Volume 4, Number 2
By Fiona Jane
I must be getting old.
It doesn't seem that long ago that I was a kid and doing the usual things like sneaking out, getting drunk and throwing up. Actually, I still do the last two, but that's not my point. My point is, that childhood and adolescence in the 1990's seems to be a very different place than when I was there.
Kids are doing things like going to a dance and shooting people they don't like. Killing them. We got told to make sure we threw our rubbish in the bin at school, not our newborn babies. Not only would it have taken an act of God to get me pregnant at high school, I'd have been too worried that Mum would yell at me for staining my formal dress.
How do you explain doing those kinds of things anyway? Billy called me "a four-eyed freak" again in front of the whole class so I went home, got my Dad's gun, came back and shot him? It was an accident?
I read a story about 'teenage sweethearts' who were in a military academy together and the guy played up on his girlfriend with another girl. If that was my boyfriend, I would have broken up with him, called her a slut and told everyone what happened for the sympathy vote. Maybe I would have given him a second chance if I still cared about him, maybe not.
But that's not what this couple did. When the guy admitted to his girlfriend what he'd done with another girl, they didn't break up. They set up the other girl, and then killed her. Kids killing kids.
Don't think that I'm ignoring all the adult violence or that things like this have always happened they just weren't given the sensationalized media touch, I know that. It just scares me that today if I read a story in the paper about a shooting perpetrated by a 13 year old and a 53 year old, I wouldn't think the 13 year old was too young to know what they were doing.
My friend Chanel was watching her daughter dancing and singing to Video hits one morning with a mixture of horror and amusement. Caylah was happily singing along to "Ooh I'm horny. Horny, horny, horny". Caylah is two. I have to admit that I laughed when I heard that but it's such an unnecessary word for a two year old girl to be singing. Of course she doesn't know what it means; come to think of it, it has probably been a while since Chanel's been acquainted with the term, but that's another column altogether.
The thing is, I don't think that our kids should be exposed to the horrors of violence, war, abuse, drugs etc., etc. The generation we should be targeting with these distressing and apparently mind-warping experiences, is that of our grandparent's generation.
When was the last time you really saw an old lady give someone hell? I'm not talking "Excuse me dear can you get this for me please as I've just had an operation on my hip" and on and on for 15 minutes, I want to see them ask for things a la Dirty Harry. GIMME THE INCONTINENCE PADS NOW! I'M WARNING YOU I'M GONNA BLOW!!
Think about it. Turf wars on the bowling greens. Aged anarchy at the bridge tournament. Riots in the RSL's. Now that's really scary.
I'm looking forward to getting old.