When I went to High School, back in The Dark Ages, we had lots of classes designed to prepare us for Life. You know, the one thing all of us actually had in common; we’re alive on planet Earth and, as such, are going to go through some very similar Life Experiences. So…let’s learn about them. We had Shop (wood, metal, and auto), Home Ec, Sewing, Life Skills, Health/Human Development, and Parenting. If you can’t agree that all of us should know how to
1)Cook at least one decent meal, set a table, wash dishes, make a healthy grocery list
2)Change the oil/flat tire in/on the car,check the air pressure/fluid levels,and what that damn blinking light on the dashboard means
3)Fix a leak, plunge a toilet, unclog a drain
4)Keep and balance a check book (yeah, I know…no one does that anymore), apply for a loan, balance a household budget
5)Wash your own damn clothes without ruining them
6)Darn a sock/sew a button/repair a hem, heaven forbid, make a pillow
7)Know how our bodies work, what to look out for, what could be dangerous, what’s healthy, and in some drastic cases, when to shower
8)How to write a resume, conduct yourself in a job interview, how to dress for the interview
9)How to raise a baby–this included Childhood Development which was very useful for knowing what we could expect and not expect from any offspring we would have at each stage of their development–change a diaper, feed a baby, how to baby-proof a house, and oh yeah btw, they’re slippery little suckers. Keep an EYE on them at ALL times. Never leave them unattended….ever.
See…these are experiences we ALL HAVE throughout our lifetimes. They’re Universal. Doesn’t matter who you are, what you are, what you consider yourself to be. At some point in time YOU WILL face just about all of the above. Your Master’s Degree in Women’s Studies/Art History/Communications (whatever) may not be of any use at these times. So, by the time you finish High School you should have a good working knowledge of all of the above so, when/if you go on to get your degrees in Women’s Studies/Art History/Communications (whatever) you’ll be prepared for the challenges we all know you will face.
So to me, where ‘we’ really went wrong is when we ditched those classes in favor of directing absolutely everyone toward college. You know, as opposed to a trade school or an art school. We stopped educating people in Real Life stuff and started pushing them, like it or not able to afford it or not, toward ‘higher education’. That’s when we lost the backbone of the American Economy too; Factory Jobs. No one wanted to do them anymore and the few left who did or could wanted to actually be paid a decent wage. We could get jobs right out of high school in certain fields; mine was business/secretarial, still is. No, they didn’t pay the best but they were enough to save up while living at home, get an old car, get an apartment, move the hell out of our parents’ homes by 18-19 and spread our wings. Debt free.
I’m pretty sure mine is the last generation of parents to go through those types of classes as a simple matter of course in a typical high school ‘career’. (School is not a ‘career’…just so you know.) It’s after me and the children my generation raised (for the most part, I’m at the beginning of Gen X) that children started; getting left in hot cars and basically cooking to death, being left home alone and all manner of things happening to them, and yes, falling into a gorilla enclosure.
These things are not ‘accidents’ they’re a result of blatant stupidity. I’d call it ‘ignorance’ just to be kind but I know these people had siblings, older cousins, something, they saw better at some point in their lives even if they weren’t actually taught it in school as they should have been. Or is it the result of the whole It Takes a Village to Raise a Child thing? I dunno. I’ve seen people online blaming the by-standers for what happened at the Cincinnati Zoo and I wonder; just when did it become the responsibility of others to watch MY child? Personally, the only times I took that attitude were at Family Reunions and Birthday Parties where there were a whole bunch of children related to me and their parents. We all kept an eye out on the kids and an ear and we always sat perched on the edge of seats ready to spring into action. However, in this lovely day and age, one can get into trouble for talking to a stranger’s child. Why would a total stranger be ‘watching out’ for said child?
Then again, I suppose, we weren’t overwhelmed by the Internet either. Cellphone? What the hell is that? Rich People had car phones and Super Rich people had this huge box-like thing they might carry about with them. But no one had even a flip-phone. So…no Facebook. No Instagram. No Selfies. No Look At ME! Yeah, Narcissism was way down in those days.
***Short Side Story Here*** When we went on our trip to Cape Cod and we stopped in Newport to tour two mansions I took a lot of pictures. As an amateur photographer I try to be very mindful of other people around me who are also taking pictures. I do my best not to get in their shots and to thank everyone who is kind enough to purposefully stay out of mine. In Marble House, we were wandering around, I was doing my thing, I saw a woman also taking pictures, I did my best to stay out of her shots. She took pictures in every room. Several of them. At one point I realized I could get a nice shot if I stood by her so I did. I saw her cellphone screen. She wasn’t taking pictures of the rooms or the mansions, she was taking pictures of herself in the room and immediately posting them to Facebook. Room by room. From that point on, I didn’t care if I was ‘in her shot’ cuz, ya know, I wasn’t.
***End Short Side Story***
So, when I hear these reports that the mother of the boy who ‘accidentally’ made his way into the gorilla enclosure was posting to Facebook at the time, I kinda believe it. Yes, I surely do lend some credence to that idea.
People on the Internet want me to ‘sympathize’ with this woman for ‘all she had to witness’. But I can’t and I don’t. I do sympathize with the innocent by-standers who had to witness the result of her parental failings. I think all of them should bring a Civil Suit against her (and the father if he was present, reports seem short on that) for Mental Anguish and Distress Cause by Negligence. I think the zoo should sue her and a judge should be made to put a price on the life of the gorilla for which she will have to pay restitution.
Do I think the gorilla was doing his best to, in his own way, look out for the boy?
Yes, I do.
Do I think the gorilla was scared shitless by the rumble of the crowd and that’s what lead it to drag the boy around?
Yes, I do and, again, I think he did it because he was scared for himself and the boy.
Do I think the zoo should have shot-to-kill the gorilla?
Not because, as some on the Internet are enjoying saying, I have ‘an animal fetish’, but because I don’t think using LIVE rounds in the presence of a 4 year-old, rounds that are being aimed in his general direction, are really a smart idea. Some say, if tranquilized, the gorilla could have fallen on him and crushed him! What the hell do you think would happen if the gorilla fell DEAD on top of the boy? Dumbass. You can bet your bottom dollar, if they’d missed and hit the boy instead, a HUGE lawsuit would already be on file. So, they got extremely lucky when neither of those things happened. But, they’ll probably still be sued. Hey, it’s Amurica, no one here is responsible for their stupidity. Don’t you know that? It’s always someone else’s fault.
Always someone or, as in this case, something else pays the price.
Feel sorry for that ‘mother’?
Not a chance in hell.
Feel sorry for her kid?
Immensely. He’s got an idiot for a mother.