Won't someone think of the children?
August 23, 2005 11:59 AM   Subscribe

An Open Letter to young Ryland Kallman
(to be delivered on the occasion of his 18th birthday)

Dear Ryland: We, the citizens of the internet, apologize for the way in which you were raised, and we will try to bear in mind the adversity you faced as an child before passing judgement on your actions as an adult. Thanks to this article we were all aware of the psychic trauma inflicted by your mother (aka "The Martha Stewart of Parenting™"), but as simple bloggers and computer programmers, we were powerless to stop this abuse. It is our hope that upon this day of the symbolic beginning of your adult life, you will be able to read this history of your early years, and to reflect on the toxic culture of insecurity and fear that was the undoing of so many good people of your parents' generation. It may be difficult to face these facts, but chances are you're reading this online, and (assuming the internet is not a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart by 2023) there are millions of people here who can help you work through these issues. Also Ryland, we apologize for your name.
posted by idontlikewords (127 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Kinda mean, over the top -- mathowie



 
what the fuck.
posted by adampsyche at 12:10 PM on August 23, 2005


These parents operate in some alternate reality that I'll never have the misfortune of taking part in. Reading about them was like reading about a foreign country and it's people.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:11 PM on August 23, 2005


So, if I can RTFA and understand it, a go getter capitalist lady is a go getter in business and, while having a baby, realizes that she could make a business about that and is a go getter mom?

I'm not seeing what your letter is about? I agree this is kind of a Stepford Wives meets Wall Street kind of thing. But movies aside, what, really, is wrong here? She's way too stressed out about it for my cup of tea, but I'm a laid back southerner and she's a kick ass New Yorker. What's wrong here? Everyone raises their kid to model after themselves.

Basically, I don't get your post.
posted by cavalier at 12:13 PM on August 23, 2005


Was the letter orignially posted to your blog?
Should it have been?
posted by signal at 12:17 PM on August 23, 2005


I've seen it before and it's interesting. Young i-banking power couples who have a kid, and the mom breaks off from banking but directs the same amount of energy into raising the kid. She gets the kid into the posh pre-school, arranges polo and violin lessons; starts him on French with the au pair; then on to a posh day school followed by Horace Mann. Later, on to Dartmouth, followed by a stint in consulting. Next comes B-school, then the job with Morgan Stanley, where he meets another banker and the cycle continues.
posted by nyterrant at 12:18 PM on August 23, 2005


I think everyone in the financial industry ought to be taken out back and given a severe beating about the face and neck. Every day, until they quit.

I can't imagine the failure in the heart of someone who one day when they are growing up decides "I want to be a banker!"
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 12:23 PM on August 23, 2005


nyterrant, you left out the sex tape, recreational drug use, and eventual self-discovery in the mountains (right before B-school - and don't think Wharton doesn't love that Buddhist shit!), but right on!!
posted by waxbanks at 12:24 PM on August 23, 2005


The whole "baby as product" thing on page 2 kind of made me gag a bit. It's a person. Not a product. You don't have scheduled releases and upgrades. Life is not work, and shouldn't be.
posted by eljuanbobo at 12:25 PM on August 23, 2005


Yeah, admittedly maybe there was not enough here to justify a FPP, but it struck me as a particularly egregious example of something that happens in varying degrees to all sorts of defenseless kids. Call it the prequel to Fight Club if you like. Mainly though I really did just find the article intriguing in a time capsule sort of way. Who knows what this kid will end up like, but wouldn't it be interesting for him to read this story as an adult? And I guess the self-righteous, "editorial we-ism" of the post was just icing to grab MeFi readers' attention. Better that than a one-line link that says "OMG What Weirdos!" I figured. =)
posted by idontlikewords at 12:26 PM on August 23, 2005


Yeah, that kid will be screwed up, if by screwed up you mean rich.
posted by ryanissuper at 12:26 PM on August 23, 2005


this frightened me
posted by evening at 12:26 PM on August 23, 2005


Later, on to Dartmouth, followed by a stint in consulting. Next comes B-school, then the job with Morgan Stanley, where he meets another banker and the cycle continues.

Or in high school, he starts listening to Depeche Mode, the goes to art school, moves to Williamsburg, and dawdles in bars where he is made fun of by drunks in flannel shirts.
posted by jonmc at 12:27 PM on August 23, 2005


signal, you're missing the big picture. If Metafilter is still around in 20 years maybe Ryland will post an update. Cool URIs don't change. OK!!!
posted by gsb at 12:28 PM on August 23, 2005


Your worried about these kids? What about Michael Chabon's kids!! (Ayelet Waldman = cuh-reeee-pee)
posted by billysumday at 12:29 PM on August 23, 2005


Oh, and also... I wanted to make first use of the "mindfuck" tag.
posted by idontlikewords at 12:30 PM on August 23, 2005


Or in high school, he starts listening to Depeche Mode, the goes to art school, moves to Williamsburg, and dawdles in bars where he is made fun of by drunks in flannel shirts.

I know that guy. He went to W&M with my wife. He's now "finding himself" in Provence or something.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:31 PM on August 23, 2005


I don't think that's the same Williamsburg, though I did see plenty of drunks in flannel shirts there (and sometimes, I was one of them... in my defense it was 1992).
posted by trox at 12:35 PM on August 23, 2005


oh man it sure must be tough to be a hard-charging take-no-prisoners mom with the financial resources to hire a full time nanny and chef and maid and whatever else you want

what a woman i mean wow
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:37 PM on August 23, 2005


on preview: Right on idontlikewords. I killed the rest of my comments here on preview cause they pretty much toed in line with what I thought you were getting at with your post.
It's interesting. And an interesting statement of our times.

Me, personally, I see someone who says "I work 100 hours a week!" And I feel sad inside and I want to hold them, shove their PDA in the trash can, hand them a burrito and a beer, and sit quietly with them holding their shoulders while we watch a Floyd laser light show of DSoTM. Does that make me a hippie? Hm.. burrito.. laser light... check..
posted by cavalier at 12:37 PM on August 23, 2005


The birth of a trust fund. Was this picked up by Hubble? I heard there are thousands of these every second in the universe.

This is disgusting. This is capitalist splooge, instead of being invested in something that would help the economy (better materials, less waste, more efficient energy usage) this is like a porn film where it gets all over everything and everyone's giving a fake smile but we all know serves no real purpose except for people to gawk at. This child, this poor child is nothing more than splooge on the floor, bed, chair, and curtains.
posted by geoff. at 12:39 PM on August 23, 2005


Me, personally, I see someone who says "I work 100 hours a week!" And I feel sad inside and I want to hold them, shove their PDA in the trash can, hand them a burrito and a beer, and sit quietly with them holding their shoulders while we watch a Floyd laser light show of DSoTM.

The problem is, they'd approach beer drinking, burrito eating and show attending with the same tiresome efficiency and competitiveness and joylessness with which they approach work.

I don't think that's the same Williamsburg, though I did see plenty of drunks in flannel shirts there (and sometimes, I was one of them... in my defense it was 1992).

It's the williamsburg in Brooklyn. The neighborhood has changed.
posted by jonmc at 12:43 PM on August 23, 2005


I see young Ryland in his late teens-early twenties, sitting calmly up in the campus bell tower, reloading his sem-automatic rifle...
posted by Ber at 12:44 PM on August 23, 2005


I see young Ryland in his late teens-early twenties, sitting calmly up in the campus bell tower, reloading his sem-automatic rifle...

With amazing efficiency.
posted by billysumday at 12:45 PM on August 23, 2005


People who grow up relatively poor are lucky. Those of us with nice, middle class backgrounds just don't have the drive to do this kind of shit: we want our careers to be interesting and fun too. On the plus side, it probably means Ryland will be a poet or something else gratifyingly economically irrelevant.
posted by rhymer at 12:53 PM on August 23, 2005


With any luck Ryland will be shaggin' the nanny in about 10 years; she'll still be hot (or there will be a new one), and moms will put it down to a learning experience (fucking with the indentured classes).
posted by beelzbubba at 12:54 PM on August 23, 2005


The rich are different.
posted by scratch at 1:00 PM on August 23, 2005


I could have sworn this was a double.
posted by psmealey at 1:01 PM on August 23, 2005


Sorry... it was on MoFi

Btw, I needs me some "self-starter DNA" so I can slave in a cookie cutter workaholic job too.
posted by psmealey at 1:02 PM on August 23, 2005


...sitting calmly up in the campus bell tower, reloading his semi-automatic rifle...

Don't you mean "energizing the caps and polishing the heatsinks on his depleted-uranium railgun"? (... that he built with amazing efficiency)
posted by Extopalopaketle at 1:03 PM on August 23, 2005


I could use a burrito and a beer. and some shoulder-holding. we all could.

but slightly more seriously, I was exactly what these misguided parents want young ryland to become (and without such parents, even), and it was soul-numbing. now I work for a museum at 1/4 the pay, and I love it, mostly.
posted by dorian at 1:04 PM on August 23, 2005


Ok, so another hyperactive mom is going to smother her child with motherhood. How the hell is this news?
posted by Citizen Premier at 1:04 PM on August 23, 2005


What if the child fails in one of the numerous points of its accomplishment list (say, it gets bad grades in high school or flunks its driving test)? What if the child turns out to be - what is the pc term du jour? - differently abled? Will this product line be dropped then and replaced by Offspring 2.0? Perhaps at first mommy will start up a Trisomie 23-Super-Mom-Support-And-Advice cable channel, but what if she finds out the world cannot be fully controlled even with 100 hours of work per week? Or, what if he dies in a car accident? No return on investment for mommy.

Or, on a different trail, if he decides to start living as a [insert hippie cliché here], say, in a vegan commune? Mommy will be quite angry at first, and then, well, let it suffice to say that women are prone to heart attacks, too.
posted by Herr Fahrstuhl at 1:06 PM on August 23, 2005


Oh, and BTW, interesting post, idontlikewords.
posted by Herr Fahrstuhl at 1:06 PM on August 23, 2005


People just need to figure out that parenting is not a career. It's a relationship. It's not something you can be alpha at, any more than you can "kick ass at marriage," or "crush the competition as a sibling".
posted by selfmedicating at 1:11 PM on August 23, 2005


This article is the most terrifying thing I've read all day. (And that's saying something when you consider I spent most of my morning poking at all the ugly things I found squirming under the heavy, moist rock that is rotten.com.)

I really thought (hoped) this piece was a satire, like something from The Onion. But that dim hope faded page by page as the narrative became overlong and unfunny.

Bad moms come in all stripes, but I'm surprised that a stainless steel woman like this even ovulates. I think that alone shoots down the idea of "intelligent design".
posted by applemeat at 1:13 PM on August 23, 2005


I wonder if I make as much per hour working 40 hour weeks as she does working 100 hour ones.
posted by wakko at 1:14 PM on August 23, 2005


OOOhhhhh the years I looked at my brother and wished I could "crush the competition"

MetaFilter: is not a career. It's a relationship.
posted by cavalier at 1:15 PM on August 23, 2005


Let me play the devils advocate here a bit. I admire these self-starting psychos, and I wish my mom had made me work a little harder as a child. For example, when I was 8 or so I started guitar lessons. I had a little kid-sized guitar and everything. But my mom never let me practice.

If only my mom had forced me to do it. I'd be like fucking hendrix or something man, and I could get laid like crazy.

I plan on forcing my kids to learn creative things as children (guitar, singing, art, etc) that they'll apreciate being able to do when they get older.
posted by delmoi at 1:21 PM on August 23, 2005


With any luck Ryland will be shaggin' the nanny in about 10 years; she'll still be hot (or there will be a new one), and moms will put it down to a learning experience (fucking with the indentured classes).

From the picture, mom is much hotter than the nanny. It's unnatural.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:23 PM on August 23, 2005


I might be wrong, but doesn't alpha imply first, dominant, most important etc?

How can you be the alpha mom when you have a nanny?
posted by hollygoheavy at 1:25 PM on August 23, 2005


I'd be like fucking hendrix or something man,

Dead at 27?
posted by jonmc at 1:25 PM on August 23, 2005


Yea! Children as commodity. Who needs a trophy wife when you can have trophy children who are comprised of half your DNA? Alright. So when they excel, you excel and look even more awesome. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if these people kept a "scorecard" of the little kid's victories and failures to make sure they're doing a good job.

Ryland is a bad name though, sorry, kid. I expect you'll go by Ryan or Ry when you get a choice in the matter.

People who willingly work 100 weeks wreck it for those of us who think a 20 hour work week is more than plenty.

And, idontlikewords? Interesting post and a long one for, er, someone who doesn't like words.

Armitage Shanks, didn't you read the article, she's also an international aerobics champion and supermodel too. (not really but I bet she's thought about it). And yes, she is pretty hot.
posted by fenriq at 1:26 PM on August 23, 2005


delmoi, ya could just force them to read MeFi
posted by cleverusername at 1:27 PM on August 23, 2005


Boo hoo for this kid.
posted by OmieWise at 1:27 PM on August 23, 2005


I'm not sure I get this. It sounds like she's trying to do everything possible to make sure her kid gets a head start in life...... Lots of parents make unreasonable demands and hold too lofty expectations of their children. All this, without any "money" to speak of.

I also wonder, if the "mommy" in this article were a "daddy" instead... would it seem so cold? Women with high professional drives that are self-made (relatively) weathly, often are blanket villified in the media and on forums... So they may not fall within the traditional, soft, motherly spectrum... They are often referred to as "Witches, evil stepmom types, and bitches" But men with those qualities are admired and seen as "very business minded, take no crap" kinda guys.... (Think Helmsley vs. Trump... both use the same types of business practices, but one is the "Queen of Mean" and the other does reality TV and commercials for fuckin' Domino's)
posted by Debaser626 at 1:30 PM on August 23, 2005


delmoi: I know what you mean about working just a little harder as a kid. I was raised waaay on the opposite end of the Ryland spectrum too, and there are some days I wish that I had been a little bit more strongly encouraged to stick with an instrument, a club, a sport or something that I didn't necessarily want to at the time. Not necessarily because I think I'd be hendrix-esque or anything now, but just because it might have made it a little easier to focus on such pursuits as I got older. But then again, when I finally did decide that I wanted to play guitar at age 23, I was pretty sure about it. I've witnessed a bunch of life-long musicians and their love-hate relationships with the instruments they chose at age 3, and I'm pretty glad that's not me. The one thing I really, really wish I would have started early in life would be learning some other languages, but even that's not something that's totally impossible at this point!
posted by idontlikewords at 1:33 PM on August 23, 2005


I was wondering if this was going to go there, Debaser626. I found applemeat's comments particularly interesting. "...wonder if she ovulates" It's like, well, gosh, isn't this Feminism 101? A woman can be just as mean and cold as a man yet still be a woman?

I admit I was a bit saddened by their work-obsessed lifestyles. I never beat an eyelash at the idea that this was a career woman with a serious work fetish who just happened to have a baby. This is what that third wave was about, wasn't it? Albiet a little extreme of an example..
posted by cavalier at 1:34 PM on August 23, 2005


You can raise “best of breed” children without ever losing your “sense of self.”

I just "threw up" in my "mouth".
posted by Emperor Yamamoto's Eggs at 1:36 PM on August 23, 2005


It was soon decided that Isabel would take some time off, consider her career options, do the baby while she was at it. And the baby, she thought, was eminently doable, “something we really dedicated time in our schedules for.”

This HAS to be a joke..
posted by c13 at 1:50 PM on August 23, 2005


Unless I missed something from pages 4-6 (the first page or two were enough!), there is one other thing that pisses me off about this "Alpha Mom" thing. There are lots of dads out there who are the primary childcare folks (like me) who always get left out of all this parenting marketing....wait a minute....what am I saying...please do leave me out of this Alpha Parenting thing. You'd have to tie me down to get me to watch that kind of crap.
posted by kozad at 1:54 PM on August 23, 2005


What a stupid letter. That kid couldn't be luckier; he's got it made. All kids should be so lucky.
posted by nixerman at 1:55 PM on August 23, 2005


The Hendrix thing? I personally think the point of delmoi's post can be found as illustrated below...

"If only my mom had forced me to do it. I'd be like fucking hendrix or something man, and I could get laid like crazy.

I plan on forcing my kids to learn creative things as children (guitar, singing, art, etc) that they'll apreciate being able to do when they get older.
"


Man, I wish I'd been forced to play an instrument too. You'll rock as a parent, delmoi!

The work obsessed, 100+ hour go go go lifestyle has never impressed me and quite frankly I'm amazed at people who can keep it going for years. Who are then stunned and depressed that their body's suddenly let them down.
Oh and it reminds me of this song by Pulp...
"(...)skin stretched tight over high cheek-bones,
and thousands of tiny dryness lines beating a path
beating a path to the corners of your eyes."

posted by Zack_Replica at 1:56 PM on August 23, 2005


The more Isabel’s child demanded of her, the more she went out to learn. And the more she learned, the more she was told to stay close—and the more people she hired who could do that for her.

This woman freaks the shit outta me.
posted by gaspode at 1:56 PM on August 23, 2005


Emperor Y's Eggs: Ha! That reminds me, I never posted a link to where I found this damn thing. It was on a site called The Origin of Brands Blog (which the author deleted it this morning was the site of a fantastic flame war over the merits / suckiness of LogoWorks.com.) But anyway, get this... The author of "The OAB Blog" strongly identifies with the "Alpha Mom" even going so far as to say:
Sometimes you read about a new brand and it just hits you. Wow! That is me, I want to be part of that, I am that. It is me at this moment or a moment very soon to come...Because if there is one thing that I have learned from being an Alpha Mom is that things change constantly, one day my little boy is totally defined by his love for Thomas the Train and the next week it is on to the next new brand in a life that will be filled with many brand identities.
Vomit-inducing indeed! =)
posted by idontlikewords at 1:57 PM on August 23, 2005


Jeebus. just judging by the photos, the kid's gonna have a hard time walking what with being toted around like a bowling trophy all the time.
and what's with that lady playing with the thomas the tank engine tracks while mommy and shirtless ryland frolic in the see-through nursery.
see, that's just bizarre right there.
posted by chandy72 at 1:59 PM on August 23, 2005


ooops, that should read "until the author deleted it" obviously...
posted by idontlikewords at 2:00 PM on August 23, 2005


Oh, and "OoB Blog" while I'm correcting myself.
posted by idontlikewords at 2:04 PM on August 23, 2005


Please, people. You don't decant Alphas by accident.
posted by solistrato at 2:04 PM on August 23, 2005


Indeed solistrato. It makes one wish that "Mutual Adoption Clubs" were a reality.
posted by idontlikewords at 2:10 PM on August 23, 2005


one day my little boy is totally defined by his love for Thomas the Train and the next week it is on to the next new brand in a life that will be filled with many brand identities.

That's it. That's the business metaphor that broke the camel's back. I'm moving the family to Amish country. No more of your damn Type A's or AlphaMoms or proud English zippers & velcro for my kid. He wants to be marketed at, he can wait till his rumspringa.
posted by maryh at 2:18 PM on August 23, 2005


To those who wonder about if this is a female bashing thing, for me it is not. if I heard that a dad was doing this, I'd be just as frightened.

That said, I am not surprised that there are people out there like this. I mean, the world is full of all kinds, so it is only natural that some can work 100-hour days, schedule a kid, etc.

As long as there are not people who aren't naturally like that wanting to be like that. If we as a society start valuing this sort of thing, then we're really in trouble.

In the meantime, people like us will just stare and point.
posted by evening at 2:30 PM on August 23, 2005


Sometimes you read about a new brand and it just hits you. Wow! That is me, I want to be part of that, I am that. It is me at this moment or a moment very soon to come...

Holy fuck. Please allow me to mouth-breathe at that bit of pure insanity. If the article was a joke, it is very elaborate and far-reaching.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:31 PM on August 23, 2005


This article furthers my belief that all children are vanity projects. And "best of breed" children seems like a disgusting concept. I just hope my child is happy.

Dunn explains that babies are strong, elastic; that “human DNA is very hearty”; that it’s really hard to go wrong as a parent.

That comment (by the paid psychoanalyst) sorta destroys the whole rationale for the TV channel, no?

I can't wait to see this mom when her kid is 14 in NYC.

He’s the relaxed one who needs his four hours of sleep

These people are going to die early.

“There’s no question Ryland runs the house.”

That's a big mistake, IMO. Just MO, but jeez. Kids need to learn they're not in charge.

Finally, I'm likely alone in my opinion, but I liked the style of the post. A bit too long, but still fun. If you're gonna throw bias in there, make it fun!

on preview: I also wonder, if the "mommy" in this article were a "daddy" instead... would it seem so cold?

Yes. I think you'd get an even stronger response against. I think she's getting a bit of a free ride b/c she's a mom, "ovulate" comment aside.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:35 PM on August 23, 2005


This is a great post! Not the best subject, but excellent delivery.
posted by fire&wings at 2:38 PM on August 23, 2005


evening, you'd be a bit more convincing if you could articulate just what's so wrong with the whole AlphaMom concept. Is it really "abuse" like the stupid letter above implies? Or does it just wrinkle your egalitarian, anti-capitalist sensibilities? Do you really think this is a new phenomenon? And, um, last I checked this woman and her family perfectly embody the qualities valued by America since the very beginning. Ever hear of the 'Protestant Work Ethic'?

I must admit I find it sad-but-funny when bloggers, of all people, play the values card. I suspect you'd be a lot happier if this woman quit her job and spent all her time baking, cleaning, and raising the child without the help of nannies and chefs and the such. At least you certainly wouldn't "stare and point."
posted by nixerman at 2:39 PM on August 23, 2005


I love the 'with amazing efficiency' phrase. It typifies everything that most Mefis think of a super psychotic workaholic puritannical lifestyle. of doom.

Then again, this is merely the American ideals of competition and capitalism taken to it's logical end. No?
posted by eurasian at 2:41 PM on August 23, 2005


nixerman, couldn't have articulated it better myself.


I think everyone in the financial industry ought to be taken out back and given a severe beating about the face and neck. Every day, until they quit.

I can't imagine the failure in the heart of someone who one day when they are growing up decides "I want to be a banker!"


How very communist of you.
posted by TricksterGoddess at 2:46 PM on August 23, 2005


Actually the internet as a whole should probably write a letter of apology to Michael Savu.
posted by clevershark at 2:59 PM on August 23, 2005


If you're creating your children as a "product", why don't you just sell them into slavery and, that way, make money instead of losing it?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:01 PM on August 23, 2005


To me this is just bizarre - very much at the far end of the spectrum. I agree, let's just point and stare at them. This is as much of a freakshow as anything I've seen on Springer, but it's fueled by too much ambition and money.

Bizarre.

"And, um, last I checked this woman and her family perfectly embody the qualities valued by America since the very beginning. Ever hear of the 'Protestant Work Ethic'?"

nixerman, at the very beginning of America, the "Protestant Work Ethic" you describe was applied to women only in the sense of "bear many children, grind this grain for bread, feed the goats, work in the fields, launder and mend the clothes, and by the way we'd better have pie for dessert, so get in the kitchen." You know, all that "cleave to thy husband who is your lord and master" stuff. You may recall that women were essentially property then?

Well, at least there's certainly been some progress!
posted by zoogleplex at 3:09 PM on August 23, 2005


To me the hideous thing about this family is not the mother's (OR the father's--the robotic mindset would be equally sad to me) ubber-consumerism. It's that this mother appears to view her child not at all as a little, oh-so-easily-mind-fuckable, human being --but rather as the family's accomplishment and/or status item.
THAT'S the gross part. Assign what you will about these people's wealth or their material options, I think the poison here is not that they are smug and rich, but that they are cruel and ignorant.
posted by applemeat at 3:50 PM on August 23, 2005


She works "100 hours a week"?! She can't possibly be
doing much mothering. No wonder the kid avoids her
office.

As to knowing every nap he takes, every meal he has, every
diaper change and every bowel movement he has well,
that is no accomplishment. All (well most) mothers know
those things they just are there to view them first hand instead of relying on a report from the nanny.

This woman is an elitist arrogant fraud and needs to be ignored by everyone: journalists, television executives, and
her "viewing audience" included. Oh, and especially her husband, the spineless little pussy-whipped whimp.
posted by bat at 4:04 PM on August 23, 2005


Nixerman: Or does it just wrinkle your egalitarian, anti-capitalist sensibilities?

Mmmm...nice try Nixerman, but this sounds facile to me.

I (for one) am far from a granola-crunching, hacky-sacking Socialist. As a child-free, affluent, property-owning, urban, SWF attorney, my life is--in many ways--Ayn Rand's wet dream.

And I still think the parents in this story (mom AND dad) are as scary as shit.
posted by applemeat at 4:11 PM on August 23, 2005


Interesting article. I'd make a snark about the irony of the OP's name and his/her exceptionally liberal use of words, but fenriq beat me to it. Curses!
posted by socratic at 4:11 PM on August 23, 2005


Ry-Ry ?
Product?

Fuck I'd've put a gun to my head at 8 months.

No, make that her head.

What does she live in the GQ world?
This is every bit as psychotic as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.


...without the y'know, killing people n'stuff.

So ok, bit hyperbolic there, but killing souls is far worse.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:24 PM on August 23, 2005


Er, this isn't the Puritan work ethic at all. The Puritans had many flaws, but spoiling their children wasn't one of them. Also, they were not really very capitalistic. They were pro work, not because they thought cash was good, but because they thought that hard work was good. In addition, this work was generally necessary to keep the townsfolk from dying of starvation. Hardly the sort of people that would enthusiastically buy the latest trendy brands for their little ones.
posted by unreason at 4:30 PM on August 23, 2005


Eh, plus ça change, plus c'est le meme chose. The wealthy have always lived differently than you or I, often with a fleet of servants. They used to shuttle their kids off to boarding school, military school, or European private schools; they had nannies or mammies for kids just so they had time for tennis and lunches and trips to the continent. The surrogate Moms were often closer to the children than their own parents. The difference is that today many wealthy women are now in the ranks of the working wealthy.

And as for children as a commodity, perhaps they are less so when planned for than in the days when women had no choices. In my Irish Catholic neighborhood, we had a family of 20, a family of 17, a family of 15, several families of 10 or 12. We were the *small* family with only seven kids. Talk about commodities!

There is something about this portrayal that doesn't smell quite right to me. What Debaser626 says about vilified career women, Trump vs Helmsley, etc. etc. Maybe it's just that I have seen a little too much media finger-pointing at the career mother; a little too much glee at taking the "we can do it all" working moms down a peg.

Is this woman indeed a selfish, cruel, cold, arrogant, bitch, or is she simply being slanted as selfish, cruel, cold, arrogant, bitch? Does she have an inane business plan, or does the writer just slant it that way? I don't know. I don't know her and I don't know the author so I couldn't really say. I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle. This article was highly unflattering to the woman, but the husband was portrayed rather sympathetically. I have a tendency to be a tad skeptical when the topic is ridiculing high-powered career mothers and letting the high-powered career dads off the hook.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:35 PM on August 23, 2005


"Best of Breed" parent, meet the "Good Enough" parent.

"But the world is not a perfect place and we are not perfect parents. Though we will often meet our children’s needs, we will sometimes frustrate them. Our hope is to provide a matrix in which the frustration itself becomes a tool for building strength of character. Psychologists have termed this "optimal frustration". The key here is to determine what amount of frustration is overwhelming and will result in a breakdown of a healthy sense of self for the child, and what is benign or even advantageous to work through with appropriate emotional support. This balance creates the essence of the "good enough parent"."
posted by echolalia67 at 4:38 PM on August 23, 2005


my life is--in many ways--Ayn Rand's wet dream

Hmm. Weird compliment to give oneself.
posted by billysumday at 5:06 PM on August 23, 2005


Hmmm, this thread (and the article) made me chuckle... I am a working mom of two toddlers in New York City and I know very, very well what this culture is about.

I disagree with those of you (it's possibly the article's fault) who think that it is Wall Street type, Upper East Side moms who raise their kids likewise. Well, I tell you, no! It is most people I know here (moms and dads alike). Admittedly to varying degrees of irrationality. And of varying cultural, learned, well-to-do backgrounds. Remember the baseball moms that (reportedly) decided election outcome a few years back? Different class, different cities, same attitude. And yes, it has been me this summer too (and I am nothing like the article mom, I don't think)! Few-month old babies attend music classes, language classes, art classes, swimming classes, movement classes... Two year olds go to pottery workshops after completing a harsh tae-kwo-do training session. There are evaluation consultants out there paid lavishly to ponder on aptitude tests of ... 5 month old kids. On top of all this, there is the permeating ideology of "the playgroup". Wooooo! You are not a member of a playgroup (=group of caregivers (sic) who get together occassionally along with their of similar age kids)?! OMG, your kids are going to be antisocial rejects alone in the playground and later on goth teenagers listening to M. Manson!

Most of the kids I meet in such classes come with babysitters (parents are working or just too busy otherwise). But, knowing their kids are being "educated", "trained" and "cultivated" makes them feel a little less guilty, I guess. My personal understanding (given my limited geographical and population demographic reference) blames a system of extravagant and overpriced exploitation of a basic desire parents have; to give their child the best. Peer pressure, social status and perhaps an antagonism this City is well known of are capitalized by often dubious "educators" with debatable results. After all, they say,what is wrong with a child that tells the colors apart by age 2? Or who uses fluently a paintbrush? Or counts in 3 different languages? Pay up, to find out.

Given the fact that I am a working mom, I will pull the kids off things like that come fall, but honestly, what is going to happen to them when they go to kintergarten and they are the only ones who don't know the steps to can-can and salsa? (I am only partly joking here...)
posted by carmina at 5:09 PM on August 23, 2005


If Isabella were Isandro I wouldn't be less horrified. Involvement in one's child is one thing. This lady is not involved, she is controlling--she tries to control every aspect of her child's life, to make him Perfect as proof that she's Perfect, to make sure he is the Hippest, the most With-It, the Newest Best Trendiest Child Ever . . . He'll be the Smartest, the Best Educated, the Best Instrument Player, the Most Balanced, and if he's not there will be hell to pay.

Her life spun out of control when she encountered parenthood. So rather than realize that life is beyond our control sometimes--that while worrying about whether or not your child will get SIDS from lying on his front is good, when it comes to finding a storybook to read him sometimes we let things, like love and parental instinct, just happen--instead of letting things go, she wound up tighter.

Sometimes children will not fit into your pre-defined view of what he Should Be at one month, of what he Should Be at two years, and if you can't handle it then . . . Well, look forward to the teenage years, when the more you try to define him by what he Should Be the harder he'll try to be what he Shouldn't Be.

Where is the love, man? Where is the love? I see classes and money and research born of something, but is it the love of a parent or the need to be the Best? Her child's going to be terribly broken for a terribly long time until he's old enough to figure out the role this question has played in his life and how to answer it.
posted by schroedinger at 5:27 PM on August 23, 2005


madamejujujive: "...a little too much glee at taking the "we can do it all" working moms down a peg."

But you see, she can't do it all. She is paying a number of other people to do most of it and submit reports to her regularly (hmm, just like her staff at the bank, eh?).

She herself seems to be mostly continuing to do all the things she did before she had the baby. So, I personally would naturally want to point out that bit of fallacy... which some might consider as "taking her down a peg."

I personally don't consider what she's doing as "parenting," but then again, she's got the wherewithal to do it, and though I have an opinion about it, it's her family and she's entitled to run it as she sees fit.
posted by zoogleplex at 5:28 PM on August 23, 2005


Billysumday: You're right--that's no compliment at all. I intended it as a humorous way to counter Nixerman's knee-jerk assumptions about those of us who were made nauseous by this story.
posted by applemeat at 5:33 PM on August 23, 2005


schroedinger: amen!
posted by zoogleplex at 5:39 PM on August 23, 2005


"...Isabel explains that she’s always been 'a determined, hard-charging kind of person,' always striving toward something."

And when she figures out what that something is, she's really going to kick its ass.

Whatever it is.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:41 PM on August 23, 2005


I think that little Ry-Ry is probably gonna grow up to be a grade-A asshole with a severely warped perception of the world and his significance in it. Will he have material comforts? Probably. Will he consider himself fullfilled? Maybe. But will he be the kind of jerk who would push an old lady over in the street in order to catch a taxi? Almost definitely.

What a stupid letter. That kid couldn't be luckier; he's got it made. All kids should be so lucky.

I shudder at the thought of the day when all kids are so "lucky".

On preview, right on, Schroedinger. All we need is love.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 5:46 PM on August 23, 2005


I think this is a much healthier attitude.
posted by bowline at 5:51 PM on August 23, 2005


zoogleplex, and I suppose that's the point. Your defintion of parenting is absurd. You would rather this woman spend her precious time with the children directly instead of relying on staff. It comes back to the age old prejudice that women should be stuck at home doing nothing but raising the kids and cooking and cleaning. It's just ridiculous. I won't even address most of the nonsense in this thread ("killing souls" and the post itself) but the hyperbole and such is quite revealing, particularly in the context of issues like gay marriage. I suppose for the great majority of people the family really is the last bastion of "sacred ground" and as modernity relentlessly bores into it this kind of insta-regression is to be expected. And of course, hack writers will pander to these irrational fears.

Reading the article, factoring in for the obvious slant of the writer, I put my place in her shoes, I see a woman who's quite intent on being successful at being mother and raising a good kid. Others might claim that parenting is a field where there is no notion of "success" but pretty much all of human history stands against such idealized nonsense. (On preview, Hal demonstrates such nonsense perfectly with his "all we need is love" nonsense.) Parenting has always contained a strong legalistic, or, dare I say, commercial aspect. Parents have always regarded the kids as investment opportunities. Regardless, it's quite clear to me that (1) this woman loves her child very, very much and takes her role as a mother very seriously (2) this kid is extremely lucky and has a very good chance of growing into a pretty decent human being (3) even after all this time, people feel the need to cling to the idealized mother role who's entire being is devoted to her children and somehow exists beyond the greedy, greasy fingers of the marketplace.
posted by nixerman at 5:52 PM on August 23, 2005


madamejujujive, I don't see her as the have-it-all break-the-glass-ceiling career woman. "Having it all" implies having a career and a child--and look, if you define "having a career" as working 100 hours a week and "having a child" as being a 50's housewife, you can't have it all. Nobody, man or woman, has enough hours or energy in the week to pull that shit off. To me, "having it all" means the work of parenting is equalized enough between the two partners to allow both to have a career while enjoying the ups and downs of raising a kid. Nobody's working a hundred hours a week, but nobody's playing a 50's housewife, either. This woman's stuck in that 50's housewife "You are nothing outside of your perfect child and perfect family" definition of motherhood while trying to juggle the 100/week definition of career, and leaving her husband entirely out of the picture.

Mrs. Kallman is no feminist icon--at least, she's not any kind of feminist I identify with.
posted by schroedinger at 5:54 PM on August 23, 2005


nixerman, if you cannot see the importance of a parent being directly and lovingly emotionally and physically involved in their child as it grows and learns and matures, if you cannot understand why simply giving things through other people is not good parenting (and even detrimental if that is the limit of your interaction with your kid), then I sincerely hope you never have children. And if you already do, and you approach your parenting the way this woman approaches hers, I sincerely hope they forgive you for the years of therapy you will put them through.

There is nothing wrong with trying to be a good mother. But love, and displaying love, displaying unconditional love without pretense and without the expectation that your child will give you something for it, is the most crucial aspect of mothering and fathering. Hell, it's the most crucial aspect of most things that involve love. It is what helps children psychologically separate themselves from commodities.
posted by schroedinger at 6:07 PM on August 23, 2005


And the baby, she thought, was eminently doable, “something we really dedicated time in our schedules for.”

If you're "dedicating time" in your schedule for your child, you're doing the whole parent thing wrong.

Sad. Really, really sad.
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:13 PM on August 23, 2005


schroedinger, um, what makes you think this woman doesn't parent her child directly? She plays with the child, drives it to and fro, and participates in many classes with the child. If anything, this mother may spend too much time with her child. Project much? Do less to entertain your own fears and more to address the reality of the situation. It's not clear at all that the mother has delegated her responsibilities to a hired staff; in fact the opposite seems to be the case.
posted by nixerman at 6:16 PM on August 23, 2005


btw, nixerman, nice mixture of a straw man with a false dilemma. Firstly, no one's arguing that she needs tobe with her child because she's a woman but rather because she's the article's subject. If anyone is being sexist it's the author of the article, who based on the "oh wow, a working mom!" premise. Secondly, most of us here have been talking about parenting, not mothering, and it's wrong to assume that criticism of Alpha Mom doesn't also apply to Alpha Dads.
Where is this kid's dad anyhow? If mom is making so much money, why doesn't dad stay home with the kid? Too much money rots the soul.
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:19 PM on August 23, 2005


Dude, there are 168 hours in a week. She's working 100 of them. She cannot possibly spend too much time with the child.
posted by c13 at 6:20 PM on August 23, 2005


I suppose I assumed there was a difference between parenting and spending pre-scheduled directed playtime with him. Her husband and the "noise" and "rough play" sounds more akin to what parents should be doing with their kids than the Latest Playgroup Activity Proven To Raise Your Child's IQ Score By 50 Points Participate Today Or You've Failed As A Parent!

Does she honestly think that not getting her kid into the equivalent of Harvard for 2-Year-Olds is a bigger crisis than taking him on hikes and pointing out the different kinds of trees and bugs on your path? Or chasing pigeons on a playground? Or going to the library and letting him pick a book and reading through it with him? Or making funny faces as each other while teaching him to bake? Or just spending time with him doing nothing? He may not be fluent in Spanish by age five, but he'll be far more emotionally stable in the long run.

Look, I suppose this all reminds me of how John Stuart Mill was raised, or the tales of all those child geniuses that were pushed and pushed and pushed and went to Harvard at 8 and become doctors at 13. Mill forged on, but only after undergoing a two-year depressive collapse at age 21 from the uber-intellectual education his father imposed on him, and recovering upon discovering he had emotions. Most of those child doctors burned out early and were never heard from again. And these were people who ostensibly had the intellectual capacity for the intense studies--now parents are doing it to normal kids. Seriously, why do you think this kid's going to grow up emotionally and psychologically healthy?
posted by schroedinger at 6:41 PM on August 23, 2005


Crap. Make that "Does she honestly think that getting her kid into the equivalent of Harvard for 2-Year-Olds is more important than taking him on hikes and pointing out the different kinds of trees and bugs on his path."
posted by schroedinger at 6:43 PM on August 23, 2005


bowline, I loved your link!

Isabel had recently stepped down from her 100-hour-a-week senior-vice-president position at Salomon Smith Barney.

But guys! She stepped down from the job. She is not working anymore. She does not have to. That is why she is privileged. How many parents can afford to do so?

I am with nixerman and zoogleplex. It is her own business how she runs her child's upbringing. And she is running it like business, this is her background. That does not necessarily mean she does not love the kid. A woman like that abandoned a career. Hm, that's not an easy choice as far as I know.
posted by carmina at 6:54 PM on August 23, 2005


schroedinger, perhaps because this kid isn't being raised like Mill at all? Again, it's pretty much the exact opposite. While Mill was pretty much a student/slave? from day one and spent most of his childhood reading Greek and composing essays, this kid is pampered. He is surrounded by people who cater to his every wish: they play with him, sing to him, and, believe it or not, probably read to him. His mother is there when he wakes up and when he goes to sleep. What, you think he's not being allowed to play until he's finished his first French composition? Come on. This kid isn't being pushed in any sense of the word. As for, um, suppressing his emotions I'm sure his mother as all sorts of research that demonstrates children should be social and have friends etc. And I'm sure he'll be encouraged to do so.

Again, your examples are more revealing than your argument. What upsets people about this article, and what the writer is clearing pandering for, is the old "parents these days!" It's only interesting because when you see this sort of nonsense in more controversial settings, a la gay marriage, it's quite clear that such arguments are nonsense. But the similarity in response and tone--down right to the "this kid's life'll be ruined!" (of course, the writer is too smart to come right out and say it--he wants you to "draw your own conclusion")--is uncanny.
posted by nixerman at 6:54 PM on August 23, 2005


And she is running it like business, this is her background. That does not necessarily mean she does not love the kid.

Hmmm, soooo, it's a good idea for firefighters to spray their kids with firehoses? Bakers should put theiir kids in ovens?

This particular family is wealthy enough to live on one income, or two half-incomes. If the article had been about how a working class mom was pushing herself so that she could spend what little free time she has after work with her kids, then the criticism in this thread wouldn't be warranted. But these people could live differently and deliberately choose not to.

A child is not a business, and while she may love her son, treating her relationship with him like a business is not a loving thing to do.
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:59 PM on August 23, 2005


Does anyone get the impression from the picture on the front page that she intends to run into the woods with the child and eat it? Holding the baby at arms length, her pose, and the camera angle really adds a sinister element.
posted by Alison at 7:01 PM on August 23, 2005


Does she honestly think that getting her kid into the equivalent of Harvard for 2-Year-Olds is more important than taking him on hikes and pointing out the different kinds of trees and bugs on his path.

Oh dear. You are absolutely right. But you know there are playgroups in NYC that hire botanists to teach their 2-year olds right in Central Park, the Botanical Gardens etc.
I kid you not.
posted by carmina at 7:02 PM on August 23, 2005


It's only interesting because when you see this sort of nonsense in more controversial settings, a la gay marriage, it's quite clear that such arguments are nonsense. But the similarity in response and tone--down right to the "this kid's life'll be ruined!" (of course, the writer is too smart to come right out and say it--he wants you to "draw your own conclusion")--is uncanny.

Bleh. But the two arguments are too different for your comparison to work. See, the argument against gay marriage is that the parents are bad parents because they're gay, which is different from arguing that Alpha Mom is a bad parent because of the choices she's making and the methods she's using to parent her child. They're really not the same argument at all.
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:04 PM on August 23, 2005


eustacescrubb,

I doubt a firefighter would endanger his kid likewise. But, being serious, I could see how a firefighter might spend more time than the average parent practicing "escape the fire" techniques. And a baker, might teach his kid making cookies more often than the average parent.

Most bring our workplace attitude back home. Whether this is good or not, it is true.
posted by carmina at 7:06 PM on August 23, 2005


eustacescrubb, except that's not the argument against gay marriage at all--and you know that, so drop the bs. People who complain about gay marriage are all for gay people entering into traditional marriage to raise kids. This is one of the main points. Press most of the advocates about their concerns and you'll see the argument gay marriage is derived from the same old potent combination of fear, tradition, sexism, and change. It is an argument that is, like much of the criticism in this thread, fundamentally irrational. (I would go further and say it's a fundamentally historical argument. So many pine for "simpler times"--just like a lot of people in this thread). The end result is the same "the kid'll be damaged/ruined/mindfucked" when, logically, we know children are pretty damn tough and don't need much more than food and a roof. It's quite clear such people don't care about the child at all--it's really the sociohistorical questions that are raised that bother them. It's like parents who argue about what religion to raise their children in.... nobody ever says, "let's let the kid decide"--because that would imply it really it doesn't matter and all religions are equal. When child raising is used as a kind validation mechanism for different world views, you inevitably end up with these sorts of irrational arguments where souls are at stake but there's never any clear explanation of why it's so important.
posted by nixerman at 7:20 PM on August 23, 2005


nixerman: "zoogleplex, and I suppose that's the point. Your defintion of parenting is absurd. You would rather this woman spend her precious time with the children directly instead of relying on staff. It comes back to the age old prejudice that women should be stuck at home doing nothing but raising the kids and cooking and cleaning."

I rather take exception to your assuming that I think women should be stuck at home raising kids etc., because I believe nothing of the sort. What I do believe is that BOTH parents should actually spend time with their children, teaching them and loving them. This doesn't preclude both of them working, daycare etc. - but then I leave that to each family's idea of how to run their family.

I personally would want either myself or my wife (tho I'm single now) to be home with the kids as much as possible when they're young so at least ONE of us is with them at all times. If that means I stay home with the kids, I'm good with that. And I find nothing wrong whatsoever with hiring a cleaning lady to take care of those chores! :)

That said, you also opined: "Parenting has always contained a strong legalistic, or, dare I say, commercial aspect. Parents have always regarded the kids as investment opportunities."

This is in fact true; the concept of parents truly loving and caring for their children is very new and a product of the Industrial Revolution and the One-Income-Is-Plenty postwar period. Previous to that, children were essentially created as help for the farm and chattel to be "sold off" for dowry, etc. This is the "old way;" I think the "new way" is probably better.

schroedinger and eustacescrubb, thanks for the defense.

on preview: nixerman, I really hope you don't have kids now, and that if you ever do, you change your opinion about children not needing "much more than food and a roof."
posted by zoogleplex at 7:26 PM on August 23, 2005


this is what's wrong with this country, or at least in part.
posted by brandz at 7:35 PM on August 23, 2005


eustacescrubb, except that's not the argument against gay marriage at all--and you know that, so drop the bs. People who complain about gay marriage are all for gay people entering into traditional marriage to raise kids.

But so then if we rephrase my summary of the argument of gay marriage to "people are against it because they think the fact the both parents of of the same gender will cause the kids harm" my point still holds -- the arguments are nothing alike. The argument against gay marriage is essentially an ontological argument, while, again, the arguments against PowerMom-ing are essentially over methodology/
To put it another way, if the article's subject were the dad, the arguments against the parenting methods described in it would still show up and still stand, while if a gay couple quit being gay or quit being a couple, the argument against it wouldn't function any more.

For example, one of the arguments here is that she's no PowerMom because she pays other people to do the actual parenting, and that works as an argument against the father as well. Another is that hiring a proxy to do the parenting is not the same thing as actually parenting, since parenting is a relationship, not a transaction -- that one works as an argument against the father also. A third is that treating a child like an investment is not really love and could cause the child harm also works against the father. The argument that she works too much to have a good relationship with her child (100 hours a week!) holds water against a man as well. And so on.

we know children are pretty damn tough and don't need much more than food and a roof.

I don't think anyone is suggesting the child will die, but there's more to childhood than surviving it.

When child raising is used as a kind validation mechanism for different world views, you inevitably end up with these sorts of irrational arguments where souls are at stake but there's never any clear explanation of why it's so important.

The explanation probably isn't being articulated because most people tend to already agree with the premises of a lot of the arguments here (children are not property, for example), and others (like that institutionalizing children in daycares and schools is depressing, esp. when these institutions were consciously designed to make drone-workers big corporations) are arguments we feel and remember from our own childhoods.

Most of us want life to be better for our children, and many of us remember the bad aspects of our own childhoods - over-working parents, overbearing parents, too much school, too many obligations, etc. I don't want those things for my son. I want him to have joy, and my experience with the "fast lane" and corporate America is that both are pretty joyless places.
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:39 PM on August 23, 2005


schroedinger: :applause:


Wonder if the kid called the nanny "mama" when he learned to talk? Odds are good he did.


Let's see how good her skills really are. Suppose she gets laid off, the hubby runs off with the nanny, and she has to get by on AFDC and food stamps. AWWWWWW. And worst of all, the kid has to go to public school. Welcome to the real world.
posted by keptwench at 7:46 PM on August 23, 2005


.
posted by shoepal at 7:49 PM on August 23, 2005


christ. are posts to the front page that attack another mefier honestly getting even the remotest approval? whoever the fuck he is? it seems like my decision to stay away for a while was warranted. carry on.
posted by adampsyche at 7:53 PM on August 23, 2005


How very communist of you.

You see, when they provide examples of capitalism in economics class I understand that the generic stand in is the "widget," as in the factory makes 650 widgets and sells them as the market will bear.

Or we could have the service economy where people cook food, clean floors, doctor you up, and make a website for you.

But Salomon Smith Barney, CSFB, Merill Lynch, and all those scumbags aren't part of any of that, are they? Ain't no widgets coming out, and the only service you'll ever get out of the financial industry is the kind of service a cow gets from a bull.

Put it this way: Imagine powerful aliens came down and said "Humanity can no longer have any power plants." It would suck balls bigtime. Same aliens came and said "Humanity can no longer have a financial industry." Annoying disruption as scumbags figure out a new way to weave themselves into the system.

We can't get rid of the scumbags, but that doesn't mean they're not scumbags.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:02 PM on August 23, 2005


...

Which means I want to read every word later...
posted by maggieb at 10:09 PM on August 23, 2005


christ. are posts to the front page that attack another mefier honestly getting even the remotest approval? whoever the fuck he is? it seems like my decision to stay away for a while was warranted. carry on.
posted by adampsyche at 7:53 PM PST on August 23


What in the hell are you talking about?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:32 PM on August 23, 2005


adampsyche: "attack another mefier"? Who?
posted by dabitch at 10:38 PM on August 23, 2005


I think my time was better spent reading random quotes on bash.org (thanks, clevershark) rather than finishing the article.
posted by gohlkus at 11:01 PM on August 23, 2005


methinks either adam's wires are crossed and he's posting in the wrong thread...

...or perhaps by some wild coincidence either Mrs. Kallman is a MeFite... or Adam is Mr. Kallman?

Stranger things have happened...
posted by zoogleplex at 11:02 PM on August 23, 2005


adampsyche's comment jumped out at me as well.

or perhaps by some wild coincidence either Mrs. Kallman is a MeFite

I thought of that too: Kallman doesn't appear to be a mefite at first glance.

Perhaps our adam jumped to a faulty conclusion and thought idontlikewords was calling someone out or something.

(Yes, I know, this post was a waste of my time. Damned completism.)
posted by gohlkus at 11:36 PM on August 23, 2005


I think he's referring to this MeTa thread...
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:49 AM on August 24, 2005


Hmmm, soooo, it's a good idea for firefighters to spray their kids with firehoses? Bakers should put their kids in ovens?

Thanks, eustacescrubb. That one made me LOLFR (for real)
posted by applemeat at 5:34 AM on August 24, 2005


TheOnlyCoolTim: some of us work in the financial industry because they pay us. I work in IT for a large finance corp. I make people's computers work, usually DESPITE their attempts.
posted by mephron at 7:36 AM on August 24, 2005


Right, mephron, but you're providing a service. Soo you are creating value.. soo not the people TOCT was talking about.
posted by cavalier at 8:10 AM on August 24, 2005


It's different to be doing IT to get by or whatever than to be doing 100 hours a week of whatever useless crap that woman does.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:15 AM on August 24, 2005


TOCT: just pointing out there's a difference between 'working in the financial industry' and 'being a soulless drone in a high building using words like 'synergizing credit with profit' without being either ironic or stupid'.

I have done 100 hour weeks, usually because some brilliant master high up in the corporate rankings decided on what to him was a minor change but required us to work many nights redoing a lot of work that 99.99999% of the people affected didn't and wouldn't notice. But I won't do them anymore.

I've sacrificed for the company, and gotten little to no reward for the sacrifice. It's no longer worth it.
posted by mephron at 9:08 AM on August 24, 2005


Regardless of how much this woman may or may not "love" her child, the article is creepy, and the phrasing she specifically uses is fucking creepy. Can't we all just agree on that?

A child should not be a Synergistic Realignment Of Your Life's Business Model To Maximize Future Revenues In The Global Economy. It's a kid.
posted by zerolives at 9:43 AM on August 24, 2005


This is just one more reason why I don't live in New York City. Just having to bump into people like this on the street, just having to know that they're lying in wait just across the water in Manhattan, would make me vomit.
posted by koeselitz at 12:15 PM on August 24, 2005


How very communist of you.

Is that supposed to be an insult? Interesting.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:49 PM on August 25, 2005


we know children are pretty damn tough and don't need much more than food and a roof. It's quite clear such people [who belive that nannies represent some sort of doom-like world where 'the American ideals of competition and capitalism taken to it's logical end'] don't care about the child at all--it's really the sociohistorical questions that are raised that bother them. It's like parents who argue about what religion to raise their children in.... nobody ever says, "let's let the kid decide"--because that would imply it really it doesn't matter and all religions are equal. When child raising is used as a kind validation mechanism for different world views, you inevitably end up with these sorts of irrational arguments where souls are at stake but there's never any clear explanation of why it's so important.



Nixerman wins.
posted by verisimilitude at 11:25 AM on August 26, 2005


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