Once upon a time, I was six years old, and as I recall, I was something less than a little angel. Assuming that this site must necessarily take on the traits of its Webmaster, I sought out advice on six-year-olds from the first online psychologist served up by Google, and here's what he has to say:

"Many six year olds are still struggling with issues of control. They find it hard to accept that they cannot do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it. But this is an important lesson we must teach them."

Oh, I don't know. I do pretty much what I want in here. Of course, hardly anyone is ever disturbed by it, because hardly anyone ever reads these things; I have a regular readership of somewhere between 20 and 40, depending on how desperately I look for patterns in the site log.

"Many six year olds are still struggling with issues of control. They find it hard to accept that they cannot do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it. But this is an important lesson we must teach them. I think it is very important that parents not take this resistance to authority personally. It is not a matter of disrespect."

As Bugs Bunny used to say, "He don't know me very well, do he?"

"Too often, parents get angry at their angry children and it is a vicious circle of resentment. It is better to be strong, firm, gentle, and strong."

Uh, how about strong?

Okay, maybe this wasn't a good idea after all. And frankly, there are times when anger is a useful motivation. (At 42nd and Treadmill, it's at least as common as idiots on the telephone, and a lot less distracting.) Besides, it makes for better, or at least more writing; on those rare occasions when I am comparatively content with my lot, I seldom have anything worthwhile to say.

So that's where things stand after six years of this wacky Web site, a sizable fraction of an eternity in Web years, one-eighth of the way to a million visits. Where does it go from here? Take it, Doc:

"You should expect slow but steady progress. If you try to rush it, you'll only get more resistance."

And resistance, as we all know, is futile.

The Vent

#288
9 April 2002

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