Hell No, We Won't Go! Yet, I Kind of Wish You Would
I got thinking about protests this morning.
I like protests. I think protesting is about as free as a person can get. I like that I live in a place where I can get up, go stand in front of a building, and yell "I don't like what you're doing and I want you to stop because I think what you're doing is wrong and it's really pissing me off", and not be sent off to a gulag or have my spleen ripped out. I can even appreciate protesters who are for whatever I am anti (or vice-versa). I may not agree with you, but I defend your right to disagree. For instance, I am completely anti-monkey-dressed-as-humans. Monkeys dressed as humans completely freak me out. I think there are few things as disturbing as seeing a monkey in diaper, except for maybe seeing a monkey dressed as a cowboy. It just seems completely unnatural, if not somewhat cruel. Now, you may be pro-monkey-dressed-as-humans. You may get all kinds of joy out of seeing a monkey dressed like Prince Charles or Sarah Palin. Personally, I think you are out of your mind and should seek medical attention immediately, but hey, it's your right. If you want to go outside and yell, "I love monkeys dressed as humans" at the top of your voice, well, I think you're certifiably insane, but goddammit, I'll hold the door open for you. I think it's stuff like that that makes this place full of potential.
I do draw the line here, though:
Kids at a protest - I hate it. Makes no damned sense to me at all.
As I said, I don't care what your views on anything are. Feel free to speak you mind. If there is something that your are passionately for or against, protest until your head pops off. But, for the love of God, stop using your kids as your fucking agenda props. Frankly, if your precious little Tyler can't walk or read, I really don't give a shit what his opinions on the Stimulus Package are. If little Ashley can't even spell abortion, why the fuck should I care what she thinks about it? If you make your kid carry a sign, frankly, and please don't take this the wrong way, you're a selfish parent. If you are using your kid as nothing more than a prop to further your cause, you are nothing more than the Carrot Top of protesters, and I will refuse to take you or your opinions seriously. If I want the inside scoop on "Spongebob Squarepants" or Legos, then Tyler is my go-to man. Trust me, I can talk for hours about Spongebob and Legos. Me and Tyler will keep ourselves entertained the whole day, don't you worry. But if I want to discuss whether or not god hates gays (I'm pretty sure he doesn't, by the way), I'd rather do it with someone whose skull bones have completely fused. Of course, that automatically knocks out every member of the Westboro Baptist Church.
This goes for both sides. I'm pro-peace and pro-choice, and I've seen kids holding signs for "my side", and it pisses me off just as much as seeing them holding signs for "the other side". I've never seen a kid at a protest who looks happy to be there. They all look bored and curious why everyone around them is yelling. I see a kid at a protest, and I just want to grab the little bugger and go play with him in the dirt. Right after I punch his parents in the face. And yes, I get the irony of punching someone in the face, while claiming to be pro-peace.
I see these kids there, and I always imagine this scenario:
Mom: Joshua, hold that sign up straight.
Joshua: (who can't actually speak in complete sentences yet) Bubbles.
Mom: Joshua, hold still while I pin this fetus to your jacket
Joshua: (who still can't form sentences) Muffin Toast.
Mom: Joshua, we're going to pull you in the wagon so all those baby killers see you.
Joshua: (still not speaking in sentences) Glurb.
Sheldon the Wonder Horse: Hey, Joshua's Mom, you're a douchebag. <SMACK> C'mon Joshua, let's go see what Elmo's up to.
See here's the thing. Your kid will eventually grow up, and hey, he may not grow up with your beliefs. They may actually get to the point where they can think for themselves. It's possible that they may grow up and be Pro-Dolphin Rights. Then one day, they're looking through old pictures and come across a photo of them as a toddler with a "Fuck All Dolphins" t-shirt on. Trust me, that's going to cause a discussion at Thanksgiving .
So, protest all you want. It's your right. But leave your fucking kid at home. Let the kid be a kid and not be used as political statement. Let them grow up and form their own opinions. Stop putting your words in their mouth before they even know how to speak. I don't want to have to punch you in the face and scar the little monster.
I'm sure you'll do that just fine without my help.