Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fire In The Hole....

Just recently I was watching a newscast, a general no-no in this house, and heard a story about some kids in Huntingdon, PA who have begun a new game.

This game is called "Fire in the Hole". The kids drive through a fast food place, order food and then throw it at the server. The objective in this game is to videotape it and put it on YouTube.

Now I'll grant you that we were rather mischievous as kids, too. But our idea of mischief was to toilet-paper a house or egg someone's windows. With the security patrol in the neighborhood, we wouldn't have gotten too far doing either on a regular basis ~ but we occasionally managed to unload some TP or a carton of eggs somewhere. The most that happened if we were caught was that we'd have to clean it up.

I got in trouble personally for writing on the bathroom walls in high school. Several of us wrote pretentious paragraphs that started with things like "In these hallowed halls of academia..." nWe were suspended for a few days and made to wash the walls on the weekend.

We really thought we were so clever.

We certainly didn't put anyone in danger.

Imagine if they begin to throw hot coffee on a server instead of cold soda.

Someone mentioned that their ultimate objective was to throw fire crackers in the windows. Another person took it a step further and speculated that it would be fun and interesting to shoot one of them between the eyes with a 9MM handgun.

Meanwhile, these videos are being played on YouTube, to the apparent amusement of other teenagers.

Where and when did kids become so hateful? And why?

I can speculate on how I think it came to be. In my culture, we have a thing called "face" and disrespecting someone, especially in public, is simply unacceptable.

And I can't help but wonder why it is not emphasized here.

The people working at those fast food places may be often young, or poor, maybe both ~ but they are working people and deserve the same respect as any working person.

Something tells me these kids would not target a lawyer ~ or a cop. They wouldn't dare!

Somehow these workers are considered to be acceptable targets.

I'd like to know if you heard this story... and, if so, what are your thoughts? What do you think has brought this kind of "amusement" about?

Personally, I find it repulsive.



flutter said...

not to mention a complete waste of food that someone who is actually hungry could eat.

crazymumma said...

I dread the day this may come across my parenting.

I do not understand the contempt of a teenager, I can only remember the hideous self feelings and need to lash out. Stupidly.

May all of us with children hope that our progeny will do better.

Snoskred said...

Over here a group of teenagers made a very special dvd of some of their own videos. It contained many things which were distasteful but certainly the worst of which was a gang of teenagers tormenting, then raping, a mentally disabled girl. Parts of this video were shown on current affairs shows here, and the boys were all taunting each other to do things to her. It was disgraceful.

None of them went to jail. None of them got into very much trouble. They were all teenagers and the court was lenient on them.

THAT is why. Right there. Teens know they can't get into too much trouble. They know they are not held responsible for their actions.

All those boys who were present when that girl was raped, ALL of them, should be serving time, in my opinion.

Because they are not, all it says to other teenage boys is, feel free to do whatever you like.


Mary said...

Repulsive. They all should be whipped and put away for a few decades. Sorry, I'm impatient tonight.

Blog Antagonist said...

My oldest child, who is in 7th grade, has become completely enamored of YouTube. He recently showed me a clip of a young man eating a raw habanero pepper. I suppose that's more stupid than criminal, but it made me remark to husband that YouTube is spurring people to new heights of stupidity, cruelty and recklessness.

I don't know what is wrong with kids. I can honestly say that it would never even cross my son's mind to do something so horrible. But...he's young yet. I suppose I can't really way what he might do under the influence of peer pressure. I can assure you that not only would he face criminal charges, his home life would be mighty unpleasant for some time.

What a terrible thing.

MsLittlePea said...

Yeah I saw this on the news. To say it frankly, it pissed me off. The first thing I thought was, who the hell do these people think they are. Some of them doing it are also college age. The thing is, it just seems to me that it's not just kids that are so hateful. It's an all around feeling, I think. And the fact that so many parents want to be 'friends' with their kids is a huge factor.

This isn't a new thing though. When I was in high school a lot of the 'cool' boys used to walk around the hallways and just punch someone in the face and walk away, laughing with each other over what geniuses they were. "Surprisingly" it was never someone big enough to punch back. Of course they never got in trouble-those sort of people never do, it seems. And it's always the vulnerable that get picked on.

My best friend and I once got suspended in the 6th grade for throwing TicTacs on the bus at some boys we had a crush on. My father didn't think it was very funny and after I had so many privileges taken away for 2 months, neither did I.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

This is appalling. There really do need to be stiffer penalties for those who do hateful and hurtful things to others, no matter how young they are.

Put them away first, then shrink their psyches. Just get them out of the mainstream where they can't act out their horrifying (and escalating) games on innocent people.

We have been trying so hard to understand such behavior and blame others for it that we are falling down on the job of protecting those who are at risk. This needs to change, and soon.

jen said...

the complete disregard for other people is staggering. simply terrifying. if i think too much about it i freak out.

thailandchani said...

Flutter, that's a good point! It's also a disrespect for resources.


Snos, the sociopathy of young kids these days is very frightening! I can't help but think it has some relation to the cultural values though. It's difficult to not establish that connection.


Mary, I can understand. Really. Kids have to be taught respect from the time they're old enough to understand language. In that regard, a hierarchy isn't a totally bad thing. It creates social order.


BA, that's really true! It's like they are competing with each other to see who can hit the absolute highest level of depravity. I look at YouTube but it is usually just to listen to music. Luckily, I haven't seen this other stuff firsthand.

I'm glad to see you here again. :)


MsPea, it seems to be escalating with each age group. When I was a kid, it was considered beyond reason to even get into a fist fight! Then they began shooting each other.

I remember in LA when I was a kid, some kid killed his parents. The jokes were rather sick since it happened the day after Christmas. We joked that he obviously didn't like what he got for Christmas.. but, still, it was such a shock! We didn't even hear of that kind of senseless murder for sport ~ not even in Watts or East Los Angeles.


Susan, I agree that there's very little protection. This is a scary place to live. And it's getting scarier all the time.


Jen, I agree with you, too. The disregard for others has reached what seems to be almost an epidemic of sociopathy. People are objects. There's no sense of oneness.. at all.




ThomasLB said...

Americans have always had a sick need to look down on other people, and since many have the misguided notion that people are poor because they deserve to be, economic prejudice is accepted- often even encouraged. The press likes to give anecdotes about the few who rise out of poverty, but the truth is we've always had a very rigid class structure here.

Hard work is neither respected nor rewarded. "Fire in the hole" is just the latest symptom of a chronic disease.

thailandchani said...

Thomas, I always like how you get right to the core of the matter.



Emily said...

Oh, Chani. That is so sad.

But, I don't think all kids have become disrespectful. Just a small minority. And, I shudder to think what has happened in their lives to make them this way. Has no one taught them respect at all?

Jao said...

Makes me think of my prank-loving days...the worst I ever did that I feel oh so horrible now was stocking up on an entire cart of groceries at the supermarket and to the cash register and ring it all up and acted like I forgot my wallet in the car, and split...yes I was trying to make an impression on a girl accompanying me...the classic arse-hole...I do laugh at some of the more innocent fun before that...public restroom grafiti making puns on gangsta shizlenit, dog poop on the doorstep, prank calls to adult call centers (before puberty trying to prove I was 18 must have been fun for the operator!)...classic classic...but this new style is pointless and pathetic

thailandchani said...

Emily, this question is always the one where the social conservative in me comes out. Kids who are raised with supervision are far less likely to end up roaming around, doing these things. :)


Jao, glad to see you here. (For those reading, Jao is from Thailand Voice)

That's really the thing. When I was a kid, we did stupid stuff like that, too, but all told, it was fairly harmless.

Annoying.. but harmless. Dog poop on the doorstep is a far cry from paint balling and throwing food at people.

You can already predict my thoughts on this.. and why... Thailand.. and all.. so I won't bash you about it here.




QT said...

Chani - I did hear about this, and as a former (in my teens) drive-thru worker, I can't tell you some of the crap that was done in the drive-thru - guys driving in naked, kids trying to squirt us with ketchup bottles, etc.

Most fast food restaurants now are going to a security window, to prevent robberies but also stuff like this. There is a panel in between the window that thecar outside has access to. The cashier can open the panel to collect money or put food in. The outer part that the driver has access to automatically locks if the inside panel is open, like a chamber.

It is a sad, sad world. But I think this is the minority and they thrive on attention, which the news media is only happy to give them.

Pam said...

First, I commented on your blog yesterday but for some reason it didn't take. I've been making some difficult adjustments lately and have not been on my computer as much as usual but always stop by here when I am.

Relating to this post, I have been wondering the same thing about some of our teenagers myself. I have a good friend who tells me that there's a group of them who have been urinating against the back of her garage and defecating on the ground. It isn't personal, it's just because it's a fairly secluded spot in town and they can. My question is, why would they want to? Mischief has turned into something most hateful and it's frightening.

painted maypole said...

wow. that story is appalling. There is so much lack of respect in our society, and i think parents model it and kids further it and it goes on and on.

liv said...

what painted maypole and flutter said.

security patrol, eh? in my neighborhood there was no such thing. we were used to gunshots, engines revving, and drive-by shootings. back then, that was "adult" crime. makes me wonder why kids are starting younger and younger. back to the modeling of behavior, I suppose.

Open Grove Claudia said...

The thing is that people will watch those videos so they will make more. Videos, movies, television designed to insight our primal urges.

My question is: "where are their parents?"

slouching mom said...

Yeah. Sigh. It's really awful. And I think it's absolutely a case of parents abdicating responsibility for raising their children.

It's not just about giving birth to them and feeding them. It's about teaching them to be loving, moral citizens.

blooming desertpea said...

It's repulsive, all right.

My guess is that the kids are lacking of attention these days and they are desperate to get it one way or the other ... parents are no more role models, that could be a second source for actions like that. It's terribly sad, that's for sure ...

thailandchani said...

QT, thankfully it is the minority for now. My primary concern is desensitization. Things that were considered truly horrid when I was a kid are acceptable now. What happens in 20 years? It's a scary proposition.


Pam, this site was an idiot yesterday. :) It doesn't surprise me that comments might have gotten lost. I was changing this and that, had it up and down, so on.

Urinating and defecating in public? That's disgusting! You know, I can understand someone having to take a pee if they're out in the middle of nowhere.. but that is just plain uncivilized, what you are describing! Yecht!


May, I think I agree.. quite a bit. It is all modeling.


Liv, yeah.. we had a security patrol in our neighborhood. I suspect they mostly parked in the hills and slept though.


Claudia, I agree with you, too. Where are the parents? And why is there such a need to create even stronger and stronger sensation all the time? It's as though the kids are numb.. no empathy at all.


SM, I am just enough of a social conservative to agree. Kids don't really have a sense who and what they belong to anymore.


Desertpea, you're blooming. :) In other words, you're right. On all counts.




mitzh said...

It's so sad to see some of those youths go to waste, then again is it only the parents who has to take the blame or the society that seems to be spiraling downwards as well...

I don't know the answer really, but somehow I still believe that we will have a better world in the near future.. :)

thailandchani said...

Mitzh, sometimes things go so bad that people are prompted to action. Is that what you mean about having a better world in the near future?



Cecilieaux said...

OT: I really like the cream color background (is it cream?).

Anonymous said...

IMHO Its not so much Hate as it is disrespect for humanity.Too many broken families today, kids being brought up in single households, being torn apart by devorce or just plain spoiled rotten.

thailandchani said...

C, it is pale yellow on my screen. As long as it's pleasant on everyone's screen, I'll leave it alone :)


Anonymous, that's a very good point. Disrespect for humanity. And I agree with your reasons as well.




Suzy said...

First of all, I wholeheartedly agree with Thomas's comment. As a society, we do not respect working people. Even working people don't respect other working people! The labor movement worked hard to change that and made many inroads, but so much of that work has been dismantled and (falsely) discredited since Ronald Reagan took office in 1980.

Second, I think bullying behavior is modeled at the top. Our so-called leaders are mean people. What is happening in Iraq (or domestically, for that matter) is just "fire in the hole" writ large.