I am so, so sorry

“A Fox News guest has been forced to apologize for suggesting Britain’s second biggest city was off-limits to non-Muslims.” [Story]

This story got me thinking about apologies. “I’m sorry” must be one of the first phrases learned by American children. Say you’re sorry.

Like everyone, I’ve done plenty of things to “be sorry” about but it sure feels like a meaningless expression. Even if you are sincerely contrite, so what? Does saying you sorry mean anything? Does it make a difference? It must because when someone fucks up, demands for a public apology are loud. But for the life of me I can’t see how it makes any difference. Certainly doesn’t unring the bell and more often than not it’s a half-assed apology (“I’m sorry if anyone was offended by seeing my johnson on Twitter. It was an error in judgement. My penis misspoke.”)

Let’s make it more personal. Your husband/wife gets caught sneak-fuckin’ and hopes to repair the damage with an apology. Is it somehow important to the injured party that the offender regrets his/her actions? (“Well, as long as you feel badly about what you did, okay.”) No. Not okay.

Maybe an apology is more about forgiveness than contrition. You won’t forgive me until I say I’m sorry. It just seem like bullshit to me. Maybe if I had kids I’ve have a better handle on this. They need to feel bad when they do something wrong. Is there no way to get there without an apology (genuine or half-assed)? And, honestly, I don’t have an alternative.

Reporter: The video shows you knocking the snot out of your girlfriend in that elevator. Are you sorry you did that?
Me: I wish I hadn’t done it but I did. Wish I had a do-over but I don’t.
Reporter: So, are you sorry or not?
Me: What difference would it make if I was. Wouldn’t change the fact I knocked crap out of her.

Maybe what I’m struggling with is after enough apologies, they become meaningless. A meaningless noise we’re expected to make. If I’m a dick, I’m still a dick no matter how many times I say I’m sorry.