Monday, October 17, 2011
Wall Street occupiers are an insult to the workers
IT is almost too easy to take the mickey out of Occupy Wall Street, the gaggle of hipsters and leftists who have been camping out in New York's financial district for the past two weeks and who have inspired similar protests elsewhere.
This is an obsessively anti-big business protest, its aim being to challenge the "corporate takeover" of America. Yet it has won the backing of trendy ice-cream company Ben & Jerry's, which is owned by the vast food conglomerate Unilever (revenue in 2010: €44.2 billion).
This is a movement which claims to speak on behalf of ordinary Americans, "the 99 per cent". Yet its super-cool members spend most of their time moaning about how ordinary Americans, being a bit dumb, have been "emotionally brainwashed" by "right-wing propaganda".
This is a collective that bleats about being ignored by the mainstream media - like the teenager who screeches "why won't anybody listen to me?!" - despite the fact that it has been the subject of more flattering op-eds and news reports than any political movement of recent times.
The New York Times even featured it in its fashion pages, under the headline "What to wear to a protest?" The corporate-hating hipsters were given space both to talk about their clothes ("It feels really good to wear tights", said one man) and about why they are protesting ("I like the use of public space as a performative realm and I like the combination of bodies in space", explained one woman).
Mocking anti-capitalist fashionistas is the gift that keeps on giving. Yet behind the obvious daftness and corporate hypocrisy of this pseudo-political yelp of adolescent outrage, something more serious is unfolding on Wall Street and other cities being "occupied" by the agitated: the final death agony of the progressive Left.
What we're witnessing is not the birth of something new, as the occupiers would have us believe, but rather the death of something old - the death of a principled Left that believed in progress and development and in the ability of "the little man" to change his world for the better.
Occupy Wall Street confirms the descent of left-wing activism from the dizzy heights of desiring to liberate mankind from need into the cesspool of conspiratorial thinking, priestly moralism and low horizons.
There was a time when the Left had faith in the working man. Indeed, the entire premise of the Left was that this class of people had it in them to shake up and remake the world. Now, as confirmed by Occupy Wall Street, the Left has nothing but disdain for what it views as the fat, feckless, Fox News-addicted inhabitants of mass society.
Despite claiming to represent "the 99 per cent", OWS seems to enjoy nothing more than pouring bile on everyday Americans. An article on its website says "the working class in this country has been brainwashed by the mainstream media". Like little Kim Jong-ils , OWS says it wants to "de-program people".
Another article says "the masses are incessantly encouraged, even conned, into consuming, even if it is beyond, or way beyond, their means". Well, they're a bit stupid, those masses, so desperate to get their paws on the latest mod con they unwittingly propel themselves into debt.
The ease with which the occupiers flit between bashing greedy bankers and attacking stuff-lusting robots in middle America suggests there's nothing remotely radical about their posturing against "the rich". Rather, they have a problem with all forms of material aspiration.
Some commentators have madly claimed that OWS represents a return of "working-class anger". It is no such thing. It's more an expression of middle-class anger with the working classes, for being thick, greedy, Foxed automatons who dare to think differently from their alleged moral superiors in the banker-bashing East Coast liberal set.
There was also a time when the Left believed the problems facing humanity were primarily social in nature, rather than having been brought about by the licentiousness or greed of immoral individuals.
Leftists resisted the temptation towards conspiracy theories or narrowly moralistic critiques of society, in favour of arguing that through proper use of our intellectual resources we could work out what was wrong with society, and how to fix it.
Not now. Occupy Wall Street is like a collection of little David Ickes, except where Icke believes lizards run the world, East Coast hipsters believe faceless bankers puppeteer our politicians.
They think corporations are responsible for every ill. These twisted men-in-suits have apparently "poisoned the food supply through negligence", have "purposefully covered up oil spills", and have inflicted "cruel treatment on countless non-human animals". Won't anybody think of the bunnies?
The occupiers blame the selfishness of individual bankers for bringing about the economic crisis. They demand an end to "the age of greed". Their embrace of conspiracism and cheap moralism, their borderline priestly assaults on the alleged decadence of champagne-swilling bankers, reveals the extent to which the Left has abandoned any attempt to develop a serious critique of society and the economy in favour of wailing at the wealthy.
And there was a time when the Left believed in creating a world of plenty, in making more stuff so everyone could live a life of comfort. Those ideas would be utterly alien to the stingy, stuff-loathing trendies camped out on Wall Street, whose key chant is not "we want more" but rather "enough is enough".
When Naomi Klein, the well-off queen of the anti-globalisation movement, addressed the protesters, she said their aim should be to create a "decent society" which "respects the real limits to what the earth can take". And for demanding that we live within limits, for insisting that humanity lower its material horizons, she was wildly cheered.
Just imagine if, during the great New York strikes of the early 20th century, one of the leaders of the workers had stood up and yelled: "We must respect nature's limits!" What we have on Wall Street today is nothing progressive or pro-worker, but rather a very public display of middle-class piety, of petit-bourgeois values such as thriftiness and meanness and disdain for the vulgar hordes with their insatiable materialism. That this way of thinking and style of protesting are spreading around the world speaks to the global decay of the once progressive left.
It is an insult to the many generations of working people who fought for a better world, for a freer and more plentiful world, to describe this internationally contagious middle-class miserabilism as a "return of working-class anger".
God Bless The Wall St mob?
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has a lengthy track record of jaw-dropping political statements. Among them, the lifelong Roman Catholic has been a huge disappointment to her Church on matters of unborn human life, which I’ve personally written about on many occasions.
But it isn’t just Pelosi’s actions on the sanctity and dignity of human life. Her supportive comments on radical people and causes generally have been legion. For years, Congresswoman Pelosi has made outrageous statements, from the Cold War to the Middle East, that consistently leave one speechless.
I’ll never forget her stunning House floor tribute to Harry Bridges, a notorious communist/labor agitator who spent a lifetime lying about his secret loyalties to Stalin and the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), even while his position on the Central Committee of CPUSA was directly authorized by Stalin’s Kremlin. “Today we can all hold our heads high and be proud of Harry Bridges’ legacy,” said Pelosi. “Harry Bridges is … beloved by the workers of this nation, and recognized as one of the most important labor leaders in the world.” (Click here to watch.)
Bizarre statements about the extreme Left are old hat for Congresswoman Pelosi. And now, add yet another.
Commenting on the out-of-control gang of Wall Street “Occupiers,” Pelosi glowed and said warmly, “God bless them for their spontaneity.”
“God bless them?”
What a remarkably strange thing to say. Of everything said about this Manhattan mob, this strikes me as the most bewildering.
“God bless them?”
Well, we certainly don’t want God to damn them. We would like God to bless everyone. We should pray for everyone.
But, frankly, I doubt this particular band of protestors is even thinking along such lines. This is an extremely secular, militant crowd. These aren’t exactly the nuns who taught Nancy Pelosi in parochial school.
Ironically, Pelosi’s comments came at almost the same time a representative of the mob, Roseanne Barr, literally called for guillotining—yes, guillotining—wealthy American bankers. She openly called for their forcible “re-education” and execution.
I have friends and students there in New York observing this spectacle. They email me daily. One took a picture (click here) of two homosexual men embracing while holding a sign imploring the brethren to “KILL YOUR PARENTS.”
As he snapped this picture, the throng initiated a frightening march upon the homes of those loathsome “millionaires and billionaires” that President Obama targets unceasingly with his terribly destructive class-based rhetoric. (Click here and here to read more.)
It’s only a matter of time before this angry, envy-filled insurrection turns violent.
“God bless them?” I say “God help them”—and help those they threaten to hurt.
Think about that strange inflection from Pelosi: “God bless them.” What does it normally mean, or how is it typically applied?
It’s the kind of sentiment you usually wish to a church secretary or Religious Ed director who unselfishly does five peoples’ jobs for $18,000 per year; to your pastor on call 24/7; to a little girls’ choir singing angelically; to earnest kids raising money for a soup kitchen; to a woman suffering in silence from breast cancer; to Salvation Army volunteers paying peoples’ heating bills; to a Crisis Pregnancy Center volunteer who works the rape hotline; to a nursing-home attendant who cheerfully bathes mentally challenged adults; to the guy who snow-blows every driveway on the block; to the black college students who stoically entered an Alabama school building while ugly rednecks spat on them; to Rosa Parks.
Yes, God bless those people.
“God bless them” isn’t the kind of sentiment anyone would normally direct to a ranting, raving, raging, screaming crush of self-professed “occupiers” bordering on anarchy without nary a whiff of religious motivation. I seriously doubt that the horde smashing and littering the streets even cares for someone to “bless” their event. Are there prayer chains and prayer circles going on there?
As anyone paying attention can see, this is an unkempt, cursing lot, some of them trust-fund kids on voluntary sabbatical from $100,000 (per year) elite educations. They hoist a Starbucks in one hand and iPhone in the other while shouting “down with capitalism!” As anyone there will tell you, some elements of the crowd are engaging in everything from group sex to group bong sessions.
This is not a Norman Rockwell picture. It’s about as cute as an LSD trip, as quaint and charming and innocent as a Grateful Dead concert.
Is this the kind of thing Christians are expected to bless?
To Congresswoman Pelosi, apparently it is. Yet again, her comments leave one dumbfounded. This latest statement has taken me a few days to try to assimilate.
I say God pray for them, pray for all of us, pray for me—and pray for Nancy Pelosi.
What is Poverty?
What do we mean by poverty? Not what Dickens or Blake or Mayhew meant. Today, no one seriously expects to go hungry in England or to live without running water or medical care or even TV. Poverty has been redefined in industrial countries, so that anyone at the lower end of the income distribution is poor ex officio, as it were—poor by virtue of having less than the rich. And of course by this logic, the only way of eliminating poverty is by an egalitarian redistribution of wealth—even if the society as a whole were to become poorer as a result.
Such redistribution was the goal of the welfare state. But it has not eliminated poverty, despite the vast sums expended, and despite the fact that the poor are now substantially richer—indeed are not, by traditional standards, poor at all. As long as the rich exist, so must the poor, as we now define them.
Certainly they are in squalor—a far more accurate description of their condition than poverty—despite a threefold increase in per-capita income, including that of the poor, since the end of the last war. Why they should be in this condition requires an explanation—and to call that condition poverty, using a word more appropriate to Mayhew’s London than to today’s reality, prevents us from grasping how fundamentally the lot of “the poor” has changed since then. The poor we shall always have with us, no doubt: but today they are not poor in the traditional way.
The English poor live shorter and less healthy lives than their more prosperous compatriots. Even if you didn’t know the statistics, their comparative ill health would be obvious on the most casual observation of rich and slum areas, just as Victorian observers noted that the poor were on average a head shorter than the rich, due to generations of inferior nourishment and hard living conditions. But the reasons for today’s difference in health are not economic. It is by no means the case that the poor can’t afford medicine or a nourishing diet; nor do they live in overcrowded houses lacking proper sanitation, as in Mayhew’s time, or work 14 backbreaking hours a day in the foul air of mines or mills. Epidemiologists estimate that the higher rate of cigarette consumption among the poor accounts for half the difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest classes in England—and to smoke that much takes money.
Notoriously, too, the infant mortality rate is twice as high in the lowest social class as in the highest. But the infant mortality rate of illegitimate births is twice that of legitimate ones, and the illegitimacy rate rises steeply as you descend the social scale: so the decline of marriage almost to the vanishing point in the lowest social class might well be responsible for most of its excess infant mortality. It is a way of life, not poverty per se, that kills. The commonest cause of death between the ages of 15 and 44 is now suicide, which has increased most precipitously precisely among those who live in the underclass world of temporary step-parenthood and of conduct unrestrained either by law or convention.
Just as it is easier to recognize ill health in someone you haven’t seen for some time rather than in someone you meet daily, so a visitor coming into a society from elsewhere often can see its character more clearly than those who live in it. Every few months, doctors from countries like the Philippines and India arrive fresh from the airport to work for a year’s stint at my hospital. It is fascinating to observe their evolving response to British squalor.
At the start, they are uniformly enthusiastic about the care that we unsparingly and unhesitatingly give to everyone, regardless of economic status. They themselves come from cities—Manila, Bombay, Madras—where many of the cases we see in our hospital would simply be left to die, often without succor of any kind. And they are impressed that our care extends beyond the merely medical: that no one goes without food or clothing or shelter, or even entertainment. There seems to be a public agency to deal with every conceivable problem. For a couple of weeks, they think this all represents the acme of civilization, especially when they recall the horrors at home. Poverty—as they know it— has been abolished.
Before very long, though, they start to feel a vague unease. A Filipina doctor, for example, asked me why so few people seemed grateful for what was done for them. What prompted her question was an addict who, having collapsed from an accidental overdose of heroin, was brought to our hospital. He required intensive care to revive him, with doctors and nurses tending him all night. His first words to the doctor when he suddenly regained consciousness were, “Get me a fucking roll-up” (a hand-rolled cigarette). His imperious rudeness didn’t arise from mere confusion: he continued to treat the staff as if they had kidnapped him and held him in the hospital against his will to perform experiments upon him. “Get me the fuck out of here!” There was no acknowledgment of what had been done for him, let alone gratitude for it. If he considered that he had received any benefit from his stay at all, well, it was simply his due.
My doctors from Bombay, Madras, or Manila observe this kind of conduct open- mouthed. At first they assume that the cases they see are a statistical quirk, a kind of sampling error, and that given time they will encounter a better, more representative cross section of the population. Gradually, however, it dawns upon them that what they have seen is representative. When every benefit received is a right, there is no place for good manners, let alone for gratitude.
Case after case causes them to revise their initial favorable opinion. Before long, they have had experience of hundreds, and their view has changed entirely. Last week, for example, to the amazement of a doctor recently arrived from Madras, a woman in her late twenties entered our hospital with the most common condition that brings patients to us: a deliberate overdose. At first she would say nothing more than that she wanted to depart this world, that she had had enough of it.
I inquired further. Just before she took the overdose, her ex-boyfriend, the father of her eight-month-old youngest child (now staying with her ex-boyfriend’s mother), had broken into her apartment by smashing down the front door. He wrecked the apartment’s contents, broke every window, stole $110 in cash, and ripped out her telephone.
“He’s very violent, doctor.” She told me that he had broken her thumb, her ribs, and her jaw during the four years she was with him, and her face had needed stitching many times. “Last year I had to have the police out to him.”
“I dropped the charges. His mother said he would change.”
Another of her problems was that she was now five weeks pregnant and she didn’t want the baby.
“I want to get rid of it, doctor.”
“Who’s the father?”
It was her violent ex-boyfriend, of course.
“Did he rape you, then?”
“So you agreed to have sex with him?”
“I was drunk; there was no love in it. This baby is like a bolt out of the blue: I don’t know how it happened.”
I asked her if she thought it was a good idea to have sex with a man who had repeatedly beaten her up, and from whom she said she wished to separate.
“It’s complicated, doctor. That’s the way life goes sometimes.”
What had she known of this man before she took up with him? She met him in a club; he moved in at once, because he had nowhere else to stay. He had a child by another woman, neither of whom he supported. He had been in prison for burglary. He took drugs. He had never worked, except for cash on the side. Of course he never gave her any of his money, instead running up her telephone bills vertiginously.
She had never married, but had two other children. The first, a daughter aged eight, still lived with her. The father was a man whom she left because she found he was having sex with 12-year-old girls. Her second child was a son, whose father was “an idiot” with whom she had slept one night. That child, now six, lived with the “idiot,” and she never saw him.
What had her experience taught her?
“I don’t want to think about it. The Housing’ll charge me for the damage, and I ain’t got the money. I’m depressed, doctor; I’m not happy. I want to move away, to get away from him.”
Later in the day, feeling a little lonely, she telephoned her ex-boyfriend, and he visited her.
I discussed the case with the doctor who had recently arrived from Madras, and who felt he had entered an insane world. Not in his wildest dreams had he imagined it could be like this. There was nothing to compare with it in Madras. He asked me what would happen next to the happy couple.
“They’ll find her a new flat. They’ll buy her new furniture, television, and refrigerator, because it’s unacceptable poverty in this day and age to live without them. They’ll charge her nothing for the damage to her old flat, because she can’t pay anyway, and it wasn’t she who did it. He will get away scot-free. Once she’s installed in her new flat to escape from him, she’ll invite him there, he’ll smash it up again, and then they’ll find her somewhere else to live. There is, in fact, nothing she can do that will deprive her of the state’s obligation to house, feed, and entertain her.”
I asked the doctor from Madras if poverty was the word he would use to describe this woman’s situation. He said it was not: that her problem was that she accepted no limits to her own behavior, that she did not fear the possibility of hunger, the condemnation of her own parents or neighbors, or God. In other words, the squalor of England was not economic but spiritual, moral, and cultural.
I often take my doctors from the Third World on the short walk from the hospital to the prison nearby. It is a most instructive 800 yards. On a good day—good for didactic purposes, that is—there are seven or eight puddles of glass shattered into fragments lying in the gutter en route (there are never none, except during the most inclement weather, when even those most addicted to car theft control their impulses).
“Each of these little piles of smashed glass represents a car that has been broken into,” I tell them. “There will be more tomorrow, weather permitting.” The houses along the way are, as public housing goes, quite decent. The local authorities have at last accepted that herding people into giant, featureless, Le Corbusian concrete blocks was a mistake, and they have switched to the construction of individual houses. Only a few of their windows are boarded up. Certainly by comparison with housing for the poor in Bombay, Madras, or Manila they are spacious and luxurious indeed. Each has a little front yard of grass, surrounded by a hedge, and a much larger back yard; about half have satellite dishes. Unfortunately, the yards are almost as full of litter as municipal garbage dumps.
I tell my doctors that in nearly nine years of taking this walk four times a week, I have never seen a single instance of anyone attempting to clean his yard. But I have seen much litter dropped; on a good day, I can even watch someone standing at the bus stop dropping something on the ground no farther than two feet from the bin.
“Why don’t they tidy up their gardens?” asks a doctor from Bombay.
A good question: after all, most of the houses contain at least one person with time on his or her hands. Whenever I have been able to ask the question, however, the answer has always been the same: I’ve told the council [the local government] about it, but they haven’t come. As tenants, they feel it is the landlord’s responsibility to keep their yards clean, and they are not prepared to do the council’s work for it, even if it means wading through garbage—as it quite literally does. On the one hand, authority cannot tell them what to do; on the other, it has an infinitude of responsibilities towards them.
I ask my Third World doctors to examine the litter closely. It gives them the impression that no Briton is able to walk farther than ten yards or so without consuming junk food. Every bush, every lawn, even every tree, is festooned with chocolate wrappers or fast- food packaging. Empty cans of beer and soft drinks lie in the gutter, on the flower beds, or on top of the hedges. Again, on a good day we actually see someone toss aside the can whose contents he has just consumed, as a Russian vodka drinker throws down his glass.
Apart from the antisocial disregard of the common good that each little such act of littering implies (hundreds a week in the space of 800 yards alone), the vast quantity of food consumed in the street has deeper implications. I tell the doctors that in all my visits to the white households in the area, of which I’ve made hundreds, never—not once—have I seen any evidence of cooking. The nearest to this activity that I have witnessed is the reheating of prepared and packaged food, usually in a microwave. And by the same token, I have never seen any evidence of meals taken in common as a social activity—unless two people eating hamburgers together in the street as they walk along be counted as social.
This is not to say that I haven’t seen people eating at home; on the contrary, they are often eating when I arrive. They eat alone, even if other members of the household are present, and never at table; they slump on a sofa in front of the television. Everyone in the household eats according to his own whim and timetable. Even in so elementary a matter as eating, therefore, there is no self-discipline but rather an imperative obedience to impulse. Needless to say, the opportunity for conversation or sociality that a meal taken together provides is lost. English meals are thus solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
I ask the doctors to compare the shops in areas inhabited by poor whites and those where poor Indian immigrants live. It is an instructive comparison. The shops the Indians frequent are piled high with all kinds of attractive fresh produce that, by supermarket standards, is astonishingly cheap. The women take immense trouble over their purchases and make subtle discriminations. There are no pre-cooked meals for them. By contrast, a shop that poor whites patronize offers a restricted choice, largely of relatively expensive prepared foods that at most require only the addition of hot water.
The difference between the two groups cannot be explained by differences in income, for they are insignificant. Poverty isn’t the issue. And the willingness of Indians to take trouble over what they eat and to treat meals as important social occasions that impose obligations and at times require the subordination of personal desire is indicative of an entire attitude to life that often permits them, despite their current low incomes, to advance up the social scale. Alarmingly, though, the natural urge of the children of immigrants to belong to the predominant local culture is beginning to create an Indian underclass (at least among young males): and the taste for fast food and all that such a taste implies is swiftly developing among them.
When such slovenliness about food extends to all other spheres of life, when people satisfy every appetite with the same minimal effort and commitment, no wonder they trap themselves in squalor. I have little trouble showing my doctors from India and the Philippines that most of our patients take a fast-food approach to all their pleasures, obtaining them no less fleetingly and unstrenuously. They have no cultural activity they can call their own, and their lives seem, even to them, empty of purpose. In the welfare state, mere survival is not the achievement that it is, say, in the cities of Africa, and therefore it cannot confer the self-respect that is the precondition of self-improvement.
By the end of three months my doctors have, without exception, reversed their original opinion that the welfare state, as exemplified by England, represents the acme of civilization. On the contrary, they see it now as creating a miasma of subsidized apathy that blights the lives of its supposed beneficiaries. They come to realize that a system of welfare that makes no moral judgments in allocating economic rewards promotes antisocial egotism. The spiritual impoverishment of the population seems to them worse than anything they have ever known in their own countries. And what they see is all the worse, of course, because it should be so much better. The wealth that enables everyone effortlessly to have enough food should be liberating, not imprisoning. Instead, it has created a large caste of people for whom life is, in effect, a limbo in which they have nothing to hope for and nothing to fear, nothing to gain and nothing to lose. It is a life emptied of meaning.
“On the whole,” said one Filipino doctor to me, “life is preferable in the slums of Manila.” He said it without any illusions as to the quality of life in Manila.
These doctors have made the same journey as I, but in the reverse direction. Arriving as a young doctor in Africa 25 years ago, I was horrified at first by the physical conditions, the like of which I had never experienced before. Patients with heart failure walked 50 miles in the broiling sun, with panting breath and swollen legs, to obtain treatment—and then walked home again. Ulcerating and suppurating cancers were common. Barefoot men contracted tetanus from the wounds inflicted by a sand flea that laid its eggs between their toes. Tuberculosis reduced people to animated skeletons. Children were bitten by puff adders and adults mauled by leopards. I saw lepers with noses that had rotted away and madmen who wandered naked in the torrential rains.
Even the accidents were spectacular. I treated the survivors of one in Tanzania in which a truck—having no brakes, as was perfectly normal and expected in the circumstances— began to slide backward down a hill it had been climbing. It was laden with bags of corn, upon which 20 passengers, including many children, were riding. As the truck slid backward, first the passengers, then the corn, fell off. By the time I arrived, ten dead children were lined up by the side of the road, arranged in ascending order as neatly as organ pipes. They had been crushed or suffocated by the bags of corn that fell on top of them: a grimly ironic death in a country chronically short of food.
Moreover, political authority in the countries in which I worked was arbitrary, capricious, and corrupt. In Tanzania, for example, you could tell the representative of the sole and omnipotent political party, the Party of the Revolution, by his girth alone. Tanzanians were thin, but party men were fat. The party representative in my village sent a man to prison because the man’s wife refused to sleep with him. In Nigeria the police hired out their guns by night to the armed robbers.
Yet nothing I saw—neither the poverty nor the overt oppression—ever had the same devastating effect on the human personality as the undiscriminating welfare state. I never saw the loss of dignity, the self-centeredness, the spiritual and emotional vacuity, or the sheer ignorance of how to live, that I see daily in England. In a kind of pincer movement, therefore, I and the doctors from India and the Philippines have come to the same terrible conclusion: that the worst poverty is in England—and it is not material poverty but poverty of soul.
Parents Obsessed with Texting + Ignored Kids = Hell to Pay
This past week I saw a sad sight. No, it wasn’t Eric Holder trying to convince us that he’s now a terror exposing hero instead of the perpetrator of a deadly Mexican gunrunning op that had its sights set on ultimately getting our Second Amendment rights revoked—though that was pretty sad, as that dog wag had all the subtleties of a Chaz Bono rumba.
What eclipsed that miserable moment (sorta) and caused me grief this week was watching a young mom at Starbucks ignoring her beautiful, little one-year-old girl while said moron giggled and texted for 30 plus minutes.
Yep, with her head buried in the phone, nose two inches off the cancer screen, mommy dearest didn’t have a clue what her kid was doing as she crawled around on a high traffic, grime-laden cement floor between the feet of strangers who held 16- ounce cups of 180 degree liquid above the kid’s tender flesh as they high stepped over her.
Hey, parents, here’s a freebie from Dr. Doug: Why not put the cell phone and gadgets down for awhile when your babies are around and pay attention to them, all right, jackass? There’ll be plenty of time later in life to ignore them—like in college, when they pierce their nipples and become whiny liberal drips, but now, when they are very young, is not the time.
FYI to Y-O-U, mom … dad: You’ve got one shot at raising that baby, and if you want to make certain your spawn doesn’t:
1. Recite hate poems about you at Barnes & Noble’s open mic night regarding how they’d like to stab you in your sleep for ignoring them for the last sixteen years.
2. Show up high as a kite at a NYC Flea Party Rally, bitching and moaning about hard work and shouting up Che Guevara’s weltanschauung as they roast a fatty …
… then you might wanna give junior some TLC while he’s a T-O-T. You dig?
As I watched this neglect go down at Starbucks, I kept thinking that this daft dame could have cooed and cuddled with her little bambina and had 1,800 seconds of parental bliss that lovely morning.
The Starbucks I visited was on beautiful Miami Beach. Mom could have pointed out to baby the seagulls, the palm trees, the gorgeous skies, the warm sun, the six-foot three-inch trannie with a five o’clock shadow, the rats rummaging through the trash eating discarded ham and cheese paninis, and the ubiquitous metrosexuals with over-tweaked eyebrows who use seven words to order their special cup of Joe. It could’ve been both a bonding and educational familial exchange in one warm whack. But no. The bird had to text.
Here’s a challenge for the parental units: If you think I’m full of crap in regard to the ramifications of blowing your kids off as you obsess with texts and/or social media then let’s do an experiment: For the next 13 years abandon the developmental stages of that genetic concoction of yours, and we’ll see how they turn out as you snub them for Twitter. Are you ready? Okay. On your mark. Get set. Go, Slingblade!
Oh and by the way, conservatives and evangelicals … you, too, can be dilatory dillweeds as this sin knows no party or religious affiliation. I know stacks of family values blowhards out there yapping about the importance of family who haven’t talked to their own family in the last few weeks. Hey, dork, save your house first … then talk to us about ours. I know way too many ministers who strode forth to save the world and lost their kids in the process. Didn’t the apostle Paul say something to the effect that if you can’t govern your own house then you need to shut the hell up?
And finally, if my exhortation to selfless and sacrificial love for your kids versus your gadgets has failed to convince you to change your behavior toward your toddlers, perhaps a selfish plea will. Soon, parents, in the not too distant future, you will return to the dependent state from whence you came, and I’m a guessin’ that the child you ignored while he or she was in diapers will more than likely return the favor when you are sporting Depends.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
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