I've lived in America my whole life and I have never understood our cultural obsession with apologies, and endless wrangling over how "genuine" a given apology is. A good tearful apology seems to rank higher than fixing whatever the hell you just broke (if possible), and certainly seems to matter more than any particular act of atonement made by or punishment meted out to the offender. I've seen the Nancy Graces of this world huff and sputter over whether or not death row inmates seemed "apologetic," because, you know, killing the bastard just isn't enough. We need that apology.
Which brings us to Joe Wilson and Serena Williams. (I didn't watch the Video Music Awards so I don't have an opinion on Kanye. Sorry.) Serena mouthed off to an official, got herself penalized and summarily eliminated from the US Open. It happens. They also fined her ten grand - and I don't care how rich you are, no one wants to get fined ten grand. That's it. End of story. Is she "sorry?" Who cares? She got eliminated from the US Open. What the hell else do you want? Why people keep on insisting she keep on apologizing is a mystery to me. If mouthing off to an official means you have to apologize until the end of time, then Lou Pinella might as well spend the rest of his life going around wearing sackcloth and ashes.
Similarly, I don't care if Joe Wilson apologizes to President Obama, or if he gets censured for that matter. The president is a big boy and I'm sure he's been called worse things in his day. If Wilson formally apologizes or gets censured by the House that makes the whole thing go away, and, frankly, I'd rather he explain precisely why he thought President Obama was lying than apologize. In that situation, there are no good options for Wilson, because he would have to admit that either he hasn't read any of the House bills up for consideration, has the reading comprehension skills of a tapir, or that he was engaging in a cheap political stunt. Which is it, Congressman? I'm much more interested in hearing your explanation than your apology.
Of course, I realize some of my remarks in this post may have offended some readers. If that's the case, then I offer my heartfelt apologies.