December 31, 2011

Wolf Dad, Tiger Mom, And Why Trying To Be A Good Parent Is A Bad Idea

Stanwyck_Barbara_Stella_Dallas.jpg

best mom ever



Part 1 here


The people who read books like Chuas hoping to learn something start from a wrong motivation: they aren't looking to raise better kids, they are looking to be better parents.  If you don't see how those are different, your kids do.

By example: the NYT's "Motherlode" section has a year-end summary,  2011: Stories That Changed The Way We Parent.  Sounds important.  Let's see how many are for the advancement of children versus the pretense of parenting:

Amy Chua
Jerry Sandusky
Gender-Neutral Parenting
HPV Vaccines For Boys
The Digital Classroom

The actual sacrifice of parenting, the one that happens anyway but is resisted bitterly to the dismay of all, I've only really seen described once.  I hate quoting famous thinkers explicitly because it puts a distance between the reader and the ideas, it makes them less personal, but sometimes it can't be helped

Did you see that wonderful melodrama, Stella Dallas with Barbara Stanwyck? She has a daughter who wants to marry into the upper class, but she is an embarrassment to her daughter. So, the mother - on purpose - played an extremely vulgar, promiscuous mother in front of her daughter's lover, so that the daughter could drop her, without guilt. The daughter could be furious with her and marry the rich guy. That's a more difficult sacrifice. It's not "I will make a big sacrifice and remain deep in their heart." No, in making the sacrifice, you risk your reputation itself. Is this an extreme case? No, I think every good parent should do this.

The true temptation of education is how to raise your child by sacrificing your reputation. It's not my son who should admire me as a role model and so on. I'm not saying you should, to be vulgar, masturbate in front of your son in order to appear as an idiot. But, to avoid this trap - the typical pedagogical trap, which is, apparently you want to help your son, but the real goal is to remain the ideal figure for your son - you must sacrifice that.




II.

The book title says he beat his kids into Peking U, but actually he did something else:

"From 3 to 12, kids are mainly animals," he says. "Their humanity and social nature still aren't complete. So you have to use Pavlovian methods to educate them."

This is where all the enlightened humanists in the audience are supposed to freak-out.  Kids aren't animals, individuality is important, blah blah, but what's important is the word Pavlovian: his violence is not random, it is not surprising.

I could be wrong, but it appears from these articles that Xiao doesn't beat his kids into Peking U out of anger, but out of a system.  Not saying corporal punishment is the way to go, but I am 100% positive it isn't the beating itself that molded the kids, but the very clear rules and consequences, which requires an awesome level of energy, vigilance, and self-control on the parent's part, which is why most people who beat their kids only get high school dropouts.  Parenting requires consistency.  Protip: this is even more important for The Autistic Child.

This is very similar to the mechanism of (preventing) PTSD: you can be the drunkest parent imaginable, and the kid will make it as long as your terribleness is a known quantity, your immensely violent behavior predictable, and the kid has some control over the consequences, e.g. if he does X he'll get his hand put in a microwave, but if he doesn't do X he won't.  As long as the kid can make sense of the story of his life, if he understands its narrative structure-- even if it is made up (Life Is Beautiful)-- he can make it. 

Remember the judge who beat his teen daughter?   What made the beating worse is that
it made no sense.  The amount of beating had no relationship to her behavior, it was entirely dependent on how he was feeling that day, not what she did.  As a judge he had sentencing guidelines for different crimes; as a father he freelanced, and terribly.  That's what made it particularly damaging.  This is the phrase that accompanies all abusive relationships: "I never know what kind of mood he'll be in."  The beatings come from rage, which makes them sound like hate.  Xiao beat his kids more than the judge did, but you don't get the feeling that Xiao hates his kids.


III.

Wolf Dad is Chinese, actual Chinese, and his main audience is other Chinese. Well, sort of.

The fact that he attributes, publicly, his children's success to his method suggests that he is not behaving like a Chinese Dad, but a Westernized Dad.  Real Chinese dads may tell you that they beat their kids, but they do not go around bragging about their childrens' successes, let alone as a consequence of their awesome parenting.  Hence, this is for a very specific Chinese audience, i.e. ones interested in taking credit for their kids' successes, i.e. westernized. Xiao may not let his kids watch TV and Youtube, but I will bet every cent I have his readers do.

Xiao's oldest child, 22-year-old Xiao Yao, has his doubts about his father's methods. "Though Dad likes using traditional educational methods, he may not fully understand the exact forms and he chose his own way...

Not just apply the traditional methods-- understand the methods.  Even though he is full-on Chinese, these aren't his methods, he is pretending at them, adopting them.  In America, kids of immigrant parents get caught in this fatal loop, too.  They partially speak their parents' language, have a fair grasp of the traditions but spent most of their American lives trying to be American.  But when they grow up and have their own kids, they try to make their kids more like their parents-- they put them in language classes, they try to saturate them in their heritage, but it's fake and it doesn't stick.  How can you expect to make your kid more Chinese than you are?   We're back to the fundamental error: why, if the parent got through life without much of the old ways, do they think their kids desperately need what they didn't?  And the answer surfaces: it's not for the kids, it's for them.  You can make up for the fact you know little of your heritage by having your kid do all the work of adopting it.

The delicate line I'm walking is that teaching them traditions is in itself positive; but they are utter wastes of time when it is for the parent.  Amy Chua's kids are being raised "Chinese," but really they're being raised Jewish-- which is also a pretense, they're being raised American.  I'm sure they like "authentic" Chinese food from restaurants and know how to spell Hannukah,  but the way they think is American.  The way she thinks is American.  All I need to know is that she identifies Chinese and married a white guy to know that one of her daughters is going to be named Emily or Sophia.  Note: not Chinese names, but predictably the names affluent Americanized Asians give their kids.  She is oblivious to those forces, yet those are in fact what control her.

I'm not at all criticizing her, Sophia is a beautiful name no matter how common, but when you look at the forces that make "you" you, all of the manufacturing and alchemy you try are weaker than reality.  And, if that reality includes a substantial dose of American media, you don't stand a chance.

Americans fear the rise of the China, but that China that you see risen was made by Chinese  over 50.  Their kids, confused by conflicting cultures pictured on the internet versus outside the window are in no position to "take it from here, Dad, we got this."  Those kids who are growing up with money, the young college grads and urbanites who are in possession of the few, but nonetheless inflated employment positions are going to be frustrated when they try to balance their own desire for wealth branding with the minimal opportunities for advancement.   America may have been destroyed by its 50 year olds, but it will be resurrected by its 20 year olds.  China has the exact opposite demographic problem.  China appears to be one generation behind the U.S. in terms of personality disorders, and if the rise of psychiatry over there is any indicator, i.e. the single best indicator ever, boy oh boy are they in for it in 2025. 

That's Wolf Dad.  His beatings are trivial in comparison to the other, now unrepeatable factors he had going for him and his kids: real estate rich; private tutors and lessons; an expensive  "international" high school that was taught in English.  That's not Chinese parenting, that's WSJ America parenting.

If he or anyone else want to brand themselves as a "parent," that's their business, I guess, though the Chinese media is now attacking Xiao for finding a loophole in the Chinese system: because his kids were born in the U.S., they get to take an easier entrance exam to Peking U. 

But that is the least of China's problems:  the real problem for China is that they'll probably go  back.

---
http://twitter.com/thelastpsych


See also: Why Parents Hate Parenting






Comments

I'm not mad at all that one... (Below threshold)

December 31, 2011 3:49 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm not mad at all that one of the last things I'll learn in the year of our lord 2011 is how to parent.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -2 (6 votes cast)
My landlady is trying to re... (Below threshold)

December 31, 2011 5:00 PM | Posted by David: | Reply

My landlady is trying to re-parent her 30 year old schizophrenic son. She is a convicted killer who wrote a book called Turning Toward Death. Imagine the possibilities.

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I would love to know how th... (Below threshold)

December 31, 2011 5:25 PM | Posted, in reply to David's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I would love to know how that's going for her/him.

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I knew it! I'll start beati... (Below threshold)

January 1, 2012 8:20 AM | Posted by Judge Wilhelm: | Reply

I knew it! I'll start beating my children right away; systematically, of course. Thanks, TLP!

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This is very simi... (Below threshold)

January 1, 2012 4:46 PM | Posted by A Girl: | Reply

This is very similar to the mechanism of (preventing) PTSD: you can be the drunkest parent imaginable, and the kid will make it as long as your terribleness is a known quantity, your immensely violent behavior predictable, and the kid has some control over the consequences, e.g. if he does X he'll get his hand put in a microwave, but if he doesn't do X he won't. As long as the kid can make sense of the story of his life, if he understands its narrative structure-- even if it is made up (Life Is Beautiful)-- he can make it.

Yes.

But you will forever be stuck in that story, unless you consciously try to break it.

In an odd way, being brought up crazy has its advantages - it allows you to see the limitations of a narrative existence.

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Holy shit, was that an asin... (Below threshold)

January 1, 2012 8:38 PM | Posted by Empire of Jeff: | Reply

Holy shit, was that an asinine quote from Zizek. As if there is another kind. Parenting advice from that commie douchebag? Pass.

Like most "great thinkers" his life is lived entirely within the space between his ears, totally uninformed by experience gained through interaction.

Want to know what it's like to be a parent? Why "sacrifice" isn't really "sacrifice" but the simple process of maturation and transference of priorities from the completely self-centered to the selfless? I'm a husband and father of four - this shit ain't rocket surgery. You grow up. You do for your kids, because they can't do for themselves, yet. You set a good example because you're the template on which they base their adult selves. I hope this Zizek asshole doesn't have kids.

What I get from Wolf Dad isn't that his kids will be successes if they get into Peking University, HE will be seen as a success if they get into Peking University.

Because he's the kind of guy whose kids go to Peking University.

Like this Amy Chua twit. Gotta out-Chinese the Chinese, only that's not what the Chinese are doing.

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All of your theories (espec... (Below threshold)

January 1, 2012 9:47 PM | Posted by Rochelle: | Reply

All of your theories (especially on narcissism) are non-falsifiable.

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Nice move. I'm a Popper, y... (Below threshold)

January 1, 2012 11:05 PM | Posted, in reply to Rochelle's comment, by Judge Wilhelm: | Reply

Nice move. I'm a Popper, you're a Popper, she's a Popper. Wouldn't you like to be a Popper, too?

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"As a judge he had sentenci... (Below threshold)

January 1, 2012 11:08 PM | Posted by EugeneInSandiego: | Reply

"As a judge he had sentencing guidelines for different crimes; as a father he freelanced, and terribly."

Yeah, I remember the judge; he freelanced as a judge too - and terribly, on the side of the abusers (never mind the sentencing guidelines) that appeared in his court!

"Xiao beat his kids more than the judge did, but you don't get the feeling that Xiao hates his kids."

Well, I do get the feeling that "Xiao beat his kids" and the fact that he might not hate them doesn't make me feel like saying - "Well, OK then!"

Are you saying it's permissible to beat children if you have good intentions?

So when you beat them, should you say "I'm beating you because I love you?" Oh, right, that's what God says! "I love you, so I'm sending you to Hell!"

Yeah, that should produce good, stable, child beating adults!

What is it with you and this idea that beating kids is somehow excusable or even understandable - maybe even desirable?


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It's quite simple really.</... (Below threshold)

January 2, 2012 6:00 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

It's quite simple really.

If you knew you could stop your autistic child from smearing feces on the wall by spanking him once, would you do it?

Or would you rather clean crap off the wall for the next 35 years.

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You really ought to read Co... (Below threshold)

January 2, 2012 7:43 AM | Posted by Ben Carlsen: | Reply

You really ought to read Confucius. Mr. Xiao's parenting style sounds extremely similar to what Confucius taught. Amazing, really, that a Chinese man ought to parent his kids based on a famous philosopher from his own country.

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Let me be the first to say ... (Below threshold)

January 2, 2012 8:22 AM | Posted by Cristinaisadouchebag: | Reply

Let me be the first to say that Cristina Oliver is a douche bag...

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Once???Right!<... (Below threshold)

January 2, 2012 11:55 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by EugeneInSanDiego: | Reply

Once???
Right!

If you do it once; you'll do it again and feel all self righteous about it every time you do it.

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"sounds extremely similar t... (Below threshold)

January 3, 2012 12:13 AM | Posted, in reply to Ben Carlsen's comment, by EugeneInSanDiego: | Reply

"sounds extremely similar to what Confucius taught"

Or was it that other famous Chinese philosopher, Mao?

He killed 20 million of his own people to teach them a lesson. And now look!!!

What do you think that famous middle eastern philosopher - Jesus - would say about Xiao's system, and your admiration for it?

Hmmm?

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Like most "great thinker... (Below threshold)

January 3, 2012 1:58 AM | Posted, in reply to Empire of Jeff's comment, by MikeWC: | Reply

Like most "great thinkers" his life is lived entirely within the space between his ears, totally uninformed by experience gained through interaction.

I have no idea what this means. Are you suggesting it is possible to live one's live utterly devoid of human interaction? I have no idea how this is possible, barring extreme measures. Do you think Zizek lives in Antarctica?

I doubt you've read much of him, or any of those other "great thinkers."

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Hang on, MikeWC, because th... (Below threshold)

January 3, 2012 11:01 AM | Posted, in reply to MikeWC's comment, by Empire of Jeff: | Reply

Hang on, MikeWC, because this is going to upset you: I don't give a shit about your approval.

If you don't understand, maybe you aren't thinking hard enough. Zizek is a man who grew up with the reality of communism, watched it crumble around him, and yet still thinks it's a viable method of organizing society. Except when he doesn't. Because contradicting yourself shows what a giant fucking brain you have. That, and jumping on the Occupy Wall Street bandwagon like every other kneejerk socialist.

THAT is what I meant by "uninformed by experience gained through interaction." He doesn't learn from experience and/or ignores it when it contradicts his theory. Would you like me to dumb it down some more? Ivory Tower Intellectual.
And what you meant is that you doubt I've read the "right" Great Thinkers. Because if I had, I would uncritically agree with everything they said. Which means I would validate your opinion of yourself as a Serious Thinker.

That's not my purpose here, Mike.

Therefore, I must be stupid, right? Easier that way. Safer. Doesn't require any self-examination. Hey, do whatever you gotta do to make it through the day, buddy. I support you.

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Hey MikeWC,Empire ... (Below threshold)

January 3, 2012 11:54 AM | Posted, in reply to MikeWC's comment, by EugeneInSanDiego: | Reply

Hey MikeWC,

Empire of Jeff is a man who grew up with the reality of capitalism, watched it crumble around him, and yet still thinks it's a viable method of organizing society.

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Empire of Jeff is a man ... (Below threshold)

January 3, 2012 1:06 PM | Posted by Empire of Jeff: | Reply

Empire of Jeff is a man who grew up with the reality of capitalism, watched it crumble around him, and yet still thinks it's a viable method of organizing society

Except for the part where capitalism hasn't actually crumbled and the current recession is being prolonged due to massive debt accrued by unchecked SOCIALIST entitlement spending and wealth transfers to failed enterprises, i.e. Corporate Socialism, I'd say you're absolutely correct.

But hey, maybe communism failed because they just didn't kill enough people the first go-round. What say we give it another try, Sparky? With economic hyper-intellects like yours, I'm sure utopia is just around the corner.

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Empire of Jeff is right. As... (Below threshold)

January 3, 2012 3:38 PM | Posted by medsvstherapy: | Reply

Empire of Jeff is right. As soon as you have kids, you don't have a life. The sooner you accept it the better. You have no motivation to get everyone to admire you when you accept being a selfless parent.

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"But hey, maybe communism f... (Below threshold)

January 3, 2012 7:06 PM | Posted, in reply to Empire of Jeff's comment, by EugeneInSanDiego: | Reply

"But hey, maybe communism failed because they just didn't kill enough people the first go-round"

Please tell us all how many we have to kill to make capitalism work.

We have troops in just about every country in the world and we bomb and kill whenever we can - you can't say we aren't trying!

"the current recession is being prolonged due to massive debt accrued by unchecked SOCIALIST entitlement spending"

It's like the Bush years never happened for Republicans like you (or maybe you are an "Independent" i.e. a closeted republican).

Bush started with a surplus and a balanced budget - He said: "we don't need all this money" and gave it away as refunds to the corporations that didn't pay taxes to begin with. Then he cut their fictional tax rates and deregulated them too.

But, agreed!! Military formations are, after all, the largest socialist organizations we know of, and untold trillions are regularly borrowed to support them and their weapons suppliers that also rely on our tax dollars to pay CEO bonuses.

The resulting Bush debacle left us with the "Patriot Act" no jobs, no houses, no health care, the TARP, where more trillions disappeared into the banks and bankers bonuses,and two wars that were fought on our national credit card, all the while shielding his Saudi friends, who financed our enemies - all of this without raising taxes. Ta daa!

How's that for "economic hyper-intellect" Sparky?

The idea was too create jobs by cutting taxes right??

So after close to ten years of tax cutting, and enriching the already wealthy, where are all the friggin jobs "Sparky"???

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I have no idea what TLP is ... (Below threshold)

January 3, 2012 7:28 PM | Posted by Jonathan: | Reply

I have no idea what TLP is trying to do with this article, so on the topic of good parenting I am just going to put this here:

Parent Effectiveness Training by Dr. Thomas Gordon

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That's a lot of frothing mo... (Below threshold)

January 3, 2012 7:35 PM | Posted, in reply to EugeneInSanDiego's comment, by Empire of Jeff: | Reply

That's a lot of frothing moonbat screechiness, Eugene. Take a moment to wipe your lefty rage-spittle off your monitor so you can read this reply.

Please tell us all how many we have to kill to make capitalism work.

Zero. That's the beauty of it - it's a system of people making free choices, versus the violent coercion communism used to force their subjects into economic slavery and repression. Was the Berlin Wall built to keep capitalists out or to keep their people in? Don't hurt yourself on that inconvenient point, Eugene.

We have troops in just about every country in the world and we bomb and kill whenever we can - you can't say we aren't trying!

There are 195 countries in the world, if you count Taiwan, and I do. In how many of them do we have troops? Ninety-six? That's the minimum required to prove your point, Eugene. Is that your final answer? Would you like to use the internet or call a friend?

And who, exactly, is doing the bombing? Obama? I believe he is the Commander in Chief who has murdered 1,500 Pakistanis with drone strikes alone. Oops.

Bush started with a surplus and a balanced budget - He said: "we don't need all this money" and gave it away as refunds to the corporations that didn't pay taxes to begin with. Then he cut their fictional tax rates and deregulated them too.

Coheren't. That rambling bit of grab-asstic nonsense is so devoid of factual basis that I'll let it stand on its own and allow the reader to bask in the stupidity.

And just because it's sure to ignite paroxysms of liberal commie-lovin' rage in you Eugene, I'd like to call your attention to the fact that Obama signed an extension to the Bush tax cuts. They are the OBAMA TAX CUTS, now. Enjoy! Or are you in the 47% of the country that pays no income tax?

But, agreed!! Military formations are, after all, the largest socialist organizations we know of, and untold trillions are regularly borrowed to support them and their weapons suppliers that also rely on our tax dollars to pay CEO bonuses.

Except for the fact that the military is a meritocracy where there are dozens of different pay grades, ranks, and that achievment is rewarded and failure is punished, YES. The military is a socialist organization. That is just so fucking dumb, Eugene.

You know how I know you're a liberal? Because your bongo drum smells like patchouli and you don't know what the hell you're talking about, but mostly because you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Oh, and you forgot "HALLIBURTON!" Or is that out of fashion these days?


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Zizek is a man who grew ... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 2:47 AM | Posted, in reply to Empire of Jeff's comment, by MikeWC: | Reply

Zizek is a man who grew up with the reality of communism, watched it crumble around him, and yet still thinks it's a viable method of organizing society. Except when he doesn't.

I know reading is hard, but a substantial portion of Zizek's work is dedicated to analyzing the absolute failure of state communism. That communism failed in the 20th century is one of his most constantly re-iterated points. He doesn't actually contradict himself on this, and if you think he does, you are not paying attention.

And what you meant is that you doubt I've read the "right" Great Thinkers. Because if I had, I would uncritically agree with everything they said.

Really? That's the only sort of response you've got? So we are supposed to live in a world that consists entirely of uncritical dismissals and uncritical love? Because you're doing one, and accusing me of the other.

Zero. That's the beauty of it - it's a system of people making free choices, versus the violent coercion communism used to force their subjects into economic slavery and repression. Was the Berlin Wall built to keep capitalists out or to keep their people in? Don't hurt yourself on that inconvenient point, Eugene.

It's funny - whenever someone says that communism failed because it "wasn't real communism," they are rightfully laughed at. But somehow, it is always ok to say "but this isn't real capitalism."

Except it is. All of that entitlement spending is capitalism's autoimmune system eating a bit of itself to keep the rest alive. What, you think America would have survived the 30s as a Republic without the New Deal? Leave aside the question of the New Deal's role in ending the Depression - it at least saved America from the onset of either socialism or fascism.

Libertarians, especially, are hilarious - all the privatization they demand would result in the death of capitalism as a result of the internal contradictions layed out by Marx (contradictions mitigated by "entitlement spending" and anti-trust laws).

And just because it's sure to ignite paroxysms of liberal commie-lovin' rage in you Eugene, I'd like to call your attention to the fact that Obama signed an extension to the Bush tax cuts.

I'm curious. Are you one of those people that said liberals were afraid of Sarah Palin?

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So strawmen and complete ig... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 7:02 AM | Posted, in reply to MikeWC's comment, by Empire of Jeff: | Reply

So strawmen and complete ignorance of history is what you've got, Mike? Typical.

Oh, and an unwillingness to critically examine Zizek's record on communism. Which means ignoring the parts where he continually refers to himself as Marxist. Then pull out the 'ol reading comprehension slur. Physician, go fuck thyself.

America survived the 30s despite the New Deal. The economic boom created by World War II is what pulled America out of the Great Depression and assured our economic dominance for the next fifty years. Everyone else's manufacturing base had been bombed to rubble.

Of course, in your next reply, this is where you'll erect another lame-ass strawman and claim I'm in favor of World War III as economic stimulus. Because that's all you've got.

Libertarian? Please. I don't even smoke pot. I doubt they'd let me in. Another set of clueless utopians. No thanks.

Sarah Palin? Sorry, no sale. Not a supporter. Incidentally, I don't know if scared is the right term for what liberals feel for her. But she does send them into blind, monkey shit-throwing fits of infantile rage. Maybe you should examine why that is. You might learn something about yourself.

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Your posts remind me of a s... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 3:48 PM | Posted, in reply to Empire of Jeff's comment, by EugeneInSanDiego: | Reply

Your posts remind me of a short film I viewed many years ago – it was made by a group of observers studying chimpanzees and their group hierarchy structures.

One particular chimp was the lowest status member of the band; everybody dominated him. He was skinny fearful and friendless – does this sound familiar, Sparky?

However, he was able to raise his status to a surprising degree, by an accidental discovery he made.

He was accustomed to hang out around the humans, because they tolerated him and allowed him to examine various things in their camp.

He found an empty five-gallon tin among the discards the people made and began to play with it. Soon he was banging on the empty can and throwing it around; at that point he discovered that his behavior annoyed the researchers and caused anxiety when he did it around the other chimps.

Thus he started to carry the can around with him to pound on it and roll it around while making loud screeching noises. The more he did it, the more the other chimps began to defer to him.

Apparently, you made a similar discovery at some time, in what passes for a life for you.

Thus you posture, yell, scream and sneer in substitute for reasoned discourse. Nothing new there, of course; all republicans do this instinctively, being mostly cowards and bullies with nothing to offer to problems but a vengeful God and sociopathic violence.

It won’t work here though; we are not a band of chimps; we can see through the screeching and thumping. Don’t waste our time.

And, since you did not actually respond to any of the points I made, preferring instead to engage in the said chimp can pounding behavior; some more points for you to screech about.

“And who, exactly, is doing the bombing?”

And who, exactly, started the bombing? And Why?

“it's a system of people making free choices, versus the violent coercion communism used to force their subjects into economic slavery and repression”

So tell us Sparky: what free choices are available to those who lost their fathers, mothers, sons, brothers, sisters, daughters, their homes, their jobs, their health care, their civil liberties and their futures to republican class warfare? Are you thinking of suicide as their best free choice?

In how many of them do we have troops? Look again Sparky – Here’s a clue for your practiced credulity: try “The Sorrows of Empire by Chalmers Johnson – who coined the term: Blowback.

“Obama signed an extension to the Bush tax cuts. They are the OBAMA TAX CUTS “

You agree then that they were the “Bush tax cuts”!

But no, they are not Obama’s tax cuts; they are Bush tax cuts that republicans voted to expire, then used them as blackmail by threatening to collapse the economy if they were not extended.

You're mentality is obviously that of a creep that would impregnate a girl and then say "Hey, it's her baby"!

They are no more Obama’s taxes than Iraq and Afghanistan are Obama’s wars.

“Except for the fact that the military is a meritocracy where there are dozens of different pay grades, ranks, and that achievment (sic) is rewarded and failure is punished, YES. The military is a socialist organization.”

Tell that to the thousands of veterans whose reward from the meritocracy, for their patriotism, is to have their claims denied, treatment refused and discharge to homelessness.

But you do agree: capitalism is defended by socialism! That is dumb, isn’t it?

Finally:

“…is so devoid of factual basis that I'll let it stand on its own and allow the reader to bask in the stupidity.: Which is to say: you have no answer, other than a sneer!

Never mind the Bongo drums, (Bongos are Fifties, you idiot) just put down the tin can and tell me where the jobs are Sparky!


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What is the name of this fi... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 5:43 AM | Posted, in reply to EugeneInSanDiego's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

What is the name of this film?
(if it really exists, of course... if it doesn't exist: great metaphor)

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
The film is real. It's been... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 12:25 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by EugeneInSanDiego: | Reply

The film is real. It's been about forty years since I viewed it; I will try to find it again and make it go viral for this election year.

If I find it, I'll add a mash-up of appropriate clips of the ranting WHARRGARBL and can pounding coming from the current republican crazy train.

WHARRGARBL:

1. "What republican, fundamentalist religio/politico ranting sounds like. Originally from an image macro involving a dog and a sprinkler."

As in - "News: The Supreme Court has ruled that Intelligent Design is not a valid part of federal science testing standards.
Christian Fundamentalists: WHARRGARBL"

And: They are the OBAMA TAX CUTS, now!!!

For an approximation of the visual message see:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlTwB9eoJVQ

Or - more in the spirit and mentality:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN7pdDwXlFo

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Which means ignoring the... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 12:37 PM | Posted, in reply to Empire of Jeff's comment, by MikeWC: | Reply

Which means ignoring the parts where he continually refers to himself as Marxist.

No no, don't move the goalposts. First you said Zizek thinks communism is a valid way of organizing society - he doesn't think that. As I said, a significant portion of his work is dedicated to pointing out the ways in which communism failed.

Now you're saying he refers to himself as a Marxist. If you're unwilling - or unable, due to that reading comprehension problem - to see the difference between a Hegelian-Lacanian reading of Marx and whatever it is you're calling "Marxism," then we don't have much more to talk about.

America survived the 30s despite the New Deal. The economic boom created by World War II is what pulled America out of the Great Depression and assured our economic dominance for the next fifty years. Everyone else's manufacturing base had been bombed to rubble.

I'm curious again. Do you think you are contradicting what I said? Because you're not. You are responding as if I said the New Deal ended the Depression - and I explicitly said that wasn't my point. So... sorry, I don't follow you here. Why'd you say this?

Of course, in your next reply, this is where you'll erect another lame-ass strawman and claim I'm in favor of World War III as economic stimulus. Because that's all you've got.

Apparently you do think I was arguing that the ND ended the Depression. Huh. I'll type slower next time, just for you.

Sarah Palin? Sorry, no sale. Not a supporter. Incidentally, I don't know if scared is the right term for what liberals feel for her. But she does send them into blind, monkey shit-throwing fits of infantile rage.

Just as good. Rage, fear, whatever. I can't help but think this is a remarkably tone-deaf understanding of the common liberal response to Palin.

So far as I can see, this is a much better summation of the liberal response:

http://www.theonion.com/video/morbid-curiosity-leading-many-voters-to-support-pa,18865/

(If you do want someone on the right that inspires actual rage rather that confused annoyance or morbid curiosity, Scott Walker is a better candidate)

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" Libertarian? Please. I do... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 4:50 PM | Posted, in reply to Empire of Jeff's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

" Libertarian? Please. I don't even smoke pot. I doubt they'd let me in. Another set of clueless utopians. No thanks. "

Nice ad hominen, jackass. Most, indeed all, of the libertarians I know don't smoke pot or do any other illicit drugs. Their opposition to the current drug policy is their belief that 1. Adults have a right to engage in this sort of behaviour if they choose to; and 2. Even if they didn't, drug prohibition causes significantly more problems than it alleviates. As far as clueless utopians.. there are utopians on every part of the political spectrum. Nice, strawman. There are an increasing number of centrist libertarians, and both parties would do well to recognize this.

As for the Bush tax cuts. I'm all for lower taxes, but there's a big difference. Bush implemented the taxs cuts in a time of relative prosperity. It would have been a great opportunity to pay off some of our national debt or at the very least not borrow as much. Obama's continuation of the tax cuts happened during a major recession.

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"Real Chinese dads may tell... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 10:39 PM | Posted by Tim: | Reply

"Real Chinese dads may tell you that they beat their kids, but they do not go around bragging about their childrens' successes, let alone as a consequence of their awesome parenting."

Can't agree with that. Keeping up with the Zhou's is a real phenomenon here. The Chinese may believe humility is a virtue just like American's think fidelity is one but that doesn't mean that they are not out to flaunt their success and that includes their children.

Marrying 'below' your status, naked officials and naked marriages, your child marrying at the right age to the right person with the right assets. If it's not birth tourism in HK because you couldn't get in under the quota then maybe the US if you've got the cashflow. If your kid can side step the gaokao damn right you do it.

That's why you sit out in the park with a sign around your neck with your child's age, title and income. It's not just your pension you're worried about but the questions from the next door neighbors and auntie whose kids are living in the first tiers in their shoebox apartment that they've sunk all of their and their families money into.

After all it's not your kids face your worried about.

An Asian society struggling to maintain hunger artist traditions in the face of modernity. The Dad isn't bragging about hitting his kids; he's bragging about how he gamed the system and taught his kids to do the same.

Now you too can learn his system. Plus shipping and handling.

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Would it be too much to ask... (Below threshold)

January 6, 2012 4:00 AM | Posted, in reply to Ben Carlsen's comment, by So Much For Subtlety: | Reply

Would it be too much to ask where in Confucius is there any sanction for this sort of parenting?

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I can't give you chapter an... (Below threshold)

January 6, 2012 7:15 AM | Posted, in reply to So Much For Subtlety's comment, by Ben Carlsen: | Reply

I can't give you chapter and verse as it were, but it's certainly in the Analects. Now, beating your children isn't in there, it's true. However, Confucius was extremely concerned with "ritual," and strict adherence to specific rules for every single little thing. His rules were set out by tradition and culture, and not by his simply coming up with them, as this father did. However, I can very easily see a father doing the type of thing this father is doing by taking a very strict reading Confucius and applying it to his family.

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I am of Chinese descent fro... (Below threshold)

January 7, 2012 4:20 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I am of Chinese descent from my mother's side. My grandfather, born and raised in Hawaii, was a "wolf father". His nickname was the General, the supreme ruler, regarded as an asshole by his 6 kids. They all went on to earn advanced degrees and professions. My mother, born and raised in CA, was a "tiger mother". She did not beat me but influenced/shamed/guilted me into making Stanford my goal. I dropped out freshman year and moved to NYC to pursue an art career, which horrified her. But all is well (in her eyes) since I married a stockbroker who earns enough for me to stay home with our 3 kids. All that Tigering resulted in me becoming a housewife!

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Very well written, and I li... (Below threshold)

January 9, 2012 3:42 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Very well written, and I liked the Sandusky reference.
Molly
convertible baby cribs
nursery bedding

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I think we all need to be c... (Below threshold)

January 9, 2012 9:04 PM | Posted by Sean : | Reply

I think we all need to be cognizent of our roles as parents as models and active teachers. I think children learn best when motivation is driven by internal desires. However, they need consistent rules and strong concrete motivations through material rewards.

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i liked the text, agreed wi... (Below threshold)

February 9, 2012 2:23 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

i liked the text, agreed with the main point, but the example is too fucking awful. It threw me out of the text.

Next time just leave Zizek out, I guess.

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Literally all of you are te... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2012 4:00 PM | Posted by jonny: | Reply

Literally all of you are terrible parents. I have no motive to offend you. I'm stating the facts.

Fathers lie to their daughters; the prettiest princesses in the entire world. What reason could their fathers have to lie to them? It must be tough on those girls when they hit Reality. Having been brainwashed by 'sweet' Fantasy.

Mothers lie to their sons; afraid of losing them. They make them afraid when their children had no possible reason to be afraid of other children - until their mothers cry at the thought of spending a day without them. It must be tough on those boys, when they hit the Reality and become the terrified bullies, creating terror.

The Reality is that every mother and father who cannot make the logical case for why their children should act in their own best interests...are child abusers. They make them addicted to emotional validation; pleasing them or being afraid of disappointing their parents and invoking displeasure / disappointment.

And an entire world of emotionally damaged imbeciles, terrified of everyone who had no 'motive' to hurt them (until they because dangerously afraid); are all junkies addicted to endless compliments, shattering at constructive criticism. Preferring to be lied to, than deal with the 'confronting' Truth.

Parents blast their children with Fantasy from the moment of consciousness. Santa Claus, Easter Bunnies, Tooth Faires, fairy tales, Disney. And everyone gets exploited because we all grow up "wanting to please". And not wanting to hurt the 'feelings' of those who scream JUST LIE TO ME!

I can't imagine what the motive for this phenomenon might be. I mean, who could benefit from children terrified of a Reality they were not prepped for - they could run away in terror, smack into the smirking embrace of Religion, the State and the Media (Spam). All selling Fantasy.

Well played, parents. You destroy your children with your vile fears and emotional baggage.

We lie to everyone we care about; but those we love, we betray.

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What does it suggest if I'm... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2012 4:04 PM | Posted by w: | Reply

What does it suggest if I'm actually addicted to criticism?

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That you're either incredib... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2012 7:38 PM | Posted, in reply to w's comment, by jonny: | Reply

That you're either incredibly healthy and emotionally stable; or that you're liable to dabble in self-deprecation and in need of constant deconstructive abuse - which is often a coping mechanism for feelings of intense guilt or shame when people have done something 'wrong' and are unable to forgive themselves. Invariably, the very fact that they are wallowing in self-guilt and shame suggests they weren't really to blame for whatever (often repressed) 'unforgivable' event they believe they deserve to be punished for.

It would really depend on whether you're hungry to improve and excel; or merely looking for an alternative kind of emotional validation (equally as corruptive and disturbing as the almost universal preference for the 'sweet' lie as opposed to the 'cruel' truth.

You ever hear someone say "If you have nothing nice to say, then don't say anything at all"?

90% of the time, the creep 'advising' such a 'wisdom' is the definition of vile.

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And now we have "Eagle Fath... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2012 7:48 PM | Posted by jonny: | Reply

And now we have "Eagle Father", the video is going viral across the Internet. Forces his kid to run through the snow to make him tougher. What doesn't kill you, makes you >.

http://youtu.be/YJOIYmiVu5g

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Thanks Johnny. Strangely en... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2012 8:13 PM | Posted, in reply to jonny's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Thanks Johnny. Strangely enough...i think it's all of those things. I have trouble forgiving myself for anything. An example of that would be littering; If I ever thought I left something for someone else to pick up it would drive me insane if I'm not already. (being ocd about littering might not be right.) Another example is how I relive all my transgressions constantly with an eye toward never letting it happen again. I can really see how people would turn to religion for forgiveness, super convenient.

I'm not looking for abuse, I'm looking for serious hardcore insight which is why i'm gravitating towards this blog.

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I just couldn't leave your ... (Below threshold)

June 14, 2012 4:16 AM | Posted by Randy Masters: | Reply

I just couldn't leave your website before saying that I really enjoyed the quality information you offer. Will be back often to check up on new stuff you post!
fashion games

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"As long as the kid can mak... (Below threshold)

October 19, 2012 9:23 PM | Posted by John: | Reply

"As long as the kid can make sense of the story of his life, if he understands its narrative structure-- even if it is made up (Life Is Beautiful)-- he can make it."

Let's just say there were deficiencies in the narrative structure...

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