Red Hot Zealotry

It's another cruel day in our air-conditioner-free house; by 10:00 this morning it was already 76 degrees in here, warmer than it was outside. All the curtains are closed to block out the sun, but because they're blood red, the room is bathed in an alarming "Jack Torrance" glow. I'm also beginning to carry some extra weight around, which makes me even more uncomfortable, but whatever. At least I'm not eight months pregnant in this heat. Thank god for small favors, I guess.

And now comes the "decorating of the kid's room." I love painting, and it's amazing what a little color will do to gussy up a room, so I'm already planning "Tiny's" new paint job. This came up yesterday, after a friend asked me if I already had ideas. Yes, I explained, a little goofy trompe l'oeil in vibrant colors should do the trick. Fun for Tiny, easy on the eyes for me. He told me that his other pregnant friends were going for the Red Sox/baseball theme, complete with tiny diamond or some such craziness. I told him I felt that it was really better for a kid's room to be non-denominational, if at all possible, and that includes an absence of rabid sports-team zealotry.

And this gets to the heart of some of my fears about child-rearing. Zealots in all forms make me nervous, including lefty propagandists like myself. I may have strongly held opinions, but I want to raise Tiny to be a thinker, to view the world through a critical lens, and to not take things at face value. Zealotry, including my own brand, often relies upon the absence of critical thinking, which unfortunately for all of us afflicts a great deal of citizenry who stupidly spout whatever half-baked cockamamie factoid bolsters their half-baked cockamamie agenda.

It is a great pitfall of the "too much information" culture; we can all pop on the internet at any time and become instant authorities of any subject, no matter from what source the information comes. It allows for sloppy fact-finding, ridiculous perspectives, and strange bedfellows. Good research, and good learning, is increasingly hard to find. And we can all be ill-informed zealots if we don't watch out.

At any rate, the kid's room will be painted, and hopefully I will avoid inserting hidden lefty symbolism in my silly drawings. I would hate to be responsible for having raised a crack-pot zealot, no matter what side Tiny ends up on.