My feeling is, if kids don’t have an outlet or media that they can identify with, they are going to act out in their own way; and usually in a misdirected way without any guidance or framework, and to me, that’s like giving a child a handgun. That’s a lot of power that the youth doesn’t know how to aim or use. So we have here an issue of mastery; mastery of life. And you need good teachers to teach you that, not lost or cowardly adults and amateurs.
For the longest time, mainstream entertainment, the education system, and the publishing world has infantilized youth with a Disney concept that the 18-25 simply didn’t exist; and that we have no feelings, sexuality or individuality. We went from one extreme of not knowing that woman had clitorises to total raunchiness; to where the high school system today cannot control the kids acting out and having sex in schools. The kids today have no authority, no leaders, just as they didn’t have in the early 60s.
Now, in 2016, we have a genre in literature that is picking up speed called “New Adult” which is bridging the gap I mentioned. This is a happy accident that birthed from the fact that all the HARRY POTTER fans are aging, as well as the characters; they are coming of age and the investors want to continue to fatten their pockets. Although the premise to serve the youths’ experience is fed by greed; at least it opened up new doors for works like mine, which cater to the real youth (not the infantile Disney market).
As much as I would like to embrace the New Adult niche because it bridges an age-gap, it is a heavily exploited sexual genre that leaves no room for character depth or higher focus. I know that the 18-25 age gap is soul-searching just as much as people in their mid-50s. In the past, people have what’s called a “midlife crisis” after they lived their life paint-by-numbers to then begin asking, “Who am I?” at a turning point in their lives turned out to be a sham, and everything appears too little too late.
The truth is, the kids being born today are much brighter and asking hard questions as early as 15 or 16. I think that by not acknowledging that and continuing to infantilize the youth or stigmatizing them as being shallow and oversexualized, discredits their potential—of who and what they really are inside.
I think about what the kids are going through today in school and the Disney reality they continue to be faced with; the adults, their parents, are infantilized as well with G-rated films and entertainment that tries to hit every income bracket across the board in order to profit.
Then you have someone like Beyonce, who is completely rising from that ashes of this bullshit and reclaiming the youth consciousness—and helping them expand upon their hidden potential—by encouraging self-motivation and hard work to earn your place in the sun; and to live out your dreams. To embrace life. She is the only megastar role model that I see today as doing something totally refreshing and out of the norm. There has been nothing like her in history as far as I am concerned. Not Madonna, certainly not Britney Spears or Michael Jackson who all prize being so-called victims of society’s addiction to paparazzi. Beyonce is the only megastar thus far that has brought a torch into the world through her popularity. She is the best filmmaker alive today whether she realizes it or not. She is a true visual artist.
The world is not moving fast enough for our kids even though the world of social networks and technology is on crack. By “fast” I am not referring to speed, but to the state of consciousness and high awareness, hence creative potential, that this kids are bringing into the world. Our entertainment, mainstream media, education system, and their adults historically continue to treat the youth as lower class citizens. This is a cancer in our Western world, where to our detriment, we fail to realize that it is the youth—and always the youth—that will raise our world (literally, when we become old), etc. And today’s youth should feel the gravity as being caretakers of the children born after them. This is the feeling I was born with. I have always cared for the youth, even as a youth.
Without real direction from adults who are supposed to provide sound authority and exemplify true leadership, children are left to raise other children. We have a Lord of the Flies in the making. I am amazed at how adults (whether in this generation or decades past) say, “What has this world come to? Who raised these kids?” when the truth is, they were raised by the same idiots: by adults who were once children raising children.
We live in an abandoned world lacking in leadership; of people not demonstrating their strength and exercising power properly and responsibly. We are raised by female megastars who want to look 24 at the age of 60, and by a legal system that won’t allow parents or leaders to discipline their children due to fear of lawsuits. Of the role models I find today that are deserving of their success and who are challenging the crisis with the youth being socially-homeless, I would say, it would have to be Beyonce. What I’m writing is not idolatry or necessary promotion of her work (which she doesn’t need), but to identify the leaders that are here for the youth, in particular, for young women. And because of her sexiness, her courage is overlooked, when it is actually awesome.
Which leads me to an allergic topic, “feminism.” Feminism as defined by the traditional feminist had to do with equality. Feminism is illusive and narrow. It is a wolf in sheep’s clothes. Until you see through the illusion of what is at stake, there is no point subscribing to any political agenda. What people forget is that the pioneers that helped earned our freedom today has done so, so we can do more; so we can expand from the privileges earned; so we can celebrate it and not to be stuck in old belief systems.
I am apolitical. I do not feel that equality is at stake here, but awakening is.
Awakening means that it doesn’t matter how truth is “packaged” as long as it is delivered from the messenger to the intended receiver. So whether Truth is delivered in the most sacred environment or at a raunchy sexified Beyonce concert—all that matters is that someone touches your essence and awakens it—and inspires you to realize yourself. To me, that is the greatest thing a work of art, an artist, or anyone who is a position of influence can do.