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Parasiliti: Where's the noise?

February 10, 2013|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com
  • Bob Parasiliti
Joe Crocetta

Sometimes, it all comes down to how you look at things.

Every set of circumstances can be viewed from different angles, and there are many different opinions about those circumstances, views and angles.

For example, it is said that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” — which implies he who complains the loudest usually gets his way to shut him up.

That’s a huge concept in my business.

If anyone complains, newspapers either change, investigate or report on something to resolve the injustice. It could be as small as a cat stuck in a tree.

No matter the story, there is a level of grumbling because of a perceived infringement of rights or beliefs.

Now, let’s take a look at that squeaky wheel from another side.

Would that same concept work if a number of people came out in favor of something?

I started wondering that the other day while at a basketball doubleheader at Hagerstown Community College. What would happen to this area if fans and citizens got positively behind a cause?

I’ve attended countless sporting events over the last 25 1/2 years and noticed a dwindling number of spectators in the stands.

Sometimes, you need to hold a mirror in front of their faces to see if they steam it up, just to make sure they’re alive.

Sporting events are supposed to be exciting — and like this topic, everyone has a different view of that — but you wouldn’t know it by listening to the crowd at HCC on Wednesday.

It was quiet during the game. I experienced more noise the night before when I went to the movies.

The loudest audible noise came at halftime, when everyone began to talk among themselves.

And despite some pretty powerful athletic moves on the floor, the loudest blast of the night came to dispute a referee’s call, because that seems to be the only thing that matters.

Meanwhile, during the game, many people are going numb while playing with their cell phones. Attention spans are the length of a good belch.

I can say something this controversial because those people won’t know it. They lost interest and stopped reading about two paragraphs back.

Finally, most of the people in the stands seem to be relatives of the players — and many of them are sneaking out early, as if they were attending church. There are few young people or classmates attending the games now.

I’m not the only one noticing this. Others who have moved have wondered aloud where the fans are and why they are so quiet. It wasn’t that way in their hometowns.

In fact, travel 15 miles north to Greencastle or Waynesboro, and people — young and old — fill the stands for high school events. Twenty miles south in Martinsburg, it’s the same story.

But here, in Washington County, the motto is “Apathy? Who cares?”

There was a time when the stands were full.

There was a day when these events weren’t to go out and back the athletes as much as it was civic pride. In older days, people looked forward to these games as an inexpensive opportunity to see friends while publicly backing their town and local school.

Now, for some reason in this county, people are too busy to care.

But when the wheel squeaks in that positive fashion, things have a habit of getting done.

It’s called progress.

The psychology of it would suggest that positive encouragement sustains positive actions.

Maybe our youth wouldn’t be as disgruntled about their lives.

Maybe parents would be more relaxed.

Maybe we wouldn’t go to work and live our lives expecting the worse.

Maybe our government would see this and actually do something to move this area forward. All they get is negative energy because people only turn out when they disagree with something.

Maybe …

There are two problems with the positive view on the squeaky wheel analogy, though.

First, it’s never reported nor does it cause a stir.

And, grease sales at hardware stores would slip dramatically.

Bob Parasiliti is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-791-7358 or at bobp@herald-mail.com.

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