By the end of the holiday week-end, you may be frustrated and annoyed by the hoards of children hanging around your house. Maybe they're kids from the neighborhood, friends from school, or perhaps they are your own children. You may not feel right telling them to "Get the hell out!" because you really do like these kids, it's just you need a break. You need them to decide of their own accord that it's time to move on to a new hang-out spot, if only for a little while. So what's the solution?
Ask Gallery Place in Washington D.C. They have it figured out. They have installed a new anti-loitering device called The Mosquito. The Mosquito emits an annoying high pitched sound that is just too irritating to ignore for any length of time. Unless, of course, you have older ears. Because here's the catch, young people have better hearing and much more sensitive ears, so the sound particularly annoys teen-agers. And after a 70 person brawl that mostly involved teen-agers, Gallery Place wants the teens to move on, and the mosquito is doing the trick. A surveillance camera shows old footage with dozens of teens crowding the sidewalk in front of this shopping area, and the new footage shows the space completely devoid of teen-agers but with a lone newspaper reading gentlemen whose ears are obviously too old to notice the sound.
So the question is this: Is it discrimination? Is it inhumane? Because I know for a fact that there is a similar device used to keep mice out of your house. So are we now, as a society, deciding to treat our teen-agers like rodents? Can't we reason with our teens? Set perameters and enforce them? Are we deciding that they are 'too far gone' or are we giving up?
On one hand, it's funny and it works and no one's getting hurt. It's clearly a safer option than a 70 person brawl. But on the other hand, it does seem awfully crass.
On a note in FAVOR of teens, I finally read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. This National Book Award winner was a poignant account of a young man living on an Indian reservation (the res) who decides to attend a high school off the reservation. Although this school is 22 miles away, he frequently has to walk the distance, and it is a lot more work for him socially and academically, the protagonist won my heart immediately when he faced the facts that if he doesn't get out of his environment toxic with alcoholism and contagious underachieving, he will never make it anywhere. A great story that will offers a fresh, different take on the high school experience and what it can mean to a driven young man.
CHECK IT OUT! A young adult novel for ages 13 and up (and up!).
Have a great week.
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.