The New Rapture: Jordan is back and he's got nothing to do
I've spent the last YEAR doing everything legally possible to try to rescue my daughter's friend "Jordan" from some isolated "Behavior Modification" camp in the backwoods of Montana where they sit around in "therapy sessions" and scream at a bunch of poor trapped kids for hours on end about what failures they are and how their parents are saints and gods.
But as hard as I tried, I couldn't spring Jordan out of there. If you are not a child's legal guardian, there is nothing you can do. Period. Jordan's parents have signed over their rights to this "program" and he is stuck there until he turns 18. Or is he?
My daughter got a phone call last week. "Hi. This is Jordan. I'm back." After she calmed down from her verbal celebration that could be heard a block away, she asked Jordan how this miracle came to be. "I got tired of them screaming at me. It really upset me. I ran away." So. Jordan hadn't been brainwashed after all. He had just been biding his time. Good boy.
Jordan is back! Jordan is back! Hurray!
Back to living with his family. Back in the same circumstances that created his parents' desire to send him away in the first place. How will Jordan handle it this time?
Just like last time. Poorly. But instead of defending himself, rebelling and fighting back like he did before, Jordan, in the past week, has turned self-destructive. You want more details? Ask Jordan. Ask him, "Knowing that you have NO experience with alcohol and what it can do to people, what the hell were you thinking when you drank that fifth of gin neat?" If my daughter hadn't got Jordan's parents to drag his sorry ass off to the hospital last night, according to his ER physician he would be dead right now instead of just getting a stomach pump and an IV.
I am in shock.
Our Jordan is sweet, bright, cheerful, capable, charming and funny. He is the cream of America's youth. And, like a lot of other upper and middle-class American children, he's spinning his wheels and throwing it all away.
How dare he.
Like those damn behavior modification programs, I too want to shake him and scream -- but not about his past or his parents. That's gone, that's over. I want to scream about what happens next, about Jordan's FUTURE. "Jordan!" I'd say. "Wake up! There is a reason for you to still be living -- and it's not just to keep your parents entertained. If you weren't here, they would go out and find someone else to create soap opera for them. Forget about them. There are other fish to fry."
Other fish to fry? Huh?
I look at it this way. Recently, members of America's "Religious Right" have purchased over 42 million books based on the idea that "The Rapture" is a good thing and that the sooner the human race descends into disease, violence and evil the better. We have MILLIONS of people, right here in America, who think that God will actually be PLEASED if George Bush and people like him succeed in their attempts to blow up the planet -- with us still on it.
Sure, to rational people, this sounds totally stupid but it is also the total reality of our times. Here in America, we actually have ten million cheerleaders waving their pompoms and hoping and cheering that life as we know it will be totally destroyed.
You think the terrorists are out to get us? WE NEED A DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY TO PROTECT US FROM THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT!
So. Jordan. There IS a reason for you to stay alive. There is a reason for ALL of us to be alive. We ALL are needed to stop this "Rapture" insanity and help make this world a better place.
Where to start? Didn't Someone once say, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you"? That's what the New Rapture should be. And it is much harder work -- and far more courageous -- than just wallowing in destruction and hate.
"Love thy neighbor as thyself."
THAT would surely indicate the Second Coming of Christ.
PS: WHERE did Jordan learn about the effects of chugging a fifth of gin? From talking to other desperate kids at the behavior modification program? More than likely.
PPS: Has Jordan finally become endangered enough for child protective services to step in and do something? Probably not. It's a class thing. Can you imagine CPS stepping in and interfering with the way George and Barbara Bush raised little Georgie?
Speaking of America's youth doing right, my youngest daughter just got her Girl Scout Gold Award this week! This is a BIG DEAL. It's like becoming an Eagle Scout if you are a boy. She spent two years on it, learned to sew and design clothes, made a video on how to dress well out of the People's Park free box, gave a fashion show to benefit the Vera Casey Center for teen mothers, collected a whole WORLD of stuff animals to donate, spoke at meetings, got articles published and generally made people aware that helping mothers and children is a GOOD thing. I am VERY proud of her. Here's MY article on Vera Casey: http://counterpunch.org/stillwater06042004.html Here's some photos of my daughter modeling glasses: http://www.withitgirl.com/wig_archive/style/wigarc_st_f16.htm