Is there a finer contemporary essayist than Joseph Epstein? This morning I read his essay “The Kindergarchy: Every Child a Dauphin,” in which he reflects upon the sad outcomes of a society in which children rule, and are pampered and spoiled like “direct descendants of the Sun King.”
As he’s wont to do, Epstein mixes social commentary with humor. I chuckled at this personal anecdote, I suppose from the 1940s: “I recall only once telling my mother that I was bored. ‘Oh,’ she said, a furtive smile on her lips, ‘why don’t you bang your head against the wall. That’ll take your mind off your boredom.’ I never mentioned boredom again.”
– in Joseph Epstein, A Literary Education and Other Essays.