What a wonderful article on growing up outdoors by Bill Croke today. As a fellow NY upstater, I shared most of Bill’s experiences and have always looked back on a rural childhood as a great character builder. I’m sure today’s kids will remember their childhoods similarly, fondly recalling the day Jason hit the million point mark playing Galactic Butcherboy or when Dylan stole a cyber-police car and ran down two dozen pedestrians and nine pimps in a game of Auto Carnage III.
Given the atmosphere in which today’s kids grow up, it is no wonder they feel driven into dark basements for fear of terrorists, child molesters, schoolyard bullies, predatory teachers and ACLU lawyers waiting to seize their parents’ homes if the kids engage in dodgeball, trans-fats, scorekeeping or inappropriately directed laughter. I’d hide, too. The Fun Police are everywhere now and they have no sense of humor.
Drive by a school playground some sunny weekend day; it will be as deserted as the mall on Christmas morning. Gone are the days when kids would all gather to play baseball from morning until night as we did. That’s where kids of our generation learned coping skills such as conflict resolution, cooperation and negotiation. Close calls on the field were decided by spirited debate and then majority vote, not by pulling out a gun. The scourge of modern childhood-the bully- was dealt with by a hard rap to the nose, often resulting in the establishment of a new and respectful friendship. Any sports played by modern boys and girls are scheduled and officiated by and for adults and likely involve driving great distances, expensive equipment, fashionable uniforms and specialized footwear. We wore Keds and Converse that by the end of summer looked like they were hit by Dad’s power mower.p>They say you can’t go back, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if today’s kids could just once be allowed to feel the sun and the wind and spend all day being as gloriously free as we felt we were. br> — Deane Fish br> Altamont, New York /p>
I really enjoyed reading Bill Croke’s “Old School Kids” piece. While I was a mere girl (and nobody would dare chase me with a snake, by the way), our games were also exciting if more cerebral. We were not “doll people” — we had dolls, of course, most of them thrust upon us by well meaning relatives, but they were props in exciting games that ranged from beauty pageants for the ‘dresser dolls’ that our aunties made us dressed in crochet thread and milk separator crinolines, to Stalag, to our very favourite game, “Fleeing From Convicts On A Train.” We had no idea what convicts were and had never been on a train; nevertheless, the whole idea of dressing up in our mothers’ abandoned Catskill Finery and wrapping our dolls in old baby clothes (there were five of us so Mama had lots of these) and keeping a sharp eye out for “convicts” (unshaven, bad-tempered men with evil intentions left totally unspecified) who might pop up anywhere was terribly exciting. Since we were all forced to take dancing lessons, we played “recital” sometimes, and some of us played school.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?