Weekly Reads: Grumpy Teens, Suing Alex Jones, and “Dodge the Police: The Game”

Howdy Readers! It’s April 22nd and Donald Trump is still President. I’m telling you, civilized nations would have had a nice quiet coup by now.

Speaking of the Cheeto Tinted Tyrant, Trump recently signed an executive aimed at making the lives of the most vulnerable Americans even shittier. 

President Trump quietly signed a long-anticipated executive order on Tuesday intended to force low-income recipients of food assistance, Medicaid and low-income housing subsidies to join the work force or face the loss of their benefits.

The order, in the works since last year, has an ambitious title — “Reducing Poverty in America” — and is directed at “any program that provides means-tested assistance or other assistance that provides benefits to people, households or families that have low incomes,” according to the order’s text.

At the less evil end of the political spectrum, New Jersey Senator Corey Booker has introduced legislation aimed at guaranteeing a job for anyone that wants one. 

Your grumpy teenager doesn’t want to talk to you? That’s OK… really. 

April 20th was yet another day of protest for America’s schoolkids, as millions yet again stage walkouts across the nation to call for sensible gun control in the wake of the Parkland massacre. 

In other school shooting news, conspiracy monger and massive douchebag Alex Jones is being sued for defamation by parents who lost their children in the Sandy Hook massacre in December of 2012. For years Jones has promulgated the theory that the shooting, in which 26 people were killed (20 of them children,) was a “false flag” operation, staged by “crisis actors” as a ploy to lay the groundwork for stricter gun control measures.  Yeah, he’s that shitty a human being,

Mallory Ortberg, who writes the Dear Prudence advice column for Slate hit a couple of answers out of the park this week that touch on parenting. First, she answered an uncomfortable question from a parent… “Help, My Heterosexual Daughter is Dating a Trans Man.”

The important question here is “What do I do when my 28-year-old daughter dates someone I’m not wild about?” And the answer, I’m afraid, is “Not much.” Your daughter knows she’s dating an unemployed person with a somewhat “unstable” lifestyle, and for now at least, that’s not a problem for her. Absent signs of abuse, there’s not a lot for you to do other than be polite and friendly when spending time with your daughter’s partner, and to privately heave a sigh of relief afterward that at least you don’t have to date them. This is a general rule for anyone your adult child may date: Be polite, be friendly, be open-minded within reason, remember that your ability to influence who your kid dates wanes with every year past about 13. Let them make their own mistakes, enjoy things you find baffling, and generally wend their own way through life.

She also answered this heartbreaking query… “Help, My Father is Dying a Slow and Awful Death and My Siblings Aren’t Around to Help.”

Right now is OK! You’re struggling every day, your siblings are just a few hours away, and your father is close to and wishing for death. Ask for help! They may not be able to be as present as you are, but find out how much time they are able to spare and accept whatever help they’re willing to give. Supporting a dying family member doesn’t mean just showing up in their final moments for a heartfelt goodbye. Even knowing that one of them can come down for a few hours next weekend might go a long way toward relieving some of your stress. You have every reason to ask for some emotional and logistical support right now, and I think you should call your siblings today.

I wanted to highlight these links because they touch on something we sometimes miss when we talk about parenting, that it’s a lifelong process. Long after we are done with raising them there are still issues we will have to deal with as their parents, right up to the last thing we do, dying.

Have you ever wanted to say “Kids these days…” followed by just about any complaint under the sun. Well congratulations you have joined a tradition dating back to antiquity! History Hustle has a roundup of the 2,500-Year-Old History of Adults Blaming the Younger Generation.

Two coaches in a New Hampshire youth baseball league had a plan for the only girl in the league. Bean her until she quit.  

In a fascinating find, a boardgame that dates back to the suffragette movement in England has been found and put up for auction. “Dodge the Police” , a version of snakes and ladders, was likely sold to raise funds for the suffragette movement.


Featured Image Credit: The BBC

Louis Doench

Lou Doench is a 52 year old father of three. Twelve years ago he married the coolest woman in the world and gave up the lucrative career of being a photography student to become a stay at home husband and Dad, or SAHD. An atheist geek, or a geeky atheist if you prefer, Lou likes reading, photography, video gaming, disc golf, baseball and Dr. Who. He has been playing Dungeons and Dragons since 1976. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also an excellent home cook, not that his children would know because they only eat Mac & Cheese. Follow Lou on Twitter @blotzphoto or check out his photography at

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One Comment

  1. The one for the 2000s was interesting. I remember “Look at how they volunteer!” (because there are no other jobs). Then it became “millennials are killing everything” as soon as they realized that having only volunteer gigs and being the first generation where you couldn’t default on student loan debt means less conspicuous consumption. (Thanks, George!)

    One interesting thing from 2016 was how the millennials were the realists who wanted to talk about mundane issues, and the boomers and xers were mostly the utopian dreamers. At least on the Clinton side. I don’t even know what the Trump side was doing, nor do I think finding out would be good for my sanity.

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