Take some time to watch this video, which currently has one million hits on YouTube. We’ll talk after.
You’re back? Great. So then, WHAT THE FUCK?? WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?
I saw this video a few days ago and had no intention of posting it or commenting on it or ever having anything to do with it, but I found that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. My initial reaction was that it was one of the most revolting things I’d ever seen, but I recognize that most of this revulsion arises from my own upbringing, where picking up or even touching a dead animal was probably the most transgressive thing a kid could do (Why? I don’t know, because they have “germs”.) So, okay, I understand that the kid is just curious and that this natural curiosity about the world is to be celebrated or whatever, or at least not quashed in a mountain of misplaced shame.
It took me a while to finally figure out what it was — beyond knee-jerk judgment — that was bothering me, which is not the child’s actions but the father’s reaction. Leaving aside the whole thorny issue of why a parent would ever post this video in the first place (I doubt she’s going to want to relive this moment when she’s 12 or 16 or 21), the father never once suggests that wild animals, whether dead or alive, should never be considered playthings, let alone taking the opportunity to teach the kid something about death or teaching her that this squirrel was once a living thing and therefore is due some basic respect. He never even mentions burying the poor thing except as an afterthought. His entire reaction has this sort of everything-my-angel-does-is-good-and-I-refuse-to-damage-her-delicate-psyche-with-negativity,-man sheen to it, which is one of the creepier recent developments in parenting.
Is it me?