January 22nd, 2005

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02:02 pm - 1KWFFH: on kids being stupid and adults aren't much better.

Snowy Grave 2
Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
So I bundled up and went out this morning to take pictures of the graveyard across the street covered in snow. Sitting there, standing next to tombstones and freezing to death, I was struck with some thoughts about the sillyness of what I was doing and ridiculousness of ever going out in the snow in the first place and for the first time in a while, I was inspired to write 1000 words of free flowing hostility.

1000 Words of Free Flowing Hostility on kids being stupid and adults not much smarter.

So by all accounts I was actually a pretty intelligent kid. (I know, I know... what the hell happened?) Really though, I was even labeled "gifted." I could read by age two. I was a backgammon mastermind by age five. I invented the internal combustion engine at age seven. I started programming computers when I was about nine. You know, all the usual smart kid stuff. But what I don't get is that I had one obvious mental flaw that a lot of kids seem to have. I liked cartoons and the Dukes of Hazzard. I liked reading and drawing. I liked to play video games and pinball. All quite reasonable stuff. For some reason I didn't actually believe in boxing. I thought it had to be fake. But hey, I was just a kid. And also, it turns out that I wasn't too far off in many cases anyway. What I don't get is why, like so many other kids, I liked snow. It really just doesn't make and JayZdamn sense. Adults get that snow sucks. You have to shovel it, its cold, you fall all over the place. It's a major pain in the ass. But those are all the things that kids seem to love about snow.

Even after I was old enough to start shoveling snow (probably at like age three, my mother being a slave driver who only had kids so that she could make them do chores), I still found it fun to go out and play in. I mean, I get that snow is pretty. I still feel that. I get the appeal of certain snow-based activities. Sledding, skiing, ice-skating. I still think those are fun things to do. I even get snowboarding, though I still consider it thoroughly evil since snowboarders tend to ruin the snow for the real skiers. That all makes sense. There is an actual activity going on there. But little kids, they don't even have an activity in mind. 40 below, 8 feet of snow on the ground and a little kid can't wait to just go outside and jump in it for no good reason at all. That makes no damn sense, I tell you. I mean I had a fucking genius level IQ. What kind of sense did it make to lay in the middle of the snow and wave your arms and feet back and forth to make snow angels and catch hypothermia? They don't even look like real angels for JayZ's sake.

I'm not going to pretend that I've always made the most intelligent decisions in my life. Or that everything I do makes sense. My favorite past times include paddling down river rapids in watercraft that technology outdated centuries ago and having grown men pick me up and drop me on my head. But I at least realize that those things are fun if irrational. But then you have someone like Evelyn, beststephi's niece, who threw a fit last weekend because her father wouldn't let her leave the house without putting a coat on. Sure she's only two. She might not know what hypothermia is. But she knows what cold is, right? She gets that being cold sucks. Why on earth would you want to be cold? Isn't seeking shelter and warmth some innate instinct that is programmed directly into our genetic code right next to eat regularly and have as much sex as possible? Are there baby birds that bitch to their parents that they don't want to fly south for the winter?

Maybe in humans the survival instinct just kicks in a little later than it does with smarter animals like dolphins, pheasants and our brother the mighty cockroach. So when did it happen? When does a person grow the instinct that surviving is a good idea? I'm pretty sure that by my teen years I was beyond the urge to lay in the snow for the sake of laying in the snow. And though I liked a good snow because I was an avid skier, I was smart enough to wear a coat, and even long underwear whenever I went out to do it (sadly, my best skiing years were before the advent of Under Armour™. But, I always hear people say that the problem with teenagers in general is that they are unaware of their own mortality. And now that I think about it, I used to take highly excessive risks when I was skiing, and I also had a rather odd hobby of climbing to rooftops and jumping between buildings. Clearly I wasn't as bright as I wanted to believe I was. So did I get better in my twenties? Not really. Anyone who knew me in my early twenties and watched the things I did in drunken pursuit of a good time, would probably agree that survival wasn't really at the top of my list of priorities. Partying to where you accidentally set your hand on fire, not really the safest thing in the world. I did it twice. Now I'm in my thirties. And like I said, my favorite hobby is getting dropped on my head.

So maybe the answer is that humans don't really have a survival instinct. Maybe that's our big problem as a species. Maybe the actual truth is that the fondest dream of every newborn person is to someday end his or her own life in as spectacular a way as possible, and at age 5, the best you can come up with is laying in a snow bank and waving your arms back and forth. The fact that in the subsequent twenty-five years I have come up with increasingly exciting and more effective activities to Darwin my way out of the gene pool is mere testament to my own personal genius. The fact that some thirty years, five months and twenty-two days in to trying and I still haven't pulled it off yet... Well, I guess that's just my incompetence.

(20 comments | Leave a comment)

1KWFFH: on kids being stupid and adults aren't much better. - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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[User Picture]From: ludimagist Date: January 22nd, 2005 - 11:23 am (Link)
I hereby attest to your lack of a sense of self preservation in your college years.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 22nd, 2005 - 11:33 am (Link)
I didn't exactly see you wearing a safety helmet every where you went either, you know...
From: ludimagist Date: January 22nd, 2005 - 12:08 pm (Link)
Yes, but I was far less inclined to end up in a situation wherein that would have been a good idea.

Being the voice of reason, restraint, and common sense that I was and continue to be.

[insert halo here]
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 22nd, 2005 - 12:13 pm (Link)
yeah...and here we are a decade later and as a passtime your twirl around little sticks that are set on fire. Maybe you're just slow to evolve.
From: ludimagist Date: January 22nd, 2005 - 12:18 pm (Link)
Actually, they are chains.

And no one is dropping me on my head as I am doing any such things, because as I have said throughout the years, flying through the air upside down is a sure sign that something has gone horribly wrong and that it should be corrected.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 22nd, 2005 - 12:23 pm (Link)
yeah... but I'm a trained professional. Dropping me on my head is all part of the art. Now are you trained to be set on fire?
From: ludimagist Date: January 22nd, 2005 - 03:06 pm (Link)
I am trained to do these things and NOT be set on fire.

See, self preservation.

And what professional wants to be dropped on their head? As an art? Is this some of that postmodern crap?
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 22nd, 2005 - 03:49 pm (Link)
no setting yourself on fire? How interesting is that?

As for being dropped on your head, you theatre majors are all the same. You just don't get modern performance pieces.
From: ludimagist Date: January 22nd, 2005 - 04:00 pm (Link)
Perhaps it is because we are too hihgly trained in performative movement and managed not to hit our heads on a regular basis.

Any art that requires the audience to have suffered multiple concussions or advanced graduate degrees to get I have to question the aesthetic value of.

And the people with the advanced graduate degrees in appreciateing people being dropped on their heads are just making stuff up as they go anyway.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 22nd, 2005 - 05:34 pm (Link)
are you implying that there is some difference between multiple concussions and an advanced graduate degree?
From: ludimagist Date: January 23rd, 2005 - 12:42 am (Link)
There is a joke waiting to be made here about the School of Hard Knocks.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 23rd, 2005 - 04:41 am (Link)
heh... next you too are going to start worshiping, HOVA, God-MC, you know him, that's Jay-Z. Its a Hard Knock Life.
[User Picture]From: sui66iy Date: January 22nd, 2005 - 11:46 am (Link)
When I was but a lad, we lived on the side of a hill in Connecticutt. Now, the thing about hills is that water runs off them... producing little creeks and other minor tributaries. In the winter these freeze.

Near my house a creek ran into a concrete drainage pipe which emptied underneath a small bridge (the creek continued down the hill from that point). The bridge had a grate in it right above the point where the pipe emptied.

So, if you put all these facts together, what you wind up with on a snowy day is essentially a louge track (the frozen creek) that enters a tunnel (the pipe) and shoots you out into a snow drift (that has accumulated under the grate).

Needless to say, if you lie down on a frozen creek going downhill and cross your arms, you can build up quite a lot of speed... then whoosh through the concrete pipe (which is just big enough to fit into) and pop out into the snow drift.

It was pretty damn cool.

It was also mind-bogglingly stupid.

But hey, none of us ever died. At least we weren't sniffing glue.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 22nd, 2005 - 12:11 pm (Link)
see, that sounds fine... that sounds like risking death with a point, there is a definite end goal there. A metric with which one can measure success. I got to the bottom of hill! I got there fast! I didn't die. That's the kind of thing that I might try in my stupidity even today. As opposed to snow angels which are pretty much just about laying in the snow with the only end result being an impression that shows that some idiot laid in the snow over there. I dunno... maybe the very fact that its simple and pointless is what implicitly makes it art. Of course, as I said on zephyr a few days ago:

"damn modern parents... back in my day, we used to play with powertools in
the middle of the street. Those of us who survived turned out just fine"
[User Picture]From: mamarayne Date: January 22nd, 2005 - 12:40 pm (Link)

Did I miss something?

Well, is there any OTHER reason to have kids? I mean, after they get here, you love them dearly & everything... but I can't think of another reason to actually HAVE them.

I love you son, even in your sometimes irrational stupidity. :-) Did you ever hear the saying "God protects children and idiots."? I prayed you and your brothers into survival. No need to thank me, it's just part of the Mama job.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 22nd, 2005 - 01:06 pm (Link)

Re: Did I miss something?

well, there's also the fact that if you're ever attacked by lions, you need something to throw in its path to slow it down.

I do so miss my older sister...
[User Picture]From: mamarayne Date: January 22nd, 2005 - 01:10 pm (Link)

Re: Did I miss something?

Oooo I forgot to mention your evilness!
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 22nd, 2005 - 01:13 pm (Link)

Re: Did I miss something?

<whineykidinantidrugcommercial>From you, ok? I learned it by watching you.</whineykidinantidrugcommercial>
[User Picture]From: marsinthestars Date: January 24th, 2005 - 08:51 pm (Link)
I don't think it's lack of survival instinct, I think it is an effort to laugh at our ancestors who froze in this cold, whereas we can run around, get thrown in snowbanks, and get ridiculously cold before running back inside to the warmth of hot chocolate and hot showers and blankets and not dying.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: January 24th, 2005 - 09:03 pm (Link)
damn kids... no respect for their elders... errr ancestors...

anyway, so are you saying that you haven't grown out of making snow angels?

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