After 15 years or so of trying to transform the child you gave birth to into a thinking, functioning adult, it comes down to this: Either you raised the kind of kid who’s going to sell weed, talk about killing his classmates and offer sex to grownups on myspace.com, or you did not.
If you’re one of the many who didn’t, good for you. You can relax and let your kid enjoy the portal to hell that is the Internet without worrying that he’ll be corrupted by the depravity beckoning from the other side of the monitor.
But if you’re one of the many who decided to overprotect or under-encourage your kids, or tell yourself that parenting consists of prayer and Prozac, you may not then blame myspace for the mess you’ve created.
Myspace started as a site for unknown bands to promote their music and concerts while getting their name out to potential fans, but has now morphed into an online community dominated by and geared toward two groups of people: teenagers and creepy adults who like to talk to teenagers using teenage slang.
Most kids use it to do what every other kid has ever done, at least while I’ve been alive: Trade music and gossip, posture and make themselves out to be more than they are while trying to lure members of the opposite sex.
And just like every other generation of normal kids with normal upbringings, there are a few on the fringes whose behavior would make any parent proud — as long as that parent is Charlie Sheen.
Selling dope, seeking or offering sex, planning to blow up their school — you name it, and a handful of kids have done it on myspace.
And since myspace gives the degenerates the same access to their forum as they do the normal kids, the site’s operators have been vilified constantly over the last few weeks by the media, parent groups and grandstanding politicians.
Myspace must be regulated!
Myspace is hurting the kids!
Congress is going to take a close look at myspace!
Yeah, that’s the answer.
Congress. The guys who can’t figure out if immigrant laborers should stay, go, or just hang around long enough to pick celery for $1.50 a day.
It used to be the fault of Judas Priest every time a kid put a rope around his neck. When I was a kid it was Metallica and action movies. Now it’s “Grand Theft Auto” and myspace.com.
The one common denominator is the American tradition of blaming the thing the kid happened to be doing at the exact moment he messed up instead of tracing the path of the mess-up back to its root: The two irresponsible idiots who wanted a child but instead created the poorly raised result of a poorly planned pregnancy.
Instead of regulating Web sites, someone should tell them what they forgot to tell their kids: The world is not here to clean up your mess.