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October 18, 2006

From The Ridiculous To The More Ridiculous

You know, the more our society "evolves" in the course of my lifetime, the more I want to ask Luke and Leia to take me to a galaxy far, far away and strand me there.

When I was growing up, things in general worked just fine. Kids were allowed to be kids -- we climbed big trees, we played touch football and other contact sports in school yards with concrete ground, we played dodgeball, stickball, climbed high ropes in the school gym, played tag, etc... Sometimes we fell down and skinned a knee, got a bloody nose because we weren't quick enough to get out of the way of a ball or even got a sprain during a tangle or pile-up over a ball with opponents.

Fine, we learned that a lot of stuff you do contains some element of risk. We also learned how to use our competitive instincts. And we learned the value of team integrity.

Some of us "sucked" at certain things. Some kids were clumsy, some kids were not athletically inclined, some kids were out of shape, some kids were.... Well, you get the picture, not everybody was a superstar, not everybody could compete handily or keep up with everybody else, let alone with the leaders of the pack.

So many of us worked harder at those things we wanted to be able to do, but in which we fell short. We learned the values of determination, of tenacity, of focused effort, of striving to attain goals.

We brought the fruits of these valuable lessons we learned with us into adult life, into the marketplace, and they helped us to succeed, to be independent.

Today, the liberals who control the public education system reject all of the above. They say that children can get hurt playing competitive sports. They say that losing games or simply not having the natural talents some of the other kids have for athletics will harm the "self esteem" of these children.

Interestingly enough, peer pressure seemed to work very well back in my youth -- if "Tubby" couldn't move fast enough out there in left field and let too many balls go by, he got "the works". He got help from some of the other kids, he received short shrift re his "self esteem", he was ridiculed and cajoled, and eventually he got tired of it and cut down on the pudding and candy bars, put more effort into going after those pop-ups and grounders and became an asset to whichever team he was playing on. His self esteem soared. He went on to become an engineer with a six figure income, a great novelist or an assistant administrative director of the FBI.

Today, the kid whose self esteem is protected like the crown jewels by keeping him from being embarrassed in front of his peers rather than tossed into the arena and compelled to compete faces an adulthood as a noodle.

Having put my two cents into that particular issue, I refer you to the excellent post that set me to embarking on this particular tangent, over at GM's Corner.

Posted by Seth at October 18, 2006 09:44 PM


Do you know that there's a movement to get rid of monkeybars and other "dangerous" playground equipment?

We really are making ourselves a nation of pansies. Hothouse flowers.

Posted by: atheling2 at October 19, 2006 01:35 PM

Atheling2 --

That doesn't surprise me -- I've already seen, in passing, playgrounds set up with thick rubber matting underlining totally sterile looking, hazard-free plastic slides and stuff that I would've thought pretty boring as a kid.

I was not kidding, sometime back, when I said I envisioned a future society identical to that portrayed in the Stallone/Bullock film, Demolition Man. We really are headed down that road. The left is devoted to promoting intrusive government and "protecting" us whether we like it or not, engendering political correctness to the point that the sum total of casual conversation will be (this by a population walking around with a perpetual idiot grin),

"Good morning, Citizen. Has your day thus far been pleasant?"

"And good morning to you, Citizen. Yes, it has been pleasant as always. Thank you for inquiring as to the quality of my day. Has your day been thus far pleasant, as well?"

"Yes, Citizen, as always, and thank you for inquiring. Have a harmonious and fulfilling day."

Posted by: Seth at October 19, 2006 02:06 PM