A Random And Wistful Thought

I read the news in the mornings, probably so the reports about Syria and  Afghanistan and wherever won’t infest my sleep. At this time of year the sunbeams that play on the carpet at that hour are steeply angled and rich.

It occurs to me that no one who had seen, really seen, winter sunlight evoking a thousand different gradations of color from the fur of a sleeping gray cat could ever imagine that the world might be made better by killing people over ideas. But what do I know?


16 thoughts on “A Random And Wistful Thought

    • The weird thing is that there are people that I would still happily kill. I think. Starting with various screaming toddlers. But people whose path has never crossed mine, over who has the same imaginary friend? Why buy that grief when you could look at cats?

  1. Nothing make sense until cats themselves take their rightful place as world leaders. I’ve written in Liu several times for state and municipal office, clearly stating her nip tolerance and interspecies marriage platforms, but thus far to no avail.

  2. Being snarky for the sake of being snarky is fine, but so long as you can pretend you would happily kill a screaming child, you can’t really pretend not to understand why people would kill to preserve their ancient and venerated culture from what they see as aggressive outside interference (or even kill a howling cat, for that matter). (My thesis is that they don’t really kill over competing visions of God — Islam and Judaism both preach more tolerance than does Christianity — but only use it to energize their inherent tribalism. In other words, it’s all political.)

    • I suppose I wouldn’t want to get the blood on the rug. But really, screaming brats are in-your-face personal, doing it for the sake of doing it because they know instinctively that it makes your life hell: children are the canniest little politicians in the world, and they know they don’t have any other power, so they use and abuse it as far as they can get away with it. (When present, they come between us and any appreciation of what is beautiful or good; I choose to avoid them but I can’t help fantasizing about a good hard throttle if I find I can’t.) Someone who thinks his imaginary friend is more real than mine (assuming I think I have one) seems a lot more tenuous of a threat.

      I do get the projection of tribalism onto belief systems, but then I think of the medieval Catholics, who killed millions of their own countrymen for not being “Christian” enough.

        • Born purely of experience, including the time when I was one. From the earliest I always thought the point of being alive was to grow up and be more like adults — interested in important and complex subjects, able to do worthwhile and rewarding things like play music or invent something useful, organized, articulate — and all around me were these creatures forming gangs and doing ugly, mean, trivial and disruptive things, even the ones older than myself. As for infants, well, they’re just little shitting machines, kind of like dogs only requiring even more maintenance.

          I think most people sentimentalize children because they want their own DNA to be adored and admired and because they want that there DNA to somehow redeem the parents’ life. I admit sadly that I have not been able to do with my life what I would have liked to — I’ve fallen far short of what I hoped to accomplish — but I never felt the need to produce a replica (which, for a woman, is really a form of suicide) and put up with its mindless wretchedness for years until it learned to be human, nor to make others endure the same. It makes me crazy because with every year that goes by, there are more people who seem to expect EVERYONE to endure it. You can’t go out of the house.

          • I never liked kids when I was one, either. Luckily I have only one sister with one child and not only has said child been able to read at under two years old, she reads herself to sleep now at under two and a half. My niece will also be an outcast leper unclean in modern society – one of the reasons my sister wasn’t too upset when told she couldn’t conceive. Sort of a welcome surprise, but not for me. I know I am, honestly and not jokingly, the type to snap and do something horrible when a child screams without cease. I’m not made that way. The human race would cease itself without those that can cope with that sort of thing, but it’s for the best of the whole race that I don’t pass on my natural inclinations. We’d all die out if my crap went dominant.

          • See, this is why I went online — IRL I’d have a chance of meeting someone who feels the same way I do about once every two years. Other people just coo about kids and look at you as if they expect you to do the same.

          • I’m lucky I’ve met some amazingly well behaved kids – my son and nephew come to mind. Sweet natured, too. My stepmother, however, feels the same as you. She will give a screaming kid the evil eye as if it were second nature (not saying you do, just how she responds). Probably why she never had the desire to have any of her own. And honestly, I don’t think my father is a ‘kid’ person, either. I think he was sort of forced into it and accepted it for what it was. Now that he’s not obligated to be fatherly, well, he doesn’t.

            I don’t mind children so much as babies. It’s like much ado about nothing.

          • There are statistically bound to be some who know how to behave — but they never seem to be the ones in the same grocery line with you, say. And yeah, I give them the stink-eye without even thinking about it. My heartwarming moment last year involved a miserable bratty girl of around ten, old enough to know better, whose parents had brought her to the Thai place in Westover, you know it, it’s been ruined for me by the locals treating it as a “family” place where they can bring the whole squirming brood of little maggots; she was running up the aisle between the tables, past a waiter serving outside diners, out the door, then back again, over and over. Parents did nothing to stop her. Unexpectedly I found her standing behind me waiting for the ladies’ room. I quietly said “If you run up and down the restaurant one more time, you know I can’t actually kick you out into the middle of the road there.because it’s against the law. But I will be thinking hard about it.”

            She slunk back to her parent’s table and cut it the fuck out.

  3. LOVE that story. Glad it worked! My sister just told me she is reading a book called ‘Bringing up Bebe’ which, apparently, is about why French kids are not annoying little assholes. Her general take was that they teach the kids to be more autonomous, and she says she already does most of these things. I feel a bit bad for my niece, she will get the same level of hatred from her peer group my sister and I did (me, moreso). Yes, they are master manipulators. And I don’t see a thing wrong with knowing you don’t want to have anything to do with that nonsense in public, from some hellspawn you don’t even know.

    FFS what is wrong with WP, it took me four reloads to get the button that says post comment… Argh.

    • WordPress gets on the rag same as all of us, I think.

      I have read that in some corners of the world, there are children who are not annoying little assholes. In fact, even in London I noticed a difference.

      Americans, for sure, have imbibed an idea that nothing is important unless it advances what seems “relevant” to them RIGHT NOW. I think that has left its mark on pedagogy. Still, another way of reading that is that the human child is a little monster when not forced to recognize the equal importance of other people occupying the same planet. Or made to suffer so much that it wakes up to the idea that it is not the only creature in the universe. This last will never pass muster as a child-raising scheme. I am out of inspiration. I hope the French are more persistent.

      • It’s funny, or maybe just interesting, but I never see the bratty behavior so described. My kids never did that, and a very close friend of mine has raised six who, even though all still minors, are quite autonomous, can do without her for days at a time, and rarely even watch TV. Every now and then, for example when observing the recent “election”, I am shown that I live in an alternate universe than that of most people. It’s very odd.

        • Perhaps it’s the Washington area. But even the venerable New Yorker has weighed in on the question of modern children in America.

          All I can say is that even as a child in the 1950’s, I encountered very few children who weren’t little shits, quick to enjoy the hurt of others, inane, self centered, snotty. Memories of doing and saying stupid, ignorant or naive things as a child sting me like vinegar on a burn; now, I see people letting kids get away with out of control behavior and vicious stupidity that I would not have begun to imagine.

          For years I felt obliged to pretend to myself that yeah yeah they’re only children yada yada until I realized: I hate them. I hate the way they talk, look, act, behave. There is no reason for me to spend time around them when I can avoid it or pretend their conduct is fine when I can’t.

          Everyone says their kids are great, but I will cut slack for people who haven’t seen it in other kids either. Maybe the Left Coast is a little different.

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