Friday, July 15, 2005

Juvenile Deliquency - 21st Century Style?

In the July 11, 2005 edition of the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) online, there was an interesting observation regarding Islamic recruitment among the young people of England. The article observes that "one leading analyst of the Islamic diaspora even compares the lure of extremist Islam to 1950s teens listening to Elvis in an attempt to shock their parents." Apparently, some recruits to radical Islam have tried other ways - the example used was a Pentecostal preacher's son who first tried to get attention by "being a rapper" - to shock their parents. With today's insanely "understanding" (is that an oxymoron?) parents, children apparently will go so far as to be a suicide bomber to have their parents' full sedulity.

Has it truly come to this? Far beyond window-shattering sub-woofers, sexual promiscuity and unprotected intercourse, drug abuse and alcoholism, tattoos and piercings, children now must declare their independence and "adulthood" by blowing themselves and, more tragically, others up. Well, that completely tears it. Apparently, we have achieved a spirit of aloof, isolated procreation that mimics the guidance and supervision given to the offspring of the sea turtle. We fertilize the ovum far out in the murky, detritus-filled waters that are our modern world, swim through the 9 months of gestation in our own preoccupied and distracted lives, and leave our eggs on the beach and in the hands of whoever and whatever may befall them. That beach, with it's clutch of unattended hatchlings, is a breeding ground of despair, false prophets and hateful, racist, shallow thinking. These forsaken and abandoned children are, for all practical purposes, on their own, lest we - collectively, the parental units - "interfere with their process of discovering themselves." The pendulum of parental detachment and "Nanny 911" mentality is now, irrevocably, off its natural path. Pushed forward by the children of the 60s and 70s - regardless of ethnicity, religion, or race - the bob has swung wildly off its course.We are far past the apogee of the bell curve that plots the rise and, inevitable, fall of our civilization.

In reports from ABCNews.com, there were the following descriptions of the bombing suspects: "Every week, 22-year-old Shahzad Tanweer joined friends for games of soccer and his beloved cricket. Hasib Hussain, 19, was a charmer who liked to flirt. He wore blue contact lenses and hair so long that one friend said it "fell like a curtain" atop his lanky frame. Thirty-year-old Mohammed Sidique Khan worked as a counselor in a youth center. He seemed to spend more time in the gym than the mosque." Elsewhere, I read that Tanweer often cruised the streets of Leeds in a red Mercedes.

I see a patten that I hope is merely an aberration - a mirage - that only I see. Youthful rebellion - be it against parents or society or governments or religions - has become much more than a simple pursuit of getting an inattentive parent's or peers’ attention; it has become murderously de rigeur. The rich, materially-privileged but parentally-rudderless lives of many of the current generation has bred an infestation of discontent and ill-fated behavior. But, among a small number of advantaged - through the sweat of the preceding 2 or 3 generations - Muslim children, apparently this restlessness has transitioned to deadly, self-annihilating jihad.

My generation may have rolled lawns with toilet tissue, or egged homes or even bashed mail boxes down a rural road. The latest generation begat the madness of drive-by shootings and now, cross-culturally, become even more murderously inventive. Now, no longer content with self-mutilation, these misguided youths must make a horrific demonstration of their religious fanaticism. Blog Bloke on BlogCritics.org calls it "Death by Stupicide." He couldn’t be more correct.

The youth of today - be they Christian, Muslin, Buddist, or Jewish or Druids - seem to be desperately seeking a higher purpose- a calling. When they can’t find it within the superficial, vain, materialistic society in which they live - and is anyone surprised by that? - they turn to fanaticism. They may be as actors on our traditional stage of life but, when they remove their makeup, they are monsters.

"The boy next door" has taken on a new, wholly-frightening, meaning.

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