Home > Brandenburg, Culture > Deconstructing the Destruction of Youth Culture

Deconstructing the Destruction of Youth Culture

April 1, 2008

You may be reading it first here:  the youth culture is dead!  Ding Dong!  Youth culture.  Gone.  Extinct like the bird-like, antediluvian therapod, the raptor (dromaeosauridae).  American civilization has bleached itself of traditional youth culture (those last three words no longer an oxymoron, for those not surfing YouTube) by transfering its most fundamental qualities to the mainstream of society.  All of the pawns have become queens.  The corner offices now live in tepees.  The major U. S. institutions have pandered so long to the shallow, self-centered, fad-driven narcissism of a majority of young people that their culture is culture.  Youth culture has gone the way of the comb-over like skin is the new hair.

America has snatched the differentiating youth imagery from the bargain bin of life, leaving teens and twenties grasping at plastic.  Youth is now the dominant power structure marketing itself as authentic.  The adult population drinks the orange McDonald’s koolaid at the fountain of MTV.  The institutional power informed by the old paradigms of adult behavior projects teen desires and values upon its blank canvass.  Tradition becomes novelty.  The neo-hormonic now dictates its oppressive random personalities upon the centralized hierarchy.

Pre-adolescent civilization incorporated the previously received notions of subversion concerning societal norms into a validated, reassured consumer commodity in the form of pseudo uncleanliness and originality.  Now the warden is behind bars and no one cares.  A totem has fallen on the reservation and without any natives, does it make a noise?

I understand that it is impossible for me as an “impartial” observing arbiter to assign accurate cultural interpretation with my already set idealogical biases.  My translation feature is infected with the presupposition virus.  I’m not able to determine even my own sanity with any authority due to my preexisting conception of status quo.  I can’t possibly read the screen with so many pop ups in my broadband.  It is akin to analyzing Jacques Lacan’s mother-child bonding through the “male gaze” of Michel Foucault.  Read my lips.

Two words:  Katie Couric.  Two more words:  Walter Cronkite.  Peter Pan versus Captain Hook.  The crocodile the creeping cuff of restraint represented by a ticking clock.  Let yourself go. Do what you want.  You’re going to die, so live it up.  Get that tattoo.  Wear the goatee that pronounces pubescent liberty.  Don’t dogmatize.  Dialogue.  Consent the new authority.  The messy hair and dirty cheeks of the lost boys club.  A scruffy t-shirt hanging over beltless trousers pulling the noble savage back to his unspoiled jungle.  Man was young.  You’re young.  No longer tied down by a failed hegemony.  Business man and unemployed cardboard bearer symbiotic, the Ocellaris clownfish dwelling among the tentacles of Ritteri sea anemones.

This is a kickball team where everyone’s up last; no one first.  You can purchase your props and then discard them when fashion changes.  We’ve convinced ourselves that we’re better now, but it’s only a new and more pervasive brand of consumerism.  We’re a Madonna constantly reinventing ourselves to match the fad, to imitate the latest American Idol.

We must shrink that gap between young and old by illustrating to young people what it means to deny self, take up the cross, and follow Him.  We must judge everything and lose the foolishness that underlies the spirit of this age.  We must frontload sacrifice and responsibility.  A role model necessitates a role.  Biblical manhood must be reflected and then mirrored.  The virtuous woman must be praised at the gates.  Young people must grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.  Churches and Christian families must preserve a godly culture that respects authority and elevates maturity, one that looks like what we see in Scripture, one with everlasting thoughts and affections.  We must lose the chaff for the tree planted by the rivers of water. With substance we must retard the flames of style.  Instead of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, we must see God.  Instead of legitimizing shallow, anthropocentric childishness by our silence, we must stand for a unique and sober adulthood that reveals the distinct, noncontingent nature of God.

Let us stop the silliness.  Let us put away the toys and tantrums.  Let us quell the rowdy protests of the barbarians at the gate.  Let us leave behind the giggling girly goofiness.  Let us call incompetence what it is.  Let us rise above the casual conviction.  Let us be done with lesser things.

Categories: Brandenburg, Culture Tags: ,
  1. April 1, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Hear, hear. Even though I didn’t understand twenty percent of what you wrote, I think I agree with it all. Independent, autonomous teen culture is akin to purgatory: it doesn’t exist. It is child to adult, immature to mature, natural to spiritual. No middle ground.

  2. bobby
    April 1, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    We’re trying to purge ourselves of the “teen” mindset here. We are sticking with the Scriptural terms– Infants, little children, young men, young women, older women, elder men, widows. I noticed that I didn’t find the terms “teen” or “teenager” in any Scripture or any of the old-time authors I read. Isn’t that interesting?

  3. April 1, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    Beautiful! With a truly poetic flourish! Amazing what a little Aristotle does to the keyboard.

  4. April 2, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Thanks for the comments.

    The youth culture doesn’t exist because it has become THE culture. We don’t want it in our church because we can judge with Scripture its characteristics to be ungodly. I’m not saying it isn’t in our church; it is a battle to keep it out of the church.

    Scriptural maturity knows the truth and judges with dogmatism. The new maturity doesn’t know and is proud of uncertainty. “We can’t know, so let’s nuance.” This has infiltrated everywhere and has become the environment in which we operate. The same view of the world tells us that we can’t judge one culture to be superior to another, that is, except for the culture that judges one to be superior to the other.

  5. April 2, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    I agree with your premise: the youth culture is now THE culture, or, at least, the dominant feature of our culture. Have you read the Diana West book “The Death of the Grown Up”? This post brought that book to my mind. I also, reluctantly, agree with your identifying “twenties” along with teens. It’s amazing that adolesence has extended into that age group. It’s even worse in Italy where 37% of males 30-34 still live with their mothers!

  6. April 2, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    That sounds like an interesting read Travis. I’m going to look that up. Those stats are amazing too. Should we assume it’s worse in France? 😉

  7. Sonya
    April 7, 2008 at 6:03 am

    I would enjoy reciting this at a poetry reading at the local library.

  8. April 7, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Like, where’s my cell phone, dude?

  9. April 7, 2008 at 1:21 pm


    I do think it would be very fun to hear done at a local library. Since you would be deconstructing something, it would be very educated.


    Your comment reminded me of what someone had linked to from a slam poet. Deconstructing as I did is a little like certain slam poets. I don’t endorse them, and I put a disclaimer on them completely. I am linking to a guy, however, who slams the way the youth culture, essentially post moderns talk. I don’t endorse the setting, the very small amount of entrance and exit music, but the poem is very interesting, especially as he recites it.

  10. April 8, 2008 at 5:50 am

    Pastor Brandenburg,

    You slam poets? I mean, some poetry isn’t exactly edifying, but what have you got against the genre, itself?

    /just playing

  1. No trackbacks yet.
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: