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Anything for fame

April 9, 2008 - Kevin Sweeney
I see stories now and again that explain how the adolescent brain works. According to scientists, adolescents don't fully use the frontal lobes of the brain, where reason and logic and the recognition of consequeneces dwell, until they get into their early 20s.

Then again, I see stories now and then that make me wonder if some adolescents use their brain at all.

One such story popped up Tuesday on the cable channels. Eight teenagers in Lakeland, Florida, including six girls, were arrested for beating up another teenage girl, 16-year-old Victoria Lindsay. The police have plenty of evidence. The group of girls videotaped themselves administering the beating to their victim. Their motive — they wanted to post the video on YouTube.

Now, we realize that these teens probably craved recognition and fame, the kind that only getting your video watched by a lot of people on YouTube can provide. But this is the best idea they could come up with? Some people gain fame on YouTube by dancing, or playing an instrument particularly well, or videotaping their pets or their little brothers doing cute things, or finding some other talent they can put on tape. But all this group could come up with is, "Let's beat up Victoria!"

Second, what were they thinking would happen if they did put the videotape on YouTube? Didn't they realize that this is what police call "evidence?" Didn't they think that Victoria might be upset and go to the authorities? Didn't they realize that committing a crime is still a crime, even if it is for artistic purposes?

This compares with the kids in Minnesota who taped people at their drinking party, posted it on their MySpace page, and then got upset when school authorities found out about it and punished them.

I can understand that perhaps young people don't always think things through, but some just don't seem to think at all.


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