Sunday, May 06, 2018


In a world in which I begin my day talking to my wife about how it feels to see kids on my school's playground pick up orange safety cones with bad intent, it makes me feel like a strangeron the planet which I live when I read a story like this: "Fifteen-year-old says her one thousand dollar monthly allowance makes her 'feel like a peasant.'"
First, the kids on the playground: When the kids' rage turns to action, they tend to grab the object closest to them via instinct, in hopes of bashing whom or whatever has caused them consternation. Seeing a three foot kid pick up a two foot cone with malice aforethought tends to give me pause, even when I need to step into action, as the calming influence. I confess that the phrase, "Put the cone down," is not one that I was taught in teacher school. Those cones are out there to mark various stations and areas of play. They are not forgotten remnants of a construction site. We used to place many more of these pylons out to clearly define the play places on our yard, but that just meant more ammo for the disgruntled. Finding a way to rid ourselves of these cones is probably the next step, though having no fixed reference point for our swarm of children still learning object permanence presents its own challenge. The brief consideration of using cinder blocks or something more substantial as markers would only mean I would get to see eight-year-olds holding chunks of concrete over their heads frightens me enough to toss that idea aside.
Which brings us to Beverly Hills, and the self-confessed "princess" who believes she cannot function in a world where her monthly allowance has been slashed from five thousand dollars a month to the previously mentioned one thousand. Nicolette chose to take her complaint to a higher power: Doctor Phil. It was her hope that she could gain a compromise with her mother and settle on a middle ground of two thousand five hundred dollars a month. The somewhat predictable train wreck of parent-child guilt and recrimination ensued, and social media erupted with suggestions for what both women might do to solve the problem. Few, if any were constructive. 
And so I find myself, on the 2018 version of Earth, wandering through a reality that shares these two visions of rage. Rage against a world that seems to have lost some of its humanity, a vast chunk of its civility, and a handle upon which we could all hold. Gravity remains a constant. Maybe Nicolette should have chased her mother around Doctor Phil's studio with a safety cone for an hour instead. 

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