Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Plea to Young America

Ooookay. I really want to address something tonight that is a super hot topic to me. It gets to me. I'll admit it. See, it was a beeeaauuutiful day in Mid Missouri today, and so I decided to get out and enjoy myself. So, I was eating Indian food with my best friend Ally (hi, Ally!), and she says of a guy passing outside the window behind me, "he looks just like the guy who passed by before him. Same shirt... worn the same way, same hair cut, same walk."

Right. That stirred up a subject that tends to send me ranting.

It all began when I moved to Missouri. More specifically, it began when I moved to Columbia. Now, Columbia is actually quite wonderful. It's eclectic and open-minded and quirky and charming as a mid-sized city in Missouri could ask for. I actually love this city... and would have few concerns were it not for one complication: It's a college town. And though I have no issue with students, living here, in the midst of such concentrated amounts of popular trend, really allows for some opportunity for societal observation... which leads to my dismay.

It seems that our country is absolutely hiding behind conveyor-belt, assembly line, plastic representations of human beings. It's creepy as hell. Does every woman/man below the age of 30 have to act/speak/dress/behave in the same way?? Must every girl have stick straight hair, preferably bleached blond, with a deep fake tan, a cell-phone plastered to her ear and a valley accent that requires one pronounce, "thank you" as "thank yow?" And really, have we not progressed from the "using 'like' as filler for lesser vocabulary skills" stage? And is it just me, or are guys spitting in front of women a lot more? Have they not been taught to respect people enough to seek out a trash bin or concealed location or, God forbid, SWALLOW it, rather than hacking that clod right up on the pavement in front of me? I am more than disturbed by this. In fact, I'm disturbed by my whole generation and younger. Were we really that coddled/spoiled/ego-stroked that we've never learned what empathy means? That young men believe, now more than ever, and largely due to my own gender allowing the mind-set to reemerge, that women are a means to an end...a sexual play thing. A Barbie doll... or more appropriately, a porn star?

WOMEN... younger, older, whoever you are, stop trying to win a guy's attention with sex. Just stop! I can promise you, he won't respect you for it. Sex is awesome. But it's not the key. It's just one part of life. It's just one thing worth doing while you're here... and it's only, in my strong opinion, worth doing with someone you trust. If the jerk-off with five popped collars, a gold chain and backwards baseball cap chugging from a beer bong thinks that you're only worth his time if you're willing to enact a scene from Girls Gone Wild... fuck him. Only, NOT LITERALLY... PLEASE.

Women's lib heroines didn't walk across hot coals all their lives so that we could, just a few generations later, mistake sexual liberation for sexual manipulation by either sexes. If you're actually listening to me, and any of the above mentioned behaviors or attributes belong to you, rethink your own worth, and moreover, rethink your individuality! What makes you unique among the masses?? I won't know, and neither will anyone else, if you hide behind shallow trends and misguided attempts to win the love of children who have yet to comprehend what depth is, what the worth of life and love is. This existence is a gift. It's an amazing, incredible, diverse gift. Please, don't waste it in a hung-over, MTV watching, used up haze for the next decade. Learn who you are. Be proud of it. And start making use of the uniqueness of your gifts as soon as possible. Don't be a Stepford Wife. Don't be a robot.

And to the guys... where's the depth? Where is the compassion, the purpose and passion for humanity that should be accompanying your generation more than anyone else? Think of the pain and ugliness and hate that you've seen? Shouldn't that have sparked a deep sense of social awareness? Where's your outpouring and zeal for change? It's not under the pile of shot glasses on the coffee table... so quit searching there.

I know life should be lived fully. I know we should have lots of fun while we're here. But when we use use only the outermost surface of our heart and mind's potential, not only is this a grave waste... it's a tragedy. Where are the heroes of America's new generations? Why don't we emerge from the chaos and shine a light, huh? Have the courage and strength of heart to be yourself in a world where it's so much easier just to fall in line.



Susan Quinn said...

The heroes are volunteering to fight for their country. They're voting at the ballot box and raising money for humanitarian aid around the world. They're out there, even though it may be hard to see them sometimes. It's because their vigilance is invisible, their self-sacrifice is transparent, and their commitment is part of what binds the world together.

Not all the younglings are like this. Just the best ones. So fear not. All is not lost.

(And I'm not one of them - I'm one of the old fogies that watches in awe)

Jen said...

You know, I have two such men in my family, actually. Props to Keary and Kyle!! And to anyone else who does the hard thing, who swallows fear and acts from their heart, no matter how that translates for them, thank you!!

Steelers 4 Life!! said...

Very insightful blog post. Why do people under 30 want to be the same? IMO, they feel they have no choice. We live in a fear-based culture stemming not only from foreign outlets but from our personal need to conform. I feel once you stop bullshitting yourself and open your mind to other points of view, then and only then, will your truly live for yourself.