Monday, April 14, 2008

Fame in the digital age

An AP report titled, “Video of teen beating raises questions”, sure does. The trend of becoming famous for nothing in particular, that has its roots firmly cemented in reality television and is proliferated on video sharing sites like YouTube, has morphed into some young people seeking fame by committing heinous acts of violence against anyone that they think won’t fight back.

Brazen teens are nothing new; videoing acts of violence, vandalism, or stupidity it’s new either, but prior to the YouTube revolution, videos of this nature were quietly circulated within tight lipped communities of teens. Because of this, worldwide infamy wasn’t even a possibility. They may have become the stars in their particular town, but the perpetrators’ identities or acts of distaste would have never be disclosed. Unless a nosey parent happen stumbled across the VHS tape.

Most likely, degenerates (at least at the time of filming) produce these kinds of videos because they have no motivation to achieve anything that will bring them actual praise. Instant fame; no work needed. They figure putting their freedom or well being, or both, on the line is an acceptable risk for being considered cool by the cool kids. After all, they aren’t rational humans, they’re teens.

Nevertheless, it’s not YouTube’s fault for providing the service, or even for keeping these videos up so long. Even though their “general policies call for the removal of clips that show someone getting ‘hurt, attacked or humiliated’”, YouTube seems much more diligent when it comes to taking down videos depicting acts of sex, or copies of copyrighted material. They do still have a responsibility to alert the authorities when an illegal act is depicted on amateur video. Did they?

Another important question is, if no way to distribute these clips worldwide existed would these types of videos still get made?

The lure of easy fame definitely motives some to act out of character, and apparently, blinds them to the fact that the clip might be seen by cops. Though, this problem is enigmatic of our society as a whole, in these United States, and may reflect the failure of a nationwide experiment that was perpetrated by the medical establishment on this country’s “disturbed” youth. Not to say the teens shouldn't be held accountable.

I don’t want to come off too crazy here, and this is a simplistic view, but really the pharmaceutical companies defined, or invented a disorder, ADHD, through funding research. They then formulated the “cure”, Ritalin a central nervous system stimulant, described by critics as “Kiddie Cocaine”. Ritalin’s job is to increases the level of dopamine the brain has access to in much the same way as Cocaine. Continued use of Ritalin can lead to depression due to depleted levels of dopamine which, in turn, is treated with drugs like Zoloft. Anti-depression drugs increase the level of serotonin the brain has access to, hoping to reverse the other drug’s depressive effect; basically, this puts patients in a drug dependency cycle for life.

Side effects of Zoloft type drugs can include agitation and confusion. This fact has led some to believe these practices are the cause of the rise in violence at schools and homes perpetrated by disturbed, now drug addicted youth. Add to this the fact that the government divvies up monies for education depending on how many ADHD kids a school has in their population, and you have a system that thrives on misdiagnoses, numerous kids in the crossfire, and parent’s who blame themselves.

Now that I’ve thoroughly brought you down go here to cheer up.