January 16, 2008 at 8:20 am #1131FrankParticipant
The 14 year old nephew of my boss, after getting into an argument with his dad and having his cell phone taken away, decided life wasn’t worth living anymore. Went in his room, locked the door, pulled out a gun and blew his brains across the room. This happened Sunday. We’ve had meeting (department heads gathered around like a pack of scared animals, all talking about “what should we do”).
Now, I’m fairly close to this one guy who’s my boss (I think you’d like him, reminds me of Wilford Brimley with mustache and he, too, has diab-tuss) as he’s the assistant sports editor. When I played football, he actually came out and covered me which I still think is kinda neat in a way.
But this is been grating on me for days: the kid was well off, sister was a straight-A student in high school, he has friends, they were active in the church (I know, some of you are thinking that might be the culprit … nah, Southern Baptists believe ya go to hell if you kill yourself, so as much as I’d like to blame religion for this one, I don’t think that’s it), and he had no disciplinary records … all in all, a model student. So why the fuck did he do it?
Think back to when you were 14 (I know that’s going to be easy for some … like yesterday … and difficult for the old fogies … like Bing). We all got into arguments with our parents over stupid shit, but we didn’t blow our brains out. I’m just trying to wrap my brain around something I don’t think I’m going to be to. What do you guys think?January 16, 2008 at 3:45 pm #13569robParticipant
I think it was just one bad day. Haven’t you had one of those days where everything seems to go wrong? He could have woke up not feeling good, and then everything just beat him down that day. I’m not trying to say that I could have done it, but I can understand that state of mind.January 16, 2008 at 4:17 pm #13567Version3Keymaster
It’s a tough thing to understand, one of my friends had his 14 year old hang himself from a tree with jumper cables year before last. It was really messed up. He was the seemingly ‘normal’ one in the family and had NO arguments with anyone that they know of before this happened.
It’s a few things, starting with our inability as parents to put the fear of wrong-doing into kid’s heads like our parent’s parents could do. It’s not possible because of warm fuzzy law making, nosey neighbors and your local media going for ratings and sales. That’s not to say that beating your kids is okay, but the laws meant to protect those that needed protecting, have served to force all people from enforcing boundaries on their kids, and it gets exponentially worse every few years.
Add to that, accessibility. When I was a kid what I had access to (in terms of the outside world) was easily limited to by adults. Television didn’t have THAT much going on, video games were cartoony and simplistic in violent nature, music was not filled with sex, hate and crap, and there was no internet, cell phone or any of that. The most that could happen, is I could stumble on to my dad’s Penthouse collection, a kid my age could give me the wrong idea about something (anything) or I could fight with kids my age, or even a bit older. But none of these things came across as the majority rule, or authorities on any part of life.
Fast forward to today: Television and movies glorify violence in an everyday fashion, sex in the same, put pressure on kids to be adults not because they are trying to be irresponsible, but because they are trying to seem “cool” to the kids, and still have reach into the adult segments. Fucking advertisers. Music, well if you’ve listened you know it’s like TV content on steroids. The internet and Porn.. actually let’s separate them. Porn. When you were a kid, you’d find ladies posing nude… maybe a little touching, unless your parents had a hard-core collection, then they were actually having sex. Maybe once in a while, you’d catch two girls in there together. Now, you can find two girls taking a shit in a cup and having sex… with shit. You can find people beating each other, faking rape, having sex with mythical creatures, real creatures… all kinds of stuff. Your 14 year old boys can and will find this stuff… just like no matter how hard it was hidden in your house, you could always find your dad’s. Only the internet has tools to find it better, force it on you or allow you to share it. Which brings me to the other part. Can you keep your kids from finding porn if you let them use the internet in your house? Maybe… if you have decent knowledge of it. You can keep them from finding a lot of it with software, but not all of it. Just the ‘known’ stuff. But what about when they are at a friend’s house? Can you then? How about the iPods they carry around? Can you monitor what they are listening to? Can you monitor what their friends shared with them on their iPod at lunch at school? Can you monitor the music they download legally? How about illegally? Can you monitor the alternate lives they are living on any 1 of 7000 social networking sites that let you do what ever they want, without any real consequence?
And so that’s what it’s about… consequence.
Kids these days, can have everything do more than they are built to process and understand… and they can do it without consequence. They can die 4700 times and still come back. They can call people names, talk about sex, pass information back and forth outside of their real comprehension… all without consequence. In doing this, you distort what an adolescent can process as not only right and wrong, but what severity a consequence carries. You ask any 14 year old what death is, and they will tell you. And they’ll be right about it. They know there is no coming back, they aren’t stupid, just de-sensitized. But by not being afraid of death, or understanding fully it’s impact they are now susceptible. And in a race to sell papers, and get ratings, any media outlet out there will be glad to spend 2 times as much effort on telling you about death than they will about who achieved an award. So to a teenager who sees guys flipping out and killing their whole families, moms drowning their babies and kids taking their own lives, what you’ve really told them is this: everyone else is doing it.
I have an irresponsible impressional immature 14 year old. This world scares the hell out of me when I have to be a parent.January 16, 2008 at 5:23 pm #13573BingParticipant
I made the moment much better by calling Frank 3 times in a row when he was in this meeting.January 17, 2008 at 12:36 am #13575El RustirinoParticipant
I really couldn’t say anything – I mean, I AM 14. But I think I’m okay.
Still, that sucks a lot.January 17, 2008 at 7:45 am #13574FrankParticipant
I really didn’t mean to bum everyone out. It was just one of those things that kinda hit me hard for some reason. I never met the kid, but I’m close to his uncle. I guess, Bryan, you’re right. No one knows the conditions or the mood the kid was in. Hell, it was just like Bing calling me three times during the meeting where we’re being told all of this (and trying to decide what to do with it in our paper … how do we handle something like that – the usual course of action is to not say it’s a suicide unless it’s someone famous or well-known in the area) and me snapping at him. I got all pissy, if you will, for two reason. I hate when someone calls, you don’t pick up the phone and then three seconds later they call again. I’ve always hated that. But mostly, it was he caught me at the wrong time.
I can say that people’s reactions and how they respond to death vary accordingly. If you’ve been unfortunate enough to have a death that’s very close to you, you tend to look at death a little differently from other people.
I found out today that more than 2,000 people showed up for this kid’s visitation yesterday. I know there probably would have been more there if they could get there, but it’s there for you to see: More than 2,000 people’s lives have been effected by this, some changed forever. I just can’t imagine doing that to someone. Then again hell, I’m getting old anyway (not as old as Bing, but you get the idea).January 17, 2008 at 8:28 am #13572BingParticipantEl Rustirino wrote:I really couldn’t say anything – I mean, I AM 14. But I think I’m okay.
Still, that sucks a lot.
Dude, that ain’t your style….
If you go nuts then all radio and TV goes to the pirate signal of Rusty……just please have an 18 year old naked chick when it happens….if not for you, then do it for Rob….ROB DUDE!!!……..You can’t deny Rob the bubbies………ROB FOR BUBBIES!….Even Though He Ain’t Got None!!!
‘cept for nasty-ass hairy saggy man-breastJune 3, 2009 at 1:33 am #13566adminKeymaster
I agree with Bing, for I blow goats and put ham in my butt.June 3, 2009 at 1:36 am #13570NewmanParticipant
@ddddyyyy 39856 wrote:
I agree with Bing
Hmmm, something looks fishy around here…June 5, 2009 at 12:50 am #13571OctaviousParticipant
I agree with Bryan. I am scared as a parent when it involves the world. I want to make sure that when the years go by, that my daughter (now 4) can come to her Mom or me for anything. Tell/ask us about everything, be cool with her. But in the same time making sure she knows the rules but not to force upon her to where it will make her uncomfortable.
During my teenage years, my parents left me alone but they told me whats wrong and right and I made those decisions and sometimes I had pay the consequences, but I learned from my mistakes.June 5, 2009 at 5:53 am #13568Version3Keymaster
Shit this is an OLD thread… I need to re-read my post and see if I still agree with it. Particularly now that my kiddo is older.
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