The Smothering Instinct

July 21st, 2006

       A few years back I bought a new refrigerator. It comes to us now and again that we must do this. The box was placed on the curb. Now, when I was a kid a refrigerator box was the holy grail, the object of great desire. That box sat there until the rain ruined it and the garbage men hauled it off.

       I refer you dear reader to this website: Philip Slater Yes, you need to read it to understand what follows.

       At the risk of being labeled a grumpy curmudgeon I have to agree with a great deal of what is said here. Fun is packaged. Stay in the lines. Child Culture is dying. News and government have everyone so afraid of the Other than kids are shuttled from place to place and never let out of the sight of an adult lest the Boogie Man that everyone knows is stalking every child in America will jump out and get them.

       Every effort is made to see that kids have no unsupervised outlets, none. Of course this generation takes security cameras for granted. When have they not had eyes on them?

       I have seen this among young role-players who will complain how a rule "suxs", but are shocked at the idea that you could change that rule. The wide eyed shock of the faithful looking at a heretic for the first time. The bearded old guy is crazy! RUN!

       This attitude is prevalent across the board. We are raising a generation that expects to be supervised and told what to do.

       I have to wonder if the "more violent" youth isn't a reaction to the supervision, not the other way around. It has been noted that when society represses natural urges, such as sex, the more deviant forms of those urges become more prevalent. Society represses a child's natural desire to run, scream, and act wild, within limits. The ability to play without the adults around every minute of the day is gone. Children become rebellious and violent. The deviant forms of run around the neighborhood rear their ugly heads. It does follow.

       Kids are kept indoors, like hothouse plants. They are fed a predigested mix of mental nutrients that have been washed for anything the adults see as dangerous, which has come to mean anything creative. Is it any wonder the kids are creative vegetables? Problem solving is discouraged in schools. Hell learning is discouraged. Those schools that remain exceptions are getting rare.

       Then we have the institutionalized version of this Smothering Instinct, Mothers Against Everything. Now mind you, you will not find a group by that name. But you will find them, "Mothers" lobbying for more control over what your kids do and see. Stop the violent video game, get rid of any toy, any behavior that my child might see that I don't want them too. They want government to do all the parenting for them so they can spend all their time lobbing government to do your parenting for you. People, parent your own kids. If you don't want them playing violent video games, don't let them be bought! Yes, you will have to be informed about video games. If you don't like that choice? Don't have kids. We do know what causes that now.

       However, don't tell me what me and my children can or cannot do. If these Smothering Hens would spend equal effort on the task of parenting they spend on the task of lobbying, we wouldn't have these problems.

       I fought this tooth and nail for my son. I encouraged him to read different books, to play in his way. My chief foe was, surprise, my Mother. The woman who taught me to learn has become the chief distributor of worry for Michigan. She was trying to keep him inside her very narrow lines, I worked to break the lines. I am glad to say I managed to raise a good heretic.

       "Heresy and apostasy are how progress is made. By thinking the same thoughts and believing the same beliefs we would all be sitting in trees and eating two day old hyena killed wildebeest. Someone had to think different thoughts and propose that "There is a better way." They would also be opposed by all "right thinking" people who would assert that "If stinking meat and cold trees where good enough for our Fathers they are good enough for us." But here we sit communicating around the world on instruments that any right-thinking churchman of the middle ages would call dark magic, and would be totally beyond the imagination of tree-sitting, stinking wildebeest eaters. Ergo the traditions of heresy and apostasy are old, well established, and in the long term, good for us." --The Tao of Phoenix



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