Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
Well, we've come a long way from lawn darts and BB guns. Even farther still from those days in the park when a younger and (more) malevolent version of myself played "Rock Wars" with my friends (the rules? throw rocks, either eyeball-shaped or in impossible-to-avoid handfuls, at your opponents ... or just anyone in range). Ah, what a golden summer afternoon it was that we spent smashing bottles up and down the old highway.
Now all the conversations go like this ...
Me: So you had a good weekend?My friend drives me a bit crazy with this at times, with this glorious-children stuff, with this forced-air system of inflated self-esteem. Everything is reasonable, and negotiated, and constantly fucking charming.
Friend: Oh, we had a *great* weekend! We *always* have a great weekend!
Me: Uh ... always? You're never glad to get back to work?
Friend: Oh, never! Never never never! I'm *always* sad to leave my kids on Monday morning.
Me: Uh huh.
So of course I've been a bit fascinated by Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, where the author comes off like a power-mad Soviet Olympic coach: no tolerance for complaining, no acceptance of grades less than an A, first right of refusal on all half-assed birthday cards, threats to burn stuffed animal collections if performance continues to flag, etc.
And why is this book getting so much attention? It's called pushback. Or backlash. It's a counter response to all the everyone's-a-winner bullshit which has upset the old narrative, namely ...
1) Childhood with equal parts fun, magic, wonder, painful lessons, mild indignities and fear/consequences.
2) Struggle, poverty and romanticized adventure in your twenties.
3) Catch some breaks in your thirties.
4) Come into your own in your forties.
Not: still going to mom and dad for help in your thirties, or still living at home in your twenties. I just wonder what these people are going to do when their parents die.