, then go fix anything that needs fixing."

(The above reminiscence has been edited to conform to the standards of comportment in effect on Gerard's blog. And it's a good thing, too, because I don't think I could fit the rest of the Gunny's wisdom in in under five blue-scorched paragraphs.)

Posted by: TmjUtah at June 24, 2005 9:50 PM

"Karl Rove, the White House adviser, in choosing to deliver his scurrilous remarks about 9/11 in New York - "conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers" - insulted not only the New Yorkers who suffered directly from 9/11 but also our government officials, who in a rare display deferred partisanship for the common good.

President Bush and Mr. Rove abused that spirit of cooperation, actively misleading both parties in Congress to support a hasty war targeting the wrong enemy.

Now, when the disaster of that misguided crusade has become evident, White House officials seek to deflect justified criticism with Mr. Rove's appalling remarks not far from ground zero. Have they no shame?"

Posted by: kirby at June 25, 2005 6:03 AM

President Muffley on the phone with Premier Kissoff in "Dr. Strangelove:"

I'm sorry too, Dimitri. I'm very sorry. Alright! You're sorrier than I am! But I am sorry as well. I am as sorry as you are, Dimitri. Don't say that you are more sorry than I am, because I am capable of being just as sorry as you are. So we're both sorry, alright? Alright."

Posted by: M. Murcek at June 28, 2005 11:59 AM

I liked that so much, I pasted it into the beginning of the essay. Thanks!

Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at June 28, 2005 12:05 PM

Excellent, most excellent Mr. Vanderleun...

Used this piece over at my place...


Posted by: Rick at June 29, 2005 6:26 PM

I'm not sorry and I'm not apologizing. I have done nothing to apologize for, and I will not apologize for what I have done. Had I the opportunity to do it again, I would.

What I did was right, it was proper, and it was necessary. I will not apologize for doing anything that helps another, or which stops a 3rd party from harming another. It is not your right to tell me I have to wait for the 'proper authorities' when, by acting, I can keep the matter from getting worse. You either learn to trust in my judgement, or you can get lost.

If you don't like it, you can lump it. Take it down the road and dump it.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg at March 19, 2006 1:41 PM

How typical of you, Gerard, that you think you can get off the hook by merely apologizing for your own shortcomings. Oh, no. You're just getting started. Get back down on your knees and apologize for all the misdeeds of your race, gender, ethnic background, nationality, religion (or lack thereof), political party, economic class, and age bracket. While you didn't technically commit those sins, you must know that in this enlightened and politically correct world, guilt is communal.

Next, you must apologize for the transgressions of your ancestors -- and that includes all previous generations of people who share your skin color, ethnic background, religious persuasion, and so forth, even if you're not actually descended from them. Have you publicly embraced the notion of reparations for slavery? Have you apologized to every Muslim in the world for the Crusades? Have you begged the Japanese to forgive you for the atom-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Craved the pardon of the Irish for the Potato Famine? Abased yourself before the Native Americans for the abuses they've suffered? It's incumbent upon you to comb through the history books, find every vile deed committed by anyone who resembled you in any way, and prostrate yourself before the victims in an agony of self-loathing.

I hope you're wearing kneepads. You're going to be down there for a long, long time.

Posted by: Pat at March 19, 2006 10:35 PM

Adequate /s, but perfect would be an image of a puppy and a kitten.

Posted by: mrp at March 20, 2006 5:35 AM

Deep Sorriness Atonement Song

(for missed appointment, BBC North, Manchester)

The man who sold Manhattan for a halfway decent bangle,
He had talks with Adolf Hitler and could see it from his angle,
And he could have signed the Quarrymen but didn't think they'd make it
So he bought a cake on Pudding Lane and thought "Oh well I'll bake it"

But his chances they were slim
And his brothers they were Grimm,
And he's sorry, very sorry,
But I'm sorrier than him.

And the drunken plastic surgeon who said "I know, let's enlarge 'em!"
And the bloke who told the Light Brigade "Oh what the hell, let's charge
The magician with an early evening gig on the Titanic
And the Mayor who told the people of Atlantis not to panic,

And the Dong about his nose
And the Pobble re his toes,
They're all sorry very sorry
But I'm sorrier than those.

And don't forget the Bible, with the Sodomites and Judas,
And Onan who discovered something nothing was as rude as,
And anyone who reckoned it was City's year for Wembley.
And the kid who called Napoleon a shortarse in assembly,

And the man who always smiles
Cause he knows I have his files,
They're all sorry, really sorry,
But I'm sorrier by miles.

And Robert Falcon Scott who lost the race to the Norwegian,
And anyone who's ever split a pint with a Glaswegian,
Or told a Finn a joke or spent an hour with a Swiss-German,
Or got a mermaid in the sack and found it was a merman,

Or him who smelt a rat,
And got curious as a cat,
They're all sorry, deeply sorry,
But I'm sorrier than that.

All the people who were rubbish when we needed them to do it,
Whose wires crossed, whose spirit failed, who ballsed it up or blew it,
All notches of nul points and all who have a problem Houston,
At least they weren't in Kensington when they should have been at Euston.

For I didn't build the Wall
And I didn't cause the Fall
But I'm sorry, Lord, I'm sorry,
I'm the sorriest of all.

-- Glyn Maxwell

from The Breakage

Posted by: Tom Parker at March 20, 2006 6:05 AM

This post is a prime example of why I love this site. The thoughts expressed make me think, laugh, and think some more.

Posted by: teri at March 20, 2006 6:01 PM

"Gerard, Come back!"
"Come back and live with me and Ma and the other Ma, and the other Ma......"
(with apologies to "Shane")
Gerard, you at least tried to get us to use our brains on Sunday. Your dream of Hollywood, movie stars, expensive cars, capitalism run amok, was too much. Like Icarus, you flew too close to the sun.....
Gerard, I salute you...
and find you damned attractive as well......
Oh well, late to the party as usual.......

Posted by: moondog at March 21, 2006 12:55 PM

Okay. I'm back and I'm NOT SORRY!

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at March 21, 2006 2:49 PM
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