Careful readers of this blog will have picked up on a few broad themes :
- mild, barely noticeable antipathy towards the Palinista wing of the Republican party
- cringing at the over-use of certain words and phrases by Public Radio personalities
- distaste at the shameless promulgation of Karen Armstrongian ecumenical pseudo-deism by the likes of Krista Tippett
- rejection of conventional wisdom (“Con-Whiz!” it’s like Cheez-Whiz for the mind) talking point ping-pong tarted up as “analysis”
- mortified attention-calling to the pathological hyper-mega-parenting that has become the norm in today’s global yuppie culture
There’s some saying about fish not being able to see the water they are swimming in, and I think it applies to Public Radio staffers’ attitudes to the last four of these.
Studs Terkel wisely lamented that journalists have become too bourgeois to question the status-quo they are now totally invested in. He was correct. The toothless and intellectually passive correspondents of the supposedly liberal mainstream media have turned the likes of Stewart and Colbert into Woodward and Bernstein by comparison. You can’t see the elephant in the room if you are the elephant.
And thus the entire meaning of today’s little Morning Edition story about a dramatic drop in teen driving orbited high above the head of story-filer Beth Accomando. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all in favor of the clear benefit to society we’ll see when America’s pimply texters reject their traditional role as scary statistic generators for MADD. It’s not the result that bothers me, it’s the cause.
Beth Accomando posits that the cause must be the internet. Or maybe video games.
But no, Beth, you totally, totally blew it. The cause is simply and obviously the invisible fence 21st century teens have had conditioned into their brains by a relentless combination of agoraphobia-by-proxy created through an unprecedented level of parental anxiety and the debilitating sloth inculcated by a culturally humiliating practice of parents behaving like harried personal assistants to a celebrity.
This is the kind of attitude that turns the theme of Cormack McCarthy’s “The Road”, which is that we’re all mortal and that having children is no redemption because they too are mortal, into “a love story between a father and a son” as the progeny-besotted director stated yesterday in a Morning Edition story about the adaptation.
So small point: overparenting is trying to ruin the next generation. If they don’t even want to drive, the traditional dream/lust of all teen-agers, what the hell will they ever want do of any value?
Large point: get your heads out of your asses. We’re at war.