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Promethean Times

By Smaktakula

Across time and culture it has long been the accepted practice of parents everywhere to embarrass their children. Historically this has taken many forms, with parents finding some way–a dead-end job, an embarrassing religious or social affiliation, or being personally grotesque–to mortify their offspring.  So it has gone since time began, and so it was assumed until recently, it would continue. But the current era’s tendency toward both permissiveness and cynicism means that parents must work increasingly hard to humiliate their jaded offspring.

The era of confessional reality TV ensures that parents can no longer rely upon being overly confessional (i.e., “Did Cindy tell you she was born with a vestigial tail?” or “No, I haven’t always been a woman . . .”), as today’s youth take any attention as a positive thing.

Nor does fringe-level employment scar children like it used to. In this age of unemployment…

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