A couple of days ago, Rush Limbaugh, a man I admire not at all, went on a rant about “pajama boys.” It was pretty hard to decipher his disorganized ramblings. (If you think you can stand it, you can hear him for yourself at the bottom of this post.) I think the gist of the rant is that young men are being ruined by several horrible modern things, including feminism and getting “drugged up” and “watching video games.”
“What have we turned boys into?” he cried.
Apparently this tirade was brought on by an incredibly positive report from the CDC that said teenagers are far less likely to have sex now than they were in the ’80s when Rush was a swaggering young dude.
All this makes me think about Freakonomics. Why? Because unlike Limbaugh I’m fascinated about the surprising positive effects seemingly unrelated trends can have on social problems. For instance, video gaming may have some totally counter-intuitive effects on society as a whole. There’s some evidence that teenagers aren’t out creating mayhem because they’re too busy playing video games.
That causes me to wonder what other horrible things could be prevented had certain types of people been too busy playing video games.
After all, it’s not just “pajama boys” (young men) who play video games. Nowadays middle-aged women like me are more likely to be playing video games than just about any group. And the average age of gamers is rising all the time.
So, Mr. Limbaugh, why not take a positive pill and think about all the terrible, annoying, and downright immoral activities that could be dramatically reduced if certain people would just stick to peacefully playing video games?
All the bad bankers and white-collar criminals could get so busy playing online poker that they wouldn’t have time to to beg for government bailouts for their failed loan programs.
All the corporate CEOs could get so busy playing Plants Vs. Zombies that they wouldn’t have time to push for even more obscenely huge compensation packages.
And all the right-wing talk show hosts, especially Rush Limbaugh, could get so busy playing Flappy Bird that they wouldn’t have time to flap their lips inanely on the radio.