In the old days of radio, and maybe still today, there were Disk Jockeys (DJ’s) on the radio. Their disks were vinyl records that had to be changed over from turntable to turntable and "cued" up to gently overlap the previous song. That may sound obvious to many of you, but it may be new to some.
Back in the day, the FCC rules were a bit more strict, so if you said something distasteful on air, you could get the ax more easily than today. It still happens today, but you can hear podcasts where anything goes and nobody will say a thing. We called them Shock Jocks. These were the guys and gals who pushed the edge. And listeners just waited on baited breath for one of their lapses. It makes some people really happy. I don’t know why.
When I was in grade school, there was always a class clown. They always made people laugh with their antics. Usually, they weren’t the ones who were getting good grades and were certainly out of favor with the teachers. They made inappropriate outbursts and talked back to the teachers. They really only did it to gain approval from fellow students. They all thought they were cool and kids wanted to hang out with them. They were strong enough to buck the system. They were the rebels and people loved rebels. They got all the girls and were the pride of the school.
But the truth of their psychological character was probably far from cool. These were the kids who were often abused at home. They were yelled at and made to feel worthless. They were probably beaten and not fed very well. And not only were they treated this way, but they ended up treating others the same way. They had no respect for authority. They could care less about grades. I would suspect more than 95% of the class clowns we knew are probably homeless, in poverty, or even dead from substance abuse.
Kids aren’t at all perceptive of these issues. Even adults are this way. They love the celebrities who buck conventional norms. They love the celebrities who trash other celebrities. You know them too. They eventually treat people poorly and eventually commit suicide. Think of all the celebrity comedians from Saturday Night Live and other situation comedies who are now dead from substance abuse and suicide. These are the people we thought were so cool and had their acts together. These rebels are gone.
I think kids, and even immature adults, still think this way. They see the straight laced person and want to run from them. Instead, they gravitate toward the rebel. They may even want to emulate that person. They flock toward the counter-culture. They back the 1% not because they truly honor that lifestyle, but just because its cool to be egregiously different.
Yet, when it comes to educating children, we start to want to protect their minds. Those things we thought were cool, we definitely don’t want in our children. We want them to obey you because the rules are set not to hurt them, but to protect them. We lock the doors on our home not as much as for ourselves, but to protect those we love. We put up a privacy fence not as much to keep people out, but to protect what’s inside. We hope that our kids grow to respect authority and make something special of their own lives. Its fine to have someone on TV be a rebel, but we don’t want that for our kids. Let that be someone else’s kids. And lets not do play dates with those kinds of families. Its about protecting our children and them growing into adults we can be proud of.
People always love a rebel. Its a fantasy. Stay true to yourselves. Don’t raise Shock Jocks.