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Stop blaming the wrong things!

February 20, 2013

You know, I’ve seen many videos, news stories, and read articles ever since I was a kid. They frequently say “Video games cause violence”, when I was a kid it was comics, movies and TV. When Pa*** was a kid it would have been his Miles Davis, Muddy Waters, Benny Goodman, or heck even his Barbershop Quartet records that would rot his mind.

You know what! That’s all bull! I have an antique book circa Colonial America that says wait for it… “Books! Will rot your mind.” The book goes onto say an active imagination will rot your mind and undermined society. It says the only books that should be allowed are Medical books for Doctors, Law books for Lawyers, Technical documents for workers, The Holy Bible for all etc…

If you go back far enough I’m sure Amun-Ra would yell at Geb and Nut that hieroglyphs on walls or cat worship would destroy society. Or maybe Ug would yell at Lugh* to stop playing with that new round stone thing with a center pivot.

If you want to know who to blame look at the parents, or the schools. Participation awards and time outs are to blame. Bring back the spankings when kids are young, when they are older make them do more chores and ground them when they are bad. If they are really bad confiscate their pay checks from their after school jobs. Put the money in an account that they can’t access until they are twenty-one. The money is still theirs, but they can’t enjoy it. It will teach them a lesson. Before anyone goes off and says “spankings are abuse”. Just be quiet with that nonsense. Take it from someone who was actually abused. Really abused as in Ma had to preform CPR on me at least twice if not three times before I was five because my biological father beat me till my heart stopped. There is a difference between a spanking(maybe cutting your own switch) and abuse. I was abused and it sucked, but being punished helped keep me on the straight and narrow(most of the time) at the very least it taught me not to get caught.

If you don’t like spankings use your mind, come up with something creative. Pa(not my biological father*spit*) came up with a great variation on the military’s bury a smile. One evening I was told to wash the dishes, and I wasn’t going to have any of that I’ll tell you now. I mouthed off and said “I’m not washing dishes that’s women’s work make Ma do it”. That was a mistake a big mistake. Pa proceed to pull out every pot, dish, pan, silverware, cookware you name it. Told me I was going to hand wash and dry every thing in the kitchen. I wasn’t going to; so I marched to my room and started to read or play on my game gear. Pa came in took all my books and games and locked them in the garage. I still wouldn’t wash a single thing. So he cranked up the organ to 11 and started singing at the top of his lungs; he played the sharpest notes possible too. The organ was against the wall of my bedroom, it was maddening. So I came out and started washing the dishes. He sat at the kitchen table and read/watched me the entire time. When I was done he told me to smile and go to bed. I refused to smile. Out came everything and I had to wash it all again. When I was done… I smiled. He had stayed up all night, and it was past dawn when I finished. He made me go to school(with less than an hour of sleep) even though I felt like the walking dead. He didn’t have it any easier he was a contractor and went to work sleep deprived. He drove me to school that morning gave me a hug kissed me on the head and told me he loved me. As much as I hated him for punishing me I knew he loved me. It’s been ages since than, and I have never said anything similar too “that’s woman’s work”; unless I want my GF to punch me 🙂 . I’ll remember that punishment for the rest of my life.

Get rid of participation awards too. Let kids enjoy winning, let them learn to pick themselves up from defeat. Let kids get hurt, let them get dirty. Stop sheltering them. Childhood is the lab of life. As children we say to ourselves “Can I do that?” or “What happens if I do this or that?”. We test our limits, we stretch out imagination. We question everything. Buy your kids “The big book of why”. Let them run around outside until they think their legs will fall off from exhaustion and return completely filthy. Let kids practice in the lab that is childhood. That way when they become adults they know up from down, right and wrong.

The point is not to look for things to blame; rather look to what we can do to make their lives better than ours were. We shape them with love, and when necessary punishment. You don’t punish children because you are angry, you do it because you want what’s best for them. So if you are squeamish about spankings use your mind and come up with something creative. Make them work and put all the money in a savings bond, make them bury a smile. Don’t just sit back and blame video games. If you think the video games are too graphic don’t shrug your shoulders and say “what am I to do… kids these days”. Sit down and have an honest discussion with them about the difference between reality and fantasy, right and wrong. Whatever you do don’t blame video games, or books! Don’t blame others, look for ways to help them.

Actually Amun-Ra might have gotten it right about cat worship and writing on walls destroying society… 🙂

This rant** brought to you buy my old man cane.

*Lugh is for a similar but longer name than Ug, it is in no way related to Lugh the Irish Diety as in my Amun-Ra example for Egypt.
**Rant subject to be expounded upon if I can organize my antique books and find the one I’m talking about and re-read it.
***Pa is/was great the best dad(stepdad if you want to be technical) anyone could ask for. My biological father wasn’t, I would say more but it would just be a string of obscenities.
****Before anyone comments, no I don’t have kids yet. That doesn’t mean I can’t have an opinion on this. Heck like I said I know the difference between a spanking and abuse.
If you can think of more relevant tags let me know.

From → What I think

  1. Thanks for this! I totally agree! We played war games constantly as kids with toy guns and code names. We watched war movies and played violent video games, but none of us have violently asdulted anyone. Why? Well on a human level it’s cause our Dad spanked us, corrected us, as kids when we reacted violent against one another and we learned not to do it. Read about ancient tortures. We are fully capable of violence without video games. Thanks again!

  2. David MacDowell Blue permalink

    I would expand on your idea–mostly having to do with society as a whole, problems a family must compensate for to some degree. Quite simply we lack a collective “rite of passage” and with it the idea of a difference between Child and Adult. A child is *not* some kind of junior adult. And the teenage years are anything but a golden age (in fact for most us they are a journey through some level of hell). In our society, you become a legal adult–responsible for children, subject to the death penalty, expected to vote or serve in a jury, etc.–when we reach a certain age. It happens at midnight, when we’re usually asleep. No special fanfare. We use the same name, wear the same clothes, undergo no ceremony, face no new test, are given nothing in fact to let us know down to our bones that we are different now. Adulthood is no longer an achievement, at least we don’t treat it as such. Graduating High School is almost treated that way, almost. But mostly it is treated as freedom from bondage instead of an acceptance of new power, new responsibilities, a new identity as a fully fledged member of society. A big mistake that, at least IMHO.

  3. You might have a point there. In the anthropology classes I’ve taken, and books I’ve read. Most pre-modern cultures had some right of passage into adulthood. Even those that didn’t have a test/trial at least celebrated it with a festival.

    Now? one day it’s okay to dream, read comic books and play games. The next day the only thing that has changed is your status legally. There is no clear delineation, at least mentally and socially among your peers.

    It’s an interesting message we send our youth. One day it’s okay to play video games, and the next we are supposed to be “grown ups”. The big problem, we didn’t learn anything special that separates adult hood from childhood. I would go so far as to say many of us never even learn that it’s okay to be broken mentally and seek treatment for it. One day we are a child with emotional problems, the next we are an adult who doesn’t know to seek help.

    I would still say it’s not the books or video games that cause this though. They are pieces of lab equipment(from my childhood is a place to experiment analogy) to me. We leave our youth unsupervised in the lab of childhood hoping the interweb or TV will raise them for us. We don’t talk to them, explain right and wrong. Then when they develop problems we blame the TV that raised them, instead of the parents who left the TV on.

    Everyone is worried about the children, but it’s almost in the abstract. No one seems to be worried about them as distinct individuals with individual needs.

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