Monday, March 01, 2004

This is about how adults, and specifically parents, are stupid. If you're sensitive, read on and please send me your rants, raves, disagreement to j_publicist@hotmail.com

About a month ago, TIME magazine ran an article about rampant drug use among young people -- 7 - 13 year olds, legal drugs. The pushers are these kids' parents, who are aided and encouraged by the kids' teachers and guidance counsellors.

The problems are multiple and include depression and the currently popular ADHD. These ailments occur largely in upper middle class populations and more often with boys than in girls.

I have also noticed over the last 10 years or so, an enormous increase in the use of plastic to transport children, beginning from the second they are born (the ubiquitous 'crash cart' into which newborns are dumped and where they stay until they depart the hospital) and where they remain night and day until they are old enough to walk and protest.

Call me idiotic, but there's a reason our kids are nuts and on drugs at the ripe old age of 8.

Who was that scientist who experimented with monkeys? Some monkey babies were 'raised' by a wire-frame mother. Others were raised by surrogates and others with their natural mother. You know the outcome: the wire-frame mommies, which very closely resemble society mothers, were cold, detached and basically uninterested in the baby monkeys. These babies grew up into psychotic unloving and occasionally murderous adults.

The surrogate mothers did better, but not as well as the natural mothers in most cases. Where the natural mother had been raised by a wire-frame mom, the effects were ongoing. Crap parenting lead to crap kids.

Now couple crap parenting, which is not the sole property of society moms or disadvantaged families, with lots of plastic -- meaning the kids are not being touched or held in addition to being ignored -- and voila; psychosis, drugs, ADHD.

OK, lets carry this further. Lets imagine -- no, lets acknowledge -- that a whole slew of the teaching staff in YOUR kid's school was raised by the wire-frame equivalent of a parent. Those teachers don't have a clue how to raise kids, don't have any clue about yours and can't cope. So they recommend your kid take drugs.

Or, lets say your kid has a pretty good teacher, but your kid spent the first three years of his or her life in various forms of plastic -- the car seat, the crib, the playpen, the stroller -- and so they're just plain old depressed from simple deprivation.

So, what do we do? We drug 'em and then we wonder why there are so many depressed people around.

Here are my solutions:
1. Throw out the plastic!!!! Babies need to be held. If they cry, pick 'em up. If you have to go shopping, get a baby carrier or carrying sling that attaches to you! Not only will your child be close to you where it should be, you'll have BOTH hands free and nobody will ever be pissed off at you again for blocking the aisles with your cart AND your stroller and your myriad forms of baby paraphernalia. Carry your kid.

The best, most idiotic thing I hear about carrying babies in plastic is "He/she's too heavy to carry." So, adding another 12 lbs of plastic makes the baby lighter? What a load!

1a. This does not apply to car seats. Use those all the time and use them right. Your kid doesn't like to be strapped in??? Well guess what! He or she probably won't like life support much better. Use your car seat and strap yourself in too while you're at it. Don't be dumb. It is your kid's life. And yours, If you die, in a crash for lack of seatbelt, if your kid survives the crash, guess what. No parent.... Think about it.

2. Ignore your mother/father when they tell you you're going to spoil your child if you pick them up all the time. You will NOT. Babies cannot be spoiled. 2 year olds, yes, but not a crying baby. They cry because they need something. That something may simply mean "Hold me." See, if you don't pick them up, they will grow up to be insecure, depressed kids and adults and will probably have a teacher or three moaning about ADHD.

Kids are little for a very short time. Most kids are walking by 14 months or so, so hold them when they're little. Would you rather have a psychotic 14 year old on your hands?

3. Be a rational adult. Whatever shit you get up to, be assured, your kids are watching you. If you get drunk every Friday night with your mates or your girls, rest assured your kids will follow suit. Don't be a putz. If you want good kids, be a good adult.

4. Listen to your kids. Guess what. Sometimes they are right. Sometimes, you are wrong. Shut up, listen to your kids and learn something. The worst thing that can happen is that your kids will get it that you respect them.

5. Last point: If you're not sure you want to parent then DON'T do it. It is a life sentence. The first 18 years is hard time. After that, you get parole, but you never get full release. Not to worry, though; if you are sure you want to be a parent, you will welcome the sentence and you will buy in totally about 1 second after your baby is born or arrives.

If you are not sure, don't experiment with anything but the colour and brand of condoms you're using. CONDOMS ARE CHEAPER THAN KIDS. Use the condoms if you have any doubts.

In my next couple of columns, I'm going to rant about the idiocy of those who support abortion in a country where access to information is rampant. After that, we're going to discuss the political term "race" and how misuse of that term has totally screwed up most everyone's life.

Send your rants to j_publicist@hotmail.com

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Welcome to The Stupid Files, a diary of stupid human tricks.

There isn't a day goes by when I read the newspaper and find some human has done something ridiculous. Without doubt, all of us stand back in total amazment at the antics of our fellow beings, and most of us would love the forum in which to point out such human dumbness. I hereby lay claim to such forum.

As much as I am quite happy to write and read my own opinion, this blog will be much richer for contributions, so please don't hesitate to provide your own observations.

You can send your contributions to thestupidfiles@hotmail.com.

What started this rage, you might ask? Well, back in about May of 2003, fines in my city for various traffic infractions increased substantially. Very substantially. Shortly thereafter, a city resident wrote a letter to our local daily, complaining about these admittedly large increases. His main point was that, if a person racked up $1500 to $2000 per month (yes, he actually said that) in fines, their family would suffer and their kids would have no food.

Needless to say, I was highly amused and amazed that anyone would actually admit (it seemed like an admission to me) they were such an apalling driver that they were paying out huge money monthly to support their 'habit.'

I immediately fired off my own letter suggesting that traffic fines are not a predictable monthly expense and that if that person had such an issue with filling the city coffers, they had only to slow down, obey the rules of the road and drive sober and straight.

I also suggested that they do us all a favour, sell their car and use public transit or taxis, because, given the money they were paying out for fines, it was obvious they were a completely unsafe driver and were putting the rest of us at huge risk by being on the road.

Seriously, isn't it pretty stupid to complain about the city 'raping and pillaging' the poor citizens when the complainer is completely in charge of not paying any fines, simply by obeying the rules of the road?

Here's another good one, according to me: our school system has a partnership with a local transportation comany to get kids to and from their schools. Due to growth in the city, many kids live a long way from their designated school. So at one point, there was an increase in the annual cost of this transportation, from $25 per year to $75, capped at $150 per family, regardless of number of kids in a given family. I was a large increase, but on a per-day basis, amounted to a total of something like 50 cents per trip. Not very costly, and far less costly than city transit, which was, at the time $1 per trip for school kids, or parents driving.

A father wrote in to our daily complaining about this fee increase -- bitterly, I might add -- claiming that such an increase was a huge burden and so on and so on. I did a little research on this particular father, who was part of the parent council at his kids' school (so easy to find out about). I asked one question: was he a smoker. Answer? Yes.

What I find stupid about his complaint is that he was outraged at paying a total of $150 per year to have his children safely transported to and from school five days a week, but had no problem paying $7 A DAY or more (I couldn't find out if he was a one- or two-pack a day man) to support a habit that was neither good or safe for anyone involved.

This is how it broke down: the kids go to school 198 days per year, two trips per day. This transportation includes same time drop off and pickup every day in a warm vehicle. Total cost per child, $75 per year. That amounts to about 68cents A DAY for both kids.

Smoking on the other hand was costing this man at least $7 per day, 365 days a year, for a total of at least $2,555 annually. What I pointed out in my response letter was, that if the father in question were to forgo one pack of smokes a week, he would amply cover the cost of school transporation for his kids and would add a health benefit for him and them.

Why is it people who smoke dare to complain about the costs of this and that when they could easily afford things were they to simply cut down!?? I'm not about to moralise about whether or not people have the right to smoke. It is a stupid habit, with no health, welfare or social benefit, but hey, go wild. Just don't complain.

In my city, the cost of a pack of smokes is now hovering around $9, which equals, give or take, about $63 per week, which equals almost $3300 per year. That's about the amount I paid last year to lease my brand new car. That is also about the amount I spend on my mortgage. That amount is 4 times what I paid to have my daughter in competitive dancing and it is double the amount one would pay out to put a kid into hockey or ballet or any other sport.

Smoking is stupid but complaining about the cost of things when one is a smoker is REALLY Stupid. Stupid people are annoying. Smelly stupid people.... well. 'nuff said.

I will be back shortly. I encourage your rants, raves and contributions!

WriterWriter
The Stupid Files.