Friday, October 1, 2010

What's the matter with kids today?

If I could start over and go back to the time when my kids were little, I would ban them from watching television and listening to the radio.

I came to this decision while watching the People's Choice Awards last night. As a side note, if I heard Queen Latifah say the word, "peeps", once, I must have heard her say it a dozen times. It was not amusing the first time so you can imagine how annoying it was after a while for me.

The reason I believe that young and old along are unprepared for what is coming, is because we have no moral compass to follow today. I am not a prude or old-fashioned, rather, I am currently in a state of shock and confusion over what I see and hear on the news and on television in general.

On the one hand, we have everyone and anyone, talking about Tiger Woods and his extracurricular activities with women other than his wife. Not to offend anyone, but I do not follow the game of golf simply because it is boring to me, not to the majority of people, but to me. I do know what a genius of a golfer Tiger Woods is, and I know about Arnold Palmer, and some of the other greats, but I do not find watching them play entertaining enough for me.

Apparently, now all of the people who do watch and enjoy the sport, are ready to hang Tiger Woods in the town square and make him wear a shirt with a bright red letter "A" stitched on it. Yes, I understand that he cheated on his wife, and I get that he has had numerous alleged affairs with a number of women. That, however, does not harm me or anyone else in society, except for his wife and children. He has his family to answer to, and no one else. If you want to get angry with him for committing adultery and you want to stop watching him play golf, then that is your decision.

However, I do not think society should banish the man for what he has done. His wife should decide his punishment.

While I understand how people who looked up to Tiger Woods as a role model, now feel betrayed, I hear about Charlie Sheen putting a knife to his wife's throat and think how awful that is. How do people nominate him for an award, while crucifying someone for a lesser crime? I cannot believe or understand what I am seeing. What do the young people think when they see it? How can our society ostracize Tiger Woods, but exonerate and award an actor who already holds the title of 'wife-beater'. What am I supposed to get from that, and how do our young people know wrong from right when they see this type of thing going on?

Now look at what happened last season on American Idol. Fans of the show will understand when I say that it is not often that all three judges on the show seem to agree on one thing, and that is that there was a clear front-runner for the title of American Idol last year. That contestant was Adam Lambert. Never before have so many argued so often over who they thought was better each and every week, as they have over American Idol. Last season, however, the consensus appeared to be that Adam Lambert was the best from the first audition to the last performance of the finale.

When Adam lost the title to Chris Allen, a cute guy with a sweet disposition, a nice voice, but nowhere near in league with the likes of Adam Lambert, everyone I knew and talked to about American Idol, was in complete and utter shock over his loss.

As time went by, rumors spread that when the news broke about Adam Lambert's homosexuality, it caused American Idol viewers to vote for Chris even though they thought Adam deserved to win. No one knows if this is true, but I can give you another example of this type of prejudice that we are not supposed to have as a society anymore.

Gov. McGreevey of New Jersey resigned from his position because of the breaking news story about his affair with another man. There was talk of some blackmail threats from his love interest, which forced McGreevey to resign before they booted him out of office. I felt sorry for the poor guy. We are supposed to be a nation of people who no longer view gay people as different, as deviants, etc., yet a governor is not allowed to be gay and have an affair.

Then move forward to the story of David Letterman, who had affairs with staff members through the years. He is still a talk show host, still has high ratings, and many people watch him still without giving his discretions another thought. Do we believe that people in government have higher standard than celebrities do?

After what I saw last night on the awards show, I do not believe we think that way. Then why did McGreevey have to resign? Why did sponsors drop Tiger Woods as their spokesperson?

Another example of the mixed messages about morals and values our youth today is receiving, also has to do with Adam Lambert, and his performance on the American Music Awards. It was tasteless, vulgar, and offensive to some. Because of the reaction from the public, one of the morning news programs dropped him from the schedule the following morning. A few nights later I watched a popular female artist on another reality show, perform her latest hit. Half of her behind was hanging out of the pack of her outfit, and she was rubbing and grinding herself against the microphone. I did not read or hear anything the next day, about this disgusting display.

A word comes to mind that I have not heard people say in decades, and that word is 'skank'. When a boy or a girl called another girl a skank, when I was in school, it was the worst insult you could throw at them. To me, it meant a dirty person who was also promiscuous, and no respectable boy would ever bring a skank home to meet his parents.

In today's society, skanks are role models for young girls. In my opinion, when the favorite female artist of the 'people', stands on stage to accept her award, and nothing but the incoherent babbling of someone high or drunk, comes out of her mouth, I feel like blood is about to shoot out of my eyes. How can that be someone young people aspire to be like when they grow up? It is frightening.

Decades ago, artists such as Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder walked away with the award. Diana Ross would come out on stage in a beautiful gown, would be elegant and graceful, and belt out the songs as only she can do. Stevie Wonder, not only a musical genius since adolescence, but also an inspiration to blind people all over the world, was humble and gracious and mesmerized the audience with his golden voice. I know people will argue that Diana Ross developed a drinking problem later in life, but she never appeared drunk on stage in front of teenage girls. Today, displaying this type of behavior is amusing and acceptable.

The world we live in today is scary for those who lived through adults telling us that the Beatles were no-talent longhaired weirdoes, and that Elvis was corrupting the minds of teenage girls by shaking his pelvis on stage as he sang. What would we have thought back then if we knew what would be going on in the entertainment world decades later?

Our parents thought we would lose all of our morals by watching the King and the Fab Four. Today people believe what artists do on stage is harmless. What censors allow people to do and say in front of a television audience, convinces me that it will have to end somewhere.

There will have to be boundaries again. How the youth of today will have any moral ground to stand on and measure anything or anyone by, is too frightening to think about now. They will not know how to stop the degradation of morality and it will end badly.

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