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Saturday, 29 July 2006
Death of Liberty

This Psychology Today report is the most horrible, horrible thing I have read for a long time. I sort of knew it all, of course, as we all do, piecemeal; but to see it spelled out in one place, at such length, induced something close to clinical shock. Our poor kids, our poor poor kids.

I've been aware for some time, and reading that made me freshly aware, of my own great good fortune in having been in the last (actually, I think, about last but one, or last but a half) generation of Western children to have a real childhood: roaming over fields and through woods, falling out of trees and into ponds, experienced with firecrackers, roller-skates, airguns, and slingshots, being bullied and occasionally beaten up by older boys, playing "British Bulldog" in the schoolyard**, sailing model boats and flying model planes, playing complicated street games handed down intact from ancient Rome—-and all with never an adult in sight! How lucky we were! How miserable our children must be!

And someone please tell me how we are going to preserve liberty, when we are raising generations who have never experienced it?

Now you've gone and done it. Now I'm in that mood again: I ***hate*** the modern world.

**Rules of British Bulldog: About a dozen boys stand in a line with their backs against a wall. Another dozen stand likewise, facing them, with their backs against an opposing wall 50 feet or so away. At a signal, both groups charge headlong for the opposite wall, the two groups meeting in the middle. First group to get all its men to the opposite wall wins. Contact rules: there aren't any.

Posted on 07/29/2006 5:35 PM by John Derbyshire
30 Jul 2006
Send an emailTom Schafer
I had a childhood very much like you describe. I was born in 1959, but I grew up in a small-ish town in Nebraska, and we may have been "behind the times" so to speak. Thank God for that! But I still see kids in my community that seem to be having the same kind of childhood today (I live in a small town in Kansas). I wonder if much of the "smothering" is an urban, upper-middle, "Blue State" phenomenon - at least I hope so...

30 Jul 2006
Send an emailRobert Bove
Growing up in a now-extinct NJ countryside, amid farms and undeveloped woods, we nonetheless played pom-pom-ploo, our version of BBD, on the macadam playyard of a local parochial school. My guess is our victories--and injuries--were more glorious than yours. There was also winter ice hockey on frozen marshlands.

29 Jul 2006
Send an emailMary Jackson
Not to mention the biscuit game.