How Come No One Told Us This?

“Oh my God how come no one told us this?”

The first story I read on Friday was about 18-year old Ashlea Skiles, who got her first credit card during her freshman year of college. After reaching her limit on that card she simply applied for another one to get more buying power. Five years later, by paying her minimum monthly payment, she had six major credit cards, four store credit cards and $10,000 in debt.

When she learned that paying off a $2000 credit card bill making only the minimum payment every month would take 30 years she said, “Oh my God how come no one told us this?”

The second story was about the Disney Company’s decision to release their first PG-13 movie under he Disney name. Previously Disney had released such films under one of their subsidiary labels. Their reasoning was articulated by consultant Peter Sealey, who said, “what Walt Disney had a Norman Rockwell America no longer exists in the 21st century, and Disney is simply acknowledging that reality.”

On the same day I also read a story about Britney Spears dazzling, unprecedented fall from #1 to completely off Forbes’s Top 100 Celebrity List. Then there was the story of a nudist Camp in Florida specializing in a summer camp for kids 11 to 18, sent there by their liberated parents.

These stories sadden me because taken together in the context of 100’s of other stories like them they reveal a generation adrift, falling into ancient traps in the areas of money, fame, sexuality.

Without relieving them of personal responsibility. It is a generation with every reason to ask, “Oh my God how come no one told us this?” The boomer generation is really without excuse because our cultural revolution in the sixties laid the groundwork for today’s “cluelessness.”

Many of us remember the Norman Rockwell America where dads and moms loved each other; where dad worked and mom invested her life in the kids; where common values of honesty, decency, hard work and kindness were the accepted norm as were frugality with money and sexual modesty.

My generation saw the Norman Rockwell world to be a thinly veiled faƒ§ade, beneath which lurked selfish, lusting, greedy, repressed people guilty of sexism, racism and worse. David Lynch captured this in Blue Velvet where as Sean Axmaker says, “David Lynch peeks behind the picket fences of small-town America to reveal a corrupt shadow world of malevolence, sadism, and madness. From the opening shots Lynch turns the Technicolor picture postcard images of middle class homes and tree-lined lanes into a dreamy vision on the edge of nightmare.” The opening shot shows a typical picket fenced, middle class home where a man is mowing a nicely manicured lawn, but then the camera pans underground to reveal the menacing insects and moles burrowing in the fetid, rotting earth.

In exuberance typical of youth, my generation sought to destroy this hypocrisy. Unfortunately, having destroyed the Rockwellian faƒ§ade, all that remained was the dark underbelly portrayed in Lynch’s underground shot, and this was christened as authentic, and since it was not hypocritical, it was deemed good.

And so it is that my generation has passed on to the next generation a lesser vision of humans, one that elevates the worse qualities of man and eliminates the Judeo-Christian aspirations for man’s highest and best.

The next generation has a residual memory, a yearning for something more and better and they ask: “Oh my God how come no one told us this?”

Posted in Staublog, Thoughts in June 21, 2003 by | No Comments »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

37 + = 38

More from Staublog