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Children Are Overrated

I was initially planning on naming this piece "I Hate Children," but after ruminating on the issue a bit, I came to realise that it isn't children that I loathe, so much as cultural attitudes towards them. I do not hate children, so much as I feel no attachment or affection whatsoever towards them. When I see a news article expressing outrage over a baby being discarded in a dumpster, my first thought is something along the lines of "well, where are you supposed to put a revolting little imp that does nothing but soil itself and wail obnoxiously without end?"

These sentiments may be the result of being autistic, or perhaps damning evidence that I am a detestable scoundrel. Although I suspect that as in many other cases, I am simply being open about feelings that many others are also thinking but are too socially normal to express. I am the sort of person who utterly loathes the idea of saying anything I don't believe or censoring my ideas. I don't care how much society expects me to praise the nude emperor's fancy new "robes," I will not be able to resist my urge to point out both that his dick is hanging out for all to see, and that he probably has at least two STDs judging by the warts on it.

As I've covered in detail in a number of pages, most notably my controversial anti-suicide prevention article, I particularly detest subjects that no one is allowed to voice their honest opinions on, as a result of how emotional most people are in regard to them. The natural result of these kinds of barriers, is that discussion on such subjects becomes largely reduced to people mindlessly repeating a set of socially acceptable platitudes, most of which cease to make any sense once one stops and thinks about them for a moment.

Before I go any further, I want to mention that I have been told a number of times that I'll quickly lose all of my anti-child sentiments and will come to understand how wonderful children are if I ever become a parent myself, apparently due to chemicals that the brain begins releasing in response to such an event. To me, this unintentionally sounds like something one might hear from a badly disguised cult leader. "Don't worry, you'll understand why all of my claims are true once you've taken LSD and listened to me rant at you for 2 hours!"

One child-related platitude that vexes me is something that I often hear spouted when a group of children winds up dying in a mass-shooting or other tragic event. People will start bemoaning the fact that the world might have just lost a bunch of future Isaac Newtons or Albert Einsteins. This is certainly true, but I don't know why no one ever considers that the world might have also been spared a bunch of future Ted Bundys. Just once, I'd like to see a news anchor react to a school shooting by sighing in relief and declaring that there are now 11 less potential rapists and serial killers in the world. Lamentable as it may be, it's far more likely for a child to grow up to be a sexual predator than a world-changing physicist.

While I have no intention of denying the tragedy inherent in child deaths, I would argue that child murder should be considered less of a crime than adult murder, simply because the average adult is inherently more valuable than the average child. A well-educated and knowledgeable (rare as that may be these days) adult with decades of life experience is akin to a sublime bottle of vintage wine, while a child is essentially a bottle of cheap and recently brewed bum wine, or perhaps simply a bunch of raw grapes. They are alpha versions. Rough drafts. Story ideas drunkenly scribbled on a napkin.

Think of it in terms of investments. An adult (at least in theory) is someone who has been invested in, built up, and developed into something productive and useful for decades, while a child might as well be a set of raw materials that's still moving around on the assembly line and depending on its age, might not even know better than to crap in its own underpants. It inherently takes far more time and effort to replace a fully developed adult than it does to replace a child.

If a child is beneath a certain age, I am not even sure how someone can rationally mourn their death. If, for instance, the 3 month old child of someone I knew died, I would not have any clue what to say beyond "I'm sorry that you have to go through the pains of pregnancy again to replace it. ):" In order for me to be attached enough to someone to mourn their death, they have to have traits that I deemed likeable and became attached to. Small children are blank slates and as such, are inherently incapable of possessing any such traits.

When an adult family member or friend passes away, people will talk about fond memories they shared with them, and personality traits of the person that they adored. They'll express sentiments such as "Uncle Condom was the most skilled drunk driver in all of Oklahoma" or "I'll never forget waking up to the sound of him running over my mailbox." I can't even come up with any remotely realistic ideas for what people would talk about when mourning a toddler. "I wish little Hayden would wake me up at 2 in the morning with his irritatingly loud screeching just one more time" just doesn't sound believable.

There could be an argument made in that murdering or mistreating children is inherently a greater evil than doing so to an adult, if even a single person was actually consistent about this principle. Animals are at least as innocent as any child (or far moreso, I would argue -- anyone who believes that children are truly innocent has never had to interact with any other children growing up), and the majority of people see nothing wrong with forcing them to live in utterly intolerable conditions, murdering them for food, and genociding them out of existence by destroying their homelands. The day that someone receives the death penalty for murdering an animal, is the day I may consider innocence as an excuse to put children on a pedestal.

Now, animals aside, what truly amazes me is that people cannot even stay consistent to the principle of innocence making someone's life and welfare more important, within even the human species. Autistic children are systematically abused using torturous "therapies" such as applied behaviour analysis and electro-shock torture simply for the crime of having innocuous natural differences in communication and sensory tolerances. It is possible that I might've missed a memo somewhere about how stimming and an aversion to eye contact inherently demonstrate a lack of purity in a child. Or more likely, the people who spout all of these platitudes are completely full of shit.

Another loathsome platitude is something that you've perhaps heard if you've ever complained about the atrocious behaviour of someone else's spawn. Something along the lines of "oh, they're a child! They can't help themselves! They don't know any better!" as if the parent not teaching the child any self-control suddenly makes their misconduct acceptable. If your child doesn't know that they should respect other people's rights, then you've failed as a parent.

Some of these parents hold their children to lower standards and expectations than they do their dog, even excusing downright sociopathic behaviour such as sexual harassment, and then they act shocked when the child finally gets sent to prison as a grownup.

Another child-related platitude that irritates me is "the miracle of conception." I already mentioned my thoughts on the issue in my Words/Phrases I Hate article, but thought it was worth bringing up here as well. To paraphrase what I said in that article, there is nothing "miraculous" about something that happens innumerable times every day and has already occurred over 100 billion times just amongst our own species.

It's understandable that one might be left awed upon witnessing the act of a child being born, but that does not make it some sort of enigmatic act that required the intervention of God in order for it to occur. I am still awe-inspired and grateful that technology has given me the opportunity to (at least in theory) entertain, humour, and hopefully educate people from all over the world, just by typing my thoughts up in Notepad++ and uploading them to Neocities. I do not, however, ascribe this development to Bast creating Neocities or the Internet out of magic dust.

A lot of things are quite "miraculous" when one stops to think about it. Digestion is rather amazing, in that one can subsist on utter slop, and their digestive system can still find a way to make use of that slop to create more of them from it. Cat food tastes like something that federal inmates would turn their noses up to, yet cats are somehow able to create more cat matter from it. Transmuting lead into gold seems less fantastic than that, to me.

I suppose comparing child-birth to digestion is a fitting analogy for a comically antisocial individual such as myself -- I can understand why someone would find either process to be miraculous, but I have absolutely no desire to see, hear, or smell the end results of either process.