Children In Shards On The Playground

Tag: The Horror

I reckon that duck hunters are the only hope for what used to be this country. First, we'll catch all the school principal-ladies who want to neuter boy kids, and we'll make'm disk-shaped. Maybe we can squash them into a special skeet-mold and fill in the empty parts with quick-hardening epoxy. Technology can do wonders these days.

Then we'll take the duck hunters to a really forlorn swamp, and put the principal ladies into a great gynormous skeet-chucker, and yell, "Pul-l-l-llllllll!

Ker-blaaam!

Then we'll put piranha in the swamp to eat what's left.

It's getting worse. I read in The Capital of Annapolis, Maryland, home of the Naval Academy, that the principaless of West Annapolis Elementary has banned tag on the playground. Yep, tag: You're it. It's for safety. Tag is dangerous. She is going to Protect Our Children.

The principaless in question, Joan Brisco, described the horror of tag.

"They would start up, and inevitably it got too rough. The reason we stopped tag was because we didn't want them getting hurt."

Well, I guess. I can imagine that the emergency rooms of Annapolis have done land-office trade in broken and bleeding children, victims of tag. Probably the halls rattle with the tippy-tap of peg legs. No doubt the children's studies suffer because of missing limbs. That's how tag usually is. When I played tag as a kid, we always had the shock-trauma unit on full alert.

If fact, tag is a leading cause of death in children, ranking just behind meteor strikes.

"Rough" means boys.

Now, why do these ladies have their innards in an uproar over tag? Because they are ladies. Usually when I see that some terrible danger has been ended, as for example dodgeball, or a kid of six has been expelled for drawing a picture of a soldier, a teacheress will be behind it. Occasionally it's a New Age man, apparently a transsexual who got stuck in mid passage.

We have feminized the schools. Worse, the teachers don't much like boys.

There is a totalitarian strain in the female psyche. It isn't evil, at least not in intention. Quite the oppposite -- in intention. Women as a sex want to impose security, stability, and conventionality, at all costs, on everything. They want a tyranny of the safe and comfortable.

For which there is a good reason. Historically, mothers have been women. Their instincts are to keep children alive, which is difficult, especially with boys. Boys favor enthusiasm over judgement. Before they are big enough, they want to climb things, crawl into things, and play with things that bite.

They don't understand about coral snakes. Mommy does. A boy of seven is quite sure it's a good idea to climb a utility pole and hang by his toes from the high-tension lines. His mother is sure it isn't. That's why he survives to manhood.

The trick to civilization is channeling male horsepower into useful directions. Women are good at this. When a man wants to put a city to the sword, or throw his boss from a high roof, she restrains him. "Why don't we nuke China next week, honey? Or you could fiddle with the whazzamajig on your Harley instead."

When the female drive for security ceases to be a useful brake on male energy, and becomes instead the dominant principle of existence, the effect is stifling. That is what we have. A guy principal, unless gelded, will let girls be girls and boys be boys. A gal principal wants them both to be girls. A man will not try to force girls to play football. A woman will try to force boys to stop playing it.

Because what is instinctive seems reasonable, few women have the foggiest idea what makes men tick. (Or, God knows, vice versa.) Some do. Some women scuba dive, jump out of airplanes, shoot competitively. The average teacheress doesn't. She can't imagine why boys like roughhousing, or hard-played basketball, or guns. When she says tag is too rough, she means that it is too rough for her.

And with an intolerance peculiar to the sex, she believes that anything she can't understand must be reformed. I am reminded of that flotsam of wisdom, worn now by much passage over the Internet: When a man marries, he believes that the woman won't change, and she does; she believes that he will change, and he doesn't.

However, says the story, the school will allow tag in PE, "if their teacher chooses to lead a group game." Here is another facet of our rewireour children: a distaste for things individual.

Now, liberals and conservatives usually amount to twin halves of a national lobotomy, each cleaving passionately to its chosen lunacies, but there are real differences between the two. The left loves groups. Note that it's easy to get the political left to hold a demonstration, for anything at all, and difficult to get conservatives to demonstrate, for anything at all.

So tag is all right in a group, where it can be supervised, and numbingly safe, and controlled, and impart Appropriate Values. Here is what is really wanted: Control, control, control. Don't let kids play whatever the hell they want to, and be kids. No. We must have a group activity. Don't let them play Cowboys and Indians. We must control how they think about gender and aboriginals. No dodgeball: It's competitive, and we must control such an antisocial drive. Forget tag: We must controls such violence. The schools now seem to be branch offices of North Korea.

And finally the story mentions the school's "no-touching" policy, and the county's rules on sexual harassment. In grade school. Always it is there: The twisted prissy Puritanism, obsessed by the fear of sex, yet determined to discover salaciousness everywhere. I think of the spinster afraid that there might be a man hiding under her bed, and equally afraid that there might not be. A profound anxiety underlies the fear of almost everything: sex, childhood games, winning and losing, physical contact, everything.

How can one not feel utter contempt for these frightened, hostile parsnips of mediocrity?

There is some solace in that boys are not required to wear training bras. Wait a few weeks. But you'll have to excuse me now. I'm working on a skeet mold.