Archive for conflict

How hard would it have been to say some kinder words instead

“Me, to my second grader: yes don’t condescend to the adults in your life, as a rule”

God bless Linda Tirado. This thread made my day.

Y’all. My child. Has just told me. She can’t write an apology because she doesn’t know “what to write besides fuck you” I have never been prouder and I can’t laugh because this is Very Serious Imagine in ten years when she’s protesting tho …

To the south

After I moved back to Canada in 1996, I spent many years trying to determine what made Canadians and Americans different. I came to two conclusions: (1) Americans are ruled by zeal, (2) Canadians by a sense of the commonweal.

About a month ago I decided to go with a third conclusion as well: Americans hate one another.

Considerable simplifications, I know, but with high explanatory value.

Related

Back in 2016 a woman in my Dialectical Behavioural Therapy class told us she was “practicing not having Costco-size emotional reactions to 7-11-sized situations.” It became my motto.

The Greeks and Us

Lately I’ve been beginning my mornings reading the Greek Tragedies. It has been a joy! Perhaps the biggest theme in the Aeschylus and Sophocles I’ve read so far: the pressure of justice upon children. I’ve been reminded of something I wrote on that topic awhile ago about more modern times:

Compared to how often parents denounce and disown their children, it is remarkably rare to see them do so in print. Why? Perhaps because, to anyone outside the writer’s particular family orbit, slagging one’s offspring utterly undermines one’s standing as a parent, and hence one’s authorial credibility, too. (The father of cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer, Lionel Dahmer, saves his harsh judgments for himself.)

I can think of only one example in the genre: Famous atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s rejection of her first son, William Murray, after he became a born-again Christian. (This son was the “Murray” in the Supreme Court Case Murray v. Curlett in which the court banned prayer in United States schools.) O’Hair wrote: “One could call this a postnatal abortion on the part of a mother, I guess; I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times. He is beyond human forgiveness.”

Books by adult children attacking their parents, on the other hand, are everywhere.  Parents, even if they are not dead, can’t fight back without bringing upon themselves righteous fury and dishonour. This genre, then, allows justice for those children among us who could never defend themselves before, but for the rest it provides a template for cowardice and disgrace that is tempting for a time. [4 June ’04]