And just for the record, you can’t even read the word fuck on the cover.
But that’s not important. No, the contents overshadow the cover and clearly Adam Mansbach must have been striking his own children while writing the book—how else could he have constructed such abusive and Satan-fueled verse?
This isn’t abuse. This is frustration.
Whatever, Anna Smackers—I don’t have kids so I don’t understand—that’s what you said isn’t it? I couldn’t possibly get the point of why you were so upset, you said. Well I don’t think you quite got the point. Do you realize this book is filed under humor? That it’s intended for adults?
And it’s not as if the guy in the story is actually screaming those lines at the child, we’re coming back to that point. Did you miss that? You’re claiming it’s a depiction of verbal abuse, but it isn’t verbal at all.
It must be difficult to be you, Anna, to have such perfect children that you never have to discipline or raise your voice to them. No doubt without the burden of disciplining your kids in any way, must free up a lot of time for you. That must explain how you can visit me so much.
You’re not really allowed to discipline your kids anymore are you? You raise your voice and get accused to verbally abusing them, you spank them and Child Services is knocking on your door because you’re physically abusing them. I think a spanking every once in a while might do some good. How many times growing up did one my parents threaten me with a spanking? And do you know why? Because I was being a little shit, that’s why.
I’m not condoning child abuse—physical, verbal or psychological. Don’t read this wrong and claim I’m saying you should punch a kid in the face when they get out of line. I don’t think so at all.
But getting spanked when I was out of control and past the point of hearing my parent’s verbal admonishments? Got my attention. You don’t want to get spanked when you’re a little kid, you certainly don’t want to get spanked in public—and let’s face it, when you got threatened with a spanking nine times out of ten you were fucking around in the middle of a department store at the mall. You don’t want to get spanked again though; you remember it hurt and was embarrassing, its not something you want to happen repeat.
Of course there are those parents who skip entirely over the verbal portion of attempting to keep their kid in line and begin with the spanking, which is just furious, repeated poorly aimed bottom swatting. They were excessive, took it too far and ruined it for everyone.
Everyone seems to overlook the psychological aspect of parenting; verbal and physical are the real attention grabbers. From what I’ve seen parenting is like being at war—war with really tiny enemies who are always hungry but never want to eat what you offer them.
How many times have you seen a kid throwing a tantrum or not following their parents, and that parent is at their wit’s end? All that parent wants to do is leave the grocery store. Its late, they have to start dinner and that friggin kid has been picking up everything; can I have this, can I have that, why not, of course I’ll eat it, why can’t I have it?
What usually happens? Well first the parent lies to them and claims they’ll buy it for them next time. Then what?
“Fine, you don’t want to leave? Well I’m leaving, see you later.”
And they walk away.
I enjoy watching this because at first the kid doesn’t believe them. They call that parent’s bluff. But then the parent walks away, heads for the door or around the corner.
And then that kid freaks the fuck out.
There’s usually a panic-stricken scream before that kid tears-ass to catch up, tears running down their adorable pudgy little kid faces.
This is acceptable though. Well, at least for now. Complete psychological warfare on toddlers. You just threatened them with abandonment.
Where’s the outcry about that? Instead you’re up in arms because a parent read to their child at bedtime, but was frustrated when three hours later the kid was still up engaging in their own form of warfare.
But it’s OK to threaten your child with leaving them to fend for themselves in the middle of the grocery store because they stopped to check out the Bubble Yum selection.
Go the Fuck to Sleep isn’t about the verbal abuse of children but, rather, the internal monologue that everyone has, not just parents. Yes, specifically this is the frustration of parents with their children, but more then that it reminds us that steady complaining of children with parents, employee with boss and vice versa, coworkers and friends with one another. You’re thinking it all the time.
Our conversational filters stop us—some of us, at least—from saying most of these things. Telling your boss to fuck off, calling your coworker an idiot, spitting in a customer’s food; this book represents the things we don’t say, the things we don’t do.
Mansbach, said it himself, “A lot of these frustrations are not permissible to talk about. We’re not completely honest because we don’t want to be bad parents.”
It’s like admitting you don’t get a joke. Doesn’t happen, you just laugh along with everyone else. So no one admits that their kids are really in charge when it comes to bedtime, instead they keep swapping stories with their other child-bearing friends about how perfect their little angels are.
You can’t admit you don’t know how to put your kids to bed, you can’t admit you just spent three hours reading them half a dozen stories because they refused to lay still, or close their eyes or stay in bed. You can’t admit that they’re in control.
Maureen O’Connor’s all-too short bit for the Gawker is great, and the comments are even better. She addresses David Arrendondo’s suggestion that to properly understand how offensive Go the Fuck to Sleep is one should should instead consider if it was written about Jews, blacks, Muslims or Latinos.
Personally I think one should be more insulted that out of the four Arrendondo mentions, blacks doesn’t get capitalized, that seems racist. Just saying.
O’Connor is absolutely right in her assertion that, “Swapping ‘Jew’ into random sentences about children doesn’t mean the aforementioned sentence is offensive. It means that one does not speak to a Jewish adult the way one speaks to a child.”
Can you think about how disturbing it would be if Mansbach had written a book about how to read a Jew to sleep at night? I prefer the product as we have it now, even if it does incite (one person) riots in my store.
Flashpoint. Patterson. Goober.
I starting watching the show Flashpoint the other day, and I’ve been really enjoying it. It stars Hugh Dillon who, in case you don’t recall, I’ve mentioned before as being one bad ass dude. When he got bored rockin’ your face off he joined a Canadian SWAT team. He went and shaved his head so he’s pulling this kind of thinner Bruce Willis look. Anyway, its a solid show, but that’s where the flashpoint came from.
Patterson is on a cardboard sign above my TV. It comes from a cardboard display for one of the bajillion books James Patterson released this month. I don’t know which one is was for, but all it says is “James Patterson, Unputdownable.” The word unputdownable is a running joke with my friends and I, as is James’ Patterson’s literary integrity.
Of course, he used to be in advertising, so the fact that he’s been marketed into probably one of the most recognized names and bestselling authors in the universe shouldn’t surprise anyone. And just for the record unputdownable comes up as a typo here.
I also can’t decide if I think he’s a dick or a really cool guy. I think I’d like to fight him, and then maybe have a drink with him. I probably have a better chance of winning a fight against him then Gene Kelly, who’s at the top of the list of people I want to fight. Seriously, I know he’s a dancer, but Gene Kelly in his prime was probably solid muscle, those dancers don’t fuck around. He was like a not-Asian dancing Bruce Lee. So I want to fight Gene Kelly in his prime and James Patterson now—I have no problem hitting an old man.
But I’m getting off topic.
Goober I just tossed in there because I wanted another word and that was the first one that came to mind.
I’ve never seen this picture of Bob Dylan with the ‘I can’t sing’ sign, and I was staring at it for a while before I notice Grover popping out of a phone booth in the background. At least I think its Grover, I guess it could be Larry David… but is he dressed as a detective? Oh, that must be his Grover Kent disguise for the whole Super Grover thing.
I think the goober tag is why I found a lot of shit with Grover in it—I tried a search without it and didn’t get any Grover stuff.
I’m not sure if Grover is technically being a cockblock right now since that’s really Sundance’s girl. He’s kind of more…Chaperone Grover, no disguise needed.
I’ve always hated that part in Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, the whole bike thing, and the “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.” I never felt it fit. And I’ve tried to appreciate it on repeated viewings, but it always leaves me feeling uncomfortable.
The one I really like though is this Evangometer. Its nice, its subtle—just a little Jesus fish on the bottom. Apparently whoever is taking the picture was very evangelical. Or its set like those old Fisher Price Doctor Kit syringes and thermometers, where they’re painted to always look full or painted with a little swirly thing so as you turn it the temperature “changes.”
Whoever was setting this thing off though is pretty hardcore evangelical, but what may be more disturbing is that it goes up to 110. I mean, only 110? What kind of super-Christians are these evangelicals? You’re only planning to go up to 110% for Jesus? And it says right on there ‘Actual Full Scale’ so isn’t like a tachometer where its really thousands. You get points for making the thing but you’re losing some on your lackluster performance as missionaries.
Now how does one wear this? Is this like those bad ass cops that have their badges swinging from their little metal ball chains? Or is it clipped onto your belt right next to your cell phone, because you’re the kind of douche who wears their cell phone on their belt. Its OK, I’m not judging, I understand completely, that Tracfone you picked up from the Family Dollar is really heavy—you can’t have that weighing your pockets down, its a serious piece of hardware.
I like to think though, that its really a belt buckle, Power Ranger-style. They could be the Mighty Jesus God Rangers, but instead of Rita Repulsa their main bad guy could be Enola Evolusa, intent on spreading the evils of evolutionary thought. Lord Zedd can stay, he looks pretty Satan-ish already, even in his chrome g-string—
You know what, fuck you, yeah I watched the Power Rangers, who didn’t?
I may also have had a morpher that I got out of my Happy Meal when the movie came out, but its not like I know exactly what box in the attic its in or anything…