EDUCATIONAL REFORM  12:33 pm June 12, 2009

American Kids Are Lazy And Stupid

by Sara K. Smith

Lazy, stupid baby.No surprises here, folks: while American adults work obsessively for 51 weeks out of the year and sneer at the French, who take the whole month of August to go to the beach while their elderly citizens quietly expire at home, American YOUTHS are just lazy fartsacks who get three whole months a year to play with their Wiis and masturbate into empty packages of Pop Tarts while their parents are at work.

In other developed nations, both the school day and the school year are long enough for children to actually retain what they learn over a short summer break. But in America, you’re not in school for that long — about 6.5 hours a day — and you have this crazy long summer break to get high and forget everything you “learned.”

This is yet another reason why Americans are fat and dumb and doomed. Question: Why do we not make children go to school for 45 hours a week, 51 weeks a year, so that adults can relax and enjoy their summers off? Because of Mark Twain, who was the first person to make the erroneous suggestion that American children are adventuresome and clever souls who will actually do something useful with their free time.

The underworked American [The Economist]

 

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{ 85 comments }

Humpback June 12, 2009 at 12:37 pm

I simply could not afford the tuition to send my offspring away that long. And I need them to pick the potato crop.

Jerk Cade June 12, 2009 at 12:40 pm

As a boy, Mark Twain could take a short walk and find a pristine river, meadow or patch of woods to screw around in.

Today’s kids can take a short walk over to the next subdivision or down into some algae and trash-strewn drainage system. I’d stay in and play Wii, too.

JMP June 12, 2009 at 12:41 pm

The teens also like to spend their summers off in roving packs in cities’ downtowns, getting in everybody’s way and generally being rude and annoying. It would be nice if certain areas of town, along with trains, planes and restaurants, could establish no kids allowed rules.

Professor Proffy McProfalton, Prof. June 12, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Actually, it was Mark Twain who first invented masturbating into empty packages of Pop Tarts. True fact.

19kevin8 June 12, 2009 at 12:46 pm

I say we ixnay school completely, and use the kiddies like sled dogs, for when the oil runs out. Mush, babies, mush!

the problem child June 12, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Canuckispawn also have long summers off to masterbate and smoke dope, yet end up higher in the OECD education rankings. I’d blame something else. Go on, pick something else, you crazy British economists.

queeraselvis v 2.0 June 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Jeez, you’d think from the article comments that the Freepers had all of a sudden started reading The Economist. Sack up, you nancys, and quit defending your educational misfits.

SmutBoffin June 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Empty Pop Tarts and Doritos wrappers also make excellent improvised condoms, with a few rubber bands.

taylormattd June 12, 2009 at 12:49 pm

“masturbate into empty packages of Pop Tarts”

Why didn’t I think of that?

Mild Midwesterner June 12, 2009 at 12:49 pm

[re=337640]JMP[/re]: No one will call you on it if every now and then you make an example of an exceptionally obnoxious kid. Just give him a little wack on the side of the head and shout, “Straighten up!” It worked when my grandpa did it.

Mr Blifil June 12, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Huck Finn would now simply be dismissed as just another annoying twink with attention/concentration issues. Deservedly so. And his relationship with that black dude was IMPROPER.

dennymcden June 12, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Between the lazy fartsack (larval) stage, and the sneering workaholic (adult) phase, there’s also that stoner, introspective, layabout stage, where the whole of America’s college population pupates.

SayItWithWookies June 12, 2009 at 12:54 pm

This is just a setup for another government power grab — if children are in school 60 hours a week, that’s just more time for the liberal government bureaucrats to tell them that they were descended from monkeys! Stay ignorant, kids — just like the Bible recommends.

Crab1 June 12, 2009 at 12:57 pm

I thought all American kids were sent to fat camp or band camp in the summer, depending on their girth.

rmontcal June 12, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Sara, that was surprisingly imaginative and accurate description of what adolescent boys do. You must’ve asked Riley for help with that part.

nappyduggs June 12, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Being of the vagina-ed set, the Pop Tart reference made me tingle for the old sofa in the utility room next to the washer/dryer. God fuggin bless summer vacation.

queeraselvis v 2.0 June 12, 2009 at 1:00 pm

[re=337651]dennymcden[/re]: So much win. But most important to remember is that the pupae are undergrads. Sometimes a mutation occurs wherein the pupae morph into bitter, overachieving, socially inept, fashion-challenged, backbiting, and painfully insecure pseudo-intellectuals. This stage is called graduate school.

CivicHoliday June 12, 2009 at 1:00 pm

don’t fret, Obama will soon put them all in summer indoctrination work camps, and they shall disavow their slovenly ways. and their first task shall be to kidnap and consume Michele Bachmann, the only soul brave enough to stand up to them. (though this task will be difficult, as she is already quite well prepared for their onslaught, and has rented Cheney’s internally-locking isolation chamber, and installed it in her congressional office, next to the espresso machine)

paintitblack June 12, 2009 at 1:01 pm

“They still find it hard to believe that all those Chinese students, beavering away at their books, will steal their children’s jobs.” True: US youth are engaging in buttsecks, rather than beavering-type sexy-time. But damn Chinese are still stealing our jobs! Wadup?

ManchuCandidate June 12, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Look upon the brighter side of things. If US America teens are busy inside masturbating, it means less times old people shake their fists and scream “Get off my lawn!”

Cape Clod June 12, 2009 at 1:03 pm

But think of the life experiences they gain from hanging out and smoking dope in the Cumberland Farms parking lot.

Blender June 12, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Shit. My nine year-old was just asking the other day if I could pick up some pop tarts at the store next time I went shopping.

I knew kids these days were “growing up” earlier, but he’s NINE FUCKING YEARS OLD, fer chrissakes. And I also found out he doesn’t like to wear underwear anymore, by finding pairs that he was supposed to be wearing stuffed underneath the couch cushions.

Still sending the bugger to summer camp, though – let them figure it out.

rambone June 12, 2009 at 1:06 pm

[re=337654]Crab1[/re]: Growing up in Philly, I spent most of my summers running through illegally opened fire hydrants and learning how to mug old people for their hoagies and gubment cheese.

monkeyrotica June 12, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Well, that certainly makes more sense than masturbating into that empty blond next door.

Extemporanus June 12, 2009 at 1:07 pm

I don’t have an empty box of Pop Tarts. Will a half-full can of Sour Cream & Onion flavored Pringles suffice?

dijetlo June 12, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Our children are ‘tards…so what? They are heavily armed tards and in the history of firearms, has anyone ever outsmarted a bullet? Some nations spend countless hours dreaming of Utopian solutions to our problems, others play Halo. Who do you think is going to rule the post Apocalyptic world?

Joshua Norton June 12, 2009 at 1:10 pm

masturbate into empty packages of Pop Tarts

Do they have to be completely empty?

Hooray For Anything June 12, 2009 at 1:10 pm

I’m all for keeping the kiddies in school during the summer as it’ll free up all those minimum wage jobs at the mall for us lazy and stupid unemployed people.

fuckinredneck June 12, 2009 at 1:11 pm

USA children should be spending their summers taking errant negroes the wrong way down the Mississippi.

Gorillionaire June 12, 2009 at 1:12 pm

When I was a kid, I set up a lucrative yard mowing and trimming network that went into hyperdrive each summer. I poured all of this money into records, pizza and pawn shop guitars, but hey, I was a doofus kid.
These days I can’t find a kid pick his cigarette butts off of the sidewalk, much less mow the grass. Neighbors with teenage kids either laugh hysterically or look at me in stunned silence when I ask if the kid would want to cut some grass for a few bucks. Now you have to hire grown men who drive new $45,000 pickups to come out and it costs hundreds of ameros.

mrsixinch June 12, 2009 at 1:13 pm

[re=337656]nappyduggs[/re]: Ohmigod, no wonder my teenaged daughter has volunteered to do her own laundry!

tootsieroll June 12, 2009 at 1:16 pm

[re=337664]Blender[/re]: OMG my nine year-old has been doing this for years! I’d find it shoved under the bed, behind dressers.

The first time an older kid “pants” him, he’ll wisen up.

american mutt June 12, 2009 at 1:17 pm

DING DING DING

I just found my new party affiliation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Whig_Party

19kevin8 June 12, 2009 at 1:17 pm

[re=337678]Gorillionaire[/re]: And that is exactly why I if ever have a boy-mistake, I’m smacking the crap out of him like my dad and grandpa did to me. You don’t want to mow the lawn? Good luck finding dinner. Mush!

Humpback June 12, 2009 at 1:18 pm

This is only somewhat off-topic, but who is the over-worked summer student (or is it black-box computer mojo) that picks the “Read More” list from the wonkette archives? I mean, they’re hilarious, but I cannot discern any connection to the main post.

Crab1 June 12, 2009 at 1:18 pm

[re=337665]rambone[/re]: In New Orleans, we just drank tall boys out of paper sacks on Algiers Point or Decatur St.

Dave J. June 12, 2009 at 1:19 pm

My wife teaches special ed, and finds that her kids not only forget everything they’ve learned over the summer, but occasionally come to school WORSE than they were at the start of the previous year because they’ve been exposed to idiot losers all summer long, i.e., their parents.

Crab1 June 12, 2009 at 1:20 pm

[re=337678]Gorillionaire[/re]: Or you could mow it yourself, you fat lazy plutocrat.

northernbassist June 12, 2009 at 1:20 pm

[re=337645]SmutBoffin[/re]: “…Doritos wrappers also make excellent improvised condoms…” Do NOT try this with the habenero flavored ones. Really.

don’t ask me how i know this…sniff….

4tehlulz June 12, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Those packages are supposed to be empty?

Servo June 12, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Great. Three more months of driving behind a smog-belching school bus while it does door-to-door service.

Monsieur Grumpe June 12, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Is this how Pop Tarts get frosted?

S.Luggo June 12, 2009 at 1:26 pm

As a Southern lad, Twain could also amuse himself by selling off the family’s “help” at auction.

BTW: Does Sara keep a packet of Pop Tarts in her purse in case a male companion feels frisky? Not naming any names, tho.

Blender June 12, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Wait a minute – did SKS figure out this pop tart thing on her own, or did she take a peek in Riley’s cubicle?

Ew.

BlueStateLibtard June 12, 2009 at 1:31 pm

I’m supposed to write something snarky here, but I can’t, because it’s all so true.

freakishlystrong June 12, 2009 at 1:32 pm

That baby looks like a conservative.

Servo June 12, 2009 at 1:38 pm

[re=337707]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]:
Toaster Strudels are single source. Pop-Tarts are bukkake.

SmutBoffin June 12, 2009 at 1:42 pm

[re=337708]S.Luggo[/re]: As a bonus, you have a post-coital snack!

Naked Bunny with a Whip June 12, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Shorter The Economist: “We must crush our children’s spirits more efficiently.” Amen.

OzoneTom June 12, 2009 at 1:43 pm

[re=337715]freakishlystrong[/re]: It IS kinda orange…

19kevin8 June 12, 2009 at 1:45 pm

[re=337724]Servo[/re]: Epic WIN.

Manos: Hands of Fate June 12, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Kids get summers off so they can go pick crops. If it worked in 1922, it’s time to make it work for us again. Come June, all those kids yelling and getting in my way on the Metro need to shipped off to California to pick strawberries.

It will also deal with the illegal immigrant situation.

SuperStarr June 12, 2009 at 1:54 pm

The gubbernator figured out a way to solve CA’s budget “crisis” and low school ratings: make the school year SHORTER. No shit. (Caution: this is “aged” news): http://www.pe.com/localnews/politics/stories/PE_News_Local_S_stabud15.3ad2194.html

drrty martini June 12, 2009 at 2:05 pm

[re=337647]taylormattd[/re]: My thought exactly. I’m going to use that term as often as possible today.

Rush June 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm

There goes my appetite for frosting on my pop-tarts.

horned_viper June 12, 2009 at 2:10 pm

I had my K-12 schooling evenly split between Asia and the US due to my parents’ work. I didn’t go to a namby-pamby American (country club) School either when I went to Asia. I was stuck right into the local public school system.

When I was in Asia I had to arrive at school at 7:30am. School ends at 5:00pm.
Did I mention we also had saturday morning sessions? At least those were half days.
The curriculum was very heavy on math and science. We had 2 hours of math every day piled on top of physics/chemistry/biology/English/Chinese/history/geography/civics/misc subjects.

> 95% of my schoolmates went immediately to cram school after 5:00pm for another 3-4 hours to “boost” their learning. The summer was nominally 2 months long, but there was a mandatory “summer school” everyone had to attend, so effectively there was no summer.

It was hell on earth but I was more than adequately prepared for college when I arrived back in the US. And the education was completely free. Down to the books and regulation uniforms and backpacks.

The King of Spoons June 12, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Man, I want to write for the Economist.

-Did you know that Americans like to make fun of the French?
-That the French have vacations?
-That kids are fat and lazy?

SO INFLUENTIAL.

dr.giraud June 12, 2009 at 2:11 pm

If kids had to stay in school a reasonable number of hours per day (say 11 or 12), they my boss’ rotten children wouldn’t be running around the office every fucking afternoon, xeroxing dollars to try to force in the vending machines and fucking up the water cooler.

They hell with school: Reopen the coal mines.

Joshua Norton June 12, 2009 at 2:28 pm

[re=337689]american mutt[/re]: I dunno. Whig party sounds like something you’d have after the last performance of “Cage au Folles”.

rocktonsammy June 12, 2009 at 2:29 pm

As a Phy-Ed teacher, I blame socialism for our fat, lazy kids.

Their parents are busy watching that Chinaman with his hot blond wife and their 8 kids.

We have no future.

Gorillionaire June 12, 2009 at 2:34 pm

[re=337696]Crab1[/re]: I am not fat but I am disabled. Thank you for the kind advice though.

Cicada June 12, 2009 at 2:39 pm

I remember the good ol’ days, when my generation were the fat and lazy youths who were going to ruin the country. Oh to be young again, with the future spread out before you like so many cheetos frosted with buttercream.

PerhapsSo June 12, 2009 at 2:48 pm

[re=337665]rambone[/re]: They still mug people. They just do it at the Gallery.

19kevin8 June 12, 2009 at 2:48 pm

[re=337800]dr.giraud[/re]: That’s the spirit! Mush we can believe in!

queeraselvis v 2.0 June 12, 2009 at 2:52 pm

[re=337692]Crab1[/re]: And just to clarify: most of the tall boys on Decatur were Pi Kappa Alphas on Spring Break.

Lazy Media June 12, 2009 at 2:52 pm

World model: Work like a dog all the way through school, then goof off in college. Or drop out after 10th grade and get a skilled-labor job through an apprenticeship.

U.S. model: Fart around for 12 years, then cram for the SATs and work like a maniac in college, to compete with all the furrin kids who come here for a real education. Or graduate high school and get a McJob and a meth problem.

Who’s Number One at the end of that? Depends on whether you want a cubicle job or an outdoor job. All I know is that the U.S. model won WWII AND the Cold War. We’ve been some no-studying, summer-taking-off lazy fucks for a LONG time.

19kevin8 June 12, 2009 at 2:52 pm

[re=337796]horned_viper[/re]: Well, look at you with all you hardcore fancy learnin’!
I bet ya can’t roll a joint with one hand while driving your 1980 Dodge Dart 90MPH up I-95 with a hot little blonde’s face buried in your lap!

Lazy Media June 12, 2009 at 2:53 pm

[re=337678]Gorillionaire[/re]: You need black and Mexican kids in your neighborhood. I constantly have to fend the little fuckers off, wanting to “clean up” my yard for me. It’s xeriscaping, goddammit, it’s supposed to look like that.

zip09 June 12, 2009 at 3:07 pm

heard about Take a Breath DC? Seems like a good program if not for kids then for young adults who need to de-stress and rethink what they are doing with their lives. i think im sending my nephew.
http://takeabreathdc.org/

Servo June 12, 2009 at 3:23 pm

[re=337898]Lazy Media[/re]:
We’ve been resting on our laurels since WWII, pushed into insane consumerism by now-bankrupt corporate giants, and convinced each consecutive generation that they are more precious than anything on Earth and can have anything they want, whenever they want.
We’re essentially following the same path to contraction as every great civilization before us. Denial only makes it more painful.

problemwithcaring June 12, 2009 at 3:33 pm

[re=337678]Gorillionaire[/re]: I went to a middle-school play last night where kids were supposed to mime the “farming” and “field work” associated with “ancient” Californians. I swear, not a single one of them could. One girl’s arms were way out in front of her, hand and fingers out-stretched, with a look of utter confusion on her face. WTF? I found it all painfully hilarious.

DangerousLiberal June 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm

[re=337949]Servo[/re]: FTW. Christ, hasn’t WW II been over for like, 100 years? Between then and now we’ve had other outstanding accomplishments, like the Chevy Vega, the moon landings, two blown up space shuttles (and now an exciting new program I like to call Apollo 2–the Vengeance), the Reagan Regime, and twitter. And my kids hear from tee vee and their friends that toys grow on Chinese trees and are sent here as goodwill gestures by cute little asian kids–the ones who are in the factory 12 hrs a day and in school the other 12. This makes no impression on the little shits–they whine like they’ve been eviscerated if I ask them to pick up a sock or a Lego. Grrr.

Curved June 12, 2009 at 4:48 pm

I call all of my Pop Tart wrappers “Sara” just because.

iolanthe June 12, 2009 at 4:59 pm

[re=337678]Gorillionaire[/re]: You’re experienced, then. Mow it yourself. The exercise and fresh air are good for your aging body.

Besides, it scandalizes the neighbors. I do all my own yardwork, including the heavy lifting, and I’m about the same size, age, and gender as Granny Clampett. The neighbors, none of whom spoke to us for the first 14 years we lived here, are now all up in my face with a million landscaping questions, but mostly they simply marvel at the sight of an Elderly White Woman trimming her own hedges and digging her own ditches.

The brown and black neighbors seem particularly horrified. Not sure I understand it, but it amuses me.

Godot June 12, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Hmmm…. I DO have a package of Pop Tarts right here….

Come here a minute June 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm

[re=337651]dennymcden[/re]: One morning, as dennymcden was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in his bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous fartsack.

engulfedinflames June 12, 2009 at 7:04 pm

[re=338111]iolanthe[/re]: bless your heart. i’m on my way to becoming the old fart who putters around his yard, and couldn’t be happier.

AxmxZ June 12, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Huck Finn was not advcenturesome and clever. Like all Finns, he was the son of a raging alcoholic, superstitious, depressive, taciturn, stubborn and other Finnish stereotypes as well.

iolanthe June 12, 2009 at 10:26 pm

[re=338274]engulfedinflames[/re]: Isn’t “bless your heart” Southern for “fuck you”? No matter. Puttering good.

iolanthe June 12, 2009 at 10:29 pm

[re=337841]Gorillionaire[/re]: Missed the “disabled” disclaimer. My bad.

Trace June 13, 2009 at 9:44 am

You know, there’s actually a Wii game where you use the remote to masturbate into a simulated pop-tart bag. This kind of multi-tasking frees up more time for masturbating and playing the Wii.

Think about it, I guess.

hobospacejunkie June 13, 2009 at 5:39 pm

I was a competitive swimmer for 17 years. My summers were spent training 2 hours in the morning & 2 hours in the afternoon plus an hour of weights, all 5 days a week, plus another 2 1/2 hours swimming Saturday morning. I was fairly successful yet my ingrate parents still wanted me to get a jerb. So I intentionally failed the lifeguarding class. Whoops! No jerb for me. Swimming paid for most of my college, too, so it was all worth it. I’m 43 and haven’t spoken to my parents in 2 1/2 years. Being considered a fuckup compared to my unachieving brother & sister kind of grates after a while. I did everything they expected of me, just did it my way, so my lifelong punishment is to be the blacksheep of the family.

hobospacejunkie June 13, 2009 at 10:21 pm

I forgot to add “poor poor pitiful me.”

Ha ha (to quote DustBowlBlues elsewhere) you losers. I haven’t had a jerb in over 9 years. I am a spoiled househusband. All I do is bake bread, wash clothes, run a few errands & whatever the fuck else I want. So things turned out great for me.

PS – if you wanna life like mine hang out at whatever bars your local law students drink at. Just don’t hit on the ones who’re almost failing out of school & you’re all set.

STarZY (The Rather Annoying Opposer) June 27, 2010 at 11:09 am

I completely disagree with this article! And I absolutely HATE it when extremists just think that their opinion is the crown jewel of everything. First of all, it’s not a great way to help inspire our country to do help our children; it only makes us feel like slabs trying to do the best we can to help our children succeed. There are enough people _’ing this country up. Stop opinions on the facts and opinions which only make things MORE irritating!

STarZY (The Rather Annoying Opposer) June 27, 2010 at 11:28 am

And what’s even worse about this article is that you’re trying to state that American children should only get a 1-week break? How stupid! Why are adults the kings and queens that rule over everything? Have you ever heard the saying, “Do something good for the next generation?” Obviously not, because you clearly don’t make any sense logically! Even though I agree with the fact that children should be more responsible, they still should get a break to be with friends. As parents, we are trying to keep our children safe and that is a very wonderful thing parents can do. Parents have to be responsible enough to take care of children and there’s almost no break time to that. I mean, if you don’t have any children, huzzah, get your breaks in. But if you’re a parent you have to committed to be a caring person and not be some lazy adult who cares so little about their “offspring”.

And, what makes you think that children lose so much knowledge from school over the summer? Sure, we do, but children usually retain these abilities once they return from a long, fun summer vacation. Americans have something called special ed- you know, where children who haven’t been mentored enough or can’t pick up the skills taught in a regular class session- or someone with a learning disability? There’s no such thing as losing knowledge. It’s always there in your brain, whether you remember it or not. I’m talking about – you know – when someone mentions something to someone else and then it just kind of clicks back into place? That’s what I’m talking about.

Think about what you’re going to write before you write it. There’s an explanation for everything logical.

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