Ok, if the title of this post didn’t get the song stuck in your head (as it is in mine), then please go here, listen to it and then finish reading. I don’t like to suffer alone.
Well, then, welcome back.
If the pollen count wasn’t so high, I’d be outside painting my sandwich sign-board and humming along with R.E.M. “It’s the end of the world as we know it . . . it’s the end of the world as we know it . . . it’s the end of the world as we know it . . . I feel fine . . .” And how do I know it’s the end, you ask?
Because the Boy Scouts are now offering merit badges for Video Gaming. Honest and true. Granted, they say they’re doing it to teach responsibility and good sportsmanship. And perhaps that’s true. But I can’t help but think it’s because they’ve given up. The world has just sunk too far for even the ever optimistic and capable to be hopeful.
Regardless of how you feel about the Boy Scouts, we have all always taken for granted that if the world were about to be destroyed, a Boy Scout-like person would be there to save the day. We might be snarky about them. We might make fun of their Park-Ranger-from-Yogi-Bear-styled uniforms. We might joke about knot-tying badges. But, underneath the sarcasm there remained the security and knowledge that they could save us in great times of dire need.
Remember reading Alas Babylon! in high school? Remember that feeling during the Cold War when you finally understood that everything as we knew it could be destroyed within a couple of hours? Well, think a little harder now and reflect on who it was that could save us all. It was the people who could build shelters, fish, start a fire without lighters or charcoal bricks even. And who else but the Boy Scouts can we count on to do that?
Now then, if they are reduced to giving badges for video gaming, what could that mean? Does it mean they’ve given up hope that there’s nothing they can do to save us now? That we’re so f*cked it doesn’t matter if they know how to fish without a commercial rod? Did they just throw up their hands and say, “aw, to hell with it. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”?
Or am I reading too much into it?