Which generation is made of sterner stuff? (List coming)

I received this message in an e-mail from a high-school classmate who is a lawyer in another state. She often sends me stuff that makes me think; this certainly does:
People over 30 should be dead. Here’s why:

According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 40’s, the 50’s, the 60’s, or even maybe the early 70’s probably shouldn’t have survived, for these reasons:

  1. Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint.
  2. We had no child-proof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets (not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking). As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors! :eek:
  3. We ate cupcakes, bread, and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.
  4. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scrap and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes…
    After running into the bushes a few times, we caught on.
  5. We would leave home in the morning
    and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day.
    NO CELL PHONES!!! Unthinkable! :frowning:
  6. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms.
  7. We had friends! We went outside and found them. We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt.
    We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents, No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents?
    We had fights and punched each other and got black-and-blue and learned to get over it.
    We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.
  8. We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s home
    and knocked on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to them.
  9. Little League had tryouts, and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment.
  10. Some students weren’t so smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. Horrors! Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.
  11. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that!
    This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors, ever.
    The past 50 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. And you’re one of them! Congratulations!
    Please pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before lawyers and government regulated our lives, for our own good!!!
    People under 30 are WIMPS

For what its worth, I turned 21 last Sunday. Lists like these really bug me, and I’ve tried to pin down why.

So far as I can tell, lead poisoning is bad for your health. I imagine that one of the reasons lead based paints are no longer used around children is because there was a clear link between infant developmental difficulties and high levels of lead in their blood.

When I was younger, my brothers and I would ride in the back of the station-wagon. It was fun. Riding around without a seatbelt, that’s fun too. But I don’t do that anymore, because I’ve seen what happens to someone launched through a car windscreen traveling at speed. And it’s awful. There are more cars on the road than there were in the 70’s. And those cars go faster, on better roads. My mum grew up on a farm. A ride in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was not ‘a special treat’, it was, she says, damn embarrassing. And uncomfortable.

My mother and her siblings ran around all day barefoot in farm paddocks. Forty years later, they’re all having cancerous moles removed from their bodies. I on the other hand, do not go outside in the summer without SPF30 sunblock on. And in the middle of the day, with my pasty white skin, I stay in the shade.

There’s a big menningitis awareness drive at the moment in NZ. One of the easiest ways to transfer it is through ‘sharing spit’ as the ads say - like all drinking out of the same bottle. It’s a prevention thing, I think. Probably sharing someone’s coke won’t kill or harm either of you. but it might, so why not just be smart about it?

I like my cellphone. I like the fact that I am reachable. I like the fact that I don’t need a landline, and I like how easy it is to get in touch with my friends. Your opinions may differ. That is fine. Now, I’ve always lived in cities, so I was restricted to parks and reserves, but where would you go all day? There’s not much space to play if you’re a kid, especially if you don’t have a backyard or nearby park.

Internet chat rooms, I can do without. Message boards, this one in particular, are a big part of how I stay aware of the world outside of NZ. I would be much quicker to dismiss the States as a homogeneous mass, if I didn’t spent so much time on the boards.

How endemic are frivolous lawsuits in the States? NZ has ACC so we can’t really sue for things like broken bones.

Eh, I have friends that I do that to. I have friends who do that to me. Would I do that when I was a kid? Maybe, but I was pretty shy. Dopers, what’s your take on this? Would you have simply announced yourself at a friend’s doorstep?

Not everyone makes the team now. My brother plays rugby. He’s in something like the 5thXV. He’s not top grade and he still gets to play - what’s wrong with that?

You didn’t have scaling in the States? Also, the idea that people learn differently isn’t so woowoo nutjob, is it?

What, every single parent?

Unfair, I say. Dopers over thirty, was life really a happy blaze of barefeet and sandlot baseball, steak & ice-cream, rosy sunsets? Was it really ‘tough but fair’?

I like all the social legislation that took place around the years I was born. Pay parity was introduced. Homosexual rights were recognised. Maori culture and language underwent a renaissance of sorts.

I’m tired, and rambling a little. I’d like to think of something pithy to end with, but I can’t. I don’t even have a ironically-cool sig…

Nostalgia is a terrible disease, isn’t it? Blech.

We all long for a time which really never existed quite as we remember it. The older you get, the more pronounced it is. I was once told that “Nostalgia” is the result of a good wine and a bad memory. I just turned 65 and this is the way I see it. I think the young people of today are doing just fine.

Well, I’m 56 and I saw nothing in the lawyer’s post that I didn’t see or experience many, many times growing up. We’ll never go back to those days, but they existed just like she described.

Sorry, make that “in the lawyer’s letter.”

The people who suffered no ill effect from things we now know to be dangerous can go ahead and laugh. The people whose deaths or injuries alerted us to the dangers sure aren’t.

Such lists are like the joke that “if all the stuff we did as kids was so dangerous, why aren’t we all dead?” They ignore the many who DID die (or were injured) as a result of easily preventable childhood accidents, infections, and poisonings. How many of our older dopers remember kids who died, or who were “never quite right after…”?

Curse you, pasunejen!


Two things about this list I wanted to pick on:

Has it EVER been proposed as a matter of health education or public policy that you should drink water from a bottle? I thought it was pretty commoon knowledge that bottled water is just tap water, and is generally less healthy than decent tap water (since it’s more prone to bacterial infection.)

Bottled water is a FAD, not someone I see advocated by the Surgeon General. Many alleged adults seem to be getting this infantile obsession with always having a water nipple they can suck on, but I’m pretty sure the genesis of this trend lies in weight loss mythology (drink eight glasses a day!) rather than any sort of risk avoidance.

Little League has never had tryouts to play, ever, in the entire history of its existence. Little League is by definition a house league; any child who signs up will play, and in most cases will play regularly. Local associations may try out kids for All-Star teams and such, but all kids can play Little League, and All-Star teams cannot compete for the Little League World Series.

I am reminded of the statistic often quoted about face shields in hockey:

Number of Canadian children blinded in hockey games every year before mandatory face shields: 250
Number of Canadian children blinded in hockey games every year today, with mandatory face shields: 0

Some safety measures work. I like my eyes in my head, thank you very much. It is estimated that just mandating the use of face shields in Canadian minor hockey has prevented some 6,000 partial and full blindings, 20,000 facial fractures, ten to twenty lives, and uncountable minor injuries.

In the States, it’s never been a matter of health education or policy that bottled water is better; however it’s a very popular idea. What you’re saying is new to me. I guess it doesn’t matter since I’m drinking filtered tap water these days.

In my memory, there was a draft- so there were tryouts, but everybody got on a team eventually.

“Kids these days are wimps” is just another sign of creeping, potentially lethal nostalgia. Yeah, people may be more protected these days. You know why? Nobody likes getting hurt! :stuck_out_tongue: Same reason, I imagine, you see fewer parents spanking their kids. They remember hating it when they were kids, so they stopped doing it.

Never? That’s B.S.
You mean until the 70’s no one ever saw a fat kid? Perhaps there were fewer overweight kids, but that’s a long way from none.

I find it quite ironic that the generation who legislated and voted for all these types of laws now feels smug enough to make fun of the rest of us for living under them. :rolleyes:

Of course the belief in that email is why Las Vegas and lotteries do so well.

The odds are stacked against you but people remember the good times and if something bad did happen it happened to someone else.
Of couse if something happens to me I will push though Zebra’s Law that will protect everyone from something bad that happened to me and Katie Couric will almost cry as I tell her my sad story and then it will be against the law to do what ever it was that someone did to me.

I like how the glurge is never specific about time period, only that everyone under 30 is a wimp.

To elaborate further on my previous post:

So, let’s say that the OP is referring to kids born from approximately 1935 to 1961. (Those of us born from 1962 to 1974 get lumped in with his generation, we don’t know why.) Now let’s see, that means all these people gained the ability to vote from 1956 to 1979. Since these are mostly baby boomers we’re talking about, they had by far the major voting power, starting in the early 70’s. One might also mention they started being parents around this time too.
Now, hmmm, when did all these lawsuits and regulations get put in place? I’d guess 70’s and 80’s mostly, some 90’s in there. Most of these were caused by hysterical parents, parents who refused to take responsibility and sought to blame others for mishaps, parents who pursued frivilous lawsuits in hopes of winning the lottery in the form of a huge settlement. In other words, the parents and majority voters of the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s. The OP’s generation WAS the generation that caused these laws to be put into place.
Someone who is 30 today got to vote in 1992 for the first time. Anyone under 30 started voting after that.
And you want to call WHO wimps???

As a gardener, I have drunk water from countless garden hoses–on hot days; especially in shadeless yards, it’s the only way I can get anything reasonably cool. I never got sick from doing it, either.
I found an interesting wrinkle on this in My Life in Baseball: the True Record by Ty Cobb. He pointed out that when he was playing in the majors (1905-1928), there were no airplanes; no Players’ Association; no fancy hotels; no modern equipment (he said that teams “used the same black ball” for several innings); and so on. His point was that, although ballplayers didn’t have the modern amenities, they still played full schedules (154 games, though, not 162). With these limitations, Deacon McGuire still played in 26 seasons; Bobby Wallace, 25; Eddie Collins, 25, Cobb 24; “Rabbit” Maranville 24.
And Cobb was criticizing the amenities available in 1960!

Yeah, whoever wrote that email has such a good point. We shouldn’t change society just because we learn more about avoidable risks with possibly fatal consequences. It’s more important that we keep using the same kind of paint as when we grew up. :rolleyes:

In In a Narrow Grave, Larry McMurtry relates the story of an uncle who when eight years old convinced his brothers to let him try his hand at breaking a horse. He broke the horse, but afterwards his head flopped around on his neck a bit. His mom sent him to bed until his broken neck healed, and he went on to be a cowboy and then own a series of ranches. Eventually, the injuries he incurred over his lifetime caught up with him. He spent the last decades of his life in a wheelchair at some nursing home in North Texas.

Personally, I think the lawyer is a WIMP. We should encourage our small children to break horses, not just eat lead paint.