Savage Generation

We’ve all had nothing but time on our hands for the last 7 months, so folks have been watching and re-watching some interesting stuff. As for myself, I’ve binged “The Good Place” and “The Office” (American Version) with my kids. (14 & 10) It’s been a lot of fun and something we all can do together when we can’t think of anything else, or I’m short on inspiration. Also, they are just 20/30 minutes episodes, so it’s not a long commitment.

Recently i’ve found myself with quite a bit of extra time in the evening, so i’ve been re-watching some old movies. Last night I watched “Heathers”.

Y’all. This shit was savage! I haven’t seen this movie since I was a kid and I was floored by how much our culture has changed in this amount of time. I doubt very much that many younger folks read this blog, but if you do and you want to have a better understanding of how your Mom grew up, watch this movie …. but only if you are an adult now. And I don’t mean to say that this movie depicted life in High School in the 80’s, i’m just saying teens watched this movie and found things to relate to.

This current generation of teens- my son included- has their own set of unimaginable obstacles and challenges, (High School Zoom, anyone?) but I don’t think anything you have now can compare to the bullying, hate, and wardrobe of the 80s.

One of my biggest pet peeves of this social media age is folks who shout, “We didn’t have that and we grew up just fine! Buncha snowflake pansies!” (the last sentiment is usually just added on in my head) I urge these narrow-minded, tunnel-vision myopic knuckle heads to watch Heathers. That “norm” is no longer acceptable, and for good reason. Please don’t idolize any of that perspective. This movie was standard issue social expectation and common sentiment back then. Here are some highlights:

Heather Chandler: Fuck me gently with a chainsaw, do I look like Mother Teresa?
Pauline Fleming: Whether to kill yourself or not is one of the most important decisions a teenager can make.
The “Dead Gay Son” scene:
Let’s not forget all of the completely normalized sexual situations – Jocks forcing themselves on Juniors in high school, college guys aggressively hitting on high school girls, and the comment about a rumor going around that a main character let 2 jocks “sword fight in your mouth”.
There was a school shooting scene and someone trying to blow up a school.

The thought of these scenarios used for comedy – dark or otherwise – nowadays is mental.

This was not unique to this “Dark Comedy” either. I watched “Big” with my kids COMPLETELY forgetting that the main character, on his 13th birthday in his adult Man suit had sex for the first time. THIRTEEN! I was gobsmacked sitting there with my then 9 and 13 year old trying to stutter my way out of those questions. EWE.

So … like i’m the least prudish person around, but watching this all now, having my own kids, knowing I watched it as a kid, the thought of my teenager watching it … “Horrified” isn’t the right word because no part of me is that delicate, but just unreal.

We have come a long way, folks.

And can I just say the fact that that somewhat represented the social standards of the day, coupled with most of us raising ourselves at home because our parent(s) worked, we grew up more savvy than most. We also put up with less bullshit than most. I don’t know how Karens evolved in our generation but I just wanted to get on here and say that we are badasses. Regardless of how we currently behave, and no matter where you grew up, we all had battles we fought through as teenagers.

My original point was that we grew up dealing with some crazy norms. When my kid wants to pride himself on thinking he’s tricked me and snuck extra game time or phone time, or when my daughter wants to lie about something as mundane as brushing her teeth, I want to laugh in their faces for all the crazy shit I got away with as a kid…. and a few things I didn’t get away with. We were little Road Warriors running around the streets compared to the kids we have these days … and maybe that’s why we are helicopter moms and overbearing Tiger moms and Mama Bears.

This was a muddled, unclear post and for that I apologize, but if anyone thinks for a second we haven’t come a long way …. Teenagers, your Moms are badasses. If you think you have found yourself in a social predicament or a personal insurmountable situation, don’t be afraid to go to your parent or a trusted adult. We have been through it, people. And we likely tattooed or pierced the scars we have from it.

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