Tag Archives: children

I’d Just Like to Buy a Bottle of Asprin Without the Child Safety Cap

10 Oct

I don’t normally use this blog as a place to discuss politics, for two reasons: one, politics are boring. I mean, have you ever watched C-Span? It’s worse than waiting on line at the Department of Motor Vehicles. If I wanted to watch long-winded, poorly-attended lectures, I’d enroll in Virginia Tech. The other reason I don’t normally discuss politics is that I haven’t read a newspaper or watched the news since 1986, when the space shuttle Challenger exploded. If you’re going to bum me out with depressing stories, journalistic media, then I’m simply not going to lend my support. So there. Maybe you can cheer things up like Awake! and I’ll read your fish wrap again.

But this time, there’s an issue that I think is so important that it needs writing about. It concerns the President of the United States, Barack Obama, whose approval rating has slipped many digits over the last year. I know it may come as a shock to some people, but I can understand why. People are sick of Obama’s agenda, they don’t want to support his kowtowing to special interest groups anymore. And I’m right in line with them, in fact I didn’t support Obama from day one. But it didn’t have to do with his politics, or his rhetoric, or even his public speaking ability. No, I discounted Obama as a reliable, justified person who would serve my interests almost immediately upon seeing him. It wasn’t because of what he said or did, but because of who he is.

Obama is one of them.

One of those people with families.

Now I was raised to live and let live, let bygones be bygones, and always turn the other cheek. I certainly don’t hold it against someone simply because they have a family. Sure, I might not want them to eat at the same restaurant as me, I might not appreciate them moving next door, but it is anyone’s right to have a family, and if you decide to do so then that’s your business. The problem comes when you see someone with a family in a position of power, like Mr. Barack Obama. Then I have to wonder: will he legislate on what he thinks is best for America, or for his family? If it came down to saving the country’s economy or seeing his daughter’s ballet recital, would he choose the former despite the fact that his kid would probably tell him “I hate you and I wish you were dead” if he missed her performance? The issue here is that I don’t know. I’d like to think he’d do the right thing and serve the greater good, but I don’t know. Stronger men than he have caved at the tears of a cute little girl.

I know what you’re saying. “Don’t judge Obama! It’s not his fault that he’s got a family!” That’s baloney. Having a family is a choice, not a genetic predisposition. No one forces you to birth and raise a child, that’s your decision. “But Reggie,” you say, “we’re inclined to propagate our species through reproduction!” Nonsense. How crowded do things have to get before you decide that adding another snot rocket to the mix wouldn’t be a good idea? Or did you think your genes were special and needed to be passed on to future generations? All you’re doing is clogging our future space colonies and Soylent Green farms. Keep it in your pants, ladies and gentlemen. You, too can prevent premature human extinction.

I know Barack Obama isn’t the first person with a family to hold the office of President, but it seems like today every bit of legislation has to take into account American families and ensuring that our children receive no Bad News or have any Bad Experiences. And I, for one, am sick of it. There are eighty-six million unmarried people in America, and I have to assume that the majority of those over the age of twenty do not have children. So where is our fair shake? I’d like to see laws that allow curse words on network television, I’d like to see a tax break given to single people since we don’t give a flying fuck about your stupid child’s education. You know what was the most important piece of education I ever received? Finding a moldy copy of Screw magazine in the gutter when I was ten years old. That smutty rag taught me more about life and the human condition than the years I spent deriding Peace Corps volunteers. So don’t tell me I contribute nothing to society. At the very least, I’ll never spit up on you or disturb your movie-going experiences.

Mothers, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Assholes

28 Feb

I am of an age that many of my friends and peers have children. I am high-minded, I don’t hold it against them or judge them for their handicap. Likely they were motivated by fear or guilt to have kids, so really they’re the victim in all of this. And yet no court in the land would sentence a baby to prison for holding adults hostage with their incessant needs. That’s the modern justice system for you.

When I think back to my childhood, which essentially happened during the Reagan administration, I remember feeling like I was the Most Important Person in the Universe. I think that my generation was the first one to be wantonly targeted by marketing departments of various corporations. Not that children weren’t catered to before, but in my time Sesame Street relented after a decade of not licensing their puppets to toy manufacturers. No cartoon or kids’ show existed that did not have a full line of products supporting it. Ewoks were inserted into Return of the Jedi at the last minute simply for franchise opportunities. It seems like my generation was the first to be seen as having a nearly limitless purchasing power.

Still, my childhood did not center around childish things. I liked Transformers a lot, I certainly played with plenty of Fisher Price toys. However, my mother also felt it was important that I see the original King Kong when I was six. She rented Fritz the Cat for me when I was thirteen, a character I was familiar with having seen Robert Crumb comics of my father’s when I was eight years old. I watched Inspector Gadget and Heathcliff and Friends as a kid, but I was also very into The Young Ones and Soap. I feel that as important as it was to my parents that I feel safe and educationally stimulated, they were also concerned that I didn’t grow up to be lame.

When I visit my Friends Who Have Children’s houses, I wonder if I should call a psychiatrist who specializes in hoarding disorders to save these people from the mountains of bulky, plastic crap that threaten to engulf their entire homes. And these are the parents of children who can barely walk, mind you. The DVD collections, alone, wielded by some of these kids would send the most obsessive compulsive completest movie collector into a depression spiral. You’ve got six year-olds with MP3 players, ten year-olds with cellular phones. Most of this shit didn’t exist when I was a kid. I remember it was a big deal when my family got a VCR in 1982, which meant we could accrue a library of movies. The first movie I recall watching on video tape was David Lynch’s Eraserhead.

Maybe my folks were bad parents. I think that by today’s standard, they’d probably be considered negligent or whatever. They encouraged me to do the things I wanted to do, but didn’t feel the need to occupy my every second with targeted entertainment and bullshit. It’s no wonder that each generation increasingly seems to expect the world to be handed to them, because it’s being foisted on them every second of their lives up until they stop developing secondary sex characteristics. I can remember when I felt the steadying hand of focused marketing slip away, I was about twenty-five and suddenly I realized I was older than most of the actors I saw on television and artists whose music I enjoyed. It’s a bittersweet thing when you grow out of your demographic, but I suppose it’s a rite of passage, like falling off your bicycle or acquiring your two-hundredth Pokemon.

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