The Culture of Oops

By Alberto Pupo

The Oops culture., more often than not in American society, tragic or vile events are labeled as mistakes. Bad policy decisions are apologized for. Certain events and rushing into useless wars are called “lapses in intelligence”. It seems that in order to explain away deliberately reprehensible actions, these actions are instead labeled as mistakes and blamed on incompetence. However in a Nation were civic and military leadership are ooopsendowed with education and certifications how is it that vile policies and actions are always incompetence? Are we really that incompetent as a Nation? Or are these actions simply Machiavellian machinations to obscure evil actions and escape any form of accountability?


The oops culture is a very conservative notion. For example 9/11, the straightforward explanation was to explain away everything as an intelligence mistake”. We see this theme ongoing throughout most of the War of Terror. Lack of wmd’s, torture, and violation of civil liberties were merely noted as an oops upon the people. If anyone dares to suggest coordination, or strategic planning, they are dubbed a “conspiracy monger” (one of the most vile epithets in American society). Americans are taught by their leader and the Media that “shit happens”. When lives are lost and tragedy strikes the simplest explanation is always the one were highly intelligent an educated people are suddenly incompetent, sadly most people buy this story.


The oops culture is a capitalist trademark. In the Corporate world everything that causes some form of harm is merely a mistake. The environmental destruction caused by oil companies is nothing more than an oops. When workers are illegally terminated from a job its nothing more than an oops. Meanwhile the boards that are dominated by “brilliant white men”. Are always shielded from the accountability of their actions. Rather than suffer any prosecution or beheld to accountability, thins they are allowed to hide behind the almighty Oops, and live on to cheat and swindle another day. This is a tragedy as it cheats our society from achieving progress and from being able to hold individuals accountable for vile policies.


Yet the oops culture is quite ironic. Conservatives love to pervert the very notion of accountability. In the world of the Conservative accountability is a concept they hold against the poor and middle class. The poor are always responsible for their condition. This concept of accountability is also used against minorities who must accept their punishments for their wrongs. However if you are among the wealth, powerful and elite, any sort of conspiratorial action can be merely dismissed as “incompetence” or a lapse in judgment and fixed with a hollow apology. Welcome to the culture of oops.

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