My youngest son, like most of his generation, has figured out the secret to outlandish fame and fabulous fortune. According to him, it’s all a matter of “going to Hollywood and making it big.” I went to Hollywood once. Admittedly, my visit was only as a day-tripping tourist to Universal Studios, so I must have missed the roving packs of talent agents who patrol the street corners and malt shops (do those things even exist, anymore?) in central Los Angeles for the next Lana Turner.
Possessing neither marketable skills nor good looks, I clearly don’t understand how this works.
“Exactly what is it that is going to make you famous?” I said, marking a 2×4 for the next cut.
“Acting,” he said, shooting me an incredulous look I saw in my peripheral vision. “Maybe with some singing and dancing mixed in.”
“You’re a real triple-threat, Gregory Hines,” I said, depressing the trigger of the circular saw and filling the room with its scream.
“Who’s Gregory Hines?” he said, after the din had dissipated.
“Never mind,” I said, shaking my head. “Well, show me what you’ve got.”
“Sing me a song.”
“Yes,” I said. I laid down the saw and cut board. “Or dance, if you prefer. You pick the song. Go.”
Anyone familiar with the entitlement of youth, millennials in particular, knows full well how this exchange ends. You’ve probably lived it.
Mind you, I’ve never seen the boy engage in any of the pursuits he aims to make a living with. Come to think of it, if his phone isn’t involved, it’s a rare day I see him engage in any activity without direction. You would think the siren call of performance arts would move the lad to engage in them occasionally without prompting. Despite all these seeming detractions from the likelihood of success, the boy continues to be obsessed with the achievement of fame.
I guess he’s just so naturally talented that he doesn’t have to work at it…Just like the rest of his generation is continually told.
Showing me a seven-foot-tall Chinaman does not mean all Chinamen are seven-foot-tall.
Of necessity, I paint in the broad brushstrokes of averages. I know a few teenagers who are squared away, responsible, and hardworking. I’d gladly trade mine for one of those, but the few parents who have such adolescent unicorns are loath to trade them.
So, please don’t point to your brat as a counter to why I’m wrong. You’re probably lying or severely overestimating your precious little snowflake. On the off chance your kid is as perfect as you think, congratulations. You won the genetic equivalent of a scratch-off ticket.
Now, go be content with your life, while I bitch about my kids. Or stay and enjoy the schadenfreude. Whichever makes you happy.
“As long as your happy” is the biggest load of horseshit ever put out by parents.
I hear those words come out of the mouths of people severely disappointed by the choices their children make. That’s part of the reason kids are so fouled up. We parents did it to them in trying not to crush their delicate egos.
Here are some examples with along with what parents hear:
Child says: “I changed my major to Lesbian Dance Theory.” – Parents hear: “You’re going to be supporting me for the rest of your life.”
Child says: “We’re in love.” – Parents hear: “She’ll be a single mother on welfare in two years.”
Child says: “I don’t need to learn a trade. I’ve got talent.” – Parents hear: “I’m going to learn a trade after life kicks me in the nuts for a decade or so.”
Child says: “I’ve decided to come out.” – Parents hear: “You’ll be lucky if your adopted grandchildren even remotely resemble you.”
Child says: “I’m a feminist.” – Parents hear: “I hate my father.”
Of course, my favorite response to that last declaration is “That’s so cute. What do want to be when you grow up, sweetie pie?” It’s bait they can’t resist because feminists, whether female or male, lack even the pretense of a sense of humor.
My sense of humor might be as dark as a Milo Yiannopoulos paramour, but it exists and is anything besides fragile.
Somewhere along the line, society lost the ability to take a joke. I blame it largely on a generation of children taught in public schools staffed almost entirely by women and effeminate men. These delicate flowers entrusted with impressionable minds simply do not appreciate the comedic gold in a loud, wet fart or kicking your buddy in the nuts.
I remember hanging out with my middle school teachers behind the wood-shop building between classes showing them my newest pocket knife while they pounded down a cigarette, sipped from whiskey flasks, and told me dirty jokes. These are also the same men who would backhand a student about once a year for mouthing off too much or steeping toward them aggressively.
Eighth grade was my turn to learn the fine line that separates a vigorous debate between gentlemen, where differences are resolved, and just being a loud-mouth punk. When I told my dad what happened, he gave me a backhand in the opposite direction for being a whiny little bitch about it.
I wish John Lott would write a companion piece to More Guns, Less Crime researching the tendency I see in schools of “More Paddles, Less Problems.”
One of the rites of passage into manhood is the proverbial “mouth writing a check the body can’t cash.” That first good, hard punch in the face a young man receives, usually from an unrelated, older man, delivers more lessons in manners than an Emily Post etiquette book.
Millennials have missed out on such character forming experiences, by and large. Instead of a quick and corrective slap for giving mom a dirty look, they were asked what’s wrong. Their playgrounds, the true navel of education at any school, were made so child-safe and patrolled so heavily for any hint of exuberance that children no longer cherish recess. That is, if they get it at all.
A skinned knee is now worthy of being picked up by a parent instead of rubbing some dirt on it and getting back to class with torn britches. A schoolyard scuffle between equally matched opponents is cause for expulsion and arrest of both participants. And woe to any high school student who goes rabbit hunting before school and is found to have tossed his rifle behind the seat of his car.
When did calling your best friend “faggot” cease to be a term of endearment?
Liberals, with zero-tolerance policies for everything that used to be called “hijinks,” have created the Whine Glass Generation; pretty to look at, of marginal practical use, and exceedingly fragile.
Words give these Social Justice Warrior pussies the vapors. I predict that in the near future fainting couches will make a comeback. No college safe space will be complete without one and the de rigueur slipcovers crocheted by fellow special snowflakes calming themselves after being confronted by an idea with which they disagree.
Hand in hand with the expectation of never confronting a divergent idea or a difficult situation is the presumption of entitlement. Perhaps it’s our fault as parents. After living through the privations of the Great Depression and the horrors of World War Two, the Greatest Generation spoiled the mettle out of the Baby Boomers, and the trend has been downhill in successive generations.
As teenagers, my brother Jake and I mowed lawns, hauled trash, and dug out tree stumps to earn money to buy a tiny, second-hand, black-and-white television to place in the room we shared and watch the half dozen channels available. My children are on the verge of calling Child Protective Services because I have only provided a hundred-odd channels, internet, and several video game consoles (they are all “Nintendo” to me) in the family room on a television bigger than any wall of my first apartment.
This has to be the result of continually being told how wonderful they are. They really are like lead crystal stemware; only taken out of the china cabinet for special occasions. Used sparingly. Handled gingerly. Washed by hand. Never seeing the inside of a dishwasher.
And subject to shattering from sound alone.
Life far more resembles a dishwasher than it does a china cabinet. Unable to change the fundamental nature of the world around them, Liberals have taken over education to change the nature of the world’s inhabitants. It’s the most brilliant long-con ever devised.
My grandparents’ generation did nothing less than save the world and then set about rebuilding it. That inheritance has largely been squandered, and were we are on the downhill slide.
How many more generations before we are all Hummel miniatures in someone else’s display case?
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