Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Taylor Pugh's Parents Need a Smack

I saw the story about Taylor Pugh at the Dallas Morning News website the other day and I didn't think it was worth blawg-ing about; but the with appearanace of the story in the paper of record, Taylor's hairstyle became the deabte of the morning at the 'bucks.

Lets let reporter James C. McKinley, Jr, give you the background:

"A suburban Dallas school district has suspended a 4-year-old from his prekindergarten class because he wears his hair too long and does not want his parents to cut it.The boy, Taylor Pugh, says he likes his hair long and curly. But on Monday night, the school board in Mesquite voted unanimously to enforce its ban on Beatles haircuts, much less anything approaching coiffures of bands like Led Zeppelin. School officials say the district’s dress code serves to limit distractions in the classroom.

No exception could be made for the pint-size rebel, who sat through the hearing with his hair in a ponytail, manifestly bored.   'I don’t think it’s right to hold a child down and force him to do something,' [Taylor's father, Delton] Pugh, a tattoo artist, told The Associated Press. 'It’s not hurting him or affecting his education.' The parents rejected a compromise proposed by the board under which they would braid his hair and pin it up.

Since Nov. 24, when his principal decreed that Taylor’s hair had grown too long, the boy has been sent to the library to study alone with a teacher’s aide. 'They kicked me out of that place,' Taylor told a reporter on Dec. 17. 'I miss my friends.'"
Can we all agree that this kid is adorable? 

The debate breaks down predictably along the lines of--what the hell does his hair length have to do with being in preschool, or any school;  don't the hair police have something more important to do?  This argument is what I call:  the what-is-rational-basis-for-regulating-hair-styles pole of the polemic, and truth be told my natural inclinations lie with this argument.  The other position is:   the schools have an absolute right to promulgate and enforce rules, especially dress codes that apply to participants in their schools because one of life's most important lessons is learning to follow rules even if you don't agree with them.  I sympathize with this argument surviving 3 years in the US Army, 7 years of higher education, and perhaps a little less successfully (at this point at least) 28 years as a lawyer--following the rules, more-or-less.

I should point out that the Boys at 'bucks this AM had a lot to say about the parents, speculating to a considerable degree on Delton Pugh and his mother, Elizabth Taylor(!?)--and implicitly their alternative worldview.  There was some push back from the what's-the-rational-basis crowd speculating on the small-mindedness of the Mesquite (well, really all) School Board(s).

One of the things I'm most ashamed of in the history of my parenting,  involved something I did maybe ten yeasr +  with my then young children in tow.

 Around our town 10 or 11 years ago, we were in an economic boom. The downside, if any, of a booming economy is that more jobs existed than could be filled.  Perhaps you noticed that on the service sector side you had small chain eateries staffed by barely competent or trained service people, usually youngsters.  Personally, it drives me crazy to go into a retail establishment staffed with youngsters who are playing grab-ass while you try to get served. 

On this particular occasion I was at one of the chain Bagel places that were popping up across OurTown trying to get order takeout lunch.  I was accompanied by my pre-school son, and his first grader sister, my daughter (the young blonde.)  The Bagel place was busy.  We had a tray and we had already put a few items on the tray, as we slid down the line.  The counter was "attended" by young woman who was too busy talking to a co-worker to wait on customers.  I tried to ask about what was available for kids, she ignored me.  I repreated my question this time a little louder, she ignored me.  I asked a third time almost shouting the question, she didn't even look at me.  I picked up the tray and hurled it over the counter and into the wall behind her, "Do I have Your Attention Now?" I demanded!  The Bagel store immediately became deadly silent.  My kids burst into tears, the manager rushed over and asked me to leave which I assured him I would do.  I've never returned.  Shaking with rage I took my crying kids out to the car and we went elsewhere. 

What an asshole I was, and what an asshole, I am still capable of being.

I'm sure those of you who have read this blawg will be wondering if this is what happened at the time of the Justice Center melee that I related at the outset of this history of my career, thus far, in the "brilliant" early utterings labeled Pepper Spray, Parts 1 and 2.  Feel free to draw your own conclusions, but what I said in those posts is what occurred while I do not deny that confrontation is in my character.  My actions in the Justice Center melee was characterized by numerous law enforcement eyewitnesses as not provocative.  Still this in-your-face quality is a unifying thread among all Bad Lawyers.

Nonetheless, what I did at this Bagel place was one of my worse moments as a parent.  You see, I became exhibit "A" for my children:  of the out-of-control rage-a-holic.  All the words, and trust me I've used them will not undo what I did to them, and taught them in this one moment of inexcusable behavior.  I taught them that it is okay to throw public tantrums, it is okay to be oppositional and outrageous in public. It is okay, to be dysfunctional in the face of what you subjectively view as provocation.   I stripped my kids of their sense that the adult male role-model in their life, was sane, rational, and trustworthy.  I did this in the blink of an eye.  I am much more ashamed of that moment than anything I did as a lawyer in not living up to the rules that brought me to this professional point.

Taylor Pugh, at age 4 doesn't give a shit about his "hair style."  His parents have an agenda, and that agenda is not much different than Balloon-boy's parents.  Whether Taylor's parents realize it or not, they are using Taylor so they can star in their own little drama and the lesson of "rebellion" and oppositional conduct, how's that going to work out for little Taylor?  Next stop for Taylor, Texas Youth Commission?  How'd that "rebel"-thing work out for you, darling Taylor?


  1. arne't those freeks the same sort of peeps who believe Bong hits for Jesus language is appropriate at the schools?

  2. Email the Mesquite School District:

  3. this whole thing seems bizarre to me--maybe because my kid goes to one of those alternative schools where I occasionally can't tell the boys from the girls. While I wouldn't let my kid's hair grow to gender-ambiguity length, I guess I really don't see what the big deal is. pretty much everyone in this story seems like a damned fool, except (of course) the little kid.

    On bad parenting--I once was blocked into a parking place by a b***h in a Beemer. My kid was three, and had just finished speech therapy. This woman left me sitting there for 30 minutes, after I had the clinic make announcements, etc, trying to track her down. When she finally came out, she said nothing to me. This enraged me no end. I let her have it, used all kinds of awful language, and generally scared the sh** out of her. My son, now 9, still remembers this. I hope this was/will be my lowest parenting moment ever.

  4. Thanks for the comments to this post, and can I apologize profusely for the typos and grammatical sloppiness. I don't know if anyone reads these posts more than once, but I do occasionally spot nonsense grammar and gross typos which I edit and correct. I'm comforted in this respect by reading the Samuel Pepys diaries--the definitive proto-blog and it abounds with infelicities. I know, I know--he probabaly did not intende for his ramblings on the reformation to be read and critiqued--but, one of the things thats an obstacle to doing this Blawg is a tendency on my part towards perfectionism, which means I procrastinate not wanting to "publish" something as deeply flawed as I have to offer on a day to day basis.

    In all events I am grateful to followers, commenters and friends.


  5. Englysshe ys fulle of foolysshe spellynge rewles. Worrye nat aboute them, for theye ar nat importante.

  6. Jesus takes his bong hits very seriously, I can assure you. Just not on school grounds. C'mon, look at His hair.

  7. Richard HershbergerJanuary 15, 2010 at 4:32 PM

    The "own little drama" analysis works nicely for just about any example of someone refusing to submit to arbitrary authority. Were I of a mind and in a position to exert arbitrary authority, I would enthusiastically embrace it.

  8. I think there's a difference between a violent outburst like throwing a tray/berating someone, and growing out your hair. You may be right about the parents grabbing for attention, but there's no way to know the truth. Taking a stand on a civil liberties issue is at least more noble than stirring up a media frenzy with a "boy in balloon" story. More of my thoughts at

  9. This is the first time I have seen this post... I would love to say Sir you are perfectly right to a T of how these parents are. I know them personally. You took the words right out of my mouth! Thank you for the smile. Lord knows they crave the attention. Trust me if they could do it again they would and yes use the kids to get it. Thank you again for saying the words that I cant.

  10. Your job as a future mother is to learn the god's ways and to help your child understand despite the negative reinforcement and conditioning of today's society.  Without consciousous parents the child will have no hope, and may even exaserbate their disfavor by becoming corrupted in today's environment.
    Your ultimate goal is to fix your relationship wiith the gods and move on.  You don't want to be comfortable here, and the changes in Western society in the last 100 years has achieved just that.
    1000 years with Jesus is the consolation prize.  Don't be deceived into thinking that is the goal.

    Much like the other prophets Mohhamed (polygamy/superiority over women/misogyny) and Jesus (forgiveness/savior), the gods use me for temptation as well.  In today's modern society they feel people are most weak for popular culture/sensationalism, and the clues date back to WorldWarII and Unit731:TSUSHOGO, the Chinese Holocaust.  They used this Situation to bury Japanese atrocities.
    It has been discussed that, similar to the Matrix concept, the gods will offer a REAL "Second Coming of Christ", while the "fake" Second Coming will come at the end and follow New Testiment scripture and their xtian positioning.  I may be that real Second Coming.
    What I teach is the god's true way.  It is what is expected of people, and only those who follow this truth will be eligible to ascend into heaven as children in a future life.  They offered this event because the masses have just enough time to work on and fix their relationship with the gods and ascend, to move and grow past Planet Earth, before the obligatory xtian "consolation prize" of "1000 years with Jesus on Earth" begins.

    The Prince of Darkness, battling the gods over the souls of the Damned.
    It is the gods who have created this environment and led people into Damnation with temptation.  The god's positioning proves they work to prevent people's understanding.
    How often is xtian dogma wrong?  Expect it is about the Lucifer issue as well.
    The fallen god, fighting for justice for the disfavored, banished to Earth as the fallen angel?
    I believe much as the Noah's Flood event, the end of the world will be initiated by revelry among the people.  It will be positioned to be sanctioned by the gods and led for "1000 years with Jesus on Earth".
    In light of modern developments this can entail many pleasures:::Medicine "cures" aging, the "manufacture" of incredible beauty via cloning as sex slaves, free (synthetic) cocaine, etc.
    Somewhere during the 1000 years the party will start to "die off", literally.  Only those who maintain chaste, pure lifestyles, resisting these temptations, will survive the 1000 years.  Condemned to experience another epoch of planet's history for their ignorant pursuit of xtianity, they will be the candidates used to (re)colonize (the next) Planet Earth, condemned to relive the misery experienced by the peasantry during history due to their failure to ascend into heaven before the Apocalypse.
    Never forget:::It is not a house of Jesus.
    If this concept of Lucifer is true another role of this individual may be to initiate disfavor and temptation among this new poulation, the proverbial "apple" of this Garden of Eden.  A crucial figure in the history of any planet, he begins the process of deterioration and decay that leads civilizations to where Planet Earth remains today.
    Which one is it?:
    One transitions into the other, allowing the gods to wash their hands of obligation to their Chosen One.  My personal "consolation prize".
    And since the gods never committed despite tens of billions in mass media, product development and natural disasters/tragedy they will employ the freedom they positioned into the Situation and CHEAT me out of everything.
    Fuck the hundred trillion year-old gods and their "gangster capitalism" positioning:::The Matrix.