This blog was inspired by a group of young males I saw on a street corner before school while I was stopped at a red light. Whether they ever made it to school remains a mystery.
It troubles me when I see people of any age marking time, lock-stepping to a beat chosen by the world around them, falling in line, afraid to disrupt the order of things. One thing that drives me crazy is inertia, a resistance to change.
The Stepford Wives, a 1972 satirical thriller by Ira Levin, is a story about Joanna Eberhart, a photographer and young mother who moves to a perfect Connecticut town and begins to suspect that the submissive housewives there might be robots created by their husbands. In that case, the wives were simply replaced by machines. These days we have advanced way beyond the Stepford wives, no longer needing to replace a person with a machine. We do that ourselves by sticking the machines in our hands and ears. Unless some outside force knocks us in the head, we will continue staring at our hands and listening to the programmed hypnosis attacking our ears and eyes. It bothers me most of all when I see young people—anyone under age 30—doing that. I remember when we use to say, “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” Now I would reverse that and say, “Don’t trust anyone under 30.”
On February 8, 1931, James Dean was born, and in 1955, at the age of 24, he made a movie called Rebel Without a Cause. It offered both social commentary and an alternative to previous films depicting delinquents in urban slum environments. Dean played Jim Stark, a teen from a troubled family who in the end loses a friend to death but gains a father. On that corner, I witnessed what appeared to be the Belt Buckle Rebellion. The group of young men stood puffing on electronic cigarettes, not one of them with their pants up to their waists. I supposed this was some sort of rebellion, although I’m wasn’t sure against what. Belts?
Politicians moving into New Hampshire have no doubt noted that the state is in drug addiction shock. In one survey, the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies placed New Hampshire among the top 10 states in the nation in terms of abuse of either alcohol or drugs by teens, a self-induced inertia, to say the least. It’s time for young people to stop standing around with their pants down and do something and time for older people to kick conformity and acceptance in the behind. Everyone should grab life by the bull rope and ride the damn thing to the buzzer.
There will be more thoughts on inertia and other things on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Join me there.