Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What The Kids Want

I came upon a moving scene in the park one day while on my morning run. A young boy who evidently did not have the use of his legs tearfully pulled himself along the turf, slowly maneuvering himself by clutching the grass at the root and sliding on his chest. Pulling, clutching, pulling, courageously inching along. I recall that he may have been appealing to somebody to, "Wait up. Wait for me!"
So sad. So inspiring!

The thing that ruined this nearly perfect vignette for me was the film crew hovering above this brave child and his wasted limbs. Unfortunately, he was really a child-actor who doesn't have to go to school and who can easily pop up and climb into his trailer for a snort and a foot rub. A security guard told my nosy running partner (while I just gawked at the child-actor) that this would become something like an After-School Special or a Nicolodeon Snack. Perhaps an Oxygen Kids'-Fixie. It was the nutrient-free foam of children's fantasies, made only sweeter because, you see, not only was the child gimped, but it was his parents' fault. They were getting a divorce, naturally, and his cripplehood was momentarily keeping them together. Apparently, psychosomatic crippling can be a very effective tool for getting what you want. I am grateful at least that the mother wasn't dead which is often the case.
The security guy said it was going to be a really, really nice movie. You know I can't wait.

So, that's what kids really want. They don't fantasize about animals who talk or mer-communities. They want personal drama and manipulation tactics. To wit: things hum along smoothly in our apartment with the usual dropped dishes, walking on tables, and periodic homework glancing, but when the commercial for Nanny 911 surfaces on the TV (which is talking to itself in the other room), everything stops and the kids (and I) rush to the television, mouths agape, six inches from the screen to watch quick edits of mouthy children, loser New Jersey parents, and a Brit nanny who hands their cheeky bums to all of them all in about thirty seconds.

Kinderschandenfreude? Almost. Something like that.

*What I'm listening to: Wilco-Yankee, Hotel, Foxtrot


Anonymous matt said...

ever listen to 'summerteeth'? it's a personal favorite.

that tv special sounds killer, i'll have to keep an eye out for it.

oh yeah, your painting is coming along nicely.

ps - you still rock the casbah.
pps (or is it pss?) - my word verification at the bottom is 'yrfggt'. are they trying to tell me something??

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Gillian said...

I just read your whole blog start to finish. You make me want to move to New York! Sort of. I'm of the "sweet" (aka pushover)variety, I think it would take a while to cultivate New York brassiness.

Anyway, you are excellent all round - painting, writing, mothering, etc. Thanks for entertaining me on a chilly NC afternoon.

3:49 PM  
Blogger ZinniaSoCA said...

Well, MY word verification is "iapyg" so I'm wondering the exact same. Has become judgmental or simply clever and witty?

I'm enjoying the painting and also enjoying New Yawk vicariously. What a grand adventure!

Over the past few years, we have learned to use the word "bum" because it sounds better than the word "butt" to our tender ears, especially from the mouths of babes. I don't imagine it's any more classy in Oz or the UK, but it certainly sounds more genteel in kindergarten here.



12:56 AM  
Anonymous Tim D said...

Butt is considered an americanism and an affectation. Bum is OK, arse is less polite, but thanks to The Royale Family, is heard more often.


5:05 AM  
Anonymous BIG Mike said...

Arse (ass) and bum are both considered quite harsh in OZ. Butt is milder, possibly because it hasn't been over used just yet.

Isn't it interesting that the film industry must use real indians to depict indians but but they can get away with using fake cripples.

5:41 AM  
Blogger newbrooklyner said...

Summerteeth, Matt? Why, yes and I think I'll listen to it today. I like Jeff Tweedy and hope an afterschool special will be made about him and his tribulations with his record label. Oh, wait. There has been.
See ya, fggt.

gillian, the fam spent many summer days in Raleigh and Atlantic Beach. I love NC. I love the South. I love real BBQ. I love trucks. I love to be called, "Darlin'"
Thanks for reading the entire saga thus far. I don't know that I could do that, myself. You are quite sweet as you say.

zinmu, it's such an honor to have you as my own lap pig. Kick me butt if that hurts yer feelin's.
Ah, shheesh. I can't be mean. Not to you. You are, as always, so generous with the hugs.

tim d, could you take your trashy maw over to somebody else's effin' blog? I know fatty likes the trash talk.
Oh, shite. I can't be mean to Tim d either. Nice to see the likes of ya.

big mike, I think you are onto something with the film industry and cripples. This could also be extended to portrayals of dead people. And God and the Devil. Oh, my. What a can of worms.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Tim d said...

Errorista got gobsmacked, but I sense you might need something stronger for the streets of New York, and sorry to keep the tone so low, but you've already got halfway there.

Gobshite - When someone disses you in the street "Eff off you little gobshite". When someone is talking rubbish "Thats utter gobshite that is"

3:32 PM  
Blogger newbrooklyner said...

tim d, you are a very useful person to know.

4:04 PM  

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