Running With Scissors…Worse Than Sipping Wine?
Reading this Chicago Sun Times editorial by Richard Roeper I admit feeling inspired to hyperbole.
My brain immediately told my fingers to type out something like, "encouraging parents to take a ‘zero tolerance position on drinking by their minor children may be among the most destructive movements in our culture."
Of course this absurd zero tolerance position, one which Roeper so thoroughly mocks and demolishes, isn’t the most destructive movement in our culture. There are a few things in fact that make even less sense than trying to shame parents into teaching their children appropriate drinking habits, how to appreciate the affects of alcohol and how to properly enjoy the varied nuance of one of the greatest pleasures mankind has yet developed.
For example, I’m told there is a movement among some in this country to encourage young children to stick long needles in their eyes. Then there is the movement to have children run around the house while holding scissors in their teeth. By all accounts neither of these movements have caught on quite as strongly as the one that encourages parents to make sure not a drop of wine passes their children’s lips before they turn 21. But, these are worse cultural movements and I hear that support for them is growing.
I’m particularly taken with Roeper’s response to opponents of allowing minors to try wine at home. Here is a snippet from his editorial:
"A recent story from CNN put a spotlight on Stanton Peele, a psychologist and the author of Addiction-Proof Your Child, and other books on addiction.
"Peele’s own daughter, Amanda, says that starting in middle school,
her parents allowed her to drink wine and beer in moderation at family
" ‘It wasn’t some forbidden fruit," says Amanda. ‘I didn’t have to go out to a field with my friends and have 18 beers.’
"Peele says he taught his children "to drink in a civilized fashion, like a civilized human being."
"Calvina Fey, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation, calls Peele’s theory ‘ridiculous.’
"By allowing teens to drink," Fey tells CNN, "you are giving permission to your children to do harmful things."
With all due respect: give me a friggin’ break."
Mr. Roeper, it’s very unlikely anyone like Calvina is going to give you a Friggin Break. In fact, it’s much more likely that Calvina will lobby to see parents spend a couple years in jail if they offer a tiny sip of wine to their children at meal time.
At least Calvina isn’t advocating small children stick needles in their eyes.