Entitlement Society

My mom called me a misanthrope today. She calls me that a lot.

I have to admit that there are times I do feel like humanity has become this despicable caricature of itself – entitled, perpetually offended, authoritarian, too willing to use force (whether government or personal) against others in order to get what it feels it deserves, and numbed down dumb.

We’ve become an entitlement society. I’m not just talking about those who feel they’re entitled to goods and services at others’ expense merely by virtue of existing. I’m not just talking about those who despise the success and achievement of others and feel themselves deserving of a piece of that pie they haven’t earned. All of these characters are symptoms of a larger problem.

I saw a post on social media this morning describing some situations emblematic of the issue.

I walked up to an empty Redbox… one that held my reserved disks. There was a child and her mother scrolling through the second box. The girl turned and looked at me and jumped in front of the vacant box as I stood in front of it. I politely told her I was there to pick up my reservations. The mother turned to me and told me her daughter was searching for a movie and she had a right to be there.

[…]

Today I was leaving a store that verifies your receipt as you exit. There was quite a line. As I neared the door, an young boy raced past me pushing a cart and inserted himself and the cart before me. His dad caught up to him and together they exited the store. You would think the dad might apologize or mention to his son that I was in line first but he did nothing.

I’ve seen this myself. As you know, it’s tourist season in DC, and you will always find some rude jackasses elbowing their way through crowds, pushing their way to what they perceive to be the most comfortable or advantageous position on the metro, and flipping off drivers – yes flying the international symbol of love and affection – at a driver who deigned to honk at them, because they were crossing the intersection when the light has already turned red, and they’re obviously entitled to cross where and when they want and their mission to get wherever it is they’re going at the time is more important than anyone else’s.

I’ve seen it in my own niece, whom I adopted when she was 11, and who felt herself entitled to special treatment, because she had a rough childhood before she came to live with us, even as she fed her little sister drugs – Methodone, Percocet, and other poison – because she was entitled to company in her revolting misery.

When Danny was in middle school, he got into a tussle with another kid. Admittedly Danny said something incredibly rude to him during an argument, but the kid, who outweighed him by probably a good 50 pounds, felt Danny’s rudeness entitled him to try and beat the crap out of my son. Luckily, the ginger kid knew how to defend himself even then, but I received a phone call from the school’s administration telling me that my son was going to be disciplined for defending himself against the bigger kid. They felt the physical attack on my then-shrimpy child was somehow mitigated, because the larger kid was offended by what my son said during an argument.

My message to the school administrators was twofold:

1 – No insult and no offense entitles any child to physically attack another child.

2 – My son will continue to defend himself against larger bullies, and next time that child or any other lays a hand on him, I will tell him to ensure they go down and stay down.

But the fact that this kid felt it was OK to attack a smaller kid, because he was offended by something he said is once again an indication of a bigger problem.

We have a society that teaches kids from a young age that their precious feelings are somehow more important and valid than others’ rights.

We have a society that teaches kids they’re entitled to the best in life – even if it’s at others’ expense, and without having to put in effort to get it.

We have a society that’s so scared to hurt Precious Punkins’ feelings, and so afraid to allow them to fail, that they prohibit teachers from using red pens when correcting homework for fear that it might scar the FEELZ, and hand out participation trophies as prizes for not achieving!

Results are not important. Effort is only marginally required, if at all.

And the result is Special Snowflakes who feel they are entitled to “safe spaces” at colleges and universities to keep them away from anything that challenges their worldview.

The result is people who expect others to bend to their every desire – whether it’s to never critique their weird fetishes, which they invariably publicize loudly for the world to gawp at (and no, I will not consider your coffeemaker your wife, no matter how much you screech that it’s entitled to recognition, nor will I provide dependent benefits for your shrubbery – no matter how hard you claim you identify as a plant and the potted plant is your spouse).

Crying-Baby-PicturesThe result is Special Snowflakes who demand excused absences from school and extra time to take exams and turn in university assignments, because they’re so busy agitating for their social justice cause du jour, they ignore the purpose of school is to actually learn something.

And the result is entitled, selfish, spoiled adults who demand their “greatness” be recognized by employers without actually doing the work to make them great, in-your-face grownups, who protest and complain about “unfair treatment,”because their boss refused to bend to their unreasonable demands, and whining, entitled employees who consider their Special Snowflakedom sufficient reason to get raises, bonuses, and plum assignments, because their childhood was oh-so-hard because mommy carefully referred to them as “they,” because they informed their parents one night that they identified as a dinner napkin, while other kids rightfully thought them weird.

We have wrapped our kids in metaphorical bubble wrap, afraid to let them fail, afraid to allow them to learn, afraid to let them face challenges on their own, and terrified of hurting their precious little feelz. We allow them to be rude, entitled, and perpetually offended. We advance the message that force is an appropriate means to get what they feel they’re entitled to – be it through government, bullying, or societal pressure.

Is it any wonder that so many of us hate what this society has become?

43 responses

  1. Nicki, as I have said many times, “You have the right to be offended, what you don’t have is the right to not be offended.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read stories like this and my thought bubble is simply “What the fuck? What the fucking fuck?!?”

    There was the Baby Boomer generation, special, they were. Then Xers. They rebelled, some, against what the Baby Boomers had wrought, but drew the wrong lessons. Then Y. Then the Millennials. Each worse than the last, all correctly blaming their predecessors for the mess we are in but coming up with the wrong answer for why, and hence the wrong answer for how to fix things. (Any question about what to do, that has “Bernie Sanders” as the answer, is answered wrongly.)

    The next generation is coming along soon. And I really don’t want to see it, but like any gruesome multi-car pileup, I’ll end up looking.

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  3. As a gay person, I was bullied mercilessly by people believed that all gays should be killed in accordance with the commands set by their god in the Holey Buybull. I learned the value of self-defense pretty fucking quickly. There are still times when I wonder how I managed to get out of adolescence without a felony assault charge.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All you have to do is watch TV and see how entitled we have become. Those Halo commercials. I work in child protective. I know children who have done what they are having actors do. These are children with mental health needs not fodder for an ad. I refuse to support them in any way. I have friends that search out the dam things because they think the ads are brilliant. The most recent publicized entitlement fiasco is the Emory University thing. This very small group of students went to the president of the university and complained that CHALK Trump endorsements made this an atmosphere of threat and not learning. Really????? Put on your big person panties and clean the sidewalk rather than leave it. Good Grief! I am disabled. Maybe I should tell the networks, the next time they have someone disabled as the really bad guy in a show, that I feel threatened by that. I see the entitlement in adults all the time. It is insane. It is not something new nor is it going away. Thank you for giving me a place to vent Amanda!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Miss Thrope,
    This was a great post. I also like the new name your mom gave you.

    Hi, I’m Miss Ann Thrope… a great character for some sort of satirical novel.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oooh! Now that’s an idea!

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  6. The United States of Butthurt.

    Well said, Nicki.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. David Hoggberg

    Given that Trump doesn’t seem to care whom he offends, I guess we have one serious explanation for why he is popular.

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  8. Hello,
    You have two cases of reverse entitlement.
    In the first, the blogger felt entitled to the Redbox terminal because they wanted to use it. They resented that a child beat them to it. In the second, the blogger felt entitled to a place in line, despite not being in line yet.

    Regarding the third example: throughout most of America’s history, a boy saying something rude to a larger boy invited a beating. Fighting words & consent to mutual combat are legal under the Maryland Constitution, which protects rights under common law – http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/43const/html/00dec.html. One could argue that the unreasonable sense of entitlement belongs to the party who started a fight expecting state protection from retaliation.

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    1. I disagree. If a kid sees an adult approaching the box and rudely jumps in front of them, which is what happened here, the person rightfully gets upset. And instead of the mother teaching the child to be polite, she tells the other woman the child had the right to be there. Sure you have the right. But having the right to do something and having some decency and doing the correct thing are two separate things.

      In the second instance, if it’s a Costco-type place, you are walking in line behind one another on the way out. Usually fairly orderly. If a kid runs past you and jams his cart in front of you, he is certainly rude at the very least and the parent should recognize this.

      As for the third example… If my son and another kid get into and argument, and the kid feels offended, FUCK NO he had no right to lay his hands on my son! And no one expected any kind of state protection. Maybe you should re-read. They attempted to punish my son for defending himself against a bigger kid. Comprehension. Try it.

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    2. Look… I thought that the initial lady who was quoted *might* have been a little more irritable than completely necessary, as we all are often, and that can make us notice only the negative, BUT!!! The Redbox thing? The kid was NOT renting a movie. The mom was. And the kid could have looked at the selection on the machine the mom was using. Taking up both available machines for one purchase was very very rude.

      Slipping in line ahead of someone? There’s basic line merging etiquette and sometimes people are in a hurry, or distracted, and are just oblivious to anyone around them and miss that occasionally. Other people don’t care. It’s really not “okay” to push in front of someone just because they’ve left a little gap.

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    3. @Nicki

      ” If a kid runs past you and jams his cart in front of you, he is certainly rude at the very least and the parent should recognize this. ”

      More likely than not the parent *encouraged* the kid to do it, figuring a kid could get away with such behavior (and/or could move faster than the parent could–any bets as to whether the parents were landwhales whose top speed is 2 MPH?).

      I damn near went medieval (and I was utterly unarmed so a nearby chair would have been my weapon) on someone at Upchuck Cheese who urged his kid to go ahead and cheat at one of the games, it was the only way to win in life. I about used up a year’s worth of self-restraint on that piss-guzzling excuse for a human being.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. That’s some grade A commie pinko thinking there. A child who insults somebody should be punished for his choices, per se, without regard to what other kids around him did or did not do. A child who starts a fight should be punished appropriately, for his choices per se, without regard for whether or not he misjudged his ability to win the fight. A child who gratuitously hurts another child should be punished for his choice. A child defending himself is without choice in the matter, regardless of his prior words and actions. Another child’s punishment or lack thereof has no bearing on the punishment your child deserves.

      I’m not saying that the other kid had a right to beat up your kid. No administrator should have said anything to that effect. A child can be punished for starting a fight, without any of the punishment being for subsequent self-defense.

      Your claiming the right (i.e. “ok”) ‘for my kid to lay the little shit out’ is wrong and frankly evil. Just as there is no entitlement for anybody to touch your child, likewise there is no entitlement for anybody to touch any child at the school. If you are entitled to a trigger that obviates responsibility, then so is everybody else.

      Not only is it evil, it is the lamentation of every mother whose child gets murdered in an unnecessary fight. Middle school, high school, post-school, wherever.

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      1. Oh, I get it. You’re the type who thinks a kid should do nothing to defend himself if physically assaulted? YOU are the one who is evil.

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    5. Separately,
      Entitlement is about what is earned or unearned. It isn’t about rudeness. If you think a person has earned their place in line by being close, then sure, it makes sense to say jumping in front is stealing something. I think a person doesn’t earn their place in line until they are actually in line – therefore, nothing was stolen from them.

      It is nice when people are kind, but no one is entitled to kindness. The elderly don’t deserve politeness or respect by virtue of being old. ‘From each according to their abilities, to each according to their need’ is a failed ideology.

      The elderly, the lazy, the unskilled – they are vocal about feeling entitled to your money. If a person can rightfully get upset about the rudeness of jumping in front of a redbox or receipt checker, surely a person can rightfully get upset about the rudeness of being unwilling to pay more taxes.

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      1. I think you’re missing the point. People who raise rude kids who are jerks because they have that right, invariably wind up with entitled adults who think everything is their right.

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  9. So I guess the words ‘No, you – – – – not (blank) it’ (fill in the blanks) and good manners have gone out of style?

    That explains why kids leave their trash everywhere they go. Well, sort of. Those three examples provided are modern society. They’ll pass.

    Don’t give up hope. Not all kids are like that. Some have parents who raise them right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “That explains why kids leave their trash everywhere they go.”

      Well holy shit.

      I once owned a rental property, and the little kids would simply drop candy wrappers, cups, etc. in the yard. The place was continuously littered with small items like this, and someone eventually sicced code enforcement on me. Everyone just claimed it was neighbor kids doing it. I finally had to start cancelling leases and evicting people.

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    2. That sounds like the neighborhood I pass through to go to rugby practice. There are piles of trash all over the place, and vacant lots full of it. There are also plenty of jerks in the area that like to play their music without their headphones (boy does that drive me crazy) and I deal with that on the bus to and from work as well. It’s as if nobody is taught manners anymore.

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    3. @Jennifer

      G. Gordon Liddy’s favored tactic for dealing with blasting-stereo assholes was to get a 200 W per channel stereo for his own vehicle…and blast martial music (military brass band stuff) at top volume and overwhelm them, if, and only if, their stereos were too loud (it was a retaliatory measure only).

      I suspect opera arias would work even better, but I (personally) can’t stand them even though I like most other pre-20th-century orchestral music

      I know many places that had problems with loitering yutes in the past could drive them away by playing music they hated..

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  10. Probably my number one fear in raising my son…is making sure he doesn’t grow up to be a disrespectful little sh*t.

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    1. I would think that with you, that wouldn’t be an issue, Lawrence.😀

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  11. When I was a boy myself, it was generally accepted that you did not run your mouth unless you were looking for a fight. Massively excessively disproportionate retribution was frowned on, to be sure, but not just fighting.

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    1. I’m sure when you were a boy, school administrators also didn’t try to discipline you for defending yourself in a fight, right?

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    2. Actually I *did* get sent home once from junior high school (I knocked over a cafeteria table without even realizing it, trying to get the SOB), but my (liberal) mom’s attitude was “he finally stood up for himself!” I caught absolutely NO parental shit for it, not even *paternal* parental shit (which was a far bigger fear than going home for an afternoon).

      I guess the cafeteria table incident was spectacular enough, I was never bothered again.

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    3. Oh, and for context (and to date myself) this would have been the late 1970s.

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  12. Offering positive rights to people is the basis for corrupting political power. As state and its worship grow so does violence and corruption … and impolite deluded serfs.

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  13. Agree w Mike. The Snowflakes are created as another class of Lenin’s “useful idiots” to vote for free stuff that they didn’t earn. They are the vaseline on the socialist grenade being introduced into our Republic.

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    1. Great. The Vaseline coated (and therefore, presumably rectal) grenade.

      The Liberty Zone, where brains go in clean, but leave needing bleach! 🙂

      (And no, I don’t disagree with the, er, thrust of your observation.)

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      1. Hey, it wasn’t ME this time!

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  14. I’m pretty sensitive to misanthropic speech, and anti-human speech (lately trying to explain to some European that the idea of democracy depends on the idea that people are smart, not dumb, and… well, there was more), and all the basic anti-human sentiments expressed in “futurist” circles about how we wreck anything we touch. It’s not that people are great, really, because in many ways we’re not. And I don’t have time to read the comments so this isn’t a response to anyone, just the general subject…

    This is why we need human wave science fiction. We need stories that lift us up because day-to-day has beaten us down. Sometimes we need to be reminded that people are pretty awesome, right alongside our faults and frustrations. It’s too easy to see only the one and not the other.

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    1. “This is why we need human wave science fiction. We need stories that lift us up because day-to-day has beaten us down. ”

      Oh but uplifting art (including literature) is superficial, whereas art about how life is a constant struggle by worthless people for worthless objectives is meaningful.

      /sarc (and if I think about this too much I might go medieval…fortunately one CAN find uplifting representational art out there and I have none other at my house. The science fiction, I am trying to work on.)

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  15. The Redbox scenario brings out the prankster in me — I’d be mightily tempted to start coughing harshly in between occasional choked apologies for spreading drug-resistant tuberculosis. I might also pant slightly in an alarming fashion and foam a little at the mouth to lend verisimilitude to this brazen whopper.

    If I didn’t want to run too much risk of unwanted attention from cops or public-health officials, I might instead smile widely in an oddly disturbing way that conveyed a psychotic need for intimacy with strangers and pester the vending-machine hogs with stupid questions about the movies on display.

    “Say, is that the one with the dead lady who escapes from New York with her accountant? I heard she turns out to be a ghost at the end!”

    “Wow, that movie looks great! Does it really have Bambi and Sylvester Stallone in it? That would be cool!”

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  16. @SteveInCO
    Part of me doubts it would work. They’d probably just see it as a challenge and turn their “music” up louder.

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  17. […] THE SPECIAL SNOWFLAKES ARE MAKING US INTO: Entitlement Society. […]

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  18. Nicki I find myself in agreement with you mostly but the story of your son proves you have a small blind spot. It is totally forgivable but to quote John Waynes code “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.” Your son insulted not offended there is a difference the other boy. The resulting fight is a natural outgrowth of the first transgression.

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    1. I think you’re missing the point. When kids insult each other, fights happen. The bigger kid started it. But if an administrator is going to claim that it was OK for a bigger kid to attack my kid because his feelings were hurt, they’d better know that it’s more than OK for my kid to lay the little shit out! They can’t claim it’s just fine for another kid to physically attack my son, because he was insulted or offended, and try to punish my kid for defending himself!

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    2. And by the way, I do disagree that butthurt feelings entitle people to initiate force against one another. I know both kids were hurling insults at one another. Kids do that. It happens. But I will not abide by the school administrators claiming that the other kid had the right to beat up my kid merely because feelings were hurt, while punishing my kid for using force in return.

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      1. Trying to butt-fuck my head with the infinitely arrogant notion that mere words justify violence seriously hurts my feelings. Obviously, I’m therefore fully justified in slamming a steel rod into the face of anyone who supports that notion.

        See how easy it is to show the absurdity of the argument that so-called “insults” justify murderous terror? If this other person’s feelings are “hurt” by something I said that did not clearly imply intent to commit violence against that other person, why then, *my* feelings are hurt by … well, the clear threat or outright eruption of real, physical, measurable violence! Ooh, ooh — a hypothetical alien from outer space and a whole bunch of real people on Earth with common sense would instantly judge the initiator of force and fear to be the problem and *not* the person who responded to that force and fear with twenty times over the same violence. It’s only violent, creepy weirdos who think they have a right to fuck people over with the arrogant shit floating around in their heads.

        Frankly, if some politically correct fuck-face from, say, the Only Guilty Black Lives Matter terrorist movement tries to violently attack me for bluntly identifying Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and on and on as murderous thugs who got exactly what they deserved, there’s gonna be at least one more dead thug lying on the ground with his fucking skull splattered all over the ground in a nasty old spray of blood and brains. Mind-rape artists have exactly *nil* right to violently terrorize me with their creepy, self-indulgent and utterly lopsided shit. They can get the fuck away from me, or they can be dead. It’s their choice.

        I try not to be dragged into these little arguments because they wear me out and make me angry and tired, but I’ll be blunt, Ms. Nicki. Your son had the absolute right to jam a sharpened stake with terrible force right the fuck through the eye of the snotty piece of shit that attacked him. Frankly, snotty pieces of shit like that need desperately to be broken on the wheel or impaled and left to slowly die in terrible agony over days or even weeks. Yes, I am fully aware of the meaning of those entirely appropriate punishments.

        *sigh*

        I shall now attempt to return to what little peace of mind I can find in a creepy horror-world full of subhuman goblins.

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        1. Well, I get insulted on this blog all the time. I guess I should seek out these people and beat the shit out of them. Hehe

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  19. Just for shits and giggles, I’ll share with you a thought experiment that popped into my mind many years ago. Imagine a man standing on a corner with a bullhorn, yelling in an ugly, menacing voice such words as, “Bless YOU and YOU! You’re fucking well a fucking cool person who DESERVES to be forcibly RAMMED UP with lots of cash! Yeah, man, and I HATE that you’re not rich! It’s about DAMN TIME that you won the lottery!”

    One can easily imagine the total confusion of crybully listeners as they struggle to reconcile the apparently hate-filled voice and alarming demeanor with the actual words themselves. They just might collapse into puddles of pure fetal helplessness. Mua-hah-hah-HAH-HAH-HAH!

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  20. One question on the school fight. Were they going to discipline both the larger boy and yours equally, or just yours. If they equally disciplined both, I could see that, but only yours and not the other, that is definitely rediculous.

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    1. This was a while back, but if I remember correctly, they disciplined the other kid as well, but tried to tell me that his attack was mitigated by the fact that his feelings were hurt. They also said my son should have just told a teacher instead of standing up for himself.

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