How to Create a Cynic in Less Than 12 Steps
Written by: Alex Sandell
Steps 3-6: Feel Free to Turn Your Brain Off. We'll Take it From Here.
If you follow steps 1-3 closely enough, you really don't need to do much to nurture your child into a life of cynicism for the next 5 years. Sure, you could send him or her to a babysitter or daycare instructor that beats him on occasion, or get a divorce and pick up an alcoholic stepfather that considers "fondling" to be the "in thing," or possibly even purchase "Barney: The Movie"; but the next genuine step needn't occur until those wonderful formative years known as elementary school.
When steps 1-3 are followed to perfection, you will have a child who becomes very dependent on his mother and father (exceptions made to those fathers with wandering hands and mothers with itchy videotape-player fingers). This boy or girl may even find reason to smile, if given the proper attention. At five years old, when you send your future cynic to kindergarten accomplishing the awe-inspiring rule # 4, the smiles are over, and your work is done.
Oh yes, the public school system in America is set up in just such a way that innocent children who have been given the short end of the stick one too many times will be mistreated to the point of near insanity. The gifts their misfortune has given them will be overlooked, criticized and cause them to be ostracized from their "superior" peers.
An outlet often used by a young cynic is creative doodling and artwork. Instead of encouraging these talents, the teachers will 9 times out of 10 slap the notebook out of the child's hand and have a meeting with their parents. This is said to be the baby steps into becoming a "normal" member of society.
"If your son cannot learn to follow the rules at this age, how will he ever be able to go out into the real world and make a life for himself?" The teacher will ask. In front of your child you must respond with this question, "isn't he just acting normal?" The reason being is that the answer given by the naive, just out of college, teacher leads us into step # 5: make sure your child is taught at a very young age that he isn't "normal."
"I'm sorry to tell you, Mrs. Sandell, but actually the other kids haven't had as much difficulty in paying attention in class. Alex's mind wanders. He seems to prefer writing and drawing over other interesting things such as naptime and math." When your boy or girl hears this, it is the first, and inevitably the most profound confirmation that he is not "right." If you call yourself "Mrs. Sandell" and your boy or girl "Alex," this may further validate the feeling.
Now knowing that he or she isn't normal, the child will usually "doodle" even more than he was previously. "In the corner" will be an even more common place for him to be forced into standing.
This brings us to step # 6: guarantee that every peer knows your child isn't "normal." Once the other five year olds see their classmate standing in the corner, put into "special" classes, or scolded on a regular basis, they will have the adult approval they need to continually make fun of, and abandon this person.
When your boy or girl is stuck in the middle of this teacher/student crossfire he will grow an even deeper sense of insecurity and disdain for both students and authority figures. His concrete disliking of what teachers have done to him will cause him to keep lashing out even further, in a backward attempt to be "accepted." His peers, with their extremely cruel "teasing" will block the child from moving past this point, causing him to be scolded even more by the teachers who put him in this position initially. At the same time, the teachers ongoing scolding will let the classmates know that this child is still not "one" with the rest of them, and they will move forward in their ruthless attempt at destroying another human's self-esteem and sense of normalcy.
If everything works as it should, this viscous circle will go on throughout elementary school, causing your child to finally establish a surprisingly cynical personality by the time he graduates sixth grade, and moves on to Junior High. Within six years, he or she will be a full-fledged cynic!
Go on to part 3 in "How To Create A Cynic In Less Than 12 Steps", when we tackle the wonderful high school years. Pubic hair, Prom Night and Physical Education!
©1998 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. Hey bud, watch out, I'm a crazy isolated mother fucker, don't even think about stealing this!
Back to the table of brains 1998
Back to the mind-map.