Posts Filed Under — idiot surfing —

Dear Internet: I hate your “new study”

by Janelle Hanchett

I sure love it when a “new study” hits the internet, particularly if it relates to some super-heated parenting topic. It’s just so fun. All of a sudden, all the people have new “evidence” to sling at the “other side.”

All the humans now have “irrefutable proof” that they were, after all, right as fuck and you were, absolutely 100% (as they always suspected!) WRONG. So they shall post it on Facebook with a barely perceptible shrug and smile, just so damn happy to have this “new science” validating their opinions.

No worries if it refutes 20 years of prior research. No worries if it’s profoundly biased and/or funded by a company with a vested interest in the outcome. No worries if it’s flawed in its research methodology or put together by high schoolers on mushrooms.

In fact, there’s no need to read any of the actual study! All you gotta do is read the article in the Huffington Post written by some asshat with as much relevant expertise as my toddler, summarizing the study and paraphrasing the “science” they don’t actually understand (or trying to, while remaining SEO effective, of course).

Forget they’re writing for a damn media source with a financial interest in sensationalism and the “latest trends,” (so they can trap new parents on Babycenter who are simply fascinated by this “new research”). And forget the emphasis on keywords and polarizing, extremist titles that will increase Google hits and traffic, translating into PURE CASH for the website. I mean, there’s nothing like a bunch of well-meaning parents to feed “latest studies” to by the spoonful.

Nothing sells like: “New Study Shows Breastfeeding is Over-rated” or “Research proves that homebirth kills” or “Study concludes pacifiers stunt emotional development.”

Here’s what they’re actually selling us:  You want to be “in the know?” You want to remain on the cutting edge of informed parenting? All you gotta do is read our 3rd-party interpretation of a “study” you’ve never glanced at, avoid  critical thinking at all costs and use what you read as “irrefutable evidence” to post all over Facebook, Pin, Tweet and email. This weekend, regurgitate at playdates. And then, bask in the glory of your rightness. All you need is a link, homie!

I mean how could you argue it? It’s science! It’s data! It’s REAL.

Obviously. There’s acronyms and shit.

Look, internet, unless you’re going to read the actual study, examine who funded the bastard, research the methodology (and have the ability to assess it in the first place), study what other experts in the field have to say about its outcomes, assess where this study fits into the larger picture (what else has been said over the years?)…I don’t give a flying rat’s ass about your “new study.”

Basically, one study means jack shit, even if it does validate your side of every flame war you’ve engaged in during the last 5 years.


You gotta look at overall flows, dude. You gotta look for patterns, for trends, for recurring information. I’m not a scientist. I get confused by words like “force” or “planet.”

My geology professor hired me in his paleomagnetic research lab because I got the highest grade in his survey course. I worked for him for a year or so while he tried desperately to explain to me 3-dimensional magnetic properties of rock (or some shit) – ultimately mumbling one day “Um I’m not sure science is your thing.”

Yeah, it’s not.

Neither is math. BUT I DIGRESS.

The point is that even a moron like me knows that science doesn’t work in giant, sensational sweeping movements, particularly if it involves lots and lots of humans. It’s not ALL GOING TO CHANGE because A study was published.

In other words, we’re getting played, people. They play on our desire to do right by our kids. They play on our devotion and love and profound fear of fucking up our offspring.

But you know what? These “new studies” may mean something significant within the field, but they are almost wholly irrelevant when it comes to my immediate, on-the-ground parenting decisions. They are contributing information to the discipline. They are lending new insights. They are donating to a body of research from which scholars can, over time, pull accumulated information that may actually inform my parenting.

But until then, it’s just “Oh good, another study I can completely ignore.”

And watch the shit-slinging begin.

Calm down, internet, it’s just one study.


Things are the same as yesterday.

in case you missed it the first time

FYI (If you’re a Hall boy)

by Janelle Hanchett

Dear Hall boys,

So it appears your mother is a special breed of genius who believes the key to raising sons of high moral fiber is to eliminate all “immoral” or “impure” images from their presence (as opposed to just teach them to be of high moral fiber). If successful, your mom will (apparently) eliminate all pornography, nudity and sex in every form of media including but not limited to internet, art, print and film. She will also make sure no scantily clad women ever near her sons, which could get a little complicated given the whole general population and freedom problem. When you all grow up and leave the house, she’s going to, um, well. Not sure. Maybe poke your eyes out and fill your ears with impenetrable wax?

Perhaps this sounds a little far-fetched to you. Perhaps this sounds a little fucking batshit crazy. Well yes, it is. Your mother’s conclusion that the key to raising “boys of integrity” is to eliminate images that fall out of line with “integrity” is insane, precisely because it places PERSONAL DECISIONMAKING on the shoulders of an outside party, of external circumstances, of beings beyond your control.

In other words, it places the responsibility of YOUR morality on the shoulders of others, and that is wholeheartedly idiotic. I mean, how could anybody ever be a decent person if circumstances beyond our control determined what we think and how we behave? It also, incidentally, fuels what we like to call “rape culture,” wherein the girl is raped by the boy because she was a “slut” and therefore “asking for it.” The boy was the real victim because he was rendered powerless by her unprotected vagina and lack of bra. Your mother’s idea that GIRLS need to cover themselves so YOU can behave like a gentleman is the exact same mentality that fuels rape culture, and results in things like Steubenville or 30-day sentences for pedophile rapists.

So your mom wants you to have a “high moral compass.” That’s so great. I want that for my son too. She does not want you to “linger over pictures of scantily clad high-school girls.” She wants you to be a “man of integrity.”

And in your mom’s opinion, the path to this moral compass and integrity is shaming girls who choose to behave in ways that violate her own interpretation of “morality.”

Well, boys, I have some really good news for you: Your moral compass is not dependent upon the behaviors of others. That’s what makes it MORALITY. It’s YOUR morality. It’s within you.

You could just make the decision to NOT “linger over pictures of scantily clad high-school girls.” EVEN IF THE PHOTOS EXIST.

You totally have the power to do that.

I know. Crazy talk.

Dude, you could be surrounded by 17,000 girls in bikinis and you could like, not rape them. You could not disrespect them. You could not even visualize impure things. You could just say to yourself “Wow, there’s 17,000 girls in bikinis around me. GO ME.”

And no worries, boys, if you lie there at night visualizing your female friends naked. Your mom seems really worried about it, but I’m 100% sure 90% of teenaged boys do that. The other 10% are visualizing their male friends.

And newsflash: The teenaged girls? They’re doing it too. Dude. Teenage girls often masturbate and flirt and do all the things you do (including imagining sex with people), and some of them will even want to have SEX with you, but check it out: You don’t have to do a thing. Their feminine ways, though strong and gorgeous and compelling, have no power over you.

Also, you know those pictures your mom put up of all you boys without shirts looking all handsome? Yeah, there’s a good chance girls might see those and have some “impure thoughts” (also known as “budding sexuality”) but apparently that’s okay with your mom because BOYS are not responsible for the thoughts of GIRLS. Girls are responsible for their own thoughts, or they’re assumed to be asexual themselves or only interested in posing with “arched backs” and “pouty faces” to attract you, the innocent boy. Clearly there’s no way a girl would see YOUR photos, “scantily-clad” indeed, and “linger” over that image for a while.

Look, Hall boys, don’t let your mom convince you you’re a victim of your penis. Don’t let her degrade and diminish you like she’s done to the girls on your newsfeed.

Don’t grow up thinking you’re rendered powerless at the sight of a “slut” or pouty face selfies or braless females or arched backs. In the words of your mom, “you are growing into a real beauty, inside and out,” and no matter how many pouty face selfies exist on your newsfeed, you can grow into the man you want to become, with a high moral compass and integrity, whatever that looks like for you.

And I really fucking hope you do, because I have kids who may be the passed-out ones at a party someday, growing up in this world too, taking in the sick-ass backward culture perpetuated by people like your mother.

Oh, and girls on the newsfeed making pouty faces in pajamas with arched backs and sultry eyes, knock that shit off, but not because boys will never be able to burn your image out of their minds, but rather because you look like a fucking douchebag.

And boys on beaches without shirts showing off muscles in a giant man pile, knock that shit off, but not because girls may be imagining you naked for the next year, but rather because you look like a fucking douchebag.

How about we all just use our brains and stop blaming other people for our inner selves, and please, for the love of God, let’s all stop making duck face.

Hang in there, Hall boys. There’s always one crazy in the family, and I think we all know who it is in yours.


Mrs. Hanchett

Idiot Surfing, Volume II

by Janelle Hanchett

So that didn’t take long. We already have material for a new volume of Idiot Surfing.

Today we’re featuring a Facebook post that asked people to complete the sentence “I suspected I was a crunchy parent when…” And as you can imagine, there are some real winners.

Please note: I have nothing against crunchy parenting. In fact, on paper, I’m pretty damn granola myself. But doesn’t it seem that the crunchies are by far the most judgmental parents? Maybe I’m wrong, but it appears that there’s an air of pretension surrounding the attachment-parenting thing – which seems weird, doesn’t it? Hypocritical? Since we”re supposed to be the “enlightened,” “accepting” ones? Ah, the complexities.

Whatever. Who gives a shit. Let’s make fun of ‘em. Here we go. I suspected I was a crunchy parent when…

“…my daughter looked in horror when she a woman feeding her child “poison” in a bottle!” – Really, lady? Really? Poison? Effing POISON? Could you just try for one single moment to enter the realm of the reasonable? POISON? Rat killer is poison. Chemicals are poison. Napalm is poison. Formula (you self-important small-minded jackass) is NOT poison. What if that woman can’t breastfeed? What if the baby can’t breastfeed? What if the baby was adopted? ARGH. It’s people like you that make me a closeted crunchy mother.

“…I cried at the mere mention of giving my baby formula.” – Yes. It’s one of the great tragedies of the world. War, child abuse, cancer, and formula feeding.

“…I didn’t want to pass my baby around and let others hold him.” – Hey dumbshit. That makes you paranoid and possessive, not crunchy. The crunchies aren’t afraid of germs. They love germs. Germs are organic. Duh.

“… I decided to breastfeed … co-bathe…child-led parent.” – What the hell is “co-bathing?” Are you telling me that each and every night at 7pm you strip down and get in the bath with your baby? You have too much time on your hands, that’s all. And “child-led parenting”? Holy hell, that’s a good idea. Here’s what “child-led” parenting would look like in my house:

Me, to my 5-year-old son: “Hey Rocket, what are you doing?”

Rocket: “I’m putting my penis in a funnel.”

Me: “But you’re supposed to be eating dinner.”

Rocket: “This is more fun. I’m doing this instead.”

Me, being a “child-led parent:” “Well okay, then. Does it fit?”

[2 hours pass]

Rocket: “Mama, I’m hungry!”

Me: “Okay, go eat the dinner you didn’t eat 2 hours ago. By the way, what are you doing with the cat?”

Rocket: “Oh, I tied her paws together with pipe cleaners and stuck her in this pillow case and now I’m going to tow her around behind my dump truck. She likes it.”

Me, being a “child-led parent”: “Very nice, honey! Excellent creativity. I support you in your ideas and free-play, so have fun and, if possible my sweet bundle of lovely, try not to kill our kitty, mmmmkay?”

(Okay so I have no idea what “child-led” parenting is for real, but it sounds bad. I mean shit, if kids could parent themselves, why would they need parents?)

“… our favorite music is the sound of the wind in the trees.” – Yeah, hate to break it to you, but the sound of wind in the trees is not music. It’s the sound of the wind, in.the.trees. That is all.

“…I can’t travel because I don’t have my refrigerator and pantry with all organic fresh foods.” – Oh sweet Jesus where do I begin? You’re just an idiot. Just an idiot. There is nothing else to say. No way to expand. Except I should mention that your kids are undoubtedly going to hate you, partly for sheltering them from the world because it couldn’t provide “organic fresh foods,” but mainly just because you’re an idiot.

The end.


While waiting for the next edition of Idiot Surfing, perhaps you could donate 2 clicks to a super worthy cause. There are only four more days. And then, since I’ll probably never be nominated for anything again, I’ll leave you alone forever. Well, on this particular topic.


Idiot surfing!

by Janelle Hanchett


I have a new favorite past-time. It’s called “idiot surfing.” It involves reading parenting chat-boards and Facebook comments in response to questions involving mothering. It’s not really a past-time, but I do in fact engage in the activity with relative frequency. I don’t really know why. I mean, I know where it’s going to lead and it’s all bad. I see the question, I know I’m going to hate some of the answers…I know I’m going to have moments filled with rage, moments filled with desperation at the plight of humanity, moments filled with “good God I don’t even know you, yet somehow, I fucking hate you” – and yet, I read any way. So I decided I might as well generate some good (or something productive, at least) out of this particular sadism.

Therefore, this blog post. I have a feeling this won’t be the only one.

Recently I saw the following question on Facebook: “Do you allow your kids to have toy guns? Why or why not?”

And here were some of the responses that generated one or all of the aforementioned visceral reactions:

  1. “No. My husband and I both agree that guns represent violence against people and animals and those are equally abhorrent to us.” – Obviously violence against people and animals is abhorrent. But really? Do you have to say shit like that? It just sounds so pretentious and holier-than-thou. I bet the person that wrote this is one of those really loud vegans (oh come on, you know the type), with a “Do no harm” bumper sticker on her car, which is ironic, considering driving a car in the first place is, well, doing harm. Carbon footprint, bitch. Plus, do guns really represent violence? Or is it the person behind the gun, pulling the trigger? Is a gun, alone in the wilderness, still a gun? Hmmmmm. Deep thoughts.
  2. 2. “We have a squirt gun. but we dont call it a gun – its a “squirter”. No guns!”– Um, hey genius. You can call it whatever the fuck you want, but it’s still a gun. Does calling it “squirter” diminish any of its gun-ness? I could call war a “drum circle” but I don’t think that would help any, now would it? And, you might want to consider the occasional, strategic use of apostrophes.
  3. 3. “Uh, no.” – Translation: “How could you even ask me such a question? What kind of idiot do you think I am? Everybody with even the slightest sense of perspective, of depth, of good parenting, would never even think of such a thing as allowing a kid to play with a TOY GUN. Pssshht. I’m so above that I can’t even respond.”
  4. “I don’t stop my kids from playing with them. But often I give them ideas of how to use them as energy healing guns! Where they shoot loving healing energy at their target, or shoot beams of zero point energy to stop and move things :)” – I forgot the other reaction: vomiting a little in my mouth. Fucking healing energy. Oh shit. There it is again. *hacking noise*

I’m sending all of you some healing energy. It’s called “go idiot surfing and immediately feel better about yourself.”

And, next on the list, we have a quick one. Here’s the question: “How do you teach your kids about Earth Day?”

And the only response we need to highlight…

“Homesteading- the same thing we do every day But I did make homemade bread this morning and three kinds of jelly: spicy tomato, dandelion, and mint (the last two made from foraged plants!)” – What the FUCK is ‘homesteading?’ And you baked homemade bread and crafted three kinds of jelly from “foraged plants?” You’re a damn liar. Stop lying. You know you went to Grocery Outlet.

Foraged plants.

Kids will probably end up weed dealers.

But it’s cool. Cause it’s ‘homesteading.’

Whatever the fuck that is.

So…what do ya think of my new past-time?