I am running the risk of saying something which will upset the millions of orphans who have been spiritually abandoned by their parents and handed over to a surrogate mother named (non-)Music Television and a surrogate father named Facebook.
If one is to pick their battles, I think this one is worth it.
In my opinion, they need to be upset. American children are given unprecedented amounts of resources, technology, information, and supplies to build absolute mansions of their lives in our communities.
Following the model, they lackadaisically proceed, unaware of how miraculous and unprecedented their gifts, and begin to build on foundations of not merely shifting sands, but on a sifting, heaving, suffocating desert dunes. America is drowning in the speed of its advancement by not valuing moral character embedded in that progress.
When the oxygen begins to run out quickly, prescribe the unruly child some pills.
Why address the parents? It appears to me they don’t have the first clue about what’s going on all around them.
My Opinion: Katy Perry is a creeper.
I had the misfortune of stumbling on the music video of Katy Perry’s “Firework” the other day. I think what got my attention was the flitting image of what appeared to be a teenage cancer patient combusting. My wife stopped for a minute and watched it too. “How old is she?” my wife asked. “She looks like she’s thirty. Is she a creeper?” I looked at all the teenagers sprinting all around her like electrons around a well-marketed MTV nucleus.
After a quick web search, I found out Perry is 26 years old and a portrait of insight and wisdom. She sings about being a hot California girl who will “melt your popsicle.” She unfurls brilliant lyrics including “You want to pet my kitty you dirty little doggy?” and “Ooh, my cookie monster wants a taste test. Be a big boy and I’ll show you the rest.”
In the “Firework” video she appears to walk through rioting teens that are in danger of third-degree burns from fireworks which get lodged in their pants and shirts. I guess this is some sort of attempt at inspirational metaphor.
Perry asks some deep philosophical questions about whether these teenagers ever feel like empty plastic bags. After all, a good option for a teenager to deal with domestic violence is to shove your father on your way to a rave where you can get really cheap Ecstasy. If you’re overweight, go ahead and strip down to your underwear and jump into a swimming pool full of other naked teenagers. If you’re confused about your sexuality go ahead and make out with a dude. If you’re a cancer patient in Stephen King’s hospital, stroll over to Labor and Delivery to see the beauty of life erupting from a screaming mother while you are apparently dying.
Then again, maybe I’m taking this too seriously. Perry sings: “After a hurricane comes a rainbow.” A rainbow which shines above carnage of destroyed infrastructure and bloated bodies. A rainbow of inclusion, tolerance, and epidemic levels of genital warts and herpes.
Oh yeah, evidently doing magic card tricks on the street is also really, really awesome somehow.
Perry wades through these situations as some sort of Greek siren. Confused teenagers with absentee parents have finally found the big sister they always wanted, luring them seductively toward shipwreck.
Then again, if she was not someone to look up to, she wouldn’t be famous right? Somehow this person sold over 7 million copies of her song “Teenage Dream.” Snoop Dog raps about Perry and her friends being “tone tan fit and ready.” If we aren’t sickened by this, then I’m pretty sure plagues are coming.
These Kids Didn’t Hit A Baseball Through My Window. These Kids Are Destroying Themselves.
I don’t mean to sound like a bitter old man. These kids didn’t hit a baseball through my window. They don’t have time for baseball when they’re practicing their killing skills playing World of Warcraft or Call of Duty on weeklong binges fueled by energy drinks.
I’m not the old muttering man in the dark, dangerous-looking house down the block. I’m the guy with kids of my own, and I am targeting an enemy of decency, order, and freedom in a culture war. Children are brutalizing each other with a stimulus addiction. Dad, if he is home or involved at all, remains unresponsive and frightening, embedded in couch cushions.
The critical mass levels of irrationality are creating a backlash. Who knew the rock star of the day would be the guy with a job who is actually faithful to his spouse? Who knew that toughness, reliability, and moral character would be both the most hated and wanted quality around? It’s hard to take your eyes off the shiny things when your seared conscience is buried in busy-ness.
America is generating a real preoccupation with people who go berserk. Active shooters on high school and college campuses are followed by candlelight vigils and religious musicians soothing communities with newly administered post-traumatic stress disorders. This level of going berserk horrifies America and yet these situations keep happening.
Less intense beserkitude becomes a giggly coping mechanism for the increasingly frustrated.
Videos of office workers snapping, thrashing photocopiers, launching their computer monitors across the desk, and knocking down cubicle walls like dominos are enjoyably emailed back and forth. That little chuckle you heard in the cubicle next to you which made the hair on your neck and back stand on end, that was your coworker.
Why do you think the television show “The Office” is so popular? Because our workforce is not filled with men. It is full of emasculated cowards who would rather exhaust themselves on the process of avoiding work than identifying a vocation which doesn’t merely edify yourself, but builds the community around you in the process with passion, intensity, innovation. Aren’t we, as men, as fathers, built to command respect? Not if we allow our own degradation. If we don’t stand up for ourselves, then our wives and children go next. If you aren’t doing anything about it, you deserve what you get.
Sorry there is no class in college which issues you this kind of knowledge. Daddy’s money can’t buy it. No infomercial can send it to you along with a free key chain if you order today. You have to think for yourself, turn off some of the white noise, and look around. You begin to be a genuine human being at that point.
Has America Completely Forgotten What It Means to Be Free?
America’s current concept of freedom finds itself in a domestic violence incident. Obese children threaten the lives of their parents who are afraid the kids will charge them with battery for disciplining them while teenagers barricade themselves in iPods and oxycontin, planning the next burglary to prevent getting junk-sick.
The smart kids go to college to get a degree in a field they can’t find a job in. The dumb kids get a minimum wage job until they get so frustrated they drown themselves in cheap excuses and Natural Light. The really dumb kids get masters degrees and are stunned with what they find when they get out there, in the heat. They find relief in an innocuous job in some corner of some organization where their poor decision making and mediocrity is tolerated enough by their subordinates to remain at the tolerable level of behind-the-back ridicule. Those bad apples, once frustrated enough, will leave. You can return to your office and continue moving this stack of policy papers from this portion of your desk to that.
There is no freedom in this. There is nothing that commands respect. There is nothing disciplined or admirable. There is only a vicious, monumental failure that treads the heels of cowardice. Self-knowledge, awareness, tenacity, and innovation are American. These reject weakness. These reject cowardice. It fiercely contests disconnection, irrationality, and failure. It becomes honest in the face of a thousand psychologists who threaten the core of reason. To survive a short range ambush, the only way you survive is to assault through it.
Men Make Jokes When They Could Make History
When men discover they will be the father of a daughter, they make jokes about cleaning their gun in the living room when the boys come calling.
If they truly desire the protection of their children, they would turn the TV off, disconnect the cell phones, and take their children through rain-dripping forests, through the paths of wild animals, through the crops that lean in the waves of wind, through the bindings of brilliant books, through technology bowing to the human as one of his most effective tools, through prayer, through discipline, through each other’s language both spoken and unspoken as they puzzle through senseless streets and piece together meaning and whole love.
These men would revolutionize education. They would revitalize marriage. They would nod at one another as they pass, and support each other in their suffering as they strive toward a secure and flourishing future. Their daughters, secure and powerful, would find themselves trodding on serpents and wading through an unparalleled glory.
Mack Dreyfuss is a freelance writer and writes on a variety of topics while doing his best to enjoy all four seasons. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife and daughter. He has been rumored to occasionally change a diaper one-handed, but his wife states that such a feat has never been witnessed. You can read more of his work at themackdreyfusslounge.com.