How are you?
Fancy a seat?
Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings.
No. That’s not fair.
Nobody died today (well, to be honest, averages say that 123,000 people have died today so far all around the globe) – nobody of any global importance anyhow.
However, today was the moment that a lot of us hopefuls realized that for all the good Barack Obama means to do in the world, he’s only going to accomplish maybe 40% (and that’s being generous).
Why is that?
It’s because the politicians on the other side of the aisle from his party – namely, the Republicans – will find a thousand different ways to tear the president down in the eyes of the general voting public.
For every honest and forthright statement that Obama puts forward, some Republican pundit in the back offices of Congress sends out a fax to all the other Republicans on how to disqualify what he said.
Today’s broo-ha-ha over Obama’s back to school speech aimed at STUDENTS is the most stunning example of this.
Barack Obama’s speech to America’s youth was meant to do one thing, and one thing only: encourage the students to be better.
The U.S. president is aware enough of today’s youth culture to realize that students are okay with being stupid – and decided (rightfully) that this was not acceptable in any way, shape, or form.
How can anyone fault the guy for doing something most of us over 25 would love to say today’s idiot youth?
Today’s kids are encouraged by peers – and by popular media to an extent – to be absolutely dumb-as-rocks and asinine to the point where it borders on lunacy.
How is this trend even remotely acceptable?
My fellow Canadians and I could only dream of someone of national import – someone with social clout – to take the time and branch out to the disenfranchised young people of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and other places and give them a talking to.
Someone who could pull on the collective ear of today’s public school attending young people and tell them to stop being little douche bags.
Alas… we don’t have ANYONE like that. Our prime minister is far too busy collecting knit sweaters and handing out tax breaks for the ultra-rich.
However, I’m focusing on our American neighbours today.
The Republicans have packaged their partisan politics in an easily digested package that appeals mainly to the people most likely to be the most vociferous in the media – John & Sally Six-Pack.
John and Sally are the people who most resonate with the Republican party – mostly because they are uneducated (or barely educated) rednecks who just love to see their own faces and hear their own voices on the six o’clock news – which works out extremely well for the Republican party because the incapacity for independent and rational thought makes John & Sally VERY programmable.
All the Republicans have to do is wind them up and point them in the general direction of the nearest television camera broadcasting from the field.
What else are they going to say since they can’t come up with ten intelligent words strung together? They have no choice except to say exactly what they heard from any random Republican talking head on Fox news, or heard on the radio from Rush Limbaugh.
This strategy has been used to great effect during the American health debates that are happening all over the U.S.
In this instance, however, they’ve narrowed down the subject quite a bit.
“They don’t need to be told by the president what their responsibilities are. It’s the parents’ responsibility to teach them that, not the government.”
That was the comment from an actual redneck parent (whom flunked high school and now cleans carpets) who had pulled their children on the first day of school so as not to be exposed to the evil Democrat’s clearly-socialist indoctrination attempt.
I suppose that would be a perfectly acceptable statement to make if that parent – or 60% of parents in North America – had any intention to teach their kids ANYTHING! And I do mean ANYTHING.
By and large, today’s parents can not be bothered to deal with their children in any meaningful way – whether it be hanging out with them and throwing a ball around, or taking an interest in their school studies (other than to yell “Do your homework!” up the stairs to the second floor where the kids will dutifully ignore them). Hell, sit down with your kids and play video games… because you will at least gain SOME insight into that portion of their lives.
I’m not sure who’s fault this is, really. I can only say it’s a confluence of trends that started in the 60’s and went into the 80’s – from the women’s liberation movement demanding women have equal jobs in the workplace, to the consumer society that arose from the yuppy culture which required all adults to have 9-to-5 jobs so they could keep up with the material wealth of their neighbors.
Today, parents don’t have the time to do any actual parenting – and those who do can’t be bothered.
Don’t mistake me. There are some really exceptional parents out there who are absolutely stellar at parenting – but they are just that: exceptional. They are the exception to the general status quo.
So where else are today’s kids supposed to get any sort of positive influence?
If you said ‘yes’, then I must really stop and say: are you freakin’ kidding me?
Girls aspire to be Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, or Kristen Stewart – who may have a collective I.Q. of 110 all together.
Boys aspire to be 50 Cent, Eminem, or Dane Cook – and really, do any of them really rate kids looking up to them?
So, yes… I’m all for President Barack Obama – arguably the most powerful man on the planet – having a candid sit down with today’s youth and telling them to smarten the hell up.
I applaud him telling kids to stop being little dumbasses and to aspire to being something greater.
I know that somewhere out there, in today’s public school system – whether it be in Canada, America, Britain, or some other place on this planet – is a kid who’s going to make a very important discovery that will alter the direction of the human species in a positive way.
I can only hope that Obama’s speech today – or some other well-meaning talk given by someone else of gravitas to that one special kid – will fall on their ears and make them want to be that someone and reach out for their destiny.
Or… that kid can be the next idiot doing something stupid on YouTube.