June 27, 2009
Children and the adults who mistreat them
In the spirit of my rant from June 14, I’d now like to draw your attention to this fellow. As I’ve noted before, adults who complain about youths being insufficiently in awe of their elders should ask themselves if they’ve done anything to actually command the respect of young people in the first place. These days, the answer is usually “no.”
And the answer is “no” because of people like the one in the linked photo (or at least what he represents). Kunstler’s commentary on the subject sums it up quite well. What passes for an adult in America today is really just an overgrown child who apparently is incapable of even dressing himself in a way that doesn’t invite an outpouring of contempt.
I’m stealing from Karen De Coster on the overall theme here, but I couldn’t help but dwell just a little bit on how American adults have degenerated into a race of obese, risibly-dressed caricatures of six-year-olds who spend their days fiddling with overpriced gadgets and other useless playthings.
My larger point, however, is to draw this back to an examination of how the behavior of “adults” amounts to mistreatment and exploitation of the young. Adults owe it to the young to act like, well, adults. An adolescent who is surrounded by contemptible adults will ultimately hold adults in contempt, but most unfortunate is the fact that the adolescent will grow up without having the slightest clue about what it means to be an adult.
Did Junior’s parents get divorced because they didn’t feel “fulfilled?” Did little Sally’s mom bring home a lot of guys to “spend the night” while she was growing up? Did Bobby learn from Dad that you always spend every dime you make on a bunch of useless trinkets like trampolines and jet skis and RVs? Did Jenny learn from Mom that getting a weekly mini-pedi is anything other than a complete waste of money?
Sadly, the answer to these questions is usually yes in America today, so the same adults who now have the audacity to complain about the younger generation are the same ones who taught the youth to behave like a bunch of narcissistic, promiscuous spendthrifts.
Add to this the fact that the Baby-Boomers have essentially destroyed this nation with their endless profligacy, navel-gazing, and disregard for all things decent, and we end up in a situation where the message for future Americans can only be one thing: “you’re screwed.”
The youth get to pay the crushing taxes that will support the old, and they get to fight the wars that the geezers started, and all the while, the wizened lips of the elders continually whine about the young! Only a generation that thought Jonathan Livingston Seagull was actually a good book could muster up the lack of self-awareness that is necessary for such chutzpah.