Deconstructing the Destruction of Youth Culture
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.