Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Curmudgeon: When I Was a Windy Boy

I was reading this here article, waiting to say "yeah, yeah" (yes, sometimes I tire, or get nervous when the first topic is "racial discrimination"), but instead the hairs on my arms began rising...

What follows are excerpts:

"When I was a boy, America was a freer society than it is today.

"When I was a 7-year-old boy, I flew alone from New York to my aunt and uncle in Miami and did the same thing coming back to New York. I boarded the plane on my own and got off the plane on my own. No papers for my parents to fill out... Had I run away or been kidnapped, no one would have sued the airline.

"When I was a boy, I ran after girls during recess, played dodgeball, climbed monkey bars and sat on seesaws. Today, more and more schools have no recess; have canceled dodgeball lest someone feel bad about being removed from the game; and call the police in to interrogate, even sometimes arrest, elementary school boys who playfully touch a girl. And monkey bars and seesaws are largely gone, for fear of lawsuits should a child be injured.

[Ed. note: it was at this point that I began to get really... scared?]

"When I was boy, I was surrounded by adult men. Today, most American boys (and girls, of course) come into contact with no adult man all day every school day. Their teachers and school principals are all likely to be women. And if, as is often the case, there is no father at home (not solely because of divorce but because "family" courts have allowed many divorced mothers to remove fathers from their children's lives), boys almost never come into contact with the most important group of people in a boy's life -- adult men. The contemporary absence of men in boys' lives is not only unprecedented in American history; it is probably unprecedented in recorded history.

[Ed. note: True dat.  More and more men are simply...suspect, not to be trusted, nay, to be feared and avoided.  Weird, weird world, and dangerous precedent.]

"When I was a boy, we had in our lives adults who took pride in being adults. [Ed. note: I have been thinking about this a lot lately...] To distinguish them from our peers, we called these adults "Mr.," "Mrs." and "Miss," or by their titles, "Doctor," "Pastor," "Rabbi," "Father." It was good for us, and we liked it. Having adults proud of their adulthood, and not acting like they were still kids, gave us security (as well as something to look forward to in growing up). Today, kids are surrounded by peers twice, three, four times their age.

"When I was a boy, the purpose of American history textbooks was to teach American history... [W]e were not raised by educators or parents who believed that "teenagers will have sex no matter what." 

And, to sum it all up:

"We were, in short, allowed to be relatively innocent." 

I am, quite literally, fighting back the tears.  

True enough, true enough, true enough that.

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