"Happy the age, happy the time, to which the ancients gave the name of golden, not because in that fortunate age the gold so coveted in this our iron one was gained without toil, but because they that lived in it knew not the two words 'mine' and 'thine'." Don Quixote
If you haven't been in a cave for the past week or so, you may have seen this story about a group of teenage girls who beat up another teenage girl for writing something disagreeable on her MySpace page. Two teenage boys enticed the victim into an apartment where she was savagely beaten by other girls. The beating is relentless and the girls seemed unstoppable. They behaved like mad dogs. This wasn't some minor-league ass-kicking. The victim will likely lose part of the sight in her left eye and some of her hearing. During the taping, one of the girls cautioned the others to avoid the knickknack cabinet. She didn't want anything to get broken.
The video which they proudly displayed on YouTube was one of the more appalling things I've ever seen and I've been on this planet for a while now. I've seen lots of appalling things. Usually, I can watch them with a healthy degree of detachment but not this time.
When the kids were finally arrested, they showed no remorse for their actions and harangued the police about needing to get out in time for cheerleading practice. One of them quipped, "Well, I guess we won't be going to the beach this weekend."
When I was able to get beyond flaming anger at the girls themselves and at the people of my generation who raised these hideously sociopathic beings, I began to look at it from a larger perspective - which is generally where the real answers are. This stuff doesn't happen in a vacuum.
This is an outcome and result of a culture and a society that believes we are separate, that has so dehumanized all of us that my pain isn't yours and yours isn't mine. It becomes possible to look at each other as objects to be managed and controlled ~ and ultimately conquered.
That further allows that the only thing that matters is getting what we want, that we have an inherent right to have what we want, that annihilation of any opponent by any means is acceptable and children can be raised to believe they should have everything they want - right now - and that no one has the right to put any limitations on them. They are separate beings. Separate from the rest of us. Their "dreams" matter most of all. This view is written into the culture's mythos and cosmology as well as the economic system.
It is a worldview that is doomed to implode ~ and should. There is no small print on everyone's birth certificate that guarantees that all their "dreams" should come true - or that life is "fair" or that just by virtue of birth, anyone has the right to oppress or abuse someone else. It is a sense of entitlement that has gone on long enough - far too long - and it's time for a smackdown. It is time to put the brakes on the Culture of Sociopathy