Is nothing off limits in today’s world?

Posted 12/17/20

Today’s society and its norms in general — as well as specifically some of the younger generation — signal to me that I am an antique. Outdated. A dinosaur. Not “with it.”

That’s kind …

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Is nothing off limits in today’s world?

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Today’s society and its norms in general — as well as specifically some of the younger generation — signal to me that I am an antique. Outdated. A dinosaur. Not “with it.”

That’s kind of interesting to me, in a way, because although I am accumulating a few more birthdays, I never really thought I was completely out of touch. Admittedly my body (with its arthritic joints, compliments of my parents and a round or three of joint replacement surgeries) doesn’t function as it once did, but I thought some of the space between my ears still had some life in it.

But maybe it’s so and that description is an accurate one. So far, for instance, I’ve managed to hang onto my flip phone since it’s supposed to be a telephone, something that makes and receives calls from other phones. If I wanted a camera, I’d get one and so far, I’ve been able to live without apps, tweets, WiFi or twerking or whatever all that stuff is.

Granted, if all that is you and your “thing,” have at it; just don’t dismiss and prematurely bury those of us who still like pen and paper. But the advent and rush of technology isn’t what’s on my mind at the moment. Rather, it’s some of the advertisements aimed at children (as the Christmas buying hysteria kicks into high gear) that not only makes me wonder but also creates a level of disgust.

For the past several months or so, the collection of little princesses who make up the biggest portion of my grandchildren has invited me to watch with them some of the “little folks” programming on some of the networks. So far, I’ve watched more Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig, to name just two, than should be allowed for the sake of sanity.

The programs are advertised as half-hour episodes and if you count the one-third of the time that’s devoted to glitzy commercials, they are, in fact, 30 minutes in length. But lately it’s the content of some of those commercials, aimed at enticing children to want the product, that has pushed me to (and sometimes over) the edge.

For instance, do you know there is a game — thankfully I can’t remember the name of it — that features a plastic cartoon head whose object is for players to see how much green mucus they can pull from the head’s nose? How do you get excited about sitting around the table and building memories by pulling fake crud from a fake head?

Bad enough, but recently I came across another one with a similar goal — except the body cavity involved was not the nose but the part of the anatomy which we place in a chair when we sit down. And there’s also a version with a dog who does the same thing and your goal is to clean up the mess or something like that.


Is this the best toy manufacturers can do? Do they think a significant number of Americans will shell out cash for that garbage? Apparently so, since those manufacturers pay big bucks for their crews to forecast the habits and preferences of Mr. and Mrs. America and their tribes.

I don’t think I’m a stick in the mud, but what happened to Parcheesi or tiddly winks or Operation or checkers or Hi-Ho Cheerio or Chutes and Ladders? Is nose congestion and human waste the wave of gaming future? Or the present?

If it is, then just go ahead and pack me up, label the box “Old and Outdated” and put me in the museum with the American buffalo and mark the exhibit “Old Fuddy Duddy.”

Seemingly I’m becoming like the old gentleman who was up in years who wandered into his barbershop one day when the crowd was discussing how things had changed. One of the regulars called out to the old fellow, saying “Hey old-timer, I bet you’ve seen a lot of changes in your time, haven’t you?”

To that, the gray hair responded, “Yeah ... and I’ve been against most of them.”

When it comes to “games” celebrating bodily functions, I’m right there with him — especially at Christmas, whether you observe it as secular and traditional or spiritual.

Just because something makes an appearance that doesn’t mean we have to embrace it. Pet rocks were a better deal than this mess.

Bob Wachs is a native of Chatham County and retired long-time managing editor of the Chatham News/Chatham Record, having written a weekly column for more than 30 years. During most of his time with the newspapers, he was also a bi-vocational pastor and today serves Bear Creek Baptist Church for the second time as pastor.


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