Mourning a passage

12 08 2007

My daughter was five years old when Bush first won the presidency. At 12, she’s been politically aware for at least 5 years or so, capable of hearing what’s on the news and asking questions about what it means. She’s had the gamut of civics classes, she reads news online, she has a pretty darn good idea what’s going on in the world. She and I talk about issues constantly.

She’s also brilliant – a person of effortless intelligence, vision, and cleverness. She has a fantastic artistic eye. She wants to design theatre productions for a living.

Her plans? How will she enrich this country? She won’t. She cannot wait to graduate high school, leave for design school in Europe, and never come back. She refuses to have a damn thing to do with this place, ever again. And the scariest part? N’s not the only one. There are a lot of kids in her magnet program – and these are among the best and brightest kids – who feel the same. Many of her friends are also planning an exodus.

And ultimately, how can I blame her? I try to tell her that the United States used to have some measure of honor, of respect, of ethics. That the ideals we were founded upon, sullied as they are, are worth fighting for. But all she’s seen is the neocon machinations of BushRoveCheney, Inc. It’s made a 12 year old deeply cynical. Hell, it’s made a generation of kids her age deeply cynical.

The Boomers are retiring, the Gen X’ers like me are too few and too overburdened by debt and the crushing stagnation of economic growth and too downtrodden by these years of constant erosion of everything this country stands for. Who’s going to be running the show? In twenty years or so? The kids not smart enough to see which way the wind is blowing and get out. And that’s a sad, sad thought.

So thanks a lot, powers that be. Thanks a fucking lot.

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7 responses

12 08 2007
laura

I’ve enjoyed reading your blog.

I have a 12 and 15 year old. Both very independent thinkers. My son intends to be in Europe, too. Part of it is thanks to the lovely Bush administration, but I think the other part is that we are becoming a much more global society. I’d rather look at it that way because otherwise I think our children wanting to leave would be a sort of cultural narcissism. It’s always more courageous to stay and fight to change the system than to run away from it. But I don’t think our children our wanting to run away from what it is they don’t like. They are simply helping to usher in the inevitable – a global community. And heaven knows American’s could do with a little more experience elsewhere.

13 08 2007
Kevin

Yeah, I’m planning on leaving to go either to Europe or Canada, back where its more sane to live.

13 08 2007
Scott Lemieux

As someone who moved here, I must admit my first impulse is to wish she;d stay and fight, But I can understand her position…

13 08 2007
Victoria Marinelli

Your daughter and mine (who just turned 13 and is more about the poetry than theater, but hey) would probably get along brilliantly. Sorry for your predicament, it sucks.

Anyway, I just stumbled onto your site because of your comment at Feministe, and I just have to say that based on your blog title alone you’re going on my blogroll. I mean, I just got back from Ozzfest and I know a thing or two about both mosh pits and parenting, and there aren’t that many of us, are there? (Or quite possibly, there are and I just haven’t figured out how to find them yet.)

Rock on, I’ll be staying tuned.

17 09 2007
Lynn

Oh there are more of us! Let’s seek out more!

(she says, as Korn plays on the computer)

My daughter is thirteen, and she says many of the same things. I have made a conscious effort to be open about my political beliefs and encourage my kids to think critically about their world. I hope I am accomplishing that, although my daughter is interested and curious in her own ways too.

She wants to know why I want to live in a country where my government does not represent me, where immoral and illegal things are done in our names.

Well, its not so simple. Or is it? Nice to meet you, maybe we will cross boots somewhere!

9 10 2007
Doug K

I grew up in South Africa in the apartheid years, and left as soon as I could, for exactly Lynn’s reasons: “why (would) I want to live in a country where my government does not represent me, where immoral and illegal things are done in our names.”

Here I am, older, more tired, with children of my own: but the despair is unchanged. Boy howdy.

wrote about this in more detail, here:
http://tinyurl.com/2fe3vx

Barring massive voter fraud in 2008, we should have Democrat House, Congress and President, and the long grind of repair may begin. That’s my only hope.

25 10 2007
DaisyDeadhead

Hey! How about updating this thing!!?! đŸ˜› I just got here (from Feministe) and very interested in reading more of what you have to say!

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