Switters’ Blog

Holiday Vandalism

Posted by switters on December 8, 2006

This is my response to The Keeper’s question on the “Walgreen’s Take 2” thread and the “Disheartened Thread” in general.

Keeper Wrote: Why anyone would vandalize a holiday display is beyond me. Ok, stealing a light bulb or two, big deal, but slashing a snowman?
Why indeed. The answer lies in Evolutionary Psychology. Adolescents, especially boys, are genetically programmed to piss off their parents. Back when our ancestors were painting pictures of goats fornicating on cave walls instead of downloading them off the internet, it was darned important that a youngster develop some independence pretty early since the average life expectancy of his parents wasn’t much longer than the shelf life of interest in Brittany Spears’ upskirt pictures.

So Mother Nature, daughter of necessity, invented teenage rebellion – that shrill inner voice that compels our offspring to be rude, obnoxious, destructive, and just generally offensive – to make us wish we’d never had them and to want to push their sorry butts out of the cave and off the sheerest cliff face we can find. It’s universal. When white explorers first met the indigenous peoples of North America and were told that the young men of the tribe were off on “vision quests,” it was nothing more than a cover story for having told their kids that if they didn’t get the fuck away they’d find themselves with tomahawk between their eyes.

And so today our progeny are left with this evolutionary detritus. A compulsion to cast off the yoke of their parents/oppressors and cast their lot with peers, upon whose cooperation they will need to rely for future survival. Mom? Yeah, the breast feeding was great, but what have you done for me lately? Dad? I suspect it was you who cut off the mamarian gravy train and I still haven’t forgiven you.

And so, egged on by their compadres, they become little Johnny Strablers, rebelling against whatever we’ve got until…

Well, back in our day, as Paradigm Shift or tpanarese noted, most of us got it out of our system by helping to teach the younger children the facts of life through creative arrangement of plastic lawn reindeer. But even though it was fairly harmless, we knew darn well the consequences if were caught.

But today, if you dare to confront a parent with something as trivial as the fact that his/her angel has turned your holiday display into a diorama of a Bacchanalia painting you’ll be kicked off the doorstep with the admonishment that “they’re just being kids,” and will be lucky if you don’t get served with a lawsuit for damaging their fragile psyches.

Now, while outwardly relieved that they aren’t gong to be grounded until they’re old enough to have to shave every day, these blooming, baby faced, barbarians become subconsciously aware that they’ve failed in their mission to establish their cred as rebels. So the voice becomes louder – and try as they might to drown it out by cranking up Korn or Limp Bizkit (or whatever other unhappy shit they’re melting their brains with now) – the only solution is to up the ante – to find out just what it takes to finally bring mom to tears and get Dad to go searching for the rifle.

It’s not unlike the broken window thesis – that by paying attention to small crimes, you can prevent larger ones.

Bottom line: parents need to be parents. Got a comment? Post it below.

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6 Responses to “Holiday Vandalism”

  1. dakeeper said

    I’m insulted you had to post a link for Bacchanalia paintings…..

    Nice post. I sorta disagree with getting arrested if you rough up some zit faced, baggy pant wearin’ who trashed your snowman. Smacking him around isn’t gonna hurt you, especially on your property (you’re defending yourself, remember).

    On the whole I agree with your post.

  2. fredw said

    Flirting white explorers? Better then flirting or Farting?—A shocking RARE slip 🙂

    When I was a kid any adult that caught us in a prank would discipline us appropriately then lead you home where he would be thanked by Pop and then —-well I don’t know. Back then while mischievous we never thought of actual damage, as the consequences were scary enough to deter us.

    The painting reference is perfect on many levels! Mr. Belushi’s bedlam chant of Toga, Toga Toga….

  3. Keeper,
    not everybody has the background knowledge you do – in any case, nothing wrong with spreading a little culture. Besides, can I explain why I felt a need to link the Bacchanalia reference but not Johnny Strabler? No.

    Fred,
    Good catch – oops. No doubt those explorers went somewhat beyond flirting with the squaws.

  4. dakeeper said

    I’m just breaking your balls Swit- your post looked like something I might’ve conjured up. I swear sometimes I hear Dennis Miller and it’s like he’s reading my thoughts.

    Bottom line is these kids need a beating. I got mines, you might’ve gotten yours, I think Fred got his- it’s necessary. If one of my sons commits an act like that, he’s gonna hurt, and I think they know that. I love them to death but I’ll be damned if I’m going to accept that stuff.

    Now if he rearranges some decorations in a humorous way just for shits and giggles, and it’s not a pattern, I’ll cut him some slack.

  5. fredw said

    It’s an “All about me” culture on LI. We were just down south and it sadly stuck out how friend’s children call me “Mr.” Fred. Strangers all seem more polite in fact politeness abounds from everyone.

    I need to note that what attracted us to Sayville is their does seem to be allot more courtesy towards one another then other in towns. We have a true sense of identity. Cars expect to stop for folks in the crossroads. The Commongrounds at Rotary Park is a shining example of our community spirit! We do have a wonderful community, albeit the few bad apples.

  6. dakeeper said

    You know, that’s interesting. Nothing irks me more than a kid calling me by my first name. I’m not that kids equal. They do it on my block so I go with it, but I have mentioned I’m not happy about it. I’m trying to get my kids to use surnames and sir or ma’am but it’s tough.

    This is a good town. There are some Grade-A dickheads around (I got one next to me), but for the most part it’s a very nice place to live.

    …and a nice new Library is coming….LOSERS!!!!!

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