Where are the adults?
by Dave Patterson
I look around me, at the society wherein I live, and feel dismay and puzzlement. Our collective psyche has become dominated by childish people and childish things, a small group of adolescent males full of testosterone and greed and short-sightedness and stupidity and aggressiveness believing Ceasar-like they are the very center of the universe, and a much larger group of docile followers either trying to find shelter and reward as slavish enforcers or bureaucrats for these thugs or too afraid or too apathetic to oppose them.
We're missing something in this picture, something rather important. Where are the adults?
Where are the wise (at least wiser) elders who should be leading us, who understand that they/we are not the center of the universe, or even this planet, but that many others inhabit this space, many others who may be different than we are, but nonetheless have the same rights as we do to life and happiness and space and control of their own destiny; who understand that all of us need sustenance, and our children and their children will need sustenance, so consuming as much as we possibly can in an insane orgy of greed and wantonly, petulantly, selfishly destroying what we donít want or need or simply inconveniences us is a very stupid and childish way of behaviour; who understand that gratuitous violence in the service of base motives will always, inevitably, provoke an equal if not greater response, and thus peace and cooperation is the path of choice of a civilised community; who understand that alpha-adolescent males are by nature powerful but aggressive and not very bright, and it is one of the most important jobs of the adults in a community to teach them well and channel their violent impulses into constructive and intelligent rather than destructive and stupid behaviour; who understand that brazen lies and threats of dire consequences are not acceptable instruments to bring to a discussion table where differences are to be resolved; and who understand that the life of a sheep is a natural life for a docile, mindless herd-beast, but is not fitting for a grown human being, who must pass through childhood and dependance and come to the state of an adult, an equal and responsible member of his or her society, aware of the important issues that arise from time to time, participating in the process of deciding how to deal with those issues in the most effective and appropriate way for all involved, and standing tall and courageous in the face of adversity, even from within the community. Such is the way of the adult, and even though it is often only imperfectly realised, it is nonetheless the ideal towards which we would strive.
But where now are the wise elders in my society, who guide and control the wayward children, who challenge the usurpers who lie and threaten and steal and destroy, who so ignominiously betray all and everything?
Oh, there is the odd one here, and there, and around - but few heed their words anymore. The bullies and braggarts, the liars and sneaks and crooks and charlatans, the simple-minded who live for today with no regard for the future, have taken over - they have taken over everything of import, really, not only the government, but the news distribution agencies that the people rely on for information so they are told only what the small-minded usurpers with big wet spoiled-adolescent dreams want them to hear, the schools and universities where they are educated so they are taught that obedience and non-questioning are the proper role for the non-elite, the churches where they worship their gods, the civilian police agencies and judicial system which ensure compliance with their laws and regulations whatever they may be - and I fear for us all. And the others, the willing or silent followers - those who should be thoughtful, alert citizens participating in rational debates and councils on the important issues facing us, proto-adults on the path to becoming elders in their communities, have now been trained through a generation of unceasing propaganda and brainwashing to sit passively in front of their television sets night after night after night, absorbing unquestioningly the dictates of their controllers, shallow slogans and sound-bites in place of considered thought - those short-sighted, cunning but not intelligent, barbarians spoken of before.
In the world I first experienced in this life, the adults were in charge, at least mostly - oh, they werenít perfect, nor was society, far from it, but they did understand a few of the principles of adulthood - sharing is better than greed, peace is better than war, grass and trees and clean water are better than grey cement buildings and parking lots, a host of small, diverse farms are stronger in every way than a 10,000 acre monoculture, selling oneís soul for a big bank account is a pretty stupid idea, many things like that that collectively make a civilised community - and to a very substantial extent people who were at least working on adulthood oversaw the civilian agencies such as news providers, schools, police, courts and so on, and we were slowly but steadily progressing on the path towards an ever greater maturity and wisdom and society. But no longer - in the great television-driven anti-Renaissance of the last 30 years of the 20th century, such people have been almost completely purged from the councils of government and community, replaced by sycophants of the stupid and shallow and shortsighted, and we suffer for it and, I much fear, are about to suffer a great deal more.
Come, my friends, my fellow citizens - let us cease this unsuitable and fearful pandering to the violent and regressive and greedy aspect of our collective social being, that low-IQ alpha-adolescent child, and put the adults back in charge. Turn off the televisions and their childrenís programs and programmers, their mindless, apathy-inducing brainless and soulless talking heads - step outside and talk to your neighbours about the real world, and how to reclaim our society from the brutes and charlatans and usurpers, the liars and warmongers and thiefs. Let us restore hope and civility and sanity to our land and community and future, and put this dangerous excursion into fear and brutality and despair and psychosis behind us.
It is the adult thing to do.