Archive for the ‘This Is The Verse’ Category

The Repair Shop

A child brought into the world to be an instrument of the parents’ worldly ambitions, a fashion accessory or a hood ornament, may fail to fulfil these functions adequately. It then becomes a piece of defective machinery that must be “fixed” in some way. There is no shortage of child mechanics who promise such parents […]

Posted on March 15, 2010 at 12:53 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: PARENTAL STATUS TECHNOLOGY, This Is The Verse

Training Videos

It seems that no one now welcomes new employees and tells them about the company or the job; instead, they make them sit before a screen and watch a “training video”. Perhaps all our childrearing could be done on this principle too? After all, child-rearing has always been about telling the offspring what to do […]

Posted on March 16, 2010 at 12:20 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: PARENTAL STATUS TECHNOLOGY, This Is The Verse

The Load Of Bearing Pillars

It is a terrible thing to grow up in a trashy home with drink and drugs and beating and incest. There is, however, one relative advantage; you don’t have to work very hard to convince people that you have a hard row to hoe. It’s a lot harder when the parents were Pillars of the […]

Posted on March 17, 2010 at 10:41 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: PARENTAL STATUS TECHNOLOGY, This Is The Verse

How Dare They! How Dare You!

Brian Aldiss has written that his own parents never came to terms with their own anger, so were unable to come to terms with his. Small tantrums were therefore greeted with threats to withdraw their love. This sounds very normal for the English middle classes of his day and mine. He might perhaps have added […]

Posted on March 17, 2010 at 16:00 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: PARENTAL STATUS TECHNOLOGY, This Is The Verse

Don’t Blame Us, You’re Just Baaad!

Whereas it was once fashionable to attribute one’s own problems to one’s dysfunctional upbringing, the tide has turned, and it is now equally fashionable to complain about bad and bitter children who are forever blaming their parents. The question that is never asked here, however, is what makes a child bad and bitter and inclined […]

Posted on March 18, 2010 at 11:44 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: PARENTAL STATUS TECHNOLOGY, This Is The Verse

Why Bad Things Happen To Children

I should like to nominate Garrison Keillor as the world’s finest observer of the art of parental crippling. For my favourite examples it is a toss-up between: “A scene, repeated thousands of times: You (in the easy chair): Dear? As long as you’re up, would you mind — Me (in the doorway): What? You (rising): […]

Posted on March 18, 2010 at 14:10 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: PARENTAL STATUS TECHNOLOGY, This Is The Verse

We’re Only Doing It For Your Own Good

Parents claim to be doing everything for their child’s good. But as Mandy Rice-Davies might have put it, “Well, they would, wouldn’t they?” The catchphrase “Tough love” allows people to credit themselves with loving when they are merely tough, and with toughness when they are merely unpleasant. Society may be regarded as a trade union […]

Posted on March 19, 2010 at 14:19 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: PARENTAL STATUS TECHNOLOGY, This Is The Verse

Honour Thy Ass

Of the Ten Commandments, one is about honouring thy father and mother, but there is none about making thy children feel loved. Why is this? Because the Ten Commandments were written by parents for their children to obey and not contrariwise. Had the Commandments been written by the ox and the ass, there would have […]

Posted on March 20, 2010 at 09:58 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: PARENTAL STATUS TECHNOLOGY, This Is The Verse

On Doing Nuffink

One of the standard grouses of parents is the way their sprogs, when asked what they are doing, reply “Nuffink”. At first sight it is easy to reprobate this as slovenly speech and extreme illogic. To do nothing on that scale, apparently, one has to be a surly adolescent; the rest of us are necessarily […]

Posted on March 20, 2010 at 13:42 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: PARENTAL STATUS TECHNOLOGY, This Is The Verse

On Young Fools And Old Fools

It is not entirely unknown for young people to be foolish and old people to be wise. Well and good, but the consequence of talking too much about “foolish youngsters” contra “wise elders” is that some of the latter come to believe their title to be a tautology, as in “male penis”. The adjective, they […]

Posted on March 21, 2010 at 09:31 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: PARENTAL STATUS TECHNOLOGY, This Is The Verse