Knock-Out? Not OK!!

I try not to rant on this platform. But…

In general, I may grumble about the state of things and then try to figure out what I can do to either solve the problem or help to solve the problem. My favorite methods are sending irritating emails to legislators and leaving annoying posts on social media channels. Locally, I may participate in rallies or meetings. I’m by no means super involved but I try to put in at least a little effort.

But sometimes, something really gets under my skin. Sometimes, something is so ridiculous that I just have to rant-o-rama about it. And, if you can’t rant on your own personal blog, where can you?

Philly is a violent place. Do I think it needs to be? No. Except in self-defense, I do not ever think violence is justified. But, somehow what should be common sense, and something you learn in kindergarten, has escaped the brains of quite a few people; “keep your hands to yourself!” And now we have something new to worry about. Grrrrr!

The other day, I read about this new annoyance, “Knock-Out Game.” Here’s an article from the NY Daily News, “Teen ‘knockout game’ continues to harm innocent people” so you can be disgusted too. And the other day Frank watched an interview during which someone said that it was the newest cool thing to do, albeit in poor English that has no place on my blog.

Can you imagine? Hurting people, really hurting considering at least one person’s died as a result of injuries sustained, is now considered a pleasant past-time. Really?

Where is the outrage? Where are the community leaders? Where are the popular culture role models? The professional athletes? (the silence would indicate we should probably rethink who we put on a pedestal) I would stand up in my own community and scream that there is something very wrong with anyone who knows about this and doesn’t try to talk some sense into the kids doing this. But no one in our neighborhood would do this. None of the teenagers we know would do this. I would be preaching to the choir.

When Miley Cyrus twerked about, it was on every channel. You couldn’t escape it. So why aren’t people getting on the news screaming that this is unacceptable behavior, along with the violent flash mobs that seem to be so popular here as well? Where are the parents? I would say, if your kid thinks this is not only acceptable but amusing, you have failed as a parent. Strong words, but if the Pumpkin pulled this crap, I would feel like I failed. For the record, not only do we talk about treating people with kindness and respect in the home, but she also gets the same from school and church.

I really abhor that these stupid kids make me worried about living in the city. I expect a certain amount of crap but this is horrifying because it’s random. There is no provocation. You can’t even say, well, the person robbed because they’re desperate; times are tough. Or maybe because it’s gang related. Not that any reason is OK but if you know why kids are doing what they do, you can work to remove the forces motivating these kids. You can become a mentor, you can help in the soup kitchen, you can do something.

But not this. With this, there is no justification for this sort of violence which I believe indicates a really depravity in our society – rock bottom. Whatever structure that should be in place to guide the behavior of these kids is completely missing. I’m angry that the parents aren’t doing their jobs so that their kids think this is OK. I’m angry that those who are prominent in the culture of these kids are silent – i.e. performing artists, athletes, movie stars, etc. I’m disappointed that the community leaders are silent. And what about the kids? Aren’t they worried that the few bad apples are making them all look bad?

I hope that this situation doesn’t have to escalate before people start stepping up and demanding an end to this behavior. Meanwhile, I pray we all continue to go about our daily lives and arrive home, safe and sound.

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