It’s easy sometimes to forget that I’m nearly 50. That there are children alive today who have never known the trials and tribulations involved in taking candid photos of your birthday or vacation that I had to endure in my youth. Things like having to buy a camera and then having to buy film and buying flashcubes and then not being able to see how the pictures turned out until after having paid to have them developed. Kids like these kids:
My first camera that I actually owned myself was a Kodak Pocket Instamatic 10 first introduced in 1972. I doubt I got one that year as I was 5 years old, but I somehow ended up with one eventually. Not sure if it was new or a hand-me-down from a relative, but it was my first introduction to taking pictures. Back in 1972 it was “less than $28”, which works out to about $160 today. It was a pretty easy camera to use in part because there wasn’t a lot of options to fiddle with. The biggest choice was whether or not to use a flashbulb and the second biggest was whether or not to use the flashbulb extender thingy to avoid giving your subjects red eye.
Things like loading the film was ridiculously easy as you can see here:
Bonus points for the commercial featuring Dick Van Dyke.
I think the most amazing thing about the 110 format is that the film stock is still being produced and some companies are still making cameras that use it. Apparently the flaws of the format that were an annoyance back in the day are now sought out by artists looking to add character to their photographs.
Anyway, watching the kids trying to use an older 35mm camera had me feeling old and crotchety so I thought I’d share the pain.
Alex Stone said he and his classmates were told in class to write a few sentences about themselves, and a “status” as if it was a Facebook page.
Stone said in his “status” he wrote a fictional story that involved the words “gun” and “take care of business.”
“I killed my neighbor’s pet dinosaur, and, then, in the next status I said I bought the gun to take care of the business,” Stone said.
I wouldn’t make it through high school these days if this is the norm. As a freshman I once wrote a short story about an unnamed student who might have shot himself in the head in the boy’s bathroom (the ending is somewhat vague) one afternoon because I was bored. It wasn’t even part of an assignment, I just was struck with inspiration and wrote it. Showed it to a couple of friends and it got handed off to a teacher.
Do you know what that teacher did? She encouraged me to submit it along with a couple of other creative efforts I had done to the school district’s creative writing contest. I won a bronze medal for that bit and a gold one for a short reimagining of the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
In my version of the tale, Goldilocks stumbles upon the cabin of the Three U.S. Government workers where she tries all three computer terminals until she finds one that’s “just right” and ends up launching our nuclear payload at Russia setting off WWIII. The story ends with one of the government workers shooting her in the head just as the missiles scream out of their silos. The moral of the story was: “Just because a terminal is just right, doesn’t mean it’s just right. It could be terminal.”
Yeah, I thought that was clever at the ripe old age of 14.
Anyway, I can only imagine the trouble I’d be in if I were in high school and wrote something like that today. It’s bad enough he was suspended for a week, but did he really have to be arrested too?
According to police, when Stone was asked by school officials about the comment written on the assignment, he said it was a joke.
Summerville police officials say Stone was disruptive and was told that he was being detained for disturbing schools.
Stone was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. District officials say the student has been suspended.
You can be arrested for being disruptive at school? Holy shit! Had this been the practice back in the day I’d have a criminal record a mile long now. Probably be on death row for multiple counts of brutal character assassination* too!
*Get it? Character assassination? Because I killed off a couple of fictional characters? Ha ha! I kill myself!
I should really stop following TheFineBros‘ YouTube channel. All it ever does is remind me how old and decrepit I’ve become.
Kids these days don’t know how good they got it with their “em-pee-three” doohickeys and their smartass phones. Why in MY day we had to get up to change the damned channel on the TV and we had only three major networks and a couple of minor UHF channels to choose from!
I’ve already shared this one on Google+ so if you’ve already seen it there I apologize for the repetition, but I know my mother would get a kick out of this so I’m sharing it here too.
I’m old enough now that snot nosed kids can make me feel old pretty easily. Especially when it comes to stuff I grew up with. Stuff like dealing with a rotary phone:
Even though touch tone phones were introduced well before I was born, it took awhile before they were ubiquitous. Growing up we mostly had touch tone phones in the house, but we had a couple of the old rotary ones around too. I don’t recall when I learned how to use one though I’m sure I had to be taught. These days I don’t even have a landline anymore. It’s just an added expense that doesn’t make much sense when I carry my cellphone with me everywhere. That doesn’t stop this video from making me feel really old.
Herbert and Catherine Schaible belong to a fundamentalist Christian church that believes in faith healing. They lost their 8-month-old son, Brandon, last week after he suffered from diarrhea and breathing problems for at least a week, and stopped eating.
Now I’ve written about dumbshit parents who opted to try and use prayer to heal deathly ill children many times over the years, but this case is different.
This isn’t the first time they’ve tried this:
Four years ago, another son died from bacterial pneumonia.
[…] A jury convicted the Schaibles of involuntary manslaughter in the January 2009 death of their 2-year-old son, Kent. The boy’s symptoms had included coughing, congestion, crankiness and a loss of appetite. His parents said he was eating and drinking until the last day, and they had thought he was getting better.
The Schaibles were sentenced to 10 years’ probation.
You’d think that after they killed their first son by appealing to a God, that either doesn’t care or doesn’t exist, they’d have learned their lesson and made sure to not make that mistake again.
At a hearing Monday, a judge told the couple they had violated the terms of their probation, noting the Schaibles had told investigators that they prayed to God to make Brandon well instead of seeking medical attention.
“You did that once, and the consequences were tragic,” Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
I’d find the attempted defense of these two idiots by their lawyer hilarious if it weren’t for the fact that they’ve killed two kids so far:
“There are way more questions than answers at this point. We haven’t seen the autopsy report. We don’t know the cause of death of this child,” Jayaraman told The Associated Press. “What we do know is Mr. and Mrs. Schaible are distraught, they are grieving, they are tremendously sad about the loss of their most recent baby.”
“Nobody argues that these aren’t very loving, nurturing parents,” she said Tuesday. “Whether their religion had anything to do with the death of their baby, we don’t know.”
The hell we don’t. They made it pretty clear that they wasted days praying instead of seeking medical attention. Their church has a sermon on its website called “Healing — From God or Medicine?” which states that it is a “definite sin to trust in medical help and pills”. That sounds like their religion being involved to me.
These morons violated the terms of their probation and are probably headed to jail with an entirely new manslaughter charge tacked on to boot. Their seven other children are currently in foster care which is probably for the best considering the judge thinks these two are “a danger to their children — not to the community, but to their own children.” I couldn’t agree more.
Say you’ve got a five-year-old son who isn’t conforming to traditional gender roles. Specifically, he likes to wear skirts and dresses instead of the customary pants most little boys wear. Do you try to convince him to dress traditionally or do you allow him to cross gender lines in his clothing choices?
The pair used to live in the well-to-do borough of Kreuzberg in cosmopolitan Berlin, where there was little or no reaction to Mr Pickert’s son wearing dresses.
The issue would simply spark debate among parents, he said, over whether allowing it was ‘wise or ridiculous’. For open-minded Mr Pickert, it was never even a question.
He would sometimes dress in a skirt or dress himself, during mild weather.
When they moved to a ‘very traditional, very religious’ little town, however, Mr Pickert’s son became too embarrassed to wear women’s clothing to nursery school – and asked his father if he would dress up again.
‘I didn’t want to talk my son into not wearing dresses and skirts,’ said Mr Pickert. ‘I had only one option left: To broaden my shoulders for my little buddy and dress in a skirt myself.
‘After all, you can’t expect a child at pre-school age to have the same ability to assert themselves as an adult completely without role model. And so I became that role model.’
Personally, I think Mr. Pickert is a great Dad for encouraging his son to be who he wants to be, but it appears I may be in the minority judging from the reaction in the comments around the web.
From the Daily Mail comment section itself we get the following:
What?? This is sick! They both need to see a doctor and the child to see a psychologist.
– Rob, England, 30/8/2012 13:51
what .hes a little boy not a girl he should not wear girls clothes hes 5 for gods sake why is the father encouraging this its sick.
– bee, plymouth england, 30/8/2012 16:24
OMG what is the world coming to with these people who seek to feminize their male children? Seriously, the child should be removed from the home.
– Action Bob, The Universe, 30/8/2012 16:01
And then from the comments on the FARK for this article which had a HERO tag associated with it:
Hero tag? Try Dumbass tag.
A good father wouldn’t let his five year old son dress like a girl at school or anywhere else.
Sigh, what a failure of a parent. Your not helping your making it worse. Do you fix a leaking sink by saying, it isn’t the sink’s fault but it should be the kitchen that needs to accept the water better.
I was bit odd as a kid myself and I took a fair amount of shit for it. No, I didn’t run around in dresses, but I was the 80 pound weakling who got beat up on a regular basis and my biological father died when I was 5 so I tended to be a little off-kilter from those two things just to start with. I was also ADHD and didn’t know it and that alone is enough to make you feel like an outsider who doesn’t really fit in and I eventually got to the point where I embraced my weirdness and just accepted that I wasn’t quite normal. I suppose that’s why my initial reaction to this story was to cheer the dad for supporting his kid instead of trying to force him to be “normal.”
I honestly don’t understand what the big deal is. The kid is five years old. It’s not clear he even has a concept of gender roles let alone why some folks would expect him to conform to them. It’s similar to the uproar over the J. Crew catalog that had a VP painting her son’s toenails in it. Holy fuck, the Far Right had a fit over that with FOX’s own Dr. Keith Asshole Ablow declaring the kid would need therapy in a few years to deal with the horror of his own mother forcing him to paint his toenails a bright pink color.
I’ve said before, including in that entry about the J. Crew catalog, that I’ve been known to paint my own toenails from time to time despite being an adult heterosexual male. It gets worse than that though. Back when I was a teenager I had a Unicorn phase that would rival any teen girl’s obsession with the fantasy creatures. I collected statues, had posters, the whole shebang. As an adult I’m not as into them anymore (though my obsession over all things otter is still as strong as ever), but the years that I was into them doesn’t seem to have affected my manliness all that much. Of course you could argue that I’m not exactly a man’s man to begin with, but it’s not like macho men have never worn dresses. Again in that J. Crew entry I mention the fact that at one point it was common for kids of both genders to wear dresses up until age 7 including such notable examples as Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Roosevelt before he went on to become President of the United States
Seriously, what’s the worst that could happen? He turns out to be gay? That could happen regardless of whether he conforms to gender roles. Just look at the number of gay-hating Republicans putting on a manly front only to turn out to be gayer than the Village People when people aren’t looking. He could end up a transvestite? A number of men have managed to be quite successful while wearing women’s clothing. Perhaps he’ll grow up and want a sex-change operation. Again, that’s just a likely to happen regardless of what clothes he starts off in.
He might be more comfortable during hot summer days? Oh the horror! If only people would put so much energy into worrying about things that actually matter like whether he’s getting a decent education or whether the planet will be habitable by the time he grows up.
So the kid is a little different. Let him be different. We don’t all need to be the same.
The highest perfection of politeness is only a beautiful edifice, built, from the base to the dome, of graceful and gilded forms of charitable and unselfish lying.
– Mark Twain, On the Decay of the Art of Lying speech, 1880
OK, no complaints with the first two. I try especially to do this when dealing with service folks who don’t often get a lot of appreciation such as waitresses, checkout workers, janitorial staff, etc.. Not only is it good manners, but it often makes their day a little better than it otherwise would be.
Manner #3Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency. They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking.
This one is more situational. I can recall being a kid and being ignored for irritatingly long periods of time while trying to obey this rule. This was especially true when time was of the essence but it wasn’t an emergency per se (that ice cream truck isn’t going to be around forever). There are polite ways to interrupt that can be used in such a situation…
If you do need to get somebody’s attention right away, the phrase “excuse me” is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation.
Manners are important even if you are a bad guy.
… such as the above example. Honestly, if there’s an emergency I wouldn’t expect anyone — child or adult — to stand around saying “excuse me” until someone paid attention to them. I’d expect a bit of yelling about it being an emergency. Because that’s what I’d do. In my case I’d probably add in a “STFU for a second as this is an emergency” just to make the point clear.
When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It can save you from many hours of grief later.
This one is reasonable enough, though it relies on the kid being smart enough to have doubts about doing something. There’s a lot of shit I did as a kid that I never had any doubts about that I probably should have.
Manner #6The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults.
My first reaction to this is a hearty “Fuck you, Dr. David Lowry who wrote this article.” To me you’re telling kids that their opinions on things don’t matter unless they’re positive opinions. Way to make them into second class human beings. Some of the more interesting conversations I’ve had were with kids who wanted to discuss what they liked and didn’t like and why.
Manner #7Do not comment on other people’s physical characteristics unless, of course, it’s to compliment them, which is always welcome.
I think this is dependent on the comment in question. If the child is just being cruel then, yeah, it’s probably best they STFU. If the child is ignorant or confused then it’s a different issue. Again, this smacks of making them into second class people in my mind.
Manner #8When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.
What if how you are is a negative opinion, which you told kids in #6 the world isn’t interested in hearing because they’re just a stupid kid? Should they lie and say they’re just hunky dory or should they STFU and break this rule in the process?
When you have spent time at your friend’s house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you over and for the good time you had.
I can recall growing up that I didn’t do this unless the parents were somehow involved in what we kids were doing. If they fed us or were throwing a party, then yeah, we’d often thank them for the hospitality. But if we were just playing in the backyard and didn’t interact with the parents at all then generally I didn’t make it a point to thank them.
Manner #10Knock on closed doors — and wait to see if there’s a response — before entering.
Forget kids, there are adults who need to learn this one.
Manner #11When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.
It’s nice, but I don’t get upset if I have to ask who is calling. This isn’t a big issue in my book.
Manner #12Be appreciative and say “thank you” for any gift you receive. In the age of e-mail, a handwritten thank-you note can have a powerful effect.
This is a tough one because it seems to me to encourage dishonesty for the sake of someone’s feelings. While I don’t think that’s a great sin to commit — I’ve lied to spare someone’s feelings before — I do think it’s wrong to not admit that that’s what you’re encouraging people to do. On the one hand, you should try to be grateful anytime someone thinks enough of you to get you a gift, but at the same time some gifts are so inconsiderate or show no real thought on the part of the giver, that it’s very hard to be sincerely appreciative.
As for handwritten notes, personally I don’t really care if you take the time to write one for me. I’m just as good with a verbal thank you as a handwritten one.
Manner #13Never use foul language in front of adults. Grown-ups already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant.
The fuck I do.
Swearing is one of the very few vices I have and it doesn’t really bother me. I told my daughter that people will judge you by the language you use and it’s frowned upon for kids to swear so she should consider how she wants to be seen by others when choosing her language and there are places where it’ll get you in trouble (e.g. at school or work, etc.). But it would’ve been hypocritical for me to tell her she can’t swear when I swear almost all the damned time. As it turns out, she didn’t swear much at all until she got closer to her 20’s and what little she did swear was usually due to being angry, which I can understand.
Don’t call people mean names.
There are so many exceptions to this in my book that it’s hard to decide where to begin. I’m sorry, but there are some assholes in the world who really deserve to be told what assholes they are.
Manner #15Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel.
I don’t know if there are many adults who can live up to that rule, let alone kids. I think it’s a good thing to encourage people — young and old — to strive to, but I don’t know that it’s possible given human nature.
Manner #16Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best.
This is a hard one. Again it seems to me it’s promoting dishonesty. This is part of why I’m reluctant, as an adult, to attend plays and concerts unless I’m pretty damned sure I’m going to enjoy it. I just don’t have the capacity to pretend to like something I don’t actually like. I don’t think it’s fair to teach kids they should lie about it either.
Manner #17If you bump into somebody, immediately say “Excuse me.”
Or at least don’t say, “Hey! Watch were you’re going, asshole!”
Manner #18Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don’t pick your nose in public.
Fair enough. Though, again, this is something a lot of adults would do well to learn themselves.
As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else.
Always nice, but I don’t think people should take it as a personal affront if someone doesn’t do that, kid or adult.
Manner #20If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor working on something, ask if you can help. If they say “yes,” do so — you may learn something new.
Eh, I’m iffy on this one. If it’s something the kid is genuinely interested in then it’s great advice, but if they aren’t then they’re likely to be as much of a problem than a help.
Manner #21When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.
Oh, the pedophiles must love this rule. “Hey little boy, could you do me a favor?”
Manner #22When someone helps you, say “thank you.” That person will likely want to help you again. This is especially true with teachers!
Not bad advice as anything that makes people feel good about helping you is likely to encourage them to help you again.
Manner #23Use eating utensils properly. If you are unsure how to do so, ask your parents to teach you or watch what adults do.
This seems like something responsible parents would ensure without having to rely on the kid to ask them for help.
Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.
Again, something a responsible parent will teach a child. Though I don’t know if it’s a huge affront to modern sensibilities if it doesn’t always happen.
Don’t reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed.
I’m OK with this one. Never fun to take a bit out of someone’s arm as they reach across to grab the salt or mashed potatoes.
So not a bad list of manners, but some of them I take issue with. How about you guys? Which ones do you disagree or agree with?
I realize that kids can be a lot to handle and that this is doubly so in a daycare environment, but it’s probably going a bit too far when you attempt to drug them into sleeping:
The Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office and Springfield Township police are probing the daycare at Covenant Apostolic Church, 7630 View Place Drive, according to a letter Police Chief David Heimpold sent to children’s parents on Monday. Police also personally called each parent.
At issue is whether workers gave children Melatonin to help them sleep during the daycare’s naptime, according to the chief.
“The investigation has just begun and the Springfield Township Police Department does not know definitively at this time which staff members were involved in providing the dietary supplement to the children and which children were given (it),” the chief wrote. “However, we are providing this information to you at this time so that you can take whatever actions you deem necessary to protect your child or children in the event that they were given Melatonin on one or more occasions.”
The letter urges parents to contact their family physicians or the Poison Control Center to learn basic information about the drug.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring compound in plants, animals, and microbes. In animals it plays a role in regulating the circadian rhythms of a number of biological functions. In humans it’s produced by the pineal gland and it forms part of the system for regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Production of melatonin is inhibited by light and permitted by darkness and it’s onset each night is called the Dim-Light Melatonin Onset (DLMO). Melatonin has been marketed as a natural form of sleeping pill. The idea seems to be that if you’re having trouble falling asleep then just dope yourself up with the hormone that puts you to sleep. Overall most studies seem to indicate that it’s safe to use at low dosages for three months or less.
The problem with dietary supplements (read: “drugs” not under the FDA’s jurisdiction) is that there’s no real regulation or quality requirements so how much of dose you’re taking can vary wildly between manufacturers. Add to that the fact that, according to a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the 3 milligram pills most commonly sold are way more melatonin than is actually needed. They found that a mere 0.3 mg is enough to do the job. Then there’s the fact that at high doses it can be counter-productive and can include side effects such as headaches, nausea, next-day grogginess or irritability, hormone fluctuations, vivid dreams or nightmares and reduced blood flow. Now stir in the fact that most people (read: idiots) see the word “natural” and assume it means 100% completely safe and will never harm you now matter how much you consume and you can begin to see why feeding this to kids may not be a great idea.
In all fairness, we keep a bottle of melatonin on hand in the house ourselves and it does help on those occasions when insomnia has me in its grip, but I’m an adult who has taken the time to research what it is and what it does and what the risks are and make an informed choice on whether to take it. There’s no way in hell I’d put my kids in a daycare that was feeding it to the kids. In part because most kids don’t need it as they produce melatonin just fine (Here’s a hint: try drawing the shades and turning off the lights). More importantly, though, is if they’re giving the kids melatonin then what the hell else are they giving them that I don’t know about?
Fortunately for me, my kid is 19 and well out of daycare.
You guys remember the story back in May about a teenager named Daniel Hauser and his attempt to avoid chemotherapy in favor of “alternative” treatments for his cancer? At one point, after a judge had ruled that that he had to undergo chemo, he and his mother went into hiding in defiance of the court because, they claimed, the treatment was a violation of their religious beliefs.
Eventually the pair turned themselves in and agreed to continue Daniel’s chemotherapy. Now reports are that Daniel has had his last treatment and is cancer free.
Daniel gained national attention when he stopped treatment after one session in February and fled, citing his religious beliefs. After he returned, he underwent court-ordered chemo to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma, then started radiation therapy.
Family spokesman Dan Zwakman tells KSTP-TV everything is going as planned. A call to the family’s home from The Associated Press rang unanswered Saturday.
The article is very brief and has nothing on whether the family continues to believe that chemotherapy is ineffective in spite of the fact that their son is in good shape as a result of it. As noted above, they’re not talking to the press about it. It’s almost certain Daniel would’ve died had he not undergone chemotherapy, but I doubt the family recognizes or even appreciates that fact. If anything they’d probably say that it was God’s will, and not the chemotherapy, that cured their son.
Child advocates in New Zealand have the diapers all in a bunch over a line of baby clothing with bawdy slogans on them:
The T-shirts and suits are on sale in Australian chain Cotton On Kids’ 17 Kiwi stores and feature slogans including “I’m a tits man”, “The condom broke”, “I’m living proof my mum is easy” and “Mummy likes it on top”.
Those seem pretty funny to me, but then I have a website called Stupid Evil Bastard. So what’s so wrong with those slogans?
National Council of Women of New Zealand president Elizabeth Bang agreed and said the slogans were “awful”.
“We’ve noticed more and more of this and we think it’s time it stopped. There’s quite a lot of research showing the sexualisation of children can be harmful to their mental and physical health.”
Moyna Fletcher, of anti-child abuse trust CPS, said the clothing exploits children for adults’ entertainment.
I’m not sure I buy the whole sexualisation of children argument. Of the four examples I can see the argument, maybe, with the first one, but the rest of them? I’d be more worried about the harm it would due to the self-esteem of the mother than the toddler.
Clinical psychologist April Trenberth, who works with child sex abuse victims, said the range seemed “cute” and “harmless”, but was actually “insidious and dangerous”.
Insidious and dangerous? How? The article doesn’t say. Personally I think it’s a lot of fuss over nothing, but then, as I said, that’s my kind of humor. After all the SEB Store has a “Stupid Evil Bastard In Training” toddler jumper for sale in it.