the newest dangerous trend amongst teenagers
Sunday September 25th 2005, 5:37 pm
Filed under: youth ministry

just when you thought the latest fad in teenage culture couldn’t get worse…

just when youth workers are getting used to saying “oral sex” without an awkward pause that belies their own issues…

just when “pharm parties” and “rainbow parties” and “”friends with benefits” and “gay until graduation” have become commonplace in our youth ministry fundraising venacular…

along comes a new trend, a new fad, that is so terrifying, so destructive, so anti-christian and counter-to-what-anyone-would-consider-good-taste. a fad that, while surely helpful to speakers and youth ministry non-profits who need to scare a few more donors into kicking in some “save the kids” bucks, could ultimately signal the true bottom, the absolute depth of evil of youth culture. this fad seals the deal on the concept that today’s teenagers have no moral grounding, no sense of right and wrong, and no ability to move beyond belief to conviction.

you may not want to read further. it could become painful. those with medical issues or weak stomachs are encouraged to stop here and begin praying for the rest of us, who, because of our calling to love teenagers, are compelled to find a way into and through this latest beelzebubbian lure.

i can hardly type it. i did not even know about it myself until this past weekend, when i spoke to a group of so-called “leaders” — high school perverts who embraced this new vileness.

but i must make you aware. because my calling is to equip youth workers, i am compelled, though i hesitate even now…

it — the evil thing — is…

the casual use of the ukulele — four-stringed baby-guitars of death.

three teenagers, from two different churches, had ukuleles with them this weekend. and they played them non-stop. well, thankfully, they stopped during my talks. but that was about it. all weekend, i was unwillingly bathing in the strum-strummy sounds of junior don ho’s. and when i casually mentioned to one seemingly sharp and christian girl (though her response would lead me to believe otherwise) that i had certainly had my yearly fill of ukulele this weekend, she responded (to my horror): “oh, they’re really popular now — two of my friends back home play them all the time.” to make it worse, she said this with a casual smile and a false innocence that shook my very soul and caused every muscle in my body to involuntarily tense.

picture the natural progression of this trend, if you dare. these kids on this retreat are san fransisco bay-area kids — arguably, next to new york, some of the earliest in any youth culture tipping point. what happens in san fran does not stay in san fran. before we know it, innocent plains teens from otherwise pure states like kansas and south dakota will be picking up these reasonably inexpensive, but deadly, instuments of simple pleasure, and bringing their down-home hokey plunkety-plunk chords to unexpecting peers.

we youth workers must prepare. we must be ready.

i, for one, will commit the resources of youth specialties to creating awareness and resources to help youth workers in this struggle. we will start a campaign, either called “Don’t Be A Don Ho” or “Know Jesus, No Ukulele” or “The Battle for a No-Uke Generation”. we’ll develop curriculum, available for free (with any substantial donation), and lots of articles and cool graphics and other nifty “no uke” stuff.

** this just added: we’ve squeezed two additional seminars in at all three youth workers conventions this fall: one on understanding the basic of the uke phenomenon and how you can fight it; and a second on the basics of playing a ukukele, for those of you who wish to try to infiltrate this segment of youth culture and create a revolution from the inside-out.

as for me: i’ll have that heinous sound ricocheting around my brain for a few more days. pray for me, that i can escape this evil, and not be lured into it myself.

19 Comments so far
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Hey bro…You’ll notice from the middle name that I am a Hawaiian born “haole”. Be careful of bad-mouthing the Uke or Don Ho…is nothing sacred to you?! I can only imagine you coming back from a weekend that Kimball invited you to and the next thing we read on your blog is you be bad mouthing Johnny Cash or Pompadours!

Seriously though…it was awesome serving our Lord with you! I’ll make sure to bring you an official Ponderosa Lodge Aloha shirt this Thursday!

I hear you scoped out the surf in Sacramento for all of us attending! Right on!! I repeat…Sacramento is not California…it is western Nevada!

Comment by Kelly KALANI Burch 09.25.05 @ 8:09 pm

Hey, no offense to “the ho”.

but It’s sad to see, kelly, that you’ve given in to the subtle charms of evil.

(good to work with you this weekend too)

Comment by marko 09.25.05 @ 9:05 pm

Tiny Tim Worship! Oh the flashbacks and nightmares!

Comment by Len 09.25.05 @ 10:05 pm

Marko -

When you need someone on the kazoo seminar let me know… I’d love to speak again and once used it to tour with Springsteen when Clarence Clemmons got sick. (Hmm… sounds like a main stage if you ask me)

Comment by Tony Myles 09.25.05 @ 10:36 pm

No more of those stuffy traditional praise bands. It is now ukilele led worship to come! YES!

Comment by Clint Walker 09.26.05 @ 12:29 am

[…] lites of a growing concern in the realm of youth ministry… egad! What’s next? Check out the horror! Permalink Leave a Comment […]

Pingback by The Krow » Why Bicycle? and the new Teen Fad 09.26.05 @ 6:53 am

ukulele playing, Yikes! - - not that there’s anything wrong with that

Comment by D. Scott Miller 09.26.05 @ 8:53 am

This is horrible. The scary thing is that it won’t stop at just the uk. You know where this will lead don’t you? Accordian addiction!!! We’ll have a bunch of Weird Al worshipers running around our meetings and retreats. Oh, the horror!! The end of the world is upon us.
(jkg. Don’t want any nasty emails from uk/accordian lovers)

Comment by ken 09.26.05 @ 11:05 am

I have to admit that I have been in the “uke” culture trying to save teens for a while now. This tiny tribe of teens has been around ever since one of them got a DVD of the Jerk with Steve Martin playing the devil’s instrument.

Seriously, I picked up a Uke from a garage sale a few years back and I love it. Being an aloha shirt wearing So-Cal transplant to Texas it keeps me somewhat sane.

Comment by KevinL 09.26.05 @ 11:07 am

Holy Crap this is funny. However, I’m sorry to say, I don’t think San Diego was the tipping point on this one, I think since Napoleon came out, Idaho is the new San Diego. :O)

Comment by Brian Edwards 09.26.05 @ 11:10 am

san fransisco, brian — not san diego. san diego, where i live, is very content to hang out on the beach while tipping points occur elsewhere.

Comment by marko 09.26.05 @ 11:37 am

AHHHHHHHHH! What will we do!

over at ysmarko he has posted an alarming update to one of the new trends in the youth culture. [LINK]…

Trackback by A Youth Pastor 09.26.05 @ 12:49 pm

[…] nd now you are in my prayers which are currently inspired with a soundtrack of ukulele… marko: san fransisco, brian — […]

Pingback by ysmarko 09.26.05 @ 3:21 pm

Oh man … I was fine with the ukelele haters … but accordians, too? My brother plays one of those! And I myself have every Weird Al cd and the Weird Al dvd … maybe it’s ’cause I’m a Baptist that I’m okay with the accordian; you’d have a heart attack trying to get a rockin’ beat with the thing …

Comment by Matthew McNutt 09.26.05 @ 4:05 pm

tomato (tamato) potato (patato)

Comment by Brian Edwards 09.26.05 @ 9:26 pm

[…] holiday (can you imagine the Hallmark cards?) i’m suggesting… ukulele sunday. here’s why. and, here’s the helpful little link sent my observant reader and friend, cathy. this is t […]

Pingback by ysmarko 10.09.05 @ 11:05 am

[…] nder: youth ministry, personal

ok, this is way too exciting. my initial post about teenagers and ukuleles caught the attention of a very creative person (bobbie’s husband? bobbie’s liam […]

Pingback by ysmarko 10.09.05 @ 8:14 pm

[…] will give this inch
Monday March 20th 2006, 7:30 pm
Filed under: music

despite my publically stated distate (horror?) for the wee guitar-of-terror otherwise known as the ukelele, even i must adm […]

Pingback by ysmarko 03.20.06 @ 7:30 pm

[…] ly posted an extremely serious caution about the uke’s resurgence into youth culture here. nifty reader bobbie and her husband made a “no ukes” logo, and sent me a sticker (and paid for a […]

Pingback by ysmarko 06.27.06 @ 7:14 am

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