The Cities Thread

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by That Phat Hat, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Location:
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    Since about 1985 or so, we have been collectively told that child snatchers ae on every block, and that only a terrible terrible parent ever let a kid out of his or her sight. Is it any wonder that we are collectively nutty?

    A few years back I was in a bar with a young mother. She had an child in a stroller. American lunacy #1 -- the child was not permitted in the bar. Under 18 you see. So she put the stroller just outside the bar, in the hotel lobby, sat at a table just inside the bar, and looked through the glass window at her stroller. American lunacy #2 - The cops came and told her she shouldn't do that, that somebody might steal her child.


  2. That Phat Hat

    That Phat Hat Member+

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    I know the whole "You're more likely to be murdered/kidnapped/raped by someone you know" things is a bit of a fallacy, but it's still kind of true. Stranger danger is seriously overrated.

    This reminds me of one of my favorite Freakonomics episodes about the death of hitchhiking in the US. Basically, a couple of freak incidents in the news killed what was an incredibly cost-efficient mode of transport (that, and lower cost of car ownership).
  3. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    I'm old enough to remember seeing hitchhikers, routinely. Many were female. I remember driving the summer after my freshman year of college with a friend and picking up two high school girls in bikinis, they were hitching a ride from the beach to their home in the hills.

    People today think that sort of thing is crazy because they overestimate the dangers to hitchhikers by about a factor of 1000.
  4. Barbara

    Barbara Where is Rickon?

    Joined:
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    DC United
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    My sister lives in the Herndon, VA at the bottom of a pipestem driveway. (It's like a tiny cul de sac where several houses share a long driveway.) There are two houses on each side of the drive between my sister's house and the street. The drive is, at the most, 100 yards long.

    Anyway, there's a 10yo kid who lives in one of the houses on the street who is not allowed to walk down the driveway to my sister's house to play with my sister's grandkid. Apparently she's a little brat who has been spoiled rotten by her parents and my sister can't stand the kid.

    Anyway, at 10 years old, I was running around the neighborhood both on foot and on my bike. I was only about a year away from riding my bike a mile or so to school and this kid can't walk a few yards down a driveway in one of the safest neighborhoods I can imagine.

    This is why kids are fat. When I was a kid I wasn't overweight but you could tell by looking at me that I had a tendency towards chubbiness. However, I wasn't fat as a kid probably because I ran around and rode my bike all over the place. If I'd been forced to sit inside and watch TV all the time, I probably would have been obese at 10. As it was, I felt very restrained by my parents because I couldn't go wherever I wanted - my mom was very upfront that if I was a boy, I'd have more freedom. (We did live in a kind of a sketchy area.)


  5. song219

    song219 BigSoccer Supporter

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    La Norte
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    DC United
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    Vanuatu
    When & how do suburban kids learn to do things on their own now? I don't have kids & my nephews & nieces are still young. I grew up in the 'burbs in the 70's and roamed all over the place. In DC kids learn to take the bus & the Metro at a fairly young age so they can get to school.

    Are they just set free when they get a driver's license or failing that go away to college?
  6. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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    I've told this story before, but...

    A few years ago, I was talking to some college students. They were mostly male, and they were largely suburbanites save for a couple of rural/very small town kids, and they were all athletes (I was director of the athletic tuoring program. Anyway). Basically, when I talked about playing pick up baseball when I was a kid, most of them were flabbergasted, esp. the baseball players. Turns out, none of the baseball players had ever played a game that wasn't organized for them. Same with the soccer players, though I think I got them to where they might be able to imagine doing so. But for the most part, none of them have ever played a game w/o adults being responsible for them (except basketball in some cases). When they did play on their own, they tended to play video games. But as fun as it is, Madden NFL is no substitute for throwing the ball around in the backyard, park, or street.
  7. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays Copy editing is now my hobby.

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    I'm probably at the end of the "unorganized sports" thing. I remember playing baseball in yards and football in the street as a kid. That was the early 1990s. It doesn't happen anymore. The only sports that happen comes from a local soccer group organized by the HOA vice president.
  8. soccernutter

    soccernutter Moderator Staff Member

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    While in Jr high, we had a semi-organized football game on Saturday morning. Basically, it was a couple of parents driving a few down and watching for entertainment/safety. Otherwise most of us showed up on bikes or skateboards.

    Otherwise, we roamed the neighborhood, like most of the rest of you. We started fires, watched friends get knocked out, the ususal stuff.
  9. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    I started a small forest fire as a 9 year old, after stealing a lighter from a workman. We burned a discarded mattress because ... well just because ... and then the fire spread to the foliage.

    Hmmm, starting to understand why today's parents are more reluctant to let the little ones roam.
  10. song219

    song219 BigSoccer Supporter

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    I threw rocks and bottles at houses, cars and buses and my father told me about day long rock fights as a kid they would have with the next neighborhood over.

    Who knows what the generation before that did but you still have people swear that things were better in the old days.
  11. That Phat Hat

    That Phat Hat Member+

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    Even in college, they're helicopter parented.
  12. Barbara

    Barbara Where is Rickon?

    Joined:
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    Well, I can testify that there are still kids who play basketball in the street. On my block are three families with 6 kids between them. There was a stretch in the spring and early summer where if the boys were home and awake, they were playing basketball. Frankly, it was irritating because I just wanted to sit on my porch and read in peace and they are noisy little ********ers.

    However, since I don't want to be our block's Get Off My Lawn old lady, I just had a little talk with myself about how much better it is for them to be outside playing ball and irritating me than for them to sit in the house for hours playing video games.

    It's no coincidence that the two kids I see outside least often are the two fattest kids on the block.


    Another thing - it helps that there is no HOA because if there was, these kids wouldn't be allowed to put their basketball hoop doohicky in the front of their house.
  13. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Probably burned down houses. One hundred years ago at my alma mater, the college kids would periodically form a mob, storm downtown, and turn over streetcars. True story that.
  14. song219

    song219 BigSoccer Supporter

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    To be fair during this century at my alma mater Univ of Md the kids did the same but failing to find any streetcars they restricted themselves to overturning automobiles & starting fires.
  15. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator Staff Member

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    The helicopter parents in my neighborhood are ridiculous. There are Moms who drive their kids ONE BLOCK to the bus stop, and then sit there with them in the car until the bus shows up. God forbid they risk being cold, hot, wet, or suffer unmoderated human interaction.

    Then again, it's not just my neighborhood, or just little kids. My son's U15 soccer team is going through a rough patch right now, and the coach has been harder on them than usual as a result. And according to some of the parents, this is really taking a toll on their sensitive little guy. Well, that's what you get when you hover around every game yelling at the referee for every bad call, and throwing a fit any time your little darling is fouled (whether he really was or not). When you think it's your duty as a parent to protect your child from any and all perceived unfairness, it turns out that they don't cope with complications and unforeseen setbacks very well.
    Kobranzilla and Dr. Wankler repped this.
  16. song219

    song219 BigSoccer Supporter

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    The Chinese are going to eat our lunch.




































    PS if we don't get them to follow American ways quick enough
    bigredfutbol repped this.
  17. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator Staff Member

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    I've been saying this for awhile. We're raising a generation of emotional enuchs.
  18. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    But the Chinese are the ultimate helicopter parents.
  19. raza_rebel

    raza_rebel Member+

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    This reminds me of a Greg Giraldo skit about fat kids.



    EDIT: NSFW
  20. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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    Ralph Waldo Emerson nearly got himself thrown out of Harvard for starting a food fight. He didn't even have a football or basketball game as an excuse.
  21. song219

    song219 BigSoccer Supporter

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    Yeah but with their larger population they only need 25% of the parents there to be reasonable people for them to swamp us with average non-emotionally stunted children.
  22. That Phat Hat

    That Phat Hat Member+

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    One of my favorite urban fads/gentrification/upside of foodies losing their white collar jobs is gourmet food trucks, and I'm pleasantly surprised by the quality of the trucks in DC.

    http://www.thedailymeal.com/dc-food-trucks-want-new-laws

    Still beats cities that are actively working against trucks.
  23. soccernutter

    soccernutter Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Everything was fine before I left. Then all hell broke loose.

    Well, there was that one year when the goalpost somehow made it across campus after we beat Duke...at Duke.
  24. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    I see helicoptering as good, overall. Not perfect. I worry less about the emotional stunting than I do the creative stunting. Steve Jobs futzed around playing with calligraphy in his early 20s rather than get a real job. Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates quit Harvard. And pretty much any good artist took a few oddball turns. That stuff doesn't fly with Asian parents.

    OK definitely off topic. Sorry about that. But not quite sorry enough to delete.

    By the way, I saw a speech from the Tiger Mom. She said while she got ripped in the U.S. for being a helicopter Mom, she was criticized in China for being too lenient. True story that.
  25. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Chicago, IL
    I do regret being too young for panty raids.

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