What’s the Trouble with Kids These Days?

A codger speaks.

Posted Mar 27, 2019

"Well, In my day we spent much more time in reality. We weren’t galivanting off all the time to your imaginary worlds, movies, TV, video games.

"We’d go to the movies once a week. And sure we got TV eventually, but black, white and corny. Nothing like your fine computer graphics, great acting, and incredibly credible scripts. It was easy to tell real from imaginary. We had church, too, but for most of us, there was an understanding, an unspoken wink that it was mostly imaginary, too, though with some life lessons thrown in.

"Now you kids, all you do is stay indoors and visit these vivid imaginary worlds. My grandson showed me VR goggles. You will be going far, far away and I hope you remember to keep coming back to reality.

"Some don’t, you know. It’s like a drug, your vivid fantasy worlds – addictive. Now, if I were younger, I’d get addicted, too. And you know what? If I could afford the time like some of you still living with your parents, I just might spend most of my time in those imaginary worlds.

"I don’t worry about most of you kids spending so much of your time in these virtual worlds. You come back to reality when you need to. But you’re not everybody. I don’t know if it’s the time they spend playing video games or what, but some kids now act like reality is just a game too. A lot of movies, TV shows, and video games make it seem like life is just a game. I see you rooting for whatever nasty gangster is kicking the most ass, like life is just an ass-beating game.

"Sure, during my impressionable years, I rooted for the movie gangsters sometimes, but again, it was different. It was obviously make-believe. With some of you, especially in that clan, cult, or whatever it is that has taken over America, it’s like they no longer care about anything in reality. They’re in it to win it, nothing more, and don't care about what happens to the US of A in the process. Are they cynical saboteurs or passionate patriots? Their answer seems to be, 'Shut up. Both. Neither. Whatever. We don't care. Whatever sustains our false sense of a permanent winning streak.'

"Well, maybe that’s what spending that much time in your virtual realities does to the softer headed ones among us. America is being governed by the WWF crowd, proud of treating everyone’s lives and hopes like props in some fantasy kick-ass game. And those churchgoers, the kind who wouldn’t wink back in the day – they’ve joined in the fun, too.

"All your flights of fancy are fine but only if you have a return ticket to reality.

"I do believe in a higher power: Reality—that which doesn't yield to our hopes, opinions, strivings, or demands. To live as long as I have, you have to bow to that higher power. Especially now. In my day there was more leeway, not that we used it. These days reality is more constricting. You can’t get away with as much as we did in those lucky boomtown years."