Now that I have a kid, I consider it part of my job to weed through the bullshit I was taught as a child, y'know, the indians were savages, Vietnam was a tie, you can be anything you want to be bullshit. I don't want Holden to get older and come back to me and say, "WTF, Dad?! Why did you let me waste sixteen years of my life trying to be a helmet model when you knew I had a flat head?"
There are a lot of lies out there, universally accepted truths that get passed down and passed down, myths perpetuated out of tradition, and gross inaccuracies we hold onto as folklore or because they make really nice posters.
So for this next series, I'd like to look at some of the crap they sold me. Let's start with
Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
Yeah, it's called Trickle Down Economics. Ain't nobody sharing shit with you, kid. At least nothing that's of value. Last I checked, about 95% of this country's wealth is consolidated into the hands of, like, seven people. So Lula might share her tinker toys when you're six, but when you grow up, you will have to fight and scrap for everything you get. Nobody is giving you a damn thing. You've got to work hard to get it. And when you get it, hold onto it, because people will try to steal it from you.
Good luck with that. Nobody plays fair. Not politicians. Not professionally athletes. Not husbands and wives. That "it's not whether you win or lose" crap is a one-way ticket to palookaville. I'm not saying be a dick. I believe strongly in adhering to rules and extending common courtesies. But when you start expecting others to do the same, you are in for a fuckload of hurt.
Unless they sleep with your wife.
- Put things back where you found them
This is actually very good advice.
- Don't take things that aren't yours
If you didn't take things that weren't yours, you'd never have anything.
- Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody
In theory. I mean, it's nice to do, say if you accidentally spill hot coffee on somebody. More often than not, however, you are going to mean to hurt people. Because they will have hurt you. It would be much simpler if we could all sit down and play nice, have the same goal in mind. But we don't. And we never will.
- Wash your hands before you eat
Another one that's actually very good advice. Bacteria is everywhere.
Not in California, where we have a water shortage. Which makes no fucking sense. Like MLK Jr. said, "Why on a planet composed of 2/3rds water are we paying water bills?" I am paraphrasing. We can split a fucking atom but can't figure out how to desalinate the ocean? Of course we know how. But capitalism exists by selling snow to Eskimos.
- Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you
No. They are not. You eat warm cookies and drink milk and you will get fat. Cookies are loaded with sugar and carbohydrates, a caloric bomb, and even milk, which in many ways is the perfect food, at least in terms of nutrients and shit, is packed with lactose (milk sugar), and will go straight to your thighs. Warm cookies and milk are the very opposite of "good for you." They may taste good, provide comfort like a hug, but they will only perpetuate a viscous cycle, where you ingest milk and cookies to make you feel better about being a fat ass, which in turn is what is making you a fat ass.
- Live a balanced life -- learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some
Six of those seven range from ineffectual to a colossal waste of time. Unless you are a professional ballerina, spending "some time every day" dancing means you are a lonely drunk girl hanging out at clubs, exposing yourself to STDs. Nobody wants to hear you sing. Drawing and painting can be a hobby, but don't try to make a living at it. And thinking? Nothing will get you down the drain faster. Thinking cannot solve problems. All it can do is make you aware of the problems that you can't think your way out of. Just work, don't think, and when you're girlfriend says you don't play enough, give her $5 and send her to the park with a friend.
- Take a nap every afternoon
If you are living in Spain, maybe. When the fuck can you take a nap otherwise? If you are unemployed or a drunk, you can nap. And on weekends, sometimes. When your girlfriend is at the park.
- When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together
When was the last time you saw grown ass people holding hands and sticking together? Couples do that, early on. Before they start fucking. Then they don't do much hand holding, even less "sticking together." But the watching out for traffic is good advice.
- Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that
What the fuck are they even talking about? First of all, we do know why; it's called botany. You want to "wonder" about something? How about how people aren't running out of their houses, screaming down the street every day. $150 million every day for a war overseas. Economy in the shitter. Beds--fucking beds--being sold for 6 million, while families huddle under the freeway underpass, without health insurance because fucktards keep touting tort reform and parroting douches like Glenn Beck. A billion dollars is 1,000 million. There are several billionaires, and then there is the guy working three jobs and having his house foreclosed. Creams rises to the top, sure. So does the scum. But we are not like plants. We have the ability to do more, better, to do right. And we don't. So the only fucking lesson you need to learn from Styrofoam cups is that the more Styrofoam cups we make and throw away, the faster this planet shrivels up and we die and a new and better-equipped life-form takes our place. Maybe they can do better.
- Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup -- they all die. So do we.
Holy Shit. One of these things is not like the other. Yeah, we all die, but you might not want to remind little Timmy that his grandma he loves so much and just brought to "Grandparents' Day" has about six weeks left.
- And then remember the Dick and Jane books and the first word you learned -- the biggest word of all -- LOOK
Overlooking the insensitivity toward the blind in our community, this statement is somewhat incomplete. "Look" at what? The butterflies and stars? For how long? And while you are star/butterfly gazing, others are busy actually doing shit succeeding, stockpiling stuff they won't share with you, and you are one step closer to joining the goldfish, hamsters, and mice.