Dead Men

Because of the ages of my children (18-31) I still have a connect with what's going on in the younger generations these days, and what I am seeing and hearing not only distresses me, but scares the living shit out of me.

I heard this from the mouth of a high schooler a few days ago about a homework assignment: "It doesn't make a difference whether I get an A+ or a D-, I only have to pass the class."

As one raised with strict guidelines on excellence and doing a job well or not at all (as was most of my generation), I had trouble getting my mind around that casual remark. I responded by saying that it wasn't what the teacher expected that counted so much as what you expected from yourself. It fell on deaf ears. Had this been a singular instance of a young man who just didn't care I would have thought nothing of it, at least not enough to pen a blog, but unfortunately this type of attitude is endemic among young men today, and it has sapped the very lifeblood of our nation.

Now is the time for all of you "take our daughters to work day" screaming mimis to jump in and blast me for my testosterone-laced rant. Never mind that I have fathered two very accomplished daughters and encouraged them to make whatever life choices they thought best for themselves, I have discovered that reality has nothing to do with the politically motivated in America today. Take a position opposed to theirs, and you'll find yourself in their crosshairs, not because of lofty ideals but rather because you have threatened their political power, i. e., money. And I don't care what side of the political fence they're on, it's always the cash that drives the debate. Not that I'm telling you anything you don't know.

Back to the A+ vs. D- debate. You don't hear girls talk this way today. Girls are motivated, mollycoddled, told that they're special and encouraged to get a college degree. Boys on the other hand are shuffled through the system, pushed into graduation and then onto the street, turned loose on a society that has demonized the penis. Many turn to gangs, father babies without accepting responsibility for those babies, form opinions of women based on mindless TV shows or internet porn and happily become the recipients of government aid for home, food, clothing and shelter, many times sponging off a woman with low self esteem who may or may not have birthed one or more of their progeny.

MEN are not supposed to act this way. MEN are supposed to accept responsibility for their children, and honor their wives. WIVES, not girlfriends. MEN are supposed to work to support themselves and their families. MEN are supposed to be life templates for their children, and that means daughters and sons. MEN do not gang bang. MEN do not use drugs. MEN do not strike their wives. MEN sit down to dinner with their families and discuss family affairs with their wives and children. MEN will actually stand up and be counted when the times comes to do so.

Now before you go off accusing me of some Promise Keepers' rant, I want to make one point perfectly clear: I've violated a few of these sacred tenets myself. I am an imperfect being, a man, if you will, and I understand that these are rules that many of us want to follow and sometimes cannot, or will not. But we do need our Ten Commandments of What A Man Is Supposed To Be like those listed above, don't we?

And that is what young men need these days, and desperately so. MEN to lay down the rules and expect them to mature into MEN. No disrespect ladies; we all know and appreciate the sacred role of motherhood, but it's now time for MEN to stand up and be counted as MEN and tell our young boys that a D- is not acceptable, and not because the teacher says so, but because you have set higher standards for yourself both as an American and as a man.

If we can't stand up as a nation and admit this, then why birth boys at all? Because of our new social mores they have been cast adrift in the womb, dead men the second they take their first breath, sentenced to a life of lowered expectations, bad behavior and second-class status.

"It doesn't make a difference whether or not I get an A+ or a D-."

Yes it does, young man, it certainly does.

Lenny Palmer 9/27/2011



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