Another cray day past and ahead, but since y’all are sharing adult-coloring stories in the comments of the last post, here’s one: Kate was tickled to learn that the U-M library brought in puppies for students to pet for stress relief during finals week. At least, that’s what she was told at orientation. It turned out to be therapy dogs, not puppies, and so many students showed up to greet them that she couldn’t get near the beasts. But there was an alternative! Both coloring AND Legos, at which point, hearing this, my fingers tightened around the steering wheel. They tightened, and whitened. Because it was really hard not to say ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
Hank Stuever and I have a shared belief that Kids Today could stand to grow up a little more, and a little sooner. For all the worry, so often expressed in mass and social media, that children are “sexualized” at ever-earlier ages, there’s a corollary that’s equally evident — some are staying young, or maybe babyish, for way too long.
In “Tinsel,” Hank’s book about Christmas in modern suburbia, he talks about older students who claim to still believe in Santa Claus, and around here, in a very similar community, the Cult of Keeping Them Believing is vast and strong. There was a whole Facebook thread about it among local moms, which I read in slack-jawed amazement. “This will NOT be the year they stop believing!” mother after mother vowed. There was talk of a coordinated effort to make sure older children didn’t spill the beans to the younger ones. One mom complained in a recent exercise class about paying a pretty penny to attend a Santa Claus event, and the Santa underachieved, with a crappy costume and a strap-on beard that didn’t fool her kindergartener. This was seen as a tragedy.
Are we raising a generation of fornicating, social media-dependent wimps who need puppies to endure a college finals week (we made do with beer), or is this just me? I ask you.
One or two links today: A great Bridge story on a local (Detroit-local, that is) Chaldean kid who was born in Iraq, traveled at great peril with his family to Michigan to start a new life after Gulf War I, and has since returned. He now lives in northern Iraq, in ISIS country, and flies the flag of Motor City hip-hop in his job of running a radio station called Babylon FM. If you don’t have time for the whole thing, don’t miss this gem within, a sound clip of the young man interviewing a Kurdish rapper going by the name of Frank Flo. Listen to the rapper and tell me hip-hop hasn’t conquered the world. Dear Donald Trump: AMERICA IS ALREADY GREAT, YOU MORON.
Back later. Thanks for just being you.