At the risk of being considered an old grouch, at 85, I want to go ahead and say a few things about America today, and I think it has bearing on why some if not all parents are having trouble with their kids and teenagers. This comes from having just read that the movie and television actor Robert Downey, Jr. was just named the highest-paid actor in the world. Last year he earned $80 million, most of it from people going to see his violent action movies. I think America is sick and in pain partly because it is on an action and violence binge, as well as having an obsession with vampires and the paranormal. Yesterday I read that a pro basketball star is being offered $200 million by Addidas to promote their shoes. His almost as lucrative contract with Nike just expired. Those figures are insane, and who pay for them? You and I, in higher movie tickets and shoes for kids. I grew up in an age when we wore our street shoes and gym shoes down to the ground and when they had holes in them, we stuffed cardboard in them to walk to school even in rain and snow. We had one bicycle for the three of us, my older brother and sister and me. It got stolen the first day, even before I had a chance to ride it, and my father said that's all, he couldn't afford to buy another, not even a used one. We got around on roller skates until they wore out. Neighbors all around me let their kids have basketball hoops over the driveway. After a few weeks they stop using them. They plead for them, then ignore them and play video games or sit around with their iPads or other handheld devices instead of playing with their friends. I had to get this off my chest. It could be a lot longer, but this says most of it. I never married or had children, and probably would make a terrible father today, by kids' standards, because I wouldn't give them everything they want, including tickets to rock concerts that equal or better what I pay for groceries every month for my dog and myself. What do you think? Is America sick? Is this why you have aches and pains, or at least part of the cause?