Monday, June 18, 2012

They're Not Old Enough!

Earlier this year, when I was beginning to take Civics & Economics at school, our teacher showed us an episode of a television program titled The West Wing. The show itself was well-written; even if I didn't know it was penned by Aaron Sorkin, I'd recognize his ultra-fast dialogue anywhere, but it was good dialogue.

The problem was that it was the sixth episode or so, and I had no idea what the hell was going on. Later I mentioned this to my maternal grandmother on the phone and she said something about the "themes" being something I'd "come to appreciate more as I gained age and, therefore, maturity." OK, Grandma, I love you, but this is a common mistake. Trust me, plenty of teenagers don't realize the finer side of art, nor do plenty of younger children and a frightening number of adults. But some adults (not all) consistently belittle us. For example, I was unscathed by R-rated movies by age thirteen. I learned most swearwords early on. And I can fully well understand most forms of art without having to wait.

They seem to think us younger than we are. I first saw a PG-13 movie, as I recall, at age eight. It was Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which I remember being pretty cool. Sure, I had forgotten most of it by the time I decided to watch it again at age eleven. But eleven-year-olds are not toddlers. They can understand things perfectly well. One thing I think turns many kids off of the love of reading would be English assignments that suck the life out of the written word, i.e. "What do you think the author meant?" I think the author meant what they said, or if not, then it either wasn't clear enough writing or it will strike us later without it being shoved in our faces. Stephen King compared these things to the golden goose. Once killed and butchered, it won't produce any more golden eggs. Or appeal to youth. We can figure stuff out if properly motivated and if given a fair chance.

Anyhow, I'm much more mature than most people my age. Sillier, sure, but that is actually part of my maturity. I know that it's good to laugh and have fun instead of being dull and doing the bare minimum in life. In addition, I'm beyond stupid things like perversion and bigotry. In some senses I am much more intelligent than most of these herd-sheep. Moreover, I understand people to a further extent than many, despite my mother's frantic claims of my social inadequacy. Generally, I can read faces and know the safest thing to say. And being eloquent doesn't hurt. I can back up most of my arguments and find the weaknesses in those of others. That's why I need to join Debate in the fall, if I can. In the meantime, Ethics sounds interesting, but I need to find out how to get into that.

So basically, youth does not equal stupidity or immaturity, or, of course, lack of ability to appreciate the finer things in life.

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