I posted on Wednesday about the controversy in the Lower Merion School District regarding the video, “I’m Shmacked.” The bottom line of the video is that is shows students reportedly from Lower Merion and Harriton High Schools drinking alcohol, smoking weed, smashing windows and generally acting out.
Now Lower Merion shouldn’t feel special about the video. Evidently, the company – two guys – are traveling around the country to college campuses doing their thing.
According to an article in The Inquirer:
“The Facebook page for ‘I’m Shmacked’ identified its creators as Yofray Ray, 18, and Arya Toufanian, 19. Ray’s personal Facebook page says he graduated from Lower Merion High and lived in Narberth before moving to Manhattan. Toufanian is studying at George Washington University, according to his personal Facebook page, and grew up in Potomac, Md.
“Ray and Toufanian described the series of college videos as ‘a movie documenting the experience of a weekend at 20 of the best and biggest universities around the United States intertwined with a book and a website being pitched to major publishers and studios.’
“’No alcohol or illegal substance is used during the filming, just props for a movie,’ the Facebook page states. ‘However, I personally am completely Shmacked when filming/photoing.’”
The reaction I got from some of those commenting was surprising. Some of the comments were so severe I didn’t allow them to appear. Most of the uproar to the blog was that what’s going on in these videos is normal, young people behavior. Kids party, drink, act out and that we shouldn’t expect them not to and that it is OK and that I need to get over it.
One person was simply giddy calling me names using foul language I’m sure would be a hit in one of the “Shmacked” episodes. Not too surprised by that.
Sorry gang. I don’t buy that. And yes I’m sure my older kids thought they were great in high school getting over on me by drinking alcohol, smoking weed or whatever without me ever knowing. Cool. That’s something to be proud of. Fortunately for me, they learned lessons – some harder than others – that this nonsense is criminal, dangerous and can have lasting effects.
Yeh, I’m sure it’s hilarious to videotape yourself breaking the law. But a few years later when you’re ready to graduate from college and someone notices a YouTube video with your mug plastered all over it and you don’t get that job, well, suffice to say that’s probably not going to be that funny.
Yeh, yeh, I know. I’m old, cranky – actually I think the one adjective used in a comment was “bitchy” – but really I’m concerned. Like most other parents, we were kids once and yes we all had our share of stupid decision moments. But to repeat from the earlier blog post, this was before all of the social media outlets, YouTube, Facebook and the like. We weren’t any better for sure and hopefully we all matured and realized that some of the stuff we did then makes us all shake our heads now. The difference now is that somewhere in cyberspace, a video exists of these kids drinking, doing drugs, being vandals and generally embarrassing themselves for years and years to come.
So it’s up to you. As a parent I can preach forever. I can bring my experiences to my kids now and warn them of the difference in dangers now than from 20 or 30 years ago. I can blog for months and months and it’s a sure bet that none of the young folks reading my stuff will even give a damn.
I would be willing to bet that the majority of these “Shmacked” kids are decent kids who are getting caught up with a fad, like the “Girls Gone Wild” videos. Take a peek on the Web for the stories on that stuff, the lawsuits, the lives ruined.
Just remember, what seems like a fine idea now may be your downfall later. It’s a tough choice to make when you’re walking around with a bottle or two, a bag of weed or a handful of whatever floats your boat.
Here’s a minute of prayer that you keep it off the airwaves.
— Andy Hachadorian