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kesmarn On January - 2 - 2010

Kids Dressed as Adults

“Now remember, everyone,” the perky blonde twenty-something cautions, “the wind chill is -3 this morning, so be sure you bundle up tight before you venture outdoors!”
Wow. I thank the gods that I have “my weather” (apparently not, however, “her” weather) delivered to me by someone who cares so much about me. How else would I know how to dress myself in the morning?

After “my weather” is delivered, “my news” is presented by equally earnest people who want to make sure that I’m informed of the house fire that happened last night (while tactfully avoiding any mention of the fact that the kerosene heater that started it was there because the renter’s utilities had been shut off after she lost her job). But these chipper folk are also careful about making sure that they don’t leave me feeling “down,” so they make sure to wrap up the news with a cute animal story about a mother cat who has adopted some orphaned baby squirrels. Whew. That’s a relief. Dodged another reality-bullet there. No one mentioned the Middle East.

Well, better check “my time-saver traffic info” on the tube next, because it’s just too difficult to look out the window and decide for myself whether the road conditions will affect rush hour. But before the time-saver lady fills me in, there are a few commercial messages to be taken care of. I need to ask my doctor, I hear, about whether or not my eyelashes should be longer. Make a note of that.

After that we have an assurance from the Pampers people that there’s now an incontinence product for kids who weigh up to 90 pounds. That’s fortunate planning on their part because it appears the Serenity bladder management folks have adult “products” that fit the 80 to 300 pound range. So–from preemie infant to gigantic geriatric, we are all able to have a properly fitting product to cover our you-know-whats. And, of course, the same applies to formula. We have liquid and powdered stuff that we can pour into bottles for the road so that providing “balanced nutrition” is simpler for busy moms and dads than ever before. And there’s stuff out there for babies, too! We can’t forget that there are any number of liquid bottles-o’-nutrients for dieters and senior citizens, as well. From birth to death, we’re well supplied with diapers and formula. Is there any citizen in any decade of life who should not be buying them?

Stopping for coffee on the way to work, we can again congratulate ourselves that someone cares–really cares–enough to inform us that our coffee will be dangerous. (“Careful, hon! That’s hot!”)

Or, if we’re lucky enough to have a day off, we can watch an inspiring story on the telly of a pre-school teacher who was clever enough to devise a “unit” on the concept of “cold” for her class of four year olds. Part of this unit consists of having an actual block of ice in a plastic pan on the table and having the children actually touch it, and then record in their actual “journals” how it felt. Meanwhile, somewhere in Tokyo or Copenhagen, there are four year olds learning that there are units called “Celsius” and “Fahrenheit” for measuring temperature and what the difference between the two might be. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why they so consistently beat us on standardized tests.

Back in the States, adults are being told that there is acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) for headaches and THEN, there’s acetaminophen for arthritis. So–you need to buy both. Because the headache pill will have no idea that you have arthritis; and the arthritis pill will never make it to your head. It somehow–magically–knows to stay only in your bones.

If you’re enough of a throwback to subscribe to a newspaper, you might pick up your very colorful, picture-filled daily source of information, and read the articles which are carefully written so as not to overly challenge the reader with a fifth grade level of comprehension. Of course, in 1835, when many Americans actually HAD only attended school up to the fifth grade, sentences like the following were commonplace in newspapers (this one advertising a home library subscription service): “The time and attention of the editor, himself a reader from inclination as well as duty, are devoted to the procurement of works of an elevated standard of intellect which may be admitted into every family without hesitation by the most fastidious, and become a rallying point for all its members, promoting social belles lettres reading and conversation.”

Okay, okay. Enough snark. What is the point, kes? The point is: is it remotely possible that there are persons and/or entities out there who would be more than delighted to convey the message to the American public that they are just not all that bright? Or that they are in serious need of parental figures to guide them through the complexities of life?

Is there any advantage to–say, a Dick Cheney, Rupert Murdoch or Glenn Beck–to have an audience whose confidence is shaken, who are fearful of making mistakes, or one which feels like anything BUT a group of self-determining adults? After all, adults who think for themselves sometimes do dangerous things. They form labor unions and fight back against oppressive corporations. They sit in the front of the damned bus! They object to pointless wars.

In short. Adults are a menace to some peoples’ view of “order.” Better to have a nation of children whose mommy is celebrity and whose daddy is sports. And if they want to be informed? Well, tell ’em what to think. Just make sure your source of “information” is disguised by a cynically clever advertising slogan.

Something like: “We report, you decide.”

Categories: Observations, Society

Written by kesmarn

History major "back when," who recently retired from having been an RN for a bazillion years. Political junkie. Warren, Sanders and Reich fan. Happy to have been a Planeteer for more than five years now!

110 Responses so far.

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  1. boomer1949 says:

    Great post kesmarn! :-)

  2. KQuark says:

    I must relate this story because it does exemplify the generation that is reaching their 20’s in this country. I hired a young man who had two Masters degrees but he had to be the most naive person I ever met.

    Well when I went to hospital the first time with pneumonia and multiple organ failure he came to visit me. I know I looked bad because I was sick as hell, but I had never seen someone so scared in my entire life.

    Well the sad part is, this young man literally had a nervous breakdown just seeing me in the hospital. He ended up taking medical leave and eventually lost the job I hired him for earlier. All I could think about was how ill prepared many in this generation are for real life.

    • boomer1949 says:

      Many young people are ill-prepared because they’ve never been taught to be prepared (as in facing reality). Their parents have hovered over them like helicopters, Helicopter Parents.

      I found this article, In re: Loco Parents written by Margaret Gutman Klosko, where she not only discusses Helicopter Parenting, but also the evolution of Lawmower Parenting and Blackhawk Parenting.

      It’s no wonder we have young adults unable to think for themselves.

      • KQuark says:

        I mentored another young woman technician just out of college one and just matter of factly the subject of my cancer treatment came up. I said casually “Well everyone’s gonna die someday”. I had never seen her get so upset like I just had destroyed her world by mentioning we were all mortal.

        • abby4ever says:

          But KQ, not all people are as brave as you. As accepting or as objective. Some people really struggle with things like this and cannot help themselves…and who knows? Something in their own lives may explain, or help explain, these reactions you see. They may just recently have dealt with a death or a long illness. Others just can’t stand for anything to be too real, and are that way about everything.

          If we could see into their hearts…but we can’t.

          • KQuark says:

            I don’t expect everyone to be hard core survivors but even young people should just have some semblance of knowing how difficult life can be at some times.

            The young lady I’m talking about was an inspiration to me as well because of her enthusiasm and zest for life.

            I was just shocked that she was so ill prepared for even talking about difficult subjects in life.

        • kesmarn says:

          I have to offer another possible explanation, though, KQ. Maybe she had grown so attached to you through the mentoring process that she couldn’t stand to hear something that implied you wouldn’t be there for her.
          It could be, you know.

          • KQuark says:

            I never looked at it that way. Cheers for the insight. I guess I had accepted my own fate but never though about others who had not.

          • Khirad says:

            Perhaps. Otherwise, personally, I would have thought it was a way to lighten the mood, slightly. There’s also that -- and I am so far out of the know on this it isn’t funny -- but I’ve gleamed this from other discussions — this attitude that say one must always stay positive all the time never even joking about such things, never giving up… I don’t know, maybe it was that, as well?

            • KQuark says:

              That was my intent but it’s not the first time my attempt at humor failed miserably.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      KQ, and kesmarn too, I think that the way we hide death in this society contributes to our infantalization as well. Apart from the existentialism we miss, it is very unhealthy psychologically.

      • kesmarn says:

        Blame it on the Hungarian part of my ancestry, but I can’t figure how people manage to live a full and exciting life if they’ve never looked their own mortality in the face. Life is a million times sweeter when you realize it’s finite.

        • Chernynkaya says:

          Exactly. Until we look death in the face, we are never really alive.

        • Khirad says:

          Amen. And people say I’m morbid. I just think you nailed it. It’s the duality of it all. I don’t know what it is about the treacly American bastardized culture, but in (forgive me here) “old world” cultures, death plays an important part in life.

          • kesmarn says:

            Exactly. I think in Spanish culture (at least in Mexico), there’s the “Day of the Dead.” I understand families go to the cemetery for a picnic and socializing.

            In America, we don’t even have funerals any more. Now it’s more often referred to as “a celebration of the life of…” No tears allowed. There’s much to be said for some honest wailing in some circumstances.

            • Khirad says:

              Yeah, here in Arizona we do D

            • KQuark says:

              In the Irish American culture I come from we just sob some and get drunk.

            • kesmarn says:

              Oh my gosh, K!, I never heard of that place or knew it existed. I learn something new every day here.

              ‘Fraid I’m gonna have to crash for the night now. Thanks to all for all the new ideas today.

              Buenos noches (sp?)

    • kesmarn says:

      Arghhhh. Where does one begin? Imagine reaching your 20s having NEVER seen illness or (god forbid) death in your whole life. Having been “sheltered,” “protected” to such a degree. For what? In the expectation that life will never hurt? That pain will never happen? Loss will be avoided completely?

      I’ve had young patients who have literally screamed loudly and long through the process of an IV insertion. Now, as I’m sure you know, KQ, this is hardly a fun recreational pastime (getting stuck). But it isn’t being waterboarded either. When other stressors enter their lives later--like an infant who wakes up crying every 90 minutes all night, every night--what’s going to happen?

      • KQuark says:

        So so true. They put an IV in my thumb this last visit.

        I don’t know if you remember lymphangiograms (sp). Talk about a draconian procedure. They literally had too put Iodine contrast in my lymph system.

        The procedure starts out with four needles between the toes filled with die so the radiologists can find you lymph ducks. I still have my what my wife calls my “Jesus scars” in my feet to prove I had the procedure.

        I guarantee you that was worst torture than waterboarding.

        • kesmarn says:

          Oh, KQ, that really sounds barbaric! What you’ve been through…youch! I’ve had surgeries and radiation, but nothing like what you’ve experienced.

          Stay out of that hospital, now, okay?

          2010 is going to be a better year!

      • Khirad says:

        Really? Is that the thing in your hand (forgive me for not knowing anatomy)? The pop and its done thing?

        • KQuark says:

          Hands, feet and even back. Wherever they can find a vein.

        • kesmarn says:

          You got it, Khirad! The little needle that the fluids flow through to save a life. That’s the one.

          Cause for shrieks and howls amongst some of the population…

          Did they never fall down and skin a knee?
          Silly question, I guess.

          • Khirad says:

            I have a fear of needles (and blood), but was hooked up once, no biggie. Pop and it’s done, don’t even feel it, really.

            Wow, I was getting a little sensitive, ’cause you guys are talking about the younger generations, but honestly, that’s ridiculous.

            • kesmarn says:

              Guess the conversation did take a bit of a “guldurn younguns” turn for a while, there! Many apologies!
              Your reaction to the needle was totally normal, Khirad. It isn’t what anyone would do for recreation (well, now that I think of it, some people do), but to scream so loudly that one can be heard five rooms away… That’s a lotta drama!

            • KQuark says:

              I use to fear both but don’t have the luxury anymore.

      • boomer1949 says:

        They’ll return it to Super WalMart?

  3. KevenSeven says:

    Local news: That plague of fools.

  4. KQuark says:

    Great piece Kesmarn.

    It’s is all an effort to control the masses by any means necessary.

    In the 70’s growing up even when we were in our teens we went into NYC with a friend or two and no one thought anything about it. Now we coddle young adults and even keep them out of school because, God forbid they learn about the world through their own experience.

    Every time my mother got overprotective my father would say “What are you going to do Connie, measure the toilets so they don’t fall in?”

    Right now our whole society is like people constantly measuring toilets.

    • kesmarn says:

      Your kind words are high praise indeed, KQ.

      It’s hard to imagine teens just zipping off to NYC now without a parental freak out.

      We seem to be in a place where all risk, all sacrifice, all pain, all anxiety is viewed as--not only negative, but--nearly intolerable. To be avoided at any cost.

      Of course I’m not advocating being foolhardy or going out of one’s way to have painful experiences. But there’s a certain amount of angst and misery that is--hate to say it--a normal part of being alive. This idea is now, however, considered a sort of dirty little secret. If you’re sad, you must need to be medicated out of it. If you’re afraid, it’s considered a “phobia,” a pathology. Hell, the first day I walked into a college dorm and then later onto a hospital unit, I was terrified! I didn’t need therapy, though. I needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other and get through that first day. And then the day after that. What relieves fear is not indulging or dramatizing it, but gaining a feeling of competence, in spite of the fear. The source of confidence, aka self-esteem, is not being told umpty jillion times how “special” you are. It’s being allowed to accomplish something mind-bendingly HARD. And then to take some pride in having done it.

      Your dad was so right. There’s nothing to be gained by toilet-measuring. (Although this is not the point in this post when I want to mention anything about “just plunging right in,” either.)

      I think your amazing attitude is one of the most powerful tools you have in proving all those know-it-all doctors wrong and continuing to be a courageous, very much NON-infantilized presence here on the Planet.

      Down with toilet measuring!

      • boomer1949 says:

        “Good Job!” is another phrase that gripes my behind. My daughter uses it with my grandkids ALL the time; all the kid did was stand up for goodness sakes.

        • kesmarn says:

          I’m with you on that one, boomer. If praise is saved for real accomplishments, then it actually means something. Kids figure all this out pretty quickly.

          PS, I keep promising myself I’m going to bed, but then another interesting thought is added and I stay up longer. Okay. I’m going to go to bed now! Good night, boomer, and friends!

    • whatsthatsound says:

      “Within the next generation I believe that the world’s leaders will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience.”

      -- Aldous Huxley, in a letter to George Orwell, comparing his “Brave New World” with “1984”

  5. whatsthatsound says:

    Great post!

    But the infantilization that takes place in Japan goes way beyond. Little cute characters point out to you that you might get your extremities caught in the subway doors as they close. Dancing umbrellas on the weather report tell you it’s going to rain, and the announcement on the train reminds you to take that umbrella that the perky weather girl told you that you need with you as you depart. Little animal friends gently admonish you to mind your manners on the trains and in the stations.
    And the TV shows? Guys dressed up in diapers always get a laugh.
    Keep the people entertained, fed, childlike and busy, and the fire next time never comes.

    • KQuark says:

      The more and more I learn about Japanese society the more I learn that in general they are fostering immaturity.

      Since we are talking about movies on another thread the movie “Demolition Man” constructed a real nanny society that may be in our future.

    • Khirad says:

      I’ve never gotten that about Japanese culture. Sad when the local news starts resembling this:


    • kesmarn says:

      So fascinating to get the point of view from outside the US, WTS! Do you have the feeling, though, that when it comes to issues like climate change and dealing with the economic crisis, the Japanese “get it” in a more adult manner than the U.S. population? Or no?

      • whatsthatsound says:

        Japanese tend to be better informed, I feel. They read actual newspapers, not USA Today baloney. And the TV news is delivered in dry, measured tones, not the breathless shouting that anchors in the US do so well.

        Your quotation from the old American newspaper is a revelation! This used to be a smart country! American literature was pooh poohed (nod to Khirad!) by Europeans, but the Transcendentalists, Hawthorne, Poe, Melville and the titan Twain were creating amazing works for a receptive audience. Alas!

        • kesmarn says:

          Oh yeah, WTS, I also found a Saturday Evening Post from the later 19th century that included (for amusement!) very difficult math puzzles that my math major son wrestled with for a while. There were such mature expectations of the general public…not even all that long ago. I’ve found women’s magazines from the 1950s that had very intelligent political analysis included. But there was one at work last night from 2009, and every article was about hair, makeup, clothing or food.

          You mention some of my very favorite authors in naming Hawthorne, Poe, Melville and Twain. Also like Emerson and Thoreau. Margaret Fuller was also a very interesting character of the era. And Louisa May Alcott, who I think is underrated, wrote some great “blood ‘n’ guts” thriller short stories to make extra money for her family.

          • whatsthatsound says:

            Amazing. If you take the letters from “television” you can write “evil noise”, but then you have a leftover ‘T’ that I can’t find any good use for.

            • kesmarn says:

              Too bad it wasn’t originally dubbed “delevision,” because then it could be “devil noise.” 😮

  6. UncleB says:

    We need to send this to FOX News. They are CONTINUAL offenders
    when it comes to this matter. They are always “dumbing things down”
    for their viewing audience. [FOX is pandering to their base or insulting them..?]

    Jon Stewart recently commented on such in regards to G. Carlson, of “FOX and Friends”….

    The Daily Show Explores the Self-Dumbing Down of Fox & Friends’ Gretchen Carlson
    http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/12/the-daily-show-explores-the-self-dumbing-down-of-fox-friends-gretchen-carlson.php

    …and then we have Beck who routinely utilizes techniques used by preachers giving sermons to CHILDREN..!

    7 Tips to Better Children

    • kesmarn says:

      Oh Lord, I laughed myself silly at that Jon Stewart bit on Gretchen Carlson. It was so totally apt and accurate. He is brilliant!

      And that was genius on your part to make the connection between Beck and delivering a children’s sermon. I never thought of that, but it’s right on the money. That’s what I love about the Planet. You toss out an idea and immediately a zillion more (better) ones come “back atcha!”

      Thanks for your wonderful comment.

  7. UncleB says:

    : )

    Nice article. Agree with it all.

    As equally depressing as the continual “dumbing down” of news (and society), is the “tabloid-ization” (?) of the media.

    Any “good news” ALWAYS takes back seat to any “bad news”. What’s the saying “If it bleeds, it leads”? [see the reporting of the various Town Hall meetings of this past summer, for examples]

    Modern day media always reminds me of Don Henley’s song “Dirty Laundry”:

    +++++

    I make my living off the evening news
    Just give me something, something I can use
    People love it when you lose, they love dirty laundry

    Well, I could’ve been an actor, but I wound up here
    I just have to look good, I don’t have to be clear
    Come and whisper in my ear, give us dirty laundry

    We got the bubbleheaded bleach-blonde, comes on at 5
    She can tell you about the plane crash with a gleam in her eye
    It’s interesting when people die, give us dirty laundry

    Dirty little secrets, dirty little lies
    We got our dirty little fingers in everybody’s pie
    Love to cut you down to size, we love dirty laundry

    We can do the innuendo, we can dance and sing
    When it’s said and done, we haven’t told you a thing
    We all know that crap is king, give us dirty laundry

    : )

    • nottoolate says:

      Don’t know much about history, Don’t know much biology, Don’t know much about a science book, Don’t know much about the French I took…Don’t know much about geography, Don’t know much trigonometry, Don’t know much about algebra, Don’t know what a slide rule is for…But I’m on the TEE-VEE and have a published book and millions of fans on Facebook! I am The Sweetheart of the Hinterlands. Can you guess my name?

  8. Marion says:

    You are preaching to the converted, my friend. In fact, I’m posting two links, which -- inadvertantly -- support one another. The first is from Thursday’s NYT, and it’s an op-ed by David Brooks. OK, I know he’s a conservative, but he’s an old-school conservative, whom the Republican Party have thrown by the wayside. He’s a real intellectual, and in his op-ed, he brilliantly shows how we’ve gone from being a nation of people who accepted mistakes as adults, to a nation of whingeing, whining adolescents, who want instant gratification. If we don’t get what we want -- what we really really want -- now, we sulk or scream or throw coniption fits. As Brooks states, the President can’t even talk to the citizens of this country like adults. Here’s the link:-

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/01/opinion/01brooks.html?em

    The other op-ed supporting this, coincidentally, came in today’s Guardian, a left-wing British broadsheet, by Michael Tomasky, their US correspondent. He reckons that the US’s unease with Obama’s response to the bomber comes from years of conditioned response from the Republican Party. The GOP doesn’t want citizens, they want citizen-babies, who treat the limited government like a parent figure. In times of (exaggerated) crises, the kids want a big, strong Daddy Warbucks to beat his chest and bellow and threat. Here’s THAT link:-

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/jan/01/obama-administration-terrorism

    The ‘moral impulse’ list is quite interesting, especially the 4th point, which is the ethos of the GOP, and inculcates the fear factor.

    • kesmarn says:

      Wow! Marion! Those links are absolutely amazing. How do you do it? I hadn’t seen either one of those articles. You’re right;they totally complement each other, even though they come from people on opposite ends of the spectrum. (Never thought I would agree so whole heartedly with David Brooks.)

      Here’s a small anecdote that reinforces what Brooks was talking about. My cousin worked for about 6 months on the “complaint line” of a large nursing home chain. One of the residents of a nursing home owned by this company would call repeatedly and go on at length about how substandard the care was. She weighed over 400 pounds and was in the home because she was no longer able to walk, even though she was only in her early 50s. Her main complaints were that the Hoyer lifting machine that the aides had to use to get her in and out of bed was not hers to use exclusively. She had to share it with others. Also the aides were not consistent about regularly powdering all her (shall we say) “body folds” so she was feeling “chafed.” Also, the adult diapers that the nursing home used were not large enough to be comfortable for her. They needed to find a bigger size.

      Exactly what her own intended contribution to solving these problems was, she never mentioned.

      This--needless to say--frightens me.

      That’s why I felt the need to write.

  9. Chernynkaya says:

    Gosh-- it’s so great to have a computer again so I can read this funny stuff, kes! The fact is, too many people deserve Darwin Awards. And if you’ve ever been to another country, you realize just how infantalized we Americans are. My son has for many years attended Burning Man, out in the desert. One of the main attractions for him is that there is some minor danger involved and no rules or warnings. Anyway, thanks for a great blog!

    • kesmarn says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Cher! It’s good to have you back.

      Judging from the responses here, I think the next logical question is: Is it the Rove/Cheney/Limbaugh/Murdoch forces who are trying to convince us we’re dumb, as Americans?

      Or are we just naturally really dumb?

      • Chernynkaya says:

        kes, I honestly wonder about that myself-- if we are dumb I mean. My Magic Eight Ball sez, “All indications point to Yes.” But that can’t really be true. I think that if there is something to ‘American Exceptionalism” it’s that we really are a young country, and one where war was never on our soil.There is so lettle history here. I think the national psyche is different, and I think those two factors make us-- not dumb, exactly-- but young and brash.

        • kesmarn says:

          It’s interesting, I had made a comment of that order on KQuark’s WIMP article, too… About Europe having had war on her own soil more than once, and the difference that makes in their outlook on life.

  10. BigDogMom says:

    “It’s snowing out, will continue on and off all day” the weather forecaster on Newschannel8, who looks like Bart Simpson, but with dark hair, says at 6:30 am EST

    “I see that, all I have to do is look out the window, Bart”, my husband says very dryly.

    “Temps with windchill will be down into the teens, that’s cold” Bart the weatherman says.

    “No shit Sherlock” my beloved says with scorn.

    Then Desiree, the traffic lady, comes on dressed as Carmen Miranda, minus the fruit stacked on her head, and cheerfully announces that there is a fatal accident on I-91 and two lanes are closed to traffic, two people dead….”soooo, if you want to get where your going, best avoid that area!” she says with a big smile.

    “Gee, I’ll keep that in mind if I need to go to east bum fuck this morning.” says the hubby.

    This smart repartee goes on in my house every morning between the weather guy, Desiree and my husband.

    kesmarn, I feel your pain…..

    • kesmarn says:

      BDM! Your husband is a keeper! I love your description of Desiree the traffic lady. You’re right! They either never stop smiling, or they plaster on a fake look of faux sympathy and concern for one story and bust a big grin for the quirky one that follows immediately after.

      • BigDogMom says:

        ‘Beloved’, as I call him, in reference to the belligerent child in Oprah’s movie “Beloved”, has a wicked sense of humor, but is just not a morning person.

        Half the time with him, I’m either close to tears laughing or trying to figure out if he’s serious or not…he used to break out his toy metal decoder ring, yes, he has one of the originals, whenever Bush gave a speech….thought it might help us understand…LOL!

        • kesmarn says:

          I’m afraid there’s no decoder ring, cryptanalyst or shrink that ever existed that could help us understand Bush-speak. It’s a completely unique form of non-communication. Sadly, it will go with him to the grave. :o(

          (snicker followed by guilt)

  11. javaz says:

    Is it really necessary to create a new law that bans texting while driving?
    Yes, it is, because people are idiots.
    People who are not idiots understand the dangers of texting while driving, or even using a cell phone.

    What is with people and cell phones, btw?
    How many times do you see a neighbor jump in their vehicle and grab their cell phone?
    Didn’t they just leave their house?
    They couldn’t make the call before they left?

    Or what about people rushing their kids to the ER for minor cuts, burns, bruises or whatever.
    When we were kids, we roller-skated on concrete with skates that attached to our shoes with keys.
    We were always getting hurt, but did my folks rush us to the hospital?
    Heck no.
    They’d yell at us for getting hurt, and then wash the cut, apply iodine or Mercurochrome, slap on a bandage and we’d be back outside skating again.
    There were times that I fell and fell hard, and instead of taking me to the ER to see if my wrist or ankle was broken, my mom would yell about getting hurt and then take a towel and wind it around the area and secure it with rubber bands.
    I was always susceptible to strep-throat, but did they take me to the doctor?
    Nope, I gargled with salt water and took baby aspirin.
    Unless we had high fevers and were violently ill, my folks never took us to the doctor.
    Yet I’ve seen parents whose kids fall down and get a cut, and they rush them to the ER whereby they might get 2 or 3 stitches.
    I’m not saying people shouldn’t take their kids to the doctor, but people should use a little commonsense since so many childhood cuts and scrapes and even sore throats can be treated at home.

    • BigDogMom says:

      javaz, I have issues with some of the stupidity that is prevalent these days, driving will texting and on a cell phone is a biggy for me.

      I watched a guy in one of the big Mercedes, with his son in the car seat in the back, run a red light, hit the curb, go airborne, and hit the utility pole. Split the pole, the airbags deployed and the guy get out of the car still on the phone talking…..the man didn’t even look to see if his child was OK, thank God he was fine, until another motorist pulled the kid out of the car.

      Thank God no one else got hurt, because the car at the cross street that had the green was my husband and I was facing the guy ready to make a left when this all happened….so when I see someone on the cellphone, I give them a real dirty look and shake my head, just to let them know their not the only ones on the road.

    • kesmarn says:

      That’s it exactly, javaz! These parents have completely lost any sense of competence--and confidence, in their own ability to handle things. They run to “experts” for everything! Often they run to people who have no more knowledge about the matter they’re worried about than they do. It’s just that the so-called expert spouts a bunch of baloney with great confidence and a superior, condescending attitude…so they buy (literally) it. It’s like those screwy “Baby Einstein” videos. What the hell is wrong with talking to your own kid and exploring the world together? Why outsource that to the TV? Oh yeah, now I remember. It’s easier to pop Junior in the car seat, throw the baby video into the DVD player, and talk on the cell phone as you drive, no?

      • BigDogMom says:

        Who do these people talk to? What are they talking about that is so important that it can’t wait?

        What did all of us do before cell phones, voicemail and answering machines…does anybody remember?

        Lord, now I sound like my husband and Father!!!!

        • Marion says:

          Sadly, all this behaviour isn’t limited to the US. I’ve lived in the UK for 28 years. Believe me, there is a lot of rank stupidity here that would rival anything prevalent in the US. The Brits and the Italians live for their cell phones -- talk whilst driving, text whilst driving, text whilst walking yadda yadda. And yes, laws have been passed prohibiting that.

    • bitohistory says:

      Oh, not the brush to clean it out Mom, not the Iodine!! 😆 .

      • boomer1949 says:

        Yes, that one made me wince…remember those days very well myself.

        My friend and I are always discussing how things were when we raised our kids and how things are now when our kids are raising their kids.

        We just look at each other, shake our heads, and wonder if our kids realize they survived the “dark ages” and actually made it to adulthood.

  12. Khirad says:

    So, um, ‘twould seem we have at least two new articles not on the front page.

    What’s up with that? just me?

  13. bitohistory says:

    Good post k’smarn, Not sure if that was so much snark as a good observation of so many instances daily one sees and you shake you head and think “how stupid do they think people are? Two questions. How many years living on one of the Great Lakes did it take for you to learn to dress warmly during the winter? And I didn’t know you were a 20 something blond. Did i get that right?
    /snark (

    • kesmarn says:

      b’ito! You did get the blonde part right!

      I just have no idea how I made it to adulthood without having some nice TV “personality” tell me what to do…. Dumb luck, I guess.

      Dontcha think that “they” do have a real motivation for convincing the American public that it is largely comprised of dim-witted consumer-babies, though?

  14. Emerald1943 says:

    BRAVO, Kes! BRAVO! I laughed my buns off all the way through your wonderful, witty and insightful post!

    This really would be funny if it were not so sad…and true. I got off on a rant yesterday about the “dumbing down of America” effort that was exponentially expanded during the years of the Shrub. I see college-age kids who apply to me for a job who are unable to fill out an employment application. They cannot spell or correctly punctuate. They are incapable of doing the most simple math problems without a calculator. They are practically functionally illiterate! And these kids have high school diplomas!

    So I would answer your question with a resounding YES! These people DO need someone to tell them to wear a heavy coat, avoid the traffic, and beware of hot coffee (with the warning printed on the lid of the cup). Sad but true!

    I also got on a rant, something about how we need to take all that money that we continue to pour down a hole in the sand for fossil fuels and unnecessary wars and spend it on educating our children! IMHO, we cannot start soon enough!

    • kesmarn says:

      Thank you, thank you, Em, for your kind words. (As you might have deduced, I am on call and here writing instead of doing all the stuff I put off over the holidays!)

      We sure are on the same page. Check out my response to Tiger’s “Top o’ the World” article. It’s on education!

      PS Technofart that I am, I accidentally posted this in Speaker’s Corner. Oops.

      • Emerald1943 says:

        Hey Kes, never put off ’til tomorrow what you can put off today…or something like that! Procrastination is my middle name! :-)

        Edit: I loved Tiger’s article! Thanks for the heads up!

        • Khirad says:

          Mark Twain said it best, never put off ’til tomorrow what can be put put off ’til the day after tomorrow, or something like that.

          • Emerald1943 says:

            Thanks Khirad! Just like the Shrub said, “Fool me once….shame on me. Fool me twice….uh, we won’t get fooled again!” I have lots of trouble with these profound quotes! :-)


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