Friday, October 29, 2010

Parental (Mis)Guidance

The saying, especially in America, is that every generation wants the next generation to have more opportunity and more success than the previous. It’s a nice sentiment that parents can stick to when they are deciding to put money into a college fund rather than take a vacation or when a family sneaks across a dangerous border in order to ensure their son or daughter has the ability to find a job, even if it’s picking fruits and vegetables in the murderous sun or mowing some rich guy’s lawn in Beverly Hills.

Unfortunately, not all parents subscribe to this philosophy. They may think they do, but they don’t. All too often narrow-minded parents believe that the better life their kid deserves is the same life they themselves had as a child. Granted, a lot of what existed in the past would be welcome in today’s world: kids being able to play safely on their front lawns, humans talking in person rather than texting or Facebooking, and people actually giving a shit about baseball. Those positives aside, too many parents are trying to force their outdated childhood on the life experiences of their progressive children.

Recently, I have been sickened with two stories from close friends regarding the lack of love and support they received from their parents about the choices they made in their lives. One friend was struggling to find work and decided to get into the film industry; a choice frowned upon by her lawyer parents because money isn’t a guarantee in the arts, especially when you are just starting out. She’s currently working on sets 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, and her parents don’t even know. While she’s disappointed she can’t clue them in on her successes, she’s ridiculously excited with the progress she’s making in her career working in film. She may not be cashing million dollar paychecks for writing contracts or getting murderers out of prison, but she is happy. 

Do something good with your life...
Become a lawyer.

Another friend recently got engaged, to his parents chagrin. In a time where they should be feeling joy for their son, they felt anger and betrayal. Not because his fiancĂ© is a terrible person and not because she won’t make their son happy, but because she’s not of the same religion. It’s hard enough in this world to find someone that you like, not to mention love, and they want to take that away from him because she believes in a different Santa Claus than they do. Insanity.

The common thread between these two families is religion. Religious people are the worst at thinking they know what is best for everyone else while telling them to follow a path that has no appeal to anyone but themselves and their like-minded followers. This epidemic of stunted thought processes can be seen in today’s political world. Candidates are attempting to appeal to their religious bases by decrying such concepts as gay marriage, legalizing marijuana, or allowing illegal immigrants to become legal citizens. These people have grown up being told, “Gays are icky sinners!” and “Don’t smoke weed!” and “White is right! (Unless they are cleaning our house!)” Living such a restricted life leads to jealousy of those who are able to guiltlessly indulge in whatever it is they choose. And just like a teenage girl who throws fruit punch on her rival’s better fitting prom dress, when adults are jealous, rather than simply look away and live their life the way they choose to, they need to do everything in their power to impede the other person’s happiness.

Why else would someone be opposed to others smoking weed or being gay or becoming a citizen? I don’t smoke weed. But I drink once or twice a week. And alcohol is much worse than weed. I have a lot of friends, good responsible people, who have gotten DUI’s. Alcohol often brings out the worst in people and often leads to injury, death, or alcoholism, which can ruin lives, careers, and families. Meanwhile, weed makes people stay home, eat Cheetos, listen to The Beatles, and watch Half Baked. Who gives a shit? And legalizing it will help the economy. Gay marriage? People don’t want it because either 1) They’re not gay and they don’t like other people indulging in experiences that they themselves do not take part in (like weed), 2) they are gay themselves and hate themselves for it because of everything they have been taught since childhood, and therefore don’t want others to be able to partake (like weed), or 3) the Bible says so. Newsflash, the Bible says a lot of stupid shit that most civilized people realize is ridiculous so when they are picking and choosing what they want to follow from the book, they avoid those sections. Why can’t we do this on the Bible’s view of homosexuality? All Bibles should be rolled up and burned (like weed).

What leads to worse decisions, alcohol or weed?
The same people who have a hatred for a drug they have never tried, probably because they are so lame no one ever offered it to them, are the people who don’t want gays in the military or teaching in our schools or adopting babies that no one else can take care of, as if their homosexuality is going to rub off on all of those around them. Or maybe the gays can’t be trusted around children because they’re all a bunch of child molesters, right? You know who are a bunch of child molesters? Priests.

"God says homosexuality is a sin!
He also says I need a blow job! Who's up first?"
And illegal immigration? I agree we need to clamp down on the borders, but for the people here who are currently working a bunch of jobs that “whitey” won’t do anyways, let them be citizens. The only reason Americans don’t want a bunch of Mexicans here is because they don’t want “our” country to turn into a country of brown people. Well, on the coasts, it’s too late. Go to California and Florida where there are huge Hispanic communities. Guess what? They work hard, their women are hot, and their food is delicious. It’s more than I can say about the “real Americans” in the Bible Belt who are all lazy fat fucks who eat nothing but the animal they just shot and grilled cheese sandwiches.

"Dem' Mexicans are changing the face (and the gut) of this country!"
As much as we look at adults as people of maturity and experience, deep down a lot of them are angry little kids. As far as religion goes, practicing adults fall into two categories: 1) those who place their social acceptance and comfort above their individualism and the ability to represent one’s own unique thoughts or 2) those who truly believe in their religion, be it because of fear of death, an inability to rationally look at the ideas that have been planted into their heads since they were a child, or (most frightening of all) they actually believe that “God” exists and allows all of the horrible things in this world to happen, all the while helping Musicians win Grammys, athletes win championships, and Christine O’Donnell win elections. Either way, too many religious adults are looking to push the invalid ideals and concepts that were forced upon them onto their children. And in the instances where their children decide independently that their path to happiness lies elsewhere, their parents are abandoning them.

I think these parents, although misguided, truly believe they are doing what is best for their kids. They have spent their entire lives having no control over their own life except for what God they pray to and what they can tell their kids to do. When they start to lose power, they cling, just as religious people cling even harder to their ideals when confronted with inconvenient things like truth, facts, and science. In order to regain control, parents simply want their kids to take a safe route. Get the job that offers the most money. Marry the woman with the same faith. Hate all people who threaten your flawed way of life. Because concepts like “love” and “happiness” are not represented by numbers in a bank account, many people have trouble understanding why others choose a path that leads to them, as opposed to a success that actually can be quantified, like money or religious conviction. While I believe that the parents of my two friends think in their minds that they want what is best for their kid, their definition of “best” is completely different than their son or daughter’s.

I’m lucky, I have the greatest parents in the world. They always supported me in whatever I wanted to do and they never forced me into anything. Was there a negative side to this? Of course. I’m not in a career that guarantees monetary success, but I love what I do. And yeah I felt like the only 13 year old in my group of friends who didn’t have a Bar Mitzvah, but I’m also free to date and marry whomever I want. Plus I’ve never had to spend a weekend in Church or Temple. And while I, like my parents, made choices in my life that made me who I am today, and it turns out I’m not gay, I’m not a pot head, and I’m not an illegal alien, that doesn’t mean I can’t respect the wishes of those who are. 

The Fields Family
Sure we look happy now, but we're all going to Hell


  1. This was a really great topic and I love the way you wrote it. I totally agree with everything you said. I love the picture too.

  2. Awesome! Todd, I love the way you put into words simple truths that a lot of people (if not most) don’t take the time to examine. You must have had an awesome upbringing. Keep up the good work! You won’t go to Hell if I have anything to say about it :)

  3. Your Mom is just saying that Todd...You are going to hell! :-) The reason should of thought why you jammed that choclate milk down pewee's throat!


  4. Ohhh, I missed this blog. I like this blog the best. That's a great picture of the Fields family by the way.

  5. but grilled cheese sandwiches are delicious!

  6. Nice writing, although, most of the facts regarding your friend that recently got enagaged are EXTREMELY innaccurate. Maybe the source is being very selective as to what stories he's providing you with to save face. Your writings are clearly skewed from one side versus the other. The story about "religion" is un-true and grossly exaggerated. But I guess without the lie, you would lack this topic for a blog. Two sides to every story.

  7. Of COURSE they are skewed. This isn't a news site, it's an opinion blog. If you'd like to get your opinion out there, you should start one. I'd actually be curious as to what excuse any parent could possibly have for disowning a kid.

  8. If you are speaking about public issues such as politics that's where your opinion should be given. When you are stamping your opinion on your friends, or family, or friend's family, frankly, you should mind your own business. I doubt your friend would appreciate you posting your opinion on their personal issues on a public site. Worry about your own issues.

  9. Hey thanks for not posting anonymously the 2nd time. Much more respectable. Im constantly shocked by the amount of cowards who toss out all their thoughts from the safety of an anonymous post. But speaking of anonymous, I never mentioned names on here so no one knows who I am talking about and my friend reads my blog and never asked me to take it down. So I don't think its a problem with him. And again, I can speak about what I want just as he can marry who he wants. It seems you've inherited that rude and childish tendency of trying to tell people what to do and how to live. When it comes to minding ones business u should probably take your own advice. Thanks for reading!