Gretchen L. Kelly, Author

Friends Don’t Let Friends Who Are Assholes Have Children

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“My pain is self chosen, at least so the Prophet says.  I could either burn or cut off my pride and buy some time.  A head full of lies is the weight tied to my waist”

-Mad Season, River of Deciet

Assholes should not be allowed to have kids.  Someone should stop them.  If they actually have friends, those friends should intervene before procreation occurs.  If they have no friends, maybe that fact alone should indicate that children are a bad idea.

For the purpose of this writing an asshole will be defined as:  A selfish prick who doesn’t care about anyone or anything of real value (i.e. family, kids, morals, etc.)  If you find you fit this definition, please do us all a favor and don’t have children.  Don’t even adopt children, as asshole-ness is likely more nurture than nature.

I’m not saying Ethan Couch should never been born.  But I am saying that the two assholes who are his parents should never have been allowed to have children.  Ethan Couch,16,  murdered four innocent people and seriously injured two others.  He drove at 70 mph into a group of people that were trying to help a stranded motorist.  He killed all four of them and threw two people from the bed of the giant pick up truck he was driving.  One of them is paralyzed and can’t speak due to his injuries.  Couch’s blood alcohol level tested more than three times the legal limit and he had valium in his system.  First responders said the accident scene was the most horrific they’d ever seen.  They compared it to an airplane crash, with bodies and body parts scattered all over the road.  According to reports, Couch was uncooperative at the crash scene and said “I’m outta here” as he walked away.

He was just sentenced to 10 years probation and lawyers are asking that he serve part of that time at a $450,000/year rehabilitation center.  People are understandably outraged.  The victims’ families are devastated.  A psychologist testifying on behalf of the defense claimed that Couch suffered from “Affluenza” and that his parents were responsible for his behavior.  First, let us point out that this psychologist either didn’t understand the definition of Affluenza or he intentionally twisted it to fit the ludicrous defense theory.  “Affluenza” is a term used to describe the obsession of wealth and materialism in our country.  It was intended as a social criticism, not as an affliction or condition of which one suffers.  Second, I don’t disagree that the parents are responsible for Couch’s actions.  But to suggest that he is not responsible is insane.

Fred and Tonya Couch are, by all accounts, pretty bad at the whole parenting thing.  They certainly seem guilty of neglect.  They bought their son a motorcycle when he was 4 or 5 years old.  They bought him a car and allowed him to drive when he was 13 years old.  According to friends, he lived in a mansion by himself.  His millionaire father gifted him the mansion during the two asshole’s contentious divorce.  Apparently Couch had many wild parties there, in this mansion with a pool.   A house that certainly was not a home, that was virtually empty except for a couch and a t.v. and an XBox.  Oh, and apparently lots of alcohol.  It sounds like this kid was living a pretty empty life full of things but not the one thing most kids want:  attentive loving parents, limits and stability.  Instead he got stuck with assholes for parents.  Even the defense lawyers and the psychologist will agree to that.

But here’s the thing.  Lot’s of people have assholes for parents.  Lot’s of people were neglected as children.  If you were hit as a child, it doesn’t mean you have to grow up and hit your kids.  If you were abandoned by your parents, it doesn’t mean you have to grow up and abandon any children you have.  We have all been given this thing called free will.  Just because you were raised by materialistic, narcissistic, selfish assholes doesn’t mean you have to get in your truck after downing some beer and valium and ruin so many lives.

Ethan Couch took four lives and ruined many others on that June night.  He expressed no remorse at the accident scene.  He apparently told one of the kids riding in the truck with him, “Don’t worry, I’m Ethan Couch.  I’ll get you out of this.”  He had learned by his indulgent parents and their tendency to throw money at a problem, that because of his wealth he would suffer no consequences.  Just a year ago police caught Couch with a naked, passed out 14 year old girl.  There are no indications that he suffered any repercussions.  What would have been an alarming wake up call for any concerned parent was just a foreshadowing of worse things to come.

I wish I could say that this situation is as rare as it is absurd.  Unfortunately, our country is riddled with stories of the rich getting away with all kinds of things.  Our society and our judicial system have given free passes to the wealthy for a sordid array of crimes and violations.  There are a different set of rules for the wealthy.  None of this occurs in a vacuum.  Our society supports assholes like this and their warped “money trumps all” mentality.  The heavy hand of justice is swift to come down on a poor black or hispanic male if he is suspected of committing a crime.  Change his ethnicity to Caucasian and that hand gets a little lighter.  Change his socio-economic status to wealthy and that heavy hand now becomes a mere slap on the wrist.

The psychologist who used the word “affluenza” to absolve Ethan Couch of responsibility has since said he regretted using that term.  He doesn’t regret the message, but he regrets that word.  He seems to think that word is what has everyone so worked up.  I would argue that that word is relevant to this story.  The judge in this case, Jean Boyd, seems to be the one who is guilty of the “affluenza” mindset.  Just last year she sentenced a 14 year old black boy to 10 years in prison for punching a bystander who subsequently fell and hit his head on a curb and died.  Boyd apparently thought this boy needed to be held accountable for his actions.  This boy was black.  Couch is white.  This boy is 14 years old.  Couch is 16 years old.  This boy killed one person.  Couch killed four and gravely injured two others.  Both boys should be held accountable.  Both should be punished.  Yet the judge saw a reason to give the older boy with more blood on his hands probation.  If you’re looking for a walking example of “affluenza”, you need to look no further than Jean Boyd.  (mental note, assholes should not allowed to be judges either).

Let me be clear, I’m not saying that all wealthy people are assholes or bad parents.  It just so happens that these two assholes are rich.  There are plenty of poor assholes who are awful parents.  Neither scenario is fair to the kids.  If you are an asshole in this vein, one of selfish neglectful tendencies, please do the rest of us a favor.  Don’t indulge yourself by taking on the biggest commitment possible.  Having a child is a really big deal.  It’s the most important thing you’ll ever do.  If you can step out of your delusional world of which you are the center for a moment, please recognize and acknowledge that this is an undertaking that is beyond you.  We don’t need more heinous accidents like the one caused by Ethan Couch.  We don’t need assholes raising more assholes.

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