Re: The Parents Are Neurotic

1

I think anxiety about children is largely displaced anxiety about what will happen to them as adults. We're in a period where it seems very hard to predict what a reasonably happy self-supporting life is going to entail by the time our kids are there. So you end up not so much worrying about whether your kids are going to do the things necessary to successfully make it to a functional, happy life, as not even being sure what those things are these days.

Not caring about other people's kids as well, though? There's no excuse for that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 4:59 AM
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One talking point that I agree with (not necessarily raised by Fass) is that there's a trend towards making the stakes higher and higher for various (often testing) events in kids' lives, and that that's destructive, because kids need to fail and be able to learn how to pick back up after failing again.

I see this a lot in college: a kid comes in saying they want to be a doctor, fails their first semester horribly, changes major, grows from the experience, and that horrible first semester closes various doors later on.

It would be much better if that was a reasonable course of action: fail some classes, learn some lessons, not have it haunt you forever. But instead the university is spending a lot of energy trying to get kids to pick a major accurately the first time, to avoid this scenario. The stakes of failing are too high, IME.

I know I'm moving the goalposts by talking about college, but I don't yet have much experience with school-age kids.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:07 AM
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I'm getting a little tired a Finland always blowing the grading curve.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:15 AM
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To me it's all part of a larger set of magical thinking beliefs. I see this all the time in debriefing meetings. People want to believe there is a way they could have had complete control over the outcome, and the way they do that is by latching on to stupid and simplistic explanations for why the failure happened.

American culture is enormously biased toward an individual locus of control rather than structural explanations. This can be wonderfully powerful -- I don't underestimate the costs of the learned passivity that other cultures can more often cultivate. But it is also terribly damaging.

A case in point is sports. At every level from Under-6 soccer to the major leagues, there is endless post-game analysis and discussion -- virtually none of which ever notes that we have designed a system in which 50% of teams are inevitably going to lose any given game. Duh! It sounds so obvious when you write it out.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:15 AM
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Whoops, I hit "post" too quickly.

The magical thinking shows up in parenting as a desire to remove all risk from a situation. I just talked to a mother the other day whose phenomenally accomplished daughter is an Ivy League student with a totally packed schedule.

The mother was so panicked that her daughter might not have time during the spring semester to find a summer job that she wrote a resume for the daughter, sent it to one of her own friends, and got the daughter a job.

This is a wealthy family whose members are all exceptionally accomplished. There is no reason on this green earth that this young woman needed a job -- either for financial or career reasons. She will end up in the 1% no matter what.

And yet there was zero awareness that it might actually be NICE for the kid to have a bit of a breather, or that if she left things too late and couldn't find a summer job she might learn something from that. None.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:20 AM
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4.last: Three very drunk men in a bar were convinced that Ohio State won a basketball game because of me. Ohio State started scoring after I sat down, so they asked me not to move so as not to ruin things. I got some beer out of it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:21 AM
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This is related a bit to LB's comment 1, I think, but I was struck by this part:

Once you pass social security laws, and certainly Medicare, then the sense of obligation toward a parent gets removed from the children. It's taken over by the state or by an insurance plan. The kind of interaction that had earlier been expected, that when parents got older they would live with their children, doesn't happen anymore.

SS and Medicare aside, this wouldn't even be financially possible. Even for friends of mine who have gone more straight career-track (say, doctors), they're not now, in their mid- to late 30s, in a financial position to support their parents. The parents are almost all more well-off.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:41 AM
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1

Not caring about other people's kids as well, though? There's no excuse for that.

The more people are worried about their own kids the less they will worry about anything else.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:45 AM
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2
I see this a lot in college: a kid comes in saying they want to be a doctor, fails their first semester horribly, changes major, grows from the experience, and that horrible first semester closes various doors later on.

I think that particular example is adequately explained by today's cost of tuition.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:45 AM
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I am exhausted from worrying about my kids. Most of my worry is of the kind mentioned by LB. I worry about what their adults lives will be like. Will they have the tools and resources for a healthy and happy life?

Pointing them in the right direction sounds easy until you realize there really is not a right direction. Maybe just point them away from some known wrong directions.

Parenting is hard!!!!! This is the whining thread, right?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:58 AM
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7

SS and Medicare aside, this wouldn't even be financially possible. Even for friends of mine who have gone more straight career-track (say, doctors), they're not now, in their mid- to late 30s, in a financial position to support their parents. The parents are almost all more well-off.

This seems a little off point. If money is a factor the combined expenses will (usually) be less if the parents and children are living in one household. And if the children are in their thirties the parents are probably still in pretty good shape physically. Ten or twenty years later it is likely more problematic for the parents to be living alone.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:58 AM
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If you look at the big picture, the most of this trend seems natural and good. As societies get wealthier, families have fewer children that they make a larger investment in, rather than having heaps of them in hopes that a few work out. I like this direction. It is more humane and civilized.

There is no excuse, however, for not caring about other people's children, as Lizardbreath points out. Also this seems to be less of a problem in enlightened topless European countries, like finland. Nor is it a problem in S. Korea, which seems just as enlightened, if not as topless.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:11 AM
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The more people are worried about their own kids the less they will worry about anything else.

My capacity for worry is not a fixed sum. I contain infinite amounts of worry to call on.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:13 AM
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I think anxiety about children is largely displaced anxiety about what will happen to them as adults.

that's right I think. And as Shearer points out there can be an inverse relationship between worrying about other peoples' kids and worrying about your own...anxiety about downward mobility can cause you to huddle up and just focus on your private needs.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:15 AM
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Xanax might help.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:16 AM
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15 to 13, mostly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:16 AM
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12

There is no excuse, however, for not caring about other people's children, as Lizardbreath points out. Also this seems to be less of a problem in enlightened topless European countries, like finland. Nor is it a problem in S. Korea, which seems just as enlightened, if not as topless.

Those countries aren't very diverse. How much do Finns care about Greek children?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:17 AM
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5

This is a wealthy family whose members are all exceptionally accomplished. There is no reason on this green earth that this young woman needed a job -- either for financial or career reasons. She will end up in the 1% no matter what.

If she was left to her own devices during the summer she might start hanging out with hippies and smoking dope.

And I doubt she is actually certain to be in the 1%.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:21 AM
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If left to her own devices, she can build a time machine? I'm sure she'll be fine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:28 AM
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Those countries aren't very diverse. How much do Finns care about Greek children?

Yeah, that's right, European countries aren't very diverse. Jesus Christ. In fact, I bet you believe we're simultaneously ethnically homogenous and being overrun by hordes of Muslim immigrants. (Who are themselves simultaneously sponging off our benefit system and taking our jobs.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:33 AM
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Neighbour, please! Bulgarian immigrants. Who haven't arrived yet but will certainly sponge off our benefits and take our jobs if and when they do.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:36 AM
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Witt is a treasure, 4 is great.

People used to be a lot more comfortable alienating the rights of inferior parents. Also, concern for other people's kids in the US in the past may not have been any too strong, I am not sure. What's the evidence that people used to care?

Federal child labor laws didn't get passed here until the depression, when adults wanted the kids' salaries. Lewis Hine photographed lots of working kids in the 1920s. Industrial child labor in Germany and Austria was widespread in the mid-19th century, I don't know that much about work conditions in glass shops or textile mills during the industrial revolution there, but I doubt they were gentle.

The idea that uncertainty is a modern innovation is IMO not right. People used to die young frequently or migrate into the complete unknown. We currently have the luxury of worrying decades into the future rather than hoping to get through this year. Possibly the time horizon for comfortable people is shrinking a bit-- people are learning to think ahead only one decade instead of several as their parents did.

My personal biases are that I have one well-adjusted 12 year-old, and that I started working part-time and generally avoiding being at home at 11. So I have the privilege of not having a deep personal basis for concern (which I sympathize with, I am every day grateful that my kid's healthy and cheerful), and my own childhood failed to fulfill a number of middle-class ideals, though the most important conditions, shelter, love, and some stability, were present.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:40 AM
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America is an incredibly diverse country. Think about it: Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, Scottish-Americans, German-Americans, Austrian-Americans. It's just not reasonable for all these different groups to consider themselves part of a common society. There will always be conflict between them.

That's what James meant, right?


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:43 AM
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19. Nobody can successfully build a time machine, and here's why:

The R&D effort involved in developing a successful time machine is hideously expensive, so the first commercial models cost gazillions. However, over time the technology matures and the price drops to something affordable. Therefore, whenever somebody develops a time machine, time machine salespeople from the future can come back in time with their cheap kit and undercut them, driving them out of business. So original time machine industries never take off, meaning that the viable mature industries never develop. Therefore, alternative universes in which time travel is invented simply flash in and out of existence like virtual particles. In fact they may be virtual particles; I offer this hypothesis to the physicists out there for free.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:47 AM
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Hasn't there been a rise in far right political parties and falling support for redistributive policies in multiple European countries concomitant with this increase in diversity?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:49 AM
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20

Yeah, that's right, European countries aren't very diverse. ...

Not European countries in general, Finland in particular. According to Wikipedia

The share of foreign citizens in Finland is 3.4%, among the lowest in the European Union.[100] Most of them are from Russia, Estonia and Sweden.[100] The children of foreigners are not automatically given Finnish citizenship. If they are born in Finland and cannot get citizenship of any other country, they become citizens.[101]

See also True Finns .


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:55 AM
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24 is brilliant.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:58 AM
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I think that particular example is adequately explained by today's cost of tuition.

I don't think this follows at all. It's more the lack of jobs after school.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:00 AM
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24: If we change patent laws to give inventors a retroactive monopoly, it might work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:03 AM
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Specifically flunking a year of school, which might mean an extra year of tuition toward a degree, is expensive these days.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:04 AM
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Sure, true. That's not specifically the cause-and-effect that I keep hearing anecdotally, though. I keep hearing about internships becoming unavailable, etc.

But on that note, another example of the super high stakes are how quickly you can lose your financial aid, given 1-2 bad semesters. That one is definitely only a problem because tuition is so sky-high, but ideally a student wouldn't completely fuck themselves over when it comes time to fail.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:10 AM
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I went to a state school with very low tuition by today's standards (probably about $2,000 a semester). They'd just plain flunk you out after one bad semester. If you were interested, you'd go to a community college or something and come back after the required time off. It wasn't an uncommon path.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:18 AM
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Somewhat off-topic, but in caring about other people's kids, my friend has been the wonderful kinship foster parent (friend of the family) to three children for the last year+ and the children's mother is going to be deported in the next few days if ICE doesn't agree to offer her a U Visa because of the substantiated domestic abuse she suffered. If she is able to get the U Visa and stay here, the US citizen children will be reunited with their mom and be able to go back to living as a family. My friend loves these kids, but is also exhausted by all the obligations she has taken on and strongly believes that reunification would be better for all involved than having her adopt the children, which she will do if their mother is deported and their parents' rights terminated for that reason. This is a topic I care about at a political level, but my feelings for this family are deep and personal.

Here is the petition with more information and people are having the most luck calling ICE Director John Morton. The email petition part just goes to an out-of-office message and timing is very important now.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:19 AM
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Seen this? http://boingboing.net/2013/04/03/parents-in-danger-of-having-si.html


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:20 AM
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32: Which would be fine with me, as long as it doesn't completely sabotage the kid's eventual prospects when they do get their life in order. Failure is fine! Have some consequences, be able to turn things around, and achieve realistic goals.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:20 AM
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Yeah, that's right, European countries aren't very diverse. Jesus Christ. In fact, I bet you believe we're simultaneously ethnically homogenous and being overrun by hordes of Muslim immigrants. (Who are themselves simultaneously sponging off our benefit system and taking our jobs.)

Am I wrong in thinking that public support for redistribution to the less fortunate is in fact sinking like a stone as the countries become less homogeneous?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:23 AM
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34

You complain when people don't care about other people's kids and then you complain when they do.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:24 AM
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26: Shearer, you know perfectly well that there are other European countries up there which have standards similar to Finland and are much more diverse. Netherlands, Belgium, Norway for example. Outside Europe, look at Canada and New Zealand.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:26 AM
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Financial aid grade rules are really frustrating to me. I don't think a bad grade in one class should have those sorts of dire consequences, and it makes it hard for me to give the right grades.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:28 AM
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Am I wrong in thinking that public support for redistribution to the less fortunate is in fact sinking like a stone as the countries become less homogeneous?

a) There's no historical correlation. Support for highly redistributive policies coincided with large levels of nonwhite Commonwealth immigration in Britain in the 1940s, for example.
b) Not sure that public support for redistribution actually is declining. Government support for it is - not the same thing.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:29 AM
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39: Me too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:31 AM
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It was all fine until the goddam kids started listening to that rock n roll music. And becoming communists (which was certainly related, even if the exact mechanism isn't well understood).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:32 AM
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Outside Europe, look at Canada and New Zealand.

Inside of Europe, it's too dark to read.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:32 AM
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35: I think it worked out well for them. When a university has open enrollment, they have to do something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:33 AM
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That experience probably doesn't apply to small children as everybody I know who flunked out of college was just drinking too much to study.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:53 AM
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I called about Thorn's friend and the Angela Morales case! It was awkward! Even though I talked to the guy's assistant and told him in general terms that "a friend" knows the foster mom and that they support reunification of the family.

I get all kinds of notifications about these cases, and I often don't call because I hate doing it and it's awkward, but I told myself that I had to call because the unfoggetariat helps each other out on situations like this, just as several people from this blog sent money to the Cold Snap legal collective to help with the RNC8 cases.

But you know what I really hate? I hate that this the the way the system works, that there's always a constant state of emergency where we always have to call in to keep somebody's dad who has kidney cancer (a real situation!) from being deported basically in the middle of his treatment, or somebody who is in danger of her life as a trans woman if she gets deported, etc etc. I hate that the system has evolved into "there is no humanity or justice unless everyone who cares about this stuff is in a constant state of emergency activism".

On a personal level, I hate the fact that every day it seems like there's a new crisis among my agglomeration of tumblr and blogular acquaintances. I know that to a degree it's confirmation bias and the changing role of social media, but I feel like there are far more "help I am losing my apartment and will be on the street", "help I need emergency surgery" and "help my mom is being deported" stuff going on than there used to be.

I am very distantly connected to a legal case where a young trans woman was convicted of accidentally stabbing and killing a white supremacist who was attacking her. She plead not guilty but was convicted and has been subject to an even-greater-than-normal degree of harassment in prison - a lot of transfers, "losing" all her personal possessions such as the books people have sent her, being put in solitary - and there's always some kind of call-in to get her her hormones or to get her out of solitary, etc. And again, it's really scary because it's a mere fluke of organizing that she has this group of people to do the call-ins, the call-ins aren't always very effective anyway, and what must life be like for the people who don't have a support network, especially a middle class support network which can provide legal assistance and is better equipped to work the system?

I just hate the way fairness and decent treatment have been "outsourced" and seem to depend on your ability to muster your own personal network.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 7:57 AM
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Support for highly redistributive policies coincided with large levels of nonwhite Commonwealth immigration in Britain in the 1940s, for example.
I've been led to believe that Britain had high levels of social solidarity in the 1940s for exogenous reasons.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 8:08 AM
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Hmm. I tried calling just now, and the # for ICE director Morton given in the link in 33 seems to just get a beep. Maybe it's an answering machine? It was confusing.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 8:09 AM
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48: It might be busy - my conversation with the assistant suggested that they were getting a bunch of calls.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 8:12 AM
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Am I wrong in thinking that public support for redistribution to the less fortunate is in fact sinking like a stone as the countries become less homogeneous?

There actually is quite a bit of good empirical research now finding that higher levels of ethnic diversity are correlated with lower social solidarity. See for example this piece by Harvard's Robert Putnam (the 'Bowling Alone' guy). There are a number of other papers as well. I don't think anyone has fully proven the time series connection to declines in redistribution though, and there are some complicated causal issues to work out.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 8:44 AM
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Christ, I'm wronger than Shearer. I might have to start drinking now.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 9:37 AM
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46
"I just hate the way fairness and decent treatment have been "outsourced" and seem to depend on your ability to muster your own personal network"

This is true, and also gives me a mild depression.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 9:58 AM
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Thanks, Frowner. I was hesitant to mention it here because I, too, see campaigns to do something/call someone/give something every day and understand the fatigue and also that as long as that method is what works, I'm not sure there's enough of an incentive to make other ways work. And yet in any given case, you don't really want to see the person fall through the cracks because things should work better.

It sounds from my friend like ICE is moving in the right direction now and she's still hopeful that it's all going to come together in time. But seriously, her state has known about this and so has ICE for months and months now and yet nothing is going to happen until the last minute because that's how the system "works."


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 12:44 PM
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And thanks for trying to x. trapnel too, which I meant to write in the second paragraph.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 12:45 PM
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||

NMM to Roger Ebert. This is a sad one. I bet I'm not the only one who thought of him as ignorable middlebrow, then got over myself and found him essential and deeply humanistic, and engaged in film and culture in a meaningful and open minded way.

I quit using my old Unfogged pseud because he quoted a blog comment I made under the old name, and I felt bad that the validation adhered to my alter ego.

|>


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 12:54 PM
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NMM to Ebert.

M to Beyond the Valley of the Dolls hopefully still okay.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 12:54 PM
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I drunkenly emailed him once; he was very nice.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 12:55 PM
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Two thumbs PWNED


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 12:57 PM
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Wow, that is fast (and sad, obviously.) Some news blurb just this morning made it sound like his cancer had come back.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 12:59 PM
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My pain in the ass kid decided to have a bunch of seizures today. One of which resulted in a black eye for her. Fortunately, that seizure was during her mom's watch so CPS can't accuse me!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 1:00 PM
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found him essential and deeply humanistic, and engaged in film and culture in a meaningful and open minded way.

Well-said. I agree completely.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 1:01 PM
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56 was exactly what I first thought.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 1:02 PM
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54: I didn't actually accomplish anything. I called again and got a person, but he quickly told me the right number to call for the petition thing was 1-800-[too fast for me to catch], and I was just like, "Ok, thanks" and hung up. I suck at this. My sense of personal efficacy is not very strong today.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 1:39 PM
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55: Holy smokes, that was fast. I feel like just two days I ago I saw he was taking a "leave of presence" or some such.

I bet I'm not the only one who thought of him as ignorable middlebrow, then got over myself and found him essential and deeply humanistic, and engaged in film and culture in a meaningful and open minded way.

I would substitute "annoyingly pretentious" for "ignorable middlebrow" but otherwise this is spot on.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 2:04 PM
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I guess if some people see you as "annoyingly pretentious" and some people see you as "ignorable middlebrow", you've got something to offer everyone.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 2:09 PM
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I sure never thought of goofy catchphrase teevee guy as "annoyingly pretentious."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 2:15 PM
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"I look to books for facts and to movies for feelings," Roger Ebert wrote in Slate ...from Slate

Ebert was a weekly part of my life for over forty years.

He was not someone I would read (or watch) for recommendations, he was too mainstream and too generous, but the first site I would visit after enjoying a film because Ebert always increased my pleasure.

First and foremost a newspaper guy, "the guy could write," on deadline, drunk, while holding a conversation, whipping out quality copy by the truckload, day after day for decades. A lot of people got to watch this productivity live when he moved online.

I loved him. I grieve.

RIP my ass. He didn't believe in an afterlife, but he was wrong. Online forever, may he always be at the top of the IMDB critics listings. I will fight for that.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 2:45 PM
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66: right? How pretentious can a dude be on UHF?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 2:46 PM
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67 is nice.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 2:55 PM
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67 is touching, thank you.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 3:24 PM
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67 is a very nice tribute. It's sad news.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 3:24 PM
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Let me stipulate again that I was WRONG. (It was a confession, not an argument for how to view Ebert.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 4:22 PM
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whipping out quality copy by the truckload,

That's the thing of it. In the online era, this meant he was putting out more stuff than I could digest. Someone in my FB feed linked to this and I think, man this is great, and then I think, wow it't not over yet. Then I think, man, I should be working.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 4:43 PM
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Let's not forget that Ebert wrote the script for an all-time classic movie as well.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:04 PM
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38

Shearer, you know perfectly well that there are other European countries up there which have standards similar to Finland ...

The specific countries cited in 12 were Finland and South Korea both of which are known for ethnic nationalism.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:21 PM
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I quit using my old Unfogged pseud because he quoted a blog comment I made under the old name, and I felt bad that the validation adhered to my alter ego.

A comment you made … on unfogged?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:25 PM
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Am I to understand that Roger Ebert quoted unfogged?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:34 PM
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Doesn't look like it.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:44 PM
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It's a plausible interpretation, no? Otherwise it would have to mean that k-sky is really ingmar bergman.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 5:55 PM
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Re: 74, I just re-read Ebert's very sweet tribute to Russ Meyer:

One day, well into the screenplay for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, I laughed aloud at the keyboard. "What's so funny?" Russ shouted from his office. "Z-Man's a woman!" I shouted back, "He's been a woman the whole time!" Russ appeared in my office door. "How can he be a woman?" he said. "He's named Z-Man." "I don't know," I said. "But he takes off his shirt and Lance Rocke shouts, 'My God, Ronnie! You've got tits! You've been a woman the whole time!'" Russ thought about that for a moment. "I like it. You can never have too many tits in a movie."


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:05 PM
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7, etc.:

Once you pass social security laws, and certainly Medicare, then the sense of obligation toward a parent gets removed from the children. It's taken over by the state or by an insurance plan. The kind of interaction that had earlier been expected, that when parents got older they would live with their children, doesn't happen anymore.

I heard or read someone making this observation recently; unfortunately cannot remember where, or who. The commentator was ruminating on the real motivations or thoughts behind conservatives' hostility to Social Security and Medicare, and noted that the (secret) wish to eradicate them altogether stems from a desire to return to older times of greater felt responsibility to support one's parents, at a time when it was much more viable to do so. Essentially to once again privatize the care of our elders (understood as parents).

It's worth thinking about what makes things different now:

- we're a much more dispersed society: people don't necessarily live in the same area as parents

- we're more likely to be two-income households in which the wife is not at home to engage in caretaking

- health care expenses are far higher than they had been, in part because:

- older people are living longer

What else? I find this interesting because I do actually regret that we don't honor and support our elders as much as I wish we would.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:34 PM
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I can add:

- Fewer older people are parents. More of us don't reproduce.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:36 PM
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One other:

-- We expect, or demand, more personal space in our living quarters than we used to


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 6:52 PM
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No, it was a comment at The House Next Door, about The Hurt Locker.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 10:19 PM
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Also, elder care in the home was often miserable for at least one generation. Resource contention & battle for dominance.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 4-13 10:55 PM
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81: generation have stretched out in many middle class cases so that instead of vigorous grandparents helping with child care and then looked after by parents and teens, the children can still be young while the grandparents are declining.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:37 AM
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"(This is annoying:

And there is some genuine concern. Our schools do not, at least in obvious ways that you can put on a chart, compete with schools in Finland and Korea. "

I thought her point in the rest of that paragraph is that the US's core competency is in creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship and we should not ramp up the rote learning and standardized testing in our schools to try to chase some of the Asian educational systems. I agree.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:47 AM
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I thought her point in the rest of that paragraph is that the US's core competency is in creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship and we should not ramp up the rote learning and standardized testing in our schools to try to chase some of the Asian educational systems.
I waver between agreeing that our style of schooling is better at encouraging creativity and worrying that the underlying sentiment ("we are innovators; they are adaptors") reflects Orientalism.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 9:54 AM
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87: Sure, that's her point. But even in obvious ways, our top half of schools do very well against those other countries. The haves have good schools, the have nots have not.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-13 10:28 AM
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