J.R. Reed muses on a song that brings back memories of younger days.
Remember what it was like when you were a kid? I do.
Our house had a single TV and the remote was either my younger brother or myself. That lone television only got CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS and a couple local channels that played Twilight Zone, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Love American Style. Also Get Smart and Leave it to Beaver.
Back in the day we entertained ourselves with our imaginations and it was fun.
Stop laughing at me. I know that makes me sound like my dad but it’s the truth. Sticks as guns and towels as capes will always be cool.
About a month ago I was cruising down the beach on my bike listening to the radio when a new song came on. The driving beat got my attention and the message in the song immediately inspired this post. Cue the music.
The synthesizer hangs out alone for a few seconds then is quickly replaced by bass and drums. The guitar waits a few more seconds before coming in with a hypnotic sound.
As soon as I heard the guitar I was 99% sure it was Metric and the vocals confirmed it. The first verse was intriguing. When the second verse started this post was metaphorically conceived.
We played Double Dutch with a hand grenade
Behind the church
Apathetic to the devil’s face
Wear the Sheriff’s badge
Put your toys away
They let us go
Saying “Let us Pray!”
“Youth without youth,” is right I said as I pedaled while bobbing my head in a manner I’m pretty sure was mock worthy.
As far as I know Double Dutch is played with two official playground issue jump ropes and has no other component other than the kids in the middle trying to keep pace with the kids swinging the ropes in hopefully perfect unison.
I haven’t consulted the rulebook or anything but I would assume that bringing live grenades into the octagon (or playground or whatever they call a jump rope arena) has to be worth at least a five-minute recess break. I say take lunch recess away for a week and make them sit at the table by the dumpster.
As dads and as parents, what are we going to do about our youth growing up and not being youth?
I say that it’s our job to make sure that happens. My daughter will be 15 in August and I’ve done my best to make sure she had a childhood.
We need to hang out with our kids and let them know they’re loved and that we’re interested in them. Maybe, just maybe, they will find out something interesting about us.
Spending time with your kids is great, but set boundaries. My personal boundary is called The Justin Bieber and Glee Boundary.
I’m never to hear their music and prefer that their names not be mentioned in my presence. I’ll make an exception for, “Justin Bieber is a little______,” or any variations thereof.
Do stupid things with your kids but keep in mind that you’re not in high school shape anymore. That’s important to remember. Also, stupid does NOT equal ignorant.
Doing stupid things does more than just build character. It also provides amusement for the parent as they watch their child die of embarrassment or go through Wii withdrawals.
Try to remember what you liked to do before technology and then do that with them.
I remember being a little kid and thinking that Pong was awesome. Now our kids are online killing terrorists with their virtual friends. We didn’t have virtual friends; we had imaginary friends and they were cool because, well, they just were.
Technology isn’t the only thing changing. When I was in my impressionable years, Oui was porn and 70’s-80’s era smut meant some woman in Penthouse had her shirt off. Or so I was told.
We they would try and sneak a peek at the local Stop-N-Go before the old guy behind the counter chased my friends out.
I did some research on how technology has enhanced the world of adult entertainment and I can only tell you that it’s not like the old days. Suffice it to say that whatever your kink or pleasure there are multiple websites for you to choose from.
Porn in 2012 starts when kids text nude photos to each other. Then when Johnny breaks up with Cindy because Becky offers new opportunities he shows the whole high school her naked pictures.
We played blind mans bluff with the ninth brigade
Throw the brick through the window pane
Double Dutch til they stop the game
Til the cops show up
They let us go
But we lost one
The way modern kids treat adults amazes me. It’s like the world owes them or something. They have no problem flipping off The Man right to his face. It’s like there’s no fear.
I guarantee that I was afraid of my dad. He didn’t beat me or anything, I just knew that if I stepped too far out of line I would have a conversation with my dad’s belt. You know what I mean.
The song hit me as a parent because our youth are truly growing up with less youth than you and me. Maybe not you, but definitely me.
Kids today have this mistaken belief that life is like a TV show. There may be some ups and downs but at the end of the season everyone ends up happy. Or dead in the case of a J.R. much more famous than myself.
Last night I watched an episode of one of my favorite shows, Flashpoint, and this one featured a 16-year-old boy who went online pretending to be a girl with an abusive father.
The kid was getting a 17-year-old named Jimmy D. to do a public execution of his wealthy stepdad who he not so lovingly referred to as “Asshat.”
Jimmy had no fear whatsoever.
With a smartphone hanging from a lanyard this kid streamed armed robberies live to his website and his 467,000 loyal fans. Jimmy targeted CEOs and people in high power when they were with their colleagues.
But Jimmy wasn’t completely bad. He took the money he stole and gave it to adults who had befriended him and been kind to him when his family wasn’t around.
Jimmy D was Toronto’s version of Robin Hood, only with Wi-Fi and a stencil to leave his mark behind. Jimmy D is the poster boy for youth without youth.
We played blind mans bluff til they stopped the game
Youth without youth
Born without time
Youth without youth
Can you read my mind?
This was inspired by Youth After Youth by Metric. Check it out.
Photo—Teenage boy with troubled expression from Shutterstock.