What is wrong with the kids today?
you know, i never thought i’d ever speak that phrase…and i certainly never expected i’d be talking about “those crazy kids”…but here i am.
listen…i’m not old, at least not what i call old…i’m 35, so i’m not young either. however, i’m still young enough that i like new and exciting music, i know how to operate a computer and listen to an ipod…but i also know how to draw water from a well.
generation X…that is what we are labeled…those around my age. growing up, i really thought my generation was going to be able to make some changes in this world. i guess it may still be a little early to say whether that is going to come to pass or not, but the early indications are not encouraging. i don’t think all of the blame can be laid at our feet, however. the “baby boomers” need to step forward and shoulder some of this load, as well.
specifically, i want to focus on 2 things: censorship and what i like to call the “softening of america” (and i’m not talking about our obesity problem)
if the 60’s was the time of peace, love and freedom, the 2000’s are a complete 180 from that. there is no peace, people seem to hate each other, and while we are currently engaged in a war that is somehow being billed as a fight for our freedom, our precious freedoms right here in this country are under attack. i’m not sure when it happened, but people have become very intolerant of anything that they don’t agree with. i know that sort of attitude has always been around…it is nothing new, really. but it seems to me that those folks have become very adept at forcing their opinions upon a much wider group of people than ever before.
we haven’t quite reached the stage of burning books just yet, but God forbid you say curse word on the TV or the radio these days. video games seem to be getting a lot of heat, as well. i recently heard a story about one group’s attempt to get a video game called Graffiti banned. in the game, you run around spray painting graffiti on walls and such. seems pretty harmless, no? well, this group didn’t think so. they claimed that the game would excite children’s senses to the point where simply tagging items in the video game would be insufficient, and they would then head out and start going crazy with paint cans in our cities. when i hear people talking about how video games contribute to bad behavior and are to blame for a moral decline in this country, i always have to stop and wonder about what video games it was that Hitler was playing? or how about those folks in the KKK who were responsible for killing so many African Americans in the 60’s?
can music, movies, or video games influence people? certainly they can…but to lay the blame on them and call for bans and boycotts won’t solve anything. i mean, i wouldn’t think that it would be a stretch to say that more people are killed in this country every year as a result of bad roads than are killed by someone claiming a song/movie/video game was their inspiration.
there seems to be a very strong movement underway by people who want to protect us from ourselves…smoking bans, FCC regulations, seat belt laws…apparently, we don’t know how to take care of ourselves any longer, so we need laws to help make sure we survive and grow stronger. i think that just the opposite is happening, which brings me to my second point…
the softening of america…
those same folks who believe we all need to be protected from ourselves also seem to feel very strongly about how fragile the children of this country are today. they can’t be let outside to play without wrapping them in full-body-padding…we can’t let them see any cartoons that might feature an anvil falling on someone’s head…and no WAY should we ever expose them to any sort of negativity or criticism. they are tiny little vessels of hope and we have to protect them from the mean, cruel world.
listen…children are precious and they do need our protection, but this is the real world. not everything is peaches and cream and sunshine and roses…it is rough at times, and they need to be prepared for it. instead, they get sent to counseling, placed on medication, and locked away from their emotions…that way, their parents don’t have to deal with them. so, when they do have to finally face adversity, since they don’t know how to handle it, they resort to bringing a gun to school or building a bomb to put in the principal’s tailpipe.
it is just my belief that in an attempt to protect them and make sure they grow up healthy and strong, they have not been exposed to the reality of hardships in this world…and how can that be good for them?
i don’t propose to have any real groundbreaking solutions to these problems, but i think we need to recognize that there are a lot more important things in this world today than whether or not a comedian tells a dirty joke on the radio, and whether or not our kids hear it.