I received this some time ago and thought it worth re-posting on this blog. It’s a variation on past emails on this subject, but always worth reminding ourselves, especially when reading the Guardian. The illo, right is by printmeister over at b3ta , their entry into a competition about how far a nanny state could go
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1930’s 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s !!
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.
• They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.
• Then after that trauma, our cots were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
• We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets
• Let’s not even bother mentioning 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 truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
• We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.
• We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.
• We ate ccakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight because…
WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!! (yes, even comics readers…)
• We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on.
• No one was able to reach us all day. And we were OK.
• We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem .
• We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on satellite or cable, no DVDs, no surround sound, no mobiles, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms… we had friends, and we went outside and found them!
• We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits as a result of these accidents .
• We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
• We were given cap guns for our tenth birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
• We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!
• The local football team had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t have to “learn to deal with disappointment”. Imagine that!!
• The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned learned how to deal with it all.
And YOU are one of them!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good; and while you’re at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.
Hmmm… all the above sort of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?!
PS: The big type is because your eyes might be shot at your age.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.