Mahatma Gandhi, circa. 1927

And it’s hard to know what to make of this:

Additionally, only children might have more opportunities for independent activity, and independence is strongly related to creative thinking.

Because, again, Chinese. “€œIndependent”€ and “€œcreative”€ never struck me as the look those people have going this whole time.

So what’s the agenda behind this “€œstudy”€? To take a bit of the curse off all the lingering one-child-policy fallout, of which “€œLittle Emperor Syndrome“€ is only the most proximately toxic?

Apparently not, because:

[Only] children may actually be more annoying and selfish, because of changes to the structure of their brain….

[O]nly children are said to potentially be lacking in empathy and the ability to properly process social information.

Again, news to me that “€œempathy”€ and the rest of that stuff were big-time Chinese priorities. (See “€œdog-eating,”€ above.)

Look: A one-minute interview with me would have “€œdiscovered”€ the same “€œfindings.”€ Being an only child means, among other things, that I”€™m certain that I am THE archetypal only child, the only only child you”€™ll ever need to “€œstudy.”€

That Twilight Zone kid who gave you the creeps when he wished irritating elders into the cornfield? My hero. Ditto Willard and The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. The best thing about Cool Hand Luke is “€œthe box”€; “€œsolitary confinement”€ sounds awesome. When my mother took me to my first (and last) Brownie meeting, I hid in the bathroom the whole time.

And don”€™t touch my stuff. Just don”€™t.

We only children are “€œannoying and selfish,”€ plus all those other things. We”€™re shitty friends and relatives, but we”€™ve gotten a hell of a lot done, too. I”€™m so relieved to be one.

But a whole society full of us? As China’s finding out, not so great:

Imagine a boot stamping on the ground, its owner demanding his own way, forever.


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