Hmmph. File this one under “my how things have changed since the olden days.” Probably most of us can recall at some point when we were young and gave it our best effort to copy some action or actions that we had seen a parent or other admired adult-figure do. That’s part of growing up, isn’t it? And, that’s how you learn some of the lessons that prepare you for life.
Granted, back in those days there were no video games, the extent of the violence I can recall from television was purely “G” rated “slapstick” and likely done on a Monkee’s episode or on Gilligan’s Island; I cannot recall a single episode of Lassie that contained any violence, slapstick or otherwise [some injury or sadness, perhaps, but not violence]. No one had a computer in their home, the Internet was an infant, and certainly You Tube wasn’t even a remote idea.
Who would have thought, that several years [decades!?!] later, the combination of home computers, the Internet and You Tube would produce a generation of copycats that try their own version of stunts they first see on Jackass or that a 12-year old would hang himself to copy Saddam Hussein? This boy is not the first; according to today’s article in Arab News, FOUR youngsters have successfully demonstrated expert plagiarism skills, if that was their intent.
Copying test answers or the dust-jacket of a book for a book report, without getting caught, would have been more than adequate. Not to make light of the fact that three young boys and a teenaged girl have met their demise, it is just sad that the degree of violence saturated in today’s world of video games, television programs and movies, and the internet has hardened us in such a way that our reaction to an incident of this nature is “Oh, gee, isn’t that too bad.”