January 7, 2008

Zombies in a Handbasket

When I first scanned the column by Stephen Moore in the Wall Street Journal last weekend, I thought it was meant to be a bit of satire. “Teenage Zombies” looked like the lead for another tongue-in-cheek, good-natured commentary about how our young people are way ahead of us old fogies in understanding the “new order” of technology.

After reading the article more closely, I discovered it wasn’t satire – it was desperation! Mr. Moore was joining me and millions of other American parents and grandparents who fear for the next generation.

Fear that they’re becoming flabby in front of the tube.

Fear that their interest in the outside world has ebbed to near zero.

Fear that their perspective of reality is becoming distorted beyond belief.

Fear that their minds are – just as Moore posited – turning to silly putty.

I’d like to think there was a bit of humor in the article. There must have been. What else can one do when you feel the earth falling out from under your feet?

There’s small solace in knowing that we’re joining the long ranks of elders from previous generations who thought their kids were going to hell in a hand basket.

The only difference is…..we seem to be buying and giving kids the hand baskets.

Teens in the ‘60s rebelled. They even “dropped out,” but at least they communed with nature -- and each other. Now they vegetate with isolation in the field of lost Game Boy souls. In a final fatalistic rationalization, I find minor comfort in knowing that those of us who grew up with the evils of television somehow survived.

…or did we? We’ll be back, right after this commercial message.

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