My Saturday morning routine was as follows. . . get up at 6am to watch Looney Tunes, eat cold cereal for breakfast and be outside playing all day until the street lights come on. If I was in the house during the day it was because I was grounded or it was raining. Back then we did have Atari, Intellivision and the Apple computer to play games on but nothing took the place of getting some exercise. If I wanted to play video games me and my boy Nate would walk downtown to the Oak Tree or ride the bus to Berkeley to play at the Silverball arcade. Mostly we were playing basketball and strike-out at Lafayette elementary school and football in the street. I had to stay within shouting distance of the house and fortunately my mother’s voice carried. I look at these kids now and wonder what the f*ck happened. . . kids are getting fatter at a younger age and developing diabetes right along with it. Anyone that reads my Facebook posts knows that I have no problems railing on fat people. I think they give me some of my best joke material. When the movie Precious came out my brain went into overdrive thinking up and telling new jokes. I have no sympathy for adults that are overweight simply because they don’t take care of themselves. What makes me upset are they ones raising fat kids in their image. I can half way understand an adult getting caught up in the day to day rigors of life and neglecting their health, the same cannot be said of their children. The health of our kids are suffering as technology is getting more sophisticated. 5 factors I believe are contributing to this. . . lazy parenting, poor diets, the internet, affordable cell phone plans and sophisticated video game systems.
In my generation if you were in your room and it was too quiet your parents were checking up on you because they just knew that you were into some bullshit. Things have changed because now parents are too lazy to interact with their kids and instead are letting the internet, cell phones and the Sony Playstation take over their lives. My generation is comfortable with these things because we were taught to use the Commodore 64 and Apple computers in elementary school. We saw how video game technology advanced from Pong to Mike Tyson Punch Out and then the Madden Football franchise. We are comfortable with our kids having their own cell phones, Playstations and laptops because we also use them. Parents feel guilty depriving their children of their toys because they also have them. The joke use to be that you bought your 5 year old a big screen television that you secretly coveted but now they are buying them 2 for 1 Blackberry’s and WII consoles. When I was a teen we invited our friends over to play Tecmo Bowl but now you can run your Playstation through the internet and play somebody online 24 hours a day. You don’t even need to leave the house now to interact with your friends if you can play online from your bedroom. Throw a kid a football and it’ll hit him in the mouth but don’t challenge him to Madden 2011 he’ll kick the shit outta you because he’s mastered the game and has all the cheat codes!
When I was growing up we had one telephone and it was located in the dining room. The cord wasn’t long enough to drag to my room so I was forced to have my teenage phone conversations around my family. Fast forward 20 years. . . Verizon and AT&T offer their Friends and Family plans so everyone in the household can have their own cell phone with unlimited data plans. It is understandable that a parent would buy their kid a phone so that they can reach them after school or work. Unfortunately technology is being abused because kids are spending all hours of the day in their room talking and texting on the phone. Parents are enabling this behavior because when they want to communicate with their children they are calling them or texting them instead of getting up to find out what they are doing. How lazy does one have to be that they don’t walk from the kitchen to their kids room to check up on them? A friend of mine recently told me that he canceled his daughters Facebook account because he didn’t like the photos that she had uploaded. He further punished her by taking away her cell phone. With her privileges gone she was like a totally different girl. She was actually interacting with the family instead of being holed up in her room.
I’ve noticed that Oakland Public high schools have off campus for lunch. Have you ever seen some of the business’s that cater to these students? Burger King, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Subway’s are some of the fast food restaurants that I see frequently around our schools. Soda which is linked to childhood obesity has been sold on campuses for decades. This generation’s children are being allowed to make their own food choices and it’s being dominated by fast food. Left to their own devices kids are ignoring the four basic food groups and are instead opting for processed food. Have you seen the size of the chicken wings at KFC? I don’t know what they are putting in that chicken but I can’t buy those size wings at Lucky’s. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom took a lot of flak for trying to curb obesity by banning soda vending machines on city property. “There’s a direct link between what people eat and drink and the obesity and health care crises in this country,” the Mayor’s spokesman Tony Winnicker told the Chronicle. First Lady Michelle Obama is also trying to tackle this crisis with her Anti-Obesity Action Plan. This is her blueprint for ending the obesity problem within a generation that calls for more infant breastfeeding, building more sidewalks, curbing time with digital media and getting deep fryers out of schools.
Comedian Bill Burr made a joke recently that parents were making their kids fat on purpose so that they would be unfuckable to sexual predators. I mean, who wants to screw a 200lb 8 year old with diabetes that had a stroke at 5 while riding his Big Wheel? You could get a hernia picking up your 4 year old. Kids don’t have any money to buy those cupcakes so whose feeding them. . . their parents! Kids aren’t getting enough exercise to counteract the inactivity that goes along with TV, video games and shitty food they are eating. When I volunteered to baby sit my niece I made it a point to eat baby carrots, unsalted sunflower seeds and fruit in front of her because I knew she would want some. I knew that whatever I ate she would eat and I didn’t want her turning her nose up at healthy food. 25% of school aged children are now obese which can lead to low self esteem and health problems. Kids love to make fun of other kids and the fat ones are the easy marks. Fat kids grow up to be obese adults who will in turn have other fat kids. Parents do your job by making sure your kids have a balance between eating properly and getting exercise. Your not doing anyone any favors by bringing home a bag of McDonald’s every night to your kid who’s locked up in his room surfing the net drinking Dr. Pepper.