Sunday, 5 June 2011

Well, those of us that survived, anyway....

I do love the "we were brought up without health & safety" piece in whatever form it arrives, this time from the Filthy Engineer.  Always a good read:

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1930's 1940's, 50's, 60's and even early 70's

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds , KFC, Subway or Burger King.
Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner shop and buy Toffees, Gob stoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers to blow up frogs with.

We ate biscuits, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because......

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 O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY ,
no video/dvd films, no mobile phones, 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 from these accidents.
Only girls had pierced ears!
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time...

We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays, we rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!
RUGBY and CRICKET had try outs and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Getting into the team was based on MERIT
Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes.
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law!

Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids like 'Kiora' and 'Blade' and 'Ridge' and 'Vanilla'

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO

And YOU are one of them!
I especially love it because there is a lot of truth in it, yet there is a worrying logical inconsistency at its heart. Yes, we all survived the experience.  Of course we did - the "we" that point at our survival are a group defined ex post facto as "the group of people that survived".


  1. Do we miss the ones that didn't..? ;)

  2. This is an amusing post but I am not sure it is wholly accurate. I would like to agree with you, but then we would both be wrong.

    We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility..

    Your mother evidently did not read Dr Spock now updated. My parents were parents of their time. Authoritarian. I had no responsibility. I was lucky if I got to choose the clothes I wore. On the other hand, I did survive.

  3. It's one of those things that are neither right nor wrong. It is partly right, in that it highlights the H&S idiocy of today and points out that most of us did ok, and arguably better, without the careful attention to our health and our safety that is, today, insisted on.

    However, it is also wrong, in that no-one will stand up and say "Well, I wish my school had paid attention to peanut allergies, because then I wouldn't have died of anaphylactic shock". We did indeed lose more people then through ill health and poor safety. Ask the mesothelioma victims.

    We have learnt from many of the mistakes made in those decades. Our current ills flow from a mix of over-applying the lessons of those mistakes, and the new mistakes that we will (inevitably) make of our own accord.

    As in anything, what is needed is common sense, rationality, and a sense of proportion. All of which require intelligence; sadly, there does not seem to be enough of this to go around.

  4. Everyone reading this has had an ancestor, that since the dawn of time, has managed to find a mate and produce an offspring, in an unbroken chain from cave man to today.

    Not all of them had wet wipes.

  5. Nicely put, Bill. Of course, discussion is always complicated by the problem that, for some, the chain is shorter and/or more direct. ;-)

  6. discussion is always complicated by the problem that, for some, the chain is shorter and/or more direct. ;-)

    The trouble is that for the chain to be shorter the ancestors must have lived longer lives. If you live a longer life, it infers you are canny enough to avoid danger and risky pursuits. That suggests you are bright. So those with the shorter chain from cave man are from more intelligent stock and therefore should be more intelligent.

    What was it you said?
    ...yet there is a worrying logical inconsistency at its heart.

    That is the essence of life. ;-)

  7. That suggests you are bright.

    Not necessarily, it merely implies that you are better suited to the environment in which you exist. More disease-resistant, perhaps, or handier with an axe. More cave-man-like, in fact ;-)

    I agree about logical inconsistencies and life, though. If everything was susceptible to logical deduction, one would have thought we'd have sorted it all out by now. Unless there was an entire range of the political spectrum that was immune to logic and resistant to any form of rational thought... oh, wait...

  8. Unless there was an entire range of the political spectrum that was immune to logic and resistant to any form of rational thought... oh, wait...

    Now therein lies a conundrum, because an awful lot of people vote for socialist statist policies, not just here but all over the world.

    I am just working this out in my mind. Right wing policies promote capitalism which rewards the most efficient use of resources. This is achieved by encouraging private enterprise. The trouble is that it encourages the rapid use of resources and the exploitation of those without power. Regulation is suppose to rein in these excesses but bureaucracy rapidly becomes too cumbersome and open to corruption in the broadest sense.

    I do not think people quite think this way. I think their voting pattern is more about self interest and full of value judgements between the 'haves' (Red Bull can) and the 'have-nots' (Coca Cola can) once comfort thresholds have been exceeded.

    It is worrying because there will be increasingly more 'have-nots' than 'haves'. I don't mind paying a price for a degree of security and not having starving people on my doorstep. This is in itself a value judgement though, so you may be able to persuade me otherwise. Can I persuade you to be less radical in your views? Aristotle - balance.

    Everything is relative... and everyone is a relative? :-o