We have seen it happen before, science fiction come to life. Writers like George Orwell (1984), Kurt Vonnegut (Cat’s Cradle), and Isaac Asimov (I, robot) have accurately made futuristic predictions in their science fiction stories. These writers may have had an aptitude that allowed them to for-see futuristic societies.
Star Trek was a popular television show in the 1960’s. This fictional TV show about a far off future, still lives on today with millions of fans all over the world. These fans are popularly known as “Trekkies”. In modern society we have seen many gadgets that were merely fiction come to life. Another popular science fiction story was “Star Wars” it is both a series of books and movies. We have also seen many of the gadgets from “Star Wars” come to life. However, the reasoning for this is due to the inspiration that these shows and movies have produced. Scientists and Inventors have taken the ideas from “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” and have experimented with there reality. As we have already seen the majority of the time they are successful.
Regardless of the fact that science fiction reality is do to the ability to for-see or inspiration, these once fictional ideas are becoming reality.
In 1993 a movie called “Demolition Man” debuted in theaters. This movie starred Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes and a young Sandra Bullock. If you don’t know the film it takes the audience into the late 21st century. In this story society is nothing like what we are currently living in. It is a peaceful society where violence is only something in the history books. I’m sure most people wouldn’t argue that the idea would be wonderful. How about being arrested or fined for accidentally cussing while out in public? Not so ideal, I know I would have a hard time with that if I stubbed my toe. Another concept in this movie seemed a little far fetched or was it? This idea was that human beings did not participate in bodily contact. If two people wished to express intimacy they were to do it via a virtual device. If they wanted to have children they would arrange this by scheduling a medical appointment and create a child in a lab. I once thought it was absurd, but the question is society moving in that direction?
The reason I ask is due to a recent story I watched on ABC’s 20/20. The story ran on Friday October 5th. It was about two middle school students in Oregon who were arrested for “Sexual Abuse”. Ryan Cornelison, 12, and Cory Mashburn, 13, were arrested in February of this year. Their charges were felony sex abuse in the First degree. What others viewed as horseplay was construed as sexual harassment. Instead of being reprimanded by a school official the boys were sent to the office only to wait for a police officer to question them. The police officer questioned the boys for about 5 minutes before he hauled them off to a juvenile detention center. The boys spent six days in the facility and were unable to see their parents for the first two days. I can’t imagine how traumatic it must have been for these two boys.
After their six days in the detention center the boys were released back into their parent’s custody. The boys were not allowed to return back to their school or communicate with any of their school friends. That wasn’t the worst of it. The boys were now facing sexual felony charges that could have led to a 10 year prison sentence. They were also facing the possibility as being registered as sex offenders for life. It took months for the boys to have these charges dropped. The so called victims of this horseplay had to write petitions to the judge to get the charges dropped.
What brought on these charges in the first place? The boys were participating in a game known as “slap butt day”. This was a game that students participated in every Friday and girls participated equally as the boys did. OK, so slapping each other on the butt isn’t appropriate behavior for school kids. I think most mothers would agree that they don’t want young boys slapping their young daughter on the behind. I also think these same mothers would agree that pressing charges that could lead to a 10 year prison sentence is beyond extreme. I think that calling their parents down to the office and educating these boys on appropriate conduct would have been a more logical step. Maybe even have an assembly in the auditorium where the faculty could have had a seminar for the kids on acceptable behavior.
If you think sexual harassment records for a 12 and 13 year old boy was extreme how about for a 4 year old? I don’t have kids of my own yet, but I have sat for young boys before. The boys I watched were also breast fed as infants. If you are a mother and you have breast fed your children you are aware that your bosom becomes a place of serenity for your young child. The child recognizes it as a place to receive nurturing. In the same episode of 20/20 we met 5 year old Chris. When Chris was 4 years old he was sent home with a record of sexual harassment. Why? Because he had nestled his face into another teachers bosom in which he was giving a hug to. However Chris’s friendly gesture was construed as sexual harassment. I don’t know about you but I don’t know of any 4 year olds that have expressed sexual desires. Chris’s father had to go through leaps and bounds to have his son’ record erased. Well, he was some what successful in his mission. He was not able to have his son’s record dropped, but he did manage to get officials to change his record. Instead of having a record of sexual harassment Chris now has a record of inappropriate conduct. Wow, I can’t believe that giving a hug to a teacher is now recorded as inappropriate conduct. At this rate I think I would be better off home schooling my children when I have them.
I don’t know what our future holds, but at this rate I think that the fictional concepts presented in “Demolition Man” are coming very close to reality.