I get very frustrated when people start to complain about "kids these days". Now you may disagree with me but I'm pretty sure that I'm right about this one. Kids are kids. They always have been. They always will be. They will take your breath away when the girls put on their first high heels and the boys put on their first tuxedos. They will inspire you to be the best person that you can be when you see their first independent act of compassion.
And they will make you shake your head in despair when they fuck up. And they will fuck up. I fucked up. You fucked up. Everyone fucked up.
So here's what's annoying me (had you caught on yet that I was annoyed). I truly resent when people hide behind a societal "kids these days" answer when young people perpetrate crimes and terrible acts of cruelty. Please don't act like this is something new. Take a look at the Leopold and Loeb murder. Rent Rebel Without A Cause. This is nothing new.
The one thing that I do think is new is the societal acceptance of a lack of accountability. The fact that you had poor parenting is not an excuse. We live in a time with really significant access to information and resources so I think we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard of accountability than any generation that came before us. (I need to add the caveat here that I understand that I am very privileged to be white, middle class and living in the U.S. I know that there are people in the world that don't have things as easy as I do. But I can only speak from my own experience here.)
A young man jumped off the George Washington Bridge this week because his roommate and the roommate's friend webcasted him having sex with another man. He was 18 years old.
Don't blame facebook. Don't blame the web. Don't blame the kid for exploring his sexuality. Don't blame society for lack of communication. Don't blame George Bush or Barack Obama. Don't blame Lindsey Lohan or Marilyn Manson.
Blame these young adults for an astounding act of cruelty. They are currently only charged with invasion of privacy. I feel that it should be upgraded to at the very least include a hate crime.
Maybe I'm so frustrated by this because they chose an act of love and passion--which, let's be real here folks, we all, as human beings crave--as the weapon of their cruelty.
I will be lighting a candle for the young man who took his own life tonight and for his family. The unfairness of their loss is almost too much to contemplate.
And I will also be lighting a candle for the legal system to hold the people who caused this terrible thing to happen to be held accountable for their actions.