Michelle O: Bored kids get guns and ‘just go off on society’
First lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday linked the lack of youth sports and playgrounds to higher crime and even gun violence.
Appearing with her brother and sportscaster Michael Wilbon at the Newseum, she said that bored kids are turning to crime.
“Why can’t we put those things together? Why are we confused about why crime rates are going up? It’s not a complicated set of scenarios, unless people don’t really understand just what a wasteland so many kids are living in in terms of activity. Maybe that’s the case. Maybe people look at their lives and think, well, if my kids have it, then it couldn’t be that bad. It is that bad,” she said at an event sponsored by the Aspen Institute to discuss her “Let’s Move” project.
I was initially going to react to this in the “when I was your age, I had to walk twenty miles one way to school through a foot of snow every day wearing tattered boots” sort of way, and say that in our world, with so many things, so many options, “boredom” should have fallen out of the dictionary by now. Remember, I and people of about my age are currently uniquely positioned such that we have lived approximately equal parts of our lives in the pre-connected world and the connected world, so we have both a conscious memory and hands-on experience of both worlds and both ways of doing things. Even in the old world, I hardly ever knew what boredom was, because even without universal connectivity, I could always find a way to keep myself occupied.
In this world, one would have to have a pretty dull mind ever to get bored.
Oh, yeah, right. I forgot.
However, I think there’s a better angle to respond to this. Notice at the end she works her exercise campaign into this. It’s all probably just her cause celebre giving her a narrow field of view. If you have a bad cough, if you see an allergist, he’ll assume allergies and give you an antihistamine, if you see a cardiologist, he’ll assume an impending heart attack and give you nitroglycerine, if you see a psychiatrist he’ll assume you’re crazy and commit you, if you see an orthopedist, he’ll assume because it’s referred pain from your feet and have some special shoe insoles made from you. This is why you need a PCP, someone who thinks about the whole picture. Michelle Obama, being obsessed with childhood obesity and sloth, does like the physician specialist, and finds a way to work back every problem to the lack of exercise.