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Making Childhood Permanent

by on November 2, 2011

There have always been many childish people at Occupy rallies. Of course, that has nothing to do with age. Adult adolescents have been begging for personal bailouts such as the forgiveness of all debt forced upon them when they chose to attend college and pursue a major that required zero math courses.

But now, entitled people old enough to buy lottery tickets are dragging equally mature children to Occupy Buffalo. They get to see democracy in action, personified by those who contribute nothing to it. Lists of unreasonable demands and extended loitering don’t count as helping:

And while these weekend warrior protestors are welcomed by the group, you can’t help but notice they’re also bringing their kids with them to take part.

“I really try to teach my kids that everybody has to help each other out. I want them to learn to stand up for their views and I thought seeing democracy in action would be a wonderful lesson for them.”

Trying to convince a majority to vote for “Gimme!” is sort of democratic. It’s not as if the movement and the media are shamelessly using children as props, at least in relation to them deploying kindergarteners:

7 year old protester, Natalie Hausmann said, “I wanted to support the people who were staying here for a really long time. They’re very brave and they want to help the people that don’t have a lot of money.”

Oh, good: she learned how to deliver a sob story at a young age. That’s newsworthy. If youngsters want to help people who don’t have a lot, they should get paper routes and ask their parents to take them to help at a church food pantry.

To be fair, the report also found someone who was only mostly sympathetic to the occupiers. This is what passes as balance:

But not everyone agrees. Linda Garwol works as a volunteer for Buffalo in Bloom, a group that takes care of the plants at the Square. She not only has gripes about how the protestors are ruining the flowers at Niagara Square, but also questions people bringing their children to a protest.

Garwol said, “I have a problem with it, I feel like it’s exploitation. We understand why they’re protesting, we actually agree with them. But is it an appropriate venue, is it an appropriate way to do it.

I have to question what’s the affect, why? Why is that necessary in this kind of weather?”

The temperature is irrelevant when one has public spaces to disrespect. They think everything is their property, which is especially ironic for people condemning greed. But what about those who amusingly still believe all the hooey Obama spewed while campaigning?

Beth Lewitzsky said, “I think we all teach our kids what we think is important to us. And for me it’s very important that we have libraries and we have schools and we have teachers and I want my children to believe that as well. So we all have the right. If you don’t think your kid should be outside on a beautiful 46 degree day in Buffalo, that’s your business. But I believe this is a perfectly fine activity for children to be involved in.”

Who knew that we wouldn’t have libraries, schools, or teachers without people camping in Niagara Square? She ought to teach kids that we can enact reasonable tax rates and still forestall civilization’s collapse. We don’t need class warfare to ensure young ones learn how to diagram sentences.

Of course, you won’t find a perspective endorsing limited government spending on WIVB, which has been helpfully doing PR work for the movement by running every sympathetic story they can about the professional slackers. Their advocacy journalism is embarrassing, and not just because Channel 4’s site runs as quickly as if it’s being filtered through a 14.4 Kbps modem. What’s a Yahoo!?

The protests help any parents trying to teach kids resentment and dependency. There’s nothing generally wrong with showing them how protests are part of the democratic process, but there is something specifically wrong with showing them that whining is the best way to cope with people being more successful than you. This is the byproduct of the previous generation of kids all getting participation trophies.

At least the whippersnappers get to see even whinier brats than they cope with during class. Hopefully, seeing dependent people who are supposed to be adults living under tarps will scare them straight.

Maybe they’ll even get to see an arrest, as the lack of police confrontations makes Occupy Buffalo an outlier. How long can they hold out before deciding that, as in other cities, truculence will get them what they want?

Even without criminal behavior, occupiers show the end result of a life spent blaming problems on the successful while simultaneously expecting same one-percenters to provide for them. The chance to see what it’s like to permanently remain a demanding brat may blessedly provoke some actual children to grow up instantly.

  1. Jim permalink

    I believe in what the Occupy movements stand for, but I know where you’re coming from as well. I’m not out there protesting, but I’m pulling my money from big banks, and I’m trying to spend my money at local establishments. The rich people being demonized became successful off of our decision to buy their shoddy products and eat their processed food.

    To be fair though you can’t tell a child to get a paper route. Paper routes no longer exist around here. Me and my brother worked one for 4 years as kids, I bought my own computer at 14, my own 27′ TV, and took my friends out to dinner. Now my brother is 14, and he can’t get a route because the Buffalo News decided it would be cheaper to get rid of all of those positions that taught me great life lessons in favor of a few adult distributors. He wants to work, but cannot because the jobs were taken away, and that is the way we have been going for years.

  2. I agree with Jim. I sold Avon door to door in high school, shovelled walks and driveways along with my brother in the winter and baby sat year round. Now there are lawn and driveway companies run by adults that do that, nobody sells anything door to door, especially young people, and most especially young girls. There are almost no opportunities for our young people to earn their own money now. Add to that the increase in older Americans working in the fast food industry and retail stores, taking all those part time and weekend jobs that teenagers used to get.

    There is no simple solution to this problem. Society has changed. The people have chosen increased government regulation to increase safety, which of course we all want, but the tradeoff is less opportunities for enterprise. This is especially true for young people.

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