January 8, 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. After reading it more closely, I discovered it wasn’t satire – it was desperation!

Teenage Zombies” looked like a lead for a bit of tongue-in-cheek, good-natured observations about how our youth are two steps ahead of us luddites in understanding the “new order” of technology. As I pored over the piece, it was clear that 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 there minds are – just as Moore posited – turning to silly putty.

I’d like to think there was a bit of jocularity in the article, and I truly believe there was. There must have been. What else can we do when we feel the earth falling out from under our 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 handbasket.

The only difference is……we seem to be giving kids the handbaskets.

Teens in the ‘60s rebelled. They "dropped out," but at least they communed with nature. Now they vegetate in the field of lost Game Boy souls. In a final fatalistic rationalization, I find only 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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