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.”

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boomer1949
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Great post kesmarn! 🙂

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SueInCa
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I think Kesmarn probably just hit the nail on the head for all of us so sick to death of the MSM and trivial nationwide entertainment.

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abby4ever
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I totally agree!

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KQµårk 死神
Member

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.

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boomer1949
Member

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.

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KQµårk 死神
Member

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.

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abby4ever
Guest

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.

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KQµårk 死神
Member

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.

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Chernynkaya
Member

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.

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KevenSeven
Member

Local news: That plague of fools.

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KQµårk 死神
Member

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.

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whatsthatsound
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“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”

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Khirad
Member

Add Ray Bradbury and that would have been the trifecta.

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Chernynkaya
Member

I went to high school with Susan Bradbury. Poor thing looked just like her dad, but what really made her stand apart was that Ray wouldn’t allow a television in their home. (Smart guy!)

Did you ever read a short story by him called, “The Veldt”?

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Khirad
Member

No, but I see where you were going with that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Veldt

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whatsthatsound
Member

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.

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KQµårk 死神
Member

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.

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Khirad
Member

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

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Bernard Marx
Member

LMAO! I wonder how kids managed before TV and little electronic support units.

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whatsthatsound
Member

This is great! I can’t stop laughing!
My trips to the reading room will never be the same!

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UncleB
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UncleB

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

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UncleB
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UncleB

: )

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

: )

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nottoolate
Member

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?

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UncleB
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UncleB

The Moosiah from Wasilla?

: )

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Marion
Member

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.

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Chernynkaya
Member

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!

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BigDogMom
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BigDogMom

“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…..

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javaz
Member

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.

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BigDogMom
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BigDogMom

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.

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bito
Member

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

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boomer1949
Member

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.

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Khirad
Member

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

What’s up with that? just me?

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bito
Member

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 (

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Emerald1943
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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!

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javaz
Member

One of my favorite programs that I discovered through DVDs checked out from the library, since the show is no longer on is “Boston Legal.”
Just today I watched a show whereby a school purchased a devise that blocked the most “fair and balanced” network from school TVs.
(holy smokes, when did it become mandatory that schools have televisions?)
In the show, the uber-liberal actually took on the case against the school and argued against censorship.
The compelling argument was that the ‘fair and balanced’ station is not the only non-news station that doesn’t report the news.
There is no such thing anymore in this country known as news, but rather it’s entertainment or info-faux news.

Even though ‘Boston Legal’ was a television show, the cases in the show were thought-provoking as was the dialogue in the courtrooms.
Yes, I realize that it’s fiction, but there was more truth in that television show than anywhere else on TV.
There have been more than a few of those shows that were quite compelling in giving the conservative side that gave me pause and made me think.
The show was done with humor and poignancy and took on social issues in this country far better than any Sunday talk show.

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Emerald1943
Member

Hey J! I heard that this was a good show, but have never watched it…my own personal little boycott of regular network TV! I’ll have to see if it’s available “on demand” as a result of your recommendation.

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