On improving the species

I’m very proud of my eldest daughter. This little interlude in paternal conceit harks back to an earlier blog post about dumb arseholes on the road, and also previous armchair philosophising about the slow improvement to humanity that will come when each successive generation is just a little bit embarrassed by and disdainful of the manners and beliefs of the one before.

I can armchair philosophise on my blog now, thanks to the hit-and-miss (but-usually-hit) charms of the webomophone and its ability to blog, without the need to drag an armchair in front of my computer.

While I tend to think I’m a pretty nice guy, open-minded about all the right things, non-violent in my objection to the things it’s pretty much still acceptable to hate on (stupidity, ignorance, bigotry, very famous people who take drugs), and so on, I’m also happy to accept that, some day in the not-too-distant future, I’ll be considered a dinosaur. My views will be corny at best, embarrassing and distasteful at worst. I’ll be the ageing relative at Christmas who has one too many vodka-enhanced glögis and says something hideously thoughtless and hilariously brutal about making people pass a test before they’re allowed to breed, or exiling all very famous people to vast caverns far below the ground to become Morlocks.

Actually, I may already be that relative.

Still, my point is, I’m fine with this, and fine with the criticisms the younger generation will level at me. Oh, I’m sure that I can’t forsee all the twists and turns. I’m sure they’ll hurt my feelings, and I’ll huffily defend my old-fashioned views and grumble about how wimpy and sensitive kids these days are. But hopefully I’ll always be able to keep in mind that this is all part of the greater good, that as long as kids these days are objecting to certain of my views, things are steadily getting better.

So anyway, the other day I was out doing some grocery shopping with Young Miss, and we were making our way home – Young Miss in the pram with her ice cream[1], I’m pushing her with a heavy bag of groceries on each handle – when who should drive by but a moran.

[1] Young Miss has been a little sensitive these past few days, naturally, so to make the trip go easier I gave in to her demand for ice cream, weird though it was in early March. Still, it kept her happy, and gave me a handy item to threaten to put back in the freezer if she made a jerk of herself before we finished our shopping. But she didn’t.

This particular moran was the driving-too-fast-and-changing-lanes-across-slush-piles variety, and Young Miss ended up wearing most of the slush across her face and ice cream, and in her eyes. She was understandably upset, and I was furious.

“Just as well that shit-for-brains didn’t stop,” I told her as I cleaned her up, “I’d’ve kicked him in the testicles.”

“But papa,” she said, “one[2] can’t kick a person in the testicles.”

[2] She actually said, “man can’t kick a person in the testicles,” man being Swedish for the one impersonal pronoun – you can tell from the pronunciation that she’s not saying the English man. She’s used this term almost from the start to refer to cases where only the more unwieldy and hard-to-master one would work in English.

I had to concur that she was right, one couldn’t just kick someone in the testicles for being a moran, even if I would very much like to. And given that I wouldn’t have done so, even if the moran had stopped, it was wrong for me to say it anyway. Call it my forgiving nature, my dislike of confrontation, or me just being a wimp. One can’t kick a person in the testicles.

But for my daughter, three and a half years old and sprayed in the eyes with slush while eating an ice cream, to voice such a sentiment … yes.

We’re getting better.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy. https://hatboy.blog/2013/12/17/metalude-who-are-creepy-and-hatboy/
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11 Responses to On improving the species

  1. stchucky says:

    One could use ‘one’, of course, or the even more stupid and confusing (particularly to a three-year-old) impersonal ‘you’.

  2. Linza says:

    One can, however, inflict a crueler form of justice in defense of the coming generation, so they can continue to improve while we wallow in our horribleness. Did you get that jackass’s license plate? Because I will pull a wire from one headlight so he gets an expensive ticket.

  3. dreameling says:

    One can’t kick a person in the testicles.

    Yeah. Better to punch them in the face instead.

    (No, not really. I’ve never punched anyone in the face or really anywhere else for that matter. Well, I did punch my little brother in the stomach once and I still feel guilty about it some 30 years later.)

    Your “I’d’ve kicked him in the testicles.” was basically swearing in anger, so hard to see it as “wrong” per se. (OK, given that a three-year-old would of course take that literally, maybe a little “wrong”. But still.)

    On a side note, this post suggests an interesting discussion about the function of aggression and violence and whether we as a species can or should ever be rid of them.

  4. aaronthepatriot says:

    I can kick man in the testicles for you, man. I totally can. I’m not as evolved.

    • stchucky says:

      When your family moves to Finland, dreameling and I will sign off on your arrival as official witnesses / approvers, and tell the immigration department that you are our personal testicle-kicker-by-proxy representative. All Finns should have a USian to do this stuff. You haven’t been nut-kicked until you’ve had it done by a professional.

      If you could then furnish the kickee with a quip like “there’s a couple of acres to get you started”, that would be gravy.

      • stchucky says:

        (because we use the metric system)

      • dreameling says:

        I second this motion, Arnie reference and all.

        Apart from having to learn the metric system, unless he already does, and it would be good for him and his family anyways, he’d totally love it here in our welfare utopia, the like-minded Swedes on one side and the warm and neighborly Russians on the other. (Oh boy, oh boy, do we love to share a border with the latter.)

        I’m assuming we’d locate him in Vantaa somewhere? He needs to be nearby for those nut-kicking assignments.

      • stchucky says:

        Agreed. Plus he’s an immigrant, and this is where we live.

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