Can we learn from our children? Or course! They are honest, brave, unsullied souls who can see so much keener than us because their hearts are not clouded by the false wisdom of experience. Right?

Right: boooshwa. Listening to the wisdom of the wee isn’t an entirely new idea, but I  suspect you’d find scant evidence before the sixties. In old TV shows and movies the kids might have an idea, or a theory, and the grown-ups would be too busy pursuing a red herring to pay attention. At the end the cop would push his hat back and scratch his forehead, the universal gesture among old cops when confronted with a youngster who figured things out. But usually kids were seen, heard, loved – and instructed. 

Not anymore:

If they’d intimated that Mastercard can be used to placate your humorless little eco-scold, no one would have minded much. But no: the child is making his father a better man. It’s nice to see that Dad exists in a state of such unearthly perfection that the only means of betterment consist of abjuring incandescent lighting for pig-tailed CFLs, right? Alas: dad is a scoff-law who lets the tap run, uses doubleplus ungood bulbs,  and doesn’t correct the clerk when the food is put in a cornstarch bag, perhaps because he’s thinking about his job, the cutbacks and layoffs, the tiresome daily scrum of adult life. He works hard, but of course he could work harder – he has a part-time job so he can stay at home with his son. Mom’s full-time. He downshifted so someone would always be there when Ethan came home from school. This makes him an okay man, I guess.

But he could be better. He could buy a florescent bulb. On credit

If I had a Mastercard, I’d print this ad out frame by frame and sent it along with my shredded card. Isn’t it interesting how Dad looks like the sort of delayed-adolescent types most likely to be already concerned about these things, and spending his day working on developing websites for sustainability, hosted on servers powered by methane captured from pig excreta?  For that matter, who would like this ad?  Wives who regard their husbands as overgrown boys in need of the Moral Guidance of those who will inherit the earth, perhaps. It reminded me of nothing more than this:


One more thing: if the kid didn’t learn these steps to righteousness at home, where did he get them?

(h/t Jonah at the Corner)

On a related note: I called home yesterday to get someone to check on the type of bulbs I needed for the chandelier; my daughter did not want to go look, because she was busy drawing, and mommy was outside, and maybe I could call later? This did not sit well with me, and I ended the conversation curtly. She got the message, called back, and checked. (Was no help, but she tried.) When I got home we had a conversation about her attitude towards helping. 

She said she didn’t want to talk about it anymore, because it was making her feel bad. To which I said, well, that’s not particularly relevant to the discussion. You should feel bad if you did bad. 

Later I tried to formulate this into a lesson: if you live your life to feel good, you’ll feel bad half the time. If you live your life to do good, you will feel good most of the time. Get it? 


Repeat it.

If I feel my life to – no no, if I try to feel good I will feel bad, but -

No, if you try to live your life so you’ll feel good – oh, nevermind. Be good, that’s the point. 



Beautiful day. Did a marble-mouthed NewsBreak this morning (weekend sleep habits kept me up Sunday night, leading to five hours of sleep – could not engage the mouth when we shot the show) then wrote all afternoon on a variety of projects. Still behind on everything. Switched over ISPs today painlessly, but had to call the new one to get my password. The tech support person was new on the job, and script dependent – she kept talking about a dot-not, and I had no idea what she was talking about. “Now you are on a dot not, and we need to get you on an MSN number.” Trust me, you don’t. All I needed was the password. I have my modem page up, I’m looking at it – just need the  name and password. “Okay sir I am very sorry you cannot connect to the internet I will help you now.” Sigh. 

Incidentally, if the picture of the kid above is a mystery, it’s from this movie. 






Can’t say it’s a cheery romp or a breezy bedroom farce – it’s one of the most depressing movies I’ve ever seen, but that’s a consequence of being faithful to the source material. Richard Burton and John Hurt in “1984.” 

This being Tuesday, the plate is full: Small Town Website of the Week at noon over at, Comic Sins around noon, and Black and White World in the afternoon. Also, NewsBreak at Will I do a better job this time? Yes: I’ll have at least five hours and 1 minute of sleep. See you soon. 


101 Responses to Tuesday, May 19

  1. Andrew says:

    “Everyone has an opinion, but your comments here make many of you look rather dumb, to put it politely.”

    How so? Dumb because they reflect an immature response to an inanity? Or dumb because they reflect a point of view that jars not with your own?

    What is not a big deal to you can be a big deal to others. Tolerance is supposed to teach you that. Funny how it never comes this way.

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