Well, sheeet. I guess you all know what I look like now. Special shouts at Erik Reichenbach for giving guru a total makeover.
A strange and disturbing thought crossed my mind the other day.
We’ve got two gerbils on our hands, each with their own peculiarities.
One, who I write about the most, only recently left home. His exact whereabouts are unknown, but last we heard, he lives in a commune. Yep, a bloody commune. As in a place where a bunch of people freeload off open-minded free-loving adults where no one has a job and everyone likes to get high.
We have two gerbils. This is the one that dropped out of high school, never worked on his GED, is unemployed, has basically never worked, got his nose pierced, his ears gauged, daydreamed about a lip ring, grew his hair long and his face fuzzy, and took up habits like drinking, smoking and doing pot. He also applied for and receives food stamps.
Our other gerbil is a few years older and on a remarkably similar track. He’s the one that dropped out of high school, never worked on his GED, and decided (along with his girlfriend) that birth control was a bad idea, thus leading to the creation of The Unwanted Child.
The situation with this gerbil and his unwanted child is what got me to thinking…
We, as grandparents, just might be looking at the possibility of adopting the little squirt. It’s a long shot, but if it happens, it’ll be a tough row to hoe. The kid hasn’t exactly been dealt the best hand.
So what happens when a generation becomes so lazy and irresponsible that people have to raise their own grandchildren?
Of course I’ve heard about people raising their own grandchildren before. It’s not exactly a new phenomenon. But something tells me that this sort of thing is on the rise. You might even say it’s “trending.”
A brief search of the internet for the phrase “grandparents raising children” turned up a disturbing number of results. I guess that means my hunch might be right. One web page, Grandparents: As Parents has a fact sheet, tips and statistics about this. And the government web site USA.gov has a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren page, too.
The Big Question
When grandparents step in and raise their children, there is one other important aspect to this situation. Namely, that the actual parents are completely missing out on the parenting experience. They are not learning any parenting skills.
So, when their children go on to have children, on what resource will those children be able to draw???
Those children will have grandparents who never acted as parents themselves!
Sure, they’ll know how to avoid jobs. They’ll know how to do a wide variety of drugs. They’ll even know a lot about body modification and giving up all sense of self and individuality in the name of being cool and fitting in. But they won’t know jack shit about parenting, so they’ll be ill-equipped to step in when their own children reproduce. In other words, who will be there to parent the gerbils of gerbils?
We are now one generation away from total family oblivion. Of course, that might not be the end of the world. Maybe by then iPhones and televisions will be able to do even more than they do now. Perhaps they’ll take over raising the young ones and it will be smooth sailing from there, I’m sure.
I’m not sure the traditional definition of family can successfully be “defended” by the responsibility apocalypse that will soon be upon us.
Not every gerbil path is exactly the same. For example, most drop out of high school but some actually hang tough and barely graduate. Either way, though, the paths taken can still have remarkable similarities.
Most live at home as long as possible. Most avoid jobs, effort and all forms of responsibility like the plague. Most get into things like drugs, smoking, energy drinks (Monster, Red Bull) and expensive coffee stand drinks as quickly and as deeply as possible. Most are extremely poor, becoming adept moochers, yet still maintaining the most expensive of tastes. Some rely solely on mooching skills, others may turn to petty theft and crimes to maintain their standards of living.
In terms of avoiding jobs, most gerbils go one step further and begin customizing their appearance. Things like tattoos, tongue piercings, lip piercings, ear piercings, ear lobe gauging, bizarre facial hair, nose rings, and long dirty unkempt hair are routine. Strange clothing completes the ensemble. Not wanting to be limited to the dimension of sight only, most smell bad as well.
The net result is a life form that it almost unemployable in every way shape or form.
I’ve covered most of this before, however. This is really nothing new.
Our GRIPE scientists recently made another startling breakthrough in measuring gerbil behavior. Within a single herd they successfully identified three males sharing a surprising characteristic: They have all applied and been approved to receive food stamps!
The GRIPE scientists wanted me to pass along a message regarding this finding: “We are not shitting you.”
Details are still sketchy, more field research is needed, but here’s what we know so far.
Three gerbils, including our own son and two of his herd, have applied for and received food stamps. Yes, they’ve had a rough life and need help from a system they’ve never fucking paid into. Dropping out of work, avoiding your GED, refusing to look for a job, and turning your physical being into a fashion accessory is hard work.
So these three lazy 21-year-old assholes who have underachieved, dropped out, and never really held down a job are all pulling in food stamps. The food stamp money can even be used to pay for their “take and bake” pizzas!
Oh … my … God. What does a motherfucker living at home still need food stamps for???
I think the pyramid produced by our GRIPE staff sums it up nicely. Pot, smoking and drugs all come first. Then non-nutritional edibles like candy, expensive coffee drinks and the primary nutritional source for gerbils: lots and lots of Monster and Red Bull energy drinks.
If you have no job, live at home, have a medical marijuana card and are on food stamps, nothing less than $4 coffee drinks will suffice. Obviously.
–Tom B. Taker
It’s obvious why their is a need for food stamps. They do actually use the food stamps to buy some groceries, thus they are able to divert the remainder of their cash money to the things they really want that are really useless. The other day the gerbil stopped by and tried to borrow money from us because, he said, he only had 43 cents to his name. Yet he is never without his expensive smokes. Funny how that works.
Really, I want to know. What, if anything, are we teaching the youth of this generation and how in any way, shape or form are they being prepared to deal with the real world? I fear for them.
At one time, a name under consideration for this blog was Wrong Planet. This is because I often walk around saying, “I must have been born on the wrong planet.” I tried to register that name but it was already taken by another blog. (Which has since gone offline.) It turns out that the phrase “wrong planet” has been adopted by the Asperger’s Syndrome community.
Why do I think I’m on the wrong planet? Because I feel so unlike the other humanoid creatures I encounter on a daily basis. The universe must have seriously fucked me over by sending me here. At the earliest opportunity I plan to leave. Maybe I could settle on a secluded planetoid in a restricted neighborhood in the asteroid belt around Jupiter. Perhaps I could do a little homesteading in outer space. Yeah, I could hang with that.
In the meantime, I’m forced to deal with the here and now.
I like to stop at the grocery store at 7:45am on the way to work for a fresh jalapeno and cheese bagel. This morning there was a fidgety looking guy of unkempt appearance loitering around the garbage can by the grocery’s Star Trek doors. As I walked up to the store he pointedly made eye contact and said, “Good morning.” Uh oh, here it comes, I thought. Here comes the pitch. But he didn’t ask for anything and I made it inside. He’ll probably get me on the way out, I figured.
On the way out, though, he again left me alone. I was in my car and getting ready to leave when I realized what was going down. Another guy came out of the store with a small bag of groceries and a case of beer. The beer was quickly transferred to Fidgety Guy who merrily strolled away with a peppy bounce in his step. Ah, the itch has been scratched for one more day. Tomorrow the dance will begin anew.
I assumed I had just witnessed a food stamp transaction. Food stamps can’t be used on cigarettes and beer, so an accomplice (with cash money) is needed. The accomplice is enticed with a 50/50 split of the proceeds for the services rendered, namely purchase of beer using the cash money. The accomplice gets $40 worth of food stamps for groceries and only spends half that on the beer. It’s like a 50 percent discount coupon. A true win-win for everyone.
The junkie (for lack of a better term) is more than willing to bleed half the value of his food stamps in exchange for his fix. Why do I get the feeling that Mr. Fidgety was poppin’ the top on a cold one before he even made it home? Beer on the Wheaties. Truly the breakfast of champions!
I feel for the guy, but I can’t help but wonder: What if marijuana is legalized? Between cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, prescriptions, sugar, fast food and much much more, we are one addictive society. We have an overwhelming desire to intoxicate ourselves. Why do I get the feeling that making another option even more accessible is not going to be a good thing?
Coming soon to a state ballot near you: marijuana AKA cannabis.
Seems like all I hear these days is pro-legalization news. Pot was criminalized on a lie. Pot isn’t all that bad. Look what you can do with hemp. Driving while stoned isn’t as bad as being drunk. Yada yada yada.
Well, BAH FUCKING HUMBUG!
I often find myself on the wrong side of the popular vote. I guess that makes me a Lone Wolf. A renegade. A man outside the law. Meh.
How many laws are on the books that you don’t agree with? Well shit. What’s that got to do with it? Most laws in our country existed before I was even born. There was no “acceptance period” when I reached a certain age where I was ever asked which laws I agreed with and which ones I didn’t. That’s just tough noogies for me. I have to live with it. That’s life in a democracy like ours I guess.
When marijuana comes up for legalization in my neck of the woods – which is an inevitability – I will personally vote “hail no.” I find that shit utterly disgusting. I don’t like the way it smells, I don’t like the “culture” built around it, and I don’t understand the overwhelming desire to intoxicate oneself. For the record, however, I understand that some folks may have a legitimate need to ease pain and suffering in their lives. In that narrow definition I can support use. Of course, “medical marijuana” is one of the most abused concepts of all time. That makes it ever-so-tempting to shut the door on all use. The rest of this post has nothing to do with those who have a legitimate need.
I get it. Life sucks. Life is hard. Life is pain. But you can choose how you respond. You have choice. You have free will. You can decide to take on life and grapple with it. Or you can check out and go to La La Land and float on a cloud. In my ever so humble opinion the time spent on that cloud is time wasted. (Pun intended.)
I’ve been reading and hearing about the “whaaaaa!” situation in Humbolt County, California. The county is economically depressed. If it wasn’t for marijuana, proponents claim, the county would be even worse off economically than it is now. They say that marijuana is the county’s #1 cash crop. I saw a video of a self-styled Humbolt County “businessman” in a fucking suit extolling the virtues of the plant. Is it just me or did he take the easy way out by basing his livelihood on an illegal business, one that is highly profitable, and one that he now wants to legitimize and have a head start on corning the market? I could give a shit less about him. Me? I’m just a humble law-abiding citizen who’s salary is a pitiful fraction of his. Why the fuck should someone choosing to obey the law matter? Why should the criminal be rewarded?
According the Wikipedia’s cannabis page, marijuana is the #4 cash crop in the United States. Imagine the market that exists to support that? Wow. And in states like California, New York and Florida it is the #1 or #2 cash crop.
You know what that tells me? That too many damn people are spending too much damn money to intoxicate themselves and live on a cloud rather than deal with real life.
When you factor in what we spend on pot, alcohol, other illegal drugs, and abused pharmaceutical narcotics I can only imagine what a whopping number that must be. For completeness we should probably include cigarettes (perhaps the most addictive force known to humankind). Hell, throw in caffeine (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Red Bull, etc.), too. It’s all drugs, right?
Stop and think about what we do as a society. The need to check out of reality is incredible. What if all the resources, time, money and energy spent on all that shit could be used for good? Can you imagine how different this world could be???