Study Reveals: Kids Are Stupid

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Is your kid on acid, or just really into his spiderman pajamas? Authors of an important new study in the Archives of Disease in Childhood want to know:

Five cases of serious injuries to children wearing superhero costumes, involving extreme risk-taking behaviour, are presented here. Although children have always displayed behaviour seemingly unwise to the adult eye, the advent of superhero role models can give unrealistic expectations to the child, which may lead to serious injury.The children we saw have all had to contemplate on their way to hospital that they do not in fact possess superpowers.

The authors recommend that parents lock windows and doors before permitting the distribution of superhero garb.

Via Blog, MD.

Nick Gillespie's classic meditation on "child-proofing the world" is here.

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  1. No fair stealing Dave’s headline (who stole it from the onion, I believe)

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/118043.html

  2. Just use the One Handed Economist’s plan for children rearing.

    Right, Timothy?

  3. Looking at this study makes me think that someone is trying to pad their CV.

    Getting tenure’s a bitch.

  4. These people are wierd! Have they actually raised children who became normal adults?

    Perhaps their stupid “point” is something like ‘be careful, or your children migh end up like Montag, full of risky military experience in Tanks and Helicopters, driving Jeeps and muscle cars well into late adulthood . . .”

    BTW, I was into Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man and Major Matt Mason as a kid. Not sure if Maj. Mason counts.

  5. So do libertarians intentionally attempt to alienate parents with posts like this one?

  6. Never mind, I see it’s just Kerry Howley again.

  7. The children we saw have all had to contemplate on their way to hospital that they do not in fact possess superpowers.

    I don’t know, it seems like all these kids were supernaturally dimwitted.

  8. I’m curious as to just how many posters here are parents? Did any of you find this post alienating? WTF Dan T?

  9. So behaviour is a disease? I thought it was a symptom. But then, I’m no scientist.

    @I: I’ve been further alienated against silly academic studies. Does that count?

  10. I’m curious as to just how many posters here are parents? Did any of you find this post alienating?

    I am a parent of a son who has survived into adulthood.

    “Alienated” did not come to mind at all. Alarmed that people are stupid enough to come up with studies like this, but not alienated.

  11. I always thought it sucked that I couldn’t fly like Superman. Not even with that ratty old blanket tied around my neck, trailing in the breeze as I sprinted across the lawn faster than any bullet fired out of a forty-four.

  12. So do libertarians intentionally attempt to alienate parents with posts like this one?

    I’m a parent and I love posts like this. I’d imagine it’s more alienating to those who reflexively value the opinions of “experts.”

  13. Not sure if Maj. Mason counts.

    Are you kidding? Of course he counts. Major Matt Mason rocks. He could totally kick all those other guys ass, because they’re just comic books and he’s a real guy.

  14. I’m curious as to just how many posters here are parents? Did any of you find this post alienating? WTF Dan T?

    Not just this post, but the entire reoccuring theme of “anything done to help children must be mocked”.

    Hey, I’m trying to give some advice here. Most normal people don’t consider kids to be stupid and are likely to resent those who do.

  15. Warren,

    Come on! Batman was a real guy too! He just hid his cave really well with that “road closed” sign.

  16. Two words: Passive Eugenics.

  17. See, everybody? Dan isn’t being a douche, he’s trying to help us.

  18. VM: That should work fine.

  19. Not just this post, but the entire reoccuring theme of “anything done to help children must be mocked”.

    If this were remotly close to “helping children” it probably would not be mocked.

    This “study” is an exercise in helping some researcher get published.

  20. alienating?

    My kid was 5 when 09-11 happened. After determining that the TV images were indeed, real, he ran downstairs, put on his blue Power Ranger costume and announced that he and his pal Gavin were on the job and would save those people. It was a Kodak moment to be sure. However, to my knowledge, he and Gavin did not attempt to apparate (I know, that’s a Potter word) to New York any time that day. Well, if they did, it didn’t work. Or, maybe they made it to Pittsburgh.

  21. Not just this post, but the entire reoccuring theme of “anything done to help children must be mocked”.

    I think you’ve imagined that “theme.” The actual recurring theme around here is “anything that assumes most parents and children are stupid and need help from academic and government experts to raise healthy kids must be mocked.”

  22. Seinfeld had a bit once about the fact his childhood Superman costume had a warning, “does not able wearer to fly.” He said he wanted to meet the kid who was stupid enough the think he could fly, but smart enough to read the warning label.

  23. Mocking? You bet. As was the headline. Mocking the study, not the kids.

  24. Not just this post, but the entire reoccuring theme of “anything done to help children must be mocked”.

    You know, there’s a lot of other stuff that happens in the universe that doesn’t appear on H&R. So are you saying that H&R needs a non-mock quota of posts in order to satisfy “what about all of the good things that are done to help children” crowd?

  25. Richard,

    That explains why the lawyer for George’s dad wore a cape! Um, I think.

    Oh yea, Batman can kick Superman’s ass.

  26. …does not able wearer to fly…

    I swear that this is the absolute truth and I may even have a photo to prove it somewhere.

    I bought the boy a Harry Potter broom and it had that very warning on it. I swear to God.

  27. Good point Guy. Even so, no matter how much cool stuff was he had in there, the view from a moon base is going to demand a higher rent than a cave.

  28. The Wine Commonsewer | March 8, 2007, 2:45pm | #

    I always thought it sucked that I couldn’t fly like Superman. Not even with that ratty old blanket tied around my neck, trailing in the breeze as I sprinted across the lawn faster than any bullet fired out of a forty-four.

    Smart idea testing out the speed thing before testing out the bullet-proofy thing.

  29. TWC,
    Welcome to the asylum. If you ever find your way out, say Hi to Wonko for me.

  30. Even so, no matter how much cool stuff was he had in there, the view from a moon base is going to demand a higher rent than a cave.

    I think Batman collected rent from the moon too. Good thing that Bruce Wayne was able to get the beaver pelts to the Indians before they evicted everybody from Gothlam City!

  31. If this were remotly close to “helping children” it probably would not be mocked.

    This “study” is an exercise in helping some researcher get published.

    I dunno, I can see in the academic sense that the study of the ways children often confuse real life and fantasy might be useful.

  32. I can’t remember the source off the top of my head, but someone once wrote that pain was an essential part of the learning process. Unfortunately, sometimes we do not survive our most profound learning experiences.

    It doesn’t take a college professor to tell a parent that imaginative children occaisionally do very stupid things.

  33. I dunno, I can see in the academic sense that the study of the ways children often confuse real life and fantasy might be useful.

    Coming from someone who does not seem to believe in either Batman OR Major Matt Mason, I think your opinion is far from expert.

  34. Stevie Long, idiot or hero?

  35. Wow. The line between satire and prescience blurred in just over two weeks.

    That’s gotta be a record.

  36. Concern over superhero role models is only 66 years late. That’s even longer than the New York nitwit worried about the Walkman.

  37. Maurkov,

    If America would adopt my “guns for kids” program, there would be two less robbers to worry about.

  38. In other news from the ’80s, playing D&D turns you into a psychopath. I think there is a Tom Hanks documentary on the subject. Be warned.

  39. Paraphrasing an old Un*x fortune cookie:

    Top Bunk — Where not to put a child wearing Superman jammies.

  40. Hey Dan, why are you so lazy?

  41. Does not enable wearer to fly.

    It’s true. A friend of mine had a Batman cape with that exact warning. Even at 9, we found it amusing that our peers would need such advice.

    After all, Batman himself can’t fly. He does glide sometimes, but still.

  42. Most normal people don’t consider kids to be stupid

    well they are wrong.

  43. Scott Morgan,

    Yea, silly government. He has the Batcopter for flying.

  44. Study Reveals: Dan T. is Stupid

  45. What’s more nieve, the child who believes one time that puting on a cap helps him run fast or the statist who believes time and time again that sitting in the leader’s chair make someone wiser?

  46. off the top of my head, but someone once wrote that pain was an essential part of the learning process

    Howzabout “Fear! The crack that might flood your brain with light!” ~ Guildenstern

    But scalping’s going too far.

  47. It doesn’t take a college professor to tell a parent that imaginative children occaisionally do very stupid things.

    Of course, the parents of young children generally are not the intended audience for academic journals, either.

  48. Indirectly they are

  49. Of course, the parents of young children generally are not the intended audience for academic journals, either.

    I hope the biggest audience for this study is at a Penn & Teller show.

  50. Speaking of The Onion, their crackerjack staff was the first to raise the alarm about our serious childhood imagination problem:

    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/child_safety_experts_call_for

  51. Mike Laursen,

    Doode, you are like so 45 min. ago 🙂

  52. I guess it evens out as I’m sure the readers of Archives of Disease in Childhood would get a good chuckle out of some of the stuff Reason prints as well.

  53. I didn’t RTFA but I did read the abstract. It read like the Onion so it is hard to tell if this is satire or not. The children we saw have all had to contemplate on their way to hospital that they do not in fact possess superpowers. Who wrote that, Jack Webb? Isn’t there a high likelihood that the percentage of kids who do stupid things in their superhero pajamas is roughly the percentage of kids who wear superhero pajamas in the first place?

    Dan, I am a parent and I find it nauseating that anyone in government would feel better qualified to parent my children than I am. If I need help I’ll ask for it. Unsolicited help is unwelcome.

  54. Dan, I am a parent and I find it nauseating that anyone in government would feel better qualified to parent my children than I am.

    But I don’t see why you think that’s the government’s position. What parenting decisions are they making for you, aside from the requiring most basic protections?

  55. How much of Reason’s server space is wasted by Dan T.’s inane balderdash and people’s reactions to it?

  56. How much of Reason’s server space is wasted by Dan T.’s inane balderdash and people’s reactions to it?

    x, where x= too much.

  57. Come on, at least I give you guys some sort of opposition. Without me, this blog is not much more than a bunch of guys congratulating themselves for being smarter than the 95% of the public that is not libertarian.

  58. But I don’t see why you think that’s the government’s position. What parenting decisions are they making for you, aside from the requiring most basic protections?

    Step 1) Someone with a collection of letters behind his/her name issues a dry, sterile science paper that shows children are at risk.

    Step 2) Someone at TV show or radio show or magazine or newspaper or etc issues breathless report with inflamatory language saying children are at risk (report is timed to maximize viewership/readership in pursuit of advertising dollars)

    Step 3) Political action committee or public awareness group issues memorandum saying children are at risk — “won’t someone please save the children”

    Step 4) Politician looking for wedge issue “crafts” sensless legislation to eliminate the risk to children.

    Consequence) Liberty dies a death of a thousand cuts.

  59. What parenting decisions are they making for you, aside from the requiring most basic protections?

    You’re begging the question, and even if that was all agents of the government intruded in on it is out of their mandate. Idiotproofing the world through legislation leaves the boundaries of basic protection.

  60. Wait a moment! I see the problem. It’s this tag here that’s keeping it from working. I’ll just tear it out for ya.

    OK there you go Johnny! That aught to fix you. Climb back on the roof and give it another go.

  61. You’re begging the question, and even if that was all agents of the government intruded in on it is out of their mandate. Idiotproofing the world through legislation leaves the boundaries of basic protection.

    I’m not begging the question, I’m acknowledging that the government does intervene in parenting to some degree (you can’t stop feeding your kids or keep them in cages) but asking for examples of actual parenting decisions that are disallowed by the government.

    Maybe there are some, but they are usually pretty minor in nature aren’t they?

  62. Step 1) Someone with a collection of letters behind his/her name issues a dry, sterile science paper that shows children are at risk.

    Step 2) Someone at TV show or radio show or magazine or newspaper or etc issues breathless report with inflamatory language saying children are at risk (report is timed to maximize viewership/readership in pursuit of advertising dollars)

    Step 3) Political action committee or public awareness group issues memorandum saying children are at risk — “won’t someone please save the children”

    Step 4) Politician looking for wedge issue “crafts” sensless legislation to eliminate the risk to children.

    Consequence) Liberty dies a death of a thousand cuts.

    But when does this happen? What are some examples? And do you really feel that the government has no duty to protect children, at least in extreme cases?

  63. Come on, at least I give you guys some sort of opposition.

    Dan, do you really think that we haven’t heard the sort of crap you spout from anyone else before? And that we’d just change our minds if only we could just once hear the truth?

    Holy crap, man, I’ve been hearing the same sort of bullshit from “authorities” for almost all of my fifty-nine years. I come here for a rest from it.

    But you still come to annoy me.

  64. But when does this happen? What are some examples? And do you really feel that the government has no duty to protect children, at least in extreme cases?

    Don’t get out much do you Dan?

  65. I think Jeff Foxworthy’s new show, “Are you smarter than a fifth grader” will reveal most adults are not. So if our kids are stupid, what would that make our adults?

  66. So do libertarians intentionally attempt to alienate parents with posts like this one?

    Only if they’re parents who haven’t happened upon the novel idea of “Pay some attention to your kids” which would solve 99% of these problems.

  67. So if our kids are stupid, what would that make our adults?

    People that refuse to vote Libertarian?

  68. My kid was 5 when 09-11 happened. After determining that the TV images were indeed, real, he ran downstairs, put on his blue Power Ranger costume and announced that he and his pal Gavin were on the job and would save those people.

    TWC – you know, my Son had the same reaction to something when he was 5 years old. We were watching “How Its Made” when an ad came on for some show about D-Day on the History Channel. Of course, they showed that video of a handful of infantry storming ashore where two of them get shot.

    My son, being the inquisitive sort, asked me about it, and we had a very high level discussion about World War II (no, the holocaust was not discussed, nor my feelings about our participation). My son’s conclusion was that had he been alive then, he would have stopped Hitler and ended the war quickly by going to his house and kicking him in the balls. “You know how hard I’ll kick him? I’ll kick him so hard that he’ll die,” he said, contorting his face ferociously and throwing a jump-kick to emphasize his point.

    BTW after watching that episode of “How It’s Made,” which showed a factory that manufactured dog food, my son announced his intention of becoming a dog food magnate. For the next two weeks, he would explain to everyone he ran into a plan he had -he was going to have a factory that produced 20lb packs of dog-food, which would retail at $1.00. He would describe in loving detail exactly how the pellets would be cooked, extruded and bagged. He would continue by pointing out that not only would he undercut his competitors, but that he would make a killing because people would keep more dogs as pets if the food was cheaper. He was a little sketchy when it came to estimating the cost of raw materials.

    Ah… the optimism of youth. 🙂

  69. But when does this happen? every fucking day

    What are some examples? restrictions on commercials; family hour on TV; bans on candy/soda in schools; bans online “legitimate” adult content (i.e. pornography); so on; so forth; ad nauseum

    And do you really feel that the government has no duty to protect children, no; that’s what parents are for

    at least in extreme cases? that’s what child endangerment laws and the courts are for

  70. “spider man

    spider man

    nobody know who you are”

    “web blast”

    “spider jump”

    “wall crawl”

    thud!

    “wahhhhhhhhhh”

    I really hated the 70’s

  71. Doode, you are like so 45 min. ago 🙂

    Sigh, story of my life.

  72. Come on, at least I give you guys some sort of opposition. Without me, this blog is not much more than a bunch of guys congratulating themselves for being smarter than the 95% of the public that is not libertarian.

    Sorry, Dan T. That’s what we have joe for. And he does it better and with more panache.

  73. restrictions on commercials; family hour on TV; bans on candy/soda in schools; bans online “legitimate” adult content (i.e. pornography); so on; so forth; ad nauseum

    So really, you feel that as a parent your ability to best decide to raise your children is hampered because online porn is banned (it’s not, btw)? Because they make them say “this is part of a complete breakfast” on cereal commercials? Because schools don’t offer easy enough access to junk food?

  74. What parenting decisions are they making for you, aside from the requiring most basic protections?

    Well, let’s start with the biggee: a large mandatory contribution to the government-run school system, what school their kid will attend if they don’t have enough income left over to opt out of the government-run school system, and what will be taught at that school.

  75. I’m not begging the question, I’m acknowledging that the government does intervene in parenting to some degree (you can’t stop feeding your kids or keep them in cages) but asking for examples of actual parenting decisions that are disallowed by the government.

    It is a good thing we have full school choice throughout this great land of ours. Thank goodness the government does not disallow that choice. You are begging the question when you say that [the government requires] the most basic protections. Feel free to establish that the level of government involvement is best described as basic.

    Nevertheless I am intrigued. If I hear you correctly you are hypothesizing that I would stop feeding my kids and start keeping them in cages were it not for the pesky government? Exactly what decisions are agents of the government better qualified to make than me when it comes to the best interests of my children?

  76. Say what you will about kids not having super powers, but in my day it was really quite easy while wearing any of those costumes to do a very credible, though brief, impersonation of the Human Torch.

  77. It is a good thing we have full school choice throughout this great land of ours. Thank goodness the government does not disallow that choice.

    We do have school choice. You’re free to attend any private school that’s willing to admit you.

    You are begging the question when you say that [the government requires] the most basic protections. Feel free to establish that the level of government involvement is best described as basic.

    No, I’m not stating that anything the government does is by definition basic. There probably are situations where the government crosses the line, but generally I don’t see it. That’s why I asked for some examples.

    Nevertheless I am intrigued. If I hear you correctly you are hypothesizing that I would stop feeding my kids and start keeping them in cages were it not for the pesky government?

    Some people do abuse and neglect their children, and I think we’d all agree that in those cases the government knows better than the parents. This is not to be taken to mean that we’d all abuse our kids if the government didn’t stop us.


    Exactly what decisions are agents of the government better qualified to make than me when it comes to the best interests of my children?

    I don’t know. I’m just pointing out that complaints about government intervention in the decisions of parents are overblown.

  78. 77 posts, and no one has mentioned this Onion story yet? You guys must have short memories.

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/30359

    Earth To Be Made Child-Safe
    Planet Renamed ‘Sportin’ Kids Family Fun Play Globe’

    September 18, 1996 | Issue 30?06

    NEW YORK-Under heavy pressure from safety-conscious parents groups around the world, the U.N. General Assembly approved a plan yesterday to make the earth child-safe by the year 2000.

    Renamed the Sportin’ Kids Family Fun Play Globe, the planet will be biologically and topographically overhauled to provide youngsters worldwide with a safe, unimposing, family-oriented environment full of colorful, round-edged objects and plush items.

    “This,” said U.N. spokesperson Mayta Ghalili, “is the start of a newer, softer planet.”

    The U.N. resolution was the result of thousands of phone calls from worried parents concerned about child safety hazards lurking in the earth’s widely varying terrain and ecosystems.

    “I’ve been complaining about Nepal for years,” said Sandy Haberman, president of the Arlington Heights, IL, Fearful Parents Association. “Have you seen that country? Those mountains there are just an accident waiting to happen.”

    To help increase kids’ awareness of the potential dangers of mountains like Nepal’s Everest, James Brown recently recorded a new promotional safety song, “Get Down Offa That Thing! (You Could Fall and Hurt Yourself).”

    The massive overhaul of the earth’s surface involves several major steps: First, all topography will be evened out to a height of two feet above sea level. Lakes and rivers, long known for their fast currents and dangerous bacteria, will be drained, paved and covered in shag carpeting. Hazardous animals like alligators and tigers will have their sharp teeth replaced with soft, non-toxic, extra-large “fun foam” cushions.

    “Whoever made those tigers sure wasn’t a parent, that’s for sure,” said Laurie Tollner, 35, a St. Louis-area tollbooth operator and concerned mother of three. “Why, I’d hate to see what Prevention magazine would give them.”

    All cavernous terrain that is impossible to level, such as canyons and gulches, will be filled in with an enormous mass of multi-colored soft plastic balls into which children may wriggle and frolic.

    “Children who have previously run in terror from the Grand Canyon’s dizzying chasm can now embrace its new family fun atmosphere, and perhaps even enjoy a pizza party,” said Frank Geerske, a high-ranking U.S. Parks Department official. “We’re fully confident that with the changes we’ve made, when it comes to fun for kids, the Grand Canyon will never again be the Bland Canyon.”

    Oceans will be drained, with approximately one foot of water left for a wading pool. “Sonar reveals that there are great chasms in the ocean floor too,” Geerske said. “We will fill these holes with countries that children find boring, like Greenland and Belgium.”

    Beyond the replacement of claws and teeth with foam appendages, the question of what to do with predatory animals remains in question. The U.N. General Assembly agreed that sharks and wolves are “scary” and could be made extinct and replaced with Beanie Babies. But diplomats disagreed over the fate of animals classified as both dangerous and cute, such as lions and black bears.

    “We’ll most likely use genetic engineering techniques to keep these animals in their early or “cub/puppy/kitten” stages of development,” Ghalili said. “That way they will retain their cuteness quotient without any possibility of mauling anyone.”

  79. tarran, great story. Kids are a lot of fun, had I known earlier I would have had them before I needed a walker. But OTOH, we had our first 13 years together without peanut butter thumbprints on the TV. There is something to be said for that as well.

  80. Some people do abuse and neglect their children….

    How can that be? We have government programs and laws to prevent that from happening.

    Overblown? Well, we have two recent cases of government intervention in this county where kids were removed by social services and placed in foster care and then the foster parents MURDERED the kids. Then there were four other cases where the kids were not removed from the parents care and the parents MURDERED the kids.

    So I’m not so sure that the government knew better than all those dam parents as to what was best for the kids.

  81. True confession: I coveted the Superman suit in the Sears catalog but I knew we could not afford it. One Christmas my mom sewed a diamond shape with an S in it on to a blue sweatshirt. She attached a red cap to the shoulders via a series of snaps.

    I knew (or at least i was pretty sure) that having the costume would not allow me to fly, but still I figured I’d better test it. So, I went out to the backyard, climbed atop the picnic table, took a running flying leap while yelling, “Up, Up, and Away!”

    My mom didn’t even ask about the grass stains. I bet she was watching me through the window, laughing her ass off. I still remember it as one of the best presents ever.

  82. I was a kid in the 60s, probably the last decade during which seriously dangerous kid-fun was acceptable. I’m talking tree-climbing, pond-hockey without helmets, bicycle jousting, dirt-clod fights, tackle football helmets or pads, baseball without batting helmets, toy guns that shot hard plastic “bullets” – not to mention air rifles. Not all of these activities were parent-approved, but we managed to fit them into our busy lives.

    My favorite was a rope swing that some friends of mine had set up in a wooded area near their house, close to a swamp and a meadow. This wasn’t a wimpy tire swing attached to a low-hanging branch. The rope must have been thirty feet long, and instead of a tire it ended in a huge set of knots. It was tied up high in a big tree with huge limbs, and we would take turns swinging in long arcs, with hands wrapped around the cord, and sneakered feet resting on the knots. When you felt you had the right angle, you could launch yourself into a pile of sand that had been placed close to where the swamp started, to keep the path dry. Overshoot and you got a little wet. Undershoot and you were risking some damage. When the folks found out about out improvised Tarzan backlot, they were not pleased. We were even eating unwashed berries that grew wild in the meadow! Horrors!

    As far as superheroing went, yes, I dressed as Batman one Halloween, with a mostly home made costume. I knew that wearing a costume didn’t give you superpowers,* Superman said so himself. I had read several stories in the comics about how merely dressing as the Man of Tomorrow wouldn’t empower you. You had to be a Kryptonian. There was even an episode of the 1950s TV series where Kal-El’s outfit goes missing. Clark had to tell Jimmy that “the powers aren’t in the costume, they’re in the man.” Something tells me those kids winding up in the ER weren’t paying attention.

    Kevin

    *Oan power rings and Stark Industries armor excepted, of course.

  83. Capes? You people want capes?

    Bob: Yeah. Something classic – like Dynaguy. Oh, he had a great look! Oh, the cape and the boots…
    Edna: [throws a wadded ball of paper at Bob’s head] No capes!
    Bob: Isn’t that my decision?
    Edna: Do you remember Thunderhead? Tall, storm powers? Nice man, good with kids.
    Bob: Listen, E…
    Edna: November 15th of ’58! All was well, another day saved, when? his cape snagged on a missile fin!
    Bob: Thunderhead was not the brightest bulb…
    Edna: Stratogale! April 23rd, ’57! Cape caught in a jet turbine!
    Bob: E, you can’t generalize about these things…
    Edna: Metaman, express elevator! Dynaguy, snag on takeoff! Splashdown, sucked into a vortex!
    [shouts]
    Edna: No capes!

  84. Syd, that’s a good bit, but Pixar should’ve paid a royalty to Steve Engelhart. He did why capes suck in the “Nomad” arc in Captain America.

    Kevin

  85. “Holy crap, man, I’ve been hearing the same sort of bullshit from “authorities” for almost all of my fifty-nine years. I come here for a rest from it.

    But you still come to annoy me.”

    Talk about a microcosmic example of just exactly how statists operate.

  86. Gentleman, Look at your wife. Now tell me you outgrew the dumbass decision making.

  87. Ron Hardin, is that you, “marriedman”?

  88. When jumping from a rooftop holding a large patio umbrella, it is necessary to duct tape your hands to the handle as my grip wasnt strong enough.(twinkie defense)
    I like to think that painful experiences like these made me the thinker that I am. ya let the kids bounce down the stairs a time or two and you dont have to put up the annoying safety gate. Kids arent stupid but you can make them that way by not letting them experience life.
    please correct me if I am wrong

  89. Talk about a microcosmic example of just exactly how statists operate.

    No shit, MG, like a diner seeking a nonsmoking restaurant I come to Hit and Run in the hope of finding an authoritarian-free environment.

    Then half way through the soup Dan T. and his ilk light up huge stinking stogies of statism and foul the atmosphere.

    And then the fuckwads claim they’re doing us a favor.

  90. The “childproof” thing started c 1980. I knew a couple who immediately took it to heart. Their infant grew into a toddler without a single ouchie or booboo.

    Then they had to open the door and let her out into the real world.

    Three emergency room visits later they stripped out all the protective gear and let her start running into things.

  91. When jumping from a rooftop holding a large patio umbrella…

    Uh oh, we better do a study on kids who are harmed by watching “Mary Poppins”.

  92. We do have school choice. You’re free to attend any private school that’s willing to admit you.

    Great! Would you have a problem if a kid’s parents kept the portion of their taxes that went to paying for public schools and spent it on their kid’s private school tuition? Could people who don’t have kids opt out of that part of their taxes if they spend it on tuition for someone else’s kids?

  93. I did all of those dangerous things, and I grew up in the 80s. I think the safety-Nazi bullshit really took hold in the late 80s. Some of my friends had parents who made them wear bicycle helmets and such, but they were definitely ahead of their time way back in 85 or whenever it was.

  94. Some of my friends had parents who made them wear bicycle helmets and such, but they were definitely ahead of their time way back in 85 or whenever it was.

    Oh, how we laughed at those kids! In 1985, I was practicing how far I could ride my ten-speed “without hands” and without a helmet. Childhood used to be fun.

    Three fave “dangerous” items I had: lawn darts, a Buck knife, and a Daisy 880 pellet gun.

  95. if our kids are stupid, what would that make our adults?

    Only less teachable.

  96. Senator Dan T., from what piece of current or proposed legislation would you withold your support and why?

  97. When I was in elementry school (mid-80’s) we were not so well off and I had to ride in the hatch-back, sometimes half-way across the country. My parents now insist they “did’nt know” about how that children should wear seatbelts. I think a more reasonable explanation is that they balanced the risk of me being ejected from the small car they could afford against the benifit of us taking family trips. Now of course the goverment knows best, and if you can’t afford a minivan you should only have 2 kids or never take them to see grandma.

  98. Damn, help me out, you guys.

    Wasn’t there a movie where the psychopath is killing the parents and mocking the kid in the superhero costume, like “come on, save Mommy, Superman!” and pushing the kid into a wall? Maybe my sick mind just dreamed it up, but I really feel like I saw it many years ago.

  99. I always dated the “wussification” of childhood to the Assasination Year of 1968. That’s when a considerable number of parents stopped giving their kids toy guns to play with. A very loud “anti-violence” lobby was coalescing as a reaction to the 1967 riots, the killings of RFK and MLK Jr. and, of course, the war in Southeast Asia. Non-competitive play became a fad. Remember Free To Be…You and Me and New Games? Some of that is still with us. Schools are dropping games like dodgeball and banning negative cheers and booing at sporting events. No doubt the tendency to bubble-wrap kids did not spread equally quickly into all segments of U.S. society. I lived in a pretty well-off suburban area outside of New York City, and while at the time our county was solidly Republican, it had no trouble with the idea that the answer to juvenile delinquency was slapping a social straitjacket on the kids. Our area may have been in the leading edge of that wave, what with Bobby having been our carpetbagging Senator, and being within the ambit of the headquarters of the Librul Media.

    Kevin

  100. Warning labels for kids costumes – how about for fat, ugly middle aged men like me – I bought a Mustang and I never got hot, blonde twins to take a metagorical ride with me. And a Mustang costs a helluva lot more than a crappy kid’s costume. And kids get over stuff -I’ll never forget the blonde twins I never will have.

  101. I can’t believe I missed a thread about superhero pajamas, which I’d still wear if they came in adult L. Instead, I’m stuck with a Green Lantern T-shirt, sweatpants and ring that won’t hold a charge.

  102. kevrob,

    My favorite was a rope swing that some friends of mine had set up in a wooded area near their house, close to a swamp and a meadow. This wasn’t a wimpy tire swing attached to a low-hanging branch. The rope must have been thirty feet long, and instead of a tire it ended in a huge set of knots. It was tied up high in a big tree with huge limbs, and we would take turns swinging in long arcs, with hands wrapped around the cord, and sneakered feet resting on the knots. When you felt you had the right angle, you could launch yourself into a pile of sand that had been placed close to where the swamp started, to keep the path dry.

    And then one day, while you were on a trip with a teacher, your best friend used the rope to cross a swollen stream, and she fell to her death. The guilt over her death erupted in a crying jag over pancakes. You never thought you could ever forgive yourself, did you kevrob?

    If only Ted Stevens had managed to get the $50 million dollars he needed to build the Bridge to Terebithia, she would have been okay…

  103. Apparently, the lobotomy and seditives we administered to J. Goard weren’t fully effective. He’s beginning to…remember things.

  104. Superheros? Pffft. Mary Poppins almost did me in.

    I saw Mary Poppins when I was about 4 and of course, as any 4 year-old at the time would be, I was blown away by the film.

    So much so that the next day, I got a hold of my mother’s umbrella, went to the back porch, which incidently, had about a 20-foot drop to the ground, climed onto the rail and was ready to go. I hear a frenzied scream from inside and my mother tore out of the house to grab my easily impressed ass before I plummeted to a certain broken leg. I’m fairly certian I heard a sonic boom as my mother ran.

    There was no warning label as to the lack of Poppins-like qualities to its performance, so far as I can recall.

    I also had a kick-ass Batman utility belt (I think this was after the “Poppins Incident”). The Batman TV servies was on and man, what a bad-ass theme song. Anyway, in addition to a real grappling hook, it also had a pistol-grip grenade launcher (curious, I don’t recall that on the series).

    One very windy day, an “invisible monster” was opening and closing the front storm door over and over. Naturally, I took care of him with great ease using the grenade launcher. I took aim and BLAM! No more monster. Unfortunately, there was some colateral damage to the door’s window, which blew out in a 10 foot radius on the front porch. That spring-loaded launcher had a kick to it.

    I never saw that utility belt again. Stupid lack of warning labels about there being no invisible monsters.

  105. Sugarfree,
    It was 250 million, not 50.

    50 million? sheesh, you could never build a bridge to Terabithia with that.

  106. So if our kids are stupid, what would that make our adults?

    Circa 1958 I was eleven and my father was stationed on a military base in Germany. The base threw a huge Halloween party for the kids.

    I really really wanted to go as Batman. The post theater Saturday morning kids program was most of the way through a Batman serial, way before Adam West made it campy.

    My mother (who was always crafty) made me a fairly sophisticated costume, and let me help. (Probably why I can sew.) Hood, cape, tights, boots, utility belt. Lots of work.

    My little brother, seven, wasn’t into the holiday yet, so my parents rented him a chimney-sweep costume. Black coat, top hat, wooden ladder.

    The grownups had a costume contest, and my little brother won “Most Original Costume.” He had to split the prize with the other kid wearing a chimney-sweep costume.

    Eleven was my “adults aren’t perfect” year.

  107. Uh oh, we better do a study on kids who are harmed by watching “Mary Poppins”.

    Heh. I didn’t see this until now.

    Alright! Kid stupidity loves company!

  108. I always dated the “wussification” of childhood to the Assasination Year of 1968.

    Interesting, kevrob. I’ve often wondered when the “wussification” started. I was a kid in the Sixties, too, and I miss that relatively free-wheeling era.

    The thing that fascinates me most about the current wussy era is that a teenager can go straight from a high school where they can get in trouble for sneaking an aspirin onto campus to a recruiting center where they’ll hand the kid a gun and send him off to exchange gunfire with some folks he’s never met in some desert half way around the world.

  109. The 70s seemed pretty free-wheeling, other than we weren’t allowed to hitchhike or take candy from strangers.

  110. the advent of superhero role models can give unrealistic expectations to the child, which may lead to serious injury.The children we saw have all had to contemplate on their way to hospital that they do not in fact possess superpowers.

    And short shirts don’t make women attractive, either.

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