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Bloviating Zeppelin: How Did We Do It?

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

How Did We Do It?

You've seen them plastered all over the net; in concert with yesterday's post I found another internet treat addressing this very same issue with some salient comments intermixed.

If you are in your 40s and 50s, considering today's pampered and coddled children never allowed to fail, don't you wonder how you managed to survive your childhood?

Yeah, me neither.


First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our cribs were painted with lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our pushbikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick-up on a warm day was a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hoses and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drink with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING.

We would leave home in the morning, play all day and, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on, despite no one being able to reach us all day, we were fine.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times,we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 399 channels on cable, no videotaped movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms -- we had friends, and we went outside and found them.

I bought green plastic soldiers and made wars all over the back yard; headquarters was a cardboard box. The grass was the ocean. I was popular because I had all the Tonka and Matchbox and Dinky cars and trucks.

Myself and the local kids would go down to the Metropolitan Army Navy store at the corner of Fair Oaks and Marconi on our bikes, buy our green helmet liners, web belts, canteens, shovels, ammo pouches, boots, and then ride to Ancil Hoffman park with our plastic handguns and plastic rifles and shoot the crap out of each other, roll down hills, clutch our chests, then argue over who was dead and who wasn't, who got shot and who didn't.

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

If one mother said one thing, it was like our own mother said it. We knew when we were in trouble. We knew the moment it happened one mother was telephoning the other -- and we were in the Doghouse.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, paste from the jar, and no one died.

We were given catapults for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

All the kids in the neighborhood couldn't wait for late winter, when we could pull up the long green weeds in the field behind our houses and have dirt clod wars.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

We built go karts out of Briggs & Stratton engines, and mini-bikes out of the same engines. Pat Green and I built a mini-bike with an engine that had no brakes but we could disengage the clutch; we used our feet to stop.

Our school teams had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law.

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

  • Failure is normal; success is the exception.
  • Then came the government;
  • Then came regulations;
  • Then came the hordes of attorneys;
  • Then came the lawsuits;
  • Then came the "educators;"

And I would posit: what have we created? Are our children better for all of this, are they better equipped to take on a world economy and world competition?

Many of you are parents: I'd like your answer.



Blogger Kip said...

To Bloviating Zeppelin

Chance: I understand what you are talking about Zeppelin; I was born down South and grew up doing all of the things you wrote about. You brought back such unique memories for me. I remember the farms petting the animals’ goats, pigs, chickens, dogs, etc I remember the squirrels, raccoons, deers, rabbits and many other animals. Deer and squirrel seasons were fun because your parents or parent cooked deer meat and squirrel meant also rabbit was also cooed. I loved deer meat the most, I have eaten raccoon too, a raccoon with yams around it is very good. I remember walking the train track with my friends going to the pond or lake fishing or to hang out. Riding our bikes down a dirt road riding back of a truck letting the wind hit our faces wow that was nice yes, I remember and also you walked almost every where you needed to go or rode your bike.

Chance: I also have observed that the whites and blacks down South were stronger physically and could go thru a lot of mental and emotional suffering. Wherefore, on the east and west coast there are more programs to help one out this is a blessing also. But Down South you had to depend on the kindness of other people and the suffering made you tough and rugged. People are too sheltered from the suffering this sheltering is good but too much sheltering can make one weak.

Good post B Zep

BY Chance

Sun Oct 22, 03:25:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Rivka said...

You are right up my ally here. THe wierd thing is I was thinking the same thing last night when they were talking about all those fights in college ball.

I have noticed in my 7 year old's friends that they are too concerned about getting their feelings hurt.. It is sad. They are boys.
One kid said, "Rebecca, Isaac said your a 'doe-doe' and it hurt my feelings/self esteem".. I told him to get over it and not to allow himself ot get hurt so easy. I reminded him my son has autism and that is his 'friendly' way of trying to establish friendships. I hve been teaching Isaac not to do that, but nevertheless, sheesh!!


It is RAMPANT in school these days among educators..

When I was growing up my older brothers teased me to the end because I was so skinny.. I had names like Rabona, BOB (Bag of bones) (Kind of funny now i might add!), high forehead etc.. I got teased in high school because my mom was a single mom raising 3 kids and I wore the same sweater a lot. I was a cheerleader, but that didn't make a difference!

I SURVIVED!!! I am NOT emotionally distraught over it.. I was always shy and just snapped out of it when I got older.. It was my nature to be shy not because of the 'VERBAL ABUSE' I endured as a child. (verbal abuse is a joke)..

It is pervasive in our culture now. Everyone is so touchy. WE are so self-endulged and we psychoanalyze our kids like you wouldn't believe.

no one spanks any more, parents let the children run the home basically.. Both parents work so most kids are latch-key kids..

The scary part is that I see this heavily in the Christian community as well. They are buying into this culture of 'feelings' first and putting the kids in the center.

These kids are coming out self-centered whiney, indulgent critters and most of these kids have lost respect for their parents and other adults. I have had my son's friends come over acting as though I should give in to every request they make or I am mean. They don't follow my rules and I know their parents are allowing this at home.

We have a few generations lost in the culture of Dr. Spock and Oprah Winfrey.

Times were great when you, Blo, were growing up as well as when I was. My parents were more relaxed bringing us up.. WE got spanked when we needed it and grounded when we needed it. Our parents didn't buy us every toy under the sun and take us to McDonalds every day.. They didn't make us the 'center' of the family. When they got together to play cards with the other parents, we didn't interrupt them constantly..

I can't tell you how much I hate going to a friends house and her kids are constantly interrupting us when we are talking. It is like the whole world stops for them.

My kids aren't perfect by any means, but i can take them to a friends house and they never interrupt. I have just made it a rule with tons of training when they were smaller. My 2 year old and 4 year old will go play in another room, if there are toys, and not bother me the whole time I am there.

I pulled our boys out of public for a lot of reasons, but one of them was that my 7 year old was doing a math paper and stopped and put his fingers to his head like he was shooting himself. he wasn't doing it because of any 'signs' he wanted to really kill himself, but he got it off of a Tom and Jerry movie. He was in his own world pretending. He may have been frustrated with the math.. Anyway, the teacher said, "Oh, I don't like that, it looks like you are trying to kill yourself".. My son just looked at her and said he wasn't. Then she approached me and said he had NEVER done that before so it shocked her. I asked her if he had done stuff like that before and she said no that this is the first time.. Then asked me if she could send him to the school counselor.. I about DIED!! I said, "No, if he hasn't shown that kind of stuff before, it was probably just something he got off of a cartoon, if we pay too much attention to it he will keep doing stuff like that"..

She just said o.k. Then I found out he wasn't allowed to play tag anymore because it could hurt someone, and he could hurt others' feelings who didn't get tagged. Then They didn't do Christmas exchanges because of the kids who couldn't afford to buy presents. We weren't allowed to even give the teachers' presents.
I would think it could be an opportunity for kids to buy presents for those kiddos. sheesh!!!
o.K. i will stop, you hit a nerve today.. Great job!

Sun Oct 22, 04:24:00 AM PDT  
Blogger echotig said...

Simply put I had a rough childhood. I wish it would have been easier. But on the other hand, I learned to deal with disappointment, and make the most of the good things.

Some of my friends, who never seemed to have to go through anything hard, are now as adults so whiny about the smallest of troubles.

I didn't have ideal parents. Now that I am a parent, I try to take all the good things they did and replicate them. And I also take all the bad things and do the opposite.

My children know that life isn't fair, and that's OK. I'd hate for them to be 35 before they figured that out.

Sun Oct 22, 08:21:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comments are so on target. Our kids are being wimped out by over liberalized thinking.
Johnnie pushed Joey: quick call the cops & the lawyers! People don't consider telling the kids to knock it off and to play nice. Parents need to set an example.

You and I grew up in the same town BZ and we did the same things although we never met as kids. Same town, same kid stuff, same adult values. Look out I see a pattern!

Most of my early battle fields are currently occupied by a shopping mall. Memories of small green army men still bring a smile to my face. We traveled miles on our bikes finding adventure.

Later I found the same Metropolitan Army-Navy store. It was filled with wondrous things! Ancil Hoffman Park was our place for fishing and later weekly softball games. We played softball because it was fun and the rangers loaned us the equipment. There was no league.

Sarah Court was actually better for fishing back then but eventually became a hang out for boozing druggie teenagers. A different generation.

My kids did not have the same experiences that I did. I had more freedom to roam. I had a stay at home mom. That may have made a difference. With school,gymnastics, karate and football my kids have always been busy. But they didn't spend hours watching the American River flow like I did. They couldn't because there are too many transients hanging out at the river.

We have always lovingly teased our kids. My wife says that we had kids so that we could tease them. I agree and have been criticized for it. Although it's a family joke, it proved to be a valuable tool for our kids development. It gave them the emotional skills to tolerate and even laugh at school yard name calling. The liberal parents at the private school disapproved.

If our kids did something wrong they were punished. If they did something good they were rewarded.
They were never beaten but did get an occasional spanking. I'm going to stick my neck out and say they grew up normal.

I've been a cop for 30 years. I believe that many of the people I deal with really need a spanking. They have never had one because their parents did not want to hurt their feelings. Hurt feelings are a part of life. It helps us grow and develop emotionally.

We owe it to our kids to help them grow.

Sun Oct 22, 10:50:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Dionne said...

I've seen this before in an email and it has a lot of truth in it. I think the saddest thing is I spent my days during the summer down by the creek and riding my bike and my mom never worried about me. Now because of all the sickos we can't let our kids do that anymore.

In some ways I definitely think people have gotten waaaaaay too politically correct with their kids. I do more for my kids than my parents did for me but my kids also know that the world doesn't revolve around them. I got made fun of a lot as a kid and it did shape my view of myself and the world for awhile. I try to protect my kids from some of that but kids do need to try things and fail and take risks. I encourage my kids a lot to pursue their dreams and take risks. My parents raised me in a way that made afraid and worried about everything and I don't want that for my kids.

Our generation has made some advance s but we also have regressed such as not playing games where kids might get hurt and doing everything to make sure kids don't get their feelings hurt.

Sun Oct 22, 01:56:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

All: those were insightful, excellent comments and I very much appreciate the time you took to write them and, if it took you personally back in time to when you were younger, then so much the better. It was meant to do precisely that.

Chance: and now that you have grown up, don't you think that you are a better person, more rounded, more cognizant of Life, having been exposed to what can be termed the Harsh Realities of Life? And doesn't it equip you more fully to deal with Life's "downs" more realistically? And walking down the train track -- wow, that zoomed in a memory for me when I lived for a time back in Ohio. There was a rusty, rickety, wrinkled feeder line behind my parents' townhouse and we'd wait for the old, crotchety, black Penn Central diesel switcher to rock by, spewing diesel fumes, pulling a few cars. After the locomotive went by we'd throw dirt clods at the railcars, watching the cars rock back and forth on the uneven tracks.

Rebecca: I still feel that boys need to suck it up. There is a yin and yang to life and men and women provide what they provide so that a child can be strong and grounded at the same time.

And that was the point: you SURVIVED. I SURVIVED. Chance SURVIVED. We didn't all keel over dead, bereft of our "esteem." We all learned that life is like that and we managed to move on and to succeed and to live our lives!

Any more, and I hate to say this, public schools are for suckers who know no better, or for those who are economically trapped -- which is why I am ALL FOR VOUCHERS, something that would give ALL parents, rich or poor, a CHOICE.

Trust me, when public schools have to actually compete for their cash, their teachers and their administrators will come into line with amazing rapidity -- or they'll find themselves out of a job and starving -- just like everyone else.

Rebecca: you were SMART for taking your kids out of public schools which, these days, are nothing more than Academies For The Esteem and actual learning be damned.

Echo: sorry to read of your trials as a child but, as you readily acknowledge, you didn't submit and you didn't stay down. You got back up and succeeded and managed to find your own Big White Hat.

The Other Guy: wow; makes me wonder who you are. But aren't those memories precious, vivid and wonderful? And you wouldn't trade them for the world, would you? They helped make you what you are and forged your manner of raising your OWN children who, by the sound of it, will be well grounded in reality and realizing that Life frequently isn't fair; and that getting up and trying again is MORE important than any so-called "success" itself.

I can recall going down to the American River, sitting on the cobble, and watching the salmon swimming upstream, beaten, huge chunks taken out of their sides, some dead on the banks, some dying, but never giving up -- never giving up. YES. We OWE it to our kids to help them grow!

LMC: Yes, yes, and yes!

If you folks enjoyed this post, I hope you read the prior post because this, I fear, is how our world is moving.


Sun Oct 22, 03:54:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bushwack said...

BZ, I won't spend a lot of time rehashing my youth.. I'll just say:
Look at the difference time, liberal judges, and the ACLU makes.

When we first moved to California, my sons joined a Soccer team, no tryouts. and no score keeping for the games.

When our kids got in trouble at school for grades or unruly behavior, We sided with the school and corrected the issue. The teachers were shocked.

When my boys played football they were good and sportsman like. The coaches were shocked.

My point is Parents need to set the tone of our childrens up bringing.
Let them do the things we did (Except for unprotected sex) Let them grow up as men and women like we did, let them use their minds for entertainment as well as the xbox.

it is up to us, not the rules and regs forced on us. When they are at school, follow the rules.. come home and learn to live like men...
This is the way I raised my kids, and I couldn't be prouder of them.

Neither of them will be the next Tiger woods, or Einstein, but I know they will be happy and self- sufficient.

Great post my friend.

Sun Oct 22, 04:18:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Bushwack: you are ABSOLUTELY right. The PARENTS set the tone -- and there are so FEW actual parents today -- most are adults masquerading as parents trying to be "friends" to their children. Their children don't need friends. They need PARENTS.

I watch the Dog Whisperer. Cesar Milan doesn't set the dogs straight -- the dogs know what they are and what they need. Milan sets the overeducated, guilty WHITE PEOPLE straight over their ROLE in an animal's life.

SOMEBODY needs to be IN CHARGE. And, because Nature abhors a vacuum, someone, SOMEBODY will always assume the In Charge role.

Will this be ISLAMISTS?

Or it will be filled by Americans?

I wonder. . .


Sun Oct 22, 05:19:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Kip said...


Chance: Yes it did make me stronger internally and it made me capable of dealing with the realities daily life that confronts me daily.

Take care B Zep

By Chance

Mon Oct 23, 12:53:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Kate said...

I tell my grandkids the same thing I told my daughter, "if there are no bones poking out or blood gushing, then you'll definitely live, so knock it off!" Only twice was there serious blood gushing, but she still lived.

Mon Oct 23, 08:23:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Rivka said...

The other guy,
EXACTLY.. I have heard over and over.. (AND, it is a strong principle in Proverbs in the bible), that if a parent doesn't WORK at raising their children and just has them as trophies, THEY WILL end up as troublemakers when they grow up.. Parents should be laboring teaching their children. Part of that is totally praising GOOD character qualities, while disciplining the bad ones. Some require spanking, some require grounding, some require the loss of a favorite thing to do, or a privilege. You just have to THINK through it and be as consistent as you humanly can be.

Usually people who end up in jail are spoiled brats by one of the parents, or a child who had been "TRUELY" abused or neglected. I mean the kind that would beat them in anger constantly and belittle them at every step.
MOST parents don't do that, yet they are pressured by the world and the psychobabblests not to EVER spank and to psycho analyze your kids.

I fear for this young generation coming up. We can see how the teens of today are all screwed up. People (women) would rather have 'things' than stay at home and take care of their kids. Get rid of most of the debt, and the $40K car, and the house by the lake and you may find if you sacrifice, you could stay home with your kids..

Tue Oct 24, 04:13:00 AM PDT  

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