Spoiled Children of Divorce

June 11, 2008, 10:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s an interesting phenomenon that I hope is a fall-out from the Divorce culture. The Genius of the Group. The idea is started by musician Brian Eno (I don’t think a Child of D). I wonder if this is something that’s easier to do if one grows up in an Intact family or in a divorced family. At any rate, Society as a whole has been doing a lot of dumb things and we certainly could use a new approach to finding answers.

Scenius is like genius, only embedded in a scene rather than in genes. Brian Eno suggested the word to convey the extreme creativity that groups, places or “scenes”  can occasionally generate. His actual definition is:  “Scenius stands for the intelligence and the intuition of a whole cultural scene. It is the communal form of the concept of the genius.”

I personally think that divorce is more likely to create alienated, disrupted people who just want to settle down and have a peaceful life.


Brain Eating Ipods
June 8, 2008, 10:11 pm
Filed under: links to articles, Uncategorized

Newsweek‘s latest issue has an article about the decline in adult literacy that are found in the Generation Y kids.

“There is no memory the past, just like when the Khmer Rouge said this is day zero.”

“Historical memory is essential to a free people.”

This is funny. I’ve noticed that friends and family members who are short on memory are the ones who have done well as adults.  They haven’t really contributed anything to society but they are good at not rocking the boat.  This may be a good sign. It may mean that people are becoming passive and sweet.  Meanwhile, nobody knows what to do about those melting icebergs and the President who can’t run the country.

The writers of the article say that technology is to blame for the stupid kids. Specifically, they say that multi-tasking is the culprit.

Scientists at UCLA led by Russell Poldrack scanned the brains of adults ages 18 to 45 while they learned to interpret symbols on flashcards either in silence or while also counting high-pitched beeps they heard. The volunteers learned to interpret the cards even with the distracting beeps, but when they were asked about the cards afterward, the multitaskers did worse. “Multitasking adversely affects how you learn,” Poldrack said at the time. “Even if you learn while multitasking, that learning is less flexible and more specialized, so you cannot retrieve the information as easily.” Difficult tasks, such as learning calculus or reading “War and Peace,” will be particularly adversely affected by multitasking, says psychologist David Meyer of the University of Michigan: “When the tasks are at all challenging, there is a big drop in performance with multitasking. What kids are doing is learning to be skillful at a superficial level.”

If Multi-tasking is so damaging to a child’s brain, what does multi-parenting and living in multiple families do? That’s what I want to know. I’d also like to know why the authors don’t question the quality of the educational system, poverty, effects of divorce, nutrition, among other obvious causes.

from: “The Dumbest Generation? Don’t be Dumb.” by Sharon Begley & Jeneen Interbadi, Newsweek, June 2, 2008


Exemplary Children of Divorce: Sean Wilsey “O The Glory of It All”

While in the bookstore this morning I also picked up a remaindered copy of O The Glory of it All by Sean Wilsey.  I had already tried to listen to the audiobook version of this which wasn’t that great.  Don’t know if it was the narration or what but this book is better off as a “reader.”  (which means that I’ll probably never make it through the whole thing).  This is the Child of D’s version of Dave Eggars’ Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. It’s sort of a surreal, larger than life version of Divorce.  Closer to the one I and my friends grew up in than the ones described by the therapists, ah hem….  Wilsey’s parents divorced in 1980 when he was around 9 or 10 years old, but they continued to fight over money for many years after.

Here’s the blurb written on the back of the book:

Sean’s blond bombshell mother regularly entertains Black Panthers and movie stars in the family’s marble and glass penthouse.  His enigmatic father uses a jet helicopter to drop Sean off at the video arcade.  The three live happily together “eight-hundred feet in the air above San Francisco; in an apartment at the top of a building at the top of a hill:  full of light, full of voices, full of windows full of water and bridges and hills.”  But when his father divorces his mother and marries her best friend, Sean’s life blows apart.   His memoir shows us how he survived, spinning out a “deliriously searing and convincing” portrait of a wicked stepmother (The New York Times Book Review), a meeting with the pope, disastrous sexual awakenings, and a tour of “the planet’s most interesting reform schools.”

The Step-Mother Dede sounds a lot like my Step-Mother.  Part of Wilsey’s description:

This is what Dede did.  She got to know Mom, found her greatest weakness (pride and vanity), stole her greatest asset (family), mocked Mom’s presence in a world where she didn’t belong (society), lit Mom’s fuse, and watched her explode.

The book starts off like this:

In the beginning we were happy.  And we were always excessive.  So in the beginning we were happy to excess.

Nerd Culture Symptom of Divorce?

A new book called American Nerd: The Story of My People written by Benjamin Nugent. Passed by it in the bookstore and on a hunch had to grab it and check — a little birdie told me that the Cool Nerd Culture is in part a product of growing up in Divorce. It sort of connects in with that thing where I couldn’t find famous intellectuals who grew up in Divorced families. I know they’re out there. I grew up with them. And, yes Alice, here they are, in this book, writing their little hearts out about the culture they’ve created for themselves. In American Culture, when your biggest strengths are your mind, you’re a bit of an outcast. Tear the family in two and, voila, a culture of alienation that’s going to love themselves as they are in spite of the all bullies.

American Nerd looks like a very entertaining book. In the back, Nugent talks about his upbringing. At Age 8, in despair over not being able to ride a bike, he threatened to kill himself with his Swiss Army Knife. And so a Trip to Therapy.

At Age 9 Nugent’s parents divorced. I guess this is proof that kids are already screwed up before the Divorce. Divorce doesn’t make them any worse for wear. Nugent appears to be doing just fine now. Here’s his description of life at Age 9:

My parents split up, and Jonah and his friend use me as a starting point for a discussion on the negative effects of divorce upon children. At our cafeteria table at lunch, they put on skits in which they play my mother and father.

Jonah: Ben’s an imbecile.

Nick: No, Ben’s a gay retard.

Jonah: Fuck you, we’re getting a divorce.

I learn that real life is not something you should talk about with your friends. From this point onward, our mode of connection will be Dungeons & Dragons, the Nintendo, and the Apple IIe. So begins the age of teh oak table at the Jones Library. My father buys me a Nintendo, and I am only allowed to use it at his house, where I live on week-ends.

Birth Right
June 4, 2008, 9:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Birth Right doesn’t really exist anymore for Children of Divorce (unless they fight for it.)  That’s not a big deal for some personalities.  For others it’s only a problem when comparing one’s self to one’s friends, the friends who go home and home is just home.  For some kids it could be devastating, especially if the parents set a bad example of self-esteem or don’t know how to raise a kid by themselves in the first place.

For Children of Divorce, Home is not Home.  Home is “Relationship.”  Relationships that come and go. And relationships that are one on one with each person.  No sense of unity.  The Child of D must not mind that, or need it.  Or must find a way to seek it out through other means later on in life.

I heard a bunch of kids the other day saying “You make your family.”  There’s nothing really to go back to, which is a common theme through out modern society.  It’s just maybe felt at a much deeper level by those who grew up in split families.  There’s always such a deep vibe running through kids from divorced families that the kids from intact families always lack.  Have to ask so many more questions.