So, I’ve come to realize something. The children we’re raising here these days are gonna be fucking insane when they grow up. I’m sure this gets said every year and has been thought by every single generation since we were just titted monkeys chasing mice and hiding from mammoths, but it bears repeating. Sure, my parents grew up without tv. Their parents grew up with limited access to flush toilets and electricity (and almost no slaves) and before that, fuck…who even knows? People were wiping their asses with corn cobs and using leeches to cure their herpes and stuff. The past, no doubt was a rough and tumble place and every generation that gets born into a world with more conveniences gets suspiciously looked over by the reigning guard and the thought is formulated: “these fucking kids are never gonna know the bullshit that I went through on a daily basis because there was no other choice, and the results are, they’re gonna be a bunch of insane pussies.”
And, well, they’re kind of right. You’ve gotta figure that way back in the old days even being a king or a pharaoh or something was kind of shitty compared to say, being an upper middle class college student somewhere in the Midwest. I mean, sure, you’d have servants and banks of people to cater to your every whim and shit, but you’d still have to just crap into a hole and be cold at night and hot in the summer and stop reading at 6pm and die from strep throat and so on. And that sounds like it sucks, and that probably makes me a pussy to a lot of people in the past, and probably a lot of people right here in the present who still deal with these kinds of problems, but hey, this is the world I’m born into and I can’t really do anything about my own expectations, no matter how unreasonable they may seem to other people.
But these kids, I think it’s gonna be different. When I was a kid, there were 4 television channels and I remember being blown away when my parents told me that back when they were kids, that all television was black and white and that it went off the air at a certain time. When I was a kid, phones had cords and if you wanted to talk to someone, you had to call their house and potentially talk to their parents, and even then, people could be listening in on other phones. I know this isn’t shit that happened that long ago, but think about this:
My kids don’t even have to wait for a show to come on. Not only are there over 900 channels on television, but time scheduling is completely meaningless to my kid. He just says ‘dad, can I please watch Diego, the one about polar bears?’ and I can punch it up for him immediately. Likewise, when he starts using the phone, he’s gonna grow up in a world where he just reaches into his pocket and makes a call and always gets exactly the right person immediately, and fuck, that’s good. Being a slave to tv scheduling is lame, and having to talk to the mom of the chick you’re trying to feel up after the basketball game is a dreadful task, and one that, thanks to technology, will soon be as distant a dream as Morse code or churning your own butter.
But, the upshot of this is that the notion of patience is gonna vanish as any sort of meaningful thing that needs to be cultivated. I mean, there is literally NO reason to wait for anything anymore, AND the things you can get (fifteen different shows about talking dinosaurs, for example) are so spectacular, instant and plentiful that I don’t know if there’s even a sense of true wonder at finding them anymore.
If you fast forward a few years, I have another practical example. When I was a kid, I found the torn out back pages of a Cheri, which was full of ads for phonesex numbers and had awesome pictures of naked people boning and giving blowjobs and stuff. I folded these pages and buried them in a plastic bag. Then later on, I transferred them to a hiding place in my room. A few years later, my contraband supply increased dramatically (but in a much less explicit manner) when I found a stack of playboys on a dumpster (including Anna Nicole Smith’s first issue, which makes my own story with her that much more interesting). This stash was so sacred to my young self, I obsessed over it and carefully hid it, moving it every few weeks so it would never get discovered.
But these days, you can see two women blowing a panda on a public trolley at the click of a button. You can see that shit on your phone if you want to. Again, the notion of patience and waiting for something or even the dumb luck of finding something unexpectedly awesome is undermined by the fact that dumb luck and waiting are being systematically eliminated from the day to day of kidhood. But it gets worse.
This life that we lead here in the western world is on its last legs. The economy has collapsed, we’ve outsourced all our means of production and we’re just a nation of waiters, graphic designers and clerks who are gonna be hitting the shit-end of the sandwich pretty soon here. The oil: it’s all getting used. The earth: it’s brutally killing people. The world: it’s at war. My kids may grow up in a house with DVR and air conditioning, but they sure as shit aren’t gonna raise their kids in one. This day-to-day luxury’s all on the way to becoming crazily expensive and when you look at some of the more terrifying things that people are hoarding out there (like the way coke and this texas billionaire are buying up all the lakes and sources of fresh water in the world…um, that shit’s free now, so what’s the deal? What’s with the hoarding? Does that mean, in the words of the Cobra Skulls, that water is next…is that what you’re telling me? Jesus, that makes me thirsty. Apparently we’re also running out of tequila, which is gonna put a huge dent in the ‘performing abortions’ economy) it seems pretty likely that these kids are gonna have to be equipped to deal with a world that requires great patience and even a little bit of think-on-your-feet-survivalism, and uh, they’re not gonna get any training for that here.
End results: they’re gonna be weird. Yup. Your kids too. Sorry.