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Parent Screening



My flight has been delayed by an hour. This really fucks with my schedule. Sigh. I'm trying to find ways to keep myself entertained. I could only find one electrical outlet here in the great Albany airport so I'm sitting in a walkway putting it to good use. Kinda. Unfortunately right behind me is a monstrous window where some cool new plane has just landed and all the pilots and stewardesses and janitors keep stopping to stare. Hearing the pilots talk about it scares me. I trust my life to them weekly and the most they can say about this new model is: "It's skinny."

I want them to discuss the aerodynamics and logistics of how skinny is better and safer and faster and somehow blocks more UV radiation than the generations before it. The conversation is a bit low brow. I don't know if I want these people making decisions on a vessel whose primary purpose is maintaining miles of airspace between me and the ground. I hope pilot school is at least as difficult as the bar exam. Or the Cal state exit exams. I hear a lot of people fail those.

....which scares the living shit out of me because I passed them the first time in my freshmen year of high school. And I'm a porn star. My occupation doesn't exactly require much upstairs other than a passable helmet. What are the people who failed them doing for work? Taco bell? McDonald's? That requires reading and writing and the ability to record food temps and tender money. I remember my first day of work at McDonald's. I was 15. They had a 16 year old training me. She was 7 months pregnant and her parents were excited. She was trying to tell me how to read the order screen and put the corresponding food items on the tray. She told me to "look at the little screen thingy and the letters stand for stuff." Acronyms. That's the idea she was trying to convey. The acronyms on the screen tell you what the order is. She'd been there 8 months. Long enough to meet a coworker and procreate. She tried to give me an example: "QPC means...." and she wrinkled her brow. She turned around to ask another 16 year old. I jumped in. "Quarter Pounder with Cheese." Bingo. "Wow. You're really smart," she said in awe. Never mind that the only sandwich coming off the belt was a quarter pounder with cheese. And she was putting those genes back in the pool.

You know I'm all about deregulation and small government but I really hate that I have to license my dog and be approved by government run pet orphanages to take home kittens otherwise fated for euthanasia when anyone is allowed to have children. Anyone. I would strongly back parent regulation. I would require minimum IQ levels for the parents in question. I would require them to demonstrate how they planned to afford their miracles. I would screen for mental illness and substance abuse. I would look into their pet and plant care history.

Imagine the world after a few generations of screened parenting. Smarter, more responsible, better educated, and more well adjusted people. Look at all the social problems I just fixed. Welfare just dropped dramatically, I cleaned up the homeless, social security is unnecessary (because we've all planned ahead and invested and saved our money wisely), GDP is up and crime rates are down. Street crime anyway. I did just add a new fleet of lawyers and politicians.

Of course this is assuming that we're all a product of our environment at least partially. That one is an ongoing argument. One on side of the ring we have Skinner who doesn't even believe in personality: We are all just acting according to what our surroundings dictate. You put a group of people in a classroom and they will all behave in a similar manner. You put a group of people in an airport and you get the same thing. You don't get much variation in action between people of similar backgrounds in similar situations. Especially in the eastern hemisphere. In the western hemisphere we value individuality. We want to stand out. But then when everyone is standing out we're all doing the same thing again.

I took a class that drilled into my head one word for four months: Biopsychosocial. I want to believe in that one-- that we're a combination of genes and experiences and personality and hormone levels. It's nice to be able to tack the word "I" onto something and it would be hard to do if "I" meant nothing more than an organism aimlessly drifting from one situation to another like a leaf in a current. On the other hand "I" would be just as meaningless if we took the other extreme and fell for the argument that we are only a bundle of genes acting as directed. It fascinates me when I see my dog do things that her mother did. She was abandoned two weeks after she was born so she never had time to learn her idiosyncrasies therefore the best conclusion to draw would be genetics-- she stretches the same way, she begs the same way, she crosses her paws when she lays down the same way and she makes the same facial expressions. Their personalities are almost identical. But my dog was much easier to potty train than those before her. Thank god.

 

 

 

 


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