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.
Stung by news from the Congo's Virunga National Park on the depressing fate of hippos being hunted by poachers, I had a hunt around on the Net and located a web site which enables donations to WildLifeDirect (www.wildlifedirect.org), an organisation really on the front line in the fight against the people who are devastating the animal population. (Pictured above: the rangers at work).
BBC News reported earlier this week that if the poaching continues at the same rate as now all the hippo in Virunga will be gone in months. It's a story they have been covering for months but the international community seems to be doing little about it. Maybe there's not enough oil to worry about.
Anyone interested in creating comics for web (or perhaps mobile) might be interested in this feature by Scott "Understanding Comics" McCloud: www.scottmccloud.com/makingcomics/five_half/00.html. Some useful tips and tricks for getting the best out of online presentation of comics.
Comics creator Terry Hooper just sent me this link to a downloadable PDF magazine, 2D Artist, which also looks interesting: www.2dartistmag.com
He may not have been as influential as John Peel, but I was sorry to hear that DJ Alan Freeman (no relation) has died at 79. It was Freeman - and school friend Tony Corden - who introduced me to Yes and, consequently, those wonderful Roger Dean covers that you sometimes felt were the best thing about some prog rock.
Alan "Fluff" Freeman had a distinctive presenting style later lampooned by Harry Enfield, and both his Radio 1 Rock Show and Mary Nightingale's Sunday afternoon show on the same station hold great memories.