Hard Work VS Delgation of Responsibilities.

After reading an article today over at MSNBC about a 19 year old college student who is seeking to hire his own personal assistant to do his laundry, and drive him to and from classes, I got to thinking. The more I thought about it, the more disgusted I became with the whole idea of it. Now, a lot of the reactions to it echoed a bit of resentment towards a kid who can't be bothered to do everyday tasks in the vein of "wealthy spoiled brat" insults. However I wasn't bothered by it because he could afford to do so, but rather I was more disturbed by the fact that people were praising him for his entrepreneurial skills and a lot of "Good for him!" responses.

And not because I feel that he is being lazy, which I do. And not because I feel he is incapable, unable, or unwilling to learn how to properly budget his own time as an intro into adulthood. Not because I feel that he is going to get a very rude awakening when he gets a real job, where his bosses expect him to multi-task for them for eighty hours a week, and not being able to delegate his work tasks to a hired assistant. And finally not because I feel that this kid gave up at the first sign that he might break a sweat and couldn't handle it, nor has he even earned the right to be respected as a well-adjusted adult. And not because I feel that maturity and responsibility must be earned and not bought.

No, it's because I feel that failing to experience the struggle and the reward of hard work without the help of someone else actually creates a lack of compassion, empathy, and understanding for the millions of people in this world who must do all of their own work and chores, without help because they cannot afford to hire a personal assistant to do it for them.

I was reminded, almost instantly of a constant conversation - or argument rather - between a group of mothers about the struggles of working out of the home, working from home, and staying at home with regards to balancing that life, and motherhood with all of the domestic responsibilities that accompany it. There was one woman who simply could not comprehend why all of the other women were complaining about how tired and stressful it felt to balance motherhood and careers, and why some women actually chose to drop out of the work force because of that stress. She would say things like "I have a career, a family, and I can do it. It's not that hard, What's wrong with you people?" As well as things like "You are all just lazy whiners. Get a job, it's not that hard to balance motherhood and a career."

Of course, she finally blurted out that she had a full-time maid and a live-in nanny. She finally admitted that her responsibilities included going to work, and playing with her kids when she got home. The maid did all of the domestic work, including the laundry and grocery shopping, preparation of meals, etc... and he Nanny took care of all of the children's needs. And she still simply could not relate to the rest of us - not even after being lambasted with comments like "Well sure it's easy when you have a maid and a nanny." And "Yes, it's rather easy to be a career woman and a mother when you don't actually have to do the work yourself."

And that, right there, is the problem. She had been paying other people to do her "mundane" work for so long that she simply couldn't understand what was wrong with the rest of us. She also couldn't understand why we would be proud to be able to accomplish so much on our own, when "so much" included rearing our children, and washing our own clothes. She could understand the pride associated with doing well at work, but not at home, because she did not understand just how hard it really can be.

And so this 19 year old kid is starting his adult life off, never knowing what it feels like to work hard, to struggle, and to be proud that you did something without the help of someone else. He will never be able to understand what his future employees are going through when they ask for some time off to take care of personal matters, children, or loved ones. He will never understand that having to work as much as most of us do, plus having to work as hard as we do at home will exhaust us.

We will have yet another cold-hearted corporate shark out there, completely oblivious to the realities that many of us face every day. He will not know what "hard work" actually is, because he will delegate anything he doesn't want to do to some poor schmuck willing to make a few bucks doing it, because he is struggling to make ends meet, feed his family, work several jobs, all while washing his own clothes. And when his hired schmuck needs a day off, he will look at him and think "What's wrong with you, this isn't so hard to do..." while completely missing the irony of him not being able to simultaneously handle his own job and his private responsibilities.

So the cycle of abuse continues - and people are out there cheering it on. Fan-freaking-tastic.

And by the way, I feel that I should add a casual observation I came to last night after posting this. If this student's time is so precious that it's better used on things not involving mundane personal responsibility, then why is it that he seems to think that other students, with full class loads, homework, part time jobs, friends or family they'd like to see, and their own laundry to wash has more than enough time to take care of him as well as all of their other responsibilities? Wouldn't their time also be better spent studying rather than driving him to and from class? His time is better spent studying, but their time is better spent pampering him?

What does that tell you about how he sees himself and his importance versus how he views other people's time and importance?

Edit - the link at the top is no longer available - here is a link to the cached version of the story: MSNBC


"Give me your son, Ma'am" TSA agents took a woman's son from her.

Over at "Bottle's up" Nic, the author, recounts her horrifying encounter with TSA agents at the airport, where they took her son from her - even if only briefly - over a pacifier clip. Please go read her story, and give her some support.

Both mother and child are safe at home, now.

From the post:

My worst nightmare took place yesterday. Worse than events that have taken place and that I have survived in my short 28 years of living. Worse than my wildest of dreams could conjure.

My son was taken from me.


My son was taken from me by the TSA agents at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport yesterday.


What On Earth is Up With Kid's Cartoons?

Now, this is more of a personal rant rather than a political one, but I do think that the observation of the media kid's are being drowned in today says something about society in general. So here goes...

Have you watched the plethora of cartoons being touted as "educational" lately? Now, back in the day cartoons were for fun. No one mistook Tom and Jerry or Wile E Coyote for some sort of life instructional, unless you wanted to be sure to avoid running off the side of a cliff or how to make a body imprint as you ran through a wall. The signs were neat, too. But they were not educational, and they did not run 24 hours a day every day. You got them on Saturday morning, and then you went out to play.

Today we have entire channels devoted only to "children's educational cartoons" and I have to say after watching some of these cartoons, I'm pretty sure my IQ actually dropped a point.

A few cartoons that irk me to no end include:

"Wonder Pets". These little creatures talk "baby talk", which drives me straight up a wall. I mean, what is beneficial about constantly hearing "Ohw No! Dis is sewious!". ARGH! That causes linguistic backsliding, not learning enhancement! It's a butchery of the language! Further more the characters are animals, who can speak, break out of their cages at will, and rescue other animals but fail at figuring out the small problems they face. They can't rescue a baby raccoon from a garbage can, but they can build a working helicopter from recycled paper towel tubes and coat hangers.

Really? What kind of message does that send? How is that educational?

"Special Agent Oso". This one is at the top of my list of annoying cartoons. I have never seen a dumber bear or group of characters in my entire life. Again, with the inability to figure out the simplest of things, and needing step by step hand held instructions on things like...how to put lettuce in a bowl, or how to ride a carousel horse. Kids are much, much smarter than the producers give them credit for, obviously. Talk about dumbed down....

"Wow Wow Wubzy." Do I even have to say it? "Wubzy" there, I said it. (God, really?) With characters who are supposed to be children, who apparently have no parents, living in some digital world and play games like "kickity-kick ball", no problem solving skills of their own, and the uber sugary sweet reward for not actually doing anything.

"Yo Gabba Gabba". What kind of tripped out person created that show? Whatever drugs they're on, they must be good. I see nothing "educational" about that one. Except maybe a lesson in why one shouldn't do drugs.

Did I mention that none of these cartoons deal with anything a kid might actually have to deal with in real life? Such as losing a game, hurting their knee, being naughty, winning a game (while others lose), having to deal with siblings, friends, pressure, day care, parents, the whole nine - these shows exist in some kind of sick parallel universe where kids are dumber than a box of rocks, and no one's feelings ever get hurt.

The next big cartoon will probably having the characters shitting out rainbows and vomiting butterflies.

Calling shows like this "educational" is like adding vitamin C to sugar pops and calling it "healthy".

There a few cartoons I do like, however.

"Calliou". It's actually a pretty good cartoon, although a little sugary, it deals with a kid, who speaks like a 4 year old actually speaks (NO baby talk!) who has to deal with actual life issues. Things like daycare and preschool, working parents, a little sister, a pet and it's responsibilities, friends, and winning and losing games gracefully. The characters have tantrums, experience the full array of emotions, and actually do real problem solving on the level of a preschooler. Some say it's boring, but for a toddler and preschooler, it's like watching something they can actually relate to.

"Arthur". It's a great cartoon for older kids. Again, it deals with kids experiencing things real kids experience. They have fun, they get into trouble, the parents are ever present as they are in real life, homework, school yard bullies, etc and so forth.

But I simply cannot stand all of these terrible, horrible, babyish, dumbed down, huggy bear, kissy face, tip-toe-through-the-tulips crap cartoons!

And I do think it speaks to the mindset of society at the moment. We wonder why our kids are doing poorly in school, have the parents stopped to see what their kids are watching, and have been watching constantly? And who thought these things up? The producers no doubt claim to be "educational specialists" who can design programs to enhance children's learning.

If they're planning the school curriculum too, we are in deep shit.

And...that's my rant for today....