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Kids Today

They say it is a mental flaw to let things go “in one ear and out the other,” but at my age it is merely a question of deciding what fresh factoids to save to the hard drive in my skull. Mine is a large but, alas, limited hard drive, and at this point it is pretty much full. To save something new to it means I often have to delete something else from it. Often what I am deleting is not known to me until later when I search for it. At my age I don’t view this “in one ear thing” as a flaw but rather a necessity. I don’t forget a thing so much as I let it just “slip my mind.”

A common variation of this slippage is our deplorable habit of letting something slip “in one ear and out  the mouth” without first striking either a reflective surface or passing through a BS filter — preferably both. Once you realize that this “In-Ear-Out-Mouth Syndrome” (IEOMS) is an affliction of epidemic proportions in contemporary America you can spot it maiming and killing brain cells everywhere.

The latest notable example of IEOMS showed up a few nights ago at a meeting of troubled Americans that I, being troubled by Americans, often attend. A woman of middle years was — yet again — bemoaning the fact that she is just, well, nuts. Being nuts is, according to her, part of “Being all I can be!” Even though being crazy makes her unhappy, she seems as determined to hold onto her nuttiness as she is to “let go” of her girlish figure “and let God” bring on the burritos.

It is not that she is nuts that is her real problem. The problem is that she has a burning need to “share” her nutty insights. These reflections on her part often give way, as such reflections do, to the nostalgic and idealistic:

“Things were better when…,”
“If only I had what I had when….,”
“Don’t you all think I should have now what I had then…..?”

She thirsts for the past. It is her central theme. But last night she introduced a variation on her theme of yearning for the past. She yearned for the deep past — when she was a child, or, even better, an infant.

In the course of announcing this insight to the stupefied listeners counting the seconds until her 3 minutes were up, she emitted a pure bit of IEOMS. She said,

“I was feeling extra crazy so I took a walk down to the town beach where all the new babies were out and all the children were playing. And I saw, so very, very clearly, how lucky the babies and children were to be so simple, and so deeply, deeply sane.”

“How lucky the babies and children were to be so simple, and so deeply, deeply sane” is a safe statement to make in a Troubled Americans meeting. It was an IEOMS statement that was so incontestable — lest you be labeled a churl — that all the other females in the room (Those either presently incarcerated in mom-jail, recently paroled from mom-jail, or hoping to be soon condemned to mom-jail.) began to bob their heads in agreement like a gaggle of drinking birds over the glass.

I, of course, am a churl.

Hence my only thought on hearing this statement was

“In-Ear-Out-Mouth… and you really are crazy if you think that babies and children are sane for one second of the live long day. Infants and children are many things, sweetheart, but sane is not one of them.”

You, dear reader, think not? Really? Let’s review.

First and foremost, the unsanitary insanity of infants is strikingly obvious. Any adult human being who has to be spoon-fed, drools uncontrollably, and has forgotten the rudiments of bowel and bladder control had better have loving relatives, a sizable trust fund, a pit-bull lawyer, and Medicare lest he or she be put down like an old dog in this society.

It would seem that we put up with this shitty behavior from infants for more than two years simply on the grounds of “they cute.” Well, so are kittens and puppies, and the time and expense spent on their basic training is considerably less. Besides, if the kitten or puppy doesn’t work out you can just drop it off by the side of the road without much trouble. Try that with an infant and you are quickly brought to heel. It would seem that we are determined to protect levels of unsanitary insanity in some of our citizens more than others. How fair and equal is that?

After sanitation, there’s post-infancy sound pollution. Children, having had some time to practice at life, acquire small motor skills and a sailor’s vocabulary without losing the ability to screech like a disemboweled wombat at any instant and for no reason at all. As a result they present a more interesting buffet of brain disorders than the Golden Corral.

Napoleonic complexes and the belief that their backsides produce nothing but moonbeams are the most common childhood mental disorders. Children also have a distinct inability to understand any time lapse at all between desire and gratification. Add to these items the realization that we have, as a society, decided that no actions of children — no matter how awful — are to have any consequences other than a disappointed look and a twenty second “Time Out,” and you have the recipe for all these inmates to rule their asylum homes. Which they do. With predictable results.

In a simpler time, children’s misdeeds and psychotic outbursts (A frothing temper tantrum involving heel pounding and floor revolving on being denied a pack of gum was observed recently at a local supermarket.) were controlled simply by referencing the “father” who would “get home soon.” No longer. There is often no father that will get home  any time in the next decade. Even when a father is home he is often inhibited in his impulse to renovate the insane child by the knowledge that the child knows how to dial 911. And that the police will respond. With handcuffs and guns.

In making sure that the state guardians of children always respond to 911 calls with weapons, we have given the whip-hand to the nuts in our homes. It is as if an asylum provided an armed bodyguard to every sociopath admitted, and gave that bodyguard permission to shoot the doctors if they even looked cross-eyed at the sociopath currently drawing with an indelible Sharpie on the living room walls. Today the afflicted can look cross-eyed, stick out their tongues, and flip off the doctors as long as they have 911 on the speed dial of the cellular phones the doctors bought for them.

Whenever I observe young children shrieking, swearing, defecating and twitching in public while exhibiting other certifiable insanities I often long for a technological solution and training aid. But since I have been informed that cattle prods and radio-controlled dog shock collars have not been approved for humans under 180 pounds I despair.

I know that in our frantic efforts to get the control over our insane children back from the experts and government agencies to whom we’ve ceded it, we have often resorted to drugs, but surely some simple behavioral modification techniques can be employed to return them to sanity. Perhaps the “talking cure.”

Perhaps the use of the archaicword  “No” as a functional part of the conversations with our children would help. Upon reflection, however, that seems doomed to failure as long as the word “No” functions only to instill in our children the rudiments of a gambling addiction.

Think about your own children or children you have observed in the full grip of a “I-want-you-buy-me-crappy-thing-or-I-die-now” dementia. Do you ever see “No” used as a final answer? If you have then you have also seen winged monkeys thrashing about in the parent’s pants. Adults who tell demented children “No” are seen by those children as mere slot-machines:

“Can I have?” “No.”
“Can I have?” “No.”
“Can I have?” “No.”
“Can I have?” “No.”
“Can I have?” “No.”
“Can I have?” “No.”
“Can I have?” “No.”
“Can I have?” “Oh, all right.”

This is made even more of a certainty since children, being functionally insane, cannot have or hold jobs and hence have no cash whatsoever. The absence of money makes them persistent and tireless negotiators.

Another example of how demented children are can be seen in their fashion sense. Yes, from the time they learn to fasten their shoes’ little Velcro flaps (Another indulgence we’ve made so they don’t ever have to suffer learning how to tie a bowknot lest a life moment dent their “self-esteem.”), children left to dress themselves will emerge from their cells in outfits that would cold-cock a circus clown.

So unremittingly awful is a child’s concept of couture that mothers will go to extraordinary lengths to dissuade them from appearing outside the bedroom closet in certain combinations. Indeed, the dictum of “You are not going ANYWHERE dressed like that!” seems to be the only requirement still enforced by parents. Yet, every so often, one does slip past comatose parents to a school where the psychotic fashion plate promptly becomes the envy of his fellow inmates: “Whoa, stained underwear over the plaid pants and a penis gourd? Cool!” This is how trends are born.

Of course, by the teenage years, this ability to dress in a myriad of ways suggesting the increasing degeneration of the cerebral lobes has paired itself with the ability to attack parents in their sleep with edged weapons. Once this happens all restraint is lost. This accounts for many children — during the peak teen-aged years of unbridled psychopathic and sociopathic insanity — emerging from their million dollar homes and their personal SUVs dressed in styles synonymous with a feces-smeared Balkan refugee with multiple facial piercings and a ‘message’ t-shirt promising to fight for the right to party like demented schnauzers.

Any responsible adult appearing in any of our cities and towns with this “look” would immediately be reported to Homeland Security, surrounded by Navy SEALS locked and loaded, and find themselves on a one-way flight to Guantanamo. But for our children, it’s “Hey, they’re only kids. What can you do?”

Absent accepting long prison terms should the bodies be found, I guess the only thing we can do is increase our medications faster than we increase those of our children. It’s the American Way, and in America anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

In the meantime, as real adults who have survived our childhood and adolescence and been by our Higher Power, restored to sanity, we might want to think about letting loose talk about the “sanity and innocence” of our children stop passing “In-Ear-Out-Mouth.”

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ghostsniper July 24, 2017, 1:07 PM

    When did children start becoming god, when the gov’t said women have a constitutional right to kill them or when the gov’t invented the no-fault divorce or when the gov’t confiscatory levels of taxation and tyrannical regulations required wives to start working outside the home?

    Notice the common denominator.

  • rabbit tobacco July 24, 2017, 3:10 PM

    When Hitler came to power and ww2 came about, women went out in the world to work. Remember Rosie the riveter? Once they got a taste of it, they wanted their own stuff. The men had abdicated
    their authority to the wives, then the women abdicated to the school systems to raise their children. Your children were raised by in large by strangers from all over. No wonder parents don’t
    recognize their off-spring. Look at the hordes of young adults burning,looting and hating everything
    that might make sense. Exceptions do occur, but less and less.

  • Mike G. July 24, 2017, 4:44 PM

    I was raised and my children were raised with the board of education across the seat of learning if we misbehaved. I had a step daughter who I raised my voice at one time, tell me she was going to call CPS on me. I tossed her a quarter and told her to have her clothes packed before they showed up. That shut her right up.

  • SoylentGreen April 22, 2021, 7:32 AM

    Amen. Having raised three little hellions, I now laugh hysterically but silently every time I see their accursed years revisited upon them by my grandchildren.

  • Dirk April 22, 2021, 7:34 AM

    Ghost that Tube CD players is model is a California Audio Labs “Tempest”. Hope this is helpful. I have many CAL units, this is the only Tube CD player. Solid equipment.


  • PA Cat April 22, 2021, 7:43 AM

    “Any adult human being who has to be spoon-fed, drools uncontrollably, and has forgotten the rudiments of bowel and bladder control had better have loving relatives, a sizable trust fund, a pit-bull lawyer, and Medicare lest he or she be put down like an old dog in this society.”

    Nowadays we just elect them to the Presidency.
    (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

  • Anne April 22, 2021, 8:11 AM

    PA CAT–nice! 😉

    The daily confrontation that I have to make with this phenomenon occurs when I walk into the grocery store. Upon entering the grocery store, I am offered the opportunity to choose between two different sizes of shopping carts. I alway choose the smaller cart–the smaller size makes it almost impossible to place a child of any size into the same basket where I am expected to place my food. I refer to the larger carts where “children” up to the ages of 12 are allowed to sit with their filthy shoes and poop filled diapers. Somehow, the shopping cart originally intended for food, has evolved into a free ride for a lazy ten year old. The larger cart is also very convenient for the toddlers with diapers so full of sh*t that I have come to calling those large sized grocery carts exactly what they are–“sh*t carts”. I don’t care how many times some poor guy at the door has sprayed down the handle of the cart with disinfectant. It is the fact of the muddy shoes, and sh*tty diapers that makes it impossible for me to use the larger cart for my food! I have to ask myself why parents of today need the “convenience” of pushing their 10 year old around the store in a cart intended for food, as opposed to insisting that the kid walk upright on their own?

  • John Venlet April 22, 2021, 8:13 AM

    Even more distressing, is, the childhood insanity years you so aptly describe seem nowadays to last into the mid-30s for a good percentage of individuals.

  • EX-Californian Pete April 22, 2021, 8:20 AM

    To PA Cat-
    NAILED IT! Bravo. Well done!

    As time goes by, I’m increasingly thankful every day that I chose not to have kids.
    I always wondered which would be worse- having a kid that was just like me, or the exact opposite?
    Fortunately, we’ll never know the answer to that moot question.

  • Rob De Witt April 22, 2021, 9:22 AM


    A. All accurate

    B. If you think the feral children bullshit is annoying in Chico, you oughta live around Mexicans, who set their children free to shriek and pillage in almost any public setting. Laundromats are particularly unbearable. The difference between them and negroes is that the angry screaming comes from the mothers in that case.

    C. Why in God’s name – unless it’s an AA meeting – would you subject yourself to regular infusions of public craziness like the woman you describe?

  • James ONeil April 22, 2021, 9:57 AM

    Matthew 19:14, maybe suffer means what we think it means.

  • Fletcher Christian April 22, 2021, 10:25 AM


    My take on that is that anything that is possible sooner or later becomes compulsory. Up to maybe the late 50s it was simply impossible to run anything like a functional household while working. With the introduction of labour-saving devices, it became possible for a woman with kids to work and so…

  • Jack April 22, 2021, 10:33 AM

    I’m pretty fortunate. Married late, two daughters, had a blast parenting and it cost every extra nickel I had but they’re wonderful young women and I adore them. Both are single and I hope they stay that way.

    I married to a wonderful woman and our marriage is great. She has 3 young grandkids though and I detest them. There is a long story behind it all and I’ll refrain but I could happily live the rest of my life, never seeing them or hearing anything about them.

  • ghostsniper April 22, 2021, 12:32 PM

    Dirk: Nice unit. I looked it up. Seems highly collectible too. A keeper.

    Fletcher: Ah yes, the allure of the time saving devices that never were. How many times a day do you stand by the microwave waiting for it to finish warming your grub? We got a new washing machine recently that will NOT let you cut the cycle short. As soon as you activate the cycle it locks the lid. I am it’s prisoner til it’s done. Everything comes at a price and sometimes the cost is not apparent. One of the long range downsides of women in the work force is that marriages suffered, both ways, and the children were collateral damage.

    The fact of the matter is that the gov’t’s confiscatory level of taxation made it impossible for 1 person to provide for the entire family. A nationwide revolt should have occurred but instead the wives went to work, whether they wanted to or not, and the family lost out. Then the gov’t decided to “help out” by creating food for school kids, daycare assistance, equalization in the workplace, etc., very expensive tactics that were again passed onto the workers with a net result that even though more people were working less money was made, and the gov’t made out like the bandit it is. And the kids were largely abandoned. Now those kids, that never grew up properly, are roaming the streets causing havoc and once again the gov’t is finding very costly solutions. Do you see the cycle yet? The gov’t only has that which it steals from others. It has, nor can create, anything for itself. To exist it must steal.

  • julie April 22, 2021, 7:03 PM

    Re. the insanity of children, can confirm. My two are wonderfully, delightfully nuts, but thank heaven they manage to channel it mostly into creativity and not into bad behavior. Also, as parents we’ve been blessed to realize that somehow our kids are better-hearted than we were. Of course, they haven’t hit their teens yet, so…

    On the plus side, neither of them have ridden in a shopping cart since they were about four, when they both were too big to fit the baby seats.

    My girl, a couple years ago. She got the hat in Williams, Arizona.

  • Redgrandma April 23, 2021, 5:47 AM

    A good friend used to vocally rail against damn yuppies with their misbehaving “pet kids” out to dinner at 9 pm in a clearly adult restaurant. It has only gotten worse over the years. My late husband told the story that the first time he had ever eaten in a restaurant he was 12 years old and his family was on a cross country road trip in 1943 with no other option.

  • John Venlet April 23, 2021, 6:19 AM

    Julie, I think your pen stroke drawing of your girl is fantastic! My eye is naturally drawn to etchings and pen and ink works. I think it is because the paucity of lines in these type of works are filled out, so to speak, by images in my mind making the paucity of the lines rich. Thanks for posting the link.

  • julie April 23, 2021, 8:36 AM

    Thanks, John! I have a couple versions where I’ve added color, but in truth I’m not very happy with them. They lack a punch, somehow. The plain lines on this one are my favorite version.