Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

The Innocent Unworldliness of the New York Post

I never though of the New York Post as a sweet, naive and trusting newspaper. Until today. "What kind of a mother lets a 4-year-old out of her sight?" they ask.

Based on my days in the kids' department at Penney's? Half the mothers in the suburbs, that's who. Yuppies or 'trailer trash', it didn't matter; people blithely let their kids wander, or trustingly left them in front of the Barney or Disney promo video playing. Part of my job, apparently, was to keep kids away from the mall exit or the escalator, and to retrieve the kids -- without touching them or raising my voice -- if they made a break for it. I generally tried to pre-empt this burst of excitement by doing something amazingly rare among parents -- talking to the kids. Even the most hyper kidlet will generally respond to a bit of civil conversation that breaks the tedium of shopping. Many kids didn't want to leave.

I'm sure it's very comforting to blame it all on the Travelers "foisting a bizarre, authority-shunning life" on kids. Wave a magic wand and make people settle down? (Like the rest of America? That moves every year or two?) That might work in Fantasyland. But we don't live in that world, and no newspaper reporter should be that innocent. Do try going shopping once in a while, dear.

In other news, the Fox News folks didn't say boo about Travelers or a "secret clan" last night when I was watching the interview with Toogood. This shows that conservatives are less bigoted, or at least less likely to believe they can't be sued. I am glad to see some network using its head.

Also, here's an interesting column from Milwaukee. Here's an interesting thread from soc.culture.african.american. And here's a point of view you sure wouldn't expect from alt.gathering.rainbow! Tolerance and acceptance for outsiders, suuuure. *rolls eyes*


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