But what about the Assholes?

It cracks
me up
whenever I hear somebody say,
"How am I supposed to explain homosexuality to my kids?"
I don't know. Why aren't you more worried
about trying to explain assholes
to your kids?
I've explained homosexuality to my kids and they got it pretty
easily. I even explained transgendered
to my kids, and while trickier they seemed to grasp
it without much of an issue
(And I'm not even good at it. Picture
me with a five year old saying, "Well, now, some people are born 
looking like Dora, but they feel like Diego. Or, 
they're dressed like Batman on the outside, but inside they're Catwoman.")

 But have you ever tried explaining assholes to your kids?
Some kids are already assholes,
and I can't ever explain
to my kids why some other kids are already
"I really don't know why that kid licked
his finger
and wiped
it on your face, honey. His parents are probably
assholes too."
But that doesn't satisfy my kids. They want a real answer.

aren't people concerned about practicing their religious
against assholes? Like, if there's one thing all religions agree on,
it's that you shouldn't be an asshole. The 10 commandments
are basically telling you all the ways you should behave
so that you won't be an asshole. The sermon
on the mount
is talking about how the non-assholes are the
children of God. So where are all the people refusing
to make wedding cakes for assholes? And being an asshole
is a choice. So those people are purposefully going against
others' religion and those people are not even
worried about it.

I don't get it.


  1. Ha! Yeah, along those lines, am near wit's end with 'tone policing' - wherein attention is diverted, deflected, and shifted from the meat/substance of the issue to more superficial matters, like ‘the way’ it was said (and/or what words were used in saying it). All for 'civility' and elevated discourse, but the actions, behaviors, belief systems, and psychological conditioning are often much more obscene than any pejorative or invective said in reference to them when highlighting said assholishness. As it were, the finger pointing at the moon is not the bigoted, homophobic, hateful moon...and, in this case, it just happens to be the middle finger.

    And my favorite is the, "I never got [insert affectionate/compassionate gesture] as a kid, and look how I turned out!" What a testament to and ringing endorsement of that method! It's as if they're tacitly admitting they hated what happened to them (and can't admit they never full learned how to integrate, cope with, and/or resolve it), but are incapable of following that path all the way to its logical end. Throw in a little bit of the Senior Class syndrome/"I got my licks, Jack. So fuck you, too!"/pulling up the ladder behind themselves, and you've got a recipe for an asshole.


  2. Yeah, really good points. It's funny because in my job, I work primarily with the "forensic" population (i.e. criminals) and one of the things they're always bitching about is how the believe children these days aren't spanked enough. They argue "When I misbehaved, I was spanked" as if it worked for them, seeing as how they've all done serious time....I mean, my views on spanking are nuanced (I don't do it, but I'm not automatically opposed to it, ), but it seemed like a decent example of what you were talking about.

  3. 100%. And it would be one thing if they took those difficult and violent experiences/upbringings, mined deep and multifaceted revelations from them, and leveraged it into some great lesson and verbal and/or nonverbal teaching - hell, even go the Zen/Inspector Clouseau route and inhabit the role of manservant Kato who "attacks" the "student" when they least suspect it to help them work on and develop total presence and spontaneity - but if one of their main takeaways is, "kids should be beaten more"...yeah, not the greatest words of hard won wisdom.

    Yes, people should develop a resilience, and, yes, often times growing stronger requires facing disappointments, hardships, trials, stresses, and periodic (hopefully not prolonged) disturbances (while keeping in mind that "slack" essay from awhile back) - but our response needn’t be a derisive/dismissive “life sucks!” and instead something more along the lines of, “yes, life is difficult, but it’s also beautiful, mysterious, awe-inspiring, and playful - what can I do to help you through these particularly difficult times?” This too shall pass; all flows, nothing stays; etc. etc. etc... Ultimately, as someone said, “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

  4. And, right on cue:

    "The more children are spanked, the more likely they are to defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties, according to a new meta-analysis of 50 years of research on spanking."


    1. A good case study would be to compare my older brother and myself. My older brother was spanked. I wasn't. My brother is much more anxious, has high blood pressed, more emotional dis-regulation and other things going on. Not that I'm perfect or anything, but I think his neuroses are much more pronounced. He and his wife also spanked their children and I don't think their children are any more well behaved than my children, and one of my children is a step child who hasn't seen his bio-father since he was three years old.

      In defense of my brother, though, he is much more "successful" than I am in the myriad of ways our culture tends to measure such a thing. And he's very "type A" where I'm just, "whatever."

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Good lord, sounds like our older brothers are even on the same page...minus the physical/corporal punishment and instead has channeled his energies to a more obsessive drive. Same relational dynamics and everything.


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