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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Man Cave Musings: So I'm sitting naked with a couple of guys and cov...

Man Cave Musings: So I'm sitting naked with a couple of guys and cov...:   and one of them turns to me and asks, "Can you whip my back with this for a minute?" That is not the most shocking part of the s...

So I'm sitting naked with a couple of guys and covered in sweat.....

  and one of them turns to me and asks, "Can you whip my back with this for a minute?" That is not the most shocking part of the story believe it or not. The part that will really concern people is the fact that this occurred on a regular basis and I was a child. Before you go down a deep dark rabbit hole of possible horrific crimes I should mention that I was in a sauna with my grandfather and his neighbor who had a sauna in the basement of his house. The "whip" in question was actually a cedar branch which was supposed to increase your circulation. The fitness craze had not yet reached the Copper Country of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the mid 1970's so there will forever be certain images that cannot be unseen but I loved everything about taking a sauna.It was great the way it made me feel so clean afterward and helped me to sleep soundly. (which was an  issue even at that age). I regale you with tales of lore from my youth not to shock you but to try a draw a distinction between growing up in small town America and growing up since 2000 and beyond. Originally I set out to lament that my kids will never have the chance to have the upbringing I had but it changed.
  My first thought was sadness that something as simple as a sauna would now be considered a crime in a lot of places. The exploring we used to do in closed copper mines today would be a trespassing charge. The apple fights, dodgeball games and tobogganing would be considered far too dangerous for the helicopter parents of today. (For those who don't know a toboggan is a plastic sled which can propel you down a snow covered hill at a rapid rate of speed.) Setting out of the house early in the morning and not returning until dusk will get you an Amber Alert and possibly a picture on a milk carton by the time you get home now. Back then it was what you did everyday. I don't recall my parents ever being panicked about where I was or who I was with. It is possible they just wanted to get us out of the house and didn't care if we were feeding bears raw meat with our bare hands but I don't think that was it. There just wasn't this hyper level of fear and constant communication that exists today. We were free to grow up and figure things out on our own. It's much different today.
  Before you join me in thinking todays youth is getting the short end of the stick I would like to point out that maybe its not better or worse, its just different. My kids have had a X-Box, Wi or Playstaion since they were 5 years old. Not to mention Rock Band, Nintendo and other games I don't remember. We also had some pretty cool things. If we wanted to play outside we had trees. That's right. We would climb trees. Or we would go into the woods and see how far we could go into the woods before we got scared. We also had snow. And a lot of it. We would dig tunnels in the yard that would connect to each other and meet in a big room that several kids could sit in at one time. Today we worry about violent video games, then we were concerned with cave-ins. Or when connecting 2 tunnels together getting a shovel in the head. Was it dangerous? Hell yes. Did it scar us for life? I don't think so. Just like I don't think video games will permanently damage the kids of today. The games they have today are really cool and I wish we had some of those growing up. But it doesn't mean they were better or worse, just different.
  Libraries and encyclopedias were the things we depended on to get answers to unknown questions. Does anyone remember what a thrill it was to master the Dewey Decimal system? Me either. Because it wasn't a thrill, it was a chore. Today information is literally right in their hand. How about trying to do a report on some obscure subject and searching for information? Not anymore. Double click and thousand of web pages tell you the top exports of Iceland. Who had it better? Once again, its not about which is better, its just different. I do miss when the kids used to come and ask me questions and I would have the answer or at least a good nugget of bullshit that sounded impressive. Now I answer the kids questions the same way every parent does. "Google it". If we wanted to get a group together we had to use an actual phone and call our friends. Obviously it was nearly impossible to put together a flash mob. Our version of text messages were the notes you would pass to each other in class. Instagram was called a school yearbook. Not saying what's better or worse, its just different.
  Teach your children to embrace and love what they have because one day they will be looking back with fond memories of their childhood and trying to figure out its better or worse. Its just different.

Till next.....
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016