I was kidding when I said let’s do a “Melt Your Face Off With Fire Challenge”.
But before we get to the scorched meat and potatoes of world star hip hop, first some world-culture-context: One sunny day, not long ago, I sat perched in a waiting room and half-read this super sad article. It was about these teens who immolate themselves ($5 word! It means “set yourself on fire”) in far-away-from-me countries because their governments are worse than our own or don’t belong there. So they feel oppressed or repressed or plain old possessed by demonic Chinese overlords they can’t exorcise from Tibet.
While the government’s clamped down on it a bit, there are still lists of monks and kids and generally fed up folk who’ve taken part in this practice. And those who “volunteer as tribute” make their last plea for China to GTFO and bring back Mister Dalai Lama and they have included kids as young as 15 years old. For these teens, it’s an act of rebellion against tryanny in times of pain and suffering. It’s an ultimate sacrifice in order to show others just how bad conditions are so that those you leave behind after your short life know that it’s now their responsibility to keep going on. Your act says to be strong. Try harder. Be brave. Never back down from this cause in which I believe so deeply that I’m voluntarily burning, slowly to death for it… so that you don’t have to.
Meanwhile in America…
We’ve got teens lighting themselves on fire too! Their cause?
Internet celebrity. While their facepalm parents film it for them:
Yes, this is an actual thing now.
I’d normally pick it apart and say how much dumber we are than other countries – but I’m on a spiritual path, so I try to have empathy and think about what their motives were – and see the similarities between cultures. Not the differences. And find a solution from there.
The similarity we share here is that the young people of both countries are lighting themselves on fire – voluntarily, yes? So… like maybe the solution is that we can just send our teens on over to these foreign countries where the young people actually have a radical and revolutionary cause that lasts beyond 15 minutes of Youtube fame? And our American kids with no purpose can be ignited with a purpose (and with actual fire) when they serve as a sort of rotisserie whipping boy? That way, courageous young revolutionaries can still live on and change their nation’s future. So, in a way, these little videos are like audition tapes. We could start a whole immolation social media website, and let the rebels with actual causes recruit our bored brats like Russian mail order brides for a one way vacay that culminates in a luau.
And on an empathetic level, I see “why” our children do this. It’s not their fault.
In fact, it’s their destiny.
You can only breed stupidity for so long before a kind of evolutionary apoptosis sets it.
So all of us benefit: our overseas friends who need someone else to burn so they can keep on fighting the good fight – and us too – when those who “fail” the challenge prove to be a win. A win for Darwin – when they clean up the part of our gene pool that’s somehow supernaturally been defying him for so long.
Ah, I love it when science and spirituality coalesce for a common solution.
Mmmkay. So when can we launch Burn-A-Brat.com?
(Alternative name options on table: “FiredFromAmerica.com” and “IncendiaryFriendRentals.org”)