March 23, 2019

Parenting Guilt 101

“Back in the old days, parents didn’t feel guilty about anything. It didn’t matter what you did – give your kid Big Macs for breakfast, chainsmoke in the car with them, semi-deliberately plant the seed of any number of harrowingly irreparable lifelong neuroses deep in their hearts – because, hey, they’re just kids.

How different things are now. To be a parent in 2019 is to walk a flaming tightrope of neverending shame and judgement and guilt. You’re constantly reminded that every decision you ever make will have far-reaching and disastrous consequences for you, your child and the world at large. But does any of it hold water? Welcome to the definitive ranking of parental shame, 2019 edition.

Single Use Plastics (tat edition)

An awful lot is made about the amount of straws and carrier bags that we as a society unnecessarily churn through every year. However, to my mind, not enough space is dedicated to the real villain of the single-use plastic world: the Bullshit Plastic Crap That Gets Sellotaped To The Front Of Children’s Magazines. You know what I mean. You’re dragging your screaming toddler around a supermarket, and the only way to shut them up is to buy them a magazine that has a cheap plastic Octonaut toy gummed to the front cover. Not only will your child never actually read the magazine itself, but the Octonaut will break after three seconds and end up in the bin, destined to choke a sea creature to death three months from now. These magazines are the worst thing about being a parent, and you should feel terrible about yourself for buying them.”

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"Historic buildings and structures dating from the Byzantine era to the 20th century have been subjected to disastrous restorations in recent years here, prompting public outcry and fostering a cynical attitude toward planned projects."

"Fox News, normally the object of presidential praise on Twitter, was subjected to an unusual tweet-lashing over the weekend when the president went after three of its anchors."

"Opinion: I am not willing to cast a ballot for this current crop of scandal-mongers, gossips and PR-obsessed dilettantes who are tearing the country apart - don't we deserve better?"

"Listening to The Joe Rogan Experience is sort of like crashing an intense, intimate dinner party in which the only courses are whiskey and weed."

"At the Jewish Museum in London called “Jews, Money, Myth.” The show explores the ways in which Jews have been associated with money over the past 2,000 years."

"Footage of last week’s massacre in New Zealand, which the shooter streamed in real time via Facebook Live, quickly proliferated. The original 17-minute webcast was viewed fewer than 200 times and wasn’t immediately reported, Facebook says."

"When I hear that Jews are too powerful, my response is, we are not powerful enough. When I hear that AIPAC is too influential a lobby, I say it must become even more influential."

"Lost in migration: When Walter Benjamin fled France in 1940, he took a heavy black suitcase. Did it contain a typescript? Where is it now?"

"Someday my daughter will be asked if she wants to have a bat mitzvah. I’m inclined to let her make up her own mind... It's a lot of work to learn Hebrew, memorize parts of the Torah and prepare for a pressure-packed performance at such a young age."

"Tablet's Unorthodox Podcast: Gail Simmons, Shalom Auslander, Jill Kargman, Gil Hovav, and more on the Jewish foods that mean the most to them."

""Hitting someone is a foundational moral violation," Yale University Psychologist Paul Bloom wrote in a comment to the paper. "Indeed, these sorts of physical infractions are found to be morally wrong by the youngest babies we can test."

" Ilhan Omar in particular has garnered attention for tweets widely viewed by the Jewish community as trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes. The result has been the most media coverage of anti-Semitism in a decade..."