My parents take an active interest in my life. In so doing, they have robbed me of the chance of any prospective fulfilment or happiness.
I’d like to illustrate this point with some simple, comparitive case studies from the seventies. Consider for a moment, the Brady children. Carol would openly tell her kids that she was proud of them, even for little things like when Bobby got mentioned in the town paper. Everybody sincerely discussed their problems with dad, who would offer genuine advice. This is all apart from the general air of chilled transparent lovin’ and the dog inside the house. Never did a child have a more loving home life than say, Jan Brady, and yet “‘Waaaaa waaaa waaaaa” cries flakey, obedient Jan. Nerdy, frequently annoying, insubstantial, shallow Jan. Remember the neediness? “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia”, etc.
The Von Trapps, on the other, cooler hand, possessed real depth of character.You would never call the Von Trapps whiney or insubstantial, or obedient kids really- they played mean tricks on a nun, they stayed up late, they wore curtains for shorts, Liesel secretly dated an older guy. Those kids had character. Concordantly, their father couldn’t show affection and never really had time for them. Can you ever remember captain George telling Kurt he was proud of him? No, because it never happenned. Kurt had to win his approval.
While the contrast of two sets of singing white families might seem a strange writing choice, I daresay it illustrates a very simple equation. Children who get love might be happy, but hard childhoods make people more legit.
Struggle is necessary for success. All the greats had crap parents. Consider Ghandi, or that chick from Precious. Yep, those are the two big ones. “Struggle” implies opposition, repression, a putting down. However, it was only last year that my dad actually organised a meeting with one of his magazine editor customers for me. He asks me if I’ve gotten ‘in touch’ with the ABC (“Have you gotten ‘in touch’ with Kerry Obrien?”) He came to one of my stand up shows once. He also buys me the paper and tells me to read it. Is that fair? Yep. That’s probably what that it is.
Though I might like to, I cannot truly rebel in that cool ‘finding myself’ type of way. It’s hard and akward doing this when my parents would ask me if there was anything they could do to help. Furthermore, any proposition that my parents don’t really understand me becomes crappily reminiscent of the I want THAT toy dilemma. I already have toys. Think of those scraggy kids who don’t have toys…and somebody to drive them to uni and make them eggs on weekdays.
Love and support sap the cool right out of things, and, in a twisted, ungrateful kind of way, one could call people with cold parents lucky, trendy people.
(Meanwhile, Kerry O’Brien continues to teeter on the exhilarating knife edge between ‘superstar’ and ‘loose cannon’) (http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/)
Also, Liesel is sixteen going on ridiculous (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVCpp7C1eMA)