Monday, June 14, 2010

Deterioration and Dysfunction

New York Times Headline:
U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

The punch line:
An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.

And there's more - but really, we know everything we need to know from the excerpt. The US fears China will move in and keep the minerals for themselves so now that Afghanistan can become a playground for Mountaintop Removal, we're never leaving. Unless the Taliban kills us all.

Pentagon Geologists probably had a pretty good idea about the mining bonanza in Afghanistan for some years, but the technology to prove their speculation has only recently become available. Otherwise Dick Cheney, the Bushes and the Bin Ladens would have already started digging. We can be sure they've already tied up the mineral rights. The deposits are estimated to be worth One Trillion Dollars.

And now, who gives a flying fuck about the Gulf of Mexico when the mountains of Afghanistan are as wide open as California during the gold rush? We know that mining is only a problem when the mine operators care about the miners and the environment. Afghanistan already looks like an ashtray, and if we cared about their people, we wouldn't have been killing them from helicopters as if they were biologically based video game characters.

You better bet this announcement could "fundamentally alter" the Afghan war. Thank goodness we've already occupied the country and started moving in heavy equipment.

My mother has always believed that the reason we rushed to the aid of Kuwait years ago was not because Saddam Hussein was a vicious dictator who ate babies and stuff. It was because he was swiping Kuwait's oil with the Slant Drilling.

Makes sense.
So do these mineral deposits.

Frankly, I don't really care about these things today except for that the news provides a distraction from the heartbreak that is Velvet.
Or Tiny
Or Ming the Merciless
Whatever my child's name is these days.

I keep trying to tell myself that this unrest is simply a typical manifestation of the ongoing dance of attachment and separation, but that doesn't stop my tears. I don't think he's an evil bastard who doesn't care about anything except his own pleasure. It's more like he's turned HQ into a battlefield by his behavior and he's distressed about it, but he can't recognize or admit his own role, take responsibility for his actions and begin to make necessary changes. In my mind, that's what grown-ups do. Brats piss on you, and when you tell them to cut it out, they get angry at you for objecting and keep pissing on you.

At issue: He keeps sleeping with Cupcake in my house even though I've told him they aren't allowed to sleep together in my house. They can fuck when I'm not here - just like the rest of us did when we were 18 - 20 years old and home from college. If for some reason it gets so late that Cupcake needs to sleep over, she can have his bedroom and he can sleep on the couch. The couch is a maximum of 30 feet away from his bed, and I believe that even the drunkest sailor in Singapore should be able to stumble 30 feet to the sofa.

The latest incident occurred on Friday night, when he was supposed to be sleeping at his father's. Since I banged on the door and insisted on driving Cupcake home at 5:00 am back in May, I figured there was no reason to repeat that scenario. I assessed the situation and went back to bed. My son woke up around 6:00 and shuffled her out. I called him at about 6:30 to ask: Why is the one simple rule in this home too difficult to follow?

The situation has deteriorated, so that now all we do is shout at each other over the phone. He sleeps at his grandmother's apartment - which is where Buzz Kill lives, but Buzz Kill is always over at his girlfriend's apartment. Buzz Kill doesn't even know when his son hasn't come home, and Buzz Kill turns off his phone from Midnight to 6:30 am allegedly because he doesn't want to receive calls from India and China. Maybe so - but he can't get calls from the emergency room either.

As long as his son is living in that apartment, the boy becomes Vagina Dentata's creature instead of Buzz Kill.
Recent photo of Vagina Dentata in a performance at the Senior Center
She's supposed to be in costume, but the only difference between this outfit and real life is that she would wear a different hat

Vagina Dentata is already turning Velvet into her drinking buddy. It won't be long before she starts trying to get him to walk her home when she's gotten drunk at the restaurant down the block. Velvet is a bus boy there this summer. Vagina Dentata has been drinking there so long that the manager happily employed Velvet. If Velvet isn't careful, he'll wind up not only being her walker, he'll be wiping her ass when Buzz Kill heads for the hills.

Buzz Kill's rich sister, the robber baron, cheerfully subsidizes Buzz Kill and Vagina Dentata in the magnificent rent stabilized New York apartment so that she doesn't find Vagina Dentata installed in her guest house on the West Coast. I don't blame her one little bit. But it's a drag when you see your child falling into dysfunctional family patterns


Jennifer said...

Yeah but see he's got you, and I'm pretty sure you're not going to lay off. You've got a real tough job - boys take longer in everything. He's still pretty young and going to dabble in the dysfunctional patterns, I guess because it's his birthright? But I'm thinking if you keep on him, he'll come out right side up eventually.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Afghanistan is sooooooo screwed. Unfortunately it looks like your son may be as well. Sorry. ;o(

Vancouver Voyeur said...

Are you my twin, were we separated at birth, or just these past few weeks by a couple hundred miles? Jr. is now living with the Spin Doctor because I couldn't deal with the constant fighting anymore. His game was stay out all night and refuse to get a job to help pay for his college expenses. He got really mean, aggressive, and nasty. He never would apologize and couldn't see where he was doing anything wrong. So he's gone. Now onto "Cupcake" who, her teen-angst mood swings aside, never gave me the grief Jr. has. She always got A's, to Jr.'s F's and she began working at 14 to obtain money to be a jumping equestrian because mom couldn't afford the hobby of Kings. Well, Cupcake has been hanging around bigots, evangelicals and the Spin Doctor's hateful house and she can't stand me now because I have a girlfriend. Of course, this never bothers her when she needs money, food, gas, or rescue from her abusive boyfriend. This weekend she basically blamed me for everything that's wrong with her and her life. I don't think "self-accountability" means anything to her. I'm wondering how old children have to be before they stopped abusing and hurting their parents.

Anonymous said...

Well, think that every one goes thru some sort of discourse with their parents. Problem is when we were coming up never would we have spoken out loud our feelings on any subject. Could think anything we wanted but verbalize any thing not on a bet. Children today don't think twice.
I have boy, man child who will not talk to me because he is a liar a cheat and a thief, just like his daddy was. And he knows I know, and he can not control his mother tooo bad. And the lovely Bitc from Hell, she finally finds a nice guy to go out with, she's 25 he's 28 she dumps him this last week, because he works too much, he's a lumber jack. And he would like to start thinking about settling down and starting a family. Well she dumps him like a hot potato, and runs back to one of the abusive, drunkin, creeps. Think she's stupid, am going to have to make a fuss with her soon, she does not pay rent, or take care of her dogs etc...She seldom eats with us, because do not serve pizza and wings 5 days a week. But in a pinch, she knows where to go for money.. The only one who gives me no grief these days, is in the ground. Wish life came with directions. Some day am going get the chance to ask why why why... Keep your chin up, eventually she will get it. Some day she may have kids of her own. And paybacks can be a bitch.
Love Ya.

Cali said...

As the mother of a son just a few years older than Velvet I have a question to ask: Why don't you just choose to handle this differently? Make an agreement with Velvet and Cupcake that if she will allow you to accompany her to Planned Parenthood for Depo-Provera injections (that you will hold her hand through) every three months she can stay over? That way you know you aren't going to be a grandmother anytime soon and the fight is over. That's how I handled it when the inevitability of sexuality reared its head with my son. It worked beautifully. I got to keep my status as 'The Cool Mom,' he got what he wanted and I'm still not a grandma. (In fact, of his circle of friends there is only one other who is not yet a parent!) Problem solved, battleground closed.

The alcohol and Vagina Dentata could be much bigger problems.

PENolan said...

I'm happy to say all is well again between me and Velvet. It's almost as if I hit him with the Point-Of-View gun, and he suddenly saw where I was coming from and sincerely apologized for giving me grief.

We both acknowledged that it's going to be hard on both of us when I move back to Texas although it's the best thing for both of us, too. So with the real issue on the table, the rest of the foolishness just becomes foolishness.

I'm sure we'll have a few more dust ups over Cupcake, but the fact is that if the only rule I made was that he could never eat blueberries, he'd walk in here with a blueberry pie, blueberry yoghurt and blueberry blinis. Ergo: It's just God's plan that he push the limits.

Cali, I'm sorry to say that Cupcake cannot tolerate hormonal birth control methods. I have suggested an IUD, but so far her body remains her own mother's concern. Her father's too, since he's told Velvet they can't sleep together there either.
Frankly, I'm more worried about my neighbor who has already cornered me in Whole Foods to say she can hear everything that happens in Velvet's room.

He's rearranging the furniture this weekend. But I'll always be worried about his dang grandma and her drinking.

V.V. - Jumping Equestrian? Whew!
I'm pretty sure we're cousins somehow, though, since you did live in Austin about the same time as I did.

Pat - as it happens I did speak my mind to my parents which is why I got popped in the chops so much ;)

Jaliya said...

I'm so glad that I read all the way through to your comment, where you said that harmony has been at least somewhat re-established :-)

The state of the world ... what the *hell* to do about it but really ... Go local or go loco ;-D

I just made that up ... and it seems to be timely ...

On the global scale, it seems like the forebodings imagined in the last century's speculative fiction (*1984*, *The Handmaid's Tale*, *Brave New World*, etc.) are cementing themselves into current reality --

I could go on all night, but we've had enough negativity for one day, yes? (My man and I sat through *Apocalypse Now: Redux* this eve --> this version is over three hours long ...)

Afghanistan, as you say, has been ruined ... your image of an ashtray is spot-on, especially if the powers that be start hacking away at mountains for the trillion-dollar deposits.

Lithium ... I can't help but think of the drug, rather than the basic mineral ... Lithium and opium ... All those poppies; all that rock. The man behind the curtain ...

It's time to read *The Lorax* again ... Small comfort, but it reminds me of what I value ...

Love up your Velvet as best as he'll let you right now ... Who isn't in some degree of crisis, given the state of the world ... Sorry for the downer tone, but c'est moi, ce soir ... xoxo

Anonymous said...

Penolan, VV & I are amoung 7 kids, parental unit, was always placing us in a car, and going someware, when aruguments broke out and they always did, and someone did speak up, She had this theory, in order to get the right offender, she got everyone. be it with a back hand or the hairbrush, belt or every one out of the car and a willow stick was a weapon of choice. NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMEs I SAID I'LL TELL I'LL TELL. Every one still got it. My children always thought they had it ruff, when phone was taken away, or they were grounded, if they only knew. Glad you were able to talk to him, and have him begin to understand your concerns.
Sometimes distance does make the heart grow founder, or at least he will start to appreciate you more. Truly think that until children have worries of their own they can not begin to understand. A mess, a spouse, children, job they like. etc.

PENolan said...

Pat, I am happy to say that only one of my grandmother's ever chased me with a switch - and that's the grandmother I was not sorry to see die.

Today is even better than yesterday with my kid, and I'm getting ready to watch the president tell us we're all screwed.

I wish he would say "We should have listened to Jimmy Carter!"

PENolan said...

Jaliya - Dr. Seuss remains one of my great influences. I generally think of Horton Hears a Who at times like these.

Go Local or Go Loco
could very well be a bumper sticker :)

intelliwench said...

Luckily I've been spared the sort of parental angst you're going through, because intellikid is a stick in the mud. (yes, I'm sure -- that can be just as annoying as a kid who acts up, believe me!)

Your post made me chuckle, though, because my own mother didn't much mind my sister & I having "sleepovers" with our boyfriends -- but dope smoking was enough to send her into unintelligible hystrionics! In fact after my niece was born my mother threatened to have the baby taken away if she found out the parents were partaking -- kind of ridiculous considering both parents were 24 at the time.

PENolan said...

Our mothers must have gone to the same Mother School because mine frequently threatens to call the law on Vagina Dentata or Buzz Kill for giving Velvet alcohol, but she simply frowns on the activities over here at HQ - but only because we will argue that marijuana should be legalized for recreational use with such animation that she will wish she never brought it up at all.

It makes family holidays lively.

Anonymous said...

I think you have described a "phase" in the development os young men that they MUST go through. It's nature doin it's thing. If it makes ya feel any better, I found out my son's latest thing is to become a "professional gambler"!! I let it roll off of me. What I wanted to share was I have been talking to other Mothers about my dilemma which is that my son won't even talk to me. (various silly reaons in my mind) I hear from Mom's that say..."he'll be bakc when he's about mid 20's"...and so I console my self with that thought. Hope this helps.

Regarding Afghanistan, I totally agree with your Mom. There is no enemy just a fight for resources.
Thanks for the post and know you are not alone ever!

Blog Archive