Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Is Courtesy An Alien Virtue Among NYC Parents?


I found lovely images of fallen leaves and headbangers and a champion Cocker Spaniel, but this from Ervin Sperla of Budapest, chroncling the celebratory beginning of Indonesia's monsoon season, was my favorite entry under November Rain. He's talented. If you need a dose of good, explore.

UPDATES liberally salted in.

Sorry I've been away. I've been distracted, exhausted, and in Pennsylvania. I didn't even get to the Penn & Teller yet. Today, it's just coursing rain from an overcast the color of a bloodless cheek. So, how've you been? The gig? The kids? The pets? Good. Me, too. Let's blurb.

1) Related to my recent point about the super psychic children who we might assume would eventually crop up on a home video somewhere, Douglas Kern of TCS explains how the internet, once an alien devotee's best friend, has contributed to killing one of the best loved conspiracies ever.

2) Exit Zero, who also posted on OSM, has a newer post on parents proselytizing through their children and the absurdly (to me) costly new movement in kidcentrism. It reminded me, though I forget where I read it, about a cafe owner who recently ruffled parental feathers to hissy fitdom with signage that children in the establishment should use their "indoor voices."

UPDATE 2: Of course, Lileks knew where it was. Here's the full story about Taste of Heaven in Chicago, a cute place I've been to in the Andersonville neighborhood.

Shocking that an owner should desire his place of business to be pleasant for all his customers, not just a few who want to park their strollers all day while their heirs scream and race and pull items off horizontal surfaces. It may be counterintuitive to some, but that quiet stream of people looking to nosh in peace and leave can be a much less destructive, bigger revenue stream to a business than campers who bring their own baggies of snacks and sippie cups for half the day.

Here in Manhattan, kiddom and parenthood usually look like no fun. The attandant competition, jockeying for status, material overindulgence, performance anxiety, lacks of meaningful discipline and inner security emanate like silent and not-so-silent screams from the well-to-do but frazzled parents, benumbed nannies, and intolerable children. The kids I see most often are not conversing or wondering or even enjoying, they're complaining or demanding by whatever methods are accessible to their age group. The parents are the same. You have to travel or meet nice kids from out-of-town to start to see what you'd think of as normal responses again. In that sense, Manhattan really is at one extreme of the spectrum.

UPDATE 1: Mary Madigan's added a smiting response to her caustic commenter Andrea from a babycentric site. I'm telling you, it's bloodsport out here.

3) I've written on courtesy and its considerate cousins promptness and reliability) as cheap but vital virtues that could save the world. George Will and Lynn Truss have been reading my archives.

4) I can't slog through today's cold November Rain without wondering what's up with GNR. Well, since Axl and pals have continuously failed to deliver a long-expected and delayed album, Geffen's leapfrogging them to release a double-CD called Welcome to the Jungle: The Very Best of Guns N' Roses'. That Very's in there to convince us all.

UPDATE 3: Color me the last to know. OSM (a bleck, phtoohey name as I opined) has gone back to being Pajamas Media. And you said they couldn't (wouldn't) be flexible. Sometimes, the first instinct is the right one. Now the more important question: Is my OSM branded swag from the launch now valuable on eBay?

1 comment:

April said...

Well, according to awfulplasticsurgery.com, Axl's been having facelifts. To go along with his hair-plugs. Poor idiot.

A big Boo-Yeah to the guy who expects children to behave themselves in his store. I, too, am pissed off by the kid-centric culture..Big deal, you bred. So do rats.