Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Future of Childhood

Recognize him? Of course not. He's the child of the future, stripped of his most identifying physical traits. He has no personality, no interests, no hobbies, and lives no where. In fact, despite the fact that he appears in this photograph, and is logged at the federal government, and has a birth certificate indicating "he" was born (whoever he is), "he" does not even exist.

He has no rights of his own. He is housed, schooled, and fed, and if these needs are not met he is placed in custody of the state, that is all. Despite the fact he does not have any rights of his own, he is responsible in many states for his actions, and can be tried as an adult in many jurisdictions if the judge deems it appropriate. He is therefore responsible for his actions when it is convenient, but deemed completely incapable when not convenient. Neither have anything to do with him and everything to do with who is judging him, because he has no legal discretion over himself, his future, or his own well-being. He is often held accountable but not accounted for.

He is alive, but not living. He is on four different adult medications for three disorders not clinically proven to exist within his age group. He has developed a tic disorder as a side effect, which will soon be remedied with further medication. There are two companies in the Pharmaceutical Industry that are making thousands of dollars a year off his existence. Despite this, he has no medical or behavioral complaints.

He is protected from utilizing rights as a human being, but allowed to be preyed on by marketing, in school solicitation, and brand placement. His eyes have been obscured but the corporate logos on his clothes are always visible. He does not exist, but he does leave a large footprint in the economy. Despite the fact that he can't utilize rights as a human being, he is often sloganized with uplifting but deceptive messages of personal empowerment meant only to incite his perpetual consumption.

He is criminalized for "horsing around," fined for sidewalk chalk drawing, and not allowed entrance into "child-free-zones." His playgrounds have been dismantled for fear of safety allegations, and he is taken into police custody if he discovered playing past local curfew. Every activity he is allowed to participate in comes with a membership fee. Every activity he is not allowed to participate in can have him fined. Participation in activities deemed dangerous or not advised can see him removed from his home and placed under state custody for his own protection.

He is not yet 18 years old. Therefore, his humanity has been taken away for his own protection.

1 comment:

  1. I'm perusing your archives and this post speaks to what I have been pondering lately as I have an almost 15 year old.