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Bill O'Reilly
Bill O'Reilly
21 Dec 2013
The Christmas Spirit

Anyone offended by public displays of Christmas needs to see a psychiatrist. Are we clear on this? You are a … Read More.

14 Dec 2013
Merry Christmas, 1913

One hundred years ago in America, Christmas was a mighty different situation. Based on newspaper reports, MyHeritage.… Read More.

7 Dec 2013
Fleeing TV

Marketing surveys now show that when Americans come home from work, more folks turn on their computers than … Read More.

Teenage Werewolves

Comment

Back in the 1950s, "Little Joe Cartwright" starred in a movie called "I Was a Teenage Werewolf." That's right, after seeing a full moon, Michael Landon ran around a public high school foaming at the mouth and pretty much out of control. Since there was little difference between his behavior and that of the normal students, he got away with it for two semesters.

As I watched the film, I remember thinking that it was going to be tough for Landon to get into college with that on his resume. But then the 1960s happened, so that was that.

This brings me to the present. My life these days is largely confronting political and social madness on television and then going home to deal with teenage drama from an almost-14-year-old girl. I vaguely remember being 14, because I was ensconced in a Catholic high school that gave out homework assignments like they were M&M's. Believe me, I had plenty of angst. But nobody paid much attention to it.

Like today, many teenagers back then brooded full time. Check out James Dean, an outstandingly cloudy guy. But now teens have two things that embolden their disenchantment: the Internet and permissive parents.

Earlier this week, I was encouraging my urchins to speed it up because the bus was coming.

"I can't go faster 'cause you're staring at me," the teen wailed.

"I'm not staring at you. I just came into the room."

"But I can see you!"

You get the idea. My daughter also did not want to wear anything that covered her legs — even though it was 39 degrees outside.

She wanted to wear shorts. At that point, I started wishing she'd turn into a werewolf. At least the fur would keep her warm.

But it is the Internet that is truly changing the teenage dynamic in America.

It used to be that teenagers would hang out together and swap stories of woe. I remember seeing Billy Joel and his crew at stores on Levittown Parkway. They were just slouching around the same as my guys were. Just being with other teenagers was comforting, but we actually had to leave our houses to do that. Now, teens can gang-brood from their rooms on the Net.

Because nearly every awful occurrence is highlighted on various Facebook pages, teenagers now find it easier to justify their own craziness. "How can you criticize me for getting a C when Shelley got all F's and crashed her dad's car?" That kind of thing.

Nothing is private anymore. Teenagers are subjected to (and some participate in) incredibly destructive behavior online.

And parents have few options. Even if you ban home computers, handheld devices are all over the place. You'd have to put a full-time bodyguard on the child in order to provide complete protection.

In the end, all parents can do is try their best to impose a sense of responsibility on their kids. But don't expect any appreciation, and be watchful at all times. Kids today are growing up at warp speed; the machines march them into adulthood way before they're ready.

Even with fangs, Landon had it easier.

Veteran TV news anchor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor" and author of many books, including the newly released "Killing Jesus." To find out more about Bill O'Reilly and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. This column originates on the website www.billoreilly.com.

COPYRIGHT 2013 BillOReilly.com

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM



Comments

4 Comments | Post Comment
All I read in this is a weak, whining parent who can't stand up to his own kids. Hand out some tough love, O'Reilly, and stop pissing and moaning about it.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Masako
Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:32 PM
Remember when President Nixon, VP Spiro Agnew and Attorney-General John Mitchell used their influence to silence Tommy Smothers?
VP Spiro Agnew was our ONLY VP to plea bargain!
Attorney-General John Mitchell was our ONLY attorney-general to wind up behind bars!
Nixon was our ONLY president to receive a pardon!
I could care less about Phil Robertson!
When Republicans continue to lionize such monsters; I have nothing but contempt for that party!
Comment: #2
Posted by: Clifford Spencer
Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:45 AM
What happened to the trickle down theory? Deregulation, how has that helped the banking industry and the saving and loans. The war on drugs, the wars in the Middle East all a waste of money and a ruse to funnel tons of money that will never be accounted for; a scheme to line the pockets of Halliburton and friends. The human loss of life, not to mention our basic freedoms, along with our rights to privacy for (so called national security). Capitalism run amuck, crushing unions, workers rights, and Congressional self interest with redistricting and fund raising the main focus of their entire tenure. This all in the guise of national security. We have lost the respect of the majority of the countries of the world that used to aspire to democracy. Then last but not least the Supreme Court being the decider. Rome doesn't have anything on us. We drag our feet with support to fund the veteran's administration. If you want to see the problem with this mess in Washington, look in the mirror. We working people won't be able to pay for an education for our children. You need to be able to trust them to make to right decisions, and work and nurture them not control their every move.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Mick Taylor
Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:54 PM
In the 1960's they still had spanking.
Comment: #4
Posted by: DrSkewer
Thu Apr 3, 2014 10:25 PM
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