Aug 5 2013 | 4 Comments
GROWING PAINS OR BLURRED LINES?
Is it me or does everyone seem to have suddenly gone crazy?
I just picked up the paper and read Colin Powell’s sexting. He could learn some things from Carlos Danger, but it was shocking enough that it was Colin Powell.
It just feels like it’s everywhere. I don’t remember a period like this.
Every day reveals someone else’s misadventures. And I don’t really care, but this is a case where I think knowing is in a way sanctifying.
Of course this stuff has been going on since the beginning of time. And I am truly one of the least prudish people I know.
I have behaved inappropriately in my day. But my day was nothing like these days.
I have a thirteen year old who was grounded last weekend for taking photos of herself that were too suggestive and posting them on Facebook. She sort of knew it was wrong, but sort of not. Her response was, “Everyone does it. “
Which of course is not true. EVERYONE does not, but many do. Too many I am beginning to think. It is starting to feel like Pandora’s box opened and everyone’s worse selves were released.
There is no question as discussed the other day; the Internet has made certain behavior easy and accessible. It also has with one click given photos, articles, and videos that not so long ago you could only find behind the counter or in a creepy shop in the bad part of town.
Is it any wonder that everyone from Colin Powell to my thirteen year old is letting their frisky flag fly?
Colin Powell was a bit of a shock. But why? He’s human. He has a computer. So what if he is a five star General and was Secretary of State.
One usually pipes in now that Kennedy fooled around. And he certainly did, but he had Marilyn Monroe in a tunnel under the Carlyle. He had people protecting him at all times. Whatever was going on it wasn’t blasted all over and updated every nine minutes.
Simon Cowell is not a surprise, his romances have always been on display. He is the poor man’s Clooney. But he did the really uncool thing of knocking up his best friend’s wife. Breaking the bro code. ( a term I learned this week) But what he’s really doing is showing he has no sense of boundaries. What kids see is grown up behavior writ large, often out of control and seemingly all the time. What grown ups see is the masters of the universe are doing it too, so if it’s OK for Colin Powell it’s fine for me.
Generals, politicians, the clergy, athletes their heroes in various forms are behaving without a lot of thought to the ramifications. So sure a picture in short shorts with a Lolita pout does not seem out of place for a thirteen year old girl.
And then of course the media is setting a tone for all of this as well. Or it’s just keeping up with society?
The number one song this summer is Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines. A snappy song full of sexual innuendo and double entendres.
But it’s no more sexual than what you hear on the rest of the radio and compared to rap it’s nothing. The video (the uncensored one) has naked girls prancing around. It makes sex look fun, which it is. But it’s being watched and listened to by kids and perhaps even Colin Powell. And I’m sure now that his activities have been curtailed Anthony Weiner must have the uncensored version on a loop.
But the number one song the summer I was 13 was Benny and The Jets.
The sexiest thing on national TV in 1973 was Kojak sucking his lollipop.
Of course this is the part where I sound like my grandparents. They thought Perry Como was what I should be listening to and the Beatles were the end of society as they knew it
Yes. Progress. Every generation is a bit more something than the last.
Robin Thicke’s father got famous for the TV show Growing Pains which premiered in 1985. it was about “The misadventures of a family with a home business father and a journalist mother. “ The use of the word misadventures is almost laughable when you imagine what they were, getting the dryer stuck on the wrong cycle before the bosses wife comes to dinner. It wouldn’t be banging the bosses wife or sexting her from the kitchen while you were marinating the rump roast.
When I was young I was watching Maude and the Bob Newhart show. I think by the 70’s the husband could sleep in bed with the wife. But I grew up with Lucy and Ricky where they couldn’t. There were rules. Boundaries that could not be crossed. You did not think anyone could do anything they wanted with anyone they wanted to. Even if they did. Ricky was a devoted womanizer and alcoholic and Lucy, bless her heart was a heavy boozer. But we didn’t know it. So we looked up to them and 43 years later I named my second born after her.
Now my Lucy watches Girls and Gossip Girls and The Kardashians. Who I think did introduce the end of society as we know it. And I can say you can’t watch it on TV, but she has full access to her computer.
I do think Robin Thicke’s song is more than just a cool, bouncy white soul, top of the charts summer hit. I think the title is very spot on – we are living in a time of blurred lines and while Mr. Thicke may be adding to both it and the dialogue he could t be acknowledging it at the same time.
So thanks to the Thicke family it’s broken down to either society is having growing pains or the lines between decent and poor behavior have become blurred lines or maybe a bit of both.