Have you ever gotten a name completely wrong, and no matter how many times you hear it said the right way, you can’t help but say it the wrong way? When my kids were small, I was thrilled by these little misnomers. I would encourage them in their mispronunciations, knowing that too soon, the correct words would come. Some family favorites still include bezras, the black and white striped animals found on the African plains, and Jophus, the husband of Mary, and the father of Baby Jesus. My least favorite example is my own father’s insistence on calling my daughter Kara, (rhymes with hair-a) instead of the correct Keara (rhymes with deer-a) for the first several years of her life. I went with simpler names for child #2 and #3.
My son recently introduced me to a show that he and his friends watch (and I am going to do everything in my power to get the name right this first time) called Destroy, Build, Destroy. No matter how many times he corrects me, I keep referring to it as Build, Destroy, Build. I am sure it’s because I am a mother, but it goes against my intuition to end a show with a Destroy instead of a Build. Why would you do that? And also, how can you destroy something before you’ve built it? It just doesn’t make sense to me. And here’s the kicker in my opinion. The winning team gets to destroy the machine, built with great care and effort by the losing team. Let me repeat that: The winner is the destroyer. That, ladies and gentlemen, is why we don’t allow 12-year-old males to vote. That is Lord of the Flies for the millennial generation. Left to their own devices, or given a chance to create their own TV show, “kill or be killed” is their mentality.
And as I watch our current election races heat up, I am saddened by how little we’ve grown up, or asked our candidates to do so. At least on the TV show, each team is given a chance to build something before their opponents are allowed to destroy it. In our political climate, no candidate is allowed to create a healthy idea, image, or campaign before it is attacked and brought low. I don’t know what a healthier, feasible alternative would look like, but I get so tired of watching the 12-year-old, male mentality of politics that I mostly tune out, or turn it off, just like I do with Destroy Build Destroy. I want to stay engaged. I want to do better, but I just can’t get past the feeling that I am watching bad, reality TV and that the winner, no matter who it is, can’t help but be a destroyer. It’s the way we’ve created the game.