Do children make you sad?



  • Lately the sight of young children seems to fill me with sorrow. It's as if I know what's in store for them and experience it empathically all at one: the loss of innocence; the relentless popularity contest that we misname "school"; the abandoned dreams; the cruel realizations; and so on.



    I really, really like children and I guess I don't like adults all that much. Perhaps the thought that one inevitably turns into the other is the great tragedy of existence.



    Or maybe my own childhood was more miserable than I realize, and growing up is actually a pleasant and rewarding experience for others. Please, please tell me this is the case.



    What's funny about this is that I'm actually one of the lucky ones. I have a job and a family. I'm not incarcerated, paralyzed, or anything like that (as an incredible proportion of "civilized" society is). But when I look at a child, even the most genetically and socially gifted one, I can't help but think that "if that kid is lucky, then maybe - just maybe - he will get to experience the things I have."



    If my hypothetical child is not lucky (and most people are not), he will get to be cannon fodder for the "wars" that seem to define us: the war on drugs, the war on terror, the war on poverty, plus all of those nasty real wars. He will get to be a "mark" for the P.T. Barnums who run our society.



    We don't do a very good job of raising children, or of making the world a hospitable place for them. Why do we all tolerate the way toy manufacturers deceive them? (Has any toy ever been 1/2 as fun as the TV ad implied?) Are we really so stupid that we allow our children to be cruelly deceived in the name of "free speech" and "capitalism?"



    Why do we tolerate what our schools have become? We even celebrate it, viz. "Glee," "Mean Girls," and such. Have we really got so little societal self-control that this is inevitable?



    I don't know what I expect from this thread; for once, I don't really mind if I get contradicted or even flamed. I hope I am crazy.



  • You mean like... the fact that they exist? Does that make me sad?

    No more than anything else.

    Edit: Dr. Blakeyrat prescribes a dose of Louis Armstrong. I hear babies crying, I watch them grow. They'll learn much more than I'll ever know. And I think to myself: "what a wonderful world!"



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Edit: Dr. Blakeyrat prescribes a dose of Louis Armstrong. I hear babies crying, I watch them grow. They'll learn much more than I'll ever know. And I think to myself: "what a wonderful world!"
    Yeah, that song always makes me want to cry. I don't know why. I mean, it's obvious why We Have All the Time In the World does that - it even made James Bond cry - but there's just so much pathos in this one. Perhaps it's because of the old man looking back theme - you can hear in his voice that Armstrong was coming to the end of his life.



  • "be aware of these inalienable truths: Prices will rise, politicians will filander, and you, too, will get old, and when you do, you will fantasize about how back in your day prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and kids respected their elders." --Mary Schmidt

    I think a lot of what you said is true. Hell, let's compare the public outcry in 1990 over The Simpsons tainting our youth with the year 2000 and Family Guy. Family Guy makes The Simpsons in the 90s look like Leave it to Beaver. Now, I totally understand the "grown ups" who don't want their more adult TV getting censored becuase parents don't know how to supervise their kids' TV-watching habits. At the same time, I get parents don't want their kids to be too much influenced by idiotic TV. But parents need to tell their kids, "Hey, you just watched Mean Girls? Okay, let me let you in on something. You see that seemingly pretty girl on that movie? Yeah, well, here's a picture of her now. What's that on her foot, you say? That's an ankle bracelet. Yeah, she got fucked up in the head because of that movie. Don't let the same thing happen to you. Now, go outside and get some fresh air."

    But, in all seriousness, this has been the status quo for a long time. Even Happy Days had cliques and bullies. At first I saw today's shows like IT'S FRED for 3 seconds before looking away in disgust, and asked myself, "WTF are these kids watching?" but then I realized... wait, FRED is just as annoying and unwatchable as Urkel. iCarly is just this generation's Saved by the Bell. Yo Gabba Gabba is this year's Elephant Show or Eureka's Castle... or if you want to go back further, HR Pufnstuff. I do think we forget how screwed up kids were back in the old days.

    My 60 year old father complained about cliques and popularity contests in school when he was a kid, so this isn't anything new. It's part of growing up. I haven't watched any Glee, but from what my girlfriend says about it, they're really pushing the whole "tolerance" thing and trying to sway people away from the clique mentality, aren't they?



  • @RHuckster said:

    "be aware of these inalienable truths: Prices will rise, politicians will filander, and you, too, will get old, and when you do, you will fantasize about how back in your day prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and kids respected their elders." --Mary Schmidt

    I think a lot of what you said is true. Hell, let's compare the public outcry in 1990 over The Simpsons tainting our youth with the year 2000 and Family Guy. Family Guy makes The Simpsons in the 90s look like Leave it to Beaver. Now, I totally understand the "grown ups" who don't want their more adult TV getting censored becuase parents don't know how to supervise their kids' TV-watching habits. At the same time, I get parents don't want their kids to be too much influenced by idiotic TV. But parents need to tell their kids, "Hey, you just watched Mean Girls? Okay, let me let you in on something. You see that seemingly pretty girl on that movie? Yeah, well, here's a picture of her now. What's that on her foot, you say? That's an ankle bracelet. Yeah, she got fucked up in the head because of that movie. Don't let the same thing happen to you. Now, go outside and get some fresh air."

    But, in all seriousness, this has been the status quo for a long time. Even Happy Days had cliques and bullies. At first I saw today's shows like IT'S FRED for 3 seconds before looking away in disgust, and asked myself, "WTF are these kids watching?" but then I realized... wait, FRED is just as annoying and unwatchable as Urkel. iCarly is just this generation's Saved by the Bell. Yo Gabba Gabba is this year's Elephant Show or Eureka's Castle... or if you want to go back further, HR Pufnstuff. I do think we forget how screwed up kids were back in the old days.

    My 60 year old father complained about cliques and popularity contests in school when he was a kid, so this isn't anything new. It's part of growing up. I haven't watched any Glee, but from what my girlfriend says about it, they're really pushing the whole "tolerance" thing and trying to sway people away from the clique mentality, aren't they?

    I never claimed that things were any better in the time of H.R. Puffinstuff, or the time of Urkel, than they are today... that's basically the time period I grew up in, and I can vouch for the fact that it was a time of depravity and suffering.



    I can't really hold up Lindsay Lohan as a bad example to my kids. So far as I can tell, her sins consist of getting wasted (pretty understandable) and stealing jewelry (which I don't really believe she actually did). She had the misfortune to get caught in the right place at the right time, and she became a convenient scapegoat, and a convenient target for the P.T. Barnums of the Corrections Industry here in the Land Of The Free.



    I mentioned "Mean Girls" as an example, but it's not as if Lindsey Lohan developed the concept for "Mean Girls," or wrote the script.



    The real evil behind "Mean Girls" - which is actually an entertaining and revealing film, in many ways - is in the society it reflects: a society where the government takes a portion of my income, by force of arms, and appropriates it to building quasi-prisons where teens engage in a neogladiatorial popularity contest.



    Maybe the film deserves credit... after watching it, I turned to my life partner and asked, "is this really what high school was like?" It was an eye-opener for me, at least. I was in real prison for most of my high school years, and I actually thank God for that fact now. If even half of what is depicted in films and on television is true, then we are truly living in a suicidal society.



  • @intertravel said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    Edit: Dr. Blakeyrat prescribes a dose of Louis Armstrong. I hear babies crying, I watch them grow. They'll learn much more than I'll ever know. And I think to myself: "what a wonderful world!"
    Yeah, that song always makes me want to cry. I don't know why. I mean, it's obvious why We Have All the Time In the World does that - it even made James Bond cry - but there's just so much pathos in this one. Perhaps it's because of the old man looking back theme - you can hear in his voice that Armstrong was coming to the end of his life.

    I think that the copyright to that song must have expired around 1992 or so... because for 5-10 years after that just about every other TV commercial shown in North America used it. There is perhaps no surer sign that something has just entered the public domain than hearing it over and over again in situations where one is forced to listen.



  • @bridget99 said:

    I think that the copyright to that song must have expired around 1992 or so... because for 5-10 years after that just about every other TV commercial shown in North America used it. There is perhaps no surer sign that something has just entered the public domain than hearing it over and over again in situations where one is forced to listen.

    Can't be. The recording was 1969 or something - if that was PD, everything The Beatles ever did would be as well. According to Wikipedia it was brought back to prominence by being in Good Morning Vietnam, which was 1988. Maybe that explains the reuse in the early nineties.



  • @RHuckster said:

    Hell, let's compare the public outcry in 1990 over The Simpsons tainting our youth with the year 2000 and Family Guy. Family Guy makes The Simpsons in the 90s look like Leave it to Beaver.
     

    I remember in 1990 thinking that while Bart Simpson was a lousy role model for kids, he really wasn't any worse than Alvin, Simon and Theodore had been twenty-five years before.



  • @bridget99 said:

    @intertravel said:
    @blakeyrat said:
    Edit: Dr. Blakeyrat prescribes a dose of Louis Armstrong. I hear babies crying, I watch them grow. They'll learn much more than I'll ever know. And I think to myself: "what a wonderful world!"
    Yeah, that song always makes me want to cry. I don't know why. I mean, it's obvious why We Have All the Time In the World does that - it even made James Bond cry - but there's just so much pathos in this one. Perhaps it's because of the old man looking back theme - you can hear in his voice that Armstrong was coming to the end of his life.

    I think that the copyright to that song must have expired around 1992 or so... because for 5-10 years after that just about every other TV commercial shown in North America used it. There is perhaps no surer sign that something has just entered the public domain than hearing it over and over again in situations where one is forced to listen.

    I'm not sure how we can determine a "sure sign" that something has entered the public domain, since nothing has entered the public domain for a long time. Due to the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, nothing will enter the public domain between 1998 and 2018. Stuff from 1923 to 1964 either entered the public domain a long time ago (28 years after publication) or they will have to wait until 95 years after they were published (2018 to 2059). Nothing from 1964 to 1977 is public domain unless the publisher made an error in the copyright notice. Nothing from 1977 on will go into the public domain until long after we're all dead. This makes me way sadder than children do.



  • @bridget99 said:

    I never claimed that things were any better in the time of H.R. Puffinstuff, or the time of Urkel, than they are today... that's basically the time period I grew up in, and I can vouch for the fact that it was a time of depravity and suffering.



    I can't really hold up Lindsay Lohan as a bad example to my kids. So far as I can tell, her sins consist of getting wasted (pretty understandable) and stealing jewelry (which I don't really believe she actually did). She had the misfortune to get caught in the right place at the right time, and she became a convenient scapegoat, and a convenient target for the P.T. Barnums of the Corrections Industry here in the Land Of The Free.



    I mentioned "Mean Girls" as an example, but it's not as if Lindsey Lohan developed the concept for "Mean Girls," or wrote the script.



    The real evil behind "Mean Girls" - which is actually an entertaining and revealing film, in many ways - is in the society it reflects: a society where the government takes a portion of my income, by force of arms, and appropriates it to building quasi-prisons where teens engage in a neogladiatorial popularity contest.



    Maybe the film deserves credit... after watching it, I turned to my life partner and asked, "is this really what high school was like?" It was an eye-opener for me, at least. I was in real prison for most of my high school years, and I actually thank God for that fact now. If even half of what is depicted in films and on television is true, then we are truly living in a suicidal society.
     

    Woah, you're taking this more seriously than I was. Alright, if you compare your experience in school with your experience in the workplace, what do you find? Certainly, the workplace often has similar problems like cutthroat politics, love triangles, and just plain mean people. The question becomes, then, this: Do we try to counter what's going on in the schools to try to minimize the workplace situations which they seem to foster? OR does that in effect "shelter" people from what humanity is already like, and put the next generation in a disadvantage against jerks who will do that regardless of their schooling and upbringing?

    Some people are assholes because that's how they learned to stay on top in the school ladder, but I think a lot of people are assholes just because they are assholes. Should people therefore learn to put up with assholes in schools, or should we try to make everything in school a "happy" place where everyone is nice (or pretends to be) in the futile hope that they will stay nice after graduating and going into the real world?



  • @intertravel said:

    According to Wikipedia it was brought back to prominence by being in Good Morning Vietnam, which was 1988. Maybe that explains the reuse in the early nineties.

    Man... we were trying to have a civilized discussion, and you have to go and inject Robin Williams into the equation. That's just disrespectful to all the people who have been victimized by that man.

    I think that mention of Robin Williams officially ends the thread in favor of the OP. He's literally like 0.5 steps away from Stalin.



  • @bridget99 said:

    @intertravel said:
    According to Wikipedia it was brought back to prominence by being in Good Morning Vietnam, which was 1988. Maybe that explains the reuse in the early nineties.

    Man... we were trying to have a civilized discussion, and you have to go and inject Robin Williams into the equation. That's just disrespectful to all the people who have been victimized by that man.

    I think that mention of Robin Williams officially ends the thread in favor of the OP. He's literally like 0.5 steps away from Stalin.

    I never thought I'll find TRWTF at this point of this pointless thread.

    Seriously, what the fuck, dude ...?!



  • I was going to make a comment saying that sad is not the worse emmotion you can have when looking at children but decided against that.

    However I'm going to say this, whatever your childhood looked like is a ballpark compared to third world countries so...



  • Sounds to me more like you've got some sort of chemical imbalance going on. Hopefully it's temporary. Life is what you make of it, for the most part. Certainly in places like the US or Western Europe.
    @Candide said:

    We must cultivate our garden.



  • It sounds like you have some depression issues going on. 

    I grew up poor by US standards.  I experienced bullying in school.  I had a dysfunctional family upbringing.  So what?  I am an adult living more than 20 years after all of that stuff.  I have a 2 year old kid and every second I spend with him is joyous.  I see all the wonder and curiousity he has for the world and it makes me feel happy. 

    Try not focusing on all that's wrong in the world.  Try focusing on what's right in your world.

    "Happiness comes in small doses folks. It's a cigarette butt, or a chocolate chip cookie or a five second orgasm." - Denis Leary



  • I have two children myself, and I've just learned to accept that the world isn't perfect; so I try to offer my kids all the opportunities I can, but eventually, it's their life and what they make of it. Sure, commercial is deceiving, that's why I talk about them about the stuff they see in TV and what is exaggerated or plainly wrong. And all that sad stuff - war on terror, war on drugs etc. - people have experienced bad stuff all the time and still many of them had a happy life.



  • @bridget99 said:

    I think that the copyright to that song must have expired around 1992 or so... because for 5-10 years after that just about every other TV commercial shown in North America used it. There is perhaps no surer sign that something has just entered the public domain than hearing it over and over again in situations where one is forced to listen.

    Broadcast rights work differently. Basically, the network pays their fee and they can play whatever song they want however many times they want, because it's not considered redistribution. That's why relatively low-budget shows, like Beavis and Butthead, or Daria can have amazing soundtracks... but then the DVD release either has to have the music cut out, or they have to pay through the nose to license it for redistribution.

    So copyright really doesn't enter into it. It just got popular in the 3 buildings in New York that create every TV ad ever. (Also think about Smashmouth's "All Star" which was for a short period in the late 90s everywhere, and yet it had only been written a couple years previous... and that was redistribution, so those 3 buildings in New York were paying through the nose for it.)

    Oh wait, subject of the thread:

    By every measurable quantity, life is better now than it was 50 years ago, and better than it was 100 years ago, and better than it was 500 years ago, and better than it was 5000 years ago. That doesn't mean there's no room for improvement, of course, but Louis Armstrong is right: it's a goddamned wonderful world, and your kids will experience things you can't even imagine. Smile and enjoy it.


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