Disclaimer: Grandma? There's probably going to be a whole lot of F-bombs. Also, authorities, parents and family members are encouraged to ignore most of the confessions below.
The media again. Or still. Or, perhaps I didn't get enough sleep and I tend to get irritable and maybe I become slightly furious about random shit while I lie in bed trying to turn my brain off... In any case, here are the random rants running around in Krissy's brain today:
What The Fuck Have We Done to Our Kids?
I suppose nearly everyone has an idyllic reminiscence of their own formative years, and probably each generation is equally baffled by each subsequent generation. I'm no exception, obviously, because as my 12-year-old public middle school student continues to tell me on a daily basis about kids she knows that cut themselves, do drugs and get into fights, I can’t help but think kids are more fucked up now than they were when I was that age.
Last year, tragically, an 11 year old boy from her grade level committed suicide. An eleven year old boy. Jesus. There are seemingly endless media reports about bullied kids and teen suicide. What the fuck are we doing so wrong with these kids?
There is quite obviously some collapse in society. Maybe it's us, the Y Generation and our over-indulgent, self-absorbed, inconsistent and detached parenting styles? Maybe it’s the War on Christmas, whatever the fuck that is. Maybe it has something to do gay marriage or the breakdown of the traditional family unit. It could possibly be this eruption of bullying seen in recent... Or not.
Nothing Yet, But We're Working On It
While most of us choose to see our late childhood years through some sort of rose-colored pane of bullshit, the truth is not much has changed about kids.
Kids can all be assholes, and even the most intelligent ones have the propensity to do really, really stupid shit. I did, tons of it. We smoked pot, we skipped classes. We snuck and drank our parent's booze. I started smoking cigarettes when I was 11, which I also stole from my parents.
For fuck's sake, we shot at stop signs on back roads from moving cars - unless of course, there is some absurdly long statute of limitations for that particular crime, in which case, we certainly did not. We stole, er, borrowed our parents cars for joyrides, snuck out of windows and even hitchhiked a few times. Just because we could.
I've literally lost count of the kids that died from accidental heroin overdoses during high school and the years after. We made fun of other kids, they made fun of us. Some kids were bullied, some were bullies. Why did we do all these incredibly stupid and illegal things? Because we were kids, and kids are fairly impulsive and idiotic. It was not because our parents didn’t pay enough attention, we were simply assholes.
Media Designed To Sell, Not Inform
I don’t mean to imply that bullying and the apparent collapse of society as we know it are non-issues, but fuck. While the media releases these alarming reports igniting panic about bullying, what the fuck are they not reporting?
Why not mention our decaying public school system? The No Child Left Behind Act and the standardized testing which promises to do exactly that? The fact that the teachers we trust to shape our children’s minds are significantly underpaid and overworked in comparison to other industrialized nations? The fact that out of 31 countries, we were among the only four that cut public education funding during the 2008-2010 financial crisis? Or maybe an article or two about how we spend more money per child for education that any other country and our teachers still have to buy their own supplies for use in their classrooms?
I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing it’s because the issues outlined above don’t promise the sensationalism and public outrage associated with bullying. Truly, I don’t mean to downplay the effects of bullying, and to be perfectly honest, I fell for the shit.
I hate the media and I still found myself thinking more about the bullying issue than any other educational issue. Perhaps a few articles outlining the falling rank of the American education system among other developed nations could be used for filler or something.
Tomorrow, we'll discuss Walmart. Unless, of course, I don't get a nap today, in which case I'll post that one later today.