The VIEW from here

Youth today lack respect


Gary Gould — Managing Editor

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

I know I am starting to sound like an old man, possibly because I am rapidly approaching 50, but I don’t remember as a teenager or twenty-something being as rude and obnoxious as some kids today are.

I was recently at a concert at DTE Energy Theater (here’s showing my age — we used to call it Pine Knob) and I was taken aback at the number of just plain rotten excuses for human beings that were there. The one thing they all had in common — each was under 25 and were just looking for trouble.

The artist performing was Darius Rucker. He’s a country singer, but at one time he was the lead singer of a ’90s band called Hootie & The Blowfish. Allin all it was a great concert, but the crowd was a little rambunctious and bordered on out of control.

The first thing wrong with the crowd was the number of young guys walking around with sagging pants hanging down their backsides, shirts open, strutting around like they had something to prove. Girls were dressed much better, with short shorts pulled up to their stomachs just to make them even shorter.

This was a “country” concert — not Lil’ Wayne or Justin Bieber. Whatever happened to wearing cowboy boots and hat? Or how about just a T-shirt and jeans?

Getting past the dress (or lack thereof) I made my one and only trip to the restroom. Waiting in line to use the facilities, I found myself accosted by a drunk guy, probably not much more than 21, who was hitting everyone up for chewing tobacco.

“C’mon man, give me some chew!” he asked as I waited my turn to use the restroom. “I don’t chew,” I responded. His look was indignant. “Don’t chew? Then what are you doing here?”

He was then off to hit up the next guy. Seriously, I had no idea a prerequisite of enjoying country music was that you also had to chew tobacco. I apparently missed this memo.

Back in our seats under the pavilion, the concert went fine, though I was perplexed at why we’d all paid good money for seats when no one was sitting down. To this day I’ve never understood why we even bother with seats at a concert because everyone seems to like standing — forcing all the other people behind them to stand or you spend the concert watching the backsides of the people ahead of you.

In the pavilion the main thing I saw that bothered me was the way the younger people were treating the DTE staff. Staff members who were just trying to direct foot traffic, keep people from using seats they hadn’t paid for and who were doing their best to keep the drunks under control had to endure the foolishness of drunk kids who apparently came to the concert just to harass them.

I watched one group of guys in front of us harass and joke around at the expense of the DTE staff just for a laugh or two. Having finally seen enough of man-children making total fools of themselves, we left early. Since then I’ve asked myself if we were that bad as kids, or if the youth today simply doesn’t care?

I know it’s not all young adults, but it seems sometimes like we’ve lost something in society the past 20-30 years — respect for one another. It would be nice to see it come back.

ggould@mihomepaper.com


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