Comment by Dave —
I find it interesting that Mark doubts your story. I think if some ordinary mid-American whose life ended in the 1950s could somehow magically stick their head out the grave and see the America of today they would not be able to comprehend the hyper-regulation and outright totalitiarism that is considered normal today. Mark cannot even comprehend a society where nobody really gave a s**t whether you had a driver’s license or not, nor would give a shit whether you were inside a prison as long as you were under some prison employee’s sponsorship regardless of your age. Most rural people, for example, in the 1930s would not have even known what a “teenager” was. The concept of “teenager” was invented by the public school system for the WWII generation to get them out of farm work and into the classroom because brawny young men ceased to be needed on the farm because of mechanization. People don’t realize how recent all this age crap and hyper-institutional discernment is. For example, before WWII anybody with money could enter many university professional schools with minimal or no entrance or age requirements. The only issue: Could you afford it?
Dave is dead right about how different earlier Americans were as to age. That is useful to younger people here.
On the other hand, it is up to Derek and Mark and other younger people here to acquaint me with THEIR world.
If knowing about the past is useful to them, knowing about THEIR world is ESSENTIAL to me.
I can’t remember how old most of the people here are.
This means that I do not tailor my remarks to suit anybody. About the only time I mention age is when the commenter asks a question dealing with his age.
As I keep saying, what you comments make me think of very often has nothing obvious to do with what you say. In this case it reminds me of why I keep learning so much that other people never seem to see.
I made learned remarks about history and horses, and two commenters responded who have horses and know about them professionally. On some points I was laughably wrong, but neither of them made fun of me. The points I made about history were right, which is what you read my stuff for.
Derek just gave me some facts about the GED tests TODAY. My information is 45 years old.
All my life my wayof learning has been to baldly state the facts AS I KNOW THEM and then get shot down, over and over, and over and over.
Derek and other young people have a whole world to tell me about that I do not know. If they learn from me, that is just fine. But I am willing to bet that I very often learn more from you than you do from me.
I get shot down here all the time, and the last thing I do is resent it.
NOBODY will face me on basic issues.
This is not a brag.
You are dealing with someone who has spent over half a century sticking his neck out and getting it chopped off. Fifty years of intellectual boot camp.
So now I’m very, very, very good at it.
Or, as we used to say, “No s**t, Dick Tracy!” (Dick Tracy was the most famous comic-strip detective of the time.)
If I wasn’t good at it by now I would be a retard. If I state flatly that I am good at it, the worst you can accuse me of is being a braggart.
I prefer braggart to retard.