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We're doing a horrible disservice to American teens. I know this now.

It's become clear to me that Kanye West is the bellwether of a nasty crash for America and the future of our youth. Put your tray tables up and your seat back in the full upright position. And remember, put your own oxygen mask on before helping your neighbor. Just pretend you're a bank CEO.

West's outburst and lack of decorum, his stage storming and grabbing of a winner's microphone in mid speech is the sort of thing one might expect in this nation's most powerful men and women in the greatest halls of power.

But certainly not at the MTV music awards.

I admit I don't much follow pop culture. Not as much as I should. But this Kanye thing seemed eerily familiar. So I did some research. By which I mean, I watched Youtube...

Wait. Sorry...wrong video...

What's remarkable is not so much that Kanye West did it. That he jumped up and grabbed whatshername's microphone. But that he caught hell for it.

Disrespect for authority, it seems, is suddenly becoming uncool. That's a terrible sign. Now everybody is doing it. And, as usual, now that adults are hip to the's going to lose its appeal. Now that American "adults" are storming town halls and jumping on stage and shouting down the people they thought shouldn't have won...being loud, boisterous, and spiteful of authority and institutions is just going to become uncool.

Our kids are going to look down on our unstodgy, disrespectful ways. Teenage girls will roll their eyes whenever their bubblegum popping mothers or fathers speak out of turn at a PTA meeting. Teenage boys will shush us at public events and movies. Among young people will spread the stereotype of crazy old man drivers who don't know how a four way stop works.

To make matters worse... portly, double-chinned men like Mike Duval are talking about their spanking adventures...

Each generation needs to believe they practically invented naughty sex. It's been a right, born from religious repression, bestowed upon budding American men and women from generation to generation. But with even the most vocally devout now very publicly getting in on the action, adults have sullied that bastion of rebellion as well.

There's no telling what sort of wholesome adventures we're forcing our young men and women into by alienating them from this long time tradition; Filling their associations with old men spanking middle aged women.

They're going to take up miniature golf.

These last few months of screaming, disrespectful adults is a bad sign for Ameria's young adults. There's nowhere for them to go, now, but escape to some twisted subculture of maturity.

Originally posted to Muskegon Critic on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 08:48 AM PDT.

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