SMALL CHILDREN JUST DON’T GET IT
Despite all the publicity to the contrary, it is now clearer than ever that small children still just don’t get it.
It seems like everywhere you look these days, you see small children playing with blocks, eating ice cream, asking their parents to take them to ball games, running through sprinklers, and all those other things that– if you listen to the recent pronouncements of some– were long ago made ancient history.
Nowhere is the faulty thinking of small children laid bare more clearly than in the aisles of toy stores, where children as old as four and five will often sit on the floor and hold toy airplanes over their heads, waving them in a circle, as though they were “flying.” In groups of two or more, children in such places will often hold mock “fights” using action figures, sometimes even holding up the little toy figurines and making noises like “Pyew! Pyew” and “Plllshhhh!” to simulate the sounds of bullets and exploding hand grenades, respectively.
As if that weren’t bad enough, small children continue to run incorrectly. Adults, when they run, run with careful attention to even weight distribution, and they run very fast, without falling. Small children run spastically, with their arms at their sides, and they run as much up and down as they do forward; you can often hear their feet slapping against the ground as they chase after something. And they often fall down, seemingly for no reason at all, and will look up at you with stunned faces once they have, pausing for a moment before beginning to cry.
Children think sledding is fun. In fact, sledding is a mere demonstration of the laws of gravity. They would do just as well to push their sleds along even ground and simply consider that, if the ground were to suddenly slope downward, their sleds would follow without the additional application of energy.
Here in Buffalo, children are everywhere. At almost any hour of the day during summer, one can find them in Delaware Park, running around in circles and chasing hopelessly after dogs. From time to time one can even see them on public tennis courts, standing next to their instructors with comically oversized rackets in their hands, obviously pained by the very concept of organized lessons. More frequently than not, children in summer wear little shorts and t-shirts, their carefully-tied laces a touching visual testament to the parental instinct for care and attention.
What these children fail to understand is that this editorial is going absolutely nowhere, that no matter how hard we try, we can find no possible way to maintain its faux-sarcastic tone long enough to keep it from collapsing under its own inherent poverty of inspiration. These children would do well to consider that this editorial was doomed from the very start, that the ending was poorly thought-out, and that, were he resurrected from the dead and chained to this very terminal, Franz Kafka himself could not wrestle a laugh line out of these last few paragraphs.
It is all very well and good for small children to spend their days collecting Pokemon stickers and pulling each others’ hair. But in these dark times, with our country’s citizens laboring under the weight of a constant terrorist threat, we all deserve a more satisfying end to this sentence. While they tumble down slides and play on swings, a skillful use of parallel structure continues to elude us, leaving even this latest comparison stillborn on the page.
The thing about children is that most of them are very small. You never see one dunking a basketball or effectively pass-blocking at the NFL level. If you did, that would really be something.
Is there still time for children to get the message? We here at the BEAST think so. With the will to effect change and the right amount of federal funding, we feel confident that they are equal to the task of correcting this problem that we have so far failed here to define. Will they manage to take that step? That’s not for us to know. One thing’s for sure, however: time will tell.