Welcome Derby fans to the first terrible meme of 2016! We are very excited to begin yet another year of scanning the social media landscape for candidates to enter our arena, there to be picked apart, batted about, and eventually reduced to piles of twisted steal and rubber. Metaphorically that is, the editors of Grounded Parents do not endorse any actual physical violence in response to our contestants. Imaginary violence is fine however.
Today’s target “I Was Drugged By My Parents”, is an old fashioned screed appearing in different forms across the internet, with a few minor variations like “My Parents Drugged Me” , almost always attributed to a “concerned citizen”. It appears to predate the social media revolution a bit, appearing on pleasent discussion boards like Sniper Forums off topic forum in 2009, or the obviously Christian Puritan Board way back in 2007. It appears to make a resurgence every few years, depending on societies level of panic over the problems of illicit drugs and or profligate youths. Thanks to one of the awesome followers of the Grounded Parents Facebook Page, it’s here for us to pick apart.
Let us begin.
I Was Drugged By My Parents
When I was asked why we didn’t have a drug problem when you or I were growing up I replied,
Okay, let me stop you right there. When exactly did this author grow up? What period of American history hasn’t had some sort of drug problem? Reefer Madness, that classic piece of anti-marijuana propaganda, was released in 1936! We have been dealing with some form of opiate addiction crisis in this country since the introduction of morphine as a battlefield painkiller in the Civil War. There is quite literally no way anyone alive today could honestly point to their childhood and say that America was free of “drug problems.” It is a completely ahistorical notion. It’s looking at the past through rose colored glasses at best, outright stubborn denial at worst.
I had a drug problem when I was young. I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions.
It’s a PUN! Oh my Zod it’s a really long and complicated Dad Joke! I can actually feel the gravitational distortions caused by the millions of teenagers rolling their eyes as this crap is recycled by yet another paunchy middle aged white guy.
Seriously though, what this opening paragraph communicates is something I would like to call the “Picket Fences Fallacy”. This fallacy maintains that the noble institutions of middle class American society, Church, Family, Hard Work and Discipline (we’ll get to those next) are a sort of magical charm against illicit influences, which always originate from outside the white, suburban or small town bubble of protection, imported by scurrilous Negroes, inscrutable Chinamen or marauding Mexicans. This fallacy sees drugs as a symptom of sloth or moral decay, a flaw that is part of the genetic make-up of the lower classes, or sometimes as a hedonistic vice of the educated liberal class. Either way, drugs are an outside influence, polluting the pure white WASP society that is quintessentially American.
Which is all hogwash of course. Discounting the use of licit drugs like booze and cigarettes, which have a significantly higher impact on societies health, whites and racial minorities use illicit drugs at comparable rates, in fact according to this 2013 Huffington post article ,
White Americans are more likely than black Americans to have used most kinds of illegal drugs, including cocaine, marijuana and LSD. Yet blacks are far more likely to go to prison for drug offenses.
I cannot imagine why that is…
I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults, I was drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn’t put forth the my best effort in everything that was asked of me.
If one doesn’t have a “woodshed”, will a belt do? Or should parents who live in urban areas keep a supply of freshly cut wood just in case it’s necessary to beat the shit out of their kid because they got a C in social studies or called Father Patrick a child molester?
This is old ground at this point, but we’ll go over it again. Corporal punishment does not work like this. We have addressed it here, here, and here and probably a few other places as well. If anything intense corporal punishment of the kind described here is found to lead to depression and other mental health issues, which often lead to substance abuse problems. Good job imaginary olde timey parents!
I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered profanity. I was drug to the neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline or chop some wood.
Was anybody ever cured of their potty mouth by having it washed out with soap? Seriously? As for helping out around the neighborhood, I used to do that too, and nobody had to whup me with spare lumber to get me to do it.
Those drugs are still in my veins and they affect my behavior. They are stronger than cocaine, crack or heroine (sic). If children today had this kind of drug problem America would be a better place.
Written by a concerned citizen.
I can’t think of a better response to this level of blinkered nostalgia than this excellent 2010 Daily Show segment by John Oliver… (which you should go watch because I couldn’t get it to embed right.)
Thank you John.
Listen, it probably doesn’t matter all that much what you or I think of this meme. The people sharing it enthusiastically on Authoritarian Asshole Parenting Forums aren’t Grounded Parents readers, and even if they did see the evidence we’ve seen about the serious harm this kind of discipline inflicts on young people they would discount it as “liberal bias” in the scientific literature. But there is a whole population of people out there who most likely don’t hit their kids, but still nod along to memes like this because they are of the mistaken impression that it’s socially unacceptable to speak up. Well I’m here to tell you today to speak up. If you don’t feel like getting into a knock down drag out twitter brawl with Uncle Festus, then drop them a link to the Derby and we’ll do the fighting for you. But no matter what, we have to put pressure on the people who share these things to really think about what they are promoting. Because this meme promotes HURTING CHILDREN. And that sucks.
Featured Image Credit Zach Frailey on Flickr.