Thursday, October 23, 2014

Notes on a Culture

                With some studies suggesting that almost 50% of Junior High School kids are engaging in some kind of sex, it seems time to pause and reflect.

                I have read two articles in particular lately that solidify that conclusion. One was titled “She’s proud of her three moms.” Most of us are familiar with the controversial school book (for pre-teens) “Heather Has Two Mommies.” But this article chronicles the experience of a teenage girl (who wrote the article- and did it very well I might add) whose biological mother (Susan) and father (name never given- just ‘dad’) got divorced when she was 2. Shortly after that, she states, her mother showed up with another woman, “Kimmie.” At six years of age, her dad (much slower on the rebound then mom, apparently) got married to a woman named “Chrissy.” So she has four- count them, four- parents now…a dad and three mothers. (Talk about a “Full House”; even in poker terms she only needs one more dad to qualify).  “She claims they all get along and that she loves them all, yet they have “four different personalities offering me four different opinions on every matter of my life.”

                That can’t be easy- or optimal. She states that her biological mother and her dad’s second wife often give her “completely opposite advice”, yet she remains “loyal to each of them, making sure they all feel equally loved and needed, and that their advice is equally appreciated.”

                The second article was even more disturbing. Titled “Horrors on video lure teen viewers”, it   chronicled the allure brutal “snuff” videos apparently have on many of today’s youth. This article was recently in a Twin Cities newspaper.

                In Waseca, Minnesota, a 17 year old boy’s parents say their son told them recently how he repeatedly watched graphic videos (beheadings and dismemberments and the like) as he also consumed himself with making secret, unfulfilled plans to kill his family and set off bombs at the local school. He told his parents that he had become obsessed with the videos and started to like them, his father said. His parents said they want other parents to be aware of what their children might be watching on smart-phones and laptops.

                The article continued: “Fifteen miles from Waseca, in the town of Owatonna, tattooed young men ran their painted skateboards over ramps and pipes at a skate park one recent evening. Most said they’d seen a video of an execution, brutal fight or bad accident.

                “It’s, like, what kids get a kick out of nowadays,” said one skater in a white T-shirt and baseball cap, who didn’t want to give his name. “It’s worse than it should be but you can’t stop it,” said another.

                The videos are often shared on social media and shown in the back of a classroom on somebody’s phone they said. One student watched a few of the videos- one of an execution shooting, another of a group of boys murdering another boy with a hammer. Other kids egged classmates to watch. “They kind of, like…showed it to everyone,” he said. “They said, hey, check this out, it’s gross.”

                Several students said they watched only a few of these videos and that was enough to sear their memories. “You can’t erase ‘em,” one said.

                What we choose to watch onscreen says a lot about a society and where it might be headed.

                We’ve gone from “Leave it to Beaver” to “Hand Me the Cleaver.” From “Bewitched” to “Beheaded” and from “My Three Sons” to “My Three Mommies.” From “Father Knows Best” to “Father (transsexual) Shows Breast.” If "he's" around at all.
               Forget the full house.  Maybe he could become a fourth mommie.


                That’s “progress” for you.




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