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Give Me A Break!

By JChen in Op-Ed
Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 07:44:09 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

Although this could only happen in the good old U.S. of A., please close your eyes, turn off the music and lights, turn your clock back to when you were a kid, and imagine this scenerio regardless of where you are from:

It is noon on a beautiful spring day. From an open door in the back of a school building flow dozens of children onto a large field, eager to be rid, at least temporarily, of the bonds of ideological imprisonment. They want only to have some simple, time tested fun. A score have already established themselves in a cluster, and have commenced an ages old ritual of starting a game of tag. But wait: suddenly, from the vantage point of your average kid, an administrator with an air of militaristic dominancy hastily approaches and disperses the group, declaring the children's behavior as unacceptable and inappropriate. Sounds impossible? Ludicrous? Would you rather read about something else? Of course. So would I. But this is the reality on many playgrounds in the world's remaining superpower.

What hideous crime have these children committed? The apparent leaders of the group, for the game of tag, has deemed a child of lesser status to be "it". For those who are unfamiliar with these terms, (and for those who are, please hold your egos in check) the person who is "it" must tag another child in order to be "not it". This obiously involves chasing others, as staying "it" is deemed to be unacceptable, and can be frustrating if one cannot tag another. This simple, classic children's game has been played for generations, yet only today has it been deemed to be somehow dangerous, the ridicules upon this game have attained enough importance to be on par with the wise words of the Leader of the Free World. Is tag really such a bad game? Why have children of previous generations, maturing in environments devoid of today's political correctness and government regulations not turned into self-hating, bullying masses?

The logic, plainly stated behind the opponents of tag's reasoning is that children, especially those of whom are lower on the social ladder, must be sheltered from activities which could make them feel bad. Self-claimed experts in universities, soccer moms, school administrators, lawmakers who intend to make our lives better: these are the people who are pushing for regulations on a game of tag. Why, sure, tag could be a fun game if there is adult supervision, to make sure that each child feels special. As responsible adults, they must, quote, "emphasize fun play." This is for younger children. As kids get older and progress towards the teenage years, they could only be gently guided into activities that are rougher on both their bodies and minds, a la tag.

Yes. It is okay to throw up after reading that.

To that, I say quoting John Stossel*: Give me a break!

Yes Mr. Researcher, you can sit in your labs and in front of your workstations, but since when was the last time you've actually played in a game of tag? Is it really that life threatening?

Yes Mrs. Soccer mom, you can worry about your children finding porn and doing drugs, but are you seriously that concerned with the much ballyhooed emotional traumas your child is in grave danger of facing every day?

Please, Mr. Administrator. You spend more time worring about getting more money for your school budgets and hoping the latest computer can help alleviate your school's poor performance. Don't tell me you actually have any idea what the kids are doing. When's the last time, Mr. Lawmaker, you've actually talked to kids outside of your campaign parades? Do you really give that much of a damn as to this nonexistent danger and other issues as you do to how you're going to take a shot at that new Congressional district?

Whose sources do I cite as proof that tag should not be regulated? Why, myself and children I know, of course. After all, are they not at the center of this crisis? I looked back to my childhood and my spending time at a rather ghetto public school. Kids belonged (and I suspect not that much has changed in ten years) in groups: white kids' groups, black kids' groups, the smart kids, the ghetto kids, the gangster wannabes, the wigga wannabes. Yes, it sounds bad. The ethnic divisions. The stereotypes. But in reality it's not. I've experienced such a reality. I belonged to the "nerd" group. But I also played tag, kickball (like baseball, except the ball is a soccer ball and you kick it), dodgeball (you throw balls at others trying to hit them to get them out, and dodging balls thrown at you), and pretty much every popular child's game under the sun. I had fun with everyone. I wasn't the most popular kid. My eyesight was bad and I hated glasses so I couldn't catch very well. I wasn't athletic. Yet most kids still liked me, as I do with everyone else. You learn that when you get into fights, that it's really nothing personal. You learn through games like tag that yes, people are different and some you like more than others. But that's only a microcosm of society, and what better way to prepare children to enter adult society than to let kids learn through real interaction? You can't teach a child this in a classroom. You can't allow a child to understand society inside a sanitized jail.

Have I grown into an suicidal, society-loathing introvert? I don't think I've attempted suicide yet. And indeed I think society is corrupt, but that's only human nature; besides, it's not all bad. But these overprotective, overbearing adults do. Kids don't know better. We must take the big man's burden of sheltering them from things that might hurt them. I agree: indeed, adults have a responsibility for the welfare of their children, but this is not helping them, but rather shielding them from aspects of society that might hurt them so much more should they be sheltered from interactive activities such as tag.

Enough "I's". What other credible sources can I find that will illustrate that tag isn't such a bad thing after all? Today's kids, of course. I asked my sister, who is in elementary school, what games she played for recess. Tag was among those that she mentioned. I asked her if she liked it. She gave an enthusiastic "Yes!". I asked her if she feels bad if she is "it". She replied that you don't want to be "it", so you try your best to be not "it". Point is, the competition makes you want to be the best you are. In addition, tag is perhaps a better activity at introducing children to social situations and society as a whole: you cannot cheat easily, as people are watching the "it" person and his or her target at all times. When I'm picking up my sister from the playground, I see that she has found new friends among kids who were strangers to her when I dropped her off. They are indeed chasing each other, some frustrated, others amused. Yet they know that it's just a game. You do not need some adult making it better for everyone. That's life. You have a positive desire to be all that you can be: you want to excel at what you're doing.

Sanitizing tag according to what experts want is going to take that all away. Children will then understand that, if you can't win, it's okay to walk away without even trying. People more responsible than you are going to give you a cookie and pair you off in fair groups. You are special. So is everybody else.

My God, it's just tag! The children just want to have fun. Please drop the lawyer lingo and your egos and just let the kids play a simple game that lets them socialize. What serious harm other than a bruised knee and maybe temporarily hurt feelings could really result from playing tag?

*John Stossel's site was down at the time that I was writing this, so I have provided Google's cached version instead.


Voxel dot net
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Which of these recreational activities should really be considered dangerous to kids' emotional and physical health?
o Tag 0%
o Dodgeball 5%
o Football (American) 14%
o Magic: The Gathering 7%
o Unreal Tournament 2%
o Masturbation 6%
o Imitating World Wrestling Federation stars' preformances 33%
o Kids will be kids; don't care 29%

Votes: 227
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Google
o importance
o the Leader of the Free World
o adult supervision
o John Stossel*
o other issues
o Also by JChen

Display: Sort:
Give Me A Break! | 125 comments (106 topical, 19 editorial, 0 hidden)
If you play tag... (3.41 / 12) (#8)
by Trollificus on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 01:03:06 AM EST

...then the terrorists have already won.
Now go home and watch television. Watch ads with with crappy sitcoms wrapped around them. Our economy is in shambles! How dare you go out and get exercise when your country needs you?! ;p

btw, +1 FP. =D

"The separation of church and state is a fiction. The nation is the kingdom of God, period."
--Bishop Harold Calvin Ray of West Palm Beach, FL

AYBABTU (1.63 / 11) (#12)
by DarkZero on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 01:54:25 AM EST

...then the terrorists have already won.



[ Parent ]

Godwin's Law? (3.00 / 2) (#46)
by supine on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 10:17:40 AM EST


is this the new trigger for Godwin's Law post Sept 11?


"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant
[ Parent ]

Yes..it is.. (1.00 / 2) (#69)
by xtremex on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 01:41:57 PM EST

Considering that Adolf Hitler was a Liberal. Look at his economic changes....if that wasn't Marxism/Socialism I don't know what is....
How many times do you have to mention Hitler/Nazis/Terrorist before you succumb to Godwin's law? heheh

[ Parent ]
Hitler a liberal? (5.00 / 1) (#86)
by aphrael on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 03:44:44 PM EST

That's *funny*. Given that the only real opposition during the early years of his rule was the social democrats, and given that his party was closely allied with the army (which blamed liberals for the failure of WWI and accused them of betraying the country), and given that germany actively campaigned against communism and supported the nationalists in the spanish civil war, most people would consider him a conservative. But maybe the terms mean something different where you're from. :)

[ Parent ]
Forget what he considers himself (1.00 / 1) (#90)
by xtremex on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 04:21:04 PM EST

or who his allies are...Look at his political actions in his own country. Look at his Economic campaigns. Nazis are socialist! Usually, people see dictatorships as Right-wing, but that's a misnomer. Could you possible say that the American University  educated African dictators are right wing? They learned all their Socialist ideals from US Universities, and then brought it back to their country. I will change my opinion if you can SHOW me how Hitler was right-wing and not left wing.

[ Parent ]
Sort Of (1.00 / 1) (#84)
by DarkZero on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 03:40:06 PM EST

is this the new trigger for Godwin's Law post Sept 11?

Regardless of whether or not Godwin's Law now applies to terrorists, I will be very liberally applying my Godwin's Law responses (mockery) to those who mention them in crappy, overdone, off-topic jokes like "... then the terrorists have already won".

[ Parent ]

"self-hating" (4.40 / 15) (#15)
by streetlawyer on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 02:28:24 AM EST

Why have children of previous generations, maturing in environments devoid of today's political correctness and government regulations not turned into self-hating, bullying masses?

As far as I can tell, they have.

On the other hand, you seem to be confused over the subject of whether you have attempted suicide or not, so perhaps it's cruel of me to provoke you.

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever

Europe, here I come (2.90 / 11) (#18)
by Jebediah on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 04:21:45 AM EST

It's things like this that make me want to leave America. I can't see any reason for this as long as the children aren't forced to play the game.

Geez (3.00 / 2) (#32)
by jolly st nick on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 08:51:15 AM EST

One school adminsitrator on a power trip does not a decadent society make.

Kids in most schools across America are not prevented from playing tag. The writer's sister played tag in her school, for example. I suppose you could say the administrator who banned tag is on the extreme end of unhealthy paternalism towards children. On the other hand, in a big country you will find administrators like this, just like you will find ones that push creationism in the classroom.

[ Parent ]

Trendsetting Kooky Administrators (3.00 / 1) (#47)
by BuddasEvilTwin on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 10:18:43 AM EST

One school adminsitrator on a power trip does not a decadent society make.

  Don't underestimate how quickly stupid ideas can propigate, especially in this country.  Kooks tend to inspire other kooks...

[ Parent ]

But (3.00 / 2) (#67)
by jolly st nick on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 01:37:26 PM EST

most administrators aren't kooks. If they are in your town, you'd be surprised how much influence you can wield if you show up at the committee meetings.

[ Parent ]
Heh. (2.50 / 4) (#20)
by Kasreyn on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:50:10 AM EST

"Yes. It is okay to throw up after reading that."

I did. And then I laughed my ass off. If for no other reason, you get my +1. ^_^


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
So I guess Smear the Queer is probably out too.... (4.28 / 7) (#21)
by morkeleb on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:51:47 AM EST

Anyone else remember that? You play with a football, and whoever has it is "it" and everyone else tries to cream the living bejesus out of that person. Of course the person who is "it" oftentimes (if they're sneaky) will toss the ball to whoever is closest to smashing them into oblivion, and then dogpile on that guy.

A typical game usually lasted as long as the kid who owned the ball could stay in before getting splattered and then taking his ball away in a flurry of tears and much drama.

Are there other people here who grew up in the Midwest? Everyone in California who was born and raised here just looks at me like a wide-eyed doe caught in headlights when I mention that game.
"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
Smear the Queer (3.66 / 3) (#25)
by X-Nc on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 08:13:43 AM EST

Heh, I remember back in the 70's playing this (and getting the shit kicked outta me, too) but it was fun. One funny thing that happened was when my younger brothers got old enough to play some adults started trying to change them name to "Kill the Carrier" because Queer wasn't a good name to call someone. This was before the term PC was so very popular.

Aaahhhh!!!! My K5 subscription expired. Now I can't spell anymore.
[ Parent ]
Variation of a theme (2.66 / 3) (#68)
by xtremex on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 01:38:03 PM EST

I don't remember the name, but we used to play a version of football/rugby w/o rules. You had to get to the goal, but if you had the ball, you basicaly never GOT to the goal because you were pounced on. This was in Long Island, NY. Sure, I got the crap beat out of me, I was the geekiest kid there, but it was FUN! The commeradarie (sp?) made all the difference. After we all got finished beating the crap out of each other, we waited for the ice cream man while our mothers called us for dinner!

[ Parent ]
Kill the Keeper (3.25 / 4) (#26)
by Davidicus on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 08:15:29 AM EST

When i was in 4th grade, we played it as kill the keeper.
I grew up in Mass., so its over here also.

[ Parent ]
Muckle (2.00 / 1) (#88)
by nne3jxc on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 04:13:24 PM EST

In my part of Massachusetts - Wilmington/Reading/Andover -- we called it "Kill The Guy With The Ball" or "Muckle" depending on our mood.

[ Parent ]
I've play this before. (2.00 / 1) (#102)
by DavidTC on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 07:08:11 PM EST

And we called it 'Kill the guy with the ball' too.

It somewhat stopped working when it became a rather strange game of toss because people didn't really want to get tackled. In fact, I fail to see how it works at all without a goal.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

mugby (none / 0) (#103)
by benw on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 11:26:21 PM EST

here in good old adelaide, south australia, we called it "mugby". like rugby, but you get mugged. it got banned from my primary school1 after 2 broken arms in the course of 2 months when i was in year 6.

1 for you non-south-australians, that's reception (pre year 1) to year 7.

"vanilla-licking sofa-humpers". funny.
[ Parent ]
Re: So I guess Smear the Queer is probably out too (2.50 / 2) (#36)
by TunkeyMicket on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 09:14:57 AM EST

Nah I grew up in San Jose, California and we played lots of smear the queer. Hell my brother plays it out here in good 'ole backwater NC where liberals haven't been helicoptered in yet.
Chris "TunkeyMicket" Watford
[ Parent ]
we called it (2.50 / 2) (#39)
by tiamat on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 09:23:22 AM EST

"bang ball" because that was the sound you heard in your head when you caught the ball. You might not have been hit yet, but you knew you would be.

[ Parent ]
Yet Another Name (2.50 / 2) (#41)
by virg on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 09:49:45 AM EST

We played this, but called it Muckle.

"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
We called it Smear the Queer. (3.00 / 1) (#45)
by Yellowbeard on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 10:16:35 AM EST

Well, at least, everyone else did. Even then, I thought it was a rather derisive thing to say. But I made my own decision about it.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin

[ Parent ]
Smear the Queer (2.50 / 2) (#48)
by Empty_One on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 10:31:11 AM EST

One of my favorite memories of grade school was playing Smear the Queer in 4th grade. The older kids (5th grade) used to play this game all the time, but the teachers at recess wouldn't let the younger kids play because they didn't them to get hurt. Well, I decided to play anyway while the teachers back was turned. I remember running around, chasing the guy with the ball, when all of a sudden, he turned around and chucked it at me. As a reflex I caught it, then realized I was about to get jumped on by a bunch of 5th graders. :) Since I didn't run very fast, I was caught right away, but the best thing happened. Someone dove at me, grabbed me around the waist, and just hung there. As I started walking around the field, more and more kids jumped on me, until everyone playing was part of the pile. I never went down, and I never fumbled the ball. The teacher had to tell me to toss it in the air, so the other kids could get a chance.

Man, I loved that game.
"Barney sucks! Best Buy sucks! Sony Sucks! Microsoft sucks, Bill Gates is the anti-Christ and John Ashcroft can kiss my ass!" Wil Wheaton
[ Parent ]

WTF? (4.00 / 5) (#22)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:52:32 AM EST

If a kid really feels that badly about being "it" then he or she will probably not play the game in the first place.

Many games of tag that I've played as a kid started off with someone claiming to be "it."

It's a consensual game, where's the problem?

farq will not be coming back

Pity that this is a misinterpretation (4.28 / 7) (#23)
by sbisson on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:52:34 AM EST

From reading the news, I discovered that this was one school that had *safety* reasons for stopping playing Tag... much like UK schools banning British Bulldog. There's no point in a pc rant here. Now, one on the nanny state, that would be *much* better.
-- S. Pondering the inevitable intertwingledness of everything since 1984
British Bulldog (3.00 / 2) (#27)
by S1ack3rThanThou on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 08:20:52 AM EST

Why and when the hell was british bulldog banned?

"Remember what the dormouse said, feed your head..."
[ Parent ]
Re: British Bulldog (3.50 / 2) (#63)
by sauril on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 12:59:36 PM EST

It was banned in my elementary school in 1978 because too many kids came home with ripped clothes. In Canada. I really miss that game.

[ Parent ]
Blame Canada (nt) (2.00 / 4) (#72)
by fluffy grue on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 02:21:17 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Eight years too Late for My Dad (2.00 / 1) (#96)
by Flarenet on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:07:46 PM EST

That's about eight years too late for my father! He played British Bulldog in grade nine. My Dad is rather intelligent, but was rather short at that time. Anyway, the "big guy" was walking across the field when everyone piled onto him. He wasn't going down, so my father had the brilliant idea of going for the guys legs! Brilliant, the "big guy" went down---right on top of Dad. Broke his collar bone. :) The best/worst part: he went though a 10" growth spurt that summer, which was a pain since he had to wear the harness for his broken bone.

[ Parent ]
No matter what the reasons are ... (4.00 / 1) (#31)
by DeHans on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 08:48:29 AM EST

They stopped kids from playing tag. I've played tag, I've fallen, scratched my knees, gotten bruises, destroyed several perfectly good pants (untill all had leather patches on the knees and butt), and generaly had a good time. Whether they stop it for "emotional distress" or "physical safety" reasons, it still is *silly*. Kids will play, kids will get hurt, kids will be mean to each other. It's all part of growing up and learning to cope in a very diverse society. Overprotection creates whining little irritants.

[ Parent ]
Safety? More info please! (3.00 / 1) (#33)
by bgarcia on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 08:54:00 AM EST

What was the safety reason?

Tag isn't even all that violent, especially compared to things like dodgeball.

"Here, stand against this brick wall while someone tries to fire a ball at your head as hard as they can."

And could someone define "British Bulldog" for us ignorant Americans?

[ Parent ]

British Bulldog / Dodgeball (4.00 / 2) (#38)
by greenrd on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 09:18:27 AM EST

And could someone define "British Bulldog" for us ignorant Americans?

From the BBC:

British Bulldog

Notorious for being banned because of the heavy emphasis on violence[...]

The game begins as a kind of David and Goliath challenge, with one child standing alone as a mass of pupils charge directly at him. His job is to "bring down" as many as possible. Those caught then also assume the role of "catcher" against those that slipped through.

As if that were not violent enough, one variation has the catcher holding his victim, shaking him, spinning him round and dropping him.

I do actually remember playing British Bulldog, although it was the least violent sort - the bulldog just had to touch as many people as possible.

"Here, stand against this brick wall while someone tries to fire a ball at your head as hard as they can."

Ouch. Well, I remember playing variations of that but without the wall being involved, and it was spiffing, what!

"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

British Bulldog (3.00 / 1) (#42)
by Chakotay on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 09:56:36 AM EST

When I was with the boyscouts, we used to regularly play a version of British Bulldog where the captor(s) had to hold the captive(s) down such that they couldn't move anymore, or until the captive(s) gave up. Ofcourse, giving up was a grave dishonour, and reaching the opposite line while dragging three or four captors trying to hold you down was the ultimate honour :) Only once, while playing that game, a little scout broke an arm when a captor tried to hold him down a little too forcefully. Nothing to worry about, really, considering occasionally people fell out of 30ft wood-and-rope towers, were "klapgiek"ed off sail boats (you know, when you turn against and the sail comes violently swinging over) or, like me once, hit squarely on the head by a mast being brought down... Kids will be kids, and scouts are worse :)

Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

[ Parent ]
Bulldog (none / 0) (#99)
by sgp on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:01:41 PM EST

The way we played it, once you'd "got" someone, they were on your side, so you got an ever increasing mass of "perpetrators" in the middle homing in on fewer and fewer "victims".

The "victims" must run from one goalmouth to the other on a soccer pitch - behind the goal was safe, but once all the "victims" got there, you all had to go back again. The "peak" was when you got down to the last victim (normally an expert at the game, of course), some of whom I seem to recall running the pitch a few times without being caught by the mob. Pure skill.

I was a fairly weedy child, but really enjoyed British Bulldog. Yes, there's persecution, but at the start of the game, there's lots of others to hide behind, and by the end, the minority target is the best player, and so is more celebrated than bullied.

Of course, it's easy to remember fondly when it's 20 years later!

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Me too! (none / 0) (#109)
by Paul Johnson on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:32:31 AM EST

I was a fairly weedy child, but really enjoyed British Bulldog.

Yes, I remember the game, and I was pretty weedy too. The tag variant (just touch someone to bring them on your side) was no fun. The variant we mostly played was that you had to lift someone clear of the ground. So you started with the smallest kid in the game and gradually built up a group that could start to tackle the bigger ones.

Of course it was always the big muscular ones who went down the last. So you had one Goliath vs lots of Davids trying to lift him off the ground by sheer weight of numbers. Massive fun!

You are lost in a twisty maze of little standards, all different.
[ Parent ]

Sounds like the opposite of Red Rover. (none / 0) (#101)
by DavidTC on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 07:02:57 PM EST

Red Rover is when you get two lines of people, with linked hands, and one line calls a single kid on the other side to 'come over'. He has to run though the other side, anywhere he wants. If he fails, he has to join that side. If he gets though, he gets to go back to his side. And, yes, he has to physically force his way though the line. (Usually the line is large enough each side can just hold hands instead of linking elbows.)

Then they switch, and the other side calls a kid over.

And as an aside, I've never played dodgeball with a wall. It's either rectangular with kids on both ends, or circular with kids all around. A wall where you didn't have to pay attention would make it much easier, seems to me.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

"Greek" Dodgeball (n/t) (1.00 / 1) (#108)
by wierdo on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:45:17 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Schools ban old activities because of lawsuits (nt (2.00 / 2) (#40)
by willpost on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 09:24:49 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Well, *now* it is... (3.00 / 1) (#58)
by Irobot on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 12:28:21 PM EST

My understanding is that the school changed their tune from "self-esteem" to "safety" with an eye to the PR of the situation. Can you say "Holy spin control, Batman!"?


"Life is so unlike theory." -- Anthony Trollope

The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous. -- Margot Fonteyn
[ Parent ]

Nice article (4.20 / 5) (#24)
by jayhawk88 on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 08:03:19 AM EST

And I do agree that school administrators trying to "regulate" tag is pretty much the 3rd sign of the Apocolypse, but you're using an invalid argument. Just because you and your sister played tag as children and grew up normal, it doesn't necessarily mean that tag isn't emotionally harmful in some way. Using this logic, I could argue that my mother drank heavily during her pregnancy, and I turned out OK, so there must not be a problem in letting pregnant mothers drink.

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
Invalid Logic? (4.33 / 3) (#57)
by Irobot on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 12:24:02 PM EST

Don't take this as a flame, but I think this *is* valid logic - it's known as statistics. The only problem with using this form of argumentation is making sure there is 1) a large enough pool of data and 2) a well-formulated methodology for gathering said data. (Granted, neither is done here.) After all, how exactly do you think scientific studies work?

It's not that anecdotal evidence is not misleading. You're absolutely right - one example does not prove the argument. However, there's nothing wrong with the logic involved (disregarding the Humeian problem with induction, which is an epistemological issue that statistics is meant to alleviate). If anything, the logical shortcoming of the argument in this case is more along the lines of an appeal of popularity - which is meant to enlarge the sample pool so that the argument is statistically robust. If indeed most people agree with the view presented, the argument works.


"Life is so unlike theory" -- Anthony Trollope

The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous. -- Margot Fonteyn
[ Parent ]

I think it depends on the situation (3.33 / 3) (#65)
by jayhawk88 on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 01:10:33 PM EST

I'm not questioning the validity of statistics or anything like that, but I still think the whole "it didn't hurt me, so it must be OK" argument is really flawed, regardless of how many people say it. It really depends on what you're talking about.

In my ridiculous example, it's very easy to shoot down the argument, since birth defects and mental retardations in children born to mothers who drank heavily during pregnancy would presumably be easy to identify. But what of the "tag" example? Just playing devils advocate here, but if I say "I played tag, and I turned out fine": fine compared to what, or to whom? Maybe I don't go around beating children or robbing liquor stores, but how can I or anyone else know how I might have turned out had I played "supervised tag" instead of "regular tag"? Would I perhaps be a more compassionate and understanding person? Would I have grown up more respectful towards women? It's impossible to answer these questions, of course, but that does not justify the argument in question.

Again, do I think all children should play this "supervised tag"? No, I don't. I just find flaw with the "I did it, I'm OK, so it must be OK" idea. It's not just here you see this argument, but it does seem to pop up a lot when dealing with issues of raising children in particular.

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
[ Parent ]
Slow news day? (3.71 / 7) (#28)
by Fantastic Lad on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 08:22:57 AM EST

So what you're saying is that Parent/Teacher organizations and education officials are either dumb as shit, or are hampered by a dumb as shit system?

The most irritating part is that it's hard to get angry, because when you get right into the fray, you quickly realize that nearly everybody involved really does mean well.

I've never seen so many people fucked up as a direct result of well-meaning people.

I like to blame corporate America; the medium which is the message is telling us that people are pretty easy to program. Many people in the education biz actually believe in things like drugging kids who misbehave.

Talk about a brilliant ad-campaign on that one!

Think about it out of context for a moment: there was a time when the idea of the enforced mass-drugging of children to keep them docile would have seemed just as monsterous and unbelieveable an idea as it is. But today it's a reality. Skip pharmecutical corporate advertising! It's more than that. Frankly, it's an effective bit of social engineering!

Fucking "A!"

The really clever bit is that people seem to think that because it's actually happening around them in real-time, (the world going all '1984', that is), that it's not as ridiculous, unbeleivable and simply amazing as it really is! (But then, maybe it's just all the anti-depressants.)

The world is ending, folks. Pull up a lawnchair and enjoy the fire-works! It only happens once in a very long time, and it's mostly likely that you incarnated this life just to experience it.

-Fantastic Lad

Humans (2.40 / 5) (#34)
by awgsilyari on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 09:06:53 AM EST

I like to blame corporate America; the medium which is the message is telling us that people are pretty easy to program.
Would that be in C or C++?

Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]
Liberal Brainwashing (2.33 / 3) (#66)
by xtremex on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 01:29:42 PM EST

I really hate to piss on Liberals, but this is another example of the Marxist ideals that run rampant thru today's media. Marxism sounds great on paper, it really does, but unfortunately, it can't happen. You can't FORCE equality. People ultimately are not equal. In a way I'm glad, because if everyoneis equal, who will "they" decide where equality begins? Life is not fair, and you can not make believe it is. You can't teach kids that the world is roses, because they will have a BIG surprise when they come into the real world. My parents were from the hippie generation, and although they are no longer "hippies", that Marxist mentality shone thru my childhood years.Constantly touting equality, protecting me from the "bad, bad world", giving me "time-outs" instead of punishing me...did it help me? No...ultimately all that had to be undone. I was not prepared for the real world.Now that I'm in my 30's, I am raising my kids in the opposite way. Show them love, while letting them now that not everyone is the same, some are smarter, some are slower, some are not as strong, the world is not fair, and we use the strengths we DO have to excel in life. Marxism has failed time and time again, you can not force equality and "fairness", because humans, ultimately, are not.
Back to your regular scheduled program :)

[ Parent ]
Politics Lesson (4.50 / 2) (#78)
by tlhf on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 03:14:31 PM EST

"I really hate to piss on Liberals, but this is another example of the Marxist ideals that run rampant thru today's media."

Liberalism isn't Marxism. Liberalism believes in tolerance, individualism, justice, equality before the law, liberty, yada yada. Marxism believes in co-operation, satisfaction of need, community, egalitarianism, yada yada.

They're fundamentally different ideologies.


[ Parent ]
In response (1.00 / 2) (#82)
by xtremex on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 03:34:10 PM EST

I agree with your comment, however, in this modern day, Liberalism is becoming Marxism. Every University Professor under the title "Liberal" is REALLY a Marxist.Conservatism touts Personal Liberty, Private Property, Personal Privacy, etc. The Moral Right and the modern-day republicans have ruined the conservative name. A true rigth-winger believes in mORE civil liberties than your modern day liberal. Liberals are ANTI-drugs, and pro-censorship. Right-wingers support personal privacy (do what you want to yourself) and PERSONAL responsibility. Liberals have the bad habit of blaming others for their misfortune. (It's not fair!). The media is definitely Marxist, and Marxism is left wing.

[ Parent ]
Politics Lesson no. 2 (5.00 / 1) (#89)
by tlhf on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 04:17:21 PM EST

"I agree with your comment, however, in this modern day, Liberalism is becoming Marxism. Every University Professor under the title "Liberal" is REALLY a Marxist."

Nice statement. Care to qualify that?

Seriously, I think you're getting confused with Marxists and Social Democrats. Social Democrats are also known as Modern Liberals, which is a fusion of Liberalism, Keynesianism and some Socialism principles. So, you could argue, that they are partially Socialist. But this is not Marxist. Marxism is (according to Marxists at least) derived directly from the words of Marx. It calls for the revolution of the proletariat over Capitalism, and eventually a classless society.

In simple terms, Social Democracy uses Capitalism, whereas Marxism doesn't.

You went on to say some other things, but these are slightly US based. In the UK, Conservatism has entirely different connotations to that of Conservatism in the US.

"Liberals are ANTI-drugs, and pro-censorship."

Any 'Liberal' who advocates censorship isn't liberal. Liberals can be anti-drug though, arguing that narcotic substances limit an individuals liberty.

"Liberals have the bad habit of blaming others for their misfortune."

Care to qualify that as well? I consider myself liberal, but I haven't blamed others for my misfortune. And a lot of people who aren't liberal have blamed others for their misfortune. And when someone is to blame for one's misfortune, then there's no problem with blaming them. If someone shot me in the leg; then I definitely would blame them for my leg bleeding profusely.

"The media is definitely Marxist, and Marxism is left wing."

When was the last time you saw 'the media' calling for the proletariat to overthrow the bourgeoisie?

[ Parent ]
Let the kids do it. (4.00 / 4) (#29)
by spec on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 08:23:57 AM EST

If any regulations are needed in tag, the kids themselves will do it. When I was a frequent tag player the faster runners would help the slower runners if someone got too frustrated. Kept the game moving and also stopped the slower kids from giving up. Good post.

Self-regulation! (4.66 / 6) (#35)
by greenrd on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 09:11:19 AM EST

We don't need no stinking regulation! The Invisible Hand of the Playground will sort it out!


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

I agree (4.00 / 1) (#92)
by BlckKnght on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 04:29:08 PM EST

That is the way it works with good groups of kids. When the better players want everyone to have fun you get a good game. Even if only a few kids try to make it fun, it will work.

I think the "trouble" with some of these games is when the better players are just out to bully the others. I do think it is reasonable to have the teachers of Gym classes watch out that games like tag or dodgeball don't get malicious (since everyone has to participate, it's hard for picked-upon kids to protect themselves). As for pickup games during recess, I think banning them is stupid. There are better solutions to stopping bullying that teach the picked-upon kids to stand up for themselves.

Error: .signature: No such file or directory

[ Parent ]
Smart x Fast (4.00 / 2) (#30)
by C0vardeAn0nim0 on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 08:47:29 AM EST

few thing I learned playing tag:

if you're not the fastest runner, try be the smarter. try to corner some "not it" and tag the oponent. I was not the fastest kid either but I rarely ended games as "it".

tag teaches you about limits. some of the schools I went had really big yards, playing tag in the hole yard would make the game impossible, so delimiting the game field became, after a while, automatic, based in the number of players. if a "not it" went outside the field the other kids would complain.

I learned how to weight the risk/benefit relation. here in brasil (at least in the schools I went) it was usual to declare a very small space as a "neutral ground". everyone inside the ground was imune to "it". so every time the neutral place was full the "it" would be around. I learned to evaluate if the risk of leaving the neutral ground was worth it.

I agree with the arcticle, tag contains a lot of wisdom that comes from the simplicity of the rules an self regulation. don't mess with it or the game will be ruined.


missing poll option (2.50 / 2) (#37)
by lucid on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 09:15:50 AM EST


Seems like a double standard but will it work? (4.33 / 9) (#43)
by willpost on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 10:02:51 AM EST

Is raising a kid to believe that "life is fair" the best way to prepare them for the real world?

  I was raised to believe everything I was told and my bigger brother would always protect me.  I moved to different schools every other grade until I reached 7th grade and I soon found out that I didn't know how to defend myself or make friends.  A person without friends becomes a target for the lower social predators.  Everyone said I would be a scientist and apparently this is how young scientists are treated.  It wasn't until 10 years later that I felt comfortable and proud of who I am.  In retrospect I think my family prepared me for a culture far in the future.  

  Perhaps by raising our children to live in a better society we will help them become better people who will someday make our dreams a reality.

Nope (3.00 / 2) (#61)
by Stick on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 12:57:18 PM EST

Unfortunately, there are people who thrive on hurting others. The best you can do is teach your children to recognize these people, and not to act like them. Another unfortunate fact is that many adults can't even do this well themselves

Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
As far as I can tell (4.00 / 5) (#44)
by Yellowbeard on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 10:13:42 AM EST

This is the perfect forum for the discussion of this subject. I mean, who among us were /not/ nerds, geeks, dorks, or some other flavour of social outcast? (Those of you who were not social oucasts can jolly well piss off - you're not wanted here.)

Now, I was known as a nerd for most of middle school and then basically through High school (grades 5-12). Hell, I started playing D&D at 7. I was not one of the smaller kids, but I wasn't one of the bigger ones either. I certainly got picked on and called a nerd by everyone else. I played tag. I played dodge ball. I never was all that coordinated, but I tried. Anyone else have a similar experience?

These people out to be asking /us/, the geeks of the world, whether these games should be banned. Hell, we're the ones that they were all picking on. Shouldn't we know? I think it is clear how we all feel about the issue.

It's days like this that I am really ashamed to be a liberal.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin

Me, too (4.40 / 5) (#51)
by catseye on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 11:29:59 AM EST

Not only was I a nerd, but I was chubby. Fortunately, I didn't wear glasses because that would have given other kids WAY too much ammo. ;)

I got picked on a lot, but I also had friends. Nerd friends, mostly. I played normal playground games. I sucked at kickball, tag, or anything else that involved running, but I was really, really good at dodgeball which earned me the respect of most of the bullies 'cause they could never hit me with the ball.

I don't think I suffer any psychological trauma from playing tag and what not. It made me kind of sad to always be picked last in PE class when we split up into teams, but I'm not bitter about it.

In fact, I understood it and approved of it, even though it made me sad. When you play team sports, you want to win. The best way to win is to get the best players on your team. I wasn't athletic, so it would be stupid to pick me before picking anyone more athletic than me. I realized my own limitations in that area and took solace in the fact that I had other talents. I suck at sports, but I'm artistic. I couldn't throw a football more than about 30 feet, but I graduated with a 4.10 GPA and was a national merit scholar. It all works out in the end.

Kids need to learn to be in the real world where things are competitive. They need to be encouraged, but they also need to realize their limitations and learn to enjoy the things they ARE good at. I don't care how politically correct everyone wants to be, a kid with a club foot isn't going to run the 4 minute mile.

How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]

Contradictory... (2.66 / 3) (#64)
by kisielk on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 01:04:06 PM EST

I hope that you wrote this statement to be intentionally contradictory for the sake of humor: Those of you who were not social oucasts can jolly well piss off - you're not wanted here. I mean, throwing them out of our forum "society" effectively makes them "some other flavour" of social outcast, no?

Actually, while we're on the topic, doesn't this reasoning effectively make almost everyone some type of social outcast? I know from my experiences at high-school that seperation is not so much a one-sided thing. While the "geeks" did not generally interact with the "jocks" group, the same was true for the opposite; "jocks" were rejected from the "geeks" group as well. The sword cuts both ways.

Talk, talk, it's only talk. Arguments, agreements, advice, answers, articulate announcements. It's all just talk."
- Elephant Talk, King Crimson

[ Parent ]
I had copnsidered a ;) (5.00 / 1) (#70)
by Yellowbeard on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 02:19:24 PM EST

But assumed everyone would see that I was, in fact, being ironical. Just so you'll know. ;)

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin

[ Parent ]
I don't know if I was an outcast (3.00 / 1) (#71)
by shrike7 on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 02:20:47 PM EST

I didn't have many friends, but noone really picked on me. Although someone I went to school with recently told me she always thought of me as a social nomad, so I don't know. For what it's worth, I absolutely loved tag and dodgeball. I liked competing directly against people, and while I wasn't the best by any stretch of the imagination, I wasn't the worst either. There was something intensely satisfying about hitting one of the popular kids, or catching the strongest guy's throws to put him out in dodgeball. On the other hand, I was competitive in everything, so maybe I'm not the most representative sample.
[ Parent ]
Picked on (3.50 / 2) (#87)
by {ice}blueplazma on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 03:58:11 PM EST

I am in high school right now and I am a geek. A big geek. One kid tried to beat me up in 7th grade in the gym locker room and he learned the painful way what the solar plexus (sp?) is. It took almost a minute for him to stand up again. That was the first and only time someone tried to beat me up. My lack of beatings could be due to the fact that I take martial arts and as of now I'm taller than most people.

At least in the suburban high school I go to there aren't many fights at all. Very few actually. Maybe 10-15 a year. There may be more in the cities or I may just go to an odd school but I think that the images of high school people see on TV are vastlye different that what actually happens. Most everyone in my classes (made up of every social group) likes me, even the jocks. So maybe it's just my school but I think social groups are less divided now than they used to be.

"Denise, I've been begging you for the kind of love that Donny and Smitty have, but you won't let me do it, not even once!"
--Jimmy Fallon
[ Parent ]
Another geek (5.00 / 1) (#98)
by Cro Magnon on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:37:55 PM EST

But I liked tag! Of course, running was one thing I was good at so that made a difference. I was too thin for football, and though I could run the bases ok, I struck out enough that no team wanted to pick me. I also wore glasses (which is probably why I couldn't hit the !@#$ ball). I did get picked on quite a bit, but the bullies soon learned that I could and did fight back, even if the bully was bigger than me. I think games of all sorts should be allowed, but the kids who don't want to play shouldn't be forced to.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
The Daily Show (4.00 / 1) (#49)
by jmzero on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 10:58:25 AM EST

Talked about the same sort of thing a while back (Steve Colbert actually)...


Pretty dang funny.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife

Dr. Benjamin Spock (1.00 / 1) (#50)
by bayankaran on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 11:13:21 AM EST

Where does Dr. Spock stand? Is he indirectly responsible for all this BS?

I am not a USian, but I remember reading about Dr. Spock when I was a teenager. I felt his ideas were idiotic.

Jumped off the wagon decades ago. (4.00 / 1) (#83)
by Apuleius on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 03:34:36 PM EST

And died a few years ago.

There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Hide n seek (4.00 / 3) (#52)
by salsaman on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 11:31:59 AM EST

While they're at it, they should ban hide and seek too. I mean, obviously the person doing the seeking will feel left out, since they don't know where any of the other kids are.

Hide n seek == Terrorist Training (4.00 / 4) (#54)
by jac on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 11:50:54 AM EST

Quick!  Stamp it out before we unleash a new generation of suicide bombers!

You are not what you eat. You're what you don't poop.
[ Parent ]

Unfair (1.00 / 1) (#97)
by Cro Magnon on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:26:07 PM EST

Hide n seek is unfair to the weight-challenged! It MUST be banned!!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Not challenged. (none / 0) (#118)
by tekue on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 03:58:13 AM EST

Hide 'n seek is easy for weight-challenged, because -- as the name states -- they have not enough weight.

I'd say hide 'n seek is unfair to the weight-plentifull.
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]

...quoting John Stossel? (3.75 / 4) (#53)
by akp on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 11:47:52 AM EST

Bringing up Stossel reminds me: I usually find it a good idea to take any reporting of this kind by ABC News with a few grains of salt. Stossel, a reporter for ABC, has been widely criticized for skewing the facts in his reports. He has been especially criticized regarding his using of schoolchildren, to whom he is accused of asking leading questions in order to get the answers that he wanted for his reports. (Interestingly enough, both the school in this article and the children interviewed by Stossel were from Santa Monica, California.)

That's not to say that this particular ABC News article contains misleading or fabricated information. Rather, it's just a reminder not to take major media reports at face value.

(Oh, and, no, the ABC News article in question here is not written by Stossel. I'm sure that most of ABC's reporters adhere to a very high standard of journalistic integrity.)


First of All (4.16 / 6) (#55)
by pexatus on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 11:56:02 AM EST

Let me say I agree with your stance. I personally believe that shielding kids from adversity leads them to rely too much on someone else to bail them out when life gets tough. For what it's worth, I think that if these administrators and parents are concerned for the children's self-esteem, they should make efforts to let the kids know that it's okay to choose not to play a game in the first place if it makes them feel bad. Forcibly stopping the game is unfair to those who enjoy it.

Beyond that, I find your particular presentation of this position to be shaky and rhetorical, much like, for instance, a John Stossel report. If I went on 20/201 and claimed that the sky is blue, John Stossel could throw up his hands and say, "Give me a break!" and make it sound like I'm an idiot. He does most of his stories on people who make "Daily Show"2 interviewees look credible, so then everyone believes him when he criticizes (without proof or argumentation) something that actually has some credibility.

Maybe the experts you refer to are full of it, but putting quotes around the word "expert" when you refer to them doesn't discredit their findings. Examining their findings and finding fault with their assumptions or their reasoning discredits their findings.

Enough "I's". What other credible sources can I find that will illustrate that tag isn't such a bad thing after all? Today's kids, of course. I asked my sister, who is in elementary school, what games...
...and so on. Even if we could accept your sister as a credible source, I could simply call her a "Self-claimed expert" to discredit her, right? I hope I don't have to go into the reasons that your sister and whatever other kids you know are not credible sources.

I'm surprised there have not been any comments from the people who posted to this story about homeschooling haven't piped up yet. One of the biggest arguments against homeschooling is that kids need to be allowed to go to a traditional school to "learn to socialize," and plenty of posters found fault with that argument. Your arguments about the various life lessons that tag teaches kids are quite similar. Of course, nobody forces kids to play tag, but like I said, I think the solution the parents and administrators are looking for is encouraging kids to choose not to play a game if they don't like it.

1 For the non-Americans: 20/20 is the shameless entertainment news show that John Stossel works for; think "Eye on Springfield" from the Simpsons.
2 The Daily Show is a parody of news shows like 20/20. The funniest interview I ever saw was when Beth Littleford interviewed David Duke (white supremacist who ran for President) and asked him how to get stains out of a white sheet.

Sports build character. . . (4.00 / 3) (#56)
by IHCOYC on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 12:18:01 PM EST

Sports build character, but only if you're the kid nobody wants on their team.

In my grade school, we had compulsory field hockey. I disliked intensely the environment where fast whizzing objects like balls and sticks were in close proximity to my person, and so I usually avoided the scrums around the ball, making me more or less useless as a field hockey player. I eventually became a field hockey CO, refusing to play, avoiding the ball entirely if forced, and eventually even the teachers gave up trying to compel me to play the game. This remains an achievement I look back on with pride.
"Complecti antecessores tuos in spelæis stygiis Tartari appara," eructavit miles primus.
"Vix dum basiavisti vicarium velocem Mortis," rediit Grignr.
--- Livy

me too (1.00 / 1) (#105)
by sal5ero on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 11:37:10 PM EST

they made me play rugby and soccer. i hated the games and always ended up playing "left right out" position as my team-mates used to say. i once was told i was offside (whatever the hell that means) because everyone else moved and i didn't. WTF??? i was even once accused of hogging the rugby ball during practice, because we had to keep attempting to kick the ball over the posts *UNTIL* we succeeded, and of course, i was crap and never managed to succeed at it, thus holding up everyone else's turn. utter bullshit.

[ Parent ]
its tag! (2.66 / 3) (#60)
by phrontist on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 12:52:48 PM EST

Okay I can understand that if kids are beating out each others internal organs in some sort of game you should put a stop to it. But TAG, c'mon people! If you let 10 kids out in a feild with no prior knowledge of tag in a couple hours they would probably devise the game on there own. its practically instinct!

I've seen dogs play tag (n/t) (3.33 / 3) (#77)
by majubma on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 03:11:34 PM EST

--Thaddeus Q. Thaddelonium, the most crookedest octopus lawyer in the West.
[ Parent ]
Why not football too? (4.00 / 5) (#62)
by Dilligaf on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 12:59:09 PM EST

I mean, come on. Football, a merciless sport. Someone on your team has the ball and all those people on the other team want to beat him up for it. Now, that person on your team<nominally your friend, right?> throws the ball to you and in doing so turns the animosity of that opposing lynch mob<team> toward you. Now, I dont know about you but if someone did something to make an angry mob turn toward me with the intention of beating me up, I wouldnt like that person anymore. So, football is just a way for people to make enemies and beat people up for no reason at all and in my most humble opinion should be removed entirely and completely from schools. Raymond C. Moore III Who you gonna call when things get tough? H.R. Puff N Stuff!

Football=$$$ (none / 0) (#111)
by catseye on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:23:05 AM EST

Hundreds of millions of dollars are generated by football in college and in the professional leagues, and it all starts in high school.

On the flip side, no money is generated from tag.

How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]

knowledge = $$$ (none / 0) (#114)
by Dilligaf on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:18:02 PM EST

yes, football generates all this money.  But when a kid gets hurt playing football, and cant read, as so often happens around where I live in backwoods Missouri, what is that kid going to do then?  "Do you want fries with that?"

Just my opinion but I think organized sports should NOT be part of our education system.

[ Parent ]

Bike Helmets (2.66 / 3) (#73)
by mingofmongo on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 02:48:22 PM EST

Any of you over 25... Did you wear a bike helmet when you rode a bike as a kid? Did anyone you know wear one? If someone told you that someday, everyone would have to wear bike helmets, what would you have said?

People with the best intentions, are trying to coat the world in styrofoam so nobody hurts themselves. Do any of you think this is a good idea?

"What they don't seem to get is that the key to living the good life is to avoid that brass ring like the fucking plague."
--The Onion

Re: Bike Helmets (1.00 / 2) (#74)
by Dilligaf on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 02:51:03 PM EST

No, oh, wait, yes!  I just bought large amounts of stock in styrofoam industry.

Raymond C. Moore III
Who you gonna call when things get tough?  H.R. Puff N Stuff!

[ Parent ]

I was there when the change happened. (4.00 / 2) (#80)
by Apuleius on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 03:32:05 PM EST

I'm 27, and 17 years ago I saw helmets become the fashion in Australia, as a 10 year old.

There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Sorry to be puerile, but... RETARD! (4.00 / 1) (#91)
by oooga on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 04:25:15 PM EST

Biking is, although I have no hard evidence to back this up, just a little bit more dangerous than TAG! Bikers travel at speeds of upwards of 30 mph on a downhill in situations where any number of things are LIKELY to go wrong and cause accidents: blown tires, other equipment failure, carelessness, reckless cars, imminant pedestrian. I am not an avid biker myself, but I do bike a bit, and I have been in two crashes in my life that could have seriously injured me or killed me if I wasn't wearing a helmet, and I have witnessed my cousin take a spill that surely would have killed him except for his helmet. I'm GLAD some "do-gooder" decided to recommend helmet use for all of us.

So yes, I think some of this is a good idea.

Taking my toast burnt since 1985
[ Parent ]

It is a good idea only if done right! (4.00 / 1) (#100)
by stox on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:39:58 PM EST

Back in the late 1970's, there was a movement to require all cyclists in the state of NJ to wear helments. Sadly, bicycle helmets of that era were simply downsized motorcycle helmets with a very hard shell. Studies soon showed that, although the helmets reduced the average expense, in many cases they actually increased the probability of death. The reason for this was that the design allowed for a more elastic collision with the ground, thus the head would bounce and break the neck clean. BTW, I was the subject of one of those studies. I was not wearing a helmet during a rather major accident, if I had, I would not be this typing now.

[ Parent ]
Recommend? (none / 0) (#119)
by tekue on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 04:13:45 AM EST

I'm GLAD some "do-gooder" decided to recommend helmet use for all of us.
Actually, no, he imposed this on us, as a law. And as the other commenter stated, there are situations (at least) that make it more dangerous to wear a helmet.

Now, if it was only a recommendation, I'm all for it, as there are many situations, where (IMO) it's safer to wear a helmet. But if it's mandatory and I can't choose, it's tyranny. Also, it backs the blame-society standard, because if I wear a helmet and get hurt, who'd I blame? Would I blame myself? No, I'd blame the society, as it told me it's safe to drive a bike in a helmet, and it turned out not to be true.

Maybe we'll get better results (with helmets, drug-use, safety belts, alcohol, etc.) if we educate people of dangers instead of pretending that the world can be made perfectly safe, just a few freedom restrictions more?
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]

when I was a kid... (none / 0) (#107)
by gromm on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:07:52 AM EST

I was smacking my head around in a few fairly serious bike accidents, including one in which I did an endo when the front wheel unexpectedly disconnected itself from the bike and subsequently the bike landed on my head! It's incidents like these that taught me that laws be damned, I'm wearing a helmet when I bike! And to reinforce this maxim, I have a couple of "slightly used" helmets hanging on my wall as trophies. The manufacturer of those helmets says they'll replace them if I mail them in with $50 and a description of what happened, but I think they're so much more valuable where they are. :) Am I clumsy? No. Reckless? Not really, but at times I've ridden just outside the limit of my skill and paid for it in a skinned knee and a broken helment. But statistically, most bike accidents have nothing to do with rider skill or carelessness, but instead result in a collision with a motor vehicle. To make cycling safer, one would have to take cars off the roads, (heh. good luck!) not make helmet laws.
Deus ex frigerifero
[ Parent ]
I am near 24 (none / 0) (#115)
by skim123 on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 01:39:27 AM EST

Did you wear a bike helmet when you rode a bike as a kid?

Nope, and I ended up having a bike accident that put me in the hospital for two weeks, was in a drug enduced coma for three days, bleh bleh bleh. Of course, after the accident my mom wouldn't even let me look at a bike without putting a helmet on, so I just stopped riding bikes. I ride a bike occassionally today and <gasp!> don't where a helmet.

Did anyone you know wear one?No one that I knew of. Of course, one guy I didn't know, but saw, wasn't wearing a helmet and took a nasty dive and ended up dying. (I didn't see him fall, I just saw the parametics taking him into to ambulence and blood all over the pavement.)

People with the best intentions, are trying to coat the world in styrofoam so nobody hurts themselves. Do any of you think this is a good idea?

I'd wager my parents, or any parents who have had to worry about their kids dying on them, would think such a thing is a very good idea indeed.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

[ Parent ]
You Need Help (2.66 / 3) (#75)
by Baldrson on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 02:51:43 PM EST

Yes, that supposedly innocent game of "tag" you played as a child damaged your ability to properly relate to the world. There is hope. My Tag Negation Therapy(tm) (TNT(tm)), properly applied by a trained and certified therapist for a mere $250/hour for the rest of your natural life, will cure you. My TNT diagnostics are based on the most sound of scientific principles endorsed by the grand daughter of Sigmund Freud. Don't be in denial -- seek the help you know you need.

-------- Empty the Cities --------

mole hill -> mountain (3.00 / 3) (#76)
by Phantros on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 02:54:31 PM EST

This reminds me of that news story a month or two ago about the vice principle who was publicly checking female student's underwear at a dance to make sure they weren't wearing thongs.

Stupid? Yes, very stupid. Just like banning tag. However, with both I seriously doubt it's the norm. Many parents and teachers don't much care what their kids play. Every week there's some news story condemning violence in computer games, but the violence (and game sales) only increase, so obviously most of those who are concerned are in political and academic ivory towers.

Don't take the "news" too seriously. It is purposefully geared toward showcasing the most sensational topics, so there will be a disproportionate number of idiotic and uncommon events reported on.

4Literature - 2,000 books online and Scoop to discuss them with

an excuse (1.00 / 1) (#104)
by sal5ero on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 11:30:18 PM EST

This reminds me of that news story a month or two ago about the vice principle who was publicly checking female student's underwear at a dance to make sure they weren't wearing thongs.

sounds more like an excuse he came up with to look at female student's underwear...

[ Parent ]
Not he (none / 0) (#112)
by Happy Monkey on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 10:13:03 AM EST

Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
either way (none / 0) (#117)
by sal5ero on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 03:00:16 AM EST

still could be true. i don't know.

[ Parent ]
Never attribute to perversity... (none / 0) (#121)
by Happy Monkey on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 02:14:44 PM EST

...what can be explained by stupidity combined with righteousness.

Or is it the other way round? It's hard to tell.
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
much obliged (5.00 / 1) (#125)
by Meatbomb on Sat Jun 29, 2002 at 11:56:31 AM EST

if anyone has links to jpegs or gifs of this event... for purely academic/research purposes, I can assure you.


Good News for Liberal Democracy!

[ Parent ]
that is... (none / 0) (#106)
by mairidhin on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:01:18 AM EST

until there is a "real" story to report on at which time they will go on and on about it for weeks.

[ Parent ]
OH MY GOD!! (4.00 / 2) (#79)
by wji on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 03:24:38 PM EST

I was being sarcastic. Take your bullshit somewhere else. If you knew anything about high school, you'd know that arbitrary bullshit from the administration happens CONSTANTLY. It has nothing to do wth evil liberal social engineers, political correctness, or the federal government. Go whack off to FOX News or something.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
Someone call me? (3.00 / 2) (#81)
by Apuleius on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 03:33:38 PM EST

The problem isn't the arbitrariness. When you herd small homo sapiens, you have to be arbitrary. The problem is that the people in this school are smoking crack.

There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
OK (none / 0) (#85)
by wji on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 03:41:07 PM EST

But when I was hauled out of math class and accused by the vice principal of uttering death threats and being a computer terrorist, I didn't blame it on conservative social engineering, the drug war, and the federal government. The problem was he was smoking crack. And while what happened to me was at least as serious as some half-assed attempt to ban tag, it would be ridiculous for it to get national media exposure.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]
Once can be solved. One cannot. (none / 0) (#95)
by Apuleius on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:02:38 PM EST

The tag on ban can be solved by heaping ridicule on the admins. What you went through simply cannot be solved. Like many kids, you knew more about computers than your teachers, and that causes inevitable panics.

There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Hey! (none / 0) (#93)
by wji on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 04:41:05 PM EST

BTW, our sigs contrast rather nice, don't you think?

There is no conspiracy.
[ Parent ]

Cool! [nt] (none / 0) (#94)
by Apuleius on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:01:17 PM EST

There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
One option (none / 0) (#116)
by skim123 on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 01:41:02 AM EST

Is to allow the kids to partake in their own activities so long as they aren't harming others. Those kids who feel violated by being it may simply opt to not play tag. Sounds like a pretty fucking simple solution to me. Why ban something many enjoy simply because a few find it too "competitive?"

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

Freedom, not option. (none / 0) (#120)
by tekue on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 04:23:35 AM EST

[One option is] to allow the kids to partake in their own activities so long as they aren't harming others.
This could have an additional bonus of creating citizens who consider themselves free and consider laws against consensual activities unnecessary and dangerous.

Hell, I, as an adult, would like to be treated that way.

The downside of this option is that people who oppose personal freedom and responsibility (such as "Democrats", organized religion leaders, morality legislators) will strongly oppose this approach.
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]

Sterilizing a world... (none / 0) (#123)
by KiTaSuMbA on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 12:52:06 PM EST

First of all I don't think this kind of "safety paranoia" both physical and psychological has anything to do with politics, it has to do with once-spoiled brats turning into decision making adults, ready to overeact and overprotect their kids. It's a social, not a political, phenomenon. These people are the same ones that shove up so many medicines to their children to turn them in mobile drugstores and that wash every fscking knob and surface of their house with antibacterial solutions.
What will happen to akid living in a place compliant to surgical operating room aseptical standards? As soon as he joins the real life outside, he will be all messed up with random illness. It's the same discourse over psychological factors and schooltime games. The school community is a simplified miniature of the world and it's supposed to be so. Children built their own personality and their own "psychological and social antibodies" over reward, aversity and sometimes injustice. Now if the world out there was made of loving people and no harm could get you, then I would see the point that some children games promote negative traits in the kids' personality. But this is not the case. "Sterilize" the school environment and you get a bunch of shocked, paniced and whining adults. Rejection *will* happen eventually in your life, you better get used to it with small doses since childhood or you never know where that bullet is going to end... The games kids play and the rules by which they do so are no more than adult life social and professional relationship first matters. I am sure that someone will jump over saying that the adult world is made in such ways only because we were allowed as kids to play those games and build such characters. The answer is that this kind of gaming comes as instinct, it's inside our own nature. The children will eventually built new forms of competing, bullying and pestering each other if you take them tag or anything else. They are kids, they move faster than you on this stuff. In the end, the world is not going to get any better (revenue will still be revenue, power will still be power, social approvement will still be social approvement) unless you suggest a brave new world to come along with the abolition of tag! If you are a caring parent, you should watch out for your kid, querry him when he comes home from school with all-that-sad-face, explain that's there is nothing wrong with not being good at a silly game since he is good in other stuff (add personal experience sauce here - you *are* his model), that it's alright not to play if he doesn't like it etc. Not only will he have a new, positive, perspective on negative events in life (the sh*t that always happens) but he will be further motivated to develop his real skills How many of you - me included - were sucky sports players and thought at least once "Yeah but I can beat your ass anytime in maths!"? If you are not presented with what you suck at, you will never realise what you are really good at or underestimate it or even get a superbloated ego. You should want your kids to grow to be reactive and resistant to random social "hard times" not a passive "mommy! mommy!" child with the size of an adult, because mommy won't be there and something else might stand in there for you (there goes your independent, social thinker crying for help at a superior entity - be at state, corporation, misunderstood religion, whatever) or even worse, nobody stands there for the role and the person goes desperate in panic...

My 2 cents

There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!

Shamelessly stilted media coverage (5.00 / 1) (#124)
by nermal on Sat Jun 29, 2002 at 05:59:48 AM EST

The LA Times coverage of this story was linked off of fark.com earlier this month (unfortunately fark's link to the article seems to be out of date now). The LA times took a suspiciously long time getting to a very important point; one that the abcnews article omits entirely.
The impression that the principle of this Santa Monica school banned games of tag because of emotional stress suffered by 'it' is a misrepresentation of the policy at best and an outright falsehood at worst. First, the game was not banned. The principle merely set a policy that such games has to be supervised by a teacher. In the PTA flyer where the descision was announced, there was one sentance referring to the emotional effects of smaller and slower kids always being 'it' (the only thing, interestingly enough, the abcnews story saw fit to quote directly). But when interviewed, the principle made it very clear that this was far from the primary reason behind the descision. The requirement that a teacher be present was put into place because in the last year, students had suffered concussions and broken bones on the playground on numerous occasions. There's something to be said for the argument that kids are going to get hurt no matter what, but anyone who has worked in childcare knows that not having a teacher around when children are doing something where one even _might_ sustain that sort of injury is simply unacceptable. All of this comes down the the media taking the 'interesting' or 'controvercial' points in an otherwise unremarkable schoolyard policy and taking them totally out of context in order to make a story. In other words: Don't trust everything you read in the news. If it sounds too asinine to be true, as much as one's cynical side may like to believe it, it's often not; It just makes for good reading.

---- Sorry, left the .sig in my other brain...
Give Me A Break! | 125 comments (106 topical, 19 editorial, 0 hidden)
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