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Thursday, January 18, 2007


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.


Anonymous said...

Bong, you knocked another one out of the park!!

cary said...

I love when I read someone ELSE saying "take responsibility for your actions, and act responsibly."

Well said.

Gunny John said...

Douglas, you poor misguided man. How dare you support discipline and involvement in our children's lives? Shouldn't we just let them do whatever they want? There's no need to prepare them for the real world! Big government will take care of their desires and woes right? (sarcasm off)

Great post Douglas. I get disgusted every time I see yet another kid well on their way to being a welfare recipient, a criminal, or a professional victim.

Amazing that my kids are happy, well adjusted, and good students. Perhaps discipline, and teaching right from wrong is still worth something....

Anonymous said...

Hi Doug,

Well you know how old I am Doug and you know what, I have seen Girls get into fights and they are even more violent then when Boys get into fights, Boys get into fights and usually within a few scraps they will end up best of friends after a round or two, but when Girls get into fights it's very violent, if you only think of Women as the fairer sex you haven't seen too many of them get into fights, they get down right bloody and out for blood and they don't stop until it looks like one of them are ready for intensive care unit.

Anonymous said...

"Everything old is new again".

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."

I remember girlfights in Jr. High, a hundred years ago. The difference is we didn't have cell phones, much less cell phones that took pics that you could put all over the internet.

I heard an interesting phrase recently: the Youtubeification of Politics...which can be extrapolated to mean the Youtubeification of American and the World.

Orwell and Huxley, et al were wrong: We're watching Big Brother more than Big Brother is watching us.

Anonymous said...


Jenn is who we need to hear from about this, she is the youngest of us here and she probably remembers what it was like back in her Junior High School years and probably seen a bunch of young girls getting into fights big time.

kris said...

They call it "happy slapping" here in england. A kid with a cell phone to the ready points out a passerby and all cell phone's mates (or one, depending) slap or beat up the person- with the vid on You Tube and to other friends in minutes.

Happy slappings have kind of died down here- that happened right after a few separate incidents of people slapping the little scrotes back and harder.

It's more about the humiliation of the vid on You Tube. What got me about the report I saw re the New York girls was that as the victim didn't want to press charges, the matter was dropped- despite all perps clearly shown on the vid. I don't understand the DA's mentality. It's the state's case, not the victim's. You don't need a statement from her- just show the darn video to the jury and let them decide what happened!

Bushwack said...

Well said Doug.

The personal responsibility and accountability trait, is being shoved aside by the It's not my fault and I didn't do it trait.

Clinton brought that out all to well and our new Congress is set to make it law.

Anonymous said...

Girl fights are as old as the hills. You can't blame Clinton for Youtube or girlfights without sounding a little nutty.

Anonymous said...

"for" girlfights.

Douglas V. Gibbs said...

The purpose of this post is not to say that girlfights are suddenly happening and that it's all anyone's fault. The purpose is that girlfights, and other forms of violence, have become more than just a simple disagreement among different people. It's becoming a showcase, a competition on who can beat up who in the meanest way, and parade it all over like a trophy. Perhaps technology is partly to blame as well. However, I remember when I was young that mom and dad said to only fight when no other means was possible, then do your best to defend yourself. They didn't say get with your friends, beat the crap out of one person, and then do whatever you can to show what happened to as many people as possible - - - and they definitely didn't tell me to act like a bully, or pick fights cuz it was cool and that I had to represent. That is just ridiculous, but that is what is happening in today's society, and parents are not only not taking responsibility with their kids, they are egging the kids on to do these things, thinking that it is funny, somehow, when really, it is disturbing.

Anonymous said...

It's always been disturbing, and thus it will ever be. But don't blame it on Hillary Clinton...etc.

Anonymous said...

Nice picture but you sure look like a couple of jihadists. Do you have problems going through security?

Douglas V. Gibbs said...

nah, because I don't cry out to Allah, don't act in suspicious ways, don't strap bombs around my waist, and follow all of the rules. How about you?

Anonymous said...

I don't have a beard, so I'm all right. Anyway, I live in Boston and rarely go abroad.
La illaha ill'Allah. Mohammad ar-Rasul Allah!