Summer time in the late 80’s meant many things to me growing up: no school, bike riding around town, going to the beach, sleeping in, and the World Wrestling Federation’s SUMMER SLAM! Now, I know, I know, it’s incredibly bad and cheesier than cheddar, but back in the day it was awesome! My cousins and I would eat those thin plot lines up and sit in front of the television completely captivated by huge wrestlers screaming and beating each other senseless. In retrospect, it is a bit embarrassing to admit this. Just look at the image above. These guys were my heroes…ugh.
I was enjoying a conversation with a friend about the old days over dinner this evening. We talked about our favorite wrestlers and the excitement of looking forward to main events such as Wrestle-Mania, Survivor Series, and the Royal Rumble. Man, those were the days! And as bad as fake-wrestling was then, it was entertaining and safe (safe-ish?) for kids to watch. My mom did not have to worry about anything obscene coming on the television. Tonight, feeling like an old man, I wonder if kids will ever enjoy such simplicities, as lame as they may have been.
I have tried to watch the WWE (No longer the WWF, damn you Pandas!) for old time’s sake and I have found many more activities that are far more fun, such as pouring acid in my eye balls and setting my hair on fire. That show encapsulates all that is wrong with America, but I digress. There are worse television shows and a whole lot more of them than there was when I was a kid. It makes me sad, to be honest. I wonder what future lays ahead for kids these days. Cell phones, social networks, and easy internet access are all products of the new century. There are more things that keep kids stuck in front of a computer or cell phone than there were just 20 years ago. I never knew that the Game Boy would just be the beginning of the end for children’s attention spans all over the world.
I sometimes wonder what it would be like to raise a child in this century. There is a whole lot of bullshit out there and it scares me. I am sure that parents in every generation have similar worries, but the world has evolved by leaps and bounds in the last 30 years. Not all of it has been good. Teenage pregnancies, single parent homes, divorce rates, and drug abuse have increased significantly since the 1980’s. The family union does not seem to be as important as it once was and it is difficult to find people who value the importance of raising a child in a two-parent home. No, I am not a father, but I would like to be one day. I have hopes that the children born in this century will find balance amongst the constant bombardment and heavy influence of the mainstream. I don’t know how, but I am optimistic.