Selected Excerpts from Karl Marx’s Notes on Homeschooling His Children

September 3rd

Today Jenny struck Eleanor in the head with a book. I am fairly certain that this is rooted in the fact that Eleanor gets an equal share of the family economic output despite producing less labor. I explained to Jenny that the source of her frustration is actually her own economic oppression, at which point she bit me. She clearly has internalized her own oppression and the only solution is to give her full control of her means of production.

September 5th

During our morning lesson break, while I was spending a few minutes working on my manifesto, Eleanor drew a phallus on the blackboard. I believe she is demonstrating that the blackboard and chalk have no intrinsic value; their value is only provided by the working class students who are exploited in using them to solve equations for the gain of their teacher oppressors. I erased her demonstration, however Jenny must agree, as I found several dozen similar protests in the kitchen and bathroom.

September 8th

We continue to battle in an intrinsic student-teacher class struggle, in which am a slave to the product (Jenny and Eleanor’s education), whereby I enslave the students, forcing them into worse and worse conditions so that I can profit from their education with increased social status. Today, this was embodied by me forcing them to do extra worksheets when I should have let them take a break to play outside. Being the noble proletariat they are, they engaged me in class warfare through disobedience in the form of defecating in my shoes. Soon these minor, yet unsavory forms of class struggle may escalate to full-scale sabotage. While part of me fears this, I realize that this may be the only way to free both the oppressor and the oppressed from the cycle of materialism.

September 9th

We are nearing a breakthrough, the proletariat have seized the means of production! Today, little Eleanor stood on Jenny’s shoulders, reached up to the top shelf where I keep their textbooks, snatched it from its perch and set it ablaze on the stove. While the was huge in break our vicious cycle of capitalist appropriation, it derailed our lesson plan for the day, and the children sang dirty playground limericks while I drank schnapps in the study.

September 10th

Eleanor stabbed Jenny with a fork during our morning snack. Despite the fact that we have freed ourselves from our cycle of material-chasing oppression, we still fall back into our cycles of conflict. This is likely the natural reflexive class structure taking shape again. These structures must be stopped before they take shape, so I intervened by yelling at Eleanor and smashing an empty schnapps bottle against the wall. It seemed to have worked, at least for now, as I was able to have five minutes to think my goddamn thoughts.

September 11

This morning Jenny threatened to push Eleanor out the window and I, in a haze of schnapps and anger, told her she didn’t have the guts to. On a related note I have begun looking into private education for Jenny and Eleanor. I feel that I, while capable of understanding the issues that have plagued man throughout history, have no idea what is causing these little demons to behave the way they do. I feel that they are not driven by fulfilling their materials needs like the rest of humanity, but by the need to test my sanity. The school I have found, while expensive, claims to be the best that money can buy. For an extra 20 marks a day, they will also do an early drop off and a late pickup. To pay for this, I’ve taken a middle management position at a local lumber mill, and I will continue to write my manifesto when I’m not tied up with work.

Why Fake it Till You Make it? Try the Instant Middle Management Starter Kit!

Have you recently been promoted to middle management? Do you feel unqualified for the position? Are you suffering from Imposter Syndrome? Well, you can fake it till you make it, or you can fast track yourself to success with our new Instant Middle Manager Starter Kit! It comes with everything you need to look like you are a seasoned middle manager including:

  • Complain-y Catchphrases: You get a list of potential catchphrases you can use around the office that let everyone know you aren’t happy, but that aren’t extreme enough to raise any red flags. Some of these include “I don’t know, I’m just the manager”, “Someone around here needs to do some work” and “All of you are idiots.”
  • Outdated Family Pictures: Everyone needs a nice reminder of why they are coming to work and what truly makes them happy. A good middle manager hasn’t been happy in decades, so we’ve included some pictures of your grandparents as children, since that is the most recent time you can picture anyone being happy at all.
  • Unkempt Appearance: A five o’clock shadow is so 1990’s. You need to show them that you didn’t have time to shave not just this morning, but this year. Go full caveman here. Hell, we’ve even thrown a caveman’s club into the kit. People will know you mean business and that you’ve been in your position so long that you no longer care about appearances, personal hygiene or what millennium it is.
  • Emotional Distress: Coping with the stress and long hours isn’t easy. You still get the same shitty health insurance and your raise is actually less than the annual increase in premiums, so good luck affording any therapy. Dress the part by developing mental health issues! We’ve included some mood altering drugs to help this along.
  • Bags Under Eyes: These bad boys are so deep that Whole Foods would give you a whole dollar off your purchase if you brought one.
  • Constant Scowl: We’ve included an eyebrow shaving template to make you look slightly pissed off all the time. In the business, we call this Resting Management Face. Over time, people will stop smiling at you and your mood will actually sour and you won’t need to use the template anymore!
  • Lack of Interesting Stories: We’ve included a handbook of generic responses when employees ask if you did anything fun over the weekend such as: “Didn’t come here”, “Counted my hours of freedom as they dwindled away” and “No”.  Show them that you have a work-life balance: your morale is equally crushed at work and in life.
  • Back Problems: Over time this sitting at a desk for 10 hours a day and being treated as an actual doormat will give your back the classic “Middle Management Curve”, however to make you look the part, we’ve included a fake hump taken from a Quasimodo Halloween costume.
  • Fat Suit: Jowls! Paunch! We give you all of the silliest sounding fat, but it’s just fat. Sitting in an office and complaining doesn’t burn calories the way working out at lunch used to (by the way, you now have to work through lunch.)
  • Lack of Power: Before you let this new position go to your head, remember that it doesn’t come with any actual power, just responsibility for things you can barely control. You are paid too much to do the actual work and solve the problems, but too little to decide what the solution is. You are basically just the fall guy. We’ve included a flow chart to decide whether a decision is above your pay grade or below your pay grade.
  • Expensive Alcohol Collection: Remember when you drank too much bourbon in high school and it was a problem? Now, it’s a hobby! Have too many bottles in the house? It’s a collection! Spend too much? It’s an investment! 

Kim Raisner’s Pros and Cons List for Punching the Horse at the Olympics

Pro: It will definitely teach the horse a lesson

Con: Animal abuse is generally frowned upon

Pro: All press is good press

Con: The horse didn’t ask for any of this, including being ridden at all

Pro: It’ll really get some of my aggression out

Con: The horse is bigger than me and may already be plotting revenge

Pro: What could possibly go wrong?

Con: I won’t get to hear the horse’s side of things first, unless the horse is related to Mr. Ed

Pro: People generally give Germans the benefit of the doubt when it comes to violence

Con: The last time I was punched in the middle of an internationally televised event it made me pretty sad

Pro: I’ve wanted to punch a horse at the Olympics ever since I was a little girl

Con: I’ve already been warned about this several times

Pro: Maybe this will finally reignite the longstanding public debate over whether it is ok for a grown woman to beat the shit out of a horse for not jumping over a stick

Con: Human-Horse boxing is not an official IOC sanctioned event… yet

Pro: I know it’s the Olympics, but maybe nobody will be watching?

Con: I’m under the impression that pummel horse is already a gymnastics event, so I shouldn’t steal their thunder

Pro: What could possibly go wrong?

Con: I know that, deep down, I’m only doing this because a horse punched me as a child and this is just perpetuating that cycle of horse-person violence

Pro: What could possibly go wrong?

10-9, the Pros win!

The Latest Quarantine Guidance from the State of Insanity Public Health Department

If you have come to this website, you likely have been exposed to Covid-19. That shit is everywhere these days. The State of Insanity Public Health Department has put together the following guidance for next steps based on your exposure, vaccination status and other important factors.

You were exposed to an individual who tested positive for Covid-19. The exposure was an extended close contact where both of you were unmasked. You are vaccinated.

If the exposure was before September 1, then monitor yourself for symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, you will need to quarantine until at least 7 days from the onset of symptoms. You may stop quarantine if you must meet one of the following sets of criteria: 

1) Quarantine for at least 7 days from onset of symptoms and no fever for at least 24 hours and a two negative PCR tests at least 24 hours apart both taken at least 5 days from the onset of symptoms; 

2) Quarantine for at least 14 days from the onset of symptoms and no fever for at least 48 hours from the onset of symptoms;

3) Construct a time machine and go back to prevent the exposure from ever happening and no other new diseases caused by a time travel paradox and no fever for at least 24 hours after returning to present.

If the exposure was after September 1, then you will need to quarantine, big time. Regardless of your status of having symptoms, you will need to quarantine for a minimum of 21 days. In order to end the quarantine, you will need to have 4 consecutive negative PCR tests after the 12th day of quarantine, each at least 36 hours apart but no more than 38 hours apart. If any of these come back positive, your quarantine clock resets to zero days and you must forfeit any Quarantine Points earned up until that point. If you suspect a false positive and want to contest it, you may choose to run The Gauntlet, but nobody has ever survived it.

Your unvaccinated toddler stuck their finger in the nose of another unvaccinated toddler, who you later found out has tested positive. You are unvaccinated and have been exposed to your child because, you know, it’s your child.

Children are so precious!

You have not been exposed to anyone experiencing Covid-19 symptoms and just happened upon this website by accident.

Quarantine your computer for 10 days or until it can receive two negative PCR tests at least 24 hours apart.

You are vaccinated, but your husband is not. You were going down the aisle in Albertsons and passed by someone who wasn’t wearing a mask and coughed like right next to you. 

Go home and complain to your husband from at least six feet away.

You were exposed to someone who was exposed to someone with Covid-19. When you were exposed to that person, they were experiencing no symptoms but their Covid-19 exposure was two days prior. The next day, they started experiencing a mild fever and a runny nose. They are still awaiting their test results and you currently only have a cough.

Oh boy…. we’ll get back to you on that one.

You were exposed to the music of Limp Bizkit.

I’m so sorry.

You were exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid-19. Now you want to stay home from work to be cautious, since you work with older unvaccinated individuals in tight quarters and you’ve read that viral loads are just as high in vaccinated individuals and unvaccinated ones. Your employer tells you that you either need to go in or lose your job.

Welcome to America!

Help! My Toddler is an Anti-Vaxxer!

I have always thought myself to be a modern, educated and level-headed person. I am liberal and have surrounded myself with like-minded people to make sure my family has the right influences. I am a firm believer in science, especially medical science. When Covid hit, I was as scared as anyone. We locked down and didn’t leave the house for anything! When it was time to venture out I always wore my mask, even when they lifted requirements. When it was my turn to get the vaccine, I went to the hospital to get it the first day I could. My son, Charlie Chickadee (CC for short), however, is a different story. He’s told me in no uncertain terms that he will never get this or any other vaccine. I’m worried that at the ripe age of three, my child has already become an anti-vaxxer!

It seems so shocking to me, but I should have seen the writing on the wall. CC used to push back against the masks. Whenever we were at the playground, he’d take the mask off and throw it on the ground defiantly, sometimes stomping on it. At first I thought it was just him, being difficult, but I read some articles online and posted on some Facebook groups for advise and realized that maybe he just didn’t understand the science. I had a little heart to heart with him and did what everyone suggested I do: I showed him statistical evidence that the science worked and that masking helps reduce transmission. Numbers can’t lie, not even to toddlers! I know he wasn’t in the vulnerable population, but I reinforced to him that he could save the life of someone who was, like his Gaga or Peepaw. He still fought it, though. I think the CDC changing it’s messaging so often really eroded his confidence in the public health information and started to make him question everything. I really wish they could get their act together. Normally I wouldn’t care that much about him not wearing a mask at an outdoor playground, but not only does CC suck his thumb, he sometimes sucks other children’s thumbs! While sucking another person’s thumb isn’t explicitly on the CDC’s graphic about high risk behaviors for unvaccinated individuals, I think it should be.

So, CC wouldn’t wear his mask, but I learned to live with it. As we found out more about outdoor transmission, I realized that while not ideal, it was still fairly low risk. What I was more concerned about was everyone knowing I was raising an anti-masker. I was also concerned about where he was getting his news from. I know that parents need to be vigilant about protecting their children from misinformation campaigns and fake news, but I thought I that started much later. Whoever did it must have also told him to keep everything hush-hush, because whenever I’d ask him why he didn’t want to wear a mask he’d just say “masks are stupid”. When I’d ask him where he got that idea, he’d just say “Batman”. I looked at his Batman comics and watched some shows and I never saw him once say masks are stupid. Batman even wears a mask! “Batman” must be some sort of codename or something. Or maybe it was on the dark web, but I wasn’t about to venture there and get brainwashed myself.

So, March rolls around and I read the great news that some vaccines have emergency FDA approval. Excitedly, I told my wife, Jessica, and CC that there’s a new vaccine. We all started crying what I assumed were tears of joy. It turns out that was true for me and Jessica, but, in hindsight, not for CC. When he started asking about whether there was a vaccine for him, I figured he was eager to get it. “No,” I told him, “but that’s a great question. The vaccine’s emergency approval is only for adults, but hopefully your time will come soon.” A few weeks later, when it was our turn (we had to wait, because apparently College Advisors aren’t “essential workers”, even though I beg to differ!) we went to the hospital to get our jabs. We even brought CC with us so he could see how safe it was. He sure had a lot of questions. “Will it hurt?” and “Will it turn me into Batman?” and “They don’t make it for kids still, right?” and “Can I still have a lollipop if I don’t get a backsteen(sic)?” 

I assumed that was my little junior scientist being curious, but it turns out it should have been a red flag. Apparently all of these “anti-vaxxers” trust their own, anecdotal research as opposed to what the experts and the CDC say. They go in with their minds made up about reality and then pick and choose the information that shapes reality to whatever they desire, whether it comes from Dr. Anthony Fauci, or Snotty Steve from the playground or “Batman”. Anyway, we got our shots and CC saw that nothing bad happened. Well, I guess he did see both of his supposedly strong and healthy parents incapacitated for three days… and watch me go into an extremely statistically rare case of anaphylactic shock. Aside from those little hiccups there was nothing to be afraid of, though. 

After we recovered from our jabs, Jessica and I discussed it and thought it was important to talk to CC about the experience and get ahead of any misinformation so that, when it’s his turn, he’s ready for his shot. We knew that they had been running trials on younger individuals. First, we read up on the best way to handle a discussion with a loved one who is anti-vax. We went in ready to discuss the vaccine approval process (fast-tracked for efficiency, not rushed), his privilege (he doesn’t need to go work in-person, but bears a responsibility for those who do) and how vaccines work (he can’t get sick from it). Let’s just say, things did not go as planned. Whatever put these anti-vax ideas in his head must have really gotten to him, because it was like he wasn’t even listening to us. As soon as we mentioned the word vaccine, CC started screaming and crying and throwing his Batman toys at us. He told us that not only is he not getting the Covid vaccine but, “isn’t ever ever ever getting any shots or booboos at all for a million zillion years!” When we told him that his school might require it, he told us that “school is stupid and he doesn’t want to go anyway!” The websites we read told us that we needed to be ready for the conversation to go poorly, and that some people are so far gone that they can’t reached, but not my little Chickadee! Say it ain’t so! 

We are working on acceptance now, and letting go. While we are disappointed that our son is already an anti-vaxxer nutjob at the ripe age of 3, he still is our little boy and our whole world. The vaccine issue has been a rift, but we’re trying to to let it totally tear us apart. Despite the fact that we’ve had him quarantined in his bedroom for the past few months, we still have weekly Skype dates and a biweekly Zoom “milk happy hour”. We were ready to end quarantine a few weeks ago, but with this new Delta variant I feel like we really made the right decision. Still, with the vaccine rate increasing, we are hopeful that we can get through this in time to do an in person party for his 6th birthday.