Saturday, September 01, 2007

Perennial Whine-fest

Every year summer vacation ends. Every year kids go back to school. Every year parents have to get them school supplies. Cluebat: It’s why merchants have been competing with one another with “back to school” sales since Meseopotamians have put stick to clay, and little snot-nosed boys have been pulling the pony tails of snot nosed girls.

With kids returning to school, it’s time to buy school supplies. An investment which weighs heavily on the family budget.
Waaaah!!!! If you can recall, the nation’s brain was fairly sure that the Virgin Mary doesn’t really think kids should go back to school at all.
Like the other hypermarkets, Carrefour has been preparing for the return to school for several weeks. Setting it up has been going on since mid-July. “We hired five more people for two months”, said Christophe Chenevier, who is in charge of non-food sales. It is one of strong times of the year. In turnover, it’s equivalent to the sale of toys in December. ”From simple fountain pen ink cartridges to large dictionaries, hundreds of items are available.” To make life easier for customers, Carrefour Saint-Malo proposes a new service: “Come in with your shopping list and we’ll fill out your order for free in 72 hours. More people need to do this, it’s a real time saver.”
An aside: this ad brought to you free by the local paper – and one of the less dishonest ones at that.

Do these parents think that their kids don’t need pens and paper? The population at large is already paying for their schooling. Do these people think that their neighbors have to be responsible for what amounts to the kids’ personal property?

I’m sure you remember what condition the schoolbooks you didn’t have to buy were in. Reason: the kids knew that they were not theirs. It’s also why teachers had to inspect your book covers – so you’d learn something about taking care of things in spite of disinvolved inattentive parents.

But in only a few very “special” places are parents culturally acclimated to complain about it, showing that they don’t value education or take a stake in it. Not only are they extending the cultural exception to the personal one, they’re making one hell of an example for their kids, initiating them into the culture of complaint and personal passivity.

Never mind why “Johnny can’t read,” with every display of parental blubbering, Johnny can’t imagine doing relatively simple things for himself. Good luck with all that.

They aren’t alone in this - in the US, they observe this problem dominating in the ghetto, but not largely with the general population.