Every few years some creatively bereft Hollywood studio remakes the same movie. You know the one, some spoiled child and an idiot adult switch bodies and the hilarity ensues. Well, after some deep thought, and maybe a little too much whiskey, I think I’ve diagnosed the root of our current social/governmental clusterfuck. Somehow this whole damn country is stuck in a particularly poorly written version of Freaky Friday. And no, I’m not kidding. Hear me out…
News flash: Adults and children are NOT the same thing. They have different needs. Let’s review. Adult human beings are independent creatures inhabiting the top of the food chain. They’re responsible for themselves and are capable of caring for others. They have built the most advanced culture and technologies yet seen in this solar system. Children, on the other hand, need care and nurturing. They cannot provide for themselves. They need guidance, instruction, and fairly constant supervision in order to become healthy, living adults. Put a group of 40 year olds in the middle of a city, or the jungle for that matter, and they probably survive. A group of toddlers won’t. This really isn’t that damn complicated. So how the FUCK did we manage to get it literally backwards?
I know that nobody wants to hear it, and I know that you can get into some fairly controversial water real quickly but the fact remains that we, as a culture, take shitty care of our children. Many are dumped at child care centers soon after birth. They go to crappy, underfunded schools and come home to an empty house. They spend hundreds of unsupervised hours in front of a video screen of some kind. Current ‘child-rearing theory’ preaches an overly relaxed view of discipline that can turn any family restaurant into the Lord of the Flies. Dad’s no longer seem to have the authority to lay down the law. Hell, one out of three kids have no relationship with a father at all. I mean come on, one out of four kids in this country goes to bed hungry. We treat our kids as small adults, and they aren’t.
So how do we treat adults? Have you seen the news lately? Adults are constantly supervised. We have 10,000 rules. There are police and security cameras everywhere. The government is monitoring our every move for our own protection. It tells me how much soda I should drink and how much fast food is okay. It tells me when and where I can take my car and my gun. Also what I can smoke, how much I can drink, and what I can do in my bedroom. It lets me know how much of the results of my labor I can keep. It regulates every transaction in my life. For my own good, of course. Because at the the tender age of 50 I can’t be trusted to care for myself, protect myself, or set my own limits.
Seriously, think about it. The average eight year old has a phone and parents who have no idea who he calls but the NSA tracks every one of my calls. They also keep an eye of my Facebook posts while some twelve year girl flirts with child molesters under her parent’s roof. Any suburban or urban street is full of wandering packs of kids every afternoon but I have to be searched and watched in order to go to a ballgame or concert. Who exactly is being treated as an adult here?
Will this stupid movie ever end? When do American adults regain the right to protect and supervise themselves? And when will they start to raise their own children? Because I can actually take care of myself and live with the consequences of my decisions but your ten year old needs some fucking attention and the word ‘NO’ in his life. How do we get the lame special effects talisman to switch us back? Because I think that nothing else is going to get better until we figure out age appropriate responsibility. Perhaps we’ve found the necessary prerequisite to Saor Alba, Vaya con Dios and Viva la Revolucion.