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Dumb 'Em Down Young
The kid looks to be about six. I just heard his mother tell him, "You're a Virgo," and read him his horoscope out of the LA Times -- as if it has meaning and relevance.

Posted by aalkon at July 23, 2007 7:27 AM

Comments

Can my kid have your fortune cookie?

A couple days ago I was standing in line, and there were 3 teen-age girls in front of me. One had a big teddy bear tattoo on her shoulder, and since she was so young looking, I asked her if it was real. She said her mom's boyfriend did it for her on her 13th birthday...

Posted by: eric at July 23, 2007 10:58 AM

Four words US Department of Education

Created in the aftermanth of the Vietnam war in an effort to dimish critical thinking skills in americas youth and prevent another large scale opposition to the fedaral governments actions.
Stupid easily distractable people are much easier to manipulate.

Did anyone even notice when they stopped teaching civics in school?

Posted by: lujlp at July 23, 2007 11:37 AM

You make a point there, I just don't know what it might be...

Posted by: eric at July 23, 2007 11:51 AM

Eric, young women get tattoos because it makes me who look like you & turn away. They'll do whatever it takes, mister...

Posted by: Crid at July 23, 2007 1:44 PM

The other day at work I saw a guy who had this tattooed on his inner forearm, aligned to his perspective, and it was in use (there were entries):

To-Do
1._________
2._________
3._________
4._________
5._________

Posted by: Crid at July 23, 2007 1:46 PM

Man did I bungle that first comment. Y'all can read blog fluently, right?

Posted by: Crid at July 23, 2007 1:47 PM

They were actually really nice, friendly kids Crid. No attitude at all, just mellow kids getting cheesburgers. But looking back, I don't think I knew a tattooed woman until I was out of high school.

Posted by: eric at July 23, 2007 7:33 PM

I still think they're just chasing us old coots away. Back in our day, bad language and weird music were enough to get the job done. Nowadays the task requires transdermal hardware and silly, watered images of shabby dragons on a milky shoulder.

Posted by: Crid at July 23, 2007 9:14 PM

Crid, I dunno if you've seen the crowd at a big sci-fi convention like Dragoncon, but everything you can imagine appears there, tattooed and/or pierced.

The cool part is how everybody's mostly, er, cool. It's the biggest collection of freaky-lookin' people I've ever seen. And some of them have costumes literally worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Posted by: Radwaste at July 24, 2007 4:39 AM

Pretty soon, to rebel you'll have to look like a 1970s Young Republican.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 24, 2007 4:53 AM

Posted by: Crid at July 24, 2007 11:23 AM

>>She said her mom's boyfriend did (the tattoo) for her on her 13th birthday...

I can top that: I overheard a woman at the bus stop saying she was buying her 13-year-old son a box of condoms for his birthday.

Posted by: Gary S. at July 24, 2007 11:26 AM

Well, at least condoms come off easier...

PS Gary- in 8th grade we were all going at it like rabbits, mostly using the "pull-out" method.

Posted by: eric at July 24, 2007 2:05 PM

Well, maybe I'm just an old prude, but I fail to see the wisdom in encouraging sexual activity in 13-year-olds. Or, at minimum, giving implied consent to it. Yeah, I realize some of them are going to do it anyway, but I am old-fashioned for thinking children ought to keep it in their pants until they're at least 16? You know, within two years of the legal age of consent? Sheesh, when I was that age, dating was terrifying enough.

Posted by: Gary S. at July 24, 2007 9:03 PM

Gary, kids don't need to be encouraged to have sex at 13. Some will have it without anybody's help, thanks. If they are going to have it, I think we, their parents, somebody, should encourage them to use condoms. And actually, I think people who are open with their kids about sex and don't forbid it are more likely to have kids that wait. It's the fundies, by the way, who are ass-fucking. (Preserves the virginity, ya know!) I love the Bill Maher joke about how the only way we all had anal sex in our teen years was if we missed.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 24, 2007 11:34 PM

>>Gary, kids don't need to be encouraged to have sex at 13. Some will have it without anybody's help, thanks.

Oh, I agree. I just think that some of these actions from parents border on implied consent, or even encouragement, of early sexuality. My concern is for those who weren't going to have it without anybody's help, but now will.

>>If they are going to have it, I think we, their parents, somebody, should encourage them to use condoms.

I'm all in favor of sex education. What I'm against is a parent throwing a box of rubbers at a child on his first day of teenager-hood, with no accompanying guidance or instruction, and declaring the problem solved. (Granted, I didn't include that detail in my original post about the bus stop conversation.)

>>And actually, I think people who are open with their kids about sex and don't forbid it are more likely to have kids that wait.

That probably helps, but I think there are way too many factors to be able to narrow it down to any one thing. Peer pressure, parents, media, school education, who a kid has relationships with, and the nature of those relationships, will all figure in.

From personal experience, I don't think either extreme works. At age 12, I switched from a fundie private school and its "sex is something we stick in the corner and never talk about" attitude, to a large public middle school and its "my God, they're all having sex, we need condom education in kindergarten" hysteria. They both failed pretty miserably. The fundie kids turned to other sexual practices to preserve the arbitrary standard of virginity, as you point out. All the openness of the public school did was squick the hell out of everybody. The sex-ed talks were always given by the creepiest teachers in the school -- one of whom later went to jail for having an improper relationship with a student.

In retrospect, what kids that age need is a few "sex is great, but pregnancy can really screw up your life" stories. I knew too many kids who had to find that out the hard way.

Sorry if I've gone off topic here, but I find it odd that people were more shocked about the 13-year-old who got the tattoo than the the 13-year-old who got the box of rubbers.

Posted by: Gary S. at July 25, 2007 7:14 PM

Yea, Gary but I'm not sure you can guarantee her intentions with the condoms. I bought my 18 year old a box of Rogain for his last birthday! It went over well and we had a laugh. And if her kid is already banging, or intends on banging, kudos to her.

Posted by: cathleen at July 27, 2007 10:42 AM

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