Rage Festival! A Celebration or Derailment?

Rage

Okay, so maybe I am a prude! Maybe I am anachronistic, old fashion or maybe hanging too tightly on my morality and Christian beliefs in a time when it has become unfashionable and outdated. Maybe I am too far off the mark of what is fun and hip and letting your hair down. Maybe I do not understand the pressures of being a matriculant in 2013 and the need to blow off steam and party for two weeks as a means of recuperation from the past 12 years. maybe I just don’t get it? But that doesn’t remove any discomfort and concern with what is happening! And yes, I do acknowledge that there are young people who do not fall into this category, so it might just be a gross generalisation – for that I am sorry!

 

I have watched many American films with shock and fear and disgust over the event of Springbreak where licentious behaviour, promiscuity, alcohol and drug use is the “fun” of the party. Maybe I do not understand that culture or being American that I miss the message and aim of such events completely! But when this something that I don’t get or understand makes its way to our shores surely then I should have enough concern of “Springbreak” on our doorsteps. Springbreak? What Springbreak? What am I talking about?

 

Maybe the Rage Festival rings a bell? What is that? Well it’s definitely not a new thing. It’s inception dates back to 2001 where matriculants head off to destinations for two weeks to let down their hair and just party party party! But what happens at theses parties? Why am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Why am I on about this event when it’s just a bunch of underage teenagers having fun with the blessing and finances of their parents and well-known sponsors?

Have a look at the latest news clips of what is happening at these events… Plettenberg Bay; KZN . More than 300 condoms sold per day per store. “20 youngsters a day in here asking for the morning-after pill” implying unprotected sex. What about alcohol consumption or any other narcotic (anybody today knows that such parties are not free of narcotics)?

How do we tolerate and grant the blessing and condone an event that could derail or damage the future of youth?

Have a look at the code of conduct. Alcohol to consumed in nightclubs only and not in public areas. No inappropriate sexual activity in public places – carry contraceptives, know your status and your partners (plural) and the list goes on. The irony? No under 18’s allowed in the nightclubs! What matriculant is over 18? Really Now!!! And who sponsors this? Vodacom, Blackberry and Stimorol! How disappointing to endorse an event that could derail so many of our young people from a positive future!

Well let me end before this post land me in more trouble than what I will already be in or reveal what an outdated, old and boring person I am who doesn’t understand the meaning of fun or young!

So let me say:

I am all for young people being young and part of being young is by making reckless decisions. What young person always have the capacity to make sound and wise decisions when most adults cannot? For example, what parent (adult) would grant (by paying for) their teenager permission to two weeks of such partying?

I am all for living a life now because who knows if there will be a tomorrow? But act responsibly by doing what is true, honourable, just, pure and commendable so that we, others and God would be proud of us and we won’t look back on a moment of regret!

I am all for celebrating 12 years of hard work. But when we allow and endorse our young people to act and make inappropriate and risky decisions for the sake of letting down hair then we have failed to allow them to celebrate accordingly and have placed an enormous amount of risk on their well-being and future.

Remember while everything may be permissible not everything is beneficial! And remember these are our young people and not adults!

Rage Promo clip:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-jglfMExo4

A previous rage goer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7Nn-d637qs

A Synopsis of Adolescents – Their Plight?

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Boozing, sex rife among teens – Times LIVE paints a dismal picture of what is happening amongst our adolescents within the Western Cape. Anyone who has a teenager or who is involved in working with adolescents might become concerned as to the future of our young people, which would translate into the future of our society and even country.

I think that we can often lose focus when faced with such reports as these will report statistics and seldom dialogue with the causes and the responses in trying to change the situation. Often the social sciences mandate is to have a discourse with society and has its limitations as the reason “why” behind it. I do think that it is in this discourse that the theologian’s voice is needed.

We are not to merely look at the symptoms of our contexts but also dialogue with the histories of our contexts in trying to get an understanding of the process that has brought us to where we are. It is when we understand these histories that we would have a better understanding of how to become a relevant voice in a time when pessimism has become the order of the day.

I also do not want to be naive in not realising that some adolescents do these things because they want to, because they are bored, because they are rebelling and because it’s a time in their lives when experimentation is a way to discover truth (often relative truth) for themselves. But to end the discussion at that point would be irresponsible.

At this point I would not want to offer any solutions, as I think we need to begin a dialogue by reflecting on our histories to be better informed in order to help us interpret our present and hopefully through Christ transform the future of our adolescents. So to those who are involved in some form of youth work, let’s not be too hasty to pass judgement, lose hope or offer solutions.