The Weiner-ification of America

Carlos Danger -- a man ahead of his time.
Carlos Danger — a man ahead of his time.

by James A. Bacon

When I was raising my oldest offspring, now about 30 years old, a public awareness campaign would ask, “It’s 11 o’clock. Do you know where your children are?” Parents don’t seem nearly as worried where their children are these days — odds are, they’re at home. A better picture is, what are they doing?

Nancy Jo Sales, author of “American Girls,” knows. She spent two-and-a-half years investigating the online lives of teenagers, especially girls. And it’s not a pretty picture. Yes, even here in the Eden of Virginia, far from the Sodoms of California and Gamorrahs of New York City, it’s very disturbing indeed. Apparently, an entire generation of our youth has followed the path blazed by disgraced New York politician Anthony Weiner.

From the book review in the Wall Street Journal:

It turns out that one of the main uses teens make of their phones is to watch, wield and circulate naked pictures of themselves. Perhaps surprisingly, the most commonly shared pornographic images are not of the girls themselves but “dick pics,” self-portraits of the penises of teenaged boys. Texting a photo of one’s genitals would seem to be an off-road perversion, not to the taste of any boy but the odd flasher. In fact, the stories Ms. Sales presents, whether of humiliation or triumph, often turn on a plot point involving such pictures.

“Do they think we want that? Because we don’t,” Sally, a 17-year-old in Boca Raton, tells Ms. Sales. So why do boys do it? One in James City County, Va., explains: “I send them my dick, so they’ll show me something of theirs.” This is a full economy: While a nude photo of a guy is practically worthless, a nude photo of a girl can be used as currency, traded with friends for marijuana or liquor — that’s “lq” in text speak.

“If you don’t send them nudes, they say you’re a prude,” says Casssy, another Floridian teen, says of boys.

“Lord of the Flies” depicted the descent into barbarism of teenage boys marooned on a desert island with no adult rules or guidance. Beelzebub has left the island and now lives in our homes. Smart phones enable girls and boys to interact in ways that their parents could never imagine — entirely out of view. Teenagers are obsessed with sex and peer status; they always have been, and always will be. In the past adults exercised some control and reined in those instincts. Now it’s much harder to. Even if we were of a mind to spy on our their communications, our kids are more tech savvy than us, they’re willing to devote their every waking moment to thwarting us, and they will assuredly develop a work-around to anything we concoct.

Where this trend will lead us, I do not know. I just hope that my 17-year-old doesn’t do any of this stuff. Meanwhile, my wife and I will go back to watching the Victorian morals on display in “Downton Abbey.”

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8 responses to “The Weiner-ification of America”

  1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    Not so long ago we spoke of the Canaries in the Coal Mine. I’d say now we are driving at warp speed deep into the pit of hell, nearing the end of our sick culture. These are our children after all.

  2. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    This of course helps to explain the explosive growth of cocaine addiction in the most unlikely of places, like kids in their 20’s living in New Hampshire.

  3. Les Schreiber Avatar
    Les Schreiber

    This book has been reviewed in several places. All I can say is I am very happy not to be teaching anymore.

  4. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    This article and book American Girls brings into vivid view what will likely be the Greatest Challenge of modern times. Its a challenge our Founders Fathers recognized clearly after the American Revolution, the one that gave them the wisdom to built our Constitution so that it guard against and otherwise manage that challenge, one that we have long have ignored, appeased, refused to recognize or deal with or admit too.

    Only educated, virtuous, law abiding, God or disorder fearing Citizens working within the bounds of an ordered and enlightened society are capably of governing themselves, whether individually, or within communities and a nation. Otherwise disorder comes in many variant forms and society destroys itself until order is forcibly imposed.

    We have over the past 50 years been working hard to undermine and destroy the structure of our orderly productive society. Now the technological revolution can far easier spark and drive the forces of Chaos (like in French Revolution) and the totalitarian state, hugely expanding the threat of both. When Chaos rises, totalitarian state comes right behind.

    Our American Girls should be a huge wake up siren sounding.

    As to our Foundering Fathers and what they knew that we’ve forgotten.

    Here we speak of the Federal form of our government they built. Their granting of limited and carefully apportioned powers among the people in the selection and control of their representatives, and the granting of other carefully shaped and limited power to the various branches of our Federal government, the Executive, two branches of Congress, and Judicial, setting each in balanced opposition and check to one another, reserving important powers to each while reserving all the rest to serve free independent people operating under a system and culture that can and will save itself. Will We?

  5. LarrytheG Avatar

    Jim – this is hysterical!!!

    I never knew you cared about that sort of thing…

    is this the re-education of Jim Bacon?


    I dunno… I’ll certainly admit I did not lead a sheltered life – but I also seldom if ever walked on the wild side – but rumors of what some guys did – were rampant…in high school…

    most of the one’s I knew turned out “okay” – and not perverts…

    I’m quite sure Andrew and Reed would be quite horrified though…

    BR sure has strayed from Va public policy issues these days…

    Is Bacon bored or has he been sniffing the wrong flowers lately?

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      Larry –

      Your comment highlights the problem.

      Many people will think this sort of thing is “hysterical,” in the sense that its something to joke about. Responses like yours to societal behaviors like this in a culture and society are quite typical, indeed sure proof, that the culture or society is going down the chute. In such cases, the vast majority of folks in such societies don’t wake up until its too late, and its all over, down the drain. Meantime they have fun, enjoying the circus.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        Reed: “”Methinks thou dost protest too much” – A Famous Quote by William Shakespeare

        as long as we got our guns and bibles… we can fend off the heathens , right?

  6. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    Keep up your commentary Larry.

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