Thursday, August 18, 2011

Don't cry, Ms. Adrienne Ives: you did the right thing

You're a good mother. You truly love your daughter, because you know she needs to face justice. But don't cry for her. Cry for the man who was murdered, the people hurt in the riots, and those who lost property.

By God, if I had done anything remotely like that little bitch, I'd have begged the police to lock me away forever before my father could get his hands on me. Then again, there was never any danger of that, because the old man taught me better. He wasn't perfect, because he believed in a government safety net, but ultimately he believed that damaging other people's property was wrong, and an able-bodied person should work for his bread.

I was a teenager when he told me about his teenage brush with the law. He and his friends wanted to prove they were big men, so they broke into a store one night to steal cigarettes. They were caught and hauled in front of the judge. What punishment they received, my father never said. His style of parenthood was that we never dared to ask about his life, instead accepting that he'd tell us things whenever he felt like it. But he did say that the judge asked him what kind of grades he was getting in school. "A's and B's." The judge asked, "Why not all A's?" That might have been just the thing to spur my father to do well. He graduated third in his high school class. It was the height of the Depression, and there was no money to go to college, but at least the diploma and good grades got him a job in a mail room.

For growing up poor and during the Depression, raised by an abandoned mother and her blind sister, he never once resorted to the "hooliganism" (what an understatement!) in the UK. Look at what Chelsea Ives "allegedly" got herself into, despite her advantages of loving parents and promising future publicity.


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