Monday, October 02, 2006

Ooh, Child, Things are Gonna Get Easier (But Not Before They Get a Lot Harder)

Full disclosure time: I have a MySpace account. I know, I know, shocker, right? But yes, as a hard core webternet addict, I have a MySpace account that I generally check once a day. I've not met any lusty ladies who want to be my soul mates (though the cam girls, who all recently moved to Dallas, think I would be a terrific pal), and I'm pretty sure the youngest "friend" I have is no younger than 20. So maybe I'm not taking full advantage of all the benefits MySpace has to offer. To do that, I'd need to be a teenager.

A real life friend of mine, who is also on MySpace, recently discovered her teenage (14 or 15, I think) sister had an account as well when said sister asked her to be her MySpace friend. Now thankfully this sister's account is set to only be seen by her friends, because some of the things my friend found on the page disturbed her, and disturbed me when she told me about them. And it wasn't just the sister. Some of the sister's real life friends had the same sort of material. Material such as extremely suggestive headlines, inappropriate pictures, and conversational styles not fitting the sister's background (she talks like a thug). My response was typical, in that it contained my true feelings wrapped in extreme hyperbole. That is to say, I stated that all teenage girls today are whores. Now of course, I don't really believe that. But it illustrates my true feelings.

Teenagers, and to a lesser degree younger children, want to be older so badly. They want to drive, to drink, to attend "grown up" movies, all way before their time. This has been the case since time immemorial, and will probably be the case until the world melts in the supernova sun's heat. I did it, you probably did it. We don't really stop to enjoy youth until we're not young anymore. Thus, 30 year old slackers like myself revel at fart jokes, Jackass, and video games, when these are all things we should have enjoyed more when we were teenagers. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with them now (farts are pretty damn funny no matter what your age); I'm simply illustrating the attempt we all go through to recapture part of the fun and carefree spirit of youth that we overlooked because we were too busy trying to act like adults.

My friend lamented that this stuff gets worse and worse every year, and she doesn't see how it could ever get better. I believe it WILL get better, but, as the cliche goes, not before it gets a lot worse. There have already been hints of recovery, as illustrated by the backlash over all the "girl fight" videos that were being posted in MySpace accounts. But the simple fact that there are "girl fight" videos to post is a pure illustration of just how far kids have fallen. But they haven't bottomed out. And just like an addict has to hit bottom before recovery can truly begin, so too must kids hit bottom. And unfortunately, that bottom is going to be very, very bad. I truly believe that this epidemic won't begin the process of reversal until one of two things happens: 1) Authorities will discover a child porn/molestation ring operating solely online and soley through sites like MySpace, or 2) A kid will be killed by some creep he/she met online through one of those sites.

Now that might sound extreme, but I genuinely believe that's what it's going to take to get parents truly involved in their kids lives again. Parents MUST start actively parenting again, instead of letting media or the internet or whatever do it for them. Now I know this is going to sound all "Kids today! Get off the shed!", but I genuinely think children are being forced to grow up too fast by various media. But guess what? It's not the media's fault - it's the parents. And that's one of the major problems with the current administration; they don't want to lay blame for the degredation of children where it belongs, at the feet of the parents. Instead, they want to blame Janet Jackson's nipple, or the F bomb, or whatever other nonsense has their ire up this week, because then they don't have to feel guilty for the absentee parenting. It's all so easy when there's a ready scapegoat available for slaughter. That's what's really at the heart of all of the FCC fine increases and increased scrutiny. These ultra-conservative dillholes want to sanitize all media to the point where they can once again plop their kids in front of the TV, leave them unattended for hours, and not have to worry that Susie's gonna call Grandma a skeezy whore at Thanksgiving (again). It's selfishness on an epidemic scale, and it's disgusting.

Now you might say to yourself (if you know me), "But Bagboy, you HATE kids! Why would you care what happens to them?" True, I do hate kids. But in truth, I just hate being AROUND kids. I don't actually wish violence or harm on children and teenagers, and in fact believe we have a responsibility to keep them safe from the things/people they are incapable of protecting against themselves. It's all well and good to talk to them like adults, and treat them like adults, but you have to remember one important thing. THEY'RE NOT ADULTS! They don't have the discernment that adults do, because discernment only comes through experience and teaching. And it's the parents' responsibility to teach them, and to make sure that they experience things in a safe and nurturing way. That's not to say parents should hover, because that's almost as bad. But ground rules need to be set, and basic common sense needs to be enforced ("No matter how hot his picture might be, you will not/can not/should not meet that guy at a motel all alone. It's just a plain ol' bad idea, no matter what age you are.")

If I had to make a decision RIGHT NOW about having children that I would be held to for the rest of my life, I would say "No kids." But again, this isn't because I hate kids, necessarily. It's because I'm selfish. Selfish with my time, my money, my environment, my entertainment. I like things the way I like them, and I don't feel that I should have to give them up because I need to make a safe environment for children. But the difference between me and a large number of parents today is this: I recognize that I'm selfish, and to have a child in that mindset would be the worst kind of selfishness possible. But so many so-called "adults" want to have their baby cake and eat it too. They want to go out, party, drink, act like they always did before having kids, and still have kids, because hey...babies are cute. People don't think long term, that this is a life you are responsible for molding, for guiding, for teaching right and wrong. Just because little Hunter doesn't like time out doesn't mean time out or other forms of discipline (I'm looking at you, spanking) should be tossed aside. Parents need to remember who's in charge, and act accordingly. Until they do that...well, teenagers will continue to be whores.


Blogger hello jamie: said...


But, melting in supernova heat, Bill? You KNOW the zombies will get us first.

Good thinking; good writing.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Nikki said...

You should tell that friend of yours to do something about her skanky little thugged out sister...if you know, she actually talked to her mom and little sister more than once a month...


I agree with you. But you already knew that.

4:44 PM  
Blogger The Monkey Attack Victim said...

If "To Catch a Preditor" is to be believed, then there have already been Internet-enabled crimes. The problem is that the same media that hammered the image of a freaking 5 year old pagent girl has chosen, for whatever reason, not to get all up in arms about it and report on it because, as you stated, it really makes the parents look bad. We can't have people thinking about the parents role in the tragedy, that would be bad.

7:32 PM  
Blogger The Monkey Attack Victim said...

Oh, and teenagers are whores.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Babs said...

1- i have changed my profile after seeing a news report recently.
2- totally true about teenagers

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Josh R. said...

Parents like that are why I have a job.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Stanford T "Lucious As The Midnite" Lewis said...

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12:45 AM  
Anonymous Lavaplatos On Heels said...

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12:46 AM  
Anonymous Clashishia LaTardonelle Simmons said...

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12:49 AM  
Blogger TastyCakes said...

Just remember: The teenage a-holes today are the adult a-holes of tomorrow!

Here's a glimmer of hope, though: Every morning, just after the first period bell rings, the loudspeaker comes on and we all recite the Pledge of Allegiance, the Texas Pledge, and then observe a moment of silence.

Yesterday before school, some skateboarding-type students were playing hakky sak before school when their hakky got kicked onto the roof. One Freshman decided to shimmy up a drainpipe onto the roof (over 2 stories up) to retrieve it. Kids were cheering, yelling "jump!" and Faculty, principals, & assistant principals were out of their MINDS trying to figure out how to get him down and punish him. The first period bell rang and all students went to class, with that guy still up on the roof. As the loudspeaker came on with our morning routine, they were still trying to get him down, but in the middle of all of it, the kid STOPS to recite the pledge, the Texas pledge, and then observe the moment of silence...I must give him credit for relatively good character, just poor, poor judgement.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Vince Leibowitz said...

Ok. So, I found your blog. Love the Mineola stories.

Guess you did not find the Mineola-esque faux troll comments amusing, however.

In the Unity of the FCP & UMC,

11:50 PM  

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