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  #101  
Old 09-27-2019, 02:14 AM
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Great take on this by First Dog on the Moon.

The Problem with Greta

So many old white men (and their various well clenched friends) freaking out about this tiny Swedish climate demon. Who is she?
  #102  
Old 09-27-2019, 08:04 AM
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Kids being used to promote various causes get about the same reaction from me as when they're used in ads for cars or other consumer products.

I don't buy what they're selling.
  #103  
Old 09-27-2019, 09:19 AM
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It's using someone else unfairly. What's unfair about inviting a known climate change activist to speak on ... climate change?
This gets to the OP. Should children be used to further political agendas?

I think not, for a whole host of reasons. You clearly disagree. So there.
  #104  
Old 09-27-2019, 09:26 AM
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I think certain teens or kids have views that are their own. I know I did. I don’t have an issue with people speaking up about things that impact their lives.
  #105  
Old 09-27-2019, 09:38 AM
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I think in general, a kid's understanding of the issues will be more superficial than an adult. Certainly there are some kids which are well versed in a topic and may have more knowledge than some adults, but in general an adult will have a more well-rounded understanding of the issue. When a kid is supported or promoted for an issue, that can help strengthen the issue for the kid. That is, the kid further believes in the issue because the adults encourage the kid rather than the kid is coming to the conclusion on their own.

Take something like a kid holding a sign either promoting or discouraging homosexuality. A kid may have a slim understanding of homosexuality, human sexuality, and even their own sexuality. But adults who share the same belief will promote the kid and that view can become stronger in the kid because of the encouragement. Rather than the kid learning more about the issue with life experience, the world, people, sexuality, etc. to better understand the issue, the kid has the issue strengthened in their mind because the kid is encouraged by adults with that agenda to continue promoting the issue.
  #106  
Old 09-27-2019, 10:16 AM
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ake something like a kid holding a sign either promoting or discouraging homosexuality. A kid may have a slim understanding of homosexuality, human sexuality, and even their own sexuality. But adults who share the same belief will promote the kid and that view can become stronger in the kid because of the encouragement. Rather than the kid learning more about the issue with life experience, the world, people, sexuality, etc. to better understand the issue, the kid has the issue strengthened in their mind because the kid is encouraged by adults with that agenda to continue promoting the issue.
But is that bad? I explicitly teach my son that racism and homophobia and sexism exist in society and that we have to be careful not to internalize them. I don't sit him down and lecture him, but when these things come up, I make sure to be frank and open with him about how I feel and how the world works. I think that's good parenting, not indoctrination. He may have different views about some things when he's an adult, and I respect that, but I don't think my goal should be to send him out into the world tabula rasa: he's going to be surrounded by other factors influencing him all sorts of ways, and I don't think me just noping out of that scene and leaving it for his friends, the media, and whatever dreck he finds on the internet to be the only voices he hears is somehow a virtuous. That's not leaving him more free to find his own path.
  #107  
Old 09-27-2019, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by GreenWyvern View Post
Great take on this by First Dog on the Moon.

The Problem with Greta

So many old white men (and their various well clenched friends) freaking out about this tiny Swedish climate demon. Who is she?
The Greta Thunberg Helpline

"She's making the end of the world sound like it's the end of the world!"

Mad props to TroutMan for finding this first, eh.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 09-27-2019 at 10:36 AM.
  #108  
Old 09-27-2019, 10:37 AM
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But is that bad? I explicitly teach my son that racism and homophobia and sexism exist in society and that we have to be careful not to internalize them. I don't sit him down and lecture him, but when these things come up, I make sure to be frank and open with him about how I feel and how the world works. I think that's good parenting, not indoctrination. He may have different views about some things when he's an adult, and I respect that, but I don't think my goal should be to send him out into the world tabula rasa: he's going to be surrounded by other factors influencing him all sorts of ways, and I don't think me just noping out of that scene and leaving it for his friends, the media, and whatever dreck he finds on the internet to be the only voices he hears is somehow a virtuous. That's not leaving him more free to find his own path.
That is all excellent and the way it should be. Kids will learn from their environment, their values will come from those around them, etc. But I think the problem is more about what is in the OP: using a kid as a spokesperson. When adults start to put the kid on camera, podiums, social media, etc. to express certain views, it becomes more about the adults using the kid as a tool for that agenda rather than the kid expressing their beliefs. The adults are typically the gatekeepers for the larger stage. When they allow kids access to that stage, it is often for the ulterior motives of the adult. The kid may think that their belief is correct because of the publicity alone.
  #109  
Old 09-27-2019, 11:15 AM
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Well, all the girls in my daughter's school just love Greta, they are even more committed to the environment (at least verbally - these are teens, after all), and she's easily going to be the most referenced person in this years round of College Board Common/Coalition App essays.

So, yes, she's having the desired effect.

Weird how so many conservatives are worried about exploiting children for political gain, but decry politics when dealing with the issue of massacred children in school rooms. Seems their concern for Greta is a little... misplaced.

Last edited by JohnT; 09-27-2019 at 11:15 AM.
  #110  
Old 09-27-2019, 01:23 PM
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I don't see that the speaker matters at all, it is only the message that has a chance to actually change minds. And even then, it is pretty rare for a speech, given by anyone at all, to change even a single mind.

What happens, however, is not that someone gives a speech and changes minds, but that someone gives a speech and gets people thinking about it. People who otherwise may not have given the subject a second thought. In the case of the girl who must not be named, people are talking about her back and forth, some positive, some negative, some hateful, some supportive, but all are engaged in a conversation that is at least tangentially related to her topic, global climate deterioration.

That's why people use kids to get a message across. Not because the kid knows more, but because the kid is more noticeable than another white guy droning on about his ideology of the week. Though we may not name her in this thread, can anyone, off the top off their head, name anyone else who talked at the UN about their concerns about our climate? Sounds like her "gimmick" worked to me.

And, sometimes, kids are exploited by their parents, and sometimes they are acting on their own agency. The younger they are, the more likely it is that they are operating under their parent's influence; I don't think a 5 year old with a "God Hates Fags!" sign came to that conclusion and picked that sign themself, but if an older teen someone sails solo across ocean to address political and business leaders, then I lean a bit more towards them having chosen that agency. If you are a parent of a kid, then determining whether you are enabling you child to express themself, rather than using your child to voice your opinion is something that you know. I don't know that it is possible to know for sure from the outside which is which, so I don't see a reason to judge based on that. Judge based on the message, not the messenger, I say.
  #111  
Old 09-27-2019, 04:59 PM
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This gets to the OP. Should children be used to further political agendas?
Define "used" - when the kid has the same agenda.
  #112  
Old 09-27-2019, 06:26 PM
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Define "used" - when the kid has the same agenda.
As a matter of establish law, kids can't consent.

So does that kid actually have the same agenda or is that kid just brainwashed?
  #113  
Old 09-27-2019, 06:36 PM
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As a matter of establish law, kids can't consent.
Which is utterly fucking meaningless in this context.
  #114  
Old 09-27-2019, 10:58 PM
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As a matter of establish law, kids can't consent.
Can't consent to what, exactly? Yes, there are "establish[ed] laws" specifying that, for example, minors below a certain age is not considered capable of consenting to have sex with an adult, or to enter into (most) legal contracts.

But most teenagers can, for example, obtain work permits and agree to terms of employment; in many states they can also consent to an abortion or to an HIV test. In certain cases they are considered legally able to consent to a warrantless search and have their own bank accounts.

So claiming that it's not possible for a (teenage) minor to have their "own agenda" on a matter of public policy because "kids can't consent" is illogical. Minors above the age of 14 or 15 actually can legally consent to a large number of things, and can also have their own opinions and advocate for causes of their own choice. Just because they're minors doesn't mean they're automatically relegated to the status of mere mouthpieces of the adults around them.
  #115  
Old 09-27-2019, 11:24 PM
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Ignoring (for this thread) the merits/demerits of Thunberg's speech at the UN, or Thunberg herself specifically:

Does using kids as the spokespeople for a cause really win over an audience? Maybe this is confirmation bias on my part, but ISTM that generally this backfires and causes resentment, because it's seen as an attempt to use youth to browbeat people into supporting a cause, and using kids as "tools". I don't think there has ever been someone with strong views on same-sex marriage or abortion, for instance, who has ever changed their mind because of seeing some kid express opposing views in a public speech - especially if it's apparent that the kid isn't really speaking for himself/herself, but rather, was coached by parents or others into the role. (Not saying that Thunberg herself was, but in general)


TL;DR, it generally comes across as manipulative.
Who is "using" her? Give us cites and lists.
  #116  
Old 09-28-2019, 03:07 AM
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As a matter of establish law, kids can't consent.
Your point is irrelevant, but it's also wrong - let's say we're talking about Thunberg (because it'd be disingenuous to think this thread is actually about anyone else) or some other 16 y.o. Swede- legally, they're old enough to consent to sex. By a year already.

So, old enough to decide to fuck, but not to object to being fucked over, is that what you're saying

Last edited by MrDibble; 09-28-2019 at 03:10 AM.
  #117  
Old 09-28-2019, 03:45 AM
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Just as a side note about the kid Greta Thunberg, who according to the OP is apparently being "used" by someone or other. Due to her inspiration, yesterday an estimated 6.6 million young people took to the streets in climate marches around the world. Here in Canada Thunberg herself was in Montreal yesterday to join 500,000 young people and political leaders in that climate protest, where she met with Prime Minister Trudeau and was given the key to the city by the mayor. Thunberg has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

"Does this really achieve the desired effect?" Let's just say it moved the needle another increment. Incidentally, Thunberg has said that her parents had nothing to do with her activism, which she began entirely on her own when she first confronted the Swedish parliament.
  #118  
Old 09-28-2019, 12:57 PM
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Well, all the girls in my daughter's school just love Greta, they are even more committed to the environment (at least verbally - these are teens, after all), and she's easily going to be the most referenced person in this years round of College Board Common/Coalition App essays.

So, yes, she's having the desired effect.

Weird how so many conservatives are worried about exploiting children for political gain, but decry politics when dealing with the issue of massacred children in school rooms. Seems their concern for Greta is a little... misplaced.
you mean the same conservatives who call abortion "murder" but when a few dozen grade school kids get blown away they sit on their hands and say "There's nothing we can do?" Or the conservatives who are all about "states rights" until California tries to do something?
  #119  
Old 09-28-2019, 01:25 PM
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Just as a side note about the kid Greta Thunberg, who according to the OP is apparently being "used" by someone or other. Due to her inspiration, yesterday an estimated 6.6 million young people took to the streets in climate marches around the world. Here in Canada Thunberg herself was in Montreal yesterday to join 500,000 young people and political leaders in that climate protest, where she met with Prime Minister Trudeau and was given the key to the city by the mayor. Thunberg has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

"Does this really achieve the desired effect?" Let's just say it moved the needle another increment. Incidentally, Thunberg has said that her parents had nothing to do with her activism, which she began entirely on her own when she first confronted the Swedish parliament.
And that's the other part.

That a speaker doesn't do it "for you" may be because the message wasn't tailored to *you*. The message was intended for someone else, and while you are sitting there complaining that you aren't moved enough to do anything to help to prevent or mitigate the effects of climate destabilization on future generations, those future generations are mobilizing and pushing you out of the way.





*not you you, but *you* *you*
  #120  
Old 09-28-2019, 01:34 PM
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It's amazing how American conservatives have effectively lost a generation of suburban teenage girls... and the boys who wish to date them.
  #121  
Old 09-28-2019, 01:35 PM
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You don't take the kids to the protest as a rhetorical device. You take the kids to the protest to show them how strongly you feel about the topic. To show them what the family stands for.

Some families stand for ugly things, of course.
No, they're used as human shields.

I distinctly remember it was forbidden to criticize David Hogg because he was a minor. No matter what he said, true or not, we had to smile politely and talk about how brave he was.

Of course this applies to only kids that hold liberal points of view, my liberal friends had no problem condoning calls for violence against the Covington kid. This very site had multiple posts stating how much they would like to "slap" the smirk off the child's innocent face.
  #122  
Old 09-28-2019, 02:01 PM
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No, they're used as human shields.

I distinctly remember it was forbidden to criticize David Hogg because he was a minor. No matter what he said, true or not, we had to smile politely and talk about how brave he was.
Knowing about the death treats he continues to get, thinking that he is brave happens regardless if he gets somethings wrong.

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Of course this applies to only kids that hold liberal points of view, my liberal friends had no problem condoning calls for violence against the Covington kid. This very site had multiple posts stating how much they would like to "slap" the smirk off the child's innocent face.
There was nothing proper about a group of Catholics that decided that it was ok to troll extreme right wingers that still remembered that even though they did agree on being against abortion, they did keep in mind that the one represented by the MAGA hats and clothes is the embodiment of the seven deadly sins.

Last edited by GIGObuster; 09-28-2019 at 02:05 PM.
  #123  
Old 09-29-2019, 08:55 PM
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I distinctly remember it was forbidden to criticize David Hogg because he was a minor. No matter what he said, true or not, we had to smile politely and talk about how brave he was.
I think your memory is at fault there. While some public figures and others who made homophobic or otherwise offensive public statements about Hogg did get some pushback about it from the public, nobody was "forbidden to criticize" Hogg.

You may have fallen victim to the common right-wing confusion between "not being able to offensively smear somebody without any negative consequences" and "being forbidden to criticize somebody".
  #124  
Old 09-29-2019, 10:22 PM
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Oh, geez. Really, people? Look, if you want to talk about some politician using his/her kid in a campaign ad, fine. Shame on them and all that. But the basic premise here is flawed as hell, and anyone who's spent a lot of years with a lot of teen-agers can tell you this. And no, our own kids and their friends don't count.

There really ARE teens who have the courage of their convictions, and whose convictions are not those of their parents or some political party or activist, but their own. I spent way too many years judging speech meets and essay contests to think otherwise, and I'm not the only one on this board to have done so. Some teens have excellent research and rhetorical skills, and a few, a very few of those have the passion, determination, and persistence to gain an national or international platform.

Take Greta Thunberg. Too many people think, "Oh, she MUST have had puppet masters behind her!" and haven't bothered to look any further. Shame on them. Thunberg wrote an essay for a newspaper ecology contest and won. (And no, she didn't get her views from her parents, who disagreed with both her climate change and student strike ideas but who, to their credit, didn't forbid or discourage her.) That led to an invitation to participate in a group of kids concerned about climate change. Someone floated the idea of a student strike. The other kids dismissed it, so Thunberg took it on by herself. She posted on social media. It struck a nerve among the many, many young people who are--news flash--well-informed and worried about climate change. Boom. It went viral.

It's a little like the Hawaii woman who three years ago posted an idea on Facebook: a woman's march, except in this instance, Thunberg didn't hand over the development of her idea to professional organizers, though she naturally consulted some on her own initiative. And she gained international recognition and gave a hell of a speech at the UN.

Back in 1880, a sixteen-year-old girl wrote such a persuasive rebuttal to a sexist Philadelphia newspaper column, the editor offered her a job. Her first article was on divorce laws that were unfair to women. She went on to expose the horrors of insane asylums, effecting their reform. Her pen name was Nellie Bly. Imagine her impact if the internet and social media had been around then.

Bly and Thunberg were outliers, no doubt about it. But they were not puppets used by manipulative adults.
  #125  
Old 09-29-2019, 10:35 PM
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I still dont get why this one girl out of the thousands all over the world who write essays or give speeches or do something for the environment - only she gets such worldwide fame?

Now how many other parents are pushing their daughters (sorry no boys allowed) to get up on the stage and make speeches so the kid can become famous?
  #126  
Old 09-29-2019, 10:55 PM
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I still dont get why this one girl out of the thousands all over the world who write essays or give speeches or do something for the environment - only she gets such worldwide fame?

Now how many other parents are pushing their daughters (sorry no boys allowed) to get up on the stage and make speeches so the kid can become famous?
Perhaps seek to educate yourself. Here is the wiki on this person.
  #127  
Old 09-30-2019, 06:14 AM
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Perhaps seek to educate yourself. Here is the wiki on this person.
Ok, I get that. She had a presence in Sweden. But still she isnt the only teen in the world to do things for an environmental cause. I still dont get how her status rose from just a local person in Sweden to worldwide fame in only 1 year.
  #128  
Old 09-30-2019, 07:20 AM
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Ok, I get that. She had a presence in Sweden. But still she isnt the only teen in the world to do things for an environmental cause. I still dont get how her status rose from just a local person in Sweden to worldwide fame in only 1 year.
Do you get how anything goes viral?

Particularly things that matter deeply to a lot of people?
  #129  
Old 09-30-2019, 09:18 AM
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An interesting and thoughtful piece about how Thunberg is radically different from other climate-change activists.

Greta Thunberg’s enemies are right to be scared. Her new political allies should be too
  #130  
Old 09-30-2019, 02:29 PM
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I still dont get how her status rose from just a local person in Sweden to worldwide fame in only 1 year.
Well, ISTM that the cite Bone provided laid it out pretty well:

1) Thunberg at 15 won a 2018 student essay competition on the topic of climate change sponsored by a major Swedish newspaper, and as the contest winner, she got her essay published in the paper.

2) That exceedingly minor "public figure" status led to her being contacted by, and attending some meetings of, a Swedish environmental group, during which the suggestion of a student strike on the climate-change issue originated.

3) Thunberg's unusual level of stubbornness/dedication resulted in her solo "school strike" protest every day for three weeks (and subsequently on Fridays) outside Swedish government buildings, and her teen-typical level of social-media savvy resulted in her Instagramming and Tweeting her protest actions.

4) Her protest caught the attention of the founder of a Swedish social-media company focused on climate change, whose social-media coverage of her actions attracted a wider audience, especially after he made a YouTube video about them in English which got international attention.

5) Thunberg stayed solidly engaged and on-message about her cause, attending demonstrations, giving speeches, and talking to other activists, while also continuing her weekly "school strike" protests. The "school strike" concept for climate-change protest caught on and was widely associated with Thunberg's name.

And the rest is, quite literally, history. Sure, Thunberg isn't the only prominent student activist against climate change: there are, for instance, Jamie Margolin, Vic Barrett, Xiye Bastida, and many others in the US alone.

But Thunberg, as one of the first young people to come to international attention in this area, happened to be the chief beneficiary/victim of the positive-feedback loop of being noticed and consequently being sought as a spokesperson and thereby becoming more noticed and consequently being even more sought, etc. etc.

Quote:
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Now how many other parents are pushing their daughters (sorry no boys allowed)
I don't know what on earth you mean by this. Lots of young climate activists are male, such as the aforementioned Vic Barrett, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Paul Campion and Evan Weber, and numerous others both in the US and worldwide.

The climate-action youth movement does tend to be predominantly female, but it's by no means female-only, and there is AFAICT absolutely no attitude that boys aren't "allowed" in it. (The two teenagers of my acquaintance who were climate-striking in Christchurch NZ when the Christchurch mosque shooter committed his attack, for example, are both male.)
  #131  
Old 09-30-2019, 02:44 PM
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An interesting and thoughtful piece about how Thunberg is radically different from other climate-change activists.

Greta Thunberg’s enemies are right to be scared. Her new political allies should be too
That makes a good point. Will even the most liberal leaders actually make any big changes?
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