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Friday, February 16, 2007

Pep talk

I hate to tell you, kid, but it's all downhill from here.
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Welcome to Friday, everyone. I hope it's treating you kind.

I can't help but glance at the different news pieces on the GMX website everytime I go to check my email (which is like approximately 1 billion times a day). Today, I saw a story about a UNICEF study that has revealed that children in Germany are worse off than children in other industrial nations (in German).

(Click Below for More)

I kinda just skimmed through the article, since such trivialities as "facts" and "details" mean so very little to me. However, I grasped that out of the 21 nations in the study, Germany came in at number 11 -- and this is somewhat unacceptable to some people. And I think this combined with the PISA-Studies
has got some Germans feeling like Rabeneltern (neglectful parents).

But really, Germany, if you think about it, the countries that placed higher than you...they do offer some pretty good competition (maybe with the exception of Italy, who I think only placed so high because their parents fail to cut their umbilical cords until they're 40). I know it's a hard lesson to learn, but we all have to come to terms with it at some point in life -- I know I did -- anyway, the lesson is that: The Scandinavians are always going to be better than you. Write that down, it's the 4th law of thermodynamics...

I mean look at the United States. We placed at number 20. We don't give a shit about our kids, all we're thinking is, "In your face, England!!!" Meanwhile, you beat the USA, England AND France.

Go ahead and pat yourself on the back.

I know what you're thinking, "Hey, vee inwented ze Kindergarten...vee should be at ze top of zat freakin list!" I know, I know...but you also invented the Haribo Gummi Pacifiers and they kinda ended up looking vaguely phallic. Crazy gummi penis rings are not very kid-friendly, I think. It was simply a good intention gone awry.

The way I see it, you should simply enjoy your status firmly in the middle. That's the "Cool Aunt/Uncle" territory, which is universally beloved by all children. You give junk food to the kids raised by the super parents who don't allow their kids to normally eat it (countries 1-7 on the list) and you give some much needed attention to the ignored offspring of the really shitty parents (countries 15-21).

So what? You're not the kid-friendliest nation on the planet...but you're not the worst either. And lest you forget, kids kinda stop being fun around the time that they learn how to read (that's when they become little smart-asses)...and they don't become fun again until they hit about 20 (well, at least the ones that don't turn out to be total douchetards).

I'll tell you what. Read this article, it'll help you feel better:

"What's in there?" my friend's five-year-old once asked, pointing to my plastic cup. (Glass is breakable, their parents will continually remind you, like you don't know that. Like a hurled glass has never punctuated the end of a bad breakup.)

"Red wine juice," I said.

"What's red wine juice?" she asked.

"It's what makes me be nice to you," I said.

"Can I have a sip?"

"No. Your mommy brought you your own juice."

"Can mommy can have a sip?"

"No. Mommy can't," I said. "Mommy has to get up early because she lives for you now."

"What do you live for?" she asked.

I pointed to the cup.

She thought for a moment, then said, "You live to be nice to me?"

Smart kid.

...and if you ever need to talk, I'm sure you know how to find me.

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