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Californians to have more time for surfing, smoking pot

April 28, 2010

At least that’s what I assume California parents will be doing with the time they might otherwise have spent parenting (I lived in California for two-and-a-half years, so I’m allowed to make broad generalizations about them), since the state seems to be intent on making a lot of their decisions for them. From the LA Times:

Happy Meal toys and other promotions that come with high-calorie children’s meals will soon be banned in parts of Santa Clara County unless the restaurants meet nutritional guidelines approved Tuesday by the county Board of Supervisors.

“This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children’s’ love of toys” to sell high-calorie, unhealthful food, said Supervisor Ken Yeager, who sponsored the measure. “This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes.”

Before the Santa Clara folks put this in place, parents in that God-forsaken place who didn’t want to see their kids become  morbidly obese were forced to either just not go to McDonalds or  *hyperventilates, briefly loses consciousness* say “no” when their kids wanted the toys. Neither of those would ever work because obviously… actually, those would both work.

There’s also, this (LA Times again; busy, those guys):

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether California and six other states can forbid the sale to minors of violent video games which show images of humans being maimed, killed or sexually assaulted.

Which was necessary because parents can’t just pay attention to what their kids are doing with their time and regulate the video games they play. Oh, right, they can, actually.

To muddy the water, we also have this (although it’s from Fox, so let’s just assume it’s all somehow part of a larger plot to convince the world Nancy Pelosi tortures and eats prep school students who’ve wandered too far from the polo field):

New research suggests violent video games like “Call of Duty” and “Resident Evil” can make you smarter, The Sun reported Thursday.

The study says shoot-to-kill video games improve quick-thinking and make players more able to cope with the demands of modern life. [Such as the demand to occasionally shoot to kill–Ed.]

I’ve always believed that if you travel far enough to the political left you wind up running into the people who’ve gone just as far to the political right (the meeting place might be known as libertarianism). And California is a great example of this phenomenon. You’ve got the super crunchy freedom-first liberals (they almost all live in the Bay area or LA; the rest of the state seems to be so politically and socially conservative it might as well be landlocked between Kansas and Oklahoma) who so want you to be laid back and permissive that they’ll regulate your ass right into it if they have to; then you’ve got the wealthy freedom-first conservatives who believe in responsibility and bootstraps and just want the government to get the hell out of the way so everyone can do whatever they want.

If possible, the jumble of California’s political landscape is even more dysfunctional and terrifying than its fiscal crisis, it’s crumbling infrastructure, or its embarrassing public school system. I have to admit, my short patience with chaos makes me think maybe we should just burn the whole place down and start over. Not that God doesn’t have that idea every year.

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