Stunted by Cynicism

Monday, June 22, 2015

Chronicling our nation's descent into one where the people no longer mind their own business, Lenore Skenazy describes several of the ridiculous consequences -- for the related enterprises of rearing children and growing up -- of precautionary thinking. Among them, we have the following:

There was a case here about three years ago when seven chess players playing outside were fined for ... wait for it ... playing chess. Their chess tables -- concrete ones, placed there by the city -- were deemed too close to the kids, so the men were booted.
This silliness isn't just keeping adults from from participating in activities they enjoy (including teaching children chess): It's interfering with such child antics as visiting kid-oriented stores alone. Read the whole thing, and then consider whether it is any real surprise that a people such as ours find the government snooping at every turn.

-- CAV


Today: Minor corrections and rewording. Changed title.


Anonymous said...

Hi Gus,

When I was in second grade, I ended up on the late bus which meant I had to wait around school for 45 minutes after classes were over. I lived 3 miles away if I stayed on the mile roads, but about half that if I cut across the various fields and, (HORRORS!) I took a canal access road for about two-thirds of that distance.

Given that I was 6-7 years old in 2nd grade, I'm sure that ChildProc today would be arresting my parents. But my parents trusted that they had imparted enough information that I would be smart enough to avoid the pasture with the bull in it, NOT try to go swimming in a large irrigation canal, and even look both ways before crossing a country road with a speed limit of 50 MPH.

And school zones? We didn't have no stinkin' school zones. The rural road in front of the school was 50 MPH and that was on the cusp of a blind hill. The very first day, in first grade, we were taken out to the road and given a lesson in 1) looking both ways, 2) walking against the traffic on the GRAVEL, not the ROAD, and 3) walking single file so that you could stay off of the part of the road where the cars lived.

Today, when I drive by a high school and there is a speed zone of 20 MPH, enforced by DOUBLE FINES!!! I think to myself, "Huh, and some of those folks in there are old enough to vote. Not mature enough, just old enough."

Oy Vey!

c. andrew

Gus Van Horn said...


By today's standards, you "walked uphill in the snow both ways". They'll never believe you.


Anonymous said...

Hi Gus,

Our exchange prompted a bit of literary memory. For a look at how future mothers will be horrified by the unaccompanied perambulations of their offspring, here's Isaac Asimov.'s_Such_a_Beautiful_Day

Of course that was 60 years ago. So perhaps the future is now?

c. andrew

Gus Van Horn said...

Hah! Could be.