The Next Generation

When I was a kid, the powers that be were always drilling us with anti-smoking and anti-pollution. The idea being that our parents were lost, but the next generation could be trained to be better, healthier citizens.

[The commercial with the Crying Indian (or, crying Italian-American guy pretending to be Indian) apparently came out somewhere around my second birthday, but it was still being shown when I was old enough to understand it.]

It totally worked with a lot of people. It worked with me. We hit our parents with the same stuff. My mom smoked, and we gave her a fair amount of hell about it. And we were appropriately shocked and upset when people littered.

I just saw a Visa commercial where some kid is showing his dad how to be less damaging to the environment. Don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth and such.

Visa has their setup: “Water cup, two dollars.” And so on until their “priceless” line. So, in this case, I guess the eight-year-old has his own Visa card, but other than that, I get the idea.

Now, I don’t let the water run and run while I brush my teeth (or do the dishes). I recycle. Etc. So I wonder what my daughter is going to bug me about.

What’s the next big moral or practical lesson that my kids will be hitting me with? Something that I’m not already doing. Predictions are hard, because if I could know what it was, maybe I’d do it now and nip her little holier-than-thou attitude in the bud.

Or maybe it’s something like, “eat less chocolate,” which I already know about, but ignore.

9 Responses to The Next Generation

  1. BruceS April 20, 2009 at 11:55 am #

    He’s Italian-American? Too bad there weren’t any real native Americans available for the commercial. Maybe they’re all too rich to want to do that.

    It doesn’t matter how well you think you’ve prepared yourself—your children will always be able to blindside you with something.

    Less chocolate? Why? Chocolate has lots of good nutrition to it. That’s like saying “drink less whisky”. Unless you’re really overdoing it, of course.

  2. weeklyrob April 20, 2009 at 1:56 pm #

    I couldn’t drink less whisky if I tried.

  3. BruceS April 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    What about whiskey? I only started the no-‘e’ stuff a few years ago, having been traumatized by cheap stuff in the early ’70s.
    Hey, I could do like a certain rom-er, and take that to mean you’re hopelessly addicted to Speyside single-malt.

  4. weeklyrob April 20, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

    I did no-e ’cause you did. I’ll follow you to the e and say that I don’t drink that stuff either!

    ROM is sooooo long ago.

  5. Mom April 21, 2009 at 12:29 am #

    Well, perhaps I smoked then and you all gave me a bit of hell, but that was my health stuff. I certainly didn’t want any of you to smoke.
    But I was the one who drove to the recycling place when no one else did.I collected those newspapers and cans and stored them in the garage. My friends thought I was nuts. Give me a little credit for the things I did do for the environment way before it was popular. I was the mom who taught you not to litter.
    I was also the mom who marched for civil rights, gay and lesbian rights and was anti any kind of censorship.
    And furthermore, that commercial made me cry- so there. Still could, I think.

  6. weeklyrob April 21, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    Wow, apparently I should have titled this post, “My Mom Never Did Anything Good.”

    Did I mention that my mom was the person in the car throwing the trash at the Indian? She was a terrible terrible person. Also, what happened with Mai Lai and Anne Frank were mostly her fault.

    I’m sure that Mom, Dad, and lots of other people taught us not to litter or smoke or commit censorship, but kids of a certain age listen to TV commercials more than to their parents.

    In fact, I don’t remember any of the stuff you wrote about (except the smoking). It just didn’t make an impression on my little brain the way that the commercials and school-sponsored campaigns did.

    Besides not remembering any of it, I also didn’t give you credit because this post isn’t about parents, but about kids, and what they’re taught in school and on TV.

  7. BruceS April 22, 2009 at 9:17 am #


  8. BruceS April 22, 2009 at 9:35 am #

    What are the odds? America’s Finest News Source just had this article relevant to the littering bit, and referencing the crying Indian.

  9. weeklyrob April 22, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

    Heheh. I guess Earth Day is making some news.

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