I have never really thought much on the phrase “look daggers at”. It was something I glossed over, immediately translating into “gave a dirty look.” Just some sprinkles in the writing, someone having fun with a turn of phrase.
Today, however, I saw the daggers fly. This was no I-hate-you-so-much-right-now glare, or even a you-man-stealing-home-wrecking-so-and-so. This was a full on, hard as steel, sharp edged, I-AM-GOING-TO-END-YOU gaze that was so intense I have nicks and cuts on my own soul. The scariest part? The death stare giver was a sophomore in high school. A girl who weighs in at no more than 110 pounds, just got her driver’s permit, and is dedicated to cheerleading.
Why don’t I remember this side of high school? The life or death moments, where guys and gals feel rage (or love) so strong that for a millisecond the mediating adult actually believes she can see the daggers fly through the air between the two girls having a spat. I also don’t remember any stories involving Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, but I am sure the students of my generation did just as well fighting and loving through AOL instant messenger. And I certainly don’t remember any of my friends (or otherwise) going to the police to attempt to file a harassment suit against her friend to protect her friend’s mother. Hm. Does the drama have to get this big? The other girls present in group today sat in stunned, awkward, and sometimes amazed silence. Occasionally they offered comment, interpretation, or support as is their wont. One girl, however, gave the most enlightening comment: “Wow. This is just like Jersey Shore.” Ouch.
I wonder at where MTV has gone these days (where IS the music, anyhow?) and the culture of students AND adults that give these orange tinged alcoholics the viewer ratings that perpetuate and germinate the decline of what used to be entertainment. Call me a snob, but I believe there was at time, however brief, where the Real World was about bringing different people together and watching them learn about each other. With arguing, rather than brawls.
Is there a relationship between these changes and the fact that our teens are setting out to destroy each other over the girl/boyfriend stealing antics that have plagued us since before Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby? Can we get away from the drama and back to the music?