Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Middle Finger

(warning: this following post is filled with profanity and can offend. Proceed with caution!)


I'd like to take a moment to rant. To shout out a hearty "FUCK YOU!!!" to the media and their constant scare tactics that are driving all of us crazy. I can't turn on the F-ing news without hearing about some sort of dangerous food item that could harm my health...and it's usually something healthy like broccoli or tomatoes or chicken, etc. I'm surprised I'm not dead yet. How are we not ALL DEAD??? I understand that there are some foods that are contaminated sometimes...e-coli, salmonella, etc. can be a risk. But to do a whole news story on how salmonella MAY be on your chicken and to study how the spray from the chicken gets on your counters as you wash it in the sink is going too far. Do I, or do I not wash the f-ing chicken???? First, I'm supposed to wash it, but now it's BE CAREFUL! The spray from the chicken get's all around the kitchen when you wash it! SEE? Here's a UV light to show how it's all over your clean kitchen. It's on your TOASTER! It's on YOUR HANDS!!! It's ON YOUR OVEN! It's on all the KNIVES YOU JUST CLEANED! AAAGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!! (insert my twitching eye here).
Don't eat tomatoes! You'll get E-coli. Don't eat spinach! You may die. Don't eat peanuts! They have salmonella, and if you eat one in a public place you may kill someone on the other side of a large room. What do we eat? NOTHING, that's what. We drink water and maybe a gluten-free, organic, all natural, wheat free crust of bread. But WATCH OUT! It may give you too many empty calories, causing you to gain weight and get DIABETES and die shortly thereafter.
Here are a few news articles on food alone:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-11-20-salmonella-chicken_x.htm
(the hell of chicken)

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,215257,00.html
(creepy spinach)

http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSN1037615120080610
(tomatoes and the atrocity of food in general)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/16/peanut-butter-probe-expan_n_158689.html
(death-peanuts)

Anyway, I think you know what I mean. But you know what sent me over the edge. RIGHT OVER THE EDGE???!!!! The recent story about how the milk industry is pushing chocolate milk in public schools so that children continue to get the benefits of milk (rather than choosing sodas or sugary juices, etc.). I am happy about this and see no big deal. But then, of course, I put on the news and saw this and find that people are AGAINST it, saying schools shouldn't serve it because they don't need the added sugar and it's contributing to obesity. You know what? FUCK YOU TOO!!! Here is my middle finger so you can do what you will with it!!! How about you let your kid play outside once in a while? Maybe, oh...say....RUN AROUND???? Perhaps it's the fear instilled in you from the media claiming that a kidnapping rapist is waiting in your front bushes just chomping at the bit to take you by surprise? (as an aside, I freakin' lock my door when I'm IN THE HOUSE because of this....and my town has pretty much NO crime). Perhaps you want your kids to run around, and schools should encourage this. But, don't forget the EXTREME DANGER of dodgeball, tag, and other fun kids activities...someone COULD GET HURT!!!! Screw you, schools! Stop banning everything!!!! Many schools have even removed their playground equipment because it COULD pose a threat. So, the kids get to mill around with their fingers up their noses (WATCH OUT! SWINE FLU!!!!!) waiting for recess to end because they can't play tag, there's no playground to play on, and there's NO TOUCHING (someone could get hurt!!!!) And many parents are outraged that the kids' feelings get hurt when teams are picked...nobody picks their kid. Well, you know what? How about the teacher/gym teacher create the teams in advance so nobody is made to feel like crap? Just a thought (one that my Mother in Law who was a teacher came up with) I'm sure there are plenty of other solutions too...before totally demanding that the school ban team activities altogether. It seems to me that the greatest general media suggestion is to: Lock your children in a cage (they should be safe there, if you keep it out of your salmonella laden kitchen!), feed them water and organic bird seed (since most other food can kill them at some point), let them out to run in a giant hamster ball (although, the plastic may have BPA in it, so WATCH OUT!!!) and send them to bed after hours of homework while listening to classical music.
I guess the point of my rant is this: Children need to be allowed to be kids. They need a little fun in their lives. The media is always suggesting we SUCK the fun out of the very marrow of childhood. But, children DO need boundaries, limits, and rules. They need parents. When Paige is old enough, I will make sure she plays out in the yard. That she climbs trees. That she runs around and learns about healthy competition through sport. That if she gets hurt, to get over it and learn from it. To learn to be vigilant about putting herself in dangerous situations and be leery of strangers. To learn to resolve conflict. To eat a damned cupcake at a birthday party and know that it's ok.To drink chocolate milk with abandon and give a hearty sigh when she finishes a cup. If I need to be there to monitor things, than so be it. I will take time out, go outside, and make sure she stays safe. I will not plunk her in front of the TV every day because it is easy (but you know what? I WILL SOMETIMES!! TV shows are FUN! And they can learn from them if they are appropriate!). To ride a bike around and know about traffic safety and manners) and yes, to wear the damned helmet. That she learns about manners in general...to eat properly in a restaurant, to say please and thank you, and to care about others. To try new foods and new things and ENJOY the life she's been given (and know that, yes, too much of a good thing can be bad for you). Because, on my death bed I'm not going to look back and say THANK GOD I didn't drink that one chocolate milk at lunchtime when I was ten!
Phew! Thank you. Over and out.
-Megan Cassidy Carty
http://meandwee.blogspot.com

23 comments :

Kristin said...

Awesome! I whole heartedly agree. : )

Thankful said...

This is so spot on - well done.

Kate said...

Cheers to that! I couldn't agree more. Great blog post.

Sometimes I go weeks without listening to the news radio just because it can be so depressing.

RLG said...

OMG, I love you! Thank you for using "fuck" with abandon. Formerly a medical technologist (before kids), I couldn't agree more that kids need a healthy childhood, and guess what? There are negative consequences for stripping their world free of bacteria. A little dirt never hurt anyone, and those viruses (for the most part) help build their immune systems. Makes me feel like an ass hole every time I tell my five-year-old to get his finger out of his nose. LOL

You've got the right attitude, girlie. Thanks for passing it on! xoxo

Home Sweet Home Place said...

Fuck yeah! You are even cooler now that I know you drop F-bombs! I have to keep my blog PG because I have so much effing family that reads it - but I imagine it is quite liberating to REALLY vent like you just did! BTW - you are on the money with your post. I wholeheartedly agree! Now I've just got to convince my germophobe husband that eating dirt is good for you. He's the wink link in our family! ;)

Stephanie said...

For the most part, I wholeheartedly agree with you. We should let kids be kids, and we can't create a plastic bubble around them. I want my daughter to be able to run, fall, and get completely dirty. I am appalled that some children can't even bring cupcakes to school for their birthdays because of the sugar. Instead, it's carrot sticks, not that I have anything against carrots... It's all about moderation folks!

However, I have to take a little issue that it's all the media's fault. One of my friends is an investigative journalist (and a damn good one) who focuses on health issues. She has uncovered scary things -- like a company that knowingly was sending out contaminated syringes that were supposed to be sterile and winded up killing a young child. Good investigative reporters keep companies and the government accountable. We need a non-government watchdog out there and the media fill that role. However, sensational journalism is just that - meant to create a scare and not meant to actually help. Just my two cents to let you know that not all of the media are evil. :)

Megan said...

Stephanie, I totally agree with you. There is a place for the stories. The network I watch...well...it seems almost EVERY DAY they have a story about food or something that might be dangerous for our kids and whether or not it should be banned. Every day seems a little much. And it's always something random or silly. That's what drives me nuts. GAHHHH!

Alice said...

Lol, i totally agree! I hope you feel better now :)

Maria said...

I started reading your blog after seeing pictures of your awesome nursery (which is my nursery inspiration now).

This post is fantastic. I enjoyed every last word. Thank you!!!

Lor said...

Wow, this was fun :).
You are so right. I also want my child to go out, have fun, and not to be made like she has to be careful about a glass of chocolate even before she even gets to taste it.
Here in France, you cannot turn on your TV without hearing how you and your children will get the flu and eventually die from it. I am so sick of this, and on the other hand, how we don't know the side-effects of the vaccine which may cause autism to your child. What should we do? What should we not do? I am so sick of this!!

Melanie Elissa said...

Amen Sister!! Preach it!! I completly agree with you!!

SAS said...

I agree with you for the most part. Media does take things to the extreme and make most small ordeals a HUGE ordeal. I often feel they are responsible for putting ideas in criminals minds b/c they see the attention people get when they do stupid things. I do however take offense to your little comment about a TEACHER (in all caps) taking a little time to choose teams. If you were a teacher you would know that we have so much on our hands we can hardly teach what they need to learn. We are held accountable for so much that we are doing our best to teach the children who aren't learning anything at home. I feel I am a great teacher (and my parents agree) and I also think it is important to teach kids that life is life and sometimes you lose. I just think you need to take a breath before you comment about a profession you have never held. I hope that you consider all the responsibilities your child's teacher has before you go to her in anger. It is a hard job but I love it!

Megan said...

SAS:
I definitely understand what you are saying. My brother is a teacher, my Mother in Law was a teacher and I have many close friends who are teachers. I love teachers! I definitely did not mean for it to sound like I was blaming teachers...I was just trying to emphasize that parents seem to be upset that children feel bad when kids are "team captains" during gym class and pick their friends and leave other kids out. My words were to mean that rather than ban team activities altogether, could another solution be made? Perhaps the teacher could select the teams, thus diffuse the whole problem? I definitely didn't mean to sound like I was disrespecting teachers. PLUS, I understand why schools have to ban activities: people who are constantly suing for every little thing. What school can afford the constant lawsuits? And you further drive the point home that most of this stuff isn't the teacher's job, it's the parents'. Again, I'm sorry about the way that verbage came off! :)

Megan said...

I would also like to add that teachers are totally overworked and underpaid. And many parents will still find a way to complain about every little thing. *sigh*

SAS said...

Thanks for clarifying. I really enjoy reading your blog and was hurt by your comment. I thought I was going to have to stop reading! Glad I don't know! :) A lot of time the conflict comes from parents. They don't want thier "babies" feeling hurt when in reality that is life and I try to teach my kids that. They are rewarded for being good sports and those that throw "2 year old fits" (they are 5) are disciplined for it in my classroom. Thanks.

Megan said...

SAS: Thanks for understanding! You also just said what I have been trying to say: The wackadoo parents out there who go crazy over the tiniest of things! It leads to suing, to conflict, to craziness and in the end ALL children suffer.

Sabrina said...

Wauu I'm with you on this one!

lulu said...

Amen!
We don't watch the news anymore because of THE FEAR (must say that in booming, boogeyman voice), and I completely agree with your philosophy regarding kids. Paige will be better for it!

Anonymous said...

Yet you refused to breast feed? go figure.

Megan said...

Anonymous: GEE! Considering you know NOTHING about my HEALTH OR MY BREASTS or the issues therein on WHY I COULDN'T and wouldn't breastfeed, I will just assume you are having a bad day. But, for that comment, you get my MIDDLE FINGER as well.

Chrissy said...

So, I JUST went through a "swine flu" paranoia with my pediatrician. She said that even if my baby were to get it or a flu of any kind he would definitely overcome it. For me changing my perspective from "he's gonna die" to "he's gonna survive" was a HUGE deal. Since you can't necessarily evade the media/news I found that changing my perspective was all I needed in order to not let this focus on sickness and death that we have in our society affect me as much.

Having said that, I have suffered from Salmonella and I do not watch or read the news. I still wash and eat my chicken and don't ever feel out of the loop when it comes to knowing or not knowing about what the media is spinning.

The mantra I have swimming around my head these days is: "ignorance is bliss" and I feel COMPLETELY guilty for it cuz, you know, I need to know about what foods to eat or not eat, and what the symptoms for the swine flu are and what my child will be susceptible to when he starts school. Don't I?

You see, it's a vicious circle....

- Christina from California

Mama K said...

OMGawd...I love you! Great post.

Jessica said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. AMEN!!!!!!!!!!

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