"We watch impassively as the wealthy and the elite, the huge corporations, rob us, ruin the environment, defraud consumers and taxpayers and create an exclusive American oligarchy that fuses wealth and political power. We watch passively because we believe we can enter the club ... It is greed that keeps us silent.
~ Chris Hedges from "Losing Moses on the Freeway"
Yesterday, I was rather shocked by something that happened involving my son, and a telephone conversation that he was having with his best friend. My son had speaker phone on, and so I could hear the entire conversation quite easily.
You see, truth be told, his best son is basically a spoiled brat. And what he was saying during this particular phone conversation was that he was trying to get my son a phone for him.
This kid basically was talking in passing about how great a phone is, and how you need at least $800 for a decent phone. When my son responded that you could buy a top of the line phone for that price, this kid basically scoffed, and seemed to suggest that he had so much money saved up, that this kind of money, $800, was a mere pittance.
Think about that for a second. The better part of one thousand dollars - a cool grand! - and this kid is talking about spending it like I might talk about spending a couple of bucks to rent a movie for the evening. As if $800 comes so easily.
Of course, he did not work for that money, which means that he has no concept of how important that kind of money is. Surely, most reading this know just how much that is, and how much that can get. For many families, that would be a lifesaver. That would pay the food bills, possibly for months. That could be several payments, including probably the better part of a month's payments in terms of mortgage payments and/or car payments and/or other bills and responsibilities.
Even in terms of indulgences, it can buy a lot. I told my son that the trip to Arizona that we took a couple of years ago was a little over $1,000, and that $800 obviously could go a long way towards paying for a trip like that. He also has a fascination with China and Japan, and I let him know that for that amount of money, you could buy round trip tickets for one person to and from one of those places. There are tons of things that you can do with that kind of money. Many ways that it can be put to good uses, both practical and, if you can afford it, to indulge a bit.
Quite a bit, for that amount of money!
But this spoiled kid's idea of what to do with that money was to spend it on an I-phone.
His rationale? Then my son could download videos better. Silly little videos of five minutes or so, of them doing nothing in particular. I think this kid's idea for the video was to be humiliated, literally. He offered to allow my son to think of any form of punishment, just so long as he can add a video of it to his Youtube channel.
And he apparently has the money (or rather, his parents and/or someone else in his family) to spare in order to obtain a phone that allows him to download these kinds of videos more easily than my own phone can. He remembers how my phone took forever to download a video and put it on my Youtube channel. This apparently displeased him, and he is demanding that my son obtain a much better phone.
My son tried to change the subject, but this kid was not having it. He said he was trying to do my son a favor, and get him a new phone. I found out recently, on a separate instance, that this kid is extremely pushy, and cannot seem to accept not getting his way.
He went on to suggest that surely, his parents (my son's mom and myself), had at least this much laying around, money just ready to be burned.
That was when I told my son that it was time for us to go, and he needed to wrap up this little phone conversation with his friend.
Now, surely you can imagine that I had some things to say to my son after that. I told him that I was very happy that he had friends, and would not intrude on his social life. However, I told him quite frankly that this particular friend was very spoiled, which he seemed to know already. This kid claimed that he had $20k, which may or may not be true. But ten years old or not, he should know better than to boast about that kind of nonsense. Frankly, that reflects poorly on the parents (at least one of which is a Trump supporter - trust me, I know).
I told my son that he probably could expect that kind of thing throughout his life, and never, ever allow anyone like this little brat to make him feel lesser about himself as a result.
Later, we stopped at my parent's place, and I told them what had happened. They also told my son that they were proud of him for knowing what is truly important in this world.
Kids have to be told no every now and then. When I mentioned that to my son, he told me that he knew for a fact that this kid, his best friend, had indeed been told no before. I responded that he apparently either had not been told no with things that could have taught him a lesson in humility, and that apparently, he had not been told no enough, in any case.
That kid will surely grow up to have the same mentality as many Trump supporters do, with a false sense of entitlement and an expectation that they should receive privileges.
Any normal ten year old should have a basic understanding that relentlessly bragging about something like this - insisting on it, really - is in bad form, and that it just allows a spoiled brat of a child to grow up spoiled, as well. It would not surprise me that this kid winds up being a bratty young man, long past the age when he should know better.
It just seemed fitting for the times that we live in, with this pro-Trump family. In a New Jersey history project last year, this kid chose Donald Trump as the history making figure for his presentation - surely with the blessing of at least one parent. If I could cite one specific example that resonates about just how wrong a direction we as a country - and particularly those who support and admire a man like Trump - are taking, then this story would be it! Thus it seemed worth sharing, because it has really been bothering me ever since.