Current/Recent Reading List

15 October 2006

As you recall, we lost a student earlier this year when she was murdered by a gun-wielding ex-convict during a convenience store incident. Thankfully, the man was caught in Raleigh a couple of weeks ago, and justice will, we hope, bring a relatively swift conviction and punishment.

Difficult (impossible?) as it is, after any death, even a tragic one, life must move on. The outpouring of love for this girl and her family must eventually give way to something productive, and not maudlin. Unfortunately, this past week brought word that some of the girl's friends are having trouble restraining themselves. Many seniors want the official "senior song" to be a grief-stricken hip-hop ode that one of her musically inclined friends, also a senior, wrote and recorded after her death. The song has been getting much play on local airwaves, and is a hit among the local teens. But to have that played every time the seniors enter and exit an assembly? Or during graduation ceremonies?

Not only this, but a couple of the murdered girl's friends want to drape part of the stage in black during graduation, and in general want that whole ceremony to be about her. The principal, of course, will stop all this from happening. But you can imagine there will be some rage against him and the faculty members who agree with him. I can't help but think the grieving is starting to be more and more about those who are left behind, and their wants and desires to be living martyrs. Sorry if that sounds callous.

It is all sad, of course. The murder, the grief, and the inability to place limits on grief. But, this is the generation; if you've ever seen the pages so many teens post on MySpace, it might not surprise you. They put their entire lives up there - every picture taken, every event of every day, every detail that ought to embarrass them - and do so proudly. I'M SO FASCINATING! I'M SO IMPORTANT! LOOK AT ME AND MY BOYFRIEND SMOOCHING! READ ABOUT MY DRUNKEN PARTY!

And then, when something truly profound happens to them, they have no private "space" left - a place for them to go when they need to reflect and wonder for a while. It is narcissism, and it leads to perpetual childhood.

1 comment:

Brad K. said...

Great post, P. Very insightful, despite it's brevity.