I started thinking about this after radio talk show and amateur historian Dan Carlin brought up the topic. He wondered if we could take on our grandparents in a fair fight. For me, Generation X versus the Greatest Generation– the group that survived the Great Depression and fought World War II. After Dan’s show, yeah Gen X would be mincemeat. So then I thought who could Gen X take out? Then it occurred to me… its the new kids, the so-called Gen Y or Millennials. Based on the three stories below it would be a cake walk.
Because they’re a national security risk
John Shalikashvili and Hugh Shelton, both former chairmen of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff ask, “Are we becoming a nation too fat to defend ourselves?”
Writing in the Washington Post, they observe: “Obesity rates threaten the overall health of America and the future strength of our military.”
“As of 2005, at least 9 million young adults — 27 percent of all Americans ages 17 to 24 — were too overweight to serve in the military”
“While other significant factors can keep our youth from joining the military — such as lacking a high school diploma or having a serious criminal record — being overweight or obese has become the leading medical reason recruits are rejected for military service.”
“We consider this problem so serious from a national security perspective that we have joined more than 130 other retired generals, admirals and senior military leaders in calling on Congress to pass new child nutrition legislation.”
“We must act, as we did after World War II, to ensure that our children can one day defend our country, if need be.”
Because they’re kinda lazy
I wouldn’t worry about the generals’ fears if it weren’t for this next story. When I was a kid, Scouting meant being prepared for outdoor wilderness stuff… camping, making a fire, tying knots. Now the Boy Scouts of America considers video gaming a skill!? That’s right, hooking up an X-Box 360 or a Wii will get some lucky scout a badge. Ok its not a “badge”, but it is a “belt loop,” a metal tag that slides onto the uniform belt.
To earn it, Cub Scouts must demonstrate knowledge of the video game rating system, create a schedule balancing gaming with schoolwork and chores, and learn to play any new video game that is approved by a parent, guardian or teacher. (What no Grand Theft Auto or Left 4 Dead?)
There is also a video pin, but Cub Scouts — students up to fifth grade — must complete five additional requirements, such as installing a game system, playing an educational game or making a tip sheet to help friends play a favorite game.
It still is, according to BSA executives who say the video-gaming badge/loop — while admittedly designed to bring gamers into the Scouting fold — has little to do with the overall goals of the organization now celebrating its 100th year.
“It’s part of our plan to keep current and relevant, but the badge is not part of our mainstream advancement program,” said Douglas Dillow, Scout executive for the BSA Northern New Jersey Council.”We are still focused on character-building, self-reliance and citizenship, but we also recognize video games are a large part of kids’ lives today.”
Not to be outdone the Girl Scouts offer badges for activities including watching television. Actually called the Couch Potato badge, it is advertised on the Girl Scouts website as “a cool way to improve your TV viewing habits.”
The website does say it’s not enough to just lie back and veg out. Suggested activities include investigating which foods make the best TV snacks, analyzing media representations of youth and women, and deciding how much time is healthy to spend watching television.
Because they’re just stupid
So what if a kid doesn’t become Eric Cartman in grade school and they don’t get sucked into the new scouting that favors media consumption? Everyone tells me young people today are so in touch with their parents. Their parents are more like good friends not stern authority figures. This may not be such a good thing. Case in point… Steve Consalvi, 17, called his dad from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on May 3rd, asking for permission to run on the field, as the Phillies hosted the St. Louis Cardinals.
“He said, ‘Dad, can I run on the field? Wayne Consalvi said, ‘I don’t think you should, son.’ “
“This would be a once in a lifetime experience!” the son said.
In the eighth inning, there was Steve, running around in center field, trying to evade police and security personnel. An officer appeared to aim his Taser a few times before hitting the teen, who fell before being led off the field. There wasn’t any dare or a bet, involving the friends the teen was with. He’s just an idiot.