Features Dec 23, 2010 at 4:00 am

The sadness, the stupidity, the lies.


Perhaps I am misreading, but is Mr. Mudede trying to out his teenage son?
Thank you for this.
i think hes trying to force him to be gay, but then i thought chuck was a big homo and i had no idea he had kids. maybe he's just making this shit up to get a reaction. it read like a lit paper from college. just sayin !
I wish my parents had raised me like this.
You must be the saddest, loneliest little man.
Once again, happiness is confused with satisfaction. 'Happy' is how you feel at a birthday party.
so based on this article, all the unhappiness in the world stems from being children and having children. Stop procreation to be happy and the human species dies out in about 100 years.

I feel sorry for his children to have a father like this.
This is a little Victorian and generally stentorian; surely in this carrot/stick parental dialectic you have set up you are pre-empting some of the futile situations in their (by your words) wretched lives? New austerity for the age of austerity perhaps? Why not offer encouragement despite the lack of mental advancement, if only to compensate?

I'm not a parent - and I agree that there's this collective scotoma by parents beforehand wherein all the realities (the shit, the noise. Really those are my two objections but they're practically dealbreakers. Who wants to exist around shit? Who needs to be further disturbed? Then there's the other stuff.) of parenting are forgotten at the expense of these positives - some spurious, others quite profound, I'd say.

My childhood was pretty blank. I was smart and I knew right from wrong early. I knew how to dress, shit, eat, walk to school and all that by 8. It left my parents more time to fight and work: the real depression lot in life. At least when your boss grinds you down (a double bind for the Marxist, given his awareness of the base/superstructure) and your significant other gives you shit, there's this unmoulded, practically uncorrupted you can theoretically channel your better self into; to at least help someone else actually learn.
@C.M...You disturbed her happiness to ask if she was happy. No wisdom indeed...
"My son eventually stopped showing me his drawings and also crying (he has not shed a tear since he turned 10, and he is now 14) and our father/son relationship greatly improved."

This may be one of the saddest things I have ever read.
Jesus Christ! Could you be more of a gender role Nazi?
Because a boy is interested in knitting he MUST be gay!
Because no straight boy would possibly be interested in a predominantly female hobby?
Ugh...this article sucked
Incorrect. Childhood is a guerilla battle against the unjust Oppressor. He who makes you learn shit you already know, doesn't listen to anything you say, curbs your freedoms and feeds you gross food and makes you wear uncomfortable wool stockings.

Winning is tricking adults, and exposing their foolishness to others. Like when the teacher says "the constellation is pronounced o-REE-on, not o-RYE-an", and then puts on a video that clearly says the opposite. The teacher's blush is her defeat, your well deserved cruel smile your reward.
...I assume this article is written with a certain dry wit.
A good father, a father who really loves his young ones, discourages them from communicating anything but the basics: I need food, I'm cold, I'm sad, I'm in pain because of this bump on my head. Parents who fool their poor children into believing they are interesting have done them a great disservice. Often, nothing can undo or mend this damage, and the child grows into an adult who says anything to anybody because he/she has been long convinced that anything that falls out of his/her mouth is made of gold.

So now you're blaming your parents' excessive deference for your lifelong nonsensical monologue?

That doesn't give you the right to enforce functional dullness in the next generation.
@11 I think (though I may be wrong) that was an allusive example to show the dichotomy of the father: offer freedom and watch them slam the cage door shut, oppress and watch them rail for freedom. I think Mr. Mudede has a fine track record of being a non-Nazi, literal, gender-roles, or otherwise.
Swift would be proud.
I started reading this, got to the part where he was just unutterably horrible to his son about the drawings, couldn't tell if this was supposed to be serious or satire, thought to myself, "This article sucks," and once again was not at all surprised to see that the byline was Charles Mudede. With nearly the entire staff of the P-I laid off two years ago, is this really the best writing you can afford?
I think the best solution would just be to eat children. Especially Irish children. Feed the hungry! cure over-population!

You just write stupid shit to get a rise out of readers.

I don't believe a word of it.
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these,"

"Such as these" is the indication that this place is not full of analytical turds who will judge and sentence and promote prejudiced ideals.

Death is death? and you are ripped from the flesh and thus you become ageless and as it is now in life we cling to what we see and feel.

yea we yack about the view from the top of Mt.Rainer until the Mountain climbers walk into the door and they tell us the view depends on the weather and the oxygen and how the wind and cold are. and if you are falling or not?

In many cases our children raise us as they become Mountains to climb and fall from, they have their own world to live through?
As Hendrix said in "If 6 were 9"

As for the White collar conservative who point their plastic fingers? Yea they are the ones who will die when its there time to die? So let them live their life the way they want to.
what balmonter said. And if zie isn't right, what Backyard Bombadier said.
This has to be a joke.
If not, you are one of those distant fathers that your children will grow up having never felt a connection with, and when you're old and in need of their help, they really won't feel all that inclined to oblidge you silly requests.
Don't forget, Mr. Mudede, we all end up back in diapers, and none of your "I love you"'s will erase the shitty childhood you presented your children with, and you'll be left alone to wallow in your slimy shitty diapers. Kharma is such a bitch.
the sting of satire is its often correct. I'm guessing that most parents if not all parents realize that we are doomed to try and force our kids to be happy and they will reject our version of happiness. We must let them be miserable and only then will they come to us for some sense of happiness. But, by the nature of suffering we cannot give them what they seek, since suffering defines life.

Nevertheless, when I see my baby girl, I choose to ignore all of this paradoxical zen mumbo jumbo bull shit and just love her in the most pushover, overbearing manner I can stomach -- giving in to her every whim and ruining her chances at any sort of normal human relationship where she doesn't exist as the center of the universe.
most agreeable that mudede thing has been in years.

Children are just like adults would be if they were in little bodies they don't really understand and don't completely control, and surrounded by people (or maybe aliens?...) who speak a different language and have a strange culture.

Their obsessive drawings are just as strange as the Westerner adult's non-working iPhone or Kindle are to a Nepalese Sherpa. Their lack of motor coordination is comparable to the sickness of the Western adult in the Andean Altiplano; their cluelessness, to the disorientation of the Western adult trying to return to an Amazon Indian village after a mere 30-minutes walk into the jungle -- and getting lost.

Because, in the end, all the stuff that we learn as adults and that we, like Mr Mudede, consider Oh So Important, is stuff that we'll have to give up if we see ourselves in a situation that is totally different from what we 'grew up' (= conditioned ourselves) for. In a very strange culture, we all (including Mr Mudede) would revert to pretty much what we were at age 6-7: little imitating machines with awkward, inappropriate moves trying to understand what the heck is going on around them (and also to get food, drink, and sleep).

If you look at a child, you already see the adult. Because basically adults are uninteresting, too. It's basically all there, already. The rest -- the Oh So Important things we learn in order to make airplanes or send rockets to the moon -- is just superficial.
I had a very happy childhood spent rummaging in the forest and later in half-constructed houses with my best friend, a real person, a kid named Nick. We never minded if it was freezing or raining - I don't remember being cold until I was 13. No one forced me to be happy, I just found a friend that liked the same things as me and I made myself happy.

I have two 15 year old boys who live in Seattle, go to a school with peers and teachers randomly assigned to them, obsessively consume media not of my choosing, watch their parents having doubts and conflicts, in other words living like millions of children the world over. Finally I have found someone else who has embraced this truth to modern childhood; uncertainty, confusion, feelings of inadequacy. I am so tired of adults idolizing their childhood and making stupid assumptions about the obvious unhappiness of the current generation of children.
Of course children are unfulfilled, dissatisfied, fearful and conflicted. Wasn't everybody? I look at the hulking strangers that sit sullenly at the kitchen table and miss the little boys they once were, but I do not wish that experience to go on one more minuet than it has to. They will be men soon enough and will look back on what we did together with relief that it is done, and maybe a little pride.
Why are kids or adults or elderly people or strait people or Gay people uninteresting? We are all very fucking interesting!! If Mr. Mudede is shooting for satire here he is way off I don't get it at all--and if not--why the hell is he trying to spin this sickening falsehood on his kids and every unfortunate reader of this ugly shred. He needs to try and not play jujitsu with his kid's psyches and just try to enjoy himself a little and love his kids. Parents, Myself among their masses, love our kids because we love our kids the reward is not the return of the kids loving them, that's just plain twisted. Its' in the selfless unselfish unconditional love act that makes the letting go and knowing that your life is not all that matters anymore. That is what makes being a parent so transforming and powerful it's no longer just you now you got people like you who you can help grow as they help you to grow.
Chuck sounds like the type of guy who needs a good punch in the face to remind him of what a narcissistic little asshole he is. Seriously dude, stop overthinking shit and just be a fucking dad instead of a yuppie bitch.
I didn't read this whole thing. Ya know why? Because I don't think childhood is inherently sad, and I think you're a strange man for flat out asking your daughter if hers is sad, at 6 years old. As if she even knows what you're talking about?

And for the record.. I had an awesome childhood. Sure bad stuff happened, but a lot of great stuff happened also. And as much as I, like everyone else, couldn't wait to get older and be an adult, I really did enjoy a lot about being a kid. I had two parents that really loved me and took care of me, and although we really didn't have a lot, they taught me how to be self-sufficient, how to make wise and ethical decisions, and how to think independently. Your kids sound like they're in for a rough time if you interrupt their play time to ask them what kind of childhood they're having.. what a lousy dad.
This article is a narcissistic piece of shit.

What the author doesn't address is his apparently ill-thought out excuse for having kids to begin with. He shows disdain for the life of the child, but children do not ask to be born: they are brought into this world by procreating people who *should* be prepared to be interested in children in general and their kids' childhood in particular--because that's precisely what people sign up for by becoming parents.

The only poignant truth in this article is that YES: kids will never love their parents as much as their parents love them. But too bad, parents. Your kids didn't ask to be brought into this world to idol worship you, so get over yourselves. Your kids don't owe you unconditional love for all your parental sacrifices merely because they happen to be your captive dependents.

If parenthood has been a disappointment to you, Charles Mudede, then you became a parent for the wrong reasons. I hope you take the likely meager proceeds from this article and put them towards your kids' therapy fund. Looks like they're gonna need it.
This article is a narcissistic piece of shit.

What the author doesn't address is his apparently ill-thought out excuse for having kids to begin with. He shows disdain for the life of the child, but children do not ask to be born: they are brought into this world by procreating people who *should* be prepared to be interested in children in general and their kids' childhood in particular--because that's precisely what people sign up for by becoming parents.

The only poignant truth in this article is that YES: kids will never love their parents as much as their parents love them. But too bad, parents. Your kids didn't ask to be brought into this world to idol worship you, so get over yourselves. Your kids don't owe you unconditional love for all your parental sacrifices merely because they happen to be your captive dependents.

If parenthood has been a disappointment to you, Charles Mudede, then you became a parent for the wrong reasons. I hope you take the likely meager proceeds from this article and put them towards your kids' therapy fund. Looks like they're gonna need it.
Geez. I hope you just have a strange sense of humor that I don't really get. But then, most of the articles I read by you are pretty fuckin' weird and a tad too cerebral for my taste. Nothing wrong with that -- at least your style lives up to the name of the rag you write for.

But it was painful to read your advice about letting your children know that they are uninteresting/untalented/inept, etc., since I had a father that pretty much followed your advice starting four decades ago. And yeah, I turned out fine despite this treatment, but the damage to my self-confidence haunts me to this day. I've got a nagging voice in my head that questions my ability to excel at anything, thanks to Dad telling me through the years that I couldn't. And I fight it to prove it wrong, which you might take as proving your point. But I feel that if I would have had the power of his love lifting me instead of his criticism dragging me down like a weight, I could have flown much higher than I have in this life. Or at least I would have some peace, knowing that my dad loved me.

Being a new father myself, I at least know now how NOT to treat my children. Sure, I'm aware that over-indulgence is the other side of the coin, but I can temper that. I'd rather err on the side of my daughters being embarrassed by the fact that their dad pesters them with how proud he is of them and how much he loves them.

And diapers aren't that big of a deal, by the way. What's a little shit between family?
Oh, and by the way, Charles, the anecdote you pull out about the conversation between the Frenchman and Franklin, where Franklin quips, "What use is a newborn baby?"

I'm afraid you've totally misinterpreted that exchange. While Franklin agrees that hot-air ballooning at its inception had no use other than as a novelty among the public, that didn't mean it was a dead-end. Perhaps it would lead to something else. Franklin is saying, "Well, you could say the same about a baby -- it has no use right now. But look what it becomes!"

Get yer anecdotes straight, Chuck.
It amazes me how many Seattle douche bags are incapable of reading irony.
@snockered: how did you miss that this was mudede's point?

I guess i am the only person who thought this was funny?
Now you've proven that not only are you a shitty writer, you're also an enormous cunt.
Why the hell has this dreck been given so much space? If it is satire, it is poorly executed and badly in need of editing. If it is serious, which for the sake of his kids I hope it is not, Mudede is a poor excuse for a man.
I wish my father had been respectful of my gayness when he thought he detected it. I fully believe that he would have killed me rather than deal with his "failure" if he ever found out before I was big enough to defend myself.
@34 I read Mudede's use of that anecdote exactly as that. I don't think he misinterpreted or used it incorrectly at all.
@ #35: Although I'm not an irony-challenged Seattlite, I think the problem here is that this article is just a poor example of satire. Mudede's definitely tone-deaf on this one. He comes across as genuinely bitter towards even his own children. There just aren't any wink-wink, nudge-nudge moments in the piece to tip off readers (at least this one) that he's got his tongue in his cheek. With Swift's "A Modest Proposal," which some are comparing this to, it's pretty evident from the author's hyperbolic solution that it's a joke. But Mudede sounds like he's using this piece as a catharsis for all the resentment he's built up by being saddled with the burden of parenting. Hey, I'm no idiot, and I get a joke when a lot of other people miss it, but I don't get it here.

Another problem is that he's attacking a sacred cow -- which, granted, are usually the targets of satire. But I think this one smacks too closely of verbal child abuse for some. And maybe that's why we don't find it funny. The world seems to be too full of neglectful parents already, and some of us were the products of this "style." So maybe we're a little too close to find the humor. I don't know. I've spent enough time commenting on this piece -- I have to go take care of my little girl now.
I had no problem believing it was all true but these comments made me read it again and now I'm not so sure. There is no way Charles was giving allowances to these useless beings who weren't producing anything of value.
Mudede, you are fucked in the head.
This is my first Charles Mudede read.
After hearing his name praised so often, I was surprised to discover just how bland and poorly written this article was.
I couldn’t even tell if he was being serious or sarcastic.
His examples toward the topic were weak.
There were pointless fillers about pedophilia and chimp birth.
Ultimately, he is utterly convinced that all parents and children will be unhappy with their roles for all of their lives, just like he (supposedly) is. That’s it?
For an article about the trials of fatherhood, it lacked any emotion whatsoever.
If I was to grade it, I’d give it a C-
wow. you people have no sense of sarcasm
@Charles, you have it all wrong, "it's never too late to have a happy childhood." ~Berkeley Breathed
I didn't even bother to finish reading this article, it's so fucking ridiculous! I hope this was all some sick joke and this guy not only has no children, but is not allowed anywhere NEAR children either! What a fucking douche! If you get nothing but work and worry from children, why the fuck did he have two?? This dude could use a good, hard punch in the face!
@35 FTW. "on the whole, children love their parents less than their parents love them." Truer words were never written, and THAT is the sad irony written here in this article about parenting, folks. If that's not clear in Mr Mudede's words, you miss the point completely. It's right there in the title.
Thanks, Charles.
Mudede, this was hilarious and wonderful. Please never stop.
Er... either I'm missing a trick, or the majority of your readers are a wee bit slower than I am.

This wasn't serious, right? I read it all not thinking it was serious and then was deeply confused by the comments...
I blame the holidays for everyone's inability to grasp this article.
For those of you that took Mudede's piece as social commentary/ advice colomn, refer to comment 51. I found the piece to be a refreshing update to the satire genre.

Onward Mudede!
Definitely getting a 'through the eyes of a psychopath' vibe from this one. I found it kind of funny, but I'm also kind of disturbed.
Mudede, it does not surprise me that your children have nothing interesting to say. They inherit that from you. Even for satire, this is boring as fuck.
Only the truth will set us free. Thanks for writing this, Mr. Mudede, and happy holidays to you and your family.
I love Charles Mudede!
You're a fucking mentally abusive asshole whose children should be taken away from him. Piece of human garbage...hope you get cancer and your balls fall off.
I love this.
Definitely satire. People, don't take everything literally. Good satire? suppose it depends on your perspective. He kept me reading till the end though.
I am not surprised by the violent reaction by those who didn't get it. I am surprised by just how man didn't. You're all right by me, sir.
Yet another masturbatory vanity piece. Children beware. Satire or not, you bored me with your overwrought styling and disregard for anything that may even slightly resemble humanity.
Philosophy: convincing depressed people their symptoms add up to wisdom since 330 B.C.
Everyone is saying 'oh, great irony' but I don't see it to be honest. Of course, I responded to it as a straight piece of journalism so perhaps I am just protecting my neck, as it were, but it seems like a pretty sincere piece. It certainly isn't 'funny' or 'offensive' - just a good, straight, confrontational piece that does not fudge or obfuscate. If someone can show me the irony, why it is meant to be satire, then I'm all ears.
As a parent who understands the complexity of parenting, I couldn't appreciate this article more. I don't know you, Charles, but having read your articles for years I'm glad you're a father and I know your children will turn out to be thoughtful, well rounded and productive adults. A failure as a parent is one who deludes themselves into thinking that raising children is not supposed to be full of sadness, disappointment, and suffering - as is life. But as you grow as a person and learn as much about yourself in the process of parenting as the child does, you understand that it's worth every bit of it without regret.
satire of fascism?
snockered @34:

Franklin is saying, "Well, you could say the same about a baby -- it has no use right now. But look what it becomes!"

That was exactly Mudede's point.

Although I'm not an irony-challenged Seattlite, I think the problem here is that this article is just a poor example of satire.

Interesting take. I think the problem is that you didn't bother reading the sentence after the Franklin quote.

kdgd @36:

You're not the only one. I thought it was hilarious.

The Stranger wishes the whole world was gay and childless.
What the fuck does knitting have to do with being gay?

I also don't understand how someone that is interested in neurology can pass over how fascinating children are. Watching a human being build itself through it's environment is one of the most complex natural processes one can view up close.

Charles, next time you go into your daughters room, don't ask her if she's happy. Instead dissect her brain.

Also, who cares if a child loves a parent less. As a parent you aren't the one that feels a child's love, you only feel your love for the child. You can only claim what is in your own mind as reward. Parenting is rewarding because you get to feel that love.
Oh, but didn't you all notice his I'm-a-deep-thinker references to lots of books by academia-approved deep thinkers? Of course, all of us plebian thinkers can not grasp his deepiness.
Pure pretentious drivel.
just another bullshit write up , plain and simple
I certainly enjoyed Mudede's approach in this piece. Perceiving it as an outlet through which to acknowledge the disconnect inherent in fatherhood, it sat well as an article far from serious.

I even found the bit on altruism uplifting, a hint that humanity is rooted in social unification that surpasses the malities of the Western Family Unit.

Charles, are you my secret santa?
Awesome article. An honest analysis of something - family - that one is not supposed to say (or even think) anything but good things about; very refreshing.
You're having us on, aren't you Mudede? (Btw if you ever do want to write about child development and human relationships, I can fix you up).
You know, my parents have always been happy to be parents. They also always encouraged and supported me. I love them as much as I am loved by them.

I can't imagine how horribly these two poor children will turn out with such a narcissistic lump of unbridled ASS in the role of father. I'm lucky my father was a REAL man.
@74, I think you may be the kind of adult that Charles was referring to that thinks everything they say is gold. Blame your dad.
Someone evidently showed some interest in what you were saying as a child because you seem to think you're gods gift to child psych. I bet you're great at cocktail parties; keep slapping your wife on the ass in front of your children. Idiot.
Someone evidently took some interest in what you were saying as a child as you seem to think you're gods gift to child psyche (as well as real dark and edgy). I'll bet you're great at cocktail parties. Keep slapping your wife on the ass in front of your children. Idiot.
I Wish this wasn't subscribing to the gender binary so crucially even from the first couple of sentences. Girls want to hold a glass of milk, while boys want to run? Um, what? Couldn't you just say that KIDS want to do both maybe?
I think the random tinsel bits of humor in there are supposed to hint at this article being satire. If not, maybe you should just die and really give your children a reason for having a sad childhood.
This whole article comes across as oppressive and controlling. You don't seem to connect to your kids at all but do seem to connect to books and explaining through books you have read, some disconnected way of existing. It comes across as a wanna be intellectual trying to understand the world around him. The unintelligent way you try to come to terms with homosexuality shows you don't have any grasp of all the information out there at all. Dan Savage is right there at your disposal constantly offering up information that should be of some help. But you show no understanding of homosexuality at all. It all comes down to Knitting + boy= gay so lets be ignorant and torment the kid.
What a distant lonely person you come across as. Throw in a few intellectual quotes to prop up your ego and slop around in life thinking you have things figured out.
I can knit, wire a house, build a house, sew a button on a shirt, bake, play hockey, be sensitive, be cruel but then so can my brother. In fact he likes knitting and baking more than me and comes across as far more sensitive. I am gay he is not. Charles, Knitting has nothing to do with sexual preference.
If you are writing satire then you get a fail. This is just more bad writing from someone that seems to want to get under peoples skin by being a sexist, uncaring jerk that has more connection to books others write to explain life than the kids in front of his face.
From my experience the most telling years in my life were the early years when I wore my talents on my sleeve like most kids do. This is the time for a parent to nurture those talents. My Parents never did so I spent many years reconnecting to my childhood and getting back to what should have been recognized and encouraged, that's when I became successful. I spent many years bringing up nephews and younger sisters, changing diapers, helping bring them up. They went on to be amazing people because I helped give them the encouragement I never really got. But luckily for me I applied the same thing to myself and corrected most of the bad upbringing I received.
There is nothing worse than a parent that is there in a kids life, all the while neglecting them ending up with a child that knows how to just give a parent what they want to see so that they have the illusion that they are now getting along. Maybe you get along with your son because he has learned to avoid the torment you inflict on him by acting like the good son, or the son you want him to be, maybe.
This isn't smart writing or well written, therefore it can't come across as satire. It is a description of supple bullying. Which can be just as damaging to others over a long period of time as full on bullying over a short period of time.
I stopped reading the SLOG because your articles bugged me so much. But I thought I would give it another try just to see if there is a shadow of progression happening with writers, based upon interacting through blogging. After all shouldn't it be enlightening to interact through writing. Shouldn't a point of view change by constantly getting others points of view and feedback. Apparently not when reading your writing. It all comes down to successfully getting under peoples skin to get a slight ego boost or rush from pissing people off.
"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."


"When a boy turns 13, seal him in a barrel and feed him through a knot hole. When he turns 16, plug up the hole."

- Mark Twain
"Indeed, can we even imagine something worse than a chatty child? The boredom these types induce has no other match anywhere else in the vast world of human communication."

I found one!

This is poor satire, if it is that. And folks who are claiming that this is satire and everyone who doesn't get it is so foolish, please expplain it to me! Because not a single one of you has given even a half-assed argument for it being satire.

If it is a straight article, it not only is oppressive and unfeeling drivel, it is poorly written and even more poorly defended! Taking a couple quotes from "an excellent observer of chimps" (who shall remain nameless?) and pretending like they back up an entire monologue about how childhood and parenthood (and therefore the entirety of life for about 80% of Earth's human population) is awful in every regard is terrible writing and even worse journalism.

Honestly, Savage Love is the ONLY thing worth reading in this publication.
Come now, good people. The man is indulging in healthy irreverent satiric commentary. Were he actually seeing reality through such a shit-smeared prism he would have taken his life by gulping drain cleaner long before taking to the keyboard.
Ah and BTW I just shared this with my 11-year-old son and he laughed his little ass off.

If you took this seriously, folks, read it again. Out loud. If you still take it seriously, well, God be with you. . .

It's SATIRE. You might not find it humorous or well-written (I emphatically find it to be both) but it's SATIRE.
you did a good job, but when i troll, i just post a bunch of swears on the christian parenting forum. same effect.
hate it.
Again, don't just tell me it's satire, tell me why it's satire. These ideas are ideas that many people (unfortunately) agree with. The parenting that he endorses is endorsed (sadly) by many. Your 11 year old child thought it was funny because he thought: "Of COURSE it's a joke, no parent would ever be that cruel!" But that's because you must be a good parent. A child who has been abused or neglected would not laugh at this article.

Satire has to be over the top to be instantly recognizable as satire. This is far too close to home for many to be visable for what you claim it to be. Again, I don't think it's over the top enough or funny enough to be satire. Please tell me where the joke that I am missing is. And don't just say "oh line four." Please explain to me the punch line. (I'm actually trying to learn here...unless, of course, no one can explain it to me, in which case I am simply proving a point).
The problem, Chucky, is the environment in which you are raising them. They would be helping you in the fields if you weren't raising them in a box surrounded by concrete. You have destroyed their reason for being and now you are blaming them for it. The only thing interesting about this article is the photograph that accompanies it.
This article made me laugh and want to cry within the same paragraph. I choose to interpret this article as a satire of a satire on the topic, and find it both enlightening and depressing. It doesn't matter whether Charles is being completely honest or making this shit up, the ideas are still the same. Some I agree with, some I do not.

I'm a "new" "father" who has 7 years of catching up to do with my step-daughter. I missed out on the diapers but I get to deal with all the rest of the fun shit like her crying over her doll's new haircut and lying about the most ridiculous things. At least now I have gained the wisdom to cut to the chase when I have to interrupt her idyllic playtime with ridiculous animalesque dollies to ask her if she wants her sandwich on bread or a bagel. She's got more important things on her mind than my feelings.
This is really an incredible and beautiful cry for help. This is a man who wants so very much to be loved by his children but is terrified that it will never come; you can see it in the specificity disguised as generalization.

Personally, the "Stranger in the House" bit rang true- I thought my dad was just some dude living with us until I was at least five. It was unclear that this man was in any way involved with my life beyond his ability to build fires and wear houndstooth.

Also, I've gotten so tired of having to ask "Is this real?" that the question has lost all meaning. I blame the Romantics.
I had no idea quite how to react to this. Is this another Stranger piece designed to provoke? On the other hand, much about it is the stone cold truth about parenting, but without the, you know, good stuff mentioned. He's right, parenting is hard, hard, so hard work. But, being a parent also has bits that are so much better than anything, ever, and that was the bit missing from the article. It's telling that his son is 14. I guess I have to say to Mr. Charles, "It gets better."
Why is this satire? To me it's satire precisely because I do think it's over-the-top.

I believe Mr. Mudede is an intelligent individual, so my assumption is that he does not actually believe any of this cynical bullshit he's asserting on the nature of parenting and childhood. He's taken on a persona much like Stephen Colbert does, a persona with an articulate voice and a very fucked up perspective. The points he makes in this voice are comprised, in the final analysis, of nonsensical interpretations and assumptions and conclusions derived from his own intentionally superficial, hyperbolic, ridiculously priggish and cerebral ideas concerning reality, consciousness, cognition, moral development, and any other nuanced component of 'growing up'. Mr. Mudede is speaking in the voice of an alienated, limpdick academic. And, yeah, I think it's funny as hell.

Could I be wrong? Sure. Maybe Mr. Mudede is fucked up enough to believe this absurd horseshit, but I seriously doubt it.

I think the outraged responses from some readers have to do with the viscerally negative reaction people of conscience have at the very notion of child abuse. (Hey if I thought he was serious I'd hope he got cancer and his balls fell off too.) Yes, he's talking about child abuse, the sort that originates with parents who are blindly self-involved and too stupid to see the essential value and vital importance of emotional well-being. When that abuse is really going on, hell no, it's not funny.

When I began to read this I did take it seriously and was profoundly disgusted. The overall tone and language come off as very sincere and solemn. But then I took a step back, shook off the reaction, and trudged on. And the further I read the clearer it became that this is satire. No, it's not immediately recognizable as satire. No, there isn't a punch line. Good satire doesn't require a punch line, only a context and a strong, clear voice of implied ridicule for the ridiculous, the despicable, the harmful, the hateful, the ignorant, etc. I think this writer has done an exceptional job of creating that voice here.
Love this article. Sent it to my parents and my boyfriend so he could send it to his parents.

I thought you people in Seattle had a taste for satire!
Mudede's problem is that he reads.
Treasured moments from fatherhood: my boy and girl, ages 2 and 4, are both in the bathtub. My boy stands. My girl points at his junk, and says, "SAM! Why do you have a PENIS on your VAGINA!" I and my ancestors laughed so hard the earth shook and solar flares danced on the sun. . . If I recall correctly, I spotted.

This was my little girl's first joke; she was well aware of what she was saying and why it was funny. . .

Another tub story: my boy has just had his bath and is now marching about the house in his birthday suit, a little toddler boner jouncing before him like a spastically malfunctioning railroad crossing gate. He stops in front of me and his mother, indicates his condition, and says "It stands up when I play with it."
"It sure does," I reply.
"How come?"
"That's just one of the amazing and wonderful ways your body works, kiddo. You'll have tons of fun with that as you get older...just don't forget to periodically remind it that you're the boss; don't ever let it speak or think for you."

He's almost 12 now, his sister recently became 10, and oh how I mist over when I recall the journey from infancy to toddlerhood. (If anyone had told me--as I dealt with a particularly horrific 'blow-out' diaper--that I would one day wax nostalgic over changing shitty diapers and wiping little asses, I would have told them they were insane.) It is a wonderful, magical time as day-by-day they work their way forward, chipping away at their dependence on you, moving into themselves, becoming increasingly comfortable in their bodies and oh-so-gradually coming to understand their own individuality and how to apply it in this weird new world. . .

One more anecdote for each kid before I take my leave: My first is 4 days old. I'm sitting next to him in the back seat of the car, watching him move his eyes here and there, tracking this and that, and we move under an overpass--that brief tunnel you enter as you exit I-5 North onto Lake City Way. Suddenly my 4-day-old son's face fills with wonder and amazement, his eyes and mouth wide at the vision of the series of floodlights as we pass under them. He is clearly not afraid; he's awestruck by this play of light he's just witnessed. At that moment I realize that this parenting experience is going to one hell of a ride.

More recently, maybe a couple years back, my girl passed gas. It was a serious breaking of wind, a forceful and definitive cutting of the cheese, a fart that sounded like an angelic blast from a French horn (or a trumpet..."angel trumpets and devil trombones").
"MY GOD!" said I. "Was that YOU?"
"Chief did it." (Chief is our terrier.)
I made some effort to get her to fess up, rather than blame the dog, who makes his own contribution to polluting the air, but she wouldn't admit it. It was a bittersweet moment. Where before she would fart with abandon and take full credit, she now possessed a self-consciousness that made her need to blame it on the dog. It was like a tiny fall from grace. And it was beautiful.
Where's the "...Less" button?
Any male knitting is likely knitting a butt-plug cozy or knee pad covers
Absolutely hilarious. I fucking love Mudede.
Je Suis, thank you. Exactly what I was looking for!
You're most welcome. Seek and ye shall find.

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