Spoiled Children of Divorce

Exemplary Children of Divorce – Truman Capote
February 29, 2008, 5:22 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Truman Capote was a short story writer whose greatest success was his semi-realistic novel In Cold Blood.  Capote was openly Gay and was known for years for hosting the “Party of the Century” on Nov. 28, 1966 called the “Black and White Ball.”

Capote’s Mother was 17 when he was born.  His Father was a Salesman.  His parents were divorced when Capote was 4 years old and he was sent to live with his Mother’s relatives.

In 1933, when Capote was 9, his Mother remarried and he moved to New York to live with them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            His stepfather adopted him.  Capote was extremely dedicated to writing from an early age.  He taught himself to read and write before he went to grammar school and would spend 3 hours writing after school.

Capote’s later life was tragic.  He never really wrote much after In Cold Blood.  He was alcoholic and in and out of rehab.  He was sort of celebrated for his alcoholic behavior.  He suffered several breakdowns.

In spite of all this Capote seems to have loved the Holidays.  He wrote about one Christmas called “A Christmas Memory” about one Christmas spent with a distant cousin.  The link for it is:  http://www.geocities.com/cyber_explorer99/capotechristmas.html.  He wrote another famous story (haven’t read it) about Thanksgiving called “The Thanksgiving Visitor.”

Exemplary Male Intellectuals – Installment #2
February 28, 2008, 10:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s another chunk off the list of Superior Intellects from The Guardian’s “Top 100 Intellectuals.”

Children of Divorce? Haven’t found any yet and I have to admit I’m getting a little ticked. Doesn’t mean that there aren’t any. Just nobody hauls out the trumpets and announces the situation.  Truthfully, it looks like intelligent kids don’t fair well under the burdens of divorce.  Not everyone can thrive whilst cast into the role of trained seal. Divorce is just a good way to keep coarse people coarse.  Oops, blurting.

I actually don’t have a clue what a couple of these people are doing on this list because they tend to be anti-social and not interested in the welfare of others, but most of them are really interesting. I strongly recommend googling these names on Wikipedia. It’s an interesting little educational project to see what people are talking about in the upper echelons.

Gordon Conway, Britain, Diplomat, Writer – Don’t know, sort of doubt it.

Richard Dawkins, Biologist, Pomemicist – No and that’s fine because he’s sort of annoying, especially if you’re into astrology.

Hernando De Soto, Peru, Economist – Don’t know.

Pavol Demes, Slovakia, Political Analyst – Don’ t know.

Daniel Dennett, U.S., Philosopher – No. Father died.

Kernal Dervis, Turkey, Head of UN Development Programme – Don’t know.

Jared Diamond, U.S. Geohistorian – Don’t know.

Freeman Dyson, U.S. Physicist – No.

Umberto Eco, Italy, Philosopher, Novelist – No

Paul Ekman, U.S. Anthropologist, Psych – No. Mother committed Suicide.

Fan Gang, China, Economist – Don’t know.

Niall Ferguson, Britain, Historian – Don’t know.

Alain Finkielkraut, France, Essayist, Philosopher – No

Thomas Friedman, U.S., Journalist, Author – No.

Francis Fukuyama, U.S. Political Scientist & Author – No.

Gao Xingjian, China, Novelist – No.

Howard Gardern, U.S. Psychologist – No.

Timothy Garton Ash, Britain, Historian & commentator – don’t know.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. – U.S., Theorist of Race – No.

The Dumped Parent
February 28, 2008, 6:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have such a love-hate relationship with statistics. I completely hate the way they reduce everything to simple numbers and yet I’m really curious about them. Here’s one I’m wondering about today: What percentage of Children are left to be “raised” by a parent who has been dumped by the other parent.

This, of course, means that the child must become the parent’s parent as said parent crawls back into the fetal position for however long it takes to recover from being dumped. And, of course, this is the child’s introduction to Romance. And, of course, this is the child’s introduction to cooking and cleaning and psychotherapying and being a friend and staying out of the way and failing at something and being blamed for looking & acting like the other parent. Simple childhood type activities. Because, truth is, when one parent dies, the neighbors show up with casseroles. When your parents divorce the neighbors gossip about you behind your back and avoid you until they’re sure you’re ok.

It seems that hanging with the parent who leaves might be slightly more positive of an experience. There’s something empowering about being on the side of the parent who made a conscious decision.  Then I remember Tobias Wolfe’s story About A Boy (I only saw the movie). Wolfe got to live with the transient Mother who made Mistakes. His childhood became Hell but it seems that he retained a feeling that he could move on with his life.

I wonder what this is like in comparison to being left with the Dumped Parent. The parent who is feeling stupid and rejected.

I suppose living with the dumped parent means that you automatically learn that you have no control over life. It’s a good lesson on how to have low-self-esteem.

So, there are so many books and movies about recovering from being dumped. Do they ever show how the kid had to deal with you while you are being dumped.  The walking on the eggshells and the making up of the lies for everyone outside the home in order to cover up for what’s lacking? Some flip out. Some act out. One of my teachers asked me what was wrong. No one thought I was particularly brave that’s for sure. As a matter of fact they thought I was sort of sad and creepy.

All parents assume that the parent is still parenting. The parents’ friends like to remind the child that the parent is going through a difficult time and needs whatever he needs. If the child feels needy about needy anything. Meanwhile the parents friends find that it’s too difficult to maintain relations and usually pick a side.  The kids have to stick around with both sides.

The Parent who gets left behind. The parent who gets dumped. Going through rejection, fear, unloveability, the ground being yanked out from under. The kid still has to keep a relationship with this parent while his other parent does not. This is a lonely, sad experience, especially at such an intimate level of relationship.

Either way the kid has to immediately adopt incredible amounts of sophisticated relationship skills well beyond his years and he has to do it alone without the help of any adults because the adults don’t even understand what’s going on.

The adults assure the child that he is still loved and will be provided for. Talk. All Talk. The kid will believe it but his actual life tells him the exact opposite thing. If he thinks anything else this means he is spoiled. He simply must not talk. All is a secret. The outside world must not know and certainly won’t ask.

When one of the parents wants to be on his own then the kid is also on his own. He must remain a poker face, not show reaction to anything or the parent will feel guilt in addition to all his other problems.

The kid is also on his own with regards to his siblings who are all now in fierce underhanded competition to grab the most attention. There’s a MadMax type of vibe among siblings. There isn’t as much Love to go around, certainly no acceptance, so the competition gets really stiff.

Often the siblings will become closer as a protective thing. The adult influence simply disappears or becomes a silly joke that must be tolerated.

Truthfully, adults who marry, have kids and divorce are simply not that sophisticated themselves. They have no ability to project ahead in time, or to see how their actions affect others.

Exemplary Male Intellectuals – 1st Installment
February 27, 2008, 2:16 am
Filed under: Exemplary Children of Divorce, extraterrestials

I’ve listed the Ladies from the Guardians 2005 List of Top Intellectuals (I love Lists even more than I love Statistics and the National Enquirer).  This is a painstaking job and I’m kind of a slob when it comes to accuracy but it looks like none of the first 10 Men on the List are Children of D.  I’m sort of assuming that the Catholics and the super Religious types aren’t.  Noam Chomsky has way too much bravado.

Sort of thought that JM Coetzee would have been the spawn of a split.  Once I went to hear him speak because he had won the Nobel Prize, the cover of his latest book was really cool and the talk was free.  He could definitely pass for a Child of D. because he sort of looks like he could fall into a crack at any moment and get lost for awhile.  Anyway, his parents were miserable together so that counts for something.

One afternoon I went through the Biography section in the library looking for Names and could literally almost guess which people were Children of D. just from their personalities.  Anyway, sometimes I’m wrong.  I’m wrong about JM Coetzee.  Then again, I’ve never read anything he’s written.

Wouldn’t it be a gas if the Pope were from a Divorced Family?

Here’s the list.  This is an educational project because I’m not familiar with a lot of these people.

I repeat.  These are considered Top Intellectuals of our Time.  I believe that none of the following came from Divorce.  Maybe I’ll add them to the extraterrestrials category just to get even.

Chinua Achebe, Nigeria, Novelist.  Things Fall Apart.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Egypt, Cleric

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iran/Iraq, Cleric

Jean Baudrillard, France, Philosopher / Cultural Theorist

Gary Becker, U.S. Economist

Pope Benedict XVI, Vatican, Pope

Jagdish Bhaqwati, India/U.S., Economist

Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Brazil, Sociologist/Former President

Noam Chomsky, U.S., Linguist/Activist

JM Coetzee, South Africa, Novelist

Exemplary Women Intellectuals
February 26, 2008, 5:04 am
Filed under: Exemplary Children of Divorce, Uncategorized

I’m falling short in my search to find Exemplary Intellectuals who grew up in Divorce. Am working with “The Top 100 Intellectuals” from guardian.co.uk.

The writers of the list are concerned that in a list of 100 people, only 10 are women. Of the 10 women none grew up in Divorce as far as I can tell. The bios are spartan, though so there may be a daughter of divorce in there yet, I just can’t name her.

Florence Wambugu of Kenya almost makes the list because her Father was taken away from the family for forced labor. She was raised by a very strong Mother. However awful this is, it is not Divorce.

I’m also beginning to think that growing up in Divorce is worse for a kid’s self-expression. I’d actually assume that girls who grow up in Divorce are stronger as women than those who grow up in normal families because they’ve supposedly seen their mothers function on their own.  Instead, I’m beginning to fear that in reality they simply aren’t raised or nurtured.

How do I have to scream this?  Please please … go to College, get that degree, open the doors.  Expect resistance and indifference from your families and ignore it.

If one could see the internet searches of step-mothers alone who complain about their step-daughters that come up on the stats counter on this blog one would not wonder at all why this is.  It’s really disgusting.  I don’t think a girl growing up with both a Mother and a Step-Mother has a chance in Hell of being able to grow into a functioning adult woman. Nobody can thrive under the bulk of that much cattiness.  Miaow.  Haven’t even discussed step-sister Hell.

Anyway, Congratulations to the women who have made the list.  May the next generation raise some great leaders in spite of the pain caused by growing up in divorce.  And as I said before, one or two of these women might be from divorce as there was no mention of family in their bios (often a sign of divorce).

Here are the women:

Germain Greer, Australia, Feminist

Naomi Klein, Canada, Journalist

Florence Wambugu, Kenya, Agriculture, Plant Virologist

Elaine Scarry, U.S., philosopher, Literary Theorist

Martha Nussbaum, U.S., Philosopher

Surita Narain, India, Environmentalist

Camille Paglia, U.S., Critic, Feminist

Sirin Ebadi, Iran, Human Rights Activist

Julia Kristeva, France, Philosopher

Ayzan Hirsi Ali, Somalia and Netherlands, Politician

Today’s Generation Brought Up By The Blind Eye
February 25, 2008, 8:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m going to twist some statistics here as is my way. I don’t have sources for these and I’m working off of memory so can’t vouch at all for accuracy of these numbers.

40 percent of Today’s Generation is growing up in Single Parent Households.

A Quarter of this generation doesn’t exist due to Abortion. This is hopefully the quarter that the psych profession doesn’t want to admit can’t cope with growing up in a divorced family.

These statistics show that the world is changing. One would hope that maybe people are more open minded to finding a better lifestyle that hopefully works. I doubt it though. These kids are being raised by people who think that the parenting skills they grew up with can be applied in the same way that these kids are being raised. So, the kids’ needs are not met. The kids are expected to meet the all consuming needs of their parents. I tend to think, and this is only my opinion, that these kids for the most part are being raised as an inferior class to the kids from the normal families. Right now I think that the single parents are consuming their kids’ lives with the hardships and neuroses of raising kids alone. The kids can’t flourish on their own unless strongly and intelligently encouraged to do so. They simply don’t have the resources of emotional security otherwise.

The world, especially the “Professionals” are turning a blind eye to this situation.

The kids are being raised by stepparents who know there is no payback for their efforts. They don’t love the kids and can only judge them and their real parents.

The kids from the normal families are clearly an upper social class to kids who grow up in divorce. This happens even on satirical cartoon shows like the Simpsons which probably boasts its superior humanity.

The problems haven’t been worked out. Nobody will even look at them. No “Professional” who did not grow up in one of these family situations should be allowed anywhere near research in this field.

Absolutely nothing about recent generations has taken into account the future. The family situations are mirroring the problems that we’re seeing in the environment due to Global Warming. Nobody has invested a single thing toward the future. Social Progress has moved in the same exact direction as Industrial Progress. Interesting.

“The Simpson’s” Version of the Child of D.
February 24, 2008, 6:35 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The TV Comedy Show The Simpson’s pokes fun at how pathetic Children of Divorce are in the form of Kirk Van Houten and his son Milhouse.  Milhouse is Bart’s friend.  He’s the nerdy kid who is always getting victimized.

Here’s a description of his father, also Child of D.  I swiped it from one of the Simpson’s websites, forget which one, so shoot me:

Kirk has been portrayed as a stereotypical middle-aged male loser and deadbeat dad. Much of Mr. Van Houten’s character revolves around his extreme emotional depression after his divorce from his wife Luann. Luann got custody of Milhouse when they divorced, but Kirk has visiting rights and is often seen with Milhouse in later episodes. Much to his displeasure, Milhouse often addresses him as “Weekend Dad”. Kirk suffers from the need to cry all the time after his divorce, even in good times.

Kirk’s parents also divorced when he was a child. His mother lives alone in Springfield on 257th St., while his father travels the county searching for adventure in his RV with his new wife.