Love to Hate: America's Obsession with Hatred and Violence

By Jody M. Roy | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Youthful Hatred:
Are We Tough Enough?

He called himself Super Steven. The rest of us just called him Stevie. 1 Stevie was about four years old when he moved in across the street from my family. Even though I myself was only seven at the time, I understood that Stevie's life and my life were separated by much more than just a road. Stevie's mother ran through men almost as quickly as she ran through cases of beer. Some of the men ignored Stevie, some tolerated him, some even treated him nicely. Some did not. When his life became intolerable, Stevie disappeared under a beach towel and, in his place, Super Steven appeared looking quite dashing in his beachtowel cape. Super Steven felt no pain, at least that's what Stevie told me once.

At any age, when we face problems we feel we cannot bear, we often seek a way to escape. Efforts to escape from the struggles of life sometimes result in drug and alcohol abuse and even in severe emotional and mental breakdowns. Yet while extreme urges to escape can result in such debilitating conditions, more mundane desires for a moment or two away from the stresses and boredoms of our daily routines often lead us to popular forms of entertainment as means of escape. Our minds wander freely as our favorite songs form the soundtrack for our day

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