Friday, June 14, 2013

DC '78 # 16: "The Teen Scene;" A WGBS Special Report with G. Gordon Godfrey

The click-clack of high heels fills the hallway of  the WGBS studios
like a rapid-fire machine gun. Secretaries and post-production and
tech and on-air personalities are clamoring about as tension mounts
and the air is palpable with anticipation.

Cindy Miles: So what's going on tonight? I heard programming got
scrapped for some special live report?
Ron Troupe: Oh, it's special all right.
Lana Lang: Uh-oh.
Lucy Lane: Yeah, 'uh-oh.' Let's just say that there's a new Unholy Trinity.
Ron Troupe: Did something happen with Luthor?
Billy Batson: Close enough; three words; Edge, Godfrey, Flashman.
Cindy Miles: Good God! What the hell are they planning?

(Lia Briggs overhears the conversation from an open office. She
thinks to herself, "I wonder what Godfrey's up to? We knew he
wasn't right when he attempted to infiltrate the Seekers...but his
psychic defenses were such that we couldn't read him. I'd better
keep an eye on this broadcast and suss things out.")

Jimmy Olsen: Hey, somebody get downstairs--'The Network' is
attacking MSCU on the Plaza! We need--uh, hey? Anybody?
Steve Lombard: Quiet--we need to hear this! Can somebody turn it--
Lana Lang: Thanks Ron.

The now-gathered throng listens attentively to the overhead speakers
in the hallway; "--and actor George Reeves talks the new Superman
movie, all on tomorrow's episode of "The Scene!" Join Lia Briggs,
Tana Moon, Tawny Young, Cat Grant, and Vicki Vale! Tomorrow
morning at 10 a.m., here on WGBS!"

"And now, tonight's SHOWCASE is brought to you with special
limited commercial interruption by our sponsor, Big Belly Burger."

(Just then in Studio One)
Josh Coyle: And we're live in 5...4...3...2...
G. Gordon Godfrey: Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and
welcome to "Showcase," where we bring you all the latest and
greatest trends and news of the day. Tonight, our news magazine
takes a bit of a departure. So much so, in fact, that we are airing
this special in place of our original programming planned for
tonight. But rest assured, we'll have that report on "Modern Cults:
From Jonestown to Manson to the Kali Yuga, and Beyond" at  a
later date.

Tonight, though, join with me, your host G. Gordon Godfrey, as
we look deep into an overlooked abuse upon our most important
resources; our children.

Opening up the show for us is psychotherapist Dr. Hugo Strange.
Thank you for joining us, Dr. Strange.

Dr. Strange: Of course, Mr. Godfrey--my pleasure.
Godfrey: We have an unprecedented rash of young people being
thrust into the danger of vigilantism, which has been all but ignored
in view of the earth-shattering repercussions of last year's Explosion.
Have we become inured with their endangerment by virtue of our
familiarity with the concept? Is it apathy? Have we become so de-
sensitized to such endangerment? Are we afraid of confronting the
guilty parties due to their status and powers?

Just last year there was a very public reveal that the former ward
of Green Arrow, one 'Speedy' of the Teen Titans, had been hooked
on drugs. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, hard drugs. A teenager in the
care of a 'super hero.' Surely the exposure to such a lifestyle served
to accelerate his downfall.

And now, we've learned that the newest team in New York, an
'offshoot' of the Teen Titans franchise, if you will, has as its leader
a young man called 'Protector,' who is also a dope fiend associate
of 'Speedy.' It seems they're infiltrating every area of our lives!

Also joining us are 'Funky Flashman,' self-styled businessman, former
publicist of certain 'super-heroes,' and Morgan Edge, owner of WGBS
as well as noted community activist leader, and frequent contributor
on our station's editorials. Good evening, gentlemen!

Edge: Thanks for doing such an important program, Godfrey. Yours is
always the voice of reason against a tide of insanity.

Flashman: GREAT topic, folks--GREAT! There's never been a more
stupendously significant strategy for undermining the youth of America
than the one undertaken by these stunningly strange super-folk! As a
selfless soul, I want--

Godfrey: Yes, well--time limits and the like...Let's get to some specifics
of this recent proliferation of powerful youth donning masks and claiming
independence from the law, shall we?

Edge: Well, in
Los Angeles, a team of youths attempting to begin a color-ful 'legacy' of second generation heroes, is off to an uproarious start.
The offspring of the vaunted 'Justice Society,' the group "Infinity
Inc." is an actual business! They require profit to save lives. And they're
being funded by the questionable Mr. Sylvester Pembleton. And among
the team members, the wayward son of Hawkman, the "Silver Scarab"....
or whatever nom de guerre he goes by this week.

Dr. Strange: And again with nepotism; the son of the career criminal
Brainwave, one Brainwave Jr--who is also the uncle of Pembleton--is
on the team, wearing a costume that pays homage to his murdering father,
and taking the name "Brainwave Jr."

Godfrey: Possibly affecting our minds to believe he's a hero, correct?

Flashman: I wouldn't put anything past these con-artists, my good man!Last year Green Lantern, Green Arrow and Black Canary were only
too happy to be seen training the inanely incompetent newcomer 'Air Wave,'
and made it all out to be a bodaciously beneficial boot camp, when in fact
it was an eventfully error-filled escapade!

Godfrey: At least he had powers as a defense--unlike the Justice League's
mascot, Snapper Carr...who's now gone on to herald a new group made up
exclusively of teenagers, this 'Young Justice.'

Just the presumptuousness of their names is galling. Are they deputized
law enforcement officers of any sort? Don't they tend to make their rules
up as they go along? Based on whims and personal agendas.

Edge: Exactly...and how many international incidents have been
attributed to the U.N.-sanctioned idiocy of "Justice League International,'
a ludicrous club-of-many-nations for teenagers? Not surprising for our
leaders to fail us.

What is behind the fascination with allowing--even coercing--teens and young children to dress up and play vigilante? How does this
occur in modern civilized countries where the authorities are meant
to look out for the interests of all their citizens.

Godfrey: Hear, hear! And let's be clear, there are unwarranted risks
on both sides; both the children led into this unsavory life, and the
innocents they presume to be 'helping'....who suffer the consequences
of the untrained.

Dr. Strange: Right...well, as you may know, before my tenure with
Belle Reve Prison, I was from and practicing in Gotham City, of
course renowned for the infamous team of Batman and Robin. There
has never been an effort to find out the identity of the young man in
his employ...believed to now have been multiple young men...nothing
has ever come from a handful of editorials questioning the wisdom or
legality of the practice of employing obvious juveniles.

There have been no efforts by authorities to detain the Batman or
file charges of child endangerment. Where does it stop? Why hasn't
the Batman--obviously a real person and not the myth that the police
absurdly promote--why hasn't he been arrested for child endangerment?
Who has verified that the young man in the green underwear is not there
against his will, nor being abused?

Godfrey: They seem to have a special status--above the law--don't you agree?

Flashman: Oh, absolutely! And certainly they exhibit a proprietary
sense of privilege as a result of such preferential treatment and prosperity.
And the Flashman knows a little something about public perception! As
the premiere PR and promotions powerhouse on both coasts, I--

Edge: What about the reality of the repercussions of mere kids being
in such highly volatile and violent situations? Let's look at the hard
facts of what happens when they can't perform...when they fail these
responsibilities they should have never been saddled with; You'll recall
the death of Dr. Arthur Swenson due to the fact that he had been
placed in the care of mere children! And their penance?

Dr. Strange: They stopped wearing their colorful party outfits for a time.
But now here they are, bright as peacocks, parading around with a night
club, and three different additional teams! Loren Jupiter was a sound
influence, but he's no longer part of the picture. More rebelliousness
and unsupervised hijinks.

Flashman: There's another new congregation of teenagers that's emerged,  without the permission of the Teen Titans, whose name they procured as
their own. (Pssst--'Infringement' is a bad racket, kids!)--"Teen Titans GO!"
is promoting itself as a more proactive group, in direct defiance of even their
'predecessors' low standards of conduct.

Godfrey: You'll remember the youth riots from some years back in New
York City? The Teen Titans were involved in that affair, and the two 
brothers who escalated it are now in this new team, likely examples of a
new wave of radicalism as it has been rumored that the two are Blacks.
The heart of deception; wearing a mask and declaring yourself a hero in
order to hide your agenda.

Alongside them is the sister of another former gang member cum
'super hero,' Mal Duncan. Cindy Duncan publicly revealed her true
identity as the new 'Guradian' in her manifesto she and her 'comrades'
released, and made her family a target for any ne'er-do-wells that might
want revenge.

Edge: They also sport two brothers whose legal status in the States
is under investigation. And now joined by the mystery man, 'Red X,'
whose identity is not at all known.

Dr. Strange: Don't they also have a former powered criminal--'The
Ant?' And suspected arsonist, 'Hotspot?'

Godfrey: Oh, absolutely! And--and--that same suspect had a prior
'heroic' identity! God only knows why he changed identities. What's
he hiding?

Up until now, we were content to allow our children to be children,
being nurtured with homespun shows with family values. But now,
there is an effort...a seduction of our innocent afoot. There are forces
who would have us believe there is no correlation between this sweeping
hysteria of 'relevancy' and exposure to all the ills of the world...and our
children mimicking those evils here at home.

If you look around, you'll see folks acting as though we're the bad guys here; crying 'Chicken Little' if you will, instead of simply being the
concerned citizens we are. That such ills have been around forever and
only now are being noticed and addressed as our world has become so
much more 'linked in.' Poppycock I say. Convenient justifications and

There wasn't the amount of experimentation and addiction to drugs before this generation started sharing their stories in the press and
glamorizing it! And look at our movies, taking minor incidents and
isolated affairs such as human trafficking and prostitution and building
a huge industry selling these notions to kids as par for the course. Even
in its degradation, such supposedly 'harsh relaities' are appealing to our
vulnerable youth who merely want a life of excitement!

Teenagers feel empowered to take on all matter of Unholy Grails, such
as the report last year of a young girl who sped off alone adventuring
on a motorbike to confront unknown evils! Or the young man, Jason, who
similarly sought to take the law into his own hands on a quest to find
his sister! This is what we have social services agencies for! We have
a net in place to protect these children, and the very 'heroes' they imagine
teach them strength are in fact encouraging these impressionable
youth to place themselves directly at the Devil's Door!

Well, in addition to the immediate and obvious threat of danger
prescribed by these vigilante tactics, there's a long term issue at work
as well. The character and work ethic of this generation of kids is
affected by these antics. It's all inter-related, folks.

Come back in five as we continue to explore the issues affecting
our youth, right after this message from Big Belly Burger....