Video footage of teenage girls beating the crap out of another girl has dominated the news all week. It got to the point that I became sick of hearing about it, and would usually change the channel or turn off the television if the story came on the boob-tube.
Have you seen these latest stories draped all over the news channels?
Going back a few months, I remember coming across a similar news item about parents filming their kids fighting, betting money on the battles, and then broadcasting the matches on the internet.
This most recent one is about teenage girls beating the crap out of each other and filming it with their cell phones. The videos are all over the net.
We live in a violent society.
I am sure you've heard all of the arguments as to why we have become more violent. First be began to blame it on the movies, and there is a shred of credibility to that argument. Then we turned to the National Babysitter, television. Once again, there is some validity to that argument. Parents have always seen fit to blame our out of control youth on the music. Heck, all of us remember our parents hating the music we listened to, no matter what generation you hail from.
Gang violence is up, and damn near every teenager out there seems to think that they have some reason to think that they are a gangster. It's all about who's the meanest, how many fights one has been in, et cetera. The boys quite often shave their heads (motives, people, I am not making a blanket statement that shaved heads are a bad thing, but when one shaves the head and accompanies it with attitude, certain clothing, etc., the motive is apparent), drop their pants halfway down their buttcracks, turn their ballcaps sideways, throw signs, and begin speaking a language that only the dogs from the ghetto can understand.
Okay, I admit that right now I am running a huge risk of sounding like my parents twenty-five plus years ago. My parents didn't really understand my generation either.
I still remember my dad making the comment, after catching a brief snippet of my music, "You know, music is supposed to rhyme."
It did rhyme, but I suppose the wanging guitars and the tongue flicking, blood drenched lyrics were foreign enough to them that he didn't get the point.
"It's only rock-n-roll, man. If it's too loud, you're too old!"
Perhaps that is all this violence in society truly is. Maybe it is nothing more than the rantings and ravings of America's misunderstood youth, and we are just a bunch of old farts that don't understand the evolution of the generations.
Never mind the fact that with a sky rocketing divorce rate we never see fathers around taking on their responsibilities anymore. Let's just forget about the fact that as a society we tend to come up with as many excuses for our deteriorating society as we can, and then drug our children and ourselves to make it look like we are doing something proactive about it.
Don't get me wrong, I understand that there are real ailments out there that require real solutions. Depression exists. Sometimes people's chemical balances in their brains get out of whack and it is necessary for the application of one kind of drug therapy, or another. Fine. I accept that.
But it seems to me that abuse of these true scenarios is in our midst. As a result, we have taken psychological ailments and drug therapy to the extreme, and I believe it stems from humanity's fear of taking responsibility for our poor decision making abilities.
I saw a television commercial last night about a new drug out there for "Restless Leg Syndrome." Perhaps that is a real ailment. I am not putting down people who truly suffer from such discomfort. But it just seems like everything under the sun is an infliction, anymore, and there is a medical name for every one of them.
The one I see coming to us on the horizon is P.L.E.A.S.e (Post Labor Exhaustion Ailment Syndrome).
In my mind's eye I can see the television advertisement now for it:
Do you come home from a hard day's work and suffer from excess fatigue? Is it difficult for you to physically perform your usually easy 40 ounce curls? Unable to receive your expected eight hours of sleep during the work week because of having to rise out of bed early in the morning so that you can get ready for another laborious day on the job? Then the new drug, ScrueBoss, might be for you.
Medical Experts have identified a condition now known as Post Labor Exhaustion Ailment Syndrome, or P.L.E.A.S.e, that has been found to afflict a large number of the population normally after a long day of employment.
Some symptoms include aching joints, sore muscles, and tired limbs. This condition may interfere with your ability to perform some recreational activities, and could lead to more serious conditions such as anger, boredom, and hating your employer; which in some individuals, though rare, could lead to more serious conditions like "Going Postal."
Ask your doctor if ScrueBoss is for you. Some side effects may occur, such as an empty wallet, bruising from pissed off spouse, loss of house and home, lowered dignity levels, oversleeping, and vomiting. ScrueBoss is not for everyone, and may lead to more serious disorders like laziness or divorce. If any of these side effects result from taking ScrueBoss, stop taking the medication immediately, and promptly call a lawyer and sue your doctor.
Our parents had a better name for this ailment, and the growing discontent of today's society - - Irresponsibility.
Myself? I have been married for 22 years, have worked my butt off for 24 years, am the father to a prodigal son that nearly became a victim of our idiotic society (however, being an active parent can produce wonders), and a teenage daughter whose life is full of drama and trauma (as expected from a teenage girl), but she has a job and good grades as a junior in high school.
Being responsible may seem foreign to some people, but let me tell you, it really works.
So what's the point of this? And what does it have to do with a bunch of teens beating the crap out of each other?
Kids will be kids. They are not capable of making the decisions that we make, because they have not been seasoned by a long life of trials and errors. However, if not provided limitations, rules, and a foundational structure rooted in the values that hammer the difference between right and wrong, this kind of ridiculous activity can be expected. The girls are wrong for their actions, but the ultimate blame for the fighting girls, and the fall of our society into a shadow of what it once was, lays primarily on parents. A large number of parents are too busy with both of them working, and trying to make a living, that they forgot how to make a life. They forgot that the kids come before that expensive sportcar, and that fourteen hour day.
If you build a strong foundation, the kids may rebel at one point or another, but most often they will return to those strong values that they were taught. But to return to such values, the values must be presented by parents taking their parental roles seriously, and doing everything they can to produce children that will be a fine addition to our society.
I am not pointing fingers at anyone - - - but discipline goes a long way.