I wish you my last Nativity greetings of the season!
Yesterday, I stumbled upon Free Range Kids, which is a site dedicated to counter the “helicopter parenting” style that has come to dominate American bourgeois childrearing. Its owner Lenore Skenazy simply promotes what parents universally used to do (e.g. let your children walk to school or take a public bus), and the chattering classes see her as a revolutionary. She has gigs on television shows, publications, and even a speaking circuit. She may have even started a movement. I wish her well, but I want to know why she is necessary. Why does common sense or a fundamental aspect of our inherited way of life need an articulate defender in the court of public opinion? Is such true everywhere in human history, or is this a special characteristic of the contemporary West? And if so, why? When idiots and ideological psychopaths impose their insanity, I expect Americans to push back forcefully and immediately, and that happens at times. But it appears to happen less and less often—and I get the sense that the American masses are becoming more and more complacent, more mandarin, more thoughtlessly obedient to “experts” and social engineers. Perhaps, this is due to successful conditioning, or a breakdown of traditional order, or secularization, or perhaps even the feminization of our civic life. Women tend to be more herd-like in their moral judgments; female suffrage appears to lead by necessity to increased social and political conformity.
Conformity? In our carefree days? Indeed. How funny it is that our latter day libertines become the most draconian bores when their own oxen get gored. “Live and let live”—with the slight modifications listed in three million regulations designed to shackle all life (and to minimize microaggressions, to be sure). Those who preach liberation just want to paint the yoke a new hue (pink, perhaps, or how about rainbow taffy?).
Anyway, I loathe contemporary American pedagogy, with all its toxic, inhuman, suffocating filth. I wish Lenore Skenazy the best in fighting for a “cause” that only requires a champion in a crazy world. And since she has a website and a following, other dutiful mothers might now feel free to follow their instincts and rational judgment rather than the 24/7 media-hyped paranoia. Brave Lenore Skenazy—trailblazing the obvious so that the bovine masses might slowly moo to greener pastures. I say this with genuine admiration for Skenazy coupled with acerbic contempt for human nature—or at least for our sorry, perverted remnant of it.
For a sample of Free Range Kids, check out Skenazy’s New Year’s post, “The Craziest Zero Tolerance Stories of 2014.” It makes one want to grab his pitchfork and a torch and march down to the local board of education. If only Americans had the healthy sensibility of yesteryear’s peasants . . .