Girls (and boys) just wanna have fun

When Cyndi Lauper produced the song, "Girls just wanna have fun," she likely had no clue that it would become MTV's 1984 video of the year and an iconic song for millions of feminists across the nation. Certainly, this wasn't a musical attempt at creating a philosophical mindset for generations of youth to follow &

but that was the result.

Today, "fun" is the preeminent priority in America. And "partying" is the primary pastime of our nation's youth.

It is difficult to criticize fun without being categorized as some sort of ostracized octogenarian. Yet, one can hardly look in the face of misery and despair dominating the lives of millions of Americans and not clearly see damage caused by a preoccupation with fun. Life is much more than satisfying one's desire for pleasure, but no pleasure-seeker can hear such warning when the music of frivolous freedom plays.

Indeed, fun can be much more than a distraction from the more serious aspects of life. It can be a licentious lure that lulls one into circumstances harboring grave consequences. And the primary prey of the demonic influences of fun are children.

From the time we are babies, having fun is promoted into our psyche. We begin with simple toys and games but &

with the introduction of music and nature's hormonal changes &

we quickly graduate to adult toys and relationship games. Gone are the toy cars and doll clothes of adolescence, replaced by machines and fabric signifying our individual identities. What we once regarded as childhood fun turns into serious teen obsession.

Don't touch my car. Don't borrow my clothes.

As we grow, our preoccupation with fun grows as well. We become screen addicts seeking to stare for hours at entertainment that writers, singers, dancers and actors have produced. We still love games, but we call them sports.

And with age comes ritualistic partying, which often includes an intoxicating combination of music, dancing, alcohol and drugs.

The iconic image of "adult" brings with it the idea of freedom to indulge. That freedom represents fun in the minds of adolescents and teens trapped between the boundaries of obedience to principles and rules that no one else seems to follow.

Children can hardly wait to become adults so they can "drink responsibly" as television ads caution. The emphasis is on "drink" and no one seems to know what "responsibly" means.

Of course, the underlying foundation upon which partying occurs is the principle of pleasure. Sexual pleasure is the overriding focus to which the music, dancing, alcohol and drugs all point. And when Lauper presented her "fun" anthem to the nation, the bottom line was that girls simply wanted the freedom to play, dress up (or down), dance, smoke, drink, party and have all the sex they wanted with whomever they wished without being subjected to ridicule or degradation. Lauper expressed such sentiment in a single song that resonated with a generation of young women who felt they were repressing their natural urges.

Letting go and being free equated to fun.

But, of what were they letting go and freeing themselves?

Boundaries exist throughout society, not just within the walls of churches and synagogues. The government isn't concerned with the character or soul of its citizenry. It merely seeks control through laws regulating the limits of behavior. Breaking legal boundaries may have some thrilling appeal, but breaking moral boundaries can have devastating consequences.

The seriousness of life is reflected in the resulting ramifications of carefree decision-making by men and women alike, both young and old. Abortions and condoms amplify an adoption of out-of-wedlock sexual practices. Today, out-of-wedlock births impact millions in ways few could fathom. Diseases spread in spite of heavy promotion of condom use. And seldom does one hear how neither HPV nor Heartache can be prevented by a synthetic prophylactic.

Protective parents who seek to shield their children from a "society gone wild" today find themselves at the point of attack. Religious ideals are dismissed as "old-fashioned" and "outdated" modes of thinking. Christianity is purported to be the primary perpetuator of puritanical ideas, which are believed to undermine freedom of individual thought and adventurous journeys of personal self discovery.

But when our children have kids of their own, many grow to realize that boundaries were placed around them, not to stifle their creativity or prevent them from having fun, but rather to allow them to experience the pleasures of this beautiful, yet lethal world within the safety of an environment that would not harm them. Lauper, like a pop culture Pied Piper, led us outside the safety of those boundaries to seek fun we never found.

is an author, columnist and the Content Editor of the Ashland Daily Tidings. He can be reached at .

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