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Kids These Days
May 1, 2008 10:30 AM   Subscribe

A seven year old borrows his grandmother's car, hits a couple of mailboxes, two parked cars and two moving cars. And he's not sorry just one bit. (SLYT)

I used to do bad stuff just for the sake of being bad as a kid too; but I don't recall ever being so not-remorseful about it.

And of course the youtube comments are about what you would expect.
posted by jabberjaw (123 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Does he play GTA?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:33 AM on May 1, 2008


Does he play GTA?

Not for a week.
posted by rooftop secrets at 10:35 AM on May 1, 2008 [46 favorites]


Not anymore...
Sound like he's agreed to a punishment of "just a little bit of no video games for the weekend"
posted by Kabanos at 10:36 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Kids is wildin'
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:36 AM on May 1, 2008


I can't wait to raise normal, disciplined, well-behaved kids some day. I for one still have hope for the future.
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:38 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


This video should be subtitled "class and race in America: the unspoken tensions".
posted by Nelson at 10:39 AM on May 1, 2008 [5 favorites]


I love the way he defines his little partner in crime by the fact that 'he smokes real cigarettes'.
posted by jack_mo at 10:41 AM on May 1, 2008


Fat little fucker for a seven-year-old.
posted by notsnot at 10:42 AM on May 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


This seems like a good moment to say WHAT THE FUCK CNN.COM ASPECT RATIO.

For like three years you have continued to shovel out 4:3 video in a 16:9 box FOR NO GOD DAMN REASON.

What, does your market research find that most of your clientele LIVE IN SPORTS BARS and would find correctly-displayed unstretched video to be disturbing images of a parallel universe populated by WAIFS? Are you trying to make Americans wake up to the national obesity epidemic? Of course the Planet's In Peril if you're going to STRETCH IT INTO AN OBLATE SPHEROID
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:43 AM on May 1, 2008 [43 favorites]


Palm Beach Gardens police plan on pressing charges of grand theft auto against the boy.

My magic 8-ball says that won't help anyone very much.
posted by Xoebe at 10:45 AM on May 1, 2008


mostly I just feel bad for the kid; continuing with that kind of unrepentant attitude is going to cause him (and probably others) a lot of grief in life. And I suspect that there are much deeper issues when a seven year old steals a car because he's mad at his mother. He also said it was because he wants to do "hood rat" things with a friend who smokes "real cigarettes".
posted by dubold at 10:46 AM on May 1, 2008


COP: "Are you sorry? You understand that you're grandma is going to have to pay to have those cars fixed, because of what you did."

KID: "Can my mom help her?"
posted by delmoi at 10:48 AM on May 1, 2008


I'm shocked at this childish behaviour from a 7 year old.
posted by Artw at 10:48 AM on May 1, 2008 [5 favorites]


Oh sure, they can ride the subway alone but can't borrow the SUV to make a Costco run? Make up your minds, people!! </sarcasm, mostly>
posted by Gary at 10:50 AM on May 1, 2008 [6 favorites]


But what do the judges of American Idol think about it?
posted by furtive at 10:50 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palm Beach Gardens police plan on pressing charges of grand theft auto against the boy.

It's not like they're going to charge him as an adult and throw him in regular jail. They've obviously got to do something or this kid is going to end up in jail for real by the time he hits 18, at least based on his attitude. His grandma obviously isn't going to be able to provide that kind of structure.

He needs to be put on a diet as well.
posted by delmoi at 10:51 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sometimes after church on Sunday, when it was just me and my dad, he'd stop where the pavement gave way to a series of 25 MPH dirt roads and let me sit on his lap and steer the car as he drove.

I have fond memories of those moments. It was always like a little secret that we kept from my mom. Kind of like the time we shot my new bb gun in the house.

That's why I felt especially bad when one day I stole the car, drove around town, hit four cars and snapped the axle in half.

Good times.
posted by kbanas at 10:55 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


That kid better stay the hell off of my lawn!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:55 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I yanked the thing!
posted by mr_roboto at 10:56 AM on May 1, 2008


Paging GTA Supernanny.
posted by jaimev at 10:58 AM on May 1, 2008


I wish I had had such a friend when I was 7 years old. I would have enjoyed the ride.
posted by nicolin at 10:58 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


At least other 7 year olds will be dissuaded from doing the same after seeing how much fame and attention...this...kid....oh crap.
posted by DU at 10:58 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


It all ended on Investment Lane and Consumer Drive.

You Americans have such quaint street names.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 11:01 AM on May 1, 2008 [33 favorites]


Shit, the seven year and eight year olds in North Philly throw rocks at police cruisers. I was talking about truancy with a cop one time on one of my old client's blocks in the 25th District (the Badlands, basically) and he said that he had seen a kid about this age coming out of his mom's house at 11 am on a school day so he pulled over and asked "Hey there, why aren't you in school?" and the kid rounded on him all surly and shouted, "BECAUSE I JUST WOKE THE FUCK UP."
posted by The Straightener at 11:01 AM on May 1, 2008 [27 favorites]


And of course the youtube comments are about what you would expect.

Sample:
Why do blacks get mad at everyone else? When they treat there own people worse than they get treated by other races. Your ghetto neighborhood will never change if you keep killing and selling drugs to yourselves. I had a 12 year old black kid call my wife a bitch at a miniature golf place, sad that he has no future but I am sure that its my fault not his dads.

Emphasis mine. I mean, he's totally justified in his opinion isn't he? He's got evidence. A 12 year old black kid totally called his wife a bitch once.

I comment on YouTube, and I don't think of myself as an inarticulate idiot, but any video with over 500,000 views or so is invariably a depressing display of what a stinking sewer of idiocy humanity really is. On the other hand, I've actually had interesting discussions on YouTube comments, mostly on music videos with less than 10,000 views, such as whether Death In June is actually fascist or why Sugar never made more of an impact chart/sales-wise.
posted by DecemberBoy at 11:02 AM on May 1, 2008


Shirtless man sounds off on kid gangsta

Admittedly, I haven't heard the audio of this, but I imagine that it really doesn't matter. Also, I'm putting "Did hood rat stuff" on my resume.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:03 AM on May 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


This same thing happened to my childhood home that my parents now rent out.

An eight- and five-year old "borrowed" their grandfather's truck--a big Chevy with all the tacky ground effects, dual exhaust, and stripey paint--and went joyriding. (The older kid drove.) They got down their street, turned the corner onto my parents' street, got the truck up to about 60 mph in a couple of blocks, went up onto a curb three houses away, through a decent-sized elm tree in the middle of the neighbor's yard, plowed into the renters' car in our house's driveway, driving it a pretty good way into the dining room of the rent house. (The tenants were fine.) Craziest thing ever. Kids got out and were completely fine. The grandpa didn't even know they were gone.
posted by resurrexit at 11:04 AM on May 1, 2008


Sometimes after church on Sunday, when it was just me and my dad, he'd stop where the pavement gave way to a series of 25 MPH dirt roads and let me sit on his lap and steer the car as he drove.

My dad did the same thing. Years later, last Tuesday actually, I found out he was secretly holding onto the steering wheel down low. Not quite as bad as discovering The Matrix, but still a bit of a letdown.
posted by bondcliff at 11:05 AM on May 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


Why why why did they interview this kid on TV?! That'll sure show him that doing bad stuff is not fun, and is, in fact, bad.

My Dad stole a truck from the family farm when he was 12. There was a song about it in his town. I don't think he got to play video games for a couple decades though.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 11:06 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I went on a joyride once when I was 14 or 15 years old. I snuck out my window at 10 o'clock, met my friend on the road beside my house in his Mom's car. We probably made it 200 yards before he missed a turn, ran over a dogwood tree and plowed the car up to the axles in a muddy field.

I walked home, climbed back in my window, and went to bed.
posted by vronsky at 11:09 AM on May 1, 2008 [6 favorites]


Man, if I even THOUGHT about doing this kind of shit when I was 7 my dad would have whooped my ass.

Seriously, that's not an exaggeration. Maybe it was some paranormal Men Who Stare At Goats shit he learned in the Marines or some shit, but if my parents were out at dinner and they told me not to go into their room and I got brave and went into their room, there'd be lightning and the motherfucker would materialize through the wall, glaring at me like "You got TWO SECONDS."

It wasn't easy having a Marvel Superhero as a dad.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:22 AM on May 1, 2008 [8 favorites]


"It's fun to do bad things."

Yes. Yes it is.
posted by Project F at 11:24 AM on May 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


My grandma once rolled the family Model T into a ditch on the way to school, when she was 12 or so. But she had permission to drive it; the horses were needed on the farm.

Grandma's a total hood rat.
posted by padraigin at 11:31 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palm Beach Gardens police plan on pressing charges of grand theft auto against the boy.

My magic 8-ball says that won't help anyone very much.
posted by Xoebe at 12:45 PM on May 1


I agree. It would obviously be much better to ignore it and maybe give him a citizenship award recognizing his initiative.

I wonder what this thread would have been like if it had been an over-privileged kid in a gated neighborhood crashing his mom's Mercedes while she was playing tennis?

This is as someone said above an interesting class issue.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:32 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wonder what this thread would have been like if it had been an over-privileged kid in a gated neighborhood crashing his mom's Mercedes while she was playing tennis?

I dunno, is the kid 7 and the subject of retarded media commentry?
posted by Artw at 11:38 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't the parents normally get prosecuted for risk of injury to a minor due to the lack of supervision when this sort of thing happens?

Seems like sort of the flip side of the 'free range kids' business; if you can't trust your kids not to steal a car when you let them out of your sight, you probably shouldn't let them out of your sight.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:38 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


le morte de bea arthur: granted, "Investment Lane and Consumer Drive" do sound a little... well, a little dry, especially compared with, e.g., Gropecunt Lane.
posted by boo_radley at 11:42 AM on May 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Investment Lane and Consumer Drive"

Classic South Florida. In fact, this whole story is classic South Florida.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:48 AM on May 1, 2008 [7 favorites]


I didn't want to do hood rat stuff until I was at least 11. And I hadn't formulated a solid philosophy of hedonism and the joy of transgression until probably my sophomore year of college. Kids grow up so fast these days.
posted by penduluum at 11:52 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


At least he's articulate.
posted by Alex404 at 11:58 AM on May 1, 2008


How the hell do you punish a kid for something like this? He's seven years old. He doesn't seem to get the cause-and-effect relationship between property damage and subsequent hardship. It doesn't seem like he's prepared to make that leap yet, either. He knows it's bad, but probably doesn't understand that it's wrong. There's no connection between these things in his mind. How do you solve this?

The Catholic (and, I suppose, Jewish) way is guilt. The calculation for whether or not to do something terrible is not how will it affect me, but how will it affect my mother?
posted by uncleozzy at 11:58 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


This outrage, I'm supposed to feel it?
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:58 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


posted by Kadin2048 Seems like sort of the flip side of the 'free range kids' business; if you can't trust your kids not to steal a car when you let them out of your sight, you probably shouldn't let them out of your sight.

The child's obesity and his attitude are the result of shitty parenting, not the "flip side of the free-range kids business." Of note is the grandmother's solution: she wants to beat him, but the only reason she doesn't is because it's against the law.
posted by optovox at 11:59 AM on May 1, 2008


I wonder what this thread would have been like if it had been an over-privileged kid in a gated neighborhood crashing his mom's Mercedes while she was playing tennis?

I actually know of someone who stole their parents car as a kid and didn't get into legal trouble. He was giving a speech about it in my college speech class. He didn't cause any damage, but he did get caught by the police when stalled out and was too scared to keep driving. What happened? His parents hired a lawyer and got him off on a technicality. (since there were no witnesses who saw him actually driving the car)

Man, if I even THOUGHT about doing this kind of shit when I was 7 my dad would have whooped my ass.

Interestingly the grandma says she'd like to whoop the boy's ass, but isn't doing it because she doesn't want to go to jail.
posted by delmoi at 12:04 PM on May 1, 2008


Grandma does in fact need to go Singaporean on that ass.

Sending the kid to crime school isn't going to solve anything.
posted by tachikaze at 12:14 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Delmoi - I thought that quote from the grandma was interesting. I'm quite certain I'd have gotten whooped for something like this, and I almost never got whooped. But putting other people in danger would have gotten me whooped, no doubt. Do parents really go to jail for doing that? I mean, I know some parents get jailed/kids taken away for beating their kids, but for getting a whooping when they deserve it? Hm.
posted by dpx.mfx at 12:15 PM on May 1, 2008


Palm Beach Gardens police plan on pressing charges of grand theft auto against the boy.

My magic 8-ball says that won't help anyone very much.
posted by Xoebe at 12:45 PM on May 1

I agree. It would obviously be much better to ignore it and maybe give him a citizenship award recognizing his initiative.
Yes, because there are only two options, right? Throw the kid in jail, or give him an award, right? You're hurting Metafilter, Ynoxas.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:20 PM on May 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


Do parents really go to jail for doing that? I mean, I know some parents get jailed/kids taken away for beating their kids, but for getting a whooping when they deserve it? Hm.

Doesn't say why grandma has custody of the kids, but suffice to say she probably feels under not a little scrutiny, especially now.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 12:20 PM on May 1, 2008


Things Children Need to Learn from Their Families:
• Hygiene
• Appropriate personal interaction
• Respect for boundaries
• Compassion
• Judgment
• Consequences
• Cause & effect
• Personal responsibility
• Not fucking shit up just 'coz you're bored, undersupervised, and all life-training is done after you've already screwed things up.
posted by batmonkey at 12:21 PM on May 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


Grandma does in fact need to go Singaporean on that ass.


Literally not being able to sit down for a week might make him think twice before he decides to do something bad just because it is fun. Having a martial arts expert cane your ass with a bamboo pole kind of eliminates the "fun" part. Since this is Florida and not Singapore though I guess a few months in juvy will have to suffice.
posted by caddis at 12:26 PM on May 1, 2008


Well, if the parents/guardians of this kid can't do a good job, the state should get involved somehow. And it's a heck of a lot easier for child services to make a case if he has a conviction on his record. It's not gonna stay on his record after he's 18 and he's not gonna go to jail, so don't go gettin' yourself in a tizzy.
posted by jock@law at 12:36 PM on May 1, 2008


dpx.mfx,

When I was a child and had done something wrong (of sufficient magnitude), I would get a whooping. A serious bare-ass spanking with an oak pickle ball racket my parents used to call "The Enforcer". I would go through the five stages of grief in about 30 seconds preceding the spanking, then there would be tears and welts, followed by more tears.

If I mentioned to another friend or grown-up that I had received such a colossal spanking, they would NOT call the cops or CPS, they would instead say "Well, you must have deserved it."

I am not worse off. This was not "beating" or abuse. It was totally appropriate and generally effective.

Today, if you spank a child or even send a child to bed without dinner - a word of that to the wrong overly concerned person will have either the police or child protective services at your door. Is it worth the risk - or should we rely on barring video game privileges for a weekend? That's a call for each family to make, but it does carry risks.
posted by terpia at 12:39 PM on May 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


I probably wouldn't have been sorry either when I was seven. However, I would have been extremely sorry about the ass beating I was about to get.
posted by Jess the Mess at 12:39 PM on May 1, 2008


This kid is basically going to grow up to be Prop Joe.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:45 PM on May 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'm amazed at the people who think the kid is just terrible when stuff like this happens. If this is how he behaves at 7, it's clearly the adults in his life that are failing.
posted by lacedback at 12:47 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


This kid makes me feel like a giant pussy.
posted by Pecinpah at 12:49 PM on May 1, 2008


...a depressing display of what a stinking sewer of idiocy humanity really is.

Ah -- my new moniker: sewer of idiocy. Or perhaps, sower of idiocy.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 12:49 PM on May 1, 2008


but suffice to say she probably feels under not a little scrutiny, especially now.

Has she considered water-boarding?
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:50 PM on May 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


Youtube comments are embarrassing.
posted by disclaimer at 12:50 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Investment Lane and Consumer Drive

You know, just the other side of Subprimemortgage Way and Bankruptcy Street.
posted by binturong at 12:55 PM on May 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'm glad people pointing out the kid is fat. Because that is going to make YouTube seem a lot better when compared with metafilter comments.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:01 PM on May 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


Kid won't be laughing when he gets an invoice from his grandmother in 11 years.
posted by katillathehun at 1:15 PM on May 1, 2008


I like this little Buddha.
posted by srboisvert at 1:18 PM on May 1, 2008


Two words: spoiled brat. Parents--be parents to your kids, not BFF.
posted by zardoz at 1:20 PM on May 1, 2008


posted by srboisvert I like this little Buddha.

Little Buddha stole granny's karma, and zen crashed.
posted by optovox at 1:24 PM on May 1, 2008 [15 favorites]


"Now you say sorry or I'll get daddy to raise his voice at you."
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:26 PM on May 1, 2008


Parents--be parents to your kids, not BFF.

If he's being raised by grandma, his parents probably aren't even around to be BFFs. In fact, I think there is a correlation between children raised by aunts and grandmothers and kids like this. Not that grandma's make bad caregivers, but that the absence of BOTH parents kinda signals some major (usually drug-related) dysfunction.
posted by Avenger at 1:33 PM on May 1, 2008


If this kid isn't on FARK next to the dumbass tag at least 3 times in the next 20 years I'll eat my keyboard.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:35 PM on May 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


In fact, I think there is a correlation between children raised by aunts and grandmothers and kids like this.

If a kid call his grandma 'Mommy' and his momma 'Pam', he going to jail! - Chris Rock.
posted by Gary at 1:44 PM on May 1, 2008 [7 favorites]


I'm amazed at the people who think the kid is just terrible when stuff like this happens. If this is how he behaves at 7, it's clearly the adults in his life that are failing.

Blaming the adults does not fit in well with the whole American "responsibility" horseshit ride that we're on.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:55 PM on May 1, 2008


Actually, I just remembered, Florida has a system of "Boot Camps" for troubled kids where they supposedly learn to be obedient, and you know only a few kids have died so it can't be all that bad.
posted by delmoi at 1:57 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


"It's fun to do bad things."

I can only imagine the paroxysms of joy this kid will experience when he makes the next logical step:

"It's funner to do bad things and not get caught."

Give it 12 years or so.
posted by carsonb at 1:59 PM on May 1, 2008


"It all ended on Investment Lane and Consumer Drive.

You Americans have such quaint street names."

haha yeah !
posted by celerystick at 2:04 PM on May 1, 2008


Actually, I just remembered, Florida has a system of "Boot Camps" for troubled kids where they supposedly learn to be obedient, and you know only a few kids have died so it can't be all that bad.

Actually, they banned boot camps after that happened.
posted by puke & cry at 2:14 PM on May 1, 2008


Seems the grandma had custody and brought the boy over to Mom's townhouse for a visit. Was he mad at Mom because he had to go back with grandma? The taking of the car is front page fodder but what the hell is the back story? They're putting a seven year old in the system now. Charging him with grand theft auto. A seven year old. wtf?
posted by hojoki at 2:14 PM on May 1, 2008


At age 7, the biggest crime I committed was keeping my lamp on past bedtime to read for just a few more minutes.
I think I was born fearful and law-abiding, though. My parents certainly were not enforcers or rule-makers.
I've seen sisters at the camp I work for with wildly divergent behavioral patterns. One is respectful and obedient; the other breaks rules and talks back. Both raised in the same house by the same adults.
When people say that children's behavior is a reflection on their guardians, I usually agree, but I think kids are also born with different personalities, or are very influenced by their friends. Otherwise, I don't see how to explain how siblings can turn out to be so different when it comes to accountability and propriety.
posted by rmless at 2:14 PM on May 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


Round about seven I clonked my brother over the head with a big rock. On another occasion, when he was a little older (9 or so), he tried to stab me in the heart with a screwdriver. Possibly we existed as a sort of cosmic balance for you?
posted by Artw at 2:18 PM on May 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


He stole a car, contributed to the delinquency of another minor, vandalized a few mailboxes, hit and ran on two parked cars, and then did the same thing on a couple of moving ones.

And he just lost video game privileges for a week?

When I did that I got in all sorts of trouble.

Of course, I was 35 at the time.
posted by quin at 2:36 PM on May 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Police say they do want to get him into the system, so thy can get him some kind of help."

This is going to help immensely.

I would say LOLFlorida, but Reno, Nevada isn't any better. A dad, too drunk to drive, handed his keys to his designated driver, which was his seven year old son.
posted by clearly at 2:45 PM on May 1, 2008


You're hurting Metafilter, Ynoxas.

Don't worry, Ynoxas, Metafilter will be just fine.
posted by longsleeves at 2:46 PM on May 1, 2008


You don't all of a sudden become some unrepentant, brave-as-hell 7-year-old who decides to borrow your grandma's car. You become a kid like that because you tried being bad in little ways, and absolutely nothing happened. So you upped the ante, and tried bigger things, and on and on and on. That grandma needs to not be so afraid to discipline her kid, even if it means (gasp) whooping his ass, because that is what that kid needs.
posted by 23skidoo at 3:01 PM on May 1, 2008


Grandma does in fact need to go Singaporean on that ass.

Man, wait 'til he starts doing them drugs - you ain't gonna say "Grandma does in fact need to go Singaporean on that neck". 'cause it's not just the ass that Singaporeans treat badly.

FWIW, I'm Singaporean.
posted by WalterMitty at 3:03 PM on May 1, 2008


wow, for those that think this kid is some sort of mini-gangsta', where the hell do you live, with Beaver and his family....

this kid ain't shit where I live and work...
posted by HuronBob at 3:05 PM on May 1, 2008


Yes, because there are only two options, right? Throw the kid in jail, or give him an award, right? You're hurting Metafilter, Ynoxas.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:20 PM on May 1


Basically, someone threw out an unsupported claim, I called it, and now I'm harming a 50,000 member community?

Wow, I didn't realize I wielded such power. I'll try to be, I don't know, more responsible in the future.

Thank god you're not overstating things. That would be a real tragedy.
posted by Ynoxas at 3:10 PM on May 1, 2008


Well, in my psych class the teacher said that spanking works in certain situations. Basically, to prevent a kid too young to be reasoned with from doing things that are going to seriously injure themselves and others. Like swatting your 3-year-old to stop them from touching the hot stove. I'm pretty sure this would fall under this category, unfortunately it would only be to stop him from doing it AGAIN. Sure, all kids do stupid or mean things. I did a few. I didn't do more than that because...... my parents made it clear that certain behavior is not accepted. (as my Dad would say "Period. End of discussion. Now go to your room.") I've started to notice kids doing bad stuff because they think it's ok. And they got the idea that it's ok somewhere.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 3:25 PM on May 1, 2008


I'm pretty sure I've heard somewhere that no sicipline with intermitant over-the-top violent discipline is a pretty common feature in the upbringing of serial killers.
posted by Artw at 3:33 PM on May 1, 2008


It's a stunning sign of the failures of our society not just that this kid has been raised without morals, regret, discipline, and so on, but that he's been raised to be so shit stupid that he doesn't have enough sense for self-preservation to kick in and keep him from doing this.

It's a shame we don't have a functioning foster home system or anything like that, because if we did it would probably be best to consider such a poor parenting job to be child abuse and reason to lose custody.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:47 PM on May 1, 2008


1. Everything fucked up in this country comes from Florida.

2. Investment and Consumer? Perfect.

3. Raising a disciplined, thoughtful kid these days is a revolutionary act of resistance.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 4:10 PM on May 1, 2008 [5 favorites]


I dunno, in the trailing few seconds of that video he seems to be realizing that he's placed a big burden on Grandma, asking if his Mom can help her pay for the damages. His voice gets less brave and all-knowing. And he's probably all kinds of deep down not-able-to-articulate-just-act-out upset with his Mom because of whatever reason why she doesn't have custody of him. I'll bet that's why he's also overweight, pushing food in his face to push down all those feelings. He's just a little kid with solvable problems, he's not a gangster or even a potential gangster.

Anyway, he's gonna be punished big time because family funds are gonna be paying for all those damages for a long time. So long new toys, new sneakers, new anything, for the foreseeable future!
posted by zarah at 4:17 PM on May 1, 2008 [6 favorites]


Otherwise, I don't see how to explain how siblings can turn out to be so different when it comes to accountability and propriety.

Well I think when parents favor one child over the other, the ensuing resentment can breed all sorts of badness in the passed-over child. Then it snowballs, because Little Miscreant doesn't deserve Mommy and Daddy's love as much as Little Miss Perfect...

I just wonder if this kid was wearing his seatbelt. What if he'd gotten himself or his friend killed? (or maimed, etc). Hell, the airbag could have blasted in his face and hurt him horribly. Kids that little aren't supposed to be in the front seat *at all* for that reason.
posted by marble at 5:43 PM on May 1, 2008


What this kid projects is outre. But he is seven. The youtube comments. They frighten me more than this kid ever could.
posted by notreally at 5:50 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well I think when parents favor one child over the other, the ensuing resentment can breed all sorts of badness in the passed-over child. Then it snowballs, because Little Miscreant doesn't deserve Mommy and Daddy's love as much as Little Miss Perfect...

Try being the bad twin. (gulps more wine)
posted by longsleeves at 6:26 PM on May 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


haha yeah !

We have these things called "favorites," you know.
posted by oaf at 6:33 PM on May 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well I think when parents favor one child over the other, the ensuing resentment can breed all sorts of badness in the passed-over child. Then it snowballs, because Little Miscreant doesn't deserve Mommy and Daddy's love as much as Little Miss Perfect...

Try being the bad twin. (gulps more wine)
posted by longsleeves at 6:34 PM on May 1, 2008


hic!
posted by longsleeves at 6:35 PM on May 1, 2008


Is there anything redeeming in Florida south of SR 60?
posted by oaf at 6:35 PM on May 1, 2008


Key West
posted by caddis at 6:41 PM on May 1, 2008


Is there anything redeeming in Florida south of SR 60?

One of my few clients?
posted by maxwelton at 6:48 PM on May 1, 2008


"It's fun to do bad things" was the moment when this transcended from News of the Weird to a milestone of psychological profundity. This kid has summarized the whole of human history in one succinct statement. Think how much simpler the world would be if all criminals were so forthright.

"Why did you use your contacts and political clout as a lobbyist to defraud Native American tribes of nearly $100 million?"
"It's fun to do bad things."

"Why did you kidnap women to serve as your sex slaves in your scary basement dungeon?"
"It's fun to do bad things."

"Why did you facilitate the gruesome deaths of 500,000 Ugandans during your eight-year reign of terror?"
"It's fun to do bad things."

"Why did you oversee the persecution and systematic extermination of six million European Jews?"
"It's fun to do bad things."
posted by granted at 7:18 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


This kid is destined for greatness...
posted by davidstandaford at 8:28 PM on May 1, 2008


This kid is destined for greatness...

I thought we agreed that his weight shouldn't be a factor in this discussion.

/rimshot
posted by quin at 8:47 PM on May 1, 2008


"Why did you use your contacts and political clout as a lobbyist to defraud Native American tribes of nearly $100 million?"
"for the money."

"Why did you kidnap women to serve as your sex slaves in your scary basement dungeon?"
"my non-scary one was being used for wardrobe."

"Why did you facilitate the gruesome deaths of 500,000 Ugandans during your eight-year reign of terror?"
"syphilis."

"Why did you oversee the persecution and systematic extermination of six million European Jews?"
"It's written down here somewhere....."
posted by longsleeves at 8:52 PM on May 1, 2008


Introducing: the next Rodney King!
posted by bwg at 9:29 PM on May 1, 2008


I sometimes wonder how I never stole a car as a young child and went on a rampage..perhaps there is some kind of truth to the idea of having a guardian angel.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:34 PM on May 1, 2008


Is it insulting to suggest that an angry young kid doing something he knows is outrageous and destructive to get attention from the media/his elders is analogous to a segment of the black poor (and really any poor/marginalized folks) lionizing oer engaging in certain anti-social behavior? I don't mean to imply that such cultural conflict is childish, but rather that, in this instance, a sharp kid* has internalized that conflict that defines his situation and has translated it into an an act that almost seems poetic, emblematic.

Why is reverend Wright seeking to undermine Obama?

Please, please don't take this as trollbate. For devil's advocate sake, i'm looking at this within the framework of the "Enough" argument, which I'm far from sold on.


*And I do think this kid is plenty sharp, just, ah, full of shit, as Carlin would say.
posted by es_de_bah at 9:35 PM on May 1, 2008


I think "getting him into the system" is probably racial. Why? Because when I was about his age, I did something similar. I was furious at my father's then wife du jour because she'd tried to hit my baby sister. (We were forced up there for the annual "Who the hell is this guy?" visitation.)

Said wife was evil. Evil. (Really, Eeeevil.) As soon as her back was turned, I put my sister (4 at the time) and myself in the car, and drove out of the neighborhood, to the highway where I remembered seeing signs to the airport. Sure, I ran into some stuff...a small tree, a fence, and I grazed a guard rail, but what got me busted was going so slow. Once I got the hang of it, I'd quit running into stuff.

When the cops pulled us over, they took us back to the station where we stayed for a while, until my grandmother, who had flown in, collected us.

There was no media, there was no threat to put me in the system for grand theft, the police didn't try to use the system to "teach me a lesson". They patted me on the head and got us some tea and cookies.

I'm just saying; big ol difference in the treatment here. I was treated like it was a Princess's Adventures in an Automobile storybook, where as this kid is being treated like he's a prepubescent felon. I can't help but think that if this child had been well dressed, light skinned and possessed even a smidgen of talent in gaming the system, nobody would be talking about charging him with grand theft auto.
posted by dejah420 at 9:38 PM on May 1, 2008 [8 favorites]


Up until your post, dejah, I my sole mental image had been of a chubby white kid. There's nothing in this thread at all to suggest his race one way or the other. Except for your post, natch; otherwise I wouldn't have thought to think he might not be white.

I completely fail to see how his race enters the picture. He's obviously either a natural hellion, or acting out badly about his home conditions or upbringing. Either punishment is warranted, or family services needs to intervene.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:44 PM on May 1, 2008


hasn't it occurred to people this child may be autistic
or be within the spectrum?
posted by liza at 3:43 AM on May 2, 2008


I wonder what this thread would have been like if it had been an over-privileged kid in a gated neighborhood crashing his mom's Mercedes while she was playing tennis?

I dunno, is the kid 7 and the subject of retarded media commentry?
posted by Artw at 11:38 AM on May 1 [1 favorite +] [!]

EXACTLY!

The kid who won last year's spelling bee was the perfect example. Upper class WHITE kid, homeschooled, a wiz at spelling but you could see something was off. Told off the interviewer from CNN and was rude most of the time but you could see it was not just that he was rude or inarticulate, he definitely acted like a child with aspergers.

Most threads I read had people debating his possible disability. I've never seen the same kind of treatment when off behaviour involves black kids or POC in general.
posted by liza at 3:55 AM on May 2, 2008


Do parents really go to jail for doing that? I mean, I know some parents get jailed/kids taken away for beating their kids, but for getting a whooping when they deserve it? Hm.
posted by dpx.mfx at 12:15 PM on May 1 [+] [!]

sigh.

i can't believe so many people in MeFi don't get why a poor black woman would say something like that.
posted by liza at 3:59 AM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


liza writes 'hasn't it occurred to people this child may be autistic or be within the spectrum?'

Oh, for fuck's sake.

I'm going to have to amend Mottram's Law now.
posted by jack_mo at 5:23 AM on May 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Because when I was about his age, I did something similar.

Maybe reaction to him (by cops and by people in general) is partly racial. He is black and you were a little white girl with an even littler and whiter girl in the passenger seat, right? But he's also a big fat loud unrepentant boy who was out smoking and driving an SUV around for fun with a pal and banging into other vehicles. So maybe it's also partly sizist, sexist, SUVist, and various other ists.

But how did you behave when the police caught you? Did you explain to the cops that you thought you were taking your little sister away from an evil woman and to safety? Latarian Milton offered the excuse that he was mad at his mother, but he didn't stick to it. He appears to be strutting around quite unashamedly saying that it's fun to do bad things and that, though he knew he could have killed somebody, he and his cigarette-smoking pal wanted to go out and do "hood rat" (?) stuff.

People are of course looking at his behavior (car theft for a joy ride, remorselessness about actual and potential losses they might have caused) and maybe his physical size (that's a big seven-year-old), mentally extending everything ten or fifteen years into the future, and seeing bad things coming.
posted by pracowity at 5:47 AM on May 2, 2008


i can't believe so many people in MeFi don't get why a poor black woman would say something like that.

I do, but I don't think she's necessarily poor. She used to have a nice car, at any rate.

Anyway... honestly? I am kind of surprised this sort of thing doesn't happen a lot more. There are a lot of bored/mischievous/acting-out kids in the world, and a lot of car keys on counter tops. So I'm a bit less in the wtf-with-the-kids-today camp, and more in the oh-huh-kids-today-still-not-so-bad camp. And as long as we're doing all this camping, someone go get the graham crackers and chocolate bars from grandma's SUV. The keys are on the counter.
posted by taz at 7:09 AM on May 2, 2008


Irresponsible, reckless, lacking discipline, seemingly under-educated, over-weight, incapable of seeing the road ahead and yet in charge of a large dangerous vehicle which causes more damage to bystanders than the occupants. Mis-placed pride in their actions and without the realisation that contrition is the humane response to being called out on their life threatening behaviour.

This is how many people perceive the monolithic* US.

* I know how much we love a broad brush, but it was just an idea that occured to me. Naturally, I am refering to US overseas involvement.
posted by asok at 8:46 AM on May 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


This kid is a sociopath.
posted by ryanhealy at 6:14 PM on May 4, 2008


All kids are sociopaths.
posted by Artw at 8:15 PM on May 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


True, that. Lord of the Flies all the way. We're lucky we end up civilizing most of them.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:23 PM on May 4, 2008


I am not so sure we will end up socializing this one.
posted by caddis at 9:05 PM on May 4, 2008


civilizing, socializing, bah, they all have "ing" in them
posted by caddis at 9:06 PM on May 4, 2008


Hmm. How many of us stole their parents' cars as adolescents, before (and after) we were old enough to drive? I sure did. And got caught at it.

At 14, when my parents were out of town for the weekend and left me by myself, on a snowy evening I got it into my head to take my dad's car out and pick up a friend for a drive. Then when the snow started to get heavy, I pulled into the empty parking lot of a grocery store (right off the most busy street in town) and started doing donuts. Shortly, a police car arrived.

Sitting in the police car, I started to get pretty scared. I first lied that my friend dared me to do it and then gave a false name. At some point I realized this wasn't such a good idea and confessed my real name. The officer gave me a ticket for driving without a license and then, when informed that my parents were out-of-town and that they couldn't come pick me up, told me that he wouldn't impound the car and that after I drove away, I was to drive straight back home (while saying that he couldn't guarantee that I wouldn't be pulled over again).

So, anyway, a couple of weeks later when my dad and I went to the municipal court judge for the ticket, the judge mistakenly assumed that I had been pulled over while my dad had been teaching me to drive (incidentally, my dad had already taught me to drive, including handling the car in skids), told us to go out on a country road next time, and dismissed the ticket. My dad didn't correct him.

This didn't really put the fear of God in me at all. After I got my license I did a lot of crazy things, cumulating into a dramatic police chase and arrest when I was 16. I lost my license for the entirety of my senior year in high school, which, really, was the worst part of the punishment. I was also sentenced by the judge to "go to church", but that's another story. (Well, it's a short story since I thought it was absurd and refused to comply.)
posted by Dances with Werewolves at 7:31 AM on May 7, 2008


Followup - kid beats up Grandma one week later, taken for mental health evaluation...

"Milton's grandmother, Vikkita Stratford, told WPBF that the 7-year-old took his mischievous activities to a new level Monday when she said he beat her up inside a Lake Park Wal-Mart.

According to Stratford, the problem began when Milton asked his grandmother for some chicken wings. When she refused, Milton walked over over to the counter and ordered them anyway.

Stratford said that when she confronted him about it, Milton just snapped.

"He just started hitting me -- just started hitting me in front of the whole Wal-Mart. Every one in there was upset," Stratford said.

Stratford told WPBF that Milton hit her stomach, legs and "wherever he could reach me."

Riviera Beach police picked up Milton from his home and took him to an area hospital for a mental health evaluation Monday afternoon, WPBF reported. The 7-year-old can be held for up to 72 hours while he is evaluated by mental health officials."

posted by unixrat at 7:52 AM on May 16, 2008


I saw that on the news while waiting in line at the post office. I thought that kid looked familiar.
posted by oaf at 1:03 PM on May 16, 2008


Little shit either needs a good spanking to rearrange his perspective on the power balance within the family, or some meds and psychological help 'cause his brain is broken.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:54 PM on May 16, 2008


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