Gut Rumbles

August 23, 2004

for the children

I don't know how I ever made it through childhood. My parents spanked me, my football coach spanked me HARDER and I never had a grief councillor in my life. If shit rained on my head, I was supposed to get my own umbrella or not perform that rain-dance anymore. That's the way life was.

Now we have this shit. What kind of delicate flowers do some people think children are today?

"If you see a whole paper of red, it looks pretty frightening," said Sharon Carlson, a health and physical education teacher at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Northampton. "Purple stands out, but it doesn't look as scary as red."

That's the cue pen makers and office supply superstores say they have gotten from teachers as the $15 billion back-to-school retail season kicks off. They say focus groups and conversations with teachers have led them to conclude that a growing number of the nation's educators are switching to purple, a color they perceive as "friendlier" than red.

Excuse me while I use my barf-bag. People, parents aren't supposed to be "friends" with their kids. They are supposed to be IN CHARGE and make the rules. Teachers aren't supposed to be your friends, either, until you get into college. Nobody with a functioning brain believes that kids WON'T fuck up every now and then and parents and teachers are supposed to make them pay when they do it. How else is a kid supposed to learn to be an adult?

Red marks on a poorly-done paper may hurt a child's feelings? Purple will make him feel better, even though he still handed in a fucked-up paper? Oh yeah. Gotta protect self-esteem. No wonder schools can't educate anymore.

Life is rough, people. Shit happens and YOU have to deal with it. Kids need to learn those lessons early in life. "Sparing" the precious darlings those lessons is doing no one any favors.

And when educators look for a "friendlier" pen to grade papers, they need to get into another line of work.


Here's a clue: watch out for stories from

Posted by: Jim on August 23, 2004 04:42 PM

oh waaaaah. I'm so glad that my parents (who are teachers) have never succumbed to this type of bullshit.

Posted by: girl on August 23, 2004 04:59 PM

I believe I can now safely say I have seen it all.

Posted by: Mamamontezz on August 23, 2004 05:07 PM

IMO, a lot of society's problems stem from parents who didn't do the job when it came time to disciplining their kids. Correcting your kid doesn't mean you backhand them every time they step out of line, but it doesn't mean that stealing a car should be met with 'time out'.

Yeah, a good spanking will do wonders, it's just that you may not 'see' it because the absence of the abhorrent is seldom noticable when it's EXPECTED.

Posted by: RW on August 23, 2004 06:11 PM

Will you spank me?

Posted by: Drumwaster on August 23, 2004 07:19 PM

I'll fuck you and feed you beans, troll.

Posted by: Acidman on August 23, 2004 08:11 PM

On the one hand, the kids of the future will be androgynous pansies, with meek, de-balled boys cowering from every red-winged moth in sight and overly exalted girls given powers of command and authority they don't want and can't use.

On the other hand, these same sissified generations will have ZERO impulse control. Shielded from the wrong kinds of violence they will be unprepared when reality hits and, like savages, lash out similar to the Columbine dickheads.

I wonder if leftists of the future will bleed purple? At this rate, we'll all find out soon enough.

Posted by: horse with no-- on August 23, 2004 08:42 PM

Spank me! Spank me!

Posted by: Raging Dave on August 23, 2004 10:59 PM

The BEST thing my parents did for me was to treat my like their child, NOT their friend.
Disrespect was NOT tolerated and performance to the best of my ability was expected. I'm 50 years old, and I'm STILL a "junior adult". The latitude is greater than when I was a child, but respect and top performance is still taken for granted as the norm.

Posted by: delftsman3 on August 24, 2004 12:36 AM

Right problem, dumb solution. Doesn't matter for most of us, but when kids are failing and failing and never succeeding, then their self esteem does go ker-wat and something feral begins to grow. It's not the colour of pen that matters, its the number of crosses.

Trouble comes the other way, when kids who are already over-massaged in the ego department are led to believe that any interruption to their glorious baal-type Godhead should be dealt with by nuclear warheads. You dared to mark me DOWN? Yes pinhead, you did bad.

I don't see the pussification of the modern male. I don't think its about gender at all, but about a minority - a small but obvious minority of parents who show up in all subcultures, religions and professions, who think their kids are ubermensch because they are their kids. Extensions of their own greedy, narcissistic praise-junkie selves.

As a teacher of twenty year olds, I see a tribe of boys who are sometimes gracious, often goofy, usually poised, good natured young people who are far better able to communicate and understand their own needs than us, the people of their fathers' generation.

As usual, its the squeaky wheels make the most noise. America is great at amplifying squeaky wheels of all persuasions. Knowing that helps to keep it in perspective.

Posted by: David Tiley on August 24, 2004 12:44 AM

Couldn't agree with you more Acidman! We are pussyfying this country more and more every day. And on top of that making them dumber and dumber. If anything this should be frightening that yer dumb ass kid has so many red marks for being a dumb ass. So instead of focusing on getting their damn grades up what are we doing? Making their life less traumatizing by giving them purple marks instead.

Posted by: Lori on August 24, 2004 05:07 AM

Lori is dead on. Furthermore, once purple is used widely to grade papers, there will be some idiotic explanation that because kids are afraid of purple on their papers, we need to use a different, less offensive color.

It's not the color, it is the meaning collectively given to the color. If kids are afraid of red ink on their papers, teach them how to write better.

Posted by: Kevin on August 24, 2004 08:16 AM

Spanking or any form of actual punishment is prohibited in most school systems. We can thank Lawyers and lazy parents for that shit. School boards ( assholes), won't allow anything to happen that might actually make them stand up for what it right. If you want to see or read about the most fucked up, totally worthless, money spending, idiot school board in the world, I invite you to Charleston South Carolina. Thank you yankees.

Posted by: James Old Guy on August 24, 2004 09:40 AM

Aw, heck. I've been an editor for years and I don't use red with ADULTS because they get whiny.


Posted by: GE on August 24, 2004 12:43 PM

, I see a tribe of boys who are sometimes gracious, often goofy, usually poised, good natured young people who are far better able to communicate and understand their own needs than us

What has so bitched things up is all the worry about "our own needs" and lack of focus on our proper responsibilities.

Posted by: wes jackson on August 26, 2004 12:42 AM
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