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July 02, 2008


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

It seems that even the Brits -- the Brits! legendary for coldness towards children! -- are now making too damn much anxious / selfish fuss over their kids, and are producing a cohort of overentitled brats. Funny new word for the day: "kindergarchy," defined as "an affluent new world order in which children rule." Scary! But, my, isn't there a lot of evidence around for it?



posted by Michael at July 2, 2008


In 1970, Larkin wrote "..children themselves have been devalued: we know them for the litle beasts they are (a knowledge greatly amplified since 1945 by the forcible reintroduction of a servantless middle class to its offspring) and nobody would pretend that there was anything angelic about them...". Changed days.

Posted by: dearieme on July 2, 2008 7:25 AM

and are producing a cohort of overentitled brats.

I don't know what's going on in England, but in the US, all this "kids these days are more narcissistic" stuff is wrong. That will be the next post in the "Your generation was more ______ " series over at

Turns out that the studies are methodologically unsound, and more sound ones show no increase in narcissism overall, but an increase in the "I can do it by myself" facet and a decrease in the "vanity" facet (i.e. the common usage of "narcissism").

I mean, let's get very real here: forgetting individuals and just looking at co-horts, no generation will be able to out-preen the Baby Boomers.

And Gen X-ers complaining about self-absorption and overentitlement -- you gotta love it. These people thought we should amend the Constitution so that used bookstore clerks and coffee shop cashiers would get paid enough to afford middle-class lives that they could whine about on open mic night, rather than fulfill their potential and get real jobs.

Posted by: agnostic on July 2, 2008 7:32 AM

I know it's fun to pick on kids, but let's be honest. We spend a huge amount of time and effort in adult lives trying to keep ourselves as happy as possible. Why should kids be any different?

The behavior that we see in raising kids is simply one aspect of the fact that we as a society are wealthy enough to (attempt to) protect ourselves (and those we care about) against all manners of trauma and use that wealth to do exactly that.

I'm pretty certain that most of us live lifestyles that would be considered by previous generations to be self-indulgent and self-entitled: playing games as an adult, seeking a 'fulfilling' career, childless by choice, spending time on the rights of animals, involvement in the less than serious arts, 'spiritual' activities, attempting to protect children from the inevitable, etc.

Whether any of this makes us happier in the end is a totally different question. It's more optimizing for the immediate future. But when people have the wealth to do so (and we're fantastically wealthier than our predecessors), we'll try.

Posted by: Tom West on July 2, 2008 8:08 AM

New? I'd say it started at least twenty years ago in the U.S.A.

Posted by: susan on July 2, 2008 9:02 AM

I agree with much of Tom West's comment.

I'm a lot more concerned with the long term consequences of so many childless people.

Childless adults tend to continue to believe in abstract idealism. This has become a political phenomenon. Witness the Obaman belief that somehow it is better to go to work for a nonprofit in order to save the world rather than to do what is necessary in order to make a living as a corporate lawyer.

I have a lot more faith in the character of those who've had to face feeding a few kids. In that circumstance most people (but certainly not all) learn to do what must be done, not what should be done ideally.

The childless society has created a politics of sanctimonious idealism that I find aesthetically repulsive and well as morally dangerous.

This is, of course, the meat of Stuff White People Like.

The worldview of the childless society has already created a number of myths that I think we will find to be completely untrue: nationalism is a form of bigotry, homosexuality is just another lifestyle, war can be banished if prejudice is defeated, etc.

The Lord of the Rings, one of the favorite books of the Stuff White People Like set, is a cautionary tale about the inanity of their beliefs. Evil really does exist. Morality really is demanded of us. Sacrifice and warfare are part of existence.

So, I agree, Tom. The spoiled overentitled brats... well, that's just a manifestation of the adult world they see all around them. So many of them were raised by single mothers, in a culture that tells women that they should dump their husbands so that they can screw around, and that the next man in line should raise their bastards.

We exalt absolute, vicious self-indulgence in women. Their sexual needs trump the needs even of their children. So, what can you expect from the kids?

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 2, 2008 11:22 AM

Dearieme -- Changed times indeed. Nice Larkin quote too, tks.

Agnostic -- Your belief in sociological studies -- let alone personality tests -- is touching! I like 'em all as data points and conversation-starters myself. But (for me) they don't count any more than personal experience and comparing-notes do.

Tom -- I agree that this is what prosperous people will tend to do. Seems to be the case! But is this a good thing or a bad thing? What predicaments does it steer us into? And are the results something we (you, me, others) find pleasing? Also: I don't see anyone blaming *the kids" for the this state of affairs ...

Susan -- Yet another reason for the world to love us.

ST -- I'm not entirely sure what you're on about with the "childless society" thing. World population is on its way to record heights and the percentage of people who don't have any kids doesn't seem especially high, even if it has grown a bit. Good lord, most of the U.S. looks like a giant nursery, devoted to not much more than schools, soccer, college, etc.

BTW, through most of history only something like 80% of women and 50% of guys reproduced, so it's not as if having a substantial percentage of the population not having kids is a new thing, let alone something that dooms a species.

Values certainly change as populations get richer, and societies will spew out fewer kids per couple as prosperity goes up. Those seem to be general rules of life. And I agree with you and Tom about how people will tend to put more and more emphasis on "the self" and on self-pleasure as they acquire more money and leisure. Is this bad or good? Maybe it's nice in a general way -- luxury, baby! -- but maybe it also needs to be noticed and managed a bit?

But (though I agree with many of your rants) I can't see the childless as 1) being anything new, or 2) constituting a conspiracy against the general good. (To be honest, given the number of bad and selfish NYC parents -- as well as bossy, furious, angry NYC children -- that I see, I sometimes wish a few more of these people had remained childless ...) Really: There just aren't that many childless people around.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 2, 2008 12:40 PM

The Joseph Epstein piece that inspired this one is based on the idea that kids grow into little tyrants because they get too much attention from their parents, because parents make their kids "the center of their lives" nowadays. I submit that for a kid there is simply no such thing as too much attention. It's not the quantity of attention that is a problem, but the quality. And if that makes good parenting sound like something that is impossibly subtle, it isn't. The right kind of attention is the kind that is given, automatically, by someone who thinks everyone has rights that are not to be violated -- including not only the kids by the kids' teachers and the parents themselves. If that is your mindset then go ahead and love your kids and make them "the center of your life." They will grow up to make you proud.

Posted by: Lester Hunt on July 2, 2008 1:01 PM

These things go up and down. Interesting passage from this place (I hope it's accurate -- if not, please correct me):

"Fewer than 10 percent of women of [the Boomer] generation remained childless, compared with nearly a quarter of those who came of age earlier during the Depression ... Today, 16 percent to 19 percent of women in their 40s have not had children."


Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 2, 2008 1:06 PM

It all went downhill with the invention of electric and gas fires, making chimney sweeping redundant. I mean, you can't even go for a quiet pint in a decent boozer these days without seeing (and hearing) bloody kids everywhere.

Posted by: Jeff on July 2, 2008 1:24 PM

I hope the Brits start outbreeding the muslims in England. Otherwise it's goodbye blessed realm.

Posted by: ricpic on July 2, 2008 4:34 PM

A rant about a pet peeve-today's kids.

My sister-in-law, with her BS in early childhood development and her place at the altar of T. Berry Brazelton, has given me 2 nephews who, for the lack of a better word, punks. The sight of my brother on bended knee at a family get-together explaining to his oldest (age 6 at the time) that yes, he had to mind Grandpa because Grandpa is Daddy's father and daddy has to mind him, too! It nearly sucked all the oxygen out of my brain! Why I should have expected any different, though, after watching the way my sister-in-law, as well as almost every modern parent I've observed, pushes her child to front of every line to be the first for everything? Lester, did my parents, and probably yours as well if you're over 40, love us any less because they demanded discipline and courtesy? But heaven forbid anyone manage the child and not just the environment.

Is anyone involved in youth sports (I coach wieght training and umpire baseball)? In my town, there's an over-reaching father threatening to sue the Little League because his precious boy didn't make the all-star team. Because I was an accomplished high school football player, I constantly hear from dads that there's something wrong with the high school freshman football team because Junior is sitting on the bench after being a force in Pop Warner. Then they get angry at me when it introduce them to the facts of life: Pop Warner is an artificial construct where guys like me (a 225-lb. freshman) are banned from playing because we're too big, and we spend the first week of freshman practice pounding the crap out of Junior for his undeserved reputation. Does the blind faith in the excellence of their offspring make them blind to reality? And we won't even mention the father in Massachusetts who beat another father to death because the other guy's son checked his kid in a hockey practice! I have a friend who is the president of youth baseball in his town, and he gets the parents together before the season to tell them one thing: no one from this town has ever played major league baseball, so let's have reasonable expectations.

But, as MB rightly points out, these kids are their parents' creation. My mother had the correct take 15 years ago: kids today are hothouse flowers, nurtured in the "perfect" environment where anything negative isn't allowed. When they have to stir around in the world and face reality, they really aren't prepared, and their histrionics force the parents to act out, often with about the same level of maturity.

Why do you think so many of today's kids are on meds? Beacause their parents can't handle the monsters they've created, so they medicate them. It's funny how a kid does poorly in school and he's ADD, but he has no problem sitting in front of his computer playing Halo for 6 hours!

Posted by: Brutus on July 2, 2008 4:46 PM

Same old same old. How many times have I seen that article in various forms? And good old Frank "Mr Fun" Furedi always pops up with a minatory shake of the head.

Posted by: Graham Asher on July 2, 2008 5:07 PM

Lester Hunt is correct on this one.

Are there any parents among you ranters? The seething resentment toward children who appear to 'have it too easy' always makes me wonder what's at the bottom of this attitude.

Children today are suffering mostly from divorced parents who buy them expensive video games to assuage their guilt. Other than that, kids are no more awful than they ever were.

Being a parent is more demanding than anything else you will ever do. It's sad to hear so much anger toward children. Harshness only breeds other problems, as we see from prison populations.

However, my best advice for new parents would be: Relax, because whatever you do will be wrong!

Posted by: Sister Wolf on July 3, 2008 12:26 AM

> Is this bad or good?

I'd say the answer to that is almost philosophical than practical.

I remember telling the Ant and the Grasshopper story to by son. He thought about it for a while and then pointed out that the Grasshopper had one season that he really enjoyed, while the ants would literally keep joylessly working until they were dead, so the Grasshopper was probably better off.

Yeah, that sort of attitude at eight was a sign of the future :-)

However, to the point of the anecdote. What is the point of building our 'capital' if we don't intend to spend it? And while I suspect that we're really bad at spending that capital to improve our happiness in the long run, freedom to seek happiness in any way we choose is a pretty fundamental freedom and not one I would part with unless things are pretty dire.

In the long run, I think we'll eventually draw down our capital enough that society and people will reverse course and old virtues will suddenly become more appealing. But that's generations off.

And are the results something we (you, me, others) find pleasing?

Sometimes yes and sometimes no. While I don't find others' self-indulgence all that pleasing, I certainly find my own entertaining. More seriously, I do not know whether the significant number of people who are vastly happier because they haven't been forced to conform to social norms that would have made them profoundly unhappy is larger or smaller than the number of people who would have been happier if they'd been forced to conform to social norms that are now mostly absent.

Given that lack of knowledge, I'd have to lean fairly heavily on the side of freedom. But I certainly am aware of the costs of either position.

Posted by: Tom West on July 3, 2008 7:39 AM

The notion that women ought to behave themselves always provokes consternation and anger. Surprisingly, the anger comes from all sides.

Feminists have defined behaving like an ass as a flag of liberation. Hedonists want women to behave like jackasses so that sex is more readily available. Why they think that this is likely to be the outcome, I don't know, because useful and enjoyable sex is something that is only available from a woman with well developed social skills.

In my lifetime, the devolution in the behavior of childen has been caused almost entirely by our consensus that it's a wonderful thing if women behave like jackasses. Call it a rant if you like, but I've seen it in my family, and in every community I've lived in.

We've encouraged women to live like pigs and to always put the interests of their childen below their self-interests. In fact, we applaud them for this behavior.

I spent several weeks in the Philippines and I almost never witnessed the incredibly stupid and rude behavior from children that is routine in the U.S. Children are educated in religion, an absolute necessity (that has nothing to do with whether you believe in God), and subservience and obeisance toward adults is demanded. Every child I met greeted me with a gesture of ritual subservience called "mano." These practices produce well-behaved, respectful children.

Amazingly, a lot of sex still happens in the Philippines, despite the fact that women are expected to behave themselves.

Michael, I think that you really need to check your attitude. In this case, I think you are confused by your desire for a life that offers sexual fun and entertainment. It is not necessary for the women to be complete assholes for this to be a reality. It's just a symptom of the stupidity of western culture that that is the solution we have embraced.

When we begin again to demand that the women behave like decent human beings, we'll see a consequent improvement in the behavior of children.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 3, 2008 8:42 AM

Sorry, Sister, I find the worst behaved kids are the ones, like my nephews, raised in semi-affluence by stay-at-home mothers. These mothers are both smotheringly attentive at times and perfectly willing to ignore the kids at others. Go to any coffee shop and you'll see groups of these hausfraus gabbing over tall, extra skinny, half-cafe, extra hot lattes while the kids run wild.

I don't get the "anger toward children" statement. My anger, and what I see expressed by others here, is at the alleged adults. Parenthood has always been the defining step into adulthood; today's adult, childless or parent, spends the bulk of their time proving to themselves and the world that they are still kids.

Posted by: Brutus on July 3, 2008 9:14 AM

If there is a problem with KIDS TODAY isn't that really a problem with the parents or our general culture? I dunno. I don't have kids so have no baseline, but, the young kids seem sweet and the older ones I complain about in a time-honored 'I am 40 and it is my right' way. I have no idea how accurate my complaining is.

*Anecdote: in the library earlier this year, and some kids, teens, were getting rowdy and dropping the F bomb right and left. They were roundly ignored and I was leaving anyway. I can't wait until I am cranky and mean enough to correct kids like that. Although, by that time, they would probably follow me out the door and rough me up a bit! Kidding! I'm sure they are just lovely, lovely young people.

Posted by: onparkstreet on July 3, 2008 10:44 AM

@ Shouting Thomas:

While I don't have a bone to pick with much of your comment, this puzzled me:
"Witness the Obaman belief that somehow it is better to go to work for a nonprofit in order to save the world rather than to do what is necessary in order to make a living as a corporate lawyer."

You talkin' about Obama? The dude running for president? If you are, he has kids. And I'd think working for a nonprofit might be a better formative experience than draft-dodging in the National Guard, and even then not showing up for duty because you're too wasted and you know daddy will get poor Veruca out of anything.

Posted by: yahmdallah on July 3, 2008 11:31 AM

Do any of you ranting against "kids today" realize you are no different from any generation of adults who have always ranted against "kids today?"

Also, I second Sister Wolf's question. Any actual parents amongst the ranters? Didn't think so.

Posted by: JV on July 3, 2008 12:14 PM

As the parent of two kids under ten, I guess I can jump in here. I'm of two minds: I agree that things are a lot more child-centered than they used to be. But in some ways, I think that's an outgrowth of the whole society being more indulgent toward itself, adults very much included. You could make a big, overarching magazine piece out of that thesis, with references to obesity rates, the amount of disposable income spent on entertainment and electronics, the degree to which people go into consumer debt, and so on. If people spoil themselves, they'll spoil their kids, too.

That said, my wife and I both believe that we don't have to bow down in front of this sort of thing. We're trying to teach our kids to be polite, to value learning, to appreciate good food, and to have some culture. They hardly ever watch TV, and you can't walk through the house without tripping over books. But before I start patting myself on the back too much, it's true that you never know how your kids are going to turn out until, well, until they've turned out. We'll see.

I have to agree about being mad at the parents in a lot of feral-kid situations. We've already had occasion to use the "I am not your friend, I'm your parent" line. I think that more of that attitude, spread around generously, would do a lot of good.

But in the end, there really is a real adult world out here, one where you have to work to earn a living, and where you have to be able to show that you're worth what you're getting paid. The collision of the overentitled with that world will be messy, but I know which side I'm betting on to win. (And if my kids can end up better equipped than some of their peers to deal with it, then so much the better for them. . .)

Posted by: Derek Lowe on July 3, 2008 12:28 PM


Yes, you are right. The Obamas do have children. When I was thinking of an example of brutally overly entitled statements, that one by Obama's wife just came to mind.

The Obamas are examples of another form of infantilization: the racial quota system. Both have been showered with money all their lives by an educational system that is desperate to find blacks suitable for advancement.

If you want to understand where Sen. Obama's Christ delusions come from, the quota system is the answer. Michele is "professionally black." She's made her way through the world bitching about racism while the white academic world showered her with money and praise.

Who knows what the Obamas really are? If their path were available to you, what would you do? What would you do if you were among the few articulate, promoteable blacks, and white liberals keep throwing money and praise at you? I certainly don't know what I would do in their place.

Taking the money and running is certainly a plausible and sensible response. I don't know that it is sufficient reason to condemn them. Playing the system for all it's worth is certainly a sign of intelligence.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 3, 2008 2:52 PM

What bothers me about the Epstein piece on which this article is based is not so much the "those kids nowadays" theme as that the explanation of the alleged problem seems to me seriously flawed.

Posted by: Lester Hunt on July 3, 2008 6:24 PM

Children today are the same as they've always been. They can't help it. The major influences on kids are other kids, and child-centred parenting is no more damaging than parent-centred parenting (a la the French). Kids are kids, they'll grow up into adults and they, as we have, will turn out okay in the end.

What does concern me about today's young is the potential loss of the millenia-long traditions of childhood cultural transmission--you know, games like hopscotch taught by kids to kids no adults needed thank you, fart jokes that were told by cavekids to other cavekids no cavefolks needed thank you all the way to today--a transmission that may be in serious danger of being broken by video games played in suburban castles connected by kidless and empty suburban streets, no hopscotch, no fart jokes, nothing to connect the young of today to the young of humanity throughout its history till now. That scares me. And makes me pity the kids of today if I'm right.

Posted by: PatrickH on July 3, 2008 6:56 PM

"When we begin again to demand that the women behave like decent human beings, we'll see a consequent improvement in the behavior of children." ...

I was going to keep reading, but apparently I have to go have lots of unprotected sex in the hopes that I'll get knocked up so I can trap some poor slob into raising my "bastards."

Posted by: Decca on July 3, 2008 8:44 PM

I was going to keep reading, but apparently I have to go have lots of unprotected sex in the hopes that I'll get knocked up so I can trap some poor slob into raising my "bastards."

Thank you.

Now I have to go and tell my wife that my son making a joke at my expense at dinner was all her fault for being liberated.

Posted by: Tom West on July 3, 2008 10:58 PM

Why are we always dragged back to the themes of "women are pigs" and "Blacks are Uppity?"

Posted by: Sister Wolf on July 4, 2008 12:52 AM

Why, Sister Wolf?

You evidently missed the two decades in which white hetero men were dragged through the mud.

The Uppity shit is just what I'm talking about. White hetero men are expected to behave themselves. You can too.

So you can cut that crap. You know exactly why. I've got at least another 15 years of getting even before I'm through.

Pretend that BS with somebody else.

One only has to take a look at your blog to know the game you're playing. Who do you think you're fooling?

I'm not of the generation of men who were pussy whipped into submission. I make my living in a way that shields me from the depradations of your kind. I abandoned white women for Filipinas because they don't belong to your club.

So, honey, I can say whatever I want. Go do some dishes.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 4, 2008 8:04 AM

Ah, so nice to see that the universe is properly aligned. ST is ranting about how anyone who isn't a right thinking, right wing, heterosexual white male ... sorry, make that white MAN ... can go f#*k themselves. Talk about "victim politics". You'd think from ST's comments that white men are either an endangered species or so abused by society, especially feminazi women, that they can't find jobs or get elected dogcatcher anywhere except the Philippines. As the young folks say with that sneering tone, "As if."

As the parents of a now grown daughter my wife and I (despite being feminist oriented liberal commie pinko types) managed to teach the word "propriety" along with its practical definition to the Daughter Unit by the time she was three. One does not say naughty words in front of Grandma, nor does one run around screaming in a public restaurant, etc. And having a Mom who does more than the dishes, not to mention a Dad who cooks and does laundry, helps more than hurts in teaching personal responsibility and all the other life skills parents need to pass along to their offspring.

In my experience Brutus got it right in his comment above, "the worst behaved kids are the ones, like my nephews, raised in semi-affluence by stay-at-home mothers. These mothers are both smotheringly attentive at times and perfectly willing to ignore the kids at others."

Posted by: Chris White on July 4, 2008 11:19 AM


I can always count on you.

The feminist men are always the ones holding a weapon up their sleeves. What better way to play the game of dominance/submission with other men than to put on your halo and defend the women against the awful men?

Remember ex-Governor Spitzer? He was a master of this game. While he was whoring it up with teenagers, he was a great champion of the cause of women.

I have no idea what goes on in your private life. But, I do recognize the game you're playing. Yes, you are such a sensitive "conscious" man.

Someday, you may find yourself on the other side of the game. In the area you live, the hippie, feminist women turn bloodthirsty when it comes to breakup time. The judicial system won't hestitate to take away your kids and force you to pay for another man to live in your house and raise your kids.

Before, you go crazy... no, this did not happen to me. But, I've seen plenty of it. Often the clown who gets caught in this drama is the senstitive "conscious" fool.

So, go on playing the S&M game with other men. Yes, you are sainted. I kiss your holy butt. We'll see what the future holds for you. At the moment, you can't imagine yourself being the fool caught in the machine.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 4, 2008 12:42 PM

Well, ST, since I'm coming up on 37 years into a very good marriage I'll take my chances.

The topic here was kids who might be described as "feral youth" and what kind of parenting might be to blame. You offered your typically skewed view that contained swipes at Obama, liberalism, homosexuals, idealism and above all feminists (aka women acting like pigs). The answer, you seemed to imply, was nationalism, traditional values and patriarchy.

My own sense is that it is the consumerist, 'all-about-me', ethos of corporate capitalism which has taken the place of "traditional values" such as hard work, serving others and being part of the larger community is the root cause. Parents are emulated by their kids so adults who care most about fiscally measured success and will do whatever it takes to achieve that success raise kids who want what they want and want it NOW who have no manners or sense of propriety.

That said, hasn't every aging generation since Adam & Eve complained about the deteriorating manners and conduct of the young?

Posted by: Chris White on July 4, 2008 2:19 PM

Shouting Thomas kicks ass! If I'm ever up near Wodstock I'll buy the old coot a beer.

My own sense is that it is the consumerist, 'all-about-me', ethos of corporate capitalism which has taken the place of "traditional values" such as hard work, serving others and being part of the larger community is the root cause.

That's because the larger community got diluted and became unregognizeable (Muslim schools get federal funding while Christian symbols are outlawed in public spaces) and also because people are realizing that the evil fucks who run both major political parties are playing the productive Americans for suckers. Fuck 'em. Happy fourth of july.

Posted by: PA on July 4, 2008 2:54 PM

Ah, and PA joins ST in blaming anyone who isn't of white Northern European Christian (preferably Protestant) stock and the bleeding hearts who don't buy into the notion that Americans who don't have white skin, or those who don't worship in a church with a cross topped steeple, are by definition not eligible to be "true" Americans. And PA also tosses in a red herring about federal funding for "Muslim schools." This is presumably a reference to a handful of charter schools run by Muslims, just as there are some Christian and Jewish charter schools. In fact, wasn't the whole "charter school" bandwagon championed by folks who think that public schools are failing us because they are hotbeds of secular humanism?

At least we can agree that both major parties are failing America and playing us for suckers.

Posted by: Chris White on July 4, 2008 4:53 PM

God bless this God Damned AmeriKKKa!

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 4, 2008 4:53 PM

Shouting Thomas, you're so cute when you get mad!

I'm gald you aren't fooled by my blog and the game I'm playing. But since I have no idea what you mean by that, I beg you (or double dare you) to reveal what I'm up to.

I get it that you're an angry self-righteous white manly-man who drinks hard and chops his own wood and rides big motocycles and loves the American flag and I don't know, probably likes Hank Williams Jr. better than his dad. You probably love to barbeque meat and you long for the days when women knew their place, like Asian women still do.

Doesn't it bother you to be such a caricature?

Just so you know, my husband plays guitar, once played a gig with James Brown, and he does the dishes!

Posted by: Sister Wolf on July 4, 2008 6:36 PM

Sister, I like both Hank Williams, Jr. and his father.

Women never "knew their place" as you state it. You are a liar. The women in my family, until the 1960s worked on hardscrabble farms. My mother was plowing fields on a John Deere when she was 14 years old. Everbody, male and female in my family, worked at low paying menial jobs. They shared lives of incredibly hard work and poverty.

The indoctrination you have been force fed is a shitload of lies.

The Asian women I know all make in excess of $100,000 a year. My late wife, Myrna, made more than that. She was simultaneously an executive in charge of training for a corporate law firm with authority over six offices on the East Coast. She was also my partner in the music biz, and she was a commanding and masterful artist. And she was Filipina.

As you can see, you are the bigot. Asian women don't know their place. They are trained from birth in how to be women. You, unfortunately, were born into a culture of absolute stupidity in that regard. You are trying to find in ideology something that should have been taught to you from birth.

The bigotry game that you and Chris are playing has become so fucking dull witted. Only the dumbest and most indoctrinated want to continue to play out that crap game.

My Filipina girlfriend is a power in New Jersey real estate. We are contemplated building a home in Cebu so that we can live part time in the Philippines and part time in the U.S. She not only owns numerous pieces of real estate in the U.S., but several others in the Philippines.

Here's what I got from your blog. You are the usual, completely indoctrinated, boring product of a U.S. college. And on top of it, as you now admit, you are a dumb racist.

Happy Fourth of July. Asian women will beat your ass at any task you want to name. Except for the bitching and whining, that is. You are hopelessly inadequate in comparison to a Filipina.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 4, 2008 7:43 PM

And digs your hairy armpits, 'go-dammit'!

Posted by: anon on July 4, 2008 11:39 PM

Shouting Thomas has truly earned his name. Right now, I am in the mood to hear from his more skeptical brother, Doubting.

Posted by: Lester Hunt on July 5, 2008 12:11 AM

Hahahaha! Shouting Thomas, you are the one who brought up ethnicity, I was merely responding to your proclamaation:

"I abandoned white women for Filipinas because they don't belong to your club."

Please continue!

Posted by: Sister Wolf on July 5, 2008 2:02 AM

The amazing thing is that for all the ranting Shouting does here on 2BH, posts on his own blog are much calmer and the tone more reflective. A recent post there noted that his daughter is about to begin a career as a special education teacher in a public school system. He has a lot to be proud of there, obviously he did a great job parenting and might have chosen to add something more than attacks on feminism to this thread.

As most parents learn pretty quickly, kids come with the better part of their personalities, aptitudes and talents pre-installed. Parents have loads of opportunity to mess their kids up, but scant ability to program them from scratch. We can only hope to nurture their better qualities and help them deal with their inherent negatives in a productive fashion. Mostly we do that by example, so kudos to ST.

Now, this doesn't mean I won't continue to irritate the hell out of the guy with my hippie commie anti-corporate capitalist views, but then that's the way my civics teacher Dad raised me.

Posted by: Chris White on July 5, 2008 9:07 AM

You see, Chris, what we really share is reverence for the fathers. My father was an incredibly wonderful man, although he had few of the trappings of success that people use to measure a man. I followed his example and guidance in rearing my children.

Michael, that Roissy character is onto something, even if he states it crudely. Men should fight women bitterly and endlessly. Women love this! Most men are so terrified of fighting back against women. In reality, women regard this fighting back as a form of deeper communication.

The horrible blasphemy against the fathers that became to be the sole agenda of feminism after 1970 is the result of this. When we are young we are willing to say anything and agree to anything to get pussy. The women used this against us. The results were disastrous, and may never be reversed.

Roissy is absolutely right about this. Quit telling the women what they want to hear. Quit caving into them so that you can get some pussy. In fact, it works precisely the opposite way. When you cave into them, they regard that as sure sign of desperation.

So, young men, if you really want to get a lot of pussy, and if you want to form a decent, respectful relationship with a woman, fight back like a mad dog against that shit they give you. They'll love you for it. They will regard you as a complete clown if you start kissing their asses over their feminist hysteria. They want you to tell them to behave themselves.

The ones who want to succeed in browbeating you into becoming a feminist conspirator are absolutely no good trash. Flee from them.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 5, 2008 12:26 PM

I also have a reverence for my mother, especially for the way her response to my father's more authoritarian tendencies shifted over time from a meek, "Yes, Dear." to a no nonsense, "Sit on it!" And I admire the way my Dad became a more thoughtful and caring guy under the growing influence of such feminist inspired ideals as equality between marriage partners.

That doesn't make the advice to young men looking for sex with hot babes offered by Roissy or ST wrong. The mystery of sexual attraction remains mysterious indeed. Why is it, in the sexual arena especially, that the adage "nice guys finish last" is so often true? Damned if I know. Still, while being a "feminist conspirator" might have kept me from enjoying loads of casual sex during the high water mark of the sexual revolution, I'm more than content with the long term results ... a great marriage to a fine woman with whom I raised a smart, funny, caring, neo-feminist daughter.

Which brings us back to the topic of this thread. During her school days my daughter often complained, but now has thanked both of her parents on many occasions, for the various "cruelties" we inflicted on her(cue Nick Lowe - "Cruel to be Kind"). Cruelties such as the "Dad Edit" for all school papers. Dad believes in old fashioned things like grammar and spelling, which were not as rigorously enforced by some of her teachers as I wanted to see, so I took on that role. Also the way her curfew was the earliest of her peer group during her middle school years, but became the most liberal by the time she graduated high school. Our rule was if she consistently made it home by curfew (or had a very good, plausible, excuse) we'd keep making it later, fail and it would become earlier. While on a few rare occasions she gave a plausible excuse, generally she was home by curfew, and always called if she was going to be slightly late due to one of those excuses, and so reaped the rewards. A couple of times she called to be picked up when she felt the driver might have been impaired or the scene got too risky for her taste. And we honored our pledge to not punish or lecture her, nor ban her from going out with the same crowd again in the future, when she exercised this option. It was one way to let her know that we trusted her judgment. We also encouraged her to offer us an escape clause. She told us that she sometimes claimed it was her "mean parents" who were "forcing" her to do or not do something in order to save face when she felt the risk/reward ratio of some boneheaded adolescent scheme was less than favorable.

In any case, as we've been saying for years, "Ach, kids today, holy babushkas!"

Posted by: Chris White on July 5, 2008 1:52 PM

Everybody's different, Chris.

These things can get pretty confusing. I am in favor of women having an equal right at a job. That's been a reality for over 30 years. Anything beyond that? No.

Among Myrna's most brilliant accomplishments on this earth was her stewardship of my daughter after the death of her mother. Myrna demanded that Sara succeed and that she overcome the bitterness of losing her mother. God bless you, Myrna, I am so grateful to you for what you did for my daughter. You were a sage.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 5, 2008 3:59 PM

Anything beyond the right to work, no? What does that mean? What rights do women have that you seek to abridge, ST?

Men who divide women into saints and pigs are hard to reason with. But I'm still waiting to learn what my 'game' is.

I admit I am fascinated by abnormal psychology. That is what keeps sending me back to these comments.

Posted by: Sister Wolf on July 5, 2008 8:31 PM

You're a spoiled, overfed, overindulged, bored brat pretending to be a nigger in some small southern town in 1955, Sister.

That's your game.

My late wife, Myrna, makes you look like a fool. She was born into sexual slavery in Olongopo in the Philippines.

Her accomplishments shame you. Your stupid prattling is insane. In fact, I've seen people collapse into insanity playing that game.

You don't have a political agenda. You've got a psychological problem resulting from excessive wealth in a society that will indulge your play acting.

The abdication of the fathers (a/k/a the Patriarchy) in the face of childish tantrums from mental cases like you has been a disaster... especially for you.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 6, 2008 10:31 AM

Shouting T., I've read a fair bit of Sr Wolf's blog, and while I disagree with her about many things, I see nothing in her work that suggests a victim mentality of the kind that might justify a phrase like "pretending to be a nigger". She never attacks men in general, and does not write as if the patriarchy is responsible for all the ills of the world.

And if Sr Wolf is "spoiled" or "overindulged", surely that's true of a great number of us who grew up in the Western world after WWII? Especially in comparison to a woman born into poverty in the Philippines? As for "overfed", that is perhaps your most unjust accusation, as Sr Wolf's photos of herself indicate.

Surely there are worthier targets of your spleen.


Posted by: alias clio on July 6, 2008 10:57 AM

Well, yeah, clio, I'm a cranky old fart. I have to live in this world without Myrna. You'll notice, she asked me to tell her. She really wanted to know.

You know, that "I'm so sensitive and literary that I could break into tears over the tiniest pain in this world" syndrome that you're afflicated with is also a symptom of the spoiled modern world.

I tend to regard these things as moral disorders, although I know that they are not. I was born into the old world. If you were fed and housed... hell... that was all you had coming. The notion that your emotions and intellectual aspirations should count for something... well, that was nice, but it was a luxury for a very few.

I played with a blues band at a cantankerous shot and a beer bar last night. It's like going home for me. I like the hardness of that world, even though I can do without the poverty that attends to those who live there full time. It's a world of action. As I told you, when I was in college I tried for a while to affect the stance of the literary intellectual. It was a total failure. It bored me to tears. Nothing ever happens in that world. People screw around with each other all the time in an effort to convince themselves that something is happening.

So, in a way, you're right. The Sister isn't suffering from a moral disorder. She's suffering from the reality of living in a soft, overstuffed world. There is a price to pay for that, too.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 6, 2008 12:39 PM

You know, that "I'm so sensitive and literary that I could break into tears over the tiniest pain in this world" syndrome that you're afflicated with is also a symptom of the spoiled modern world.

Ha. Unfair and untrue, ST. I assure you that I am sensitive only on my own behalf. This is not a virtue, but it is a fact.

You yourself, surely, are well-fed and well-housed? You get to do work that, if not enjoyable, is at any rate not deeply degrading? What's the reason for your own anger, then? Is it a symptom of feeling sensitive and wounded on behalf of all the pains of the world, or what?

I'm not over-troubled by your thunder and lightning because I am accustomed to cranky old farts, being related to a great many of them. I know that if you can get them to calm down and speak softly for a few minutes, their views often turn out to be more nuanced and subtle than one might have thought possible when seeing them in mid-bluster. Not everyone can call upon this kind of experience, however.


Posted by: alias clio on July 6, 2008 2:58 PM

My goodness, what slanderous rubbish you are tossing at me, ST! Please calm yourself.

Must we all be born into sexual slavery to earn your approval?

You haven't the slightest clue about my upbringing or circumstances or my personal struggles. You are projecting on me your free-floating contempt for a certain kind of woman. Your imagination has got the best of you, and your are wrong on nearly every count.

You have made yourself loud and clear on your stance towards 'sensitive, literate' people. You are a man of action! Who are you, Hemingway? If so, why do you keep a blog?! Action Man shouldn't keep a public diary! That seems kind of...I don't know, pussy-ish?

I am sorry for your loss, no matter how offensive you are to me.

For the record, I am 5'6" and 115 pounds. Now watch me get criticized for being thin.

Posted by: Sister Wolf on July 6, 2008 4:05 PM

I'm not over-troubled by your thunder and lightning.

Soft you now, the fair Ophelia!

I love this blog. The only place where you can read comments like that immediately following, "You're a spoiled, overfed, overindulged, bored brat pretending to be a nigger".

clio, do you have any single friends who talk like you? I've always wanted to marry a woman who uses "over-troubled" in conversation.

Posted by: patrickH on July 6, 2008 6:05 PM

One of the things I loved most about Myrna, clio, was that she enjoyed a good fight. No "nuance and subtlety" for her. This is generally true of most old world societies.

For me, this brings to mind Woody Allen movies. I haven't seen one since I was in college. I watched all those nuanced and subtle West Side intellectuals endlessly discussing why some guy screwed his cousin's girlfriend, and I always wondered:

"Why don't they take the son-of-a-bitch out in the back yard and beat the living hell out of him?"

You see, for the patrons of the bar that I played at last night, the answer to most Woody Allen dilemmas is to retire to the parking lot to duke it out. It's so preferable to the interminable mincing and therapy. 40 years ago, the result of that parking lot fight was minimal. The cops broke it up and the next day it was forgotten. Today, that same fight would land somebody in jail, be followed by lawsuits and criminal charges, etc. You might be surprised to know that the loser of that long ago fight would have been too ashamed of having his ass whipped to file charges.

The world is going in your direction, clio. No doubt that that is the future. I prefer the past where the minor squabbles of life were worked out in the back yard. I like the old fashioned people better. The nuance and subtlety crowd is boring as hell. I'll take a roughneck blue collar guy who drinks a beer and throws down a shot afterward for a friend over the reasonable intellectual guy any day.

I'm looking forward to the day when I spend half my time in the Philippines. They still do it the old fashioned way, and believe me, I prefer it. This sissified world is not for me. I'm not concerned with what's morally better or worse. I'm concerned with the day to day reality of my life.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 6, 2008 6:20 PM

"childish tantrums"
Well, I guess you would know about those, ST. Posted by: David Fleck on July 6, 2008 6:22 PM

ST, you missed my point. I was, if anything, accusing you - believe it or not - of being more subtle and nuanced than you realise...

Like I said, I know many men like you. I'm related to a good many of them. Some of my male cousins work in fields like construction and prospecting. One of my uncles is a farmer; one a railroad engineer; one a small town hardware store owner on the Prairies. I learned to fire a gun before I was eight years old. (Not that I've done it much since then.) My grandfather travelled west on a wagon (true story); my cousins and I played on it when we were little. Can you say as much?

Stop making assumptions about the family backgrounds of your opponents. The world's a bigger place than you think, even now.


Posted by: alias clio on July 6, 2008 8:11 PM

Oy vey, now it's Woody Allen vs John Wayne.

Is Shouting Thomas a real person? It's hard not to take his worldview as satire, but I'll try.

ST, Your preference for the Philippines suggests that there, a man can solve things by punching someone and life will be free of the dreaded Nuance. So, it's like the Old West over there? Or do you enjoy that colonialist feeling you get from being a White man in exotic surroundings?

Again, men who profess their loathing of psychology and sissies...well, you know.

Posted by: Sister Wolf on July 6, 2008 10:07 PM

Women's fantasies about men turning gay have precisely the same "psychological" basis as men's fantasies about women getting in on together.

When women fantasize this way, it just means that they want to be the meat filler in a three way between two men. It's the same as men fantasizing that lesbians might want to make them the meat filler in the sandwich.

It's your fantasy, Sister. The only question is: Do you have what it takes to pull it off? And the trouble with this fantasy is that the guys are more likely to do each other than to do you.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 7, 2008 8:39 AM

I love the canard that those without children cnannot comment on parenting. I suppose I have to go along; using the same reasoning, I can tell the next woman giving me her opinion about the Patriots to STFU!

Posted by: Brutus on July 7, 2008 10:56 AM

"I love the canard that those without children cnannot comment on parenting."

You can comment about parenting all you want, but parents are most likely to ignore you if you don't have kids yourselves. It would be like a mechanic taking advice from someone who has never worked on a car. I can say "Man, that grinding noise is bugging me, maybe you should put some grease on it or something." I have every right to be annoyed by the noise and to offer up my opinion, but the mechanic will most likely nod his head in a patronizing way if I've never picked up a wrench and fixed a car before.

Posted by: JV on July 7, 2008 2:32 PM

clio, do you have any single friends who talk like you? I've always wanted to marry a woman who uses "over-troubled" in conversation.

Yes, Patrickh, but we're all too old for you.

Posted by: alias clio on July 7, 2008 2:43 PM

"I love the canard that those without children cnannot comment on parenting."

Have to agree. I just point out to them, "I'm not telling you how to be a parent, I'm telling you to be an adult."

I think the overarching argument here isn't the 'Kids These Days' thing -- that is and always will be a complaint.
The problem is parents these days.

Posted by: lordsomber on July 7, 2008 3:57 PM

Hmph, well, I am still considered very attractive by my comrades in the Communist Ivy League Pseudo-Negro Lesbian Wicca League.

Posted by: Sister Wolf on July 7, 2008 6:51 PM

Yes, Patrickh, but we're all too old for you.

That's hard, cruel hard. You have cleft mine heart in twain. To say nothing of my nether regions. Clio, you simply must try harder to be a good person.

I am still considered very attractive by my comrades in the Communist Ivy League Pseudo-Negro Lesbian Wicca League.

When's your next meeting? I'd looooove to watch. And Sister, you simply must try harder not to be a good person. Your loyalty to your marriage is commendable, but it leaves me high and, er, dry. It is excessively mature and autonomous of you to cling to your own personal values in the face of my needs. If you don't abandon your principles immediately, then one of us stands condemned as completely selfish. And I'm sure you know just which one of us it is.

I expect the time and place of your next Negro Lesbian collective group circle thingy to be in an email to me, toute suite.

As always, I am your most loyal servant. Even yours too, clio. If that's your real name.

Posted by: PatrickH on July 7, 2008 9:05 PM

Yeah, JV, but the dynamic at work here is guilt that most parents feel, which causes them to react all out of proportion to any unsolicited commentary.

How few conversations would we have if people without any idea about the subject being discussed were told they couldn't comment? Christ, there wouldn't be ANY Obama voters allowed to speak...

For what it's worth, the only people I see at the local coffee shop actually engaged with their child is the lesbian couple. They actually act like their coffee is secondary to their child, a refreshing change from the norm.

Posted by: Brutus on July 8, 2008 10:49 AM

What if two generation squandered everything.

Every right, every resource, every dollar their family had built up over generations.

What would they have to do to make it up?

Apparently, the best tactic is to go on the offense and scream insane lies at their victims. After all, those stupid animals don't actually know the way things actually were, so you can lie your head off.

A few polite questions for The Greatest, and The Boomers:
1.To The Greatest, especially, how do you feel your Daddy and your Momma would feel that you spent the entire sum of their, and their ancestors, familial wealth to keep yourself alive for six more months(or less). Do you think they would view this as more important than your grandchildren being able to buy a house before they are 30?
2.To the Greatest and the Boomers generations, how do you feel a young American should view you maxing out the national credit card with a full plan of dying before paying off dime one, is this an exciting joke?
3.To the Greatest and the Boomers, since oil production has already peaked, or will peak in 1-2 years, how do you feel about consuming the majority of all oil that will every be consumed in the world? I mean everyone before, and everyone after, your generations consumed more than all of them combined. Do you think this an equitable distribution? Are you proud?

I could, of course, go on, and on, and on, about how the Boomer and the Greatest created modern divorce law, modern medicine(Certificates of Need), and on and on, but I think I'll stop there.

Uh, and no dodging "nobody is responsible, these things just magically happened". That's a stupid lie. Your GENERATIONS, taken as a whole, WERE RESPONSIBLE. Now, if you want to admit they are worthless scum, but "you are different", maybe that is some kind of stupid excuse. Or maybe not.

It's fun hitting on those kids, they don't hit back.

Posted by: What_Would_ Be_Enough on July 8, 2008 10:51 AM

JV -- So no one should say anything about restaurants but chefs? No one can express reactions to movies but directors?

What_Would_etc - Ah, the righteous-finger-pointing behavior we so love today's youth for. Xer, is that right? Younger? And that behavior served you well with Mommy and Daddy? Two quick history lessons. 1) every generation has had something they could complain about in previous generations' behavior. 2) You grew up with fabulously more riches and opportunities than virtually everyone who has ever existed. Life is imperfect. Adults accept that and contend with it. Now see if you can act like a grownup..

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 8, 2008 11:13 AM

What_Would_Be_Enough has at least one point, Michael.

I find it laughable that many of the most strident parents continually telling us we all have to do more "for the children" are divorced. If you're not engaged enough with your children to work out the issues with the former love of your life to remain a strong, positive, in-the- home parent to your kids, then WTF do you want from me?

The Boomers and the Greatest can't take the blame for creating our entitled state. That would be the one immediately preceeding (1920-30s), and special circumstances obtained; there was this little problem called the Depression. The grateful nation showered perks on the Greatests returning from WWII (GI Bill, housing, etc.), and the new prosperity of the late 40s and 50s was the genesis of the self-absorbed, given- everything-they-wanted Boomers.

We've been indoctrinated to believe that the Greatest Generation should enjoy a position at the top of the pantheon for their sacrifice. I would argue that any generation, given a powerful enemy that was bent upon their destruction, would react the same way, though the abject weeniness of our culture now may give lie to that theory. Suffice to say that the Greatests have been paid in full for their sacrifice many times over.

I'm in a relatively unique position to discuss generational issues. My older brother and I were born 16 months apart in 1957-1958, and we grew up in the Back Bay of Boston until we reached school age, whereupon we moved to the 'burbs. We had no curfew growing up (easier with boys), and the only unbreakable rule was my mother had to know where we were, and we had to call if we were going someplace else, not an easy thing in the days before cellphones. My next brother was born in 1970, making him a solid Gen-X. The last brother was born in 1977, and I'm here to tell you that you don't know embarrassed until you have a pregnant mother at your high school graduation!

My mother freely admits that the second two sons were raised differently from the first two. They were both raised with more "stuff", as my father's income rose steadily over the 20 years my parents were procreating (not that my older bro and I did without anything we really wanted). After sending the two oldest to Catholic school through high school, they allowed the younger two to go to the local grammar and high schools, reputed to be good ones. Because their parenting style was one that allowed a lot of freedom and self-policing, my parents didn't do my younger brothers any favors, as they had no experience with public schools (my parents were both parochial school products) and the broader range of aptitudes and results. Instead of attending college on scholarships like their older brothers, #3 never finished college (though he's doing well in high tech, haven for intelligent loners) and #4 just got his degree last year after 11 years, with a double major guaranteed to enhance his employability: philosophy and film!

And why do I believe four brothers grew up so different in spite of the same parenting "style"? Because with the last two my parents were TOO OLD!!! Fifty-somethings shouldn't be chasing 4-year olds around! My dad, called by my best friend the template for hardass dad Red Foreman in That 70's Show, was never able to make the transition from Ward Cleaver to Steven Keaton. My mom was forever Harriet Nelson, sweet and unfailing fair to her boys, and saw no reason to change. My youngest brother, called by his two oldest brothers the Little Prince, was one of Douglas Coupland's Global Teens, coming and going as he pleased while his 50-60 something parents fell asleep in front of the television.

This is a lot of the problem with today's kids; with people marrying and procreating much later, parents, their lives and habits more set in stone, are not taking the time to enforce discipline and manners. Because families are started later, families are smaller, causing the parents to obsess about their little hothouse flowers. The kids, in turn, are the masters of all they survey, sharing little and obeying few. Is it any surprise they end up little tyrants? My best friend, one of seven, talks about how he needed to create elbow space at the kitchen table to get his share of the food. How alien is that to the vast majority of today's kids?

Posted by: Brutus on July 8, 2008 2:43 PM


"Ah, the righteous-finger-pointing behavior we so love today's youth for."

Now, please don't sell yourself short. You've demonstrated amply, whenever the topic of today's kids come up, that your generation's talent for righteous-finger-pointing is second to none, and has not faded with time.

What Would Be Enough is certainly overwrought, and not all of his points are sound, but his basic thrust is correct. The Boomers came upon the nation like a shrieking horde of Vandals, pillaging and burning the accumulated treasures of centuries for the sake of their own outrageous self-indulgence and ridiculous "ideals," and left the culture a gutted, smoking husk.

Now, in control of the political system, they fortify the massive government welfare state that will keep them fat and happy in their old age, to be paid for with ever-greater sums extorted from the young people they spit on.

Yes, every generation has something about the previous that they can complain about. Mine, however, enjoys the unusual privilege of saying that the prior generation killed the greatest civilization the world had ever seen. To be sure, it was already ailing, but it was the Boomers who put the bullet through its head. They'll go on draining as much blood from the carcass as they can, and leave the rotting, dessicated husk to their children and grandchildren.

And after ravaging both past and future for the sake of their selfishness, what's their follow-up act? They whine about how rotten and awful the kids forced to suffer the consequences of Boomer depravity are. They mock those who have no choice but to live in the moral, cultural, and political rubble the Boomers left in their wake. They self-righteously condemn the people who will be spending decades toiling to pay the extortionate taxes that will be demanded so that the Baby Boomers can be kept in the style they are accustomed to. Sanctimony and selfishness are both unattractive traits, but they're especially ugly when combined, and being so self-righteous as to despise your own innocent victims is especially vile.

Posted by: John Markley on July 8, 2008 7:24 PM

Certain 'new age' types espouse the notion that we cyclically reincarnate, selecting the time, place and parentage of each ride we take on the corporeal merry-go-round. If they are correct then perhaps the Greatest Generation and we Boomers, along with Gens X, Y, & Z, can be blamed for choosing the circumstances of our particular era. Otherwise, we all just live with the circumstances of our moment in time and do the best we can.

Mr. Markley, seconding some of the points offered by What Would Be Enough, seems a bit over-wrought himself, accusing Boomers of "pillaging and burning the accumulated treasures of centuries for the sake of their own outrageous self-indulgence and ridiculous "ideals," along with asserting we've "killed the greatest civilization the world had ever seen."

Would it be too much to ask what he means by this? Is it simply that the western world has, in the latter half of the Twentieth Century, moved toward the position that society should collectively protect its weak and old from the worst ravages of poverty and pain, which, in practical terms, requires the younger, more able bodied among us to pay taxes for that purpose? Or is his criticism more conceptually based? Perhaps he longs for the "good ol' days" when men were men, women were chattel and those not of the right color, religion or social class were not part of the political process. But these suggestions that some of our "ridiculous ideals" are not so ridiculous no doubt leave me open to charges of "sanctimony and selfishness".

Given what we know about the Depression and the period preceding it, until the Greatest cohort consolidated the reforms made by their parents "the accumulated treasures of centuries" were mostly in the hands of a very small elite. The Greatest took the "perks showered upon them after WWII" and created a period of productivity and relative egalitarianism heretofore unknown. Still, parallel to this, a sub-group of the Greatest (and subsequently the Boomer) cohort sought to restore the old order of things. Since the Reagan years this crowd has been ascendant and a small elite has once more consolidated the "treasures of centuries". This time a given member of the elite is more likely to be a hedge fund manager than the owner of a railroad, but as in the past there is a close alliance between the elites and the seats of political power. However, to blame these generations as a whole is to miss the obvious point that most within each generational cohort are victims rather than perpetrators in this restoration of dramatic disparity between a small elite and the vast majority.

Now, remind me again, what does this have to do with kids who appear to be in charge of their parents rather than the reverse?

Posted by: Chris White on July 9, 2008 9:17 AM

Thanks to Chris for making the essential point to John Markley: "Now, remind me again, what does this have to do with kids who appear to be in charge of their parents rather than the reverse?" Anyone else want to have a go at John's narcissistic and self-adoring idiocies? (Hey, I recently ran across a study saying that narcissistic personality disorder is up 30% among young people compared with the 1980s ... One of the main characteristics of narcissists -- they think they're perfectly fine!) I'm not in the mood myself for volunteering a lot of free parenting ...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 9, 2008 9:38 AM

"Would it be too much to ask what he means by this? Is it simply that the western world has, in the latter half of the Twentieth Century, moved toward the position that society should collectively protect its weak and old from the worst ravages of poverty and pain, which, in practical terms, requires the younger, more able bodied among us to pay taxes for that purpose? Or is his criticism more conceptually based? Perhaps he longs for the "good ol' days" when men were men, women were chattel and those not of the right color, religion or social class were not part of the political process."

What if none of the assumptions behind these statements are true, Chris? What if these assumptions are all just PC propaganda? Let's look at each of them.

1. "... protect its weak and old from the worst ravages of poverty and pain..."

Welfare destroyed the black family and led to the culture of criminality and dependence that we all now consider normal for black people. Private charity once served the function now served by a welfare state.

2. "Perhaps he longs for the "good ol' days" when men were men, women were chattel and those not of the right color, religion or social class were not part of the political process."

What a load of crap! This is PC propaganda multiplied by 10. When were women "chattel?" You can feel guilty and heroically sainted for holding these views, Chris, but it's just a load of crap. For the vast majority of the world, every person lived in poverty and worked at menial jobs, and had no authority. What in the hell are you talking about?

You get a real sanctimonious kick out of nominating yourself to the position of the sainted and annointed, Chris. No, you are not some special man who discovered how to treat women right. Get off that fucking high horse. In many ways you are a sensible guy. When you get started on that crap you become a creep.

It's a good thing for men to be men. Homosexuals have always had the right to vote. When, pray tell, were they excluded from that? I think we were much better off (and gays were better off) when they resided in the closet. Why in the hell do they need to live their sex lives in public?

Blacks have the franchise. Women have had it since around 1920. My great grandparents were serfs in Germany and Ireland. Pray, tell me when they were involved in the political process, or when they could vote. The difference between when the men and women in my family obtained the vote was about 30 years. This is true for almost all Americans.

Blacks are now voting almost unanimously for a candidate who's sole political purpose, as far as I can tell, is to give them political patronage and government perks. We are about to find out in a very big way that blacks are just like whites. They are about to use office to plunder the public treasury and fill their pockets big time. I predict that, given the culture of corruption and violence that they come from, their version of corruption and self-dealing will be far worse than what you're accustomed to seeing from whites. In other words, I think we probably treated them better than they are going to treat us.

Stop breaking your arm congratulating yourself on your enlightenment, Chris. That creepy sanctimony, that obnoxious belief you carry around that you are morally superior to other men because you treat your women better... God what an asshole attitude!

The past was not the nightmare you want to pretent. You are doing so to stroke your own halo. We know that you are a fucking saint, Chris. Can you stop telling us about it?

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 9, 2008 11:21 AM

"...narcissistic and self-adoring idiocies..."

Harsh words from you, Michael. I thought you tolerated everybody.

Great thread, btw. Truly a laugh a minute.

Posted by: intellectual pariah on July 9, 2008 4:53 PM

Note to ST: Dude ... time to chill. Take that shot & beer and calm yourself.

Mr. Markley & What Would Be Enough issued blanket condemnation of the Boomer & Greatest Generations for vaguely described crimes of plunder and the destruction of civilization. Somehow you've taken my response, twisted it through your own set of presumptions, assumptions and distortions and, having misconstrued much of what was said, offered an odd counter attack. My primary point was that, while our and our parent's generations have created various problems, we've also made contributions to society and civilization ... like all generations. My second main point was we aren't some Borg-like, monolithic, entity. Near as I can tell you are a Boomer, too, so your vehement response should certainly help prove that.

Let's take your point 1, my "protect the weak and old ... " defense of Social Security has become about welfare and blacks who, according to you, were reduced to a "culture of criminality and dependence" by public welfare as opposed to private charity. This is too vast a topic to respond to here so let's move along, shall we?

Point 2 was my (admittedly colorfully phrased) dig at the Gilded Age ... and its current re-emergence ... when wealth and power were firmly in the hands of a very small elite that consisted, nearly entirely, of wealthy WASP men. In short, I was saying that, as you so concisely put it, "for the vast majority of the world, every person lived in poverty and worked at menial jobs, and had no authority." This was offered in defense of the way changes brought about in large part by the Greatest, and to a lesser extent the Boomer, generations have improved the situation for many, including women, the working class, minority religions, people of color (go on, give me sh*t for using THAT bit of PC jargon) and so on.

I'm still trying to figure out exactly what set you off on the homosexual bit. Was it the "men were men" cliché? It never crossed my mind that would be read as some kind of oblique reference to gays being excluded from voting, which is such an oddly out there notion.

And I still want to know what this has to do with kids who appear to be in charge of their parents rather than the reverse?

Posted by: Chris White on July 9, 2008 11:34 PM

Chris, I deal with your type in Woodstock all the time.

Some men battle other men in the dominance/submission game by bragging that they've got a bigger dick. Some men fight it out over who's got more money and power. In the upside down, lunatic world of the left, men slug it out over who's more sensitive and conscious.

It's the same game, except that everything is underhanded and devious. Playing that leftist game makes a liar out of a man.

Your political views are self-deceptions. What you really are doing is butting heads with other men over the pussy. You are a con artist. Like all con artists, you are conning yourself.

The rest of the men are not beating the hell out of their women. You are not the only sainted, conscious guy out there who takes good care of his women. You are not the only hero who actually has gay friends.

You are as sanctimonious and pious as any Southern Baptist. When are you going to get off that high horse of yours?

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 10, 2008 7:30 AM

ST, seriously, are you suffering some kind of disassociative episode? This began as a thread about parenting and the obnoxious behavior of some kids today. It then wandered off on a minor tangent about the relative flaws and merits of Boomers and Gen X as parents and the influence of feminism was raised. So far, so good. Then the tangent became way more tangential as you diverted into criticizing Obama and ranting about women and gays while the youngsters John Markley and WWBE launched an attack on the Greatest & Boomer generations for gutting civilization. I admit my complicity in responding to them, but I still keep wondering, what does this have to do with parenting?

For the record the contents of my boxers might not make me a porn star, but they're enough above average to satisfy. And my circle of male friends tends to compete by displays of wit and aesthetic sophistication rather than money, power or martial arts capabilities. So, now I'll just ride my high horse into the sunset ... more like Gary Cooper than John Wayne.

Posted by: Chris White on July 10, 2008 12:21 PM

I take time off for an injury, and return to find ST still shouting about homo's and pussy! I think there needs so be a separate forum here for feelings about homo's and pussy, so that these elements don't infiltrate unrelated topics.

It's just a thought.

Posted by: Sister Wolf on July 17, 2008 9:00 PM

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