Every once in a while, usually for no particular reason, I find myself thinking about how much things have changed in this world just in the span of my own lifetime. This time it has to do with schools. Now, I am not a hamster nor was I ever one of those "little angel" types that never seemed to get in trouble but I think it's safe to say that kids today have taken things to an entirely new level.
Back when, kids wrote graffiti just as many do now, the difference was that it's amazing how much of today's graffiti is violent in nature. I never really got into the graffiti thing myself, although I did once have one of those custom rubber stamps with which I had about a three week habit of stamping the red inked word BULLSHIT in all kinds of places when nobody was looking. After a while the novelty wore off and I went on to other things. That's about as far as I went.
Today, some of the thing that you find written, stamped, spray painted, etc. in all of the traditional places is amazingly violent in it's nature. It's not just the text either, some of the images I've seen that some otherwise very talented people have created are incredibly disturbing. I have to wonder where those images are coming from because I *know* that regardless of what parents teach their kids, images of violent murder aren't among them.
Or is it?
I wonder how many of those kids had an electronic babysitter in the form of a television that the parents never bothered to monitor or control what the kids watched? Then take those same kids a few years later and allow them access to computers with things like grand theft auto and the time to soak their brains in violent fantasy as a normal thing.
I understand that sometimes parents find themselves with few alternatives but at the very least they can take steps to control what the kids are watching on tv and to keep exposure to it limited in the first place. I honestly believe that my father was right when he called it the "idiot box". Too much uncontrolled exposure to it will turn your brains to mush.
And then there's gaming. I enjoy games myself and I've spent many an hour playing quake. However when my nieces were young and prone to looking over my shoulder any time I was near a computer, I didn't start the game up until after they'd gone to bed. They didn't need to see game characters (human or otherwise doesn't matter) exploding into a spattered red mess. Perhaps if more people did even a simple thing like that, how many of their kids would have turned out differently.