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Winter '06 Articles:
IMPACT's Survival & You
Corrupting the Cross
Dog & Cat Fur From China?!
The Muddlemarch: 1
The Muddlemarch: 2
The World's #1 Terrorist
Cut Your Kids No Slack
(music reviews)

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Don't Cut Your Kids Any Slack,
Just Cut Them

by Adam Finley
art/Marty Kelley

Every parent has their own way of dealing with a disobedient child. Some parents spank there kids, while other parents have their children spank them. The latter punishment is used less frequently, but those who choose to utilize it know that being forced to touch your father or mother's ass can be an extremely effective punishment. It's weird, creepy, and I think if Charles Manson had been forced to smack his father's hindquarters on a daily basis he might not have written such horrible music.

It's been said that corporal punishment is not a deterrent, and that is true, though not for the reason some may think. Many believe that physically reprimanding a child only breeds contempt and, over time, will turn that child into a walking time bomb, or a running time bomb, depending on how many seconds are left on the homemade explosives he's attached to his chest and the distance from the playground to the front door of the school.

Since some kids who are raised with physical punishment grow up to be sociopathic, the pendulum often swings the other way and parents do away with corporal punishment all together. These parents miss the point entirely. The solution is not to cease physical retribution, but to kick it up a few notches. Recently the mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman, suggested that kids who are caught spray painting civic property should have their fingers cut off. This is exactly the kind of thoughtful, no nonsense approach we need when dealing with today's youth. If we don't start chopping off their body parts now, who knows what kind of mischief they'll get into?

Consider this scenario: a young boy is caught reading his father's collection of vintage Hustler magazines. First of all, it may be punishment enough that the child's introduction to the female form was photo after photo of moist, gaping vaginas that don't look so much like sexual organs as they do wads of bacon left overnight in a sauna, but we'll ignore that for now. The child will need to be punished, but how? Popular opinion would have it that the child should be grounded, put in "time out" or any number of touchy-feely approaches. This may deter the child for a day or two, but sooner or later he's going to return to his wayward perversion. The only permanent solution is to gouge your child's eyes out.

The human body consists of many parts, and each part can be connected to an act of disobedience or anti-social behavior. In many parts of the world thieves are punished by having their hands chopped off, at least according to this cartoon I saw one time. Such an approach doesn't fit with our notion of "civility," but which is worse, a child with all of his limbs intact who continues to wreak havoc on society, or an armless and legless human torso that can barely roll over on its back, twitching and convulsing like some kind of sad, naked turtle? A child with no arms and legs is less likely to miss curfew because he'll probably never go anywhere in the first place. If the child does try to leave the house, his plans can be thwarted by simply placing a large pile of blankets in the doorway, which are really difficult to roll over.

Many experts will tell you that punishment doesn't work unless you make good on your threat. A parent who begins to slice off a child's ear because he refuses to turn down the stereo cannot suddenly be stricken by pangs of guilt and rush their child to the emergency room to have a bloody, dangling ear sewn back in place. If you don't have the physical and mental wherewithal to mutilate your child, then perhaps you should stop and ask yourself why you became a parent in the first place. While a child may not realize it right away, over time he'll learn that these supposed acts of hate are actually acts of love. Advocates of corporal punishment have always maintained that a few moments of physical pain more than makes up for a lifetime of questionable behavior. Or in this case, a few weeks worth of pain, months of recovery and physical therapy, and a few years to assimilate themselves back into normal society and the occasional psychoanalysis.

That's a lot to go through, but you can only tell your child to replace the lid on the mayonnaise jar so many times before you have to take matters into your own hands. In time, these bloody, dismembered children will become contributing members of society, though not by doing anything that requires walking or using their hands. I'm thinking maybe school guidance counselor.

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Other articles by Adam Finley: