December 29, 2011

The Fundamental Error Of Parenting: What's The Difference Between a Tiger Mom and A Wolf Dad?

wolf dad.jpg

apparently, the secret to success is single parents

From NPR:

Tiger Mom Amy Chua... became an overnight sensation in the U.S. this year when she wrote about her tough parenting style. But she looks like a pussy cat next to her
mainland Chinese equivalent, "Wolf Dad" Xiao Baiyou.

"Wolf Dad" wrote a book called Beat Them Into Peking University.

Xiao, 47, describes himself as the emperor of his family. As such, he's laid down an extraordinary system of rules for his children.

"I have more than a thousand rules: specific detailed rules about how to hold your chopsticks and your bowl, how to pick up food, how to hold a cup, how to sleep, how to cover yourself with a quilt," Xiao says. "If you don't follow the rules, then I must beat you."


The last parenting book I read was The Road.  I'm not sure that counts.  I only got a quarter through it, but its principle advice appears to be to take all of your instincts and the collected wisdom of every movie ever made and do the exact opposite. This is terrible advice.

For my money: this Xiao Baiyou is a nut.  But whether this guy is a nut or not is not as important to you as what the media constructicons want you to think he is.

I.

What you noticed first about this story is that he beats his kids and they go to Peking University.  You did this because you assumed the story was a news story and were looking for information, and not a media construction showing you a facade.  What does the journalist want to be true?

Instead, what you should have noticed first, right off the bat, is that the story explicitly juxtaposes this man with Amy Chua. That's the fulcrum of the story, it tells you what your frame of reference is supposed to be. The point is NOT that he beat his kids into Peking University, the point is for you to compare him to Amy Chua and no one else.

Amy Chua was called a terrible mom for being hard on her kids, but if she had been a dad the state would have sent in the police and Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Dad would not exist.  It doesn't exist, which is my point.  She was able to publish because her audience-- e.g. the readers of the WSJ where she first and exclusively published an excerpt of her book-- like to hear the words "college" and "success" and "how",  but to soften it from mean parenting to tough parenting you have to make it all come from a woman, especially a non-American one.  Rule #1 of stupid people trying to make sense of the world: the culture you know nothing about has all the answers.

Then to reinforce Amy Chua's methods as the gold standard for all the other demos who previously hated her, an alternative standard that goes too far must be created to appall everyone into agreement.  One year after Chua went platinum, here it is.  "Well bless my heart, beatings?!  I know I don't like that method of Chinese parenting!  And Amy's daughters are all so poised and pretty, not like those porphyria drones he has solving Hamiltonians in the basement."

Note the four key differences in the story: 

1.  He's physically abusive, so the audience understands him to be hatable.
2.  Not American, but Chinese, in China.  China = uncivilized.   Hatable.
3.  His story appears on NPR, Slate, mommy blogs, not on the WSJ.  This is not an audience weighing the merits of a yardstick to the knuckles, they prefer passive techniques like evolutionary psychology and chemical coercion.  Man acting like a man, father like a father?  Hatable.
4.  Amy Chua is a Harvard law professor, while Xiao Baiyou is a real estate mogul.  Hatable.

With this information, the reader is now invited to choose which of the two images represents an American success story:


a.

amy chua daughters.jpg

b.

wolf dad scary.jpg


II.

Question: what kind of a person reads parenting books?  I'm not being critical, I'm asking.  Do the readers feel they are failing and need some advice?  Or are they just looking to hate someone and are willing to pay $23.95 for the ammunition?   I can see that someone might see the book and say, "hmm, I'd like my child to get into Peking University, let's see what he has to say," but that thinking betrays a cognitive error that both makes these books useless to you and is the reason you need such books: you don't think there's anything wrong with your parenting, you think you just need some helpful tricks.

Hence the popular parenting books/blogs aren't for special populations like Raising The Autistic Child or My Kid Saw A Gorgon, What Now?  These are ordinary kids being raised by parents who are worried about what shows are appropriate for kids, but not about the commercials.  "What?  He's 7.  It's not like he's actually going to go buy an Acura."  You've failed.

"Good" parenting, apparently, is trying techniques on your kid that were never used on you, even though you still turned out just fine.  "I think TV is bad, I won't let my kids watch it."  Outstanding.  But how do you explain how you watched 5 hours of TV a day for thirteen years straight and still turned out ok?  Think it over for a moment.  You'll never admit the answer: because you're different.  You succeeded despite the TV.

But look around: everyone you know over 30 also did fine despite the TV, no lawyer ever says, "Your Honor, my client saw every episode of Bosom Buddies and McHale's Navy, I move for dismissal."  Which is why I am telling you:  TV is bad for the kid, but that thinking is much worse.  

So too: sugary cereals, bullying, Playboys.  None of those things are good for kids, I am not saying to expose your kids to them.  But thinking that they will be worse for your kids than they were for you is the fundamental, narcissistic error of parenting.  "My kids are weaker than me."  Then humanity is doomed.

I know many white doctors who have their kids in Mandarin classes.  Did that help them become doctors?  "I want them to be able to compete."  With whom?  Mandarins?  Seriously, what world do you envision in which Mandarin is the deciding talent, except working in Mandaria?  Which is great if that's what they want to do, great if the kid is interested, but otherwise is this really how you're plotting excellence?  "It also teaches you to think logically."  So does actual logic.  "It looks good on a college application."  Everyone hates you.



Part 2 here.


My Amy Chua post

http://twitter.com/thelastpsych







Comments

First... (Below threshold)

December 29, 2011 6:27 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

First

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -27 (55 votes cast)
Nice, TLP. I understand th... (Below threshold)

December 29, 2011 6:38 PM | Posted by Judge Wilhelm: | Reply

Nice, TLP. I understand the narcissism of "my kids are weaker than me." That's why we've raised a generation of little shits. This topic already covered by Palahniuk and 100 years before him, Nietzsche. But it'd be nice if you provided some hints as to what's a better alternative, without social ostracization. Maybe that's in part 2...

So, should I beat my kids or not? Ha! I'm J/K. No, really should I kick the shit out of them?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (26 votes cast)
TLP: please please please d... (Below threshold)

December 29, 2011 6:51 PM | Posted by Kristina: | Reply

TLP: please please please do a post on Ocean Marketing?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -6 (10 votes cast)
Excellent post. I really en... (Below threshold)

December 29, 2011 7:12 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Excellent post. I really enjoy your work.

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Mandaria. Heh. ... (Below threshold)

December 29, 2011 7:41 PM | Posted by AP: | Reply

Mandaria. Heh.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 17 (17 votes cast)
"But how do you explain how... (Below threshold)

December 29, 2011 9:03 PM | Posted by SeanM: | Reply

"But how do you explain how you watched 5 hours of TV a day for thirteen years straight and still turned out ok? Think it over for a moment. You'll never admit the answer: because you're different. You succeeded despite the TV."

Depends what you mean by succeeded. That's a very vague word. Now, you mean these last few generations survived watching TV, got jobs, and managed to have relationships and/or kids. Well, if that's what you mean, that seems like an awfully low bar for success.

80% of the people in the US are either illiterate or functionally illiterate (figure from one of Hedges's books, IIRC). Where's the "success" in the political system, which is all for show? Politicians speak like actors or like folksy morons, trying to make little sound-byte points. There's no fact-checking on TV after/during debates, you have to go online for that. Where's the "success" in our mostly-TV generated culture which relies on capitalizing on and deepening people's insecurities? Plus, there's the narcissism.

Yes, we weren't killed by TV, but we've had to spend a long time trying to unscramble our minds from it. And no doubt once you've spent the time, you will find yourself at odds with a TV society. We're "special" to the extent that we have evidence to back that claim up.

Anyway, I don't watch TV, won't raise kids on TV, and tell people to stop watching. It's not designed to kill you, it's designed to manipulate you -- so consider "success" on that metric and almost everyone fails.

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<a href="http://www.ncbi.nl... (Below threshold)

December 29, 2011 10:03 PM | Posted by Z. Constantine: | Reply

Differential fertility by intelligence: "An inverse relationship was found between fertility and IQ, caused by the fact that low IQ women had more unwanted births than high IQ women. It was also shown that low IQ women had an elevated failure rate with any contraceptive method, and that the best way to control their fertility was to utilize exclusively permanent contraceptive methods administered by a physician."

For every Madison learning Mandarin in America, there are Katelyn, Caytlinne, and Caitlyn watching little more than commercials - questionable plotting toward excellence or well-considered exit strategy?

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Most of the parents I know ... (Below threshold)

December 29, 2011 10:14 PM | Posted by TheUnderwearBandit: | Reply

Most of the parents I know what their children to be better than they were. So the parent wants the student to go to Harvard while the parent went to Western State Tech. So the narcissism isn't that the parent thinks they are stronger than the child, but that by the child going to Harvard, the parent becomes associated with Harvard. The parent can then determine that they are better than all the other parents who did not get their kid into Harvard.

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As long as you're talking a... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2011 1:35 AM | Posted by Cato: | Reply

As long as you're talking about parenting, care to take a stab at Stefan Molyneux' Philosophical Parenting? 'I turned out fine' might not be the yardstick you're looking for; one might want kids to turn out better.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 9 (9 votes cast)
Being associated with Harva... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2011 2:23 AM | Posted, in reply to TheUnderwearBandit's comment, by Arno: | Reply

Being associated with Harvard is certainly a plus to that kind of parent, but parents know their kids are just an extension of themselves: having their kid get into Harvard shows that the parent could have gotten into Harvard too, if they'd had the right circumstances.
The kid getting into Harvard vindicates how the parent raised them, but it also invalidates any failures the parent had growing up.

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Right on the spot.... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2011 9:07 AM | Posted, in reply to Arno's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Right on the spot.

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Great work, as usual. Mayb... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2011 9:48 AM | Posted by Nando: | Reply

Great work, as usual. Maybe he should be them if they decide to attend law school.

http://thirdtierreality.blogspot.com/

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On the prior comment, I mea... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2011 9:50 AM | Posted by Nando: | Reply

On the prior comment, I meant to write:

Maybe he should beat them if they decide to attend law school.

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It's funny how many white A... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2011 10:49 AM | Posted by Jay: | Reply

It's funny how many white Americans fear and envy the Chinese, when there are nearly a billion Chinese squatting in rice fields making $2 a day. There are exceptional Chinese achievers, but there are also exceptional Albanian achievers. Of course, there are far more Chinese than Albanians, so by the law of large numbers you're going to see more conspicuously successful Chinese.

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god, please never stop writ... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2011 11:50 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

god, please never stop writing these things. amazing.

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But thinking that ... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2011 12:59 PM | Posted by TheCoconutChef: | Reply

But thinking that they will be worse for your kids than they were for you is the fundamental, narcissistic error of parenting. "My kids are weaker than me." Then humanity is doomed.

Man, I've been struggling for over a week about an article I read in which some lady was going apeshit over the fact that kids were watching a reality show and I didn't know why. Way to spoil part of it for me.

Now how will I know that I'm smart? Bummer.

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Nando you dumbass... haven'... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2011 2:26 PM | Posted by none: | Reply

Nando you dumbass... haven't you realized we don't give a shit about your stupid blog so quit spamming this blog for fucks sake.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 11 (13 votes cast)
Nando you dumbass... hav... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2011 2:29 PM | Posted, in reply to none's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Nando you dumbass... haven't you realized we don't give a shit about your stupid blog so quit spamming this blog for fucks sake.

I second this comment!

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"-you don't think there's ... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2011 2:34 PM | Posted by meistergedanken: | Reply

"-you don't think there's anything wrong with your parenting, you think you just need some helpful tricks."

Jesus, stop being so Manichean all the damn time. Isn't it POSSIBLE that a parent might think, "Hm, I think my parenting is decent, but there could be some room for improvement. This guy's written a book on it - he might be an expert, so let's see what he has to say. He might have some insight that I lack."

I guess you think you're perfect, so the concept of self-improvement doesn't make sense to you (especially since you are a psychiatrist; if people could improve themselves, they wouldn't need YOU, would they?). "Improve myself - how does that even make sense?!? The very notion smacks of narcissism - it can't be about ME!!"

And, as a commenter already noted above, most parents want their kids to do BETTER than they did. So maybe TV didn't totally screw us up, but we could have perhaps done even better without its corrupting influence (yes, that includes the commercials). So it's not a matter of thinking the children are "weaker" than the parent.

I realize this doesn't fit well into your entrenched narrative, but at least some other commenters might this a useful antidote/palliative to your entertaining bile.

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The question in the whole, ... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2011 3:16 PM | Posted, in reply to meistergedanken's comment, by sam: | Reply

The question in the whole, "I want my kids to be better than me," that I think is asked in reference to the narcissism is simply: Why are you the immediate and defining measuring stick to your child?

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"I second this comment!"</p... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2011 3:38 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Elisabeth: | Reply

"I second this comment!"

*hurls self under bandwagon*

Yeah!

I can't imagine he's even getting many visits from his spamming. Any chance he could get blocked or banned?

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Your writing is overly deci... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2011 5:37 PM | Posted by Meh: | Reply

Your writing is overly decisive, like you're on testosterone or something. You're always banging on about the same thing, and, not thoughtful, jumping to one of a few conclusions that don't ring true via the same few concepts. I haven't gotten anything from your last few pieces; I read you on momentum, hoping ever more thinly that you'll write something insightful or interesting. Sorry, I'm sure it's hard being a writer, but readers need novelty. Luckily you've got a day job I guess.

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MehIf you are readin... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2011 5:50 PM | Posted by Doc: | Reply

Meh
If you are reading it, then it is for you.

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How about rejecting both of... (Below threshold)

December 30, 2011 11:04 PM | Posted by Mark T: | Reply

How about rejecting both of these atrocious stereotypical tropes and how about we embrace actual learning - lifelong, self-directed, high-value learning, not for someone else's sake or to get into "brand X" good school , but because 20 years later, 40 years later the ground will shift, the heavens re-arrange and we will need to adapt.

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I don't get about half of t... (Below threshold)

December 31, 2011 12:25 AM | Posted by bogarty: | Reply

I don't get about half of the commenters here. Maybe they should go back to the "same 5 websites, looking for and finding exactly what they want, like a baby playing peekaboo in a mirror over and over and over and over and over and over and..."

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Does the fact that China ha... (Below threshold)

December 31, 2011 1:02 AM | Posted by Call me skeptical: | Reply

Does the fact that China has a one child policy have any bearing on this guy's claims?

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I am almost positive you ha... (Below threshold)

December 31, 2011 1:08 AM | Posted, in reply to Meh's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I am almost positive you have missed the point of what he says.

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None of those white America... (Below threshold)

December 31, 2011 1:52 AM | Posted by longwinded: | Reply

None of those white American doctors want their children to speak Mandarin so that they can communicate in China? That would be the benefit of learning Mandarin, as opposed to, say, Esperanto or Klingon.

I assume all these doctors want their children to go into overseas finance or some such--Chinese isn't going to do you much good while practicing medicine in the U.S., I would think Spanish would be more helpful overall.


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Beat them or not?: If Unive... (Below threshold)

December 31, 2011 5:35 AM | Posted by gogo: | Reply

Beat them or not?: If University degree is the only one imaginable purpose of existence of your child. If diploma is is the only one imaginable purpose of education. If you don´t mind,that such educated elite will be nacists or comunist or some kind of that - well educated but totaly adaptable and conform with rough power. - Yes, beat them!

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Or yell at them - there is ... (Below threshold)

December 31, 2011 5:46 AM | Posted, in reply to gogo's comment, by gogo: | Reply

Or yell at them - there is not any fundamental difference.

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I'm not sure I believe all ... (Below threshold)

December 31, 2011 10:11 AM | Posted by Rory: | Reply

I'm not sure I believe all the fears about TV. 5 hours a day? In our house, sometimes the TV goes on at 7am and doesn't go off until 11 at night. Sometimes it is watched, sometimes not. It's like books in the bookcase - sometimes they're read, sometimes not. What did they used to do before TV? Push kids up chimneys, send them out to work? I've read (oops, "watched") Dickens. Kick 'em out into the neighbourhood, "and don't be back before tea." Still happens - and that's why children's parks can be a little scary these days.

Our children don't go to school, either, preferring to teach themselves. The eldest has taught herself to write and read (in that order), the younger will take the lead from the older. They in no way lack imagination, pretending their way through the day. They are keen to go outside - hang the TV. I haven't noticed them being overly influenced by the box - nothing that can't be called out as bullshit by discerning parents.

Maybe I'll live to regret it, but somehow I don't think things will turn out that way.

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'My kids are weaker than... (Below threshold)

December 31, 2011 9:22 PM | Posted by The Devastator: | Reply

'My kids are weaker than me.' Then humanity is doomed.

I'm not saying that attitude isn't pernicious, but there is a logical reason to be worried that one's kids will be weaker, even if the humanity is not doomed. That reason is the need to correct for confirmation bias. On average the people who become parents and have leisure to worry about these questions really are stronger than average. The others got caught in the gears, and they're gone. So today's parents are all above some minimal fitness level. But the next generation's strength levels are again randomly distributed because they haven't been winnowed yet. So today's kids will always on average be weaker than today's parents, even if average fitness for the entire generation remains constant over time.

Thus, it is rational to worry that your kids are weaker than you, even if humanity is not doomed.

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The only parenting book I e... (Below threshold)

January 1, 2012 2:31 PM | Posted by Anon: | Reply

The only parenting book I ever read was prior to having children; ie, how to take care of an infant. Both are now happy, responsible adults.

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Most of The Last Psychiatri... (Below threshold)

January 1, 2012 4:19 PM | Posted by Mal: | Reply

Most of The Last Psychiatrist's readers do not have children,

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/thelastpsychiatrist.com

These college-kids/grads lie awake at night wondering how all the morons who surround them have managed to have a family. They are Alone, and they are desperate for some basis on which to feel superior.

If you're reading it, it's for you.

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Obviously, parents don't co... (Below threshold)

January 1, 2012 11:13 PM | Posted, in reply to Mal's comment, by Judge Wilhelm: | Reply

Obviously, parents don't come to this site because they're busy beating their children and reading mommy blogs. The feeling superior part would then have to come from buying into the narcissism theory and thus feeling superior for having recognized one's own destructive narcissism, and then feel extra narcissistic about that.

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That minimal fitness level ... (Below threshold)

January 2, 2012 6:13 AM | Posted, in reply to The Devastator's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

That minimal fitness level is called:

a) Megalomania: "I'm so great the world needs more copies of my genes desperately".
b)Follower-ism: "What? Not having kids? It's written in The Bibble. You have to have kids"

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (3 votes cast)
Right, I'm saying that sign... (Below threshold)

January 2, 2012 12:35 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by The Devastator: | Reply

Right, I'm saying that significant numbers of people fall below that level.

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Katelyn, Caytlinne, and Cai... (Below threshold)

January 3, 2012 6:38 PM | Posted by carol: | Reply

Katelyn, Caytlinne, and Caitlyn


Bwahahaha..don't forget little Kay-Lee, Kay-Leigh and Kay-Tee-Leigh.

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I felt like my parents didn... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 1:26 AM | Posted, in reply to TheUnderwearBandit's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I felt like my parents didn't want me to do too much better than they did. I guess this happens too, right? They were solidly middle class. I don't know any working class people but maybe that's more common among them as well? Instead of looking at it as producing a successful child, maybe they look at it as highlighting their mediocrity. Or maybe they would have trouble getting over their envy of those with more success?

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The vast majority of parent... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2012 11:08 PM | Posted by jonny: | Reply

The vast majority of parents simply want what they believe is best for their child.

It's the human tragedy that the sorts of people who feel compelled to breed are either desperate to fill an existential depression that is the Reality they're unwilling to admit; namely, that they're dysfunctional failures, incapable of being happy - so they have children to fill their 'existential' void.

...or they are the sorts of people who have unplanned children. The irony is just...trying to raise a child when the child's existence is the result of the failing of two 'adults' to use protection / contraception? God forbid, they terminate. That would be *wrong*.

--------

It's the tragedy of children that parents are brainwashed with the idea that they know best - when they're incapable of making the case to children for why it's in their child's best interests to act or not act.

--------

Of course, the real issue here (which I believe alone is pointing out) is that these stories are moronic examples of human incapacity to fathom statistics or logic. One father's or one mother's personal story is relevant how? These sociopathic parents are not indicative of the reality. The reality is most parents are sociopathic failures with borderline personality disorder, which is a curse when they believe they are infallible and unwilling to hear their children make the case for why they're batshit insane.

"Because I said so!"

"Because I'm your Mother and I know best."

"Make your parents proud, Son!"

"You know how much this means to your mother."

---------

I was born into the CoG, and my earliest memories were of my mother smearing whore paint over her hideous face and praying with my father before leaving for a night of "Flirty Fishing". You can Google it, but basically it's prostitution albeit 'pure' because the whores didn't keep the money - it was sent to their pimp, Jesus c/o the cult leadership, which I understand resided in a PO Box in the Caribbean.

At 5 years old, I emotionally disassociated myself from my parents and they effectively ceased to exist, aside from putting me in harm's way.

Until the age of 14, I had read only one book (the Good Book) - no other books were permitted. I had never watched television. I had never played a video game. I had never watched a movie. Or listened to radio. Or commercial music. I had never been to school, or played a sport or a game; of any kind. I had never read a newspaper or a magazine. I had never eaten fast food, sweets and had only the vaguest idea of what chocolate tasted like when I nibbled at some coffee beans; having gotten the two confused. I had never had a friend, but I had seen a lot of other children who were - cared - for by those who have an interest in the spiritual development of children.

On most days, we had a square meal a day; two, if God was smiling upon us. On some days, we had impromptu "fasting", for which my parents broke into gratitude and praise for God testing their faith, once again. Lots of tests, lots of trials and lots of tribulations. Too many, for a neurotic all-knowing killer of babies; I would suggest with a smirk - that would inevitably get wiped off my face. I was especially appreciative of the irony of the Book of Job, but when I got all 'innocent' and 'coy' with my parents about their Faith potentially getting me killed like Job's Faith killed his children - they weren't fooled for an instant. Thankfully, the Bible had advice for them for kids like me:

"Spare the rod, spoil the child." That's the logic, the extent of the argument. That's religion, it's why you need Faith.

But then I was not entirely defenceless. When my father would get frustrated at my volleys of Bible passages destroying his arguments, he would default to "Respect your elders", another Biblical gem. Because, as I explained to a furious moron taking off his belt in preparation for being a good parent - if that's the only reason you have to demand respect (more years of failing to earn any), I can totally see how you'd be demented enough to beat your logic into a child.

"You've mistaken fear with respect," I explained to him. "If you want respect, you'll never get any. Respect isn't earned, it's the by-product of being impressive; and you've got it all mixed up."

His head sank, he realised I had a point. He wasn't a violent person by nature, he was just trying to be a good Christian. My mother never had any such doubts, she knows what's best and she's not afraid to backhand her way to a 'win' when losing an argument that she cannot win.

---------

What's my point? At 14, I ran away and enrolled in my first day of school. Grade 10. My school made "Heathers' look like Utopia. I watched "Mean Girls" and Tina Fey is great, but those girls weren't even mean. In my first 6 months, I'd caught up with my grade (the first four months, I had to learn English - because I only spoke English of the sort you'd read in the King James Bible). I had to learn English, because I had no idea what anyone was talking about. Period. I topped my first year of school.

Tom Cruise made me want to fly jets for the military, and I beat out tens of thousands of applicants in the gruelling process of being selected. At military academy, I topped most of my classes and was asked to verify that I was the author of my submitted papers on no less than 4 occasions, prior to receiving the highest marks those four lecturers had given in their careers. I graduated ADFA Class of '01 in the 4th percentile, I think; before resigning my commission unwilling to lead the Queen's fodder into cannons in 'defence' of Dubya's War Crimes.

I commenced a Masters Law program (Juris Doctor) at a prestigious university and was promptly expelled for failure to pay tuition. I didn't have $120,000. I had only my mind, so I played online poker. It was a no-brainer. I destroyed the finest minds I've ever met, playing a 'game' which isn't remotely fun.

http://i667.photobucket.com/albums/vv39/Scooter_Boris/20000nlsitouts.jpg?t=1250954870

The finest minds I'd ever come across stopped playing me. Because they weren't insane. I might have been, though.

I'm not bragging; I'm saying all this to make what I believe is the most poignant argument of irrefutable Truth this tragic world is unfathomably confused about. Happiness! It's the only important thing. It's ridiculous that such a statement can be anything but redundant, let alone insightful. At 26, I retired as I was sick of exploiting disparities of intelligence. I'd made a couple million USD and I had Ralph models stalking me (albeit in the Philippines, where having white skin and average looks will probably result in your stalked by girls so pretty, their entire extended family pours every peso they have into their One Pretty Hope - which is really sweet; almost as sweet as the 2,000,000 child prostitutes in Thailand's sex industry - being emotionally manipulated by their parents, but that's a horror you're probably not capable of appreciating). I had become so 'popular' in Australia, I was forced to flee in terror. This is a world where everyone gums on those they're supposed to care about; friends, family, coaches, religious 'leaders', politicians. We lie to everyone imagining we're being crafty, but we can only exploit those who capable of being betrayed by us. It's horrifying.

But nothing is as horrifying as my parents suddenly believing their insanity was validated by my 'success'. They clearly knew something about parenting the world should know, right? My whore mother, her filthy face beaming with pride (after hearing via one of my siblings who I'd 'rescued' from a loan shark, that I'd been doing okay), attempted to use my 'achievements' as evidence that she knew what she was doing all along? All those backhands. All their misery. All the Middle Men of God I was forced to run rings around, all desperately wanting to 'care' for me.

My parents heard I was doing okay, and suddenly they were as proud as punch. Filthy creeps. They - complimented - me. They told me they were - proud - of me. This is what they believed. It's funny, because the only reason they weren't dead was because I had 11 siblings I was unable to raise; and I was leveraging them as best I could into being parents. I'd hiss at them to STOP FORCING CHILDREN TO DO WHAT THEY DON'T WANT TO DO - I tried to explain Pavlovian logic to them, but my mother is a dog who Pavlov would have had to put down.

With the exception of two of my little sisters, one who graduated high school and now manages a McDonalds store; and another who successfully completed an undergrad degree; and is having fun working in retail...the rest are effectively unemployable, in and out of legal / financial 'troubles' - fighting 8-year vicious custody battles over my adorable nephew, things like that. Top parents!

Every parent believes they know best. Almost every parent knows...nothing. My parents just needed 1/12 to "come good" and they believed they should write a book, on child-raising. Sharing their wisdom. My mother informed me she was going to write a book, using my 'example'. I don't really respond to her emails, or her existence at all, but I was unequivocal in supporting her with this book idea. Of course, it never happened because she's illiterate. Something of a pity, it would have been a book worth reading. "How to fail, whilst failing at being a failure" - they just didn't get it. They succeeded 0 times in 12 attempts.

My point being (and sorry for taking so long to make it) is that the success or failure of a child or the children of a tyrannical parent is irrelevant, statistically. I was an outlier, effectively an orphan at 5. Most children I knew from my childhood who were in my position are dead now. They've been dropping like flies for a decade. Suicides, not from the trauma of their childhoods so much as the trauma of being unable to cope with a Reality which is really kind of bleak. But when you endure suffering for decades imagining how great it's gonna be? That's a kind of bleak which is hard to survive. No one copes well with Reality after being prepped for it with Insanity and/or Fantasy. But then I'm talking about all children, really.

The children of the Children of God, are merely victims of extremist insanity. The children of most parents are victims of moderate insanity. Either way, they all struggle to cope with the inevitable Reality. They couldn't be expected to. Ricky Rodriguez, who was envied by all the pathetic moron children who didn't understand what I understood, was made to look like a creep by CNN when he tried to do one of the noblest things I think I've ever seen (unfortunately running into the power of brainwashing, and unable to handle the continued torturing of the whore who knew where his whore mother - the cult's leader - was hiding out, put her and himself out of their misery). CNN missed the irony of 6 hours of torture failing to produce disloyalty; if you were - missing - the reason why he was nobly trying to kill his mother.

River Phoenix is another example, whether killed by Johnny Depp's associates or believing six toxic poisons combined into a cocktail was a good idea; he was clearly a troubled (if gifted) child of the Children of God. Rose McGowan seems to be doing okay, not sure if dating Marilyn Manson is relevant but...he's kind of a creepy dude. The designer Shem (who was very close to Heath Ledger, who killed himself) had a lot of success selling $200 t-shirts (which is genius in ways many people wouldn't understand); but he could be dead now for all I know.

Most of the kids I grew up with are dead, or in prostitution, or dealing drugs. They're not bad kids, not one of them. They're just trying to survive, until they cannot - cope - any longer.

Which is more or less what I was doing, albeit deceptively; I've always been aware of the need to fake happiness or this miserable world of 'happy' fabulous people in denial, get very ugly very quickly - if you drop the facade. At 26, I'd was sick of the effort of 'winning'. I was forced into retirement, when I was unable to suffer the prospect of achieving yet another 'dream'. The truth is, I'd been faking it since I was 5. I'd never been happy since the day I discovered my parents were insane. I was 26, when I'd had enough; a couple more children of my suppressed childhood had kicked the bucket. People are - more or less - the most horrifying creeps alive. And most don't even realise it. You probably think you're being polite sleazing about with your small talk, insulting pleasantness and polite adherence to Society's creepy ideas about etiquette and propriety.

I woke up one day to see 120 INSANE unanswered texts / missed calls on my phone from one of the prettiest girls you can imagine - just...horrifying desperation. And I opened the triple blackout blinds of my luxury Rockwell apartment and looked out over the slums where ~10 million people 'live' on ~$2 / day. I had tried to help them but then you are in denial, because you know their 'plight' is not 'unfortunate'; the Vatican has PLENTY of cash. 98% of the population is Catholic, with the Church entrenched in that factory of misery for a long time now. Which means, there are 50 million children in that country who are defenceless and are presently (or in grave risk of becoming) victims of exploitation. You can't help them. You can only bash your head into Reality. And it's more terrifying than this world can imagine, in all your filthy denial.

I was the most spectacular winner I'd ever heard or read about, and I say this only to make this point:

None of you know the first thing about anything. Most of you shouldn't be allowed to breed. You think success is measured by achievement? Success is measured by happiness. How did you imbeciles get confused about suffering and happiness? You submit children to decades of misery, imagining you're good parents? If you're a parent who thinks that, then you need to die. No offence.

I'd won like no one I'd ever heard of or read about. I'd achieved more than anyone who isn't a freakish outlier could possibly imagine. And what none of you realise, is that you're either in denial or you're just plain vile. Happiness cannot be achieved via investment in pain! You morons. I'm a moron. I knew it, I'd sacrificed everything of value along the way. And looking out at 10 million living in slums, I half-envied them - the Philippines consistently rates atop global "happiness" surveys, but those surveys are so fucked up. They're not very representative. Pretty sure the 3 year olds cared for by single elderly Caucasian men or the 13 year old girls 'dancing' in Burgos St aren't being polled. It's nauseating really. The loneliness of VIP is unfathomably tragic. And when you're not lonely, it's just...terrifying. People are terrifying. I'd won enough. Too much winning. Too much misery.

And so I made a milkshake; with a dash of 40 Alprazolam 1mg tabs, 80 Ambien pills, a hundred or so 10mg Diazepam and some Rivotril (all bribed off psychiatric 'doctors' who 'cared' enough to extort me, initially; each of whom were then taught a lesson by Reality - about extortion, and power - I must admit, I enjoyed teaching them about Reality). I didn't end up drinking that shake that day, but then I'm not entirely sure choosing to 'live' was the right choice. I'd worked so hard, for so long, and sacrificed so much - so much pain, invested with the assurance (implied) of Society that "Pain Invested Now will Yield Happiness Down the Line".

Really? What an idiotic logical fail. I cannot believe I fell for it. What's your excuse? Parents, who put their children through 20 years of coerced investing in PAIN, I'm talking to you. Is that was happened with you? You got that Happiness, in the end?

I think you're lying. I think I can prove it. You have children. Pretty sure that proves it. Why didn't you adopt, by the way? As the gentleman correctly pointed out above, are you demented or pathetic? Pretty sure it's one or the other.

-----------------------------
a) Megalomania: "I'm so great the world needs more copies of my genes desperately".
b)Follower-ism: "What? Not having kids? It's written in The Bibble. You have to have kids"
-----------------------------

Either way, I wish you'd all...stop. Enough with your idiotic parenting. Just do your god damn jobs; which should largely comprise of - not to sound all GOP or anything - small, tiny government. Because you're small, with your tiny minds and your colossal ignorance and mind-blowing denial. Keep your idiocies and your delusions and your fears and your imbecilic ideas about PAIN invested in future HAPPINESS - keep your inability to do logic or know the first thing about happiness - away from your children's lives.

Present your opinions, if you must. Make the logical case for why you feel they're making a mistake, if you believe they're making one. And then kindly take two steps back, and stick your filthy veto'ing where it belongs. Because what the Hell could you even know about happiness? You have children. You clearly don't know the first thing...about anything. But you think you know everything. And billions of children suffer, because only imbeciles breed.

Decent people adopt. Really decent people, don't feel compelled to fill existential holes. They're just happy. They're not trying to prove anything or attempting to live their failed lives vicariously through their tortured kids. Let them live. And maybe they won't be so desperate to give it up to the first pedophile with a car. Little princesses, it must be tough; failing at logic so tragically. They just want independence. Emancipation. They want to be - FREE - to get away from you. I wonder why....

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Wow, you are clueless about... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2012 11:58 PM | Posted, in reply to Jay's comment, by jonny: | Reply

Wow, you are clueless about the realities in China. Yes, they're exploited. But $2 / day in rice paddies? What early 20th century book have you been reading. They're exploited because they're driven to succeed. And creepy companies like Apple flood in to profit from the exploitation. But then that doesn't mean they'll be exploited, forever.

You clearly haven't been to Shanghai but you can Google no?

http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/066/cache/shanghai-highways_6680_600x450.jpg

I'm talented at very few things, but I can do game theory like few I've ever met. And if you think the future in one where the "white man" dominates, you're smoking crack that you should be giving to me.

The future belongs to the Chinese, Indians and Brazilians. They will control the globe because they're playing a breeding game and they're playing long-ball. Ironically, they'll control an English-speaking globe (I think the number of Chinese learning English is six times the population of England - or this is what I saw on an HSBC advertisement in an airport somewhere). But the reign of the British empire has come to an end, my friend. Some time back, I believe.

The US is obsessed with sacrificing the best interests of the nation to get elected / re-elected, I mean...it's hilarious that so many morons believe democracy is optimal when it's a provably ridiculous fallacy (talk about logical failing at game theory - expediency of short-term interests at the long-term interests of the nation, is what democracy has always been, presently is and will only ever be).

It's hilarious that you think you even live in a democracy when it takes $1,000,000,000 (one billion USD) to - run - for President. Do you know where that billion comes from?

The War on Drugs will never end, because the drug lords have the billions. Even the US Supreme Court has been provably corrupted. The DEA is fighting a turf war against their competition, in Mexico; as we speak. They're not being 'played' by the Sinaloa cartel - what a laughable idea! A 5 year old wouldn't get 'tricked' like that. Well I wouldn't have been, when I was 5. It's an imbecilic and laughable joke, that you would - in your denial - believe (that the DEA simply didn't realise they were taking out every cartel except Sinaloa's - hah).

The Sinaloa cartel = the DEA. Wake up man.

You have problems so immense it's - frankly - tragic that no Americans can even realise that:

a) when you allow Presidents to lie to you in order to fabricate a pretext to fight a decade long war costing the lives of 50,000 (?) Americans, 1,000,000 (?) Iraqis - all you're doing is informing future exploiters that you're really okay with them doing that. But that's not your primary concern.

b) Your primary concern is that 3,000,000 orphans in Iraq (which, as per US foreign policy aims post WWII, has descended into lawlessness on the brink of Civil war - just like every nation in which the US intervenes, this isn't even controversial by the way) - but 3 million orphans in Iraq have this crazy idea that you killed their parents. I mean, it's ridiculous. What motive could you possibly have to do such a thing?

Did you - perchance - kill their parents? If you didn't, you should probably be doing something about it. Because do you know what children who's parents were killed by invading forces traditionally do?

Islam is licking its lips, saying "Thank you!"

And the next 50 years will be BOOM BOOM BOOM. And you'll be all like "why is this happening to us?"

And your warlords (the Westphalian nation-state illusion is over, for christ's sake) will say:

"My fellow Americans,
They just hate your freedom. I know, it's shocking. We should invade, STAT. And anyone who disagrees, is a traitor."

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"If you don't follow the ru... (Below threshold)

June 2, 2012 12:02 AM | Posted by Mike: | Reply

"If you don't follow the rules, then I must beat you." ROTFLMAO

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Is it not a fact that peopl... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 4:37 AM | Posted by Nell Minow: | Reply

Is it not a fact that people do tend to attribute one's behaviour to his or her character while dismissing much of the situational causes? The above is written as though it is not an error but rather a perspective.
investingforbeginners.eu

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Dear Alone,Look! T... (Below threshold)

February 5, 2014 10:27 PM | Posted by J.R. Turtle: | Reply

Dear Alone,

Look! This was just published today in a Canadian newspaper. Turns out Jews and Indians, like the Chinese, also do better.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/the-tiger-mom-goes-even-further-why-some-minorities-are-just-bound-to-be-more-successful/article16705333/

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