America is in the thrall of spoiled, immature, terroristic adult children – and paying the price for it.
History can only be understood by looking in the rearview mirror, and as I look back over my life (spanning from 1959 to today), I believe that the 1960’s were the turning point for where we are today – and the cause for that change is maybe not what you may think, it certainly was not what I initially thought.
What most people think of when they think of the 60’s is the political and social radicalism, the Timothy Leary “Turn on, tune in, drop out”, hate the “establishment”, stick it to the “Man” culture, all set against stern looking, black suited authoritarian men with crewcuts, pencil thin black ties and black acetate eyeglasses, all rendered in stark black and white.
In the grand scheme of our historical timeline, America of the 1960’s represents the temper tantrum of a child.
What began as a tantrum led to the American cultural transition from a sober, serious, adult culture into an weaponized, emotionally stunted, adolescent culture.
The 60’s are remembered for the open battle between the young and old, between the hippies and the squares. Children revolted against the discipline of their parents and American youth rebelled against the institutions (law, academic, social) they saw as to restrictive and overbearing – and media, mass marketers and saw an opportunity.
Youth culture was born.
Corporate America saw a new market, one filled with young kids who both had money to spend by virtue of having successful parents, and not only made buying decisions of their own, influenced those decisions of their parents. Within a short span of a few years, the radicalism of the 60’s was repackaged and commercialized. If you doubt this, look at what has happened between Corporate America and China – just as American culture became a slave to youth from the 60’s through the 90’s, that same culture became a slave to China after the New Millennium began in Y2K.
Almost overnight, America’s perception of everything from beauty to knowledge began to change. Age, wisdom and experience lost value, replaced by youth, unfocused minds and action. This is easy to track through the cultural markers in the media – magazine models became thinner and younger, so young that to even glance at a fashion magazine cover in the rack at the checkout stand makes you feel like a pedophile.
American culture now exists to serve, envy, venerate and chase youth. We want to look younger, feel younger and be younger. Chronological “adults” have come to fear the violence of the child, they now avoid conflict by acquiescing to the irrational demands of the child – and have done so for so long, the purported “adults” now camouflage themselves by indulging in their own childish fantasies and adopting their own childish behaviors. Even the CEO’s of major corporations, especially those in Silicon Valley, act and react as spoiled, immature, terroristic children.
The worship of youth had a price.
With youth comes a lack of critical experience, literally no historical perspective and context, and a tank of intellectual gas only a quarter full. Children, by definition, are ignorant, emotional creatures in dire need of adult supervision – to surrender a culture to them would seem to be insane – but we have done just that. Our celebration of youth has given way to a false belief that “the children are our future” means we must cede our future to them.
How is that working out?
So many (perhaps most) of our issues today are constructed from the nightmares of ignorant, immature children and adult babies.
Our lives are now bounded by absurdist, childish, constantly changing cultural and societal rules invented by immature and irrational minds. Like adolescents are wont to do, when reality disallows doing and having that second scoop of ice cream, they create a fictional reality based on magical thinking, mythology, and fantasy – complete with its own language and rules – to comply with their wishes and desires. When that does not work, they throw fits, claiming that memos, Facebook posts or a tweet caused so much damage to their fragile psyche, the offender must be literally or figuratively executed. Society must change to conform to their feelings.
For example, Critical Race Theory is not really a serious problem, it is the level of ignorance that treats it as objective reality that is the problem. Progressivism is not a serious problem, it is the adult babies who find comfort in replacing their own mean parents with a loving, benevolent, and munificent collective (government) that will take their side over their parents in every dispute.
The old saying that “Youth is wasted on the young” has never been more true. Anything that is wasted has no value, it is a shame we are wasting our youth by indulging their unrealistic fantasies and allowing them to treat ignorance as knowledge.
And we, and I mean the old and young alike, are paying the price for that waste.
3 thoughts on “Youth is Wasted on the Young”
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AMEN !!! The headlong descent sweeping aside wisdom and common sense does not have a happy ending. For the better sake of our ‘youth’ we all should hope the awakening is sooner than later.
I don’t think intelligence is the issue, but the combination of Covid, lack of structure in classrooms, and the atrocious dependence on computer driven pedagogy most students have no with no idea the effort that learning learning requires. Teachers don’t teach — they shepherd students toward obscure understandings with no thought of how, why or where these these understandings may lead. A student must learn that success is not a single idea but an assimilation of many ideas.
Ushering a student through four plus years of informative information without an understanding of why isn’t enough. The simple question “Do you want fries with that” isn’t complex enough anymore.