I spent the 4th of July weekend at my brother's place in Cedar Rapids, IA. He works as a bouncer at a fairly up-scale bar near the downtown area on some weekends, and he invited me down to bounce with him at a couple of concerts the bar was hosting for the festivities. I haven't been able to spend time alone with my brother for a couple of years now, so adding in a chance to make a couple hundred bucks on top of it, I decided to head on down. I wasn't real big on the idea of bouncing, but my brother said that the concerts usually drew a good crowd and there were normally very few problems.
I ended up working the door for pretty much all of Saturday night, just taking money for the cover charge, checking ID's and putting wrist-bands on people. Nothing too exciting, though it was clear that quite a few people had "warmed up" on more than a few beers before coming to the concert. About midnight we shut down at the door and moved outside since the concert was almost over and we needed to disperse the crowd after the band finished. My brother motioned me over to where he was and nearby was a heavily intoxicated young lady. My brother pointed her out and said she had vomited and then immediately started drinking again - a nice way to get alcohol poisoning. Now, if something hadn't happened later, I would have never given this girl a second thought since the crowd was well plied with alcohol. About 30 minutes later, we had reasonably gotten the crowd out and were starting to clean up when the manager wanted a couple of us to go stand outside the 1st and 2nd floor bathrooms because he didn't want anything untowards happening in them. Figuring standing watch outside a john was better than picking up several thousand empty beer cans, I happily volunteered for the job. Near the bathroom on the second floor is a separate dining room with double doors with frosted glass windows that the band was using as a dressing room (a piece of paper on the door said as much). I'm standing there, minding the facilities, when the door opens as a band member walks out, and there stands the drunk girl stark naked in the middle of a crowd of 10-15 guys. She's laughing, the guys are mostly sitting and there is absolutely no evidence of any violence or coercion. I take this all in during the scant 2 seconds the door was open and immediatley think "this isn't right." This girl is so impaired by alcohol that they likely wouldn't have to force her to do anything; the mere suggestion would probably be enough. Long story short, I go find my brother, who has already been told something is happening upstairs. We go up there, but he tells the band manager that it needs to stop and a couple of minutes later the girl comes out fully clothed, apparently no worse for wear. The thing that kept going through my head, besides how utterly sad & depressing the whole night really was, is "why is this girl doing this?" It can't just be that she is drunk, since there were many drunk girls there that night and none of them were dancing around naked before a leering crowd of guys. The only reason is that she somehow likes the attention, and for her to go that far, it must go far beyond "liking" it to needing it. And the guys up in that room - sitting around smirking while this girl debases herself for their momentary pleasure, what is wrong with them? I fear that people like this are in the majority in our society - those willing to humiliate and abuse themselves for the momentary pleasure of someone esle's approval, and those willing to revel in it - and what that means for our future as a country and a culture. What kind of citizens will they be? What kind of leaders will this generation produce? When the next great crisis grips us as a nation, who will answer the call? That girl? Those guys? Or the few hundred party-goers who were only looking to get drunk and find some "love"? I weep for our future and I fear for myself, that growing up in this time & place I may have been infected by the same malady.