Hermits Rock

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I'm picking up Arendt again

I’m regretting more and more that I allowed The Human Condition to slide, if for no other reason than it offers a good framework to understand the value of work and for critiquing actions that are often uplifted as extraordinary political ones. Parenting, for example, is frequently trumpeted a crucial work, and while I don’t deny the crucialness of raising children, I do wonder how much of a work it is. When you have children, rearing them is something you do: how you do it varies and is built upon your and your community’s moral and ethical values, and you hope that something of those values are reflected in the children’s post-childhood lives. What many parents identify as a parenting failure, in other words, is often a question of whether or not the child embraced that parent’s values. What constitutes a parenting failure is a matter of interpretation and perspective, and I don’t know whether anyone—least of all children or parents—are can gain sufficient perspective to judge. Moreover, as often as not children become upstanding citizens or serial killers in spite of their parents. What it amounts to is that true failure in parenting is actually more a refusal to parent—to hand your child to Madonna to raise, perhaps—than it is a series of mistakes made while fulfilling the act. As I see it parenting, in other words, is a condition and not a work; but I might be more able to argue that positively if I had ever finished the book. For that reason, I’m returning to it, and I’ll be writing about it in the reading section as I do.

 

Comments

I wish I could join you, but school has completely consumed my private life. I have become an animal laborans.

You’re all losers. Especially you parents. Defend yourselves against the inevitability of my logic! If you don’t, it’s your fault when your kids become serial killers.

pace greg, we’re too busy raising our children to be bothered by your statements…

Whereas 4 may be true, it’s still a lame excuse, especially coming from someone whose daughter is apparently being raised by wolves.

my other lame excuse is that i am too busy deforming the young minds of america and trying to get tenure to respond to your puerile, attention-seeking tactics… that is, in any real substantive way. i have no problem being just as infantile as you.

then again, once you pass through the gates of parenthood and into real maturity, you realize that some polemics are not worth becoming entangeled with because the other person obviously has very little clue that they suffer from logorrhea rather than a case of acute profundity

By that I might have been insulted if it hadn’t come from Mr. Get-to-the-Point-Dammit! himself.