Conservative Tastes

Historectomies

By From the November 2013 issue

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AN ITEM HEADLINED “Wimping of America” in the Daily Caller a few weeks ago informed us that the intramural football program at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, allegedly the oldest in the nation, had been deemed by its (female) headmaster to be too dangerous to the participants and would henceforth be replaced by flag football. Like the article’s (female) author, I felt a pang of regret at the news, even though I am myself without any happy memories of playing intramural football—or doing anything else—at Lawrenceville. Like her, too, I am more than a little inclined to regard the move as further evidence (if any further evidence were needed) of the enforced wimpification of America’s youth. You cannot separate the thrill of football from the risk any more than you can that of boxing. These thrills were once considered to be among the legitimate pleasures of (male) youth. But then, as you might have guessed, they don’t do boxing at Lawrenceville either. 

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About the Author

James Bowman, our movie and culture critic, is a resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He is the author of Honor: A History and Media Madness: The Corruption of Our Political Culture, both published by Encounter Books.