Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Well This Is A Pickle, Isn't it!

Anyone who has kids, or associates with kids, knows that eventually, SURPRISING LIFE DOORS will open, and you'll be forced to do some heavy duty explaining.  Yes, there'll come that day when your rosy little cherub will drop the F BOMB in front of you, or someone who'll really be shocked, like a grandparent. 

Kids will like inapropriate clothes, inappropriate songs (right, Sherilin???)  .  They'll want to groove to Pitbull videos (I can't help it--I loves me some Pitbull), and they'll be inundated with garbage like this:

Urgh.  Even watching this fills me with indescribable emotion--the lip-curling kind of disgust that sits in your gut and festers.  Seriously, the world is going down the toilet.  Is Dingdong Perry an idiot or what.

Oh, and don't forget about the BIRDS AND THE BEES.  Eventually all kids are going to approach an adult with some cringe-worthy questions.  A few months back Jack suddenly became very interested in where babies come from;  how do they GET in tummies, etc. 
I think I handled it with great maturity.  Tremendous maturity.  Hey, read THIS and tell me how mature you think I was. No--seriously--read it, it's FUNNY.

Anyhoo, I had no problem fielding those tough questions, for the most part, until it came time to explain the "special hug between two people who love each other," and then I totally bailed.  He can find out about that the way most kids I knew found out about it (including myself) in SCHOOL. 

So, today I find myself in an interesting situation.  Jack, as I have mentioned many times, likes to look at classical music on youtube, as well as British Invasion bands.  He's a big fan of the string instruments, and some of the famous symphonies written by time-honoured composers.  He searches along on his merry way from one performance to the next. 

Recently he came up to me, as he does a million times a day, to type in some words in the search bar: 

Jack:  "Mom, I want on youtube, Furtwaengler conducts Beethoven's 9th symphony."  Me:  "FURTWANGLER?!?  How the hell do you spell that???" 

So, I phonetic-ed it in, the correct results came up, Jack was happy. 

He's also been listening to a lot of Strauss lately.  Ah, that's nice!  Isn't my son cultured!  All the while, he's been drawing away like the dedicated little artist he is.  He's been drawing some colour pictures lately, featuring his usual band of teddy bears, and his sister in the band with him.  Gee, that's cute.  They're fashioned after the band The Hollies when they were in their later 1960's, more psychadelic, groovy phase.  Ha ha, look at those details.  That's neat. 

AND THEN, this morning, after Jack had gone to school, I sat down at the computer, and as usual, there was the youtube video he'd been listening to, in freeze-frame mode, showing a scene from a classical music concert from the 1930's.  Ah, there's the audience, elegantly attired, and oh there's the lovely ballroom, and ....



Oh crap

So, I point this out to The Man, who comes in with Jack's most recent colour drawings.  Jack made some recent additions to them.  Let me share it with you:
gee, that's a nice picture, and it's in colour even!  That's great. 

Waaaaait a minute....WHAT THE F*CK?!?!


Well isn't this an interesting mother/son chat I'm on the brink of having? 

Oh, but there's more...Jack has a book that he got for his birthday:  Eyewitness Great Musicians Written by Robert Ziegler (DK Publishing 2008).  The Man found it on Jack's bed, open to the pages dedicated to Richard Strauss.  Alrighty then, here's a little excerpt from the book:

" Strauss was a genius at musical storytelling.  His first successes came with his tone poems--pieces of music for orchestra that tell a story...although the tone poems established Strauss's name as a young composer, his operas are his crowning glory.  After his very first operas failed, he returned with the scandalous success Salome, which was based on the New Testament story of Herod's daughter and her love for John the Baptist, as told by playwright Oscar Wilde...In all, Strauss wrote 15 operas. "
well, that all sounds fine and good.  And then how about this excerpt:

"Controversial Nazi Connections:  The German Nazi Party was stridently anti-Semitic and tried to eliminate any trace of Jewish culture.  In 1933, without consulting Strauss, The Nazis appointed him president of the Reichmusikkammer, the State music Bureau.  Strauss accepted, perhaps to help protect his Jewish daughter-in-law, Alice."
And there on the page?  A great big swastika. 


Jack has long been a lover of symbols.  He used to be so obsessed with the 20th Century Fox logo, he bossed his loving granddad into drawing stacks and stacks of pictures of it for him.  He'd sit at youtube watching that intro over and over.  And looky!  He's found himself a shiny new symbol, and isn't it interesting! 

The poor little naïf.  This kid knows nothing about the Holocaust, and Nazi Germany.  All he sees is a really interesting symbol.  He has no clue what feelings is still evokes to this day!  Nevermind that it's a super duper old symbol that's been around for over 3000 years before the Nazis got their grubby hands on it.  The best part is of course that I get to have a chat with him tonight and somehow explain what an ugly place the world can be, with its fine, rich history of atrocity. 

I think I'll wait till after dinner. 


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  1. there is a building in Ladysmith, pre war era with swastika's all over the exterior done with brick, now that's a bonus eh?

  2. well, it used to be a good luck symbol, but it sure as hell will never represent good luck again! Can't wait to have the convo with Jack tonight. He hates being questioned about ANYTHING he does.

  3. You know that Swastika is an Native American sign right? Most people don't know that Hitler stole it from them.

    Maybe just let it be. Why open a can of worms...they say if you don't want history repeated stop bringing it up or looking back at. Don't give it any attention.

  4. Oh and that video is horrid!
    I have heard of Katy Perry but never "heard her music"
    Pretty sick video

  5. yeah, i'd have to have that talk to. with kids like ours, once they latch onto something, they tend to not let it go without a good reason or a long period of time, so hopefully you'll be able to talk him out of his swastikas. i kind of like drawing them too because they're cool looking symbols, but i don't because of what they represent.
    ugh. and yeah, the music thing is still an issue. she was in the car listening to pink & thoroughly enjoying the lines about "panty snatchers" and "dirty little freaks". yippee.

  6. yeah, that video is horrid Pam, and it's funny, because you or I might just think it's stupid and move on, but then when we see our kids watching it, it's twice as gross.

  7. Pam, I'm debating what to do, because Like Sherilin said, kids like Jack love to LATCH ON to something like that. I'll play it cool until he decides to churn out fifty new pics with swastikas

  8. Isn't it fun, Sherilin! Everything is so over-sexed these days, we're almost desensitized to it!

  9. wow that is a pickle,i guess as with the sex talk you should tell the truth in an age appropriate way[if that is possible].maybe like, there was a man who hated people because of where they were from,and how they loved God,so he did alot of bad things to them. that mans name was hitler and he used that picture to symbolize his hate for now people always think of the bad things he did when they see that symbol, so that is why we do not draw it,it hurts alot of peoples feelings.nuff said,no gory details,just bare bones,unfortunately he has his whole life to find out about he gory details.

  10. Well if you have to talk to him...if he starts pumping out these photos and at school..I like what Paula wrote! Perfect!

  11. Yeah, Paula--I was thinking of something along those lines myself. Sheesh. Couldn't the kid have just caught me doing naked things? Hee hee. OH well, maybe it will turn into nothing at all. We shall see! I'll probably talk to him about it conversationally one day, because I just like chatting with him.

  12. Very timely post - how about we trade. I will talk to your son about Nazi symbols if you talk to mine about internet porn. Yep - lots of good conversation thanks to the internet!

    Sarah sings the Katie Perry song - cringe as she sings (with a lisp) on the beach...

  13. oh, i'm with michelle. i'll take on a nazi talk over dealing with internet porn. beware, karen, one of these days i'm just going to come visit you and we'll pow-wow on all the hard stuff. and i'm not referring to the hard things you find in porn.

  14. i just gave you an award at my blog. if you want it.

  15. stupid Katy Perry. Sex on the beach. She annoys me no end. Go have your sex on the beach with your hairy, hairy man, and just shut the f*ck up. We don't need to know. Hell, you can even wear that whipped cream ta-ta holster while you're there. NOW JUST GO AWAY.

    Sorry Michelle, I had to vent for a moment. Internet porn. Well, I think Jack ran into a teeny bit of that, and I simply slammed the door on that one with an emphatic; "I DON'T LIKE THOSE VIDEOS. THEY'RE NOT DOING NICE THINGS. IF YOU SEE VIDEOS THAT AREN'T NICE, JUST TURN IT OFF, OR COME TELL MUMMY." That may not work as well with your son, since he's older. I'll be fielding that one again one day, I'm sure.

  16. Yes! Sherilin, you do that! What other hard stuff is there? Jack Daniels? I don't do that, sorry.

    Actually, I think I'm more comfortable dealing with the porn, because the whole nazi thing (to me), has a much deeper, more loathesome undercurrent of human ugliness than...oh wait a minute...some of that porn is deep down urgly too...

    Hm. Okay, you got me there.

  17. an award if I want it! HA HA HA HA HA AHAH! Is this a commentary on how brutal I am for picking up awards and such? I really hope it is, because that just tickles me.

    Okay, okay, I'll come get it in the near future.

  18. Hi - dunno if it helps, but I've actually had to deal with the issue - and thanks to the History Channel all is well. They took the cool out of the symbol for me - showed the truth in kid friendly terms and made war, abuse, destruction and the war connected symbol totally "uncool."

    p.s. be prepared for good questions from Jack - like, "why would someone do that? why are people mean?"

  20. thanks. Luckily there hasn't been any continued fascination with that symbol...yet! I'll talk to him about it though if he keeps putting it in his drawings, and I'm ready for those questions. Thanks for the link!

  21. I would talk to him about the symbol. I think it's important, and you can do it in a way that is not too involved. AS kids do hang on to certain things, and I would break it now. Just my thoughts.

    I freaking hate Katy Perry... I seriously have started sheltering my girls from just about everything.

  22. thank you for freaking hating Katy Perry--that warmed my little black heart. Yeah, I will get round to the whole swastika business in the near future. Should be interesting.


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