Sunday, December 09, 2007

Does it count as a boycott if you never went there anyways?

American society has come a long way from when I was an adolescent. Massachusetts wants to ban spanking your child, somewhere in the south they want to change Santa Clause's chant from Ho Ho Ho to Ha Ha Ha and Arctic Circle's advertising tells us we deserve a reward for doing something amazing - like showing up for work on time. Yeah, you've seen the ads, guy sneaks into work before 9, and then decided he deserves to reward himself with a burger for being on time. And even better - he's gonna sneak out of work early to get it. Niiiice. A while ago I was driving on I-215 on the east bench and some kids were throwing snowballs off the bridge at cars on the freeway. It reminded me of an incident 30 years ago when I was in high school. There was a bunch of kids on the front lawn, can't even remember what we were doing, but something was brewing. My mom came out and suggested everyone go home, preventative measures. One of the kids called my mom a bitch and my dad came running out, grabbed the kid by the ear, dragged him the 5 or 6 blocks to his house and presented him to his parent, simply stating "your kid called my wife a bitch", and left. The kid never called my mom a name again and that was the end of it. Flash forward to the new millenium. I thought about doing the same thing to these kids throwing snowballs but feared the result would be somewhat different. More likely than not, in my opinion dealing with parents lately, I would have met a completely different response than my dad did. First would have been "how dare you touch my kid" followed by stuff like how do you know it was him, my kid would never do that, what about the other kids you didn't catch and "lawsuit". Yup, lucky would have been running into the parent that simply asked "So?" and left it at that. No, not really. I'm sure that there are a lot of parents out there that would have reacted much like the parents my dad ran into. But they would never get the chance to deal with their kids because, like I was, we would be apprehensive of running into the all to common other kind of parent.

2 comments:

A Paperback Writer said...

Y'know, it's really sad when we, the children of the rebellious 60s and psychadelic 70s have to lament that society is going downhill.
Oh, I agree with you on what would probably happen nowdays if you dealt with a kid like that, but it is scary to think that WE'RE the ones doing it. Pretty frightening.
A good tale for you:
I came home from church one Sunday a few weeks ago to hear rocks smacking against the retaining wall in the back. I sneaked a look out and saw boys in church clothes hitting the wall with chunks of cinderblock. I called the mall security, and my favorite guard (who can scare the crap out of kids) yelled at them and they took off.
I slipped back out my front door (they never noticed me in the crowds) and saw that they walked away from the church -- hence, they were not visitors.
I then went back into the building and snooped until I found the 14-year -olds' Sunday School class, asked if they happened to be missing 3 boys. They were. Surprise, surprise. I got the names and chuckled to think that the most obnoxious of the lot was the bishop's grandson.
No worries, though, as the Bishop used to teach at the junior high where you last had a job -- and he knows how to deal with tough kids.
He ignored being the bishop and the grandfather when I told him the problem. It was junior high teacher to junior high teacher.
The kids haven't been near the wall in weeks.
:)

Max said...

Yeah, the desire to be a friend with their kids evolved out of the 60's and the 70's, but the rejection of personal responsibility came out of the lawsuit-crazed 80's and the lack of social responsibility came from the Reagan-you-can-have-it-all-NOW era (also the 80's and early 90's) So, as a child of the 70's, I take no responsibility for any of it, I can blame you but you can't blame me, and if you do I'll sue.......