Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
That is…children of divorced parents use Ritalin twice as much as children of non-divorced parents. What could this possibly mean?
Perhaps the disabilities addressed by Ritalin are not twice as prevalent among divorced children, it’s just that divorce tends to bring the needed medical/psychiatric attention to these needs, attention which is being systematically denied to children growing up in intact homes.
Or perhaps divorce traumatizes children and tends to manufacture learning disabilities that did not exist previously.
You want my opinion?
All right…you realize, that this is The Blog That Nobody Reads — written by some guy with a high school education. No credentials in anything. Which means nobody’s gone out on a limb and stated for the record that I know anything. It also means I have nothing to lose. And the case could be made, that people with impressive credentials have become plentiful and rather cheap. Whereas people who think things out, and have nothing to lose from saying what they’ve figured out…well, at the risk of sounding immodest, I would hazard a guess that our class has become a little bit more rare and precious, “blogosphere” phenomena notwithstanding.
Here’s my take on why the study found out what it found out. Just bear in mind…I never said you were going to like it.
I have already addressed this somewhat. The study gives me cause to think about Thing I Know #179, which says…
Children seem to be “diagnosed” with lots of things lately. It has become customary for at least one of their parents to be somehow “enthusiastic” about said diagnosis, sometimes even confessing to having requested or demanded the diagnosis. Said parent is invariably female. Said child is invariably male. The lopsided gender trend is curious, and so is the spectacle of parents ordering diagnoses for their children, like pizzas or textbooks.
Let’s leave that last part out of it. Obviously, there are ethical issues involved with a parent waltzing in to a doctor’s office and intoning something to the effect of, “I would like my child to be diagnosed with xxx and I would like him to get a prescription for yyy.” It’s simply not supposed to work that way. And on the record, I’m sure it doesn’t. The same way I’m sure politicians never find jobs for their mistresses who’ve done the best job of sucking their dicks. And then reality beckons…politicians do find jobs for their fellating girlfriends, and doctors do write prescriptions based on a parent’s demand and nothing else. I think we should leave it aside, because there are other things I want to address, and I think in the decades to come that issue will work itself out.
Let’s just agree on this: Kids have a disability that calls for Ritalin, when an adult in a position of authority says they have such a disability. It’s a subjective thing. A child matures from his mother’s uterus, to the first drink his daddy buys him for his 21st birthday. This is a spectrum of responsibilities that increase over the timespan in question. Just as the fuselage of a jet aircraft becomes warmer as the speed of the craft increases, the child generates friction and frustration among the adults who have responsibility for his actions as he embraces these responsibilities.
This is all the way things are supposed to be…and the way they are.
But now, since we’re inspecting my opinion, let’s inspect the parents. Thing I Know #179 calls for us to pay some attention to gender relationships. Let’s think about girls and boys, and the way they mature.
First, a little background about your humble author. This is necessary, because we need to take a look at the reality I know, and the reality that has been dictated to me from about fourth grade onward. You know what I’ve been told because it’s the same crap you’ve probably been told. Something about, lessee…I’ll try to get this right. Men have been — YAAAAAAWWWWNNNNN — muscling women around for “five thousand years” I think is how it goes…and it’s time for some payback.
How does this square against what I know. Well, I grew up in a family of boys. Mom, Dad, Older Brother, and your humble scribe.
My mother grew up in a family of boys. Mom, Dad, the three sons who popped out boom-boom-boom, and the afterthought who was conceived when the youngest son was a teenager.
My father grew up in a family of boys. Mom, Dad, son-daughter-son-son-son.
And then there’s me. Good Lord, what a mess. I left home, had a live-in, had another live-in, had my “starter” marriage when I was way too young to even think of such a thing, got divorced, had another live-in, moved, had another live-in, resolved never to live-in again, moved again, got in a steady relationship, got dumped, dated up a storm, knocked somebody up, called out of retirement from live-in because I knocked somebody up…”wasted” a decade of my life on that I guess you could say…split up, dated up a storm again, got another steady…I’ll probably come out of retirement from living-in again soon.
Anyway, we’re talking about a lot of households here. And you know what I know about households?
There’s no five thousand year payback needed. From what I’ve seen, and what I know…even in male-heavy households, every single room, every single wall, every single square inch — what the matriarch wants there, is what is there. What the matriarch doesn’t want there, doesn’t go. PERIOD. There doesn’t seem to be any limit on how far back-in-time this goes. In fact, from the information that has come to my attention…way back, generations ago, when men were supposed to be cheering each other on while we gave our wives black eyes and knocked their teeth out…the record seems to indicate something else. The record seems to indicate, Grandpa got home, put his shoes exactly where Grandma told him to put them, hung his coat where Grandma told him to hang it, and pretty much reconciled with whatever decorative scheme she had going on under that roof, until it was time to leave for work the following morning.
To the best of my knowledge, we’ve really been sold a bill of goods. I’m told men made all the decisions, but I haven’t gotten ahold of any solid information to help substantiate that. Speaking for myself, the best information I have is that men made all the decisions after they were dressed and out the door, and up until they crossed that threshold again at twilight. Just that 33% of the day. No more than that.
Women run the household. They rule the remaining sixteen hours. And here’s something else: How long has this been going on? Well, to the best I can see…not just for a mere chunk of the five millenia us guys are supposed to have been knocking their teeth out…but for all of that eon. Back to biblical times. Further than that, even.
Now, let us inspect childhood. Some children are boys; some children are girls. When you’re a child, although perhaps you lack the perspective to fully appreciate it, you’ve got a lot of free time on your hands. There is time to “play”; more than there ever will be from cradle to grave. How do we spend this playtime? If you’re a boy — you spend it playing with other kids, or else you spend it “geeking out.” In my day, you played with blocks, and then Lincoln Logs, and then Toggles and Leggos and Erector sets. And then you went out and played with other kids. You played tag. You threw dirt clods and pine cones at each other. In the summer, you rode bikes together. Or you went out to that really, really high bridge and then you engaged in the activity that defines what a man is: You picked out a target, and tried to spit on it from 150 feet up. In winter, you climbed on sleds and raced them down hills. Oh, and you’d better believe somebody built a ramp; and airborne you went, slave to inertia, master of the skies. Wheeee!
What do all of these activities have in common? Simple: SHIT HAPPENS. The result you desire is defined, and simple. Reality will deliver on it…or it won’t. This is what excites the masculine psyche. I would assert that all things “real men” like, in childhood and beyond, have this in common: A documented, precision-defined desire, and an event which carries the fulfillment of that desire, out of the subjective realm, and into the objective one. Your gamble paid off, or else it didn’t. This is what gives a man a good time.
What do our girls do?
They play with dolls.
How do you play with dolls?
You figure out what you want each doll to do, and then you move them through those motions. You figure out what you want each doll to say, and then you speak for the doll, and imagine the doll saying that thing.
Now, let’s cut the crap. Our children spend copious amounts of time in the manner I’ve just described; the boys cope with reality as a form of sport, and the girls make their own reality. They spend all their leisure time in some form or another of this, and lordy lordy, nobody’s got more leisure time than a child. They do this for all of their childhoods, until they mature into adults. Boys accept reality; girls manufacture reality.
And then after they reach maturity, we indulge in this pretend-game that men and women are exactly the same. If you deviate from this by one little smidgen, acknowledging so much as a scintilla of aptitudinal difference between male & female, you are excoriated. If you possess any authority over anybody at all, you lose it and your career comes to an abrupt and humiliating end.
And yet…in spite of our cultural taboos…reality beckons.
Men and women reach maturity with differences in their individual readiness to accept reality, with all the surprises and discomforts it offers. The difference is there. Good heavens, how in the world could it not be? Sure, here and there a girl will join her male friends in spitting at leaves off a high bridge, or throwing dirt clods at each other. But that isn’t a “real” girl of course; that is a “tomboy.” That’s the way it worked with I was a small child, and I’m an old man with a head full of gray hair. It works that way right now, in the moment wherein I type this very sentence. And it worked that way when my grandmother was just an itch in her daddy’s britches. “Nice” girls play with girly things. And girly things are figurines that represent people and animals who are “supposed” to do certain things and say certain things.
Which means: Our women are experts at demanding we all behave certain ways. When humans behave in strange and unorthodox ways…well, how do I put this diplomatically. I don’t. There’s a huge gender barrier among those of us who are prepared for strange and unorthodox behavior, and those of us who are not. Men reach maturity seeing people as strangers, who might or might not do anything, at any time. Women, on the other hand, reach maturity seeing people as participants in a play, who are “supposeda” do certain things at certain times, who are “supposeda” say certain things at certain times.
And here’s another piece of reality we need to acknowledge, that seldom is. Ritalin is prescribed because “something must be done.” That phrase keeps popping up. And “something must be done” because the caregiver — the parent, or teacher, or whatever — suffers from an inability to give the child the attention “he demands.”
That’s why the use of the remedy increases after divorce. It doesn’t have to do with the needs of the child. It has to do with the resources, in terms of time & attention, the mother has to give the son. Divorce, whether you are a man or a woman, is not fun by a damn sight. It saps all of your “bandwidth”; your time, your money, your energy, your creativity, your whole reason for being.
Ritalin use doubles after divorce? I’m surprised it doesn’t triple. Women, more often than not, end up with custody. Women want things to be the way they want them to be; they were brought up that way, playing with dolls when they were girls. They’re simply not ready to accept whatever exigencies reality has to offer. Not on par with their male counterparts, who grew up being forced off the bike trail by more aggressive bicyclists, or losing the Pinewood Derby, or seeing their spitwads miss the floating leaf by a good fifteen feet, or buried headfirst down to their shoulders in a snowbank after their sled made a wrong turn.
Women want things to be the way they want things to be. It’s in their nature. Their genetic code. The way they were brought up.
And as our society becomes more pasteurized and “progressive” — our moms have some real problems relating to their sons.
Who’s going to solve this for us? Well, don’t look to our mental health professionals. The profits involved in Ritalin are said to be very steep — nobody’s offered any evidence that would contradict this — and anyone who is somehow insulated and disconnected from those profits, probably doesn’t have much to say about how a boy will be brought up by his divorced mother.
So Ritalin use will continue to go up. It will become a guaranteed thing, in any scenario wherein a maturing boy demands attention beyond what his mother is ready, willing, or able to give. She demands a level of conformity that at his stage in life, he cannot supply. So back up the truck to the loading dock — we need Ritalin!
That’s my take on it. But what do I know. I’m not a doctor. I don’t have a degree, or even a college education. I’m just a doofus. But I’m a dude…and a Dad.
And so far…after a lifetime, childhood-included, of objectively ascertaining reality and responding logically to it…I’ve yet to see reality deliver some facts to pose any problems for my explanation, or even to upset it a little.
But like I said, I’m just a rustic little peasant scribbling things down for a blog that nobody reads. So I yield to our clipboard-carrying, white-coat-wearing, all-knowing, credentialed, propeller-beanie-wearing behavioral experts, while they bring their superior academic/intellectual resources to the problem at hand, and try to address the question that has bobbled up. But until they offer a better explanation, I believe in mine, politically incorrect as it may be.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.