|You know, I'd almost be tempted to find this funny (in a decidedly satirical sort of way) if I wasn't so excruciatingly sobered by the thought that millions of rather bright children wallow in this stuff sure enough.
And it's all there for them to wallow right into.
I'm also tempted to ponder the shift across three little generations, that has caused our arrival upon these particular shores.
And tempted as well, to perhaps consider tossing just a little bit more understanding toward the absolutely desperate over-protectiveness that exists in modern parents in these times - especially the ones who live in societies affluent enough that their children can readily and easily access all this information.
And then I pause for a minute, and consider what I do.
Firstly of course, I completely ignore all forms of info-media, the sound bytes, the audio and video infotainment...the whole crazy cacaphony of crash and burn jazz that passes as "news."
And replace the whole damned mess with good books of my own personal choice written by good writers...stuff I can absorb at my ease in a rather calm and mellow sort of way (after which, digesting the stuff, consider its flavors and possible nutrient values.)
(Needless to say - a vast majority of these good books read like Agatha Christie "whodunnits" - but they are not simple little murder mysteries of the conventional sort - far from it.)
They are comfortable little windows looking into much of the folly of humans.
Which is an entirely different sort of thing than what kids will do.
And that's a damned shame.
Because of course, the stuff is overwhelming. And that's what intrigues me.
In a country made infamous for medicating (drugging) its children to a greater degree than all children on the rest of the planet -
perhaps I've missed the most salient point:
Yes, of course, they're value-added, and there's money in it, and corporate profit margins to consider, and shareholders to be beholden to, and all the rest of it....
But perhaps at the very core of the thing, is that we've created a world designed to drive kids mad.
(Unless they tune out, turn off - and just dive into mindless play with innocuous and ubiquitous teckie-toys.)
Which of course, many of them do. But not all the time.
If all this stuff had deluged upon my little self at a tender age - what would I have done with it, I wonder?
I had lousy nightmares over the Cold War, as it it was. (Which I've written about, in Ground Zero.)
But even that didn't overwhelm me. In most ways, I still had the good fortune to engage in what was more or less a "normal" childhood.
We like to think that children are resilient. And of course, they are.
To an amazing degree.
We want to believe that the 'full impact' of all these things can't possibly hit them. Not like it hits us.
I've often thought this: At my age, I've had 6 decades of developing no end of personal philosophies, coping mechanisms, a vibrant sense of humor (thank god!)
and a whole host of other tricks and treats that keep the beast at bay.
But what does a 10 or 11 year-old do? (Or younger - egad!)
Once again, my friend - you've provided some excellent and provocative food for thought.