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Raging Pencils by Mike "KBPS" Stanfill

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Today's mystery web comic is:

start rant

What's the Opposite of Schadenfreude?

(I borrowed this from I love reading stuff like this. =mike=)

german childrenWalk through a park in Germany on a Friday evening and you are certain to see a group of young teenagers well on their way to becoming completely intoxicated, and you will also notice that none of the adults walking by give them a second glance. That’s because Germans let their kids do things that Americans would never dream of allowing.

Germans recently decided it is a bad idea to allow cigarette vending machines available to anyone 3 feet tall or over, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see a group of kids that can barely reach the counter in their local Rewe working together as a team of 4 to struggle to carry the case of beer and pooling their money together to pay the 10 Euros for it. Although German parents aren’t particularly worried about their kids’ safety, the German government is worried about protecting its future tax base. That is why German kids have to use car seats a few years past the age that their parents let them start drinking. “Luca, get back in your car seat, and I told you a thousand times to use the ashtray!”

Not only will kids get the opportunity to hear dirty words on the radio and see naughty body parts on regular television, but they are also reading detailed instruction on how to do things only married people should being doing in the Bravo magazine that they have been subscribing to since they turned 11. Forget chaperons at the school dance, German teenagers are hanging out preglowing in the parking lot across from the disco so they can save enough money for the bus ride home afterwards.

German kids are allowed to go places by themselves, even riding the subways of largest cities completely unaccompanied. You don’t have bright yellow school buses with flashing lights stopping all traffic on both sides of street, school children are left to fend for themselves when they leave the campus. Some are allowed to even ride a bicycle without knee pads and a helmet.

One dramatic place where you can see German parents letting their kids do whatever they want is sports. German parents don’t stand on the sidelines screaming at their kids to kick the ball harder and run faster at the soccer game, they just let them play however they feel like. It’s despicable.


(The following is a snippet of a response from a reader who'd lived in Germany for two years as an exchange student)

The American model is, you are a CHILD for precisely 17 years and 364 days with few rights and a mere handful of freedoms. Bluntly put, many parents feel they own their “child”, whereas here, teens are more seen as “adults in training” and individuals who become increasingly entitled to certain rights and freedoms and their very own values, beliefs and opinions. In the US, on the other hand, alcohol is off limits until your early 20s, no dance club will let you in under 21 (without fake ID), and sex also tends to be a big taboo. Heck, every now and then, teens even get sent to prison for a consensual nookie. And on your 18th birthday, you are expected to somehow throw a switch inside your head and be an adult through and through and never look back.

end rant

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Today's Google Chow.
My conversation with the CIA.
We've kept these foreign fighters locked up for seven years.
That sounds reasonable.
We waterboard them every day.
We must have information.
We torture their children with pliers.
You do what you have to do.
They only have dial-up connections.
Die, scum.