You Kids Today…
I’m thinking of making this a regular feature. Why? Because I am continually confronted by the ignorance of young people (pretty much anybody under forty years of age) who have no clue where they have come from. History, if taught at all, is not taught well, or worse, is cut and pasted to fit various agendii, and combines dangerous with worthless.
With that in mind, let me present you with a poem that I wrote in Middle School…sixth grade or so:
Over and over
my Dad has said,
“Son, lay down
upon the bed…”
I hear the belt
from his pants swishing,
I bite the pillow,
I had not done that awful thing
that now makes my posterior sting.
Cute, huh? My teacher liked it so much she had it published in the school paper. From there it was entered into a local poetry contest which it won, and was published in the local paper to some accolade.
Now, think about it…odds are, you as a probable product of piss poor public schooling, flinched inwardly at the imagery in my little poem, and the words child abuse rolled up to the surface like in the Magic Eight Ball. Whether or not, can you imagine what would happen if some twelve year old boy had the temerity to turn that poem in to his teacher today?
How long before the parent/teacher conferences or, more likely, the Child protective Services were brought into play?
We boys had to go to PE every day. PE means ‘Physical Education’ to those of you who never had classes in such. We would, while dressing down into our uniforms (gasp!) compare welts with each other, making jibes at other Dad’s who “spanked like a weenie”, and admiring a particularly angry looking belt mark. Often, the marks were visible below our PE shorts, and no adult ever remarked on them. As a matter of fact, they were just as likely to add some on top if you violated certain school rules. More than once I was bent over a chair while the principal directed one of the gym teachers in applying the ‘Board of Education’. They didn’t fart around with paying a teacher to baby-sit you in ‘Detention’ in those days, they just beat your ass, or called your Dad in full confidence that he would do it.
We called the teachers Sir or Ma’am…they wore suits and ties, or dresses, and we got our money’s worth. Disruptive students were disciplined, and if they continued, they simply disappeared. More than once I saw some tough male teacher take some young punk down hard and hold him until the police arrived to take him away for trespassing.
And we learned.
I don’t think I got spanked after the age of thirteen. I got a whack with the belt for every year old I was, so it hurt worse as I aged. Plus, I was now old enough and smart enough at thirteen to be vulnerable to financial manipulation, and soon it would be the use (or not) of the family car that would keep me in line.
What did society gain from this rampant child beating? Well, you could sit in a Denny’s restaurant with your family, or with your date, and not hear a table full of punks swearing and acting like assholes for one thing. If some big, angry Korean War vet didn’t excuse himself for a minute from his wife and come over and black your eye, the waitress would, and if you smarted off to her, the cook and several other adult males would come to her aid and you and your homies would end up outside crying like babies with blood coming out of your nose as the police sirens got closer.
And it would be you that they took away, after thanking the angry men who had just beat your smart little asses.
We had a whole different relationship with the police in those days, too. If you weren’t fucking up, they were harmless. You didn’t fuck up, because it meant nothing to them to make you piss a little blood. I got picked up twice by cops as a kid while I was staggering home drunk from some party or other. They didn’t even search me…just tossed me in the back and took me home…to my Dad.
It wasn’t until the late sixties, early seventies, that I noticed cops starting to get mean, angry, and vengeful…you can thank the know-it-all smart-assed hippies for that. Another good reason to hate hippies.
Anyway, I’m tired now…Grampa Bane needs his nap. Ponder the bed you have made for yourselves, as I lay in mine.