Scranton: It’s time to ‘Get Smart’ |

Scranton: It’s time to ‘Get Smart’

Lance Scranton
Opinion columnist

It was a popular TV series that featured a sort of bungling secret agent who used various gadgets to keep ahead of organized crime syndicates bent on destroying America and the world.

Maxwell Smart always seemed to get the bad guy no matter how frustrated he made the bosses and Agent 99 (his love interest). The antics of Agent Smart were understood by the audience to be one part humor mixed with some satire and, for good measure, a splash of romance thrown in because Max was a good guy.

It was an era when the world seemed like a pretty straight-forward place where bad guys tried to destroy America and the good guys did their best to stop them. Most of the audience accepted the fact that the country they found themselves a part of was worth protecting no matter the little pokes and prods about Secret Service and organized groups who wanted to destroy the American way of life.

America was a beacon that the world looked to for shelter, protection and hope as crazy ideas about how the world should be run were bandied about by various nefarious organizations. Maybe we knew, or didn’t know, that while we were laughing at Maxwell Smart, there was a slow methodical march through our institutions of higher learning that involved ideas that most of us would have thought agencies like the Secret Service would want to keep their investigative eye upon.

But free speech has allowed ideas to percolate that run counter to common sense and a way of life that has existed for decades in our country and in our communities. Somewhere along the way, some people thought that we should feel sorry for people who oppose commonly held values such as working hard and following established laws. Just about everything is up for grabs these days in the interests of styles and fads.

The way to get smart and stay smart these days is to remember what’s really important and keep hangin’ in there while this crazy stuff gets worked out. It’s hard with inflation and the cost of living that has skyrocketed in just the past few months. We’ve all been here before and young people need to know that this will pass and things will get better.

Summer is a time to enjoy nice weather, recreate and take a few deep breaths in the interest of keeping things in perspective. The times are changing and they will change again — that’s a constant. Enjoy the next few months even if you might have to make some different plans based on the prices and costs of things, but whatever you do, remember what’s really important and start smart!

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