Category Archives: Rant

DUMB-ASS CHILDREN’S PRODUCTS, PART III: Look, Kids! Big, Big Dick!

image

So I’m at the pediatrician’s office on Friday, reading aloud to the boys from the book the 3 year old found in the rack…I was just going to throw this picture up on Facebook and leave it at that, but I couldn’t choose a caption.

image

Here are some thoughts on this literary jewel, in no particular order:

1. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! On SO many levels.

2. Anyone still wondering why Dick and Jane seem to have lost their popularity? I would think it might be hard to sell a book that a parent couldn’t read to their child. At least, not with a straight face. Followed by a BS explanation as to why mommy is alternately snorting and clutching her gut.

3. Is this the way the doctor’s office staff entertains itself? “Hey guys, come here, quick! She’s just about to get to the good part…” snicker, snicker.

4. The authors – really? That had to be intentional, right? Could someone have written this unknowingly? It’s not like the meaning came about recently.

dick (n.) Look up dick at Dictionary.com“fellow, lad, man,” 1550s, rhyming nickname for Rick, short for Richard, one of the commonest English names, it has long been a synonym for “fellow,” and so most of the slang senses are probably very old, but naturally hard to find in the surviving records. The meaning “penis” is attested from 1891 in Farmer’s slang dictionary (possibly British army slang). Meaning “detective” is recorded from 1908, perhaps as a shortened variant of detective.

5. The editor –  yes, I know the book is about a guy named “Dick”, ha ha, and I know the little ones won’t ‘get’ it. But c’mon, buddy, you have to draw the line somewhere. A ‘big, big” line, in some cases. Though generally not on a big, big…forget it…

6. I was having lunch with the family today, and I was thinking about what I wanted to write about this, and apparently I had a weird expression on my face, because my husband looked at me and said, “What?” And I wasn’t sure what to say, because I could hardly tell him, “Oh nothing, honey, I was just thinking about ‘big big dick.'”
—————————————

I know, it’s just too easy, right? So, go at it in the comments below…

—————————————

Dumb-Ass Children’s Products, Part I: Have a Heart, Thomas

DUMB-ASS CHILDREN’S PRODUCTS, Part II: WTF, Fisher-Price?

Advertisements

You, All Right?! I Learned It By Watching You!

You all right2

I just saw another “bully shaming” photo on Facebook. You know the photos I mean, where the kid is on the corner at a busy intersection holding a sign that says, “Shame on Me For Being a BULLY”  or “I was sent to school to get an education, not to be a BULLY. I was not raised THIS WAY!!!!!” (http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21007137790589/suspended-student-holds-sign-outside-school/)

And it made me mad. Not at the bully, though – at his parents. Now, let me make a couple of things clear before anyone gets up in arms:

  1. Bullying is NOT okay, the kid’s behavior was not acceptable, and it should not be allowed to continue.
  2. Whatever that kid did to land him on that street corner, there should certainly be an appropriate consequence.
  3. I am sympathetic to the bully’s victims, I hate that they were made to suffer, and believe that appropriate restitution should be made.

That being said…every time I see one of these photos, a piece of me wants to scream, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Bullying is “when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, through words or in other ways.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullying) Any parent inflicting this punishment upon their child, deliberately causing them emotional distress is, by this definition, a bully. 

There are so many things wrong with this form of “punishment”, it’s hard to even decide where to begin, so I’ll start with something that everyone knows:

Two ‘wrongs’ don’t make a ‘right’.

This is beyond basic. A bad behavior added to a bad behavior makes two bad behaviors. They do not cancel each other out, the original victims’s suffering is not negated, and his circumstance has not improved. Nothing has been resolved. You may think you are teaching him a lesson, but

“See how you like it!” is not an effective form of teaching.

This seems to be the most common justification, and it is often echoed repeatedly in the photo’s comments. “Well, I’m just teaching him a lesson.” What lesson, one may ask? “If he sees how bad it feels to be bullied, it  will prevent him from bullying in the future.”

I’m sorry, but if this were true, then how come child abusers often have a history of being abused as children? Didn’t they learn this ‘lesson’ when they were kids? How could some of these victims grow up to abuse someone else when they know how damaging it can be, how horrible it feels? And yet, statistics show us that enacting a behavior often perpetuates it, because

Children learn what they live.

Remember that anti-drug commercial in the eighties, where the dad walks in on his kid doing drugs?

After his father angrily asks him how he learned to use drugs, the son shouts, “You, all right?! I learned it by watching you!” The narrator then intones, “Parents who use drugs have children who use drugs.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_learned_it_by_watching_you!

Same concept here. This parent is telling their the child to “do as I say, not as I do”, but that’s not how it works. No matter how many times you tell your kid not to do something, if they see you do it,  what do you think is going to happen? Children learn from behavioral modeling. Congratulations, parent, you have just modeled bullying, hypocrisy and illogic. And speaking of hypocrisy…

Bullying is not okay “sometimes”.

This parent seems to be telling their child, “It’s okay for a parent to bully, but not a child, because parents know when and why and how much.”

What a crock.

By virtue of being a parent, we do not have the right to behave badly. We do not have the right to intentionally inflict emotional harm and bad feelings even, especially, on our own children. There is no reason that makes it okay to enact this kind of behavior. Even if the adult is claiming to be proving a point or teaching a lesson. Even when the parent thinks the penalty is equivalent to the crime, because

This punishment is not an “eye for an eye.”

If the argument is that he should exactly get what he doled out, then this consequence is way out of proportion to the original offense. Just as, if the boy threw a rock at another child, an “equal” consequence would be having one rock thrown at him, not getting stoned by the whole village. In this case, a parent is subjecting the child to a potentially unlimited amount of taunting and bullying, certainly exceeding the one-to-one ratio implied by the term “eye for an eye.”

Even in the bible, an “eye for an eye” is not literally interpreted as “the punishment shall be identical to the crime.

The term “eye for an eye”  is found in the Old Testament, and it has been interpreted, based on context, to mean that the value of the restitution should be based on the severity and nature of the crime,

…the Bible mandates a sophisticated five-part monetary form of compensation, consisting of payment for “Damages, Pain, Medical Expenses, Incapacitation, and Mental Anguish” — which underlies many modern legal codes…there is no form of punishment in the Torah that calls for the maiming of an offender… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_eye_for_an_eye

In other words, there are better ways to penalize a person than to inflict the original crime, first and foremost being to assure recompense for the victim.

“But,” you say, “the punishment should fit the crime.”

I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. The first step, of course, is to assure that whatever can be done has been done for the victim. But in addition…

Was the bully picking on someone less fortunate financially? How about making the kid trade in a month, 3 months, a year of TV/video time for community service or fundraising? Was the bullying related to bigotry or intolerance? Maybe spending his free time on a research project on the topic of his prejudice would enlighten him.

I would hope that the goal of the punishment would somehow encompass exposure to new information or new points of view, and an opportunity to think about how his actions had impacted another human being. But I’m a realistic person, sometimes an appropriate punishment isn’t feasible.

If you can’t figure out a good match, make him go bag groceries or rake leaves during his former “free” time, and donate the earnings to a cause. At least he’ll get the benefit of some exercise, and a charity will benefit financially, which is still better than wasting time standing on the side of the road.

However, once “bully-shaming” comes into play, and the punishment makes the bully a victim, anger and fear are going to supersede any useful thought processes or enlightenment that might otherwise have had the opportunity to take root. And speaking of sabotaging the future,

Do you want your kid to suffer for the rest of his life because of this?

Because the second you put him out on that curb, you’ve relinquished control of that decision. It’s pretty much guaranteed that someone will post your child’s photo to Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter or Instagram within minutes, and once out there, that’s something you can never undo.

Every college or job interviewer, every potential girlfriend/boyfriend, political opponent and future neighbor will be able to pull up this photo with a quick trip to Google FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. And isn’t that a little extreme, because…

Everyone makes mistakes.

We’re talking about a kid, here. Should a bad decision made as a child follow them around forever? Even underage criminals get the protection of sealed record once they become an adult. Keeping in mind my 3 points at the beginning of this rant, I believe that everyone deserves a second chance. And although I don’t believe that an “explanation” equates to an “excuse” for wrongdoings, maybe there’s something going on with this kid that’s crying out to be addressed! Every kid deserves a parent that wants to know:

Why did the bullying happen in the first place?

“Bully-shaming” not only is a harmful, misguided, ineffective punishment, but it also fails to address the underlying problem. Sociopaths aside, we are all capable of empathy; I seriously doubt the reason this kid was a bully was because he failed to understand that someone else would be hurt by his aggression.

Something is going on here; people don’t lash out for no reason. Social/peer pressure? Stress? Depression? Chemical imbalance? A behavioral disorder? A bad role model in his home?  Maybe something else entirely, but before making the kid a victim and blocking all paths to the answers, shouldn’t we at least ask these questions?

Punish the kid, because he should have known better. But address the reason that, even knowing better, he chose to do it anyway.

Because, really, I think we all want the same thing: to stop the bullying cycle, not create more victims.

————————————-

Why do you agree or disagree with this form of punishment?

Follow on Bloglovin

DIY Home Remedies: Just Don’t

Lately I’ve noticed a lot of articles and commercials on how to “Do It Yourself” to save money, or how to use “Home Remedies” instead of filling your body with drugs and dangerous chemicals. Some of these ideas seem feasible. Like, olive oil is great for dry skin, and eating fruit will keep you regular (or yogurt – thank you, Jamie Lee). Others seem questionable but worthy of a trial, like sucking on a lemon to assuage motion sickness. But some of them, effective or not, they just ain’t gonna happen.

For instance, the other day I read an article about ’20 DIY Home Health Remedies’, and number 5 was an Elmer’s Glue facial to remove dead skin and blackheads. And though I enjoyed letting school glue dry on my fingers and peeling it off like dead skin to freak out other kids when I was in grade school, I think I’ll pass on this one. It sounds about as enticing as ‘bonding’ to me. Don’t know what ‘bonding’ is? Allow me to enlighten you by way of this anecdote:

When I was in college, I took a job as an overnight camp counselor. My campers were 15 and 16, making us close enough in age that they didn’t even pretend to see me as an authority figure. This disregard led to all kinds of tomfoolery and shenanigans (I know, same thing, but they’re fun to say…also dirigible, horse-feathers, phlebotomist and rutabaga). Fun kids – I came back to the bunk one night after lights-out, and melted a flip-flop trying to suffocate a candle that had escaped their control. Good times.

One afternoon, I came upon a few of these lovelies sitting outside the cabin in a circle with strange smiles on their faces. When I asked them what they were doing, they replied, “Bonding!” *Giggle giggle*. I kept walking, aware that I was missing something, but they were sitting quietly (for them), and keeping out of trouble (for once), so I left them alone.  I related this strange encounter to a fellow counselor who was in the know and she filled me in. ‘Bonding’ is when a group of girls hangs out together after sprinkling Gold Bond Medicated Powder, the mentholated kind, on their vajayjays. Ever get that tingly feeling? Soooooo glad I asked.

Anyhow, though ‘bonding’ and Elmer’s facials may have their a-peel (see what I did there?), I think I’ll find my masks and happy tingles elsewhere. And while we’re at it, here’s a list of 8 other Bizarre Home Cures That Work from www.prevention.com that I have no intention of trying:

1. Vodka For Foot Odor

Why:  If you wash your feet in vodka it will dry them out and act like an antiseptic, eliminating fungus and bacteria that cause bad odors.

Why NOT: Ummm…alcohol abuse, a.k.a. wastefulness. There’s only one good use for vodka in my book, and that is taken orally in appropriate quantities. This, unfortunately for me, is none right now, as I have a milk parasite. And I probably will for another 5 months until his first birthday.

2. Ice Cream for Pizza Burns

Why:  There are only a few millimeters of tissue on the roof of your mouth, so it is highly sensitive to hot foods, like scalding pizza cheese. Ice cream will sooth it and cool it off.

Why NOT: First, der?! Putting something cold on a burn, genius! Why didn’t I think of that! Oh, wait, I did. I call it ‘ice’. Great invention. Can be found in most local freezers. Secondly, if I ever say, “Ouch! I burned myself on my pizza! I need ice cream,” just take it as my incredibly subtle (think nympho in a produce aisle) way of saying I’m off my diet. Which you probably should have figured out when I started scarfing the still-too-hot pizza. Because really, this excuse isn’t fooling anyone.

3. Listerine for Blisters

Why: Like the vodka on foot fungus, Listerine is both an antiseptic and a drying agent. When dabbed on a blister 3 times a day, it will help it dry out and heal faster.

Why NOT: Because, knowing me, I’ll start calling it ‘Blisterine’, and who wants to use a mouthwash called ‘Blisterine’? That’s fucking disgusting.

4. Licorice for Calluses and Corns

Why: The “estrogen-like” substances in licorice soften hard skin like corns and calluses when mixed with petroleum jelly and applied as a paste.

Why NOT: My dog has a foot-licking fetish. It’s not a sexual fetish, or a doggy turn-on, he just really seems to like the taste of feet. And as I’ve mentioned in past writings, dog-lick smells like fish rot, so as cute as it is, no, I don’t encourage this behavior. He does not need additional motivation to lick my feet; I’m not going to marinate them.

5. Duct Tape for Warts

Why: The tape has chemicals that will suffocate and kill the wart. It is 15% more effective than freezing them off, according to one study.

Why NOT: I watched MacGyver for 7 years. In that time, he managed to find nearly every use for duct tape imaginable. Not once in 139 episodes did he use it to remove a wart. Therefore, I call shenanigans!

6. Tennis Balls For Achy Feet

Why: If you roll the arches of your feet over the ball, it will relieve pain.

Why NOT: Have you ever tried rolling a tennis ball underfoot repeatedly in the presence of a frisky 75 pound black lab? Good luck with that.

7. Sugar for Hiccups

Why: It’s believed that sugar modifies the nerve muscles that instruct the diaphragm muscles to spasm.

Why NOT: Duuuuuuhhhhhh! Everyone knows, the correct way to get rid of hiccups is to gurgle a tablespoon of water and spin counter-clockwise 3 times while hopping on one foot, with one fingertip touching the top of your head, and the other hand fending off your dog who is on his hind legs, pouncing at you and trying to join in your dance.

8. Baking soda for Urinary Tract Infections

Why: Higher alkalinity makes it harder for bacteria to multiply, and drinking water mixed with the correct amount of baking soda makes the “bladder environment” more alkaline.

Why NOT: My vagina is not a swimming pool. I will not be dipping a test strip and balancing its alkalinity. Wouldn’t that be a fun trip to the pool supply store?

Me: Excuse me, I need some pH Up…?
Clerk: Sure! What size swimming pool?
Me: Uhhhh…

Yeah, I can wait for a trip to the doctor, thank you very much.

———————————

I’m not sure how this post went from “Don’t DIY” to “Here are some ‘ways not to encourage my dog’, and ‘things I won’t put in my hoo-hah’ “, but there ya have it. How about you? Would you try any of these?

———————————

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind I found this shit on the internet. That means that a) it might work, b) it might not work, or c) it might cause your skin turn green, your cookie to seal up, your dog to run away and your boss to fire you. In other words, don’t try it because you saw it here.