Monday, June 23, 2014

Too Soft

     I saw a young lad wading near the shore of a local lake recently. He was wearing a helmet. The kind hip bicyclists wear in urban renewal areas. How a helmet could protect him in this endeavor I can’t say. Maybe his parents thought he might bump heads with a trout. In recent years I've often seen older kids wearing bike helmets…even those just  riding slowly around their cul-de-sac.

     Safety is everything now. I get it, I am a parent. The last thing I want is for any kid (or anyone for that matter) to get hurt needlessly. But we have taken things so far we are being not just feminized, but infantilized. It’s not just that we are loathe to do anything that could get anyone physically hurt in any way, we no longer wish to hurt anyone’s feelings. Or risk offending anyone somehow. And it’s not just people anymore.

     We no longer can stomach disturbing an owl so we limit harvesting timber. If a single snail-darter would be inconvenienced we will give up on hydro-electric power. Peta would like to ban hunting and fishing (gathering will be next).

     We pamper our pets and put them in ‘spas’ when we are on vacation. We put ‘not for human consumption’ on posters and packs of razor blades. There are some near-term benefits but terrible long-term costs attached to this ‘cocoon-culture’.

     Our softness will be our undoing. Can you imagine the Revolution occurring today? Who would bear the burden? Who would stand up and say what they meant, no matter the consequences. Who would sacrifice life and liberty.

     Who among us today would’ve  put their families and their few earthly possessions into a Conostoga wagon and faced down various mortal threats for months at a time, crossed the Great Divide and made it to California to seek a better life? (Now people are leaving California en masse).

     Any volunteers for a reprise of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Exactly as they did it -on foot -with the same provisions and the same risks? There are no Indians to worry about now, but dang that Lyme Disease!

     We haven’t been back to the moon in decades. The future of manned space exploration is up in the air at best. The space shuttle is shut down. Hell, it seems we can’t build an extraordinary (many years ahead of its time) plane like the SR-71 Blackbird anymore. The SR-71 photographed in high-resolution detail the entire area of conflict in the middle east during the Six Days War. In 30 minutes. This intelligence  may have saved Israel as they were fighting several opponents at once. This was 40 years ago. (Would we even  help Israel now?).

     I wonder if Orville and Wilbur ever got banged up. Were there ever any casualties in the space program?

     The economy is suffering in part because we won’t drill or extract.  Many individuals no longer know how to do/build/fix things themselves. We won’t achieve at the level we did in the past because we won’t take the risk. (“No risk, no reward”). All organizations-public and private- will soon be comprised largely of these non-knowing non-risk-taking but politically correct individuals. Robots.  These organizations  will be non-knowing non-risk-taking politically correct entities. The only difference is the government will have the ultimate power, as it will have created a village of idiots that must be taken care of.

     Might that be the goal? It takes a Village…of Idiot’s…to vote for… me.

     In truth, computer technology and all things attendant to it are advancing rapidly. The computers help us design things and solve problems. Computers are getting ‘smarter’ at a startling rate…just as we are getting dumber and weaker. We will be dismissed-told to sit the rest of this one out-with the coming singularity.

     Yet this isn’t the most astounding result or aspect of our softness.

     For all this safety consciousness, we will do nothing to protect ourselves or our loved ones from those who have repeatedly tortured, maimed and killed innocent human life on a massive scale for years on end. Politically incorrect you know.

     And now we release five top Taliban members? Those who have-at the very least-aided and abetted terror around the world?

     I bet we issued them helmets as they left Gitmo.


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