Friday, October 22, 2010

Bad Parenting: The Birthplace of Materialism and The Consumer-Culture

Firstly, you realize that you can do it. Meaning, you possess the physical equipment to knock somebody up, and if you can find somebody who is willing to impregnate you, or let you impregnate them, then it seriously could happen. It’s like having a super-power, some people want to use it as quickly as possible, and often as possible, while others are afraid of it and will pretend that it’s not there.

One day, when you are in your late 20s and the novelty of being a grown-up has worn off, you will start to wonder what it would be like. This is where much of it starts. Boredom, ennui. You start to think about it and wish for it. Your parents might be pressuring you for a grandkid, that makes it seem right, like the thing you should do. Also, by now, you have a bunch of friends and acquaintances that are breeding. All of this makes it feel necessary, natural. You don’t want to get too old to “start a family”.

You meet somebody, and they have no major flaws, they haven’t raped anybody that you know of, anyway, and they are willing, so you let nature follow its course and soon you have a little human on the way. It is at the point that somebody is pregnant that the truth of it hits home. You are stuck with an 18 year job that pays nothing. 18 years at least. Not only that, the world is as shitty as it always was. You are bringing a kid into it to suffer, and why? It certainly doesn’t feel “necessary” now. It is at this point that the backpedaling starts, way before the actual birth. It’s almost never conscious, just little subtle decisions, that get rationalized as being for the “good of the child”.

From early on the kid gets a mountain of gifts. These are guilt-presents, for having brought them into the crappy world, and for feeling so burdened by them. The child sees this gift-giving as love and approval, and learns to equate fluffy toys bought in Wal-Mart with parental affection. They grow up into people who seek comfort in material things, who see them as essential. The women, especially, think that if you buy stuff for them then you must love them. The men think that if they are able to buy stuff then it means they matter, that they are important. These ideas follow them to the grave.

You see kids who live at the mall, whose entire sense of self is wrapped up in purchasing stuff. Your value as a human being, your rank, is based on what you buy. This all comes from their parents and the fact that they never really wanted the responsibility.

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