Listening to Doug Stanhope the other day, I realized he's right; we're going to be the first generation of elderly in the retirement home bitching about how kids today are fucking pussies. But, is this a problem, and if so, what is it causing?
My dad and I talk a lot, about various random things. Often the conversation turns to the old days, and sometimes I'm shocked at how much he could get away with. Maybe it's because there were fewer laws back then, maybe it's because it wasn't so socially unacceptable, but getting in to an after school fist fight back then rarely resulted in law suits or prosecution, and almost never resulted in expulsion from school. Today, very few of my friends have ever even been in a real fight. Really, few people I talk to around my age ever have. The closest to a fist fight many children will come to today is a flame war on an internet message board or AIM. Children don't stick up for themselves many times because they've learned it's much easier to go to an authority figure and ask them to fix their problems for them, and then they get a pat on the head for it.
In the 70s, school shootings were truly a rare occurrence. Suicides were not quite as rare, but neither were they as prevalent as they are today. I'm not saying they're connected to wussification, because it could never be proven, but it certainly makes me wonder. If children are never forced to toughen up for themselves, do they lose the ability to adequately cope with day-to-day life? Can they ever learn it back?
And if this is the case, what went wrong and how can it be fixed? Would encouraging children to stand up for themselves make a difference? Would abandoning the philosophies of positive reinforcement help? Is the cure as simple as a stern bitchslap every now and then?
This is not a thread to discuss school violence or suicide as anything other than their merit as symptoms of the problem. I used those two things as examples because they were the easiest ones to use. Please try to refrain from derailing it into one.
Something tells me this story ends up with Ballbaggins fucking his house again.