The millenials are all right
I went to see “Rent,” the somewhat controversial musical put on by the SoL Theatre Co. at the Third Street Center. Controversial because “Rent” is a rather racy musical performed by teenagers. For sure, there is extensive use of George Carlin’s seven words you can’t say on TV, sex and drug references, provocative movements and raw passion.
We baby boomers are just going to have to get used to used to the fact that today’s millennials are a lot more sophisticated than we were. Most of us knew all the bad words when got out of high school, but had yet to learn of all the creative uses of the f-word.
All but a few of us didn’t find out that out parents were lying to us about sex until after high school. It was not excruciatingly painful. It was fun. The summer of love caught us unprepared.
Of course, we did advance the cause of drug abuse. With all the war protests, racial unrest and the era, sometimes I think all we accomplished was debunking “Reefer Madness.”
The millennials come into middle school with a full vocabulary of profanity, but they don’t use it that much. They know all about the birds and the bees, but teen pregnancy is at an all-time low.
Credit for that goes to Planned Parenthood, sex education in the schools, the increased availability of contraception and the fear of terrible sexually transmitted diseases that have come along since our days of virility. However, I give a great deal of credit to the kids, themselves, who understand the consequences of sex and have the will to avoid them.
The millennials know all about the baby boomers’ drugs, and there are many more very harmful drugs available. Most have the good sense to avoid them.
“Rent” is not just about profanity, sex or drugs. It’s about all the challenges faced by today’s youth. It has stirring chorals, powerful singing, intense acting and no violence. That’s appropriate entertainment for youth, in my book.
I do wish millennials would get more active in issues that affect their future, like climate change, but when it comes to profanity, sex and drugs, most can handle it. If the cast of “Rent” is any portend of the future, we’re in good shape.
Fred Malo Jr.
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