Some Quotes Of Note: Politicians Damning New Technologies/Cultural Artifacts

from the have-fun-with-it,-people dept

In my post earlier about Rep. Robert Wexler's misguided remarks at the World Copyright Summit, an anonymous commenter added a wonderful comment highlighting similar politically misguided sayings throughout the years that was too good not to share. The anonymous commenter didn't say where it's from, but it appears that it was mostly from a Wired article from a few years ago. So, one could make an argument that the original comment was infringing, but aren't we all better off for having had the chance to read it?
Is it the only lesson of history that man is unteachable?

-- Sir Winston Churchill

The disturbing material in Grand Theft Auto and other games like it is stealing the innocence of our children and it's making the difficult job of being a parent even harder ... I believe that the ability of our children to access pornographic and outrageously violent material on video games rated for adults is spiraling out of control.

- US senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, 2005

The effect of rock and roll on young people, is to turn them into devil worshippers; to stimulate self-expression through sex; to provoke lawlessness; impair nervous stability and destroy the sanctity of marriage. It is an evil influence on the youth of our country.

- Minister Albert Carter, 1956

Many adults think that the crimes described in comic books are so far removed from the child's life that for children they are merely something imaginative or fantastic. But we have found this to be a great error. Comic books and life are connected. A bank robbery is easily translated into the rifling of a candy store. Delinquencies formerly restricted to adults are increasingly committed by young people and children ... All child drug addicts, and all children drawn into the narcotics traffic as messengers, with whom we have had contact, were inveterate comic-book readers This kind of thing is not good mental nourishment for children!

- Fredric Wertham, Seduction of the Innocent, 1954

The free access which many young people have to romances, novels, and plays has poisoned the mind and corrupted the morals of many a promising youth; and prevented others from improving their minds in useful knowledge. Parents take care to feed their children with wholesome diet; and yet how unconcerned about the provision for the mind, whether they are furnished with salutary food, or with trash, chaff, or poison?

- Reverend Enos Hitchcock, Memoirs of the Bloomsgrove Family, 1790

Does the telephone make men more active or more lazy? Does [it] break up home life and the old practice of visiting friends?

- Survey conducted by the Knights of Columbus Adult Education Committee, San Francisco Bay Area, 1926

This new form of entertainment has gone far to blast maidenhood ... Depraved adults with candies and pennies beguile children with the inevitable result. The Society has prosecuted many for leading girls astray through these picture shows, but GOD alone knows how many are leading dissolute lives begun at the 'moving pictures.'

- The Annual Report of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 1909

The indecent foreign dance called the Waltz was introduced ... at the English Court on Friday last ... It is quite sufficient to cast one's eyes on the voluptuous intertwining of the limbs, and close compressure of the bodies ... to see that it is far indeed removed from the modest reserve which has hitherto been considered distinctive of English females. So long as this obscene display was confined to prostitutes and adulteresses, we did not think it deserving of notice; but now that it is ... forced on the respectable classes of society by the evil example of their superiors, we feel it a duty to warn every parent against exposing his daughter to so fatal a contagion.

- The Times of London, 1816
I particularly like the last quote. That darn Waltz. Destroying society.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2009 @ 7:32pm

    The point being?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2009 @ 7:57pm

    Re:

    That todays grandstanding issue is tomorrows perfectly acceptable media/what have you.

     

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    Anonymous Poster, Jun 12th, 2009 @ 8:08pm

    Re: Re:

    No, the point is that inevitably, something heralded as "the destroyer of society as we know it" is almost always anything but that.

    You know, things like dancing, rock 'n' roll, gay marriage...

     

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    sendeth, Jun 12th, 2009 @ 8:50pm

    you really need the point explained? if you need it explained you will probably never get it. let me see if i can sum it up for you.

    todays heresy is tomorrows dogma.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2009 @ 9:01pm

    Re:

    I sort of want Mike to answer - because there are plenty of things that were unacceptable before and are still unacceptable today, and likely will be unacceptable tomorrow.

    If you narrowly select things, you can come up with quotes to support almost any point of view, which proves little.

     

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    Adam, Jun 12th, 2009 @ 9:02pm

    Re: 3

    No, I'd say throughout history entire societies or at least their ways of thinking have been destroyed by each new idea, and much to the benefit of those of us left over.

     

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    Kevin, Jun 12th, 2009 @ 9:22pm

    Ozzy Osbourne

    I always found it highly amusing that one of the most demonized musicians of the 1980's ended up being the bumbling star of a 00's "realtiy sitcom." He became so mainstream that he was invited to perform at the Queen's Jubilee, as was a noted guest one year at the White House Correspondent's Dinner. Can you imagine the look on Tipper Gore's face if you have told her in 1985 that Ozzie would be mainstream, harmless, and dull in less than 20 years?

     

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    MikeC (profile), Jun 12th, 2009 @ 11:00pm

    Just an interesting thought

    While I believe the hyperbole of politics and news is what's leading to the downfall of society, but can any here *honestly* not consider that since the coming of rock & roll: "to stimulate self-expression through sex; to provoke lawlessness; impair nervous stability and destroy the sanctity of marriage." hasn't actually happened. There is "NO" causal proof or link but it has happened.

    Or that that children's attitudes and actions have in-fact moved to more "depraved" as would be viewed by 1909 adults .. since the invention of movies and don't they set some bad examples. Once again there is no causal link, but it is happening for some reason. I sure some of you knee jerk commenter's will slam this, but I am not saying it's true as to the cause, but you have to admit some of it happening today w/o doubt. How "DO WE" explain the seeming spiral of society to a darker tone, with the way young (meaning under 18) people are acting.

    Things I would never even have considered 30 years ago when I was 18 .. now are common place for 21 & 16 year old sons. Take the T-Shirts our kids wear to school, with comments and words my Dad would have tanned my rear for if I said them let alone wore them on a shirt.

    Just curious how you all explain this???

     

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    Ro, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 12:22am

    I think a lot of the people who made comments such as these would look at the world now and say 'I told you so'.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 12:35am

    Re:

    I think a lot of the people who made comments such as these would look at the world now and say 'I told you so'.

    Just what I was thinking.

     

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    Cixelsid (profile), Jun 13th, 2009 @ 12:46am

    Re: Just an interesting thought

    Oh yeah, life now is MUCH worse than it was in the late 1800s early 1900s. What with the emancipation of slaves and the abolishment of child labour.

    Seriously, if you think that life was morally better a hundred years ago you should go back to high school and take a history course.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jun 13th, 2009 @ 1:33am

    Re: Re:

    Maybe they would, but it's all a matter of perspective and opinion.

    Take the telephone example. Someone living in the 1920s would look at how communication using the telephone had changed the way we communicate with each other by the 1970s, and would most likely conclude that the way people communicated was somehow inferior. Of course, it wouldn't be inferior, just different in ways that they wouldn't quite appreciate. Some face-to-face contact was sacrificed for greater freedom and the ability to communicate with more people. That doesn't mean that home life or social life was somehow worse in any objective way.

    Likewise, the fearmongers going on about how the likes of Facebook, SMS and Twitter are "destroying" the way people communicate today could leap forward 20 years and say "I told you so" when the final effects of such communication are clear. However, today's generation who are growing up with these services as we did with the telephone would not see their communication as being somehow inferior. In fact, they'd probably wonder how people ever got by without the ability to keep in touch with all their friends and relatives through one or two handy sites or media.

    As for many of the other comments, such as Clinton's inane GTA comments and the similarly misguided comments about movies, the waltz and rock 'n roll. These are simply people who have identified a problem in society and, rather than actually attempt to address the causes of said problems, they find a handy scapegoat. Something that they don't understand and therefore fear.

    It's telling that this has been going on for so long - when the same issues rear their heads during the next generation, it will because the real causes have been ignored in favour of a fleeting scapegoat issue. Not because they were right and those evil waltzes and moving pictures have done their dirty work on our children...

     

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    Fsm, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 2:55am

    Re: Re: Just an interesting thought

    Did you even read what you responded to?

    He was commenting on how, with each new generation, things that were considered taboo aren't anymore. He even predicted a knee-jerk response like yours. Way to be that predictable internet guy.

    @MikeC - I think the reason is exactly the stereotypical one. That kids are 'tired of being told what to do' their entire lives. So they decide to enjoy something their parents specifically do not. No one wants to be spoon fed their personality to them.

     

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    adorno, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 3:31am

    Schmuck. I'd like to see you report on city hall or the police beat.

    You couldn't do it. Bloggers make me sick.

     

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    Mechwarrior, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 5:08am

    Re:

    Industry scabs posing as "regular internet folk" doesnt make you sick?

     

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    Mr. David M. Beyer, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 5:21am

    Re: Re: Just an interesting thought

    Well said. Look at crime rates now vs. in 1909. Media portrayal of violence/sex as a catalyst for chaos is nothing compared to than widespread poverty, dangerous working conditions, and lack of civil rights for huge portions of the population. And if you think it's better that kids learn absolutely nothing about sex before they start experimenting it themselves as they were in the 1950s, you're not doing your homework.

     

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    Trollificus, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 6:46am

    It is pointless...

    ...to compare the ills of one era to those of another.

    The only constants are the way people's lives are simultaneously enhanced and damaged by cultural and technological change, and (as PaulT perceptively pointed out) the seemingly inevitable wrong-headed reactions from politicians and vested interests.

    You don't have to rely on selective quotes to prove people fear change, politicians pander and kids will do stupid things. And here we are in the 21st century, seeing these three invariate behaviors feeding each other. I'm pretty sure this will result in some bemused head-shaking in the future...

    ps) as an old fart AND kind of a techie, I find I'm concerned about young people forming the habit of expressing themselves in 140 characters or less. Also about the concurrent trivialization of sex and the sexualization of ever-younger children. Also about those damn kids on my lawn sexting each other all the time.

    lulz.

     

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    Jeff, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 7:10am

    Re: Just an interesting thought

    I think I understand what you're saying and frankly I've pondered that myself. But I always come back to the conclusion society isn't spiraling towards the immoral abyss that is always predicted by the religious zealots. I find it appears to be gravitating to the mean between conservative and liberal ideals
    Its just with our instant communication the exchange of ideas are providing examples of almost every depravity you can imagine, even some you don't want to. Making it appear we are on a highway to hell.
    I guess what I'm trying to get out is, people are crude, baseless, self-serving, egotistical lying dicks and we will always try to appear better than the neighbor.

     

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    CleverName, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 7:15am

    sound bites

    They all could be mistaken for sound bites from FoxNews today.

     

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    Peet McKimmie (profile), Jun 13th, 2009 @ 7:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "dancing, rock 'n' roll, gay marriage..."

    Sounds like a pitch for a sitcom. I'd probably watch that...

     

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    Designerfx (profile), Jun 13th, 2009 @ 8:02am

    how do we get around this stuff?

    Every time major changes occur we get huge resistance. So how can we change this to prevent idiotic situations like we have right now (sanctity of marriage, internet, video games, all the other talking point issues)?

     

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    fakey mcfaker, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 8:17am

    Lesson: Old Foagies never change

    It's kinda fun to watch these boomer types who came of age at the dawn of sex, drugs and rock and roll go full-on foagie and start foaming at the mouth over the new new. One of my young-in-the-sixties relatives even went so far as to tell me how my generation "ruined drugs". You see, back in her day, drugs were just a harmless passtime, but today...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re:

    Wow,
    Way to try to flip the point.

    The point is that no matter what the "new" thing is, there is some group that's going to not like it and attempt to use the old "X will destroy society, morals, the children and life as we know it." as a rallying cry to make others do what they think is right.

    However, they are always wrong, this time too...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 9:42am

    Re: It is pointless...

    Change is not "damage" it is change.

     

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    Clevername, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 9:53am

    Re: Lesson: Old Foagies never change

    Keep in mind that most groups within society can be represented by a bell curve. There is a wide spectrum and I think you are looking at one of the edges.

     

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    trollificus, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: It is pointless...

    ummm...change causes damage. To some.

    derrr.

    Also, regarding fakey's comment above, about fogeys:
    It will also be amusing to see YOU decrying the changes you will see later in your lifetime.

     

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  27.  
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    Trollificus, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 11:16am

    Re: how do we get around this stuff?

    Might I recommend the time-honored "Since we're superior to every previous generation let's try to set in stone the enlightenment WE exhibit" approach??

    Never mind that this is no different than every other superior-to-their-parents generation preceding.

    Also pay no attention to the liberals behind the curtain. I note the sloppy thinking equating all this resistance to change with "religious zealots" and "conservatives" when an objective eye perceives the stasis emanating from the so-called Left: luddite resistance to technological advances, individual choice applied to genetic engineering, the mindless worship of an imaginary, static, and beneficient "Nature" and set-in-stone attitudes about race.

    If you really believe that any political side is the "good guys", you are guilty of inadequate cynicism.

     

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    MikeC (profile), Jun 13th, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Just an interesting thought - Review of Replys

    I said in the original post that I don't necessarily see a causal link from the said evils to the problems of society today. I agree we lead overall better lives than 100 years ago and the establishment per say will always decry change.

    In fact I think much of what we see existed always but we just hear about it more thanks to our expanded communication abilities and the fact that 20% of the population is a lot more people now that it was 100 years ago, so there is, quantitatively, more bad stuff going on. Politician's haven't changed at all, if you don't believe it read some 1880-1920's newspapers!

    I also think we have dumbed down what we expect kids to accomplish and upped the opportunity for risk. If you don't think so, read some text books from 1900 and read the ones they use today. I think this is a result of our society basically going from entropy to chaos .. ie wider swings in our norms due to a relaxation of control over our behavior. I don't know if the is good or bad, but looking at history, the more "civilized" we become the weaker overall we become, to be replaced by a younger more vigorous rival.

    I don't have an answer except that I think each generation tries to out-rebel the previous ones, they expand the limits of what's acceptable and it spirals to more and more (as us in the older generation see it) depravity, because we relax the controls - or it's too much work to enforce them.

    The truth is the majority of kids are just fine, but kids today just have the opportunity to take many more risks than they did 100 years ago.

    Or as my old scout master taught us, to learn - study, to obtain wisdom - observe. Which is something no one would say to a kid today because they would assume they couldn't understand it. Changed a lot in 30 years it has.

     

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    Child, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 12:47pm

    You can damn technology but can't avoid it..

    Many have tried but innovation that solves problems always wins.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re:

    "I sort of want Mike to answer - because there are plenty of things that were unacceptable before and are still unacceptable today, and likely will be unacceptable tomorrow."

    Yes, and none of those are "new things", so they don't count.

     

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    CleverName, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: how do we get around this stuff?

    right, left, liberal, conservative are labels applied to people and ideas because some are too lazy to avoid the stereotypes. Your need to put people in bins so that you can then assume other characteristics about their nature is an easy trap to fall into, but is just plain lazy and in most cases the conclusions drawn are incorrect.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re:

    ...there are plenty of things that were unacceptable before and are still unacceptable today, and likely will be unacceptable tomorrow.

    Yes, and unfortunately, whether you are in tune to the situation or not, it seems that past 2000 years of British Methodology in re: approaching problems and issues, along with the attached customs are coming to something of an end. We should recall that there was a time, not long ago, where it was looked down upon if you didn't speak "The Proper Queens English."

    Granted, there was a short surge to return to "Proper British" customs in the 1950s, but in today's debate settings, even today's self-appointed "Keeper of the Law" (read: "Teh Grammah Nazi") are looked down upon in what is often becoming the proper social setting for debate, as customs and formalities are oft thrown out the door for valuable content.

    Perhaps some need to gain understanding, and I suppose they may need to see a poll of the number of American Households which contain a copy of The "Complete Book of Etiquette" by Amy Vanderbilt. If you're real adventurous, the poll may also request how often they refer to it in a year.

    So it seems the natural progression tends to no longer favor the oligarchy. A natural conclusion may be that what is up is down, what is left is right, and perhaps, as Weird Al Yankovic once prosed in his epic song "Everything you know is wrong." I imagine it won't be long, before we start seeing Scooter booked for high-class social dinners either. (see Nessaja for insight)

    It's a nice day outside, and I plan to call my family. I think they are out on holiday somewhere.

     

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    trollificus, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: how do we get around this stuff?

    "If you really believe that any political side is the "good guys", you are guilty of inadequate cynicism."
    ~T

    You might want to reign in the supercilious lectures about labels so you'll have some left for people who actually believe in them. When addressing people who clearly ARE satisfied that such labels represent reality, they are necessarily referenced to delineate their shortcomings.

    Unless such comment is just an automatic reaction serving the ever-popular intarwebs function of affirming to yourself your superiority to others.

    In which case, props. We're all very impressed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The point being made is still not the one you want it to be.

     

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    Some IP address, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 5:00pm

    *sighs*

    and you wonder why the world is such a cesspool of shit hitting the fan, bickering over inferences of the same thing.
    The point remains that with ever more increases of information and the ability to access them more people are allowed to experiment because the people have learned to think. Furthermore, they are forced to think at younger and younger ages because they are shown that later on in life they will be forced to conform or stand painfully alone on the stage.

     

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    MikeC (profile), Jun 13th, 2009 @ 5:51pm

    Re: *sighs*

    If people would actually learn to think, this would not be such a problem.. the majority have the access and opportunity, but not the discipline to make good choices.

    The young are especially vulnerable because they don't have the experience and are naturally inclined to rebel from the recommendations of the elder generation. Society due the the massive over-hype of every action/reaction now punishes more and more severely what used to be called the indescrestions of youth. The opportunity for a life altering mistake at a younger and younger age is increasing. Sexting and it's uproar is a good example, 100 years ago, it was 2 kids in a barn or a buggy, then it was 2 kids in the backseat of a car, then it got to be a half dozen in hostel .. no pictures (can't get them developed, everyone doesn't carry a camera, no easy way to distribute them), now one text with a pic from a readily available cell phone camera (even if it's not theirs and they didn't now about it), a bit of bad judgement at a party and it's worldwide on the internet w/no way to take it back. Then some idiot grandstanding prosecutor makes them a lifelong sex offender at 17 with a charge of child pornography. Plus it's on the news worldwide and Nancy Grace (she needs to get a life) covers it every night for 6 months on cable TV.

    That's where the problem lies and that is where the 6 sigma range of the bell curve of reactions is killing us. It's not the middle 4 sigma, it's the outside 5% at each pole that is getting more and more outrageous. More dangerous acts, more knee-jerk grandstanding punishments like no-tolerance polices that get a kid suspended because they brought a butter knife to cut a school birthday cake, or a kid charged with a sex crime for some activity between a 15yo & a 17yo that has been going on since the dawn of time. It will only get worse and each side whips up more passion and daring. Not one piece of common sense applied because it's the next news cycle or election that is what everyone is concerned about.

    Well I've taken this subject about as far as it can go... have a nice day/night/evening/morning or whatever ya'all.

     

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    CleverName, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 5:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: how do we get around this stuff?

    Ahhh, what ?
    lectures about labels ... you are the one using labels - not me - I'm telling you that labels are bullshit.

    You believe the that everyone falls into some pre defined category from which assumptions can be made.

    I'm glad that you are impressed, about what I do not know.

     

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    herodotus (profile), Jun 13th, 2009 @ 6:03pm

    Anyone who thinks that the world of today is in any way socially inferior to the world of 1900 is either an unrepentant oligarch or is just plain ignorant of history.

    The only class of people who are worse off now than they were then are hereditary aristocrats. Every other class of people has more educational opportunities, more and cheaper and safer food, cheaper clothing, and much better sanitation.

    There is a reason that Communism and Anarchism became so popular in the late 19th century: life sucked for almost everyone.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 6:09pm

    Re:

    You seem to enjoy putting your main point at the end of your commentary. Very Nice.

    However in your defense, I imagine if it was important, you'd put it at the beginning of your comment.

     

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    Rekrul, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 6:09pm

    Re: Just an interesting thought - Review of Replys

    MikeC,

    Things I would never even have considered 30 years ago when I was 18 .. now are common place for 21 & 16 year old sons. Take the T-Shirts our kids wear to school, with comments and words my Dad would have tanned my rear for if I said them let alone wore them on a shirt.

    You've just explained part of the problem. When you were a teenager, you respected/feared authority. You wouldn't have done such things because you were afraid of the consequences. What do kids today have to be afraid of? Getting grounded? They know that their parents aren't going to touch them because if they do, they can call Child Protective Services and have their parents investigated. In today's world, any sort of physical punishment is considered child abuse. Even sending a child to bed hungry can be considered abuse. Children have nothing to be afraid of. Discipline, at least in most of the US has been reduced to a Monty Python skit; "Stop! Or... I'll say stop again!"

    The truth is the majority of kids are just fine, but kids today just have the opportunity to take many more risks than they did 100 years ago.

    Those opportunities for risk are completely unsanctioned though. As a society, we seem to have been moving toward taking away any normal potential for risk from children's lives, even small ones. Chemistry sets no longer contain anything that might be even slightly dangerous. All toys have to meet stringent safety guidelines. Child are no longer allowed to play unsupervised. We don't even have the concept of "loser" anymore, every child has to be a "winner". And if they don't actually win anything, we make up some award for them so they won't feel left out.

    First we coddle them, then we take away a parent's right to discipline their kids (and no, I don't mean life-threatening beatings either), is it any wonder that many kids have no sense of right of wrong any more?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Re: Just an interesting thought - Review of Replys

    So you bring up a good point and I ask: "What is the problem then?"

    I have entertained multiple theories, however it appears that in the past few years, a very intelligent person, Aaron Russo seemed to figure it out. Today, Mr. Russo is no longer with us as he battled with cancer which ultimately took his life late 2006. His research lives on, should you decide to pursue Google for it.

    In one of his more recent online videos, He detailed an interesting perspective that the 1960s "Womens Movement" which was to remove the major second family unit (the Mother) from the nuclear family and put them into occupation. Ultimately, this benefited the IRS for taxation purposes as then they could collect taxes on the 2nd half of it's population. Mr. Russo indicated that this was the actual intent, and that the whole "Womans Movement" was monetarily driven, and not socially driven.

    Thusly, going forward, when you see any social movement, consider it's effects on taxation, especially the Gay movement. Think a step or two down the road-- For instance, if a Gay couple wanted a child, where would they go to procure such an individual? Perhaps they would go to China. How would that be taxed?

    Point is, removal of the child from the nuclear family, and to hold them accountable to The State is a very scary thing indeed, however this seems to be the direction things are progressing towards.

    The overall acceptance of broken families, one-income households shouldn't be the typical norm, but over the years have been accepted, on a social level, has been seen as as normal.

    However, as long as you fight for rights normally seen within a regular nuclear family, and support nuclear family membership, well, you have no reason to give up any rights, or support additional taxation levied upon by the state.

    Until then, these kids need to see what they're truly a product of, and keep a soft place in their heart for their missing parent, and most importantly, before they grow up, fight again for the cracks in the foundation their parents gave up so they can be the best damned Mom and Dad evah.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 8:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Industry scabs posing as "regular internet folk" doesnt make you sick?

    Yeah, they're running scared.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 8:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe they would, but it's all a matter of perspective and opinion.

    Exactly. Not that some of the stuff that they said would happen didn't, but our values have changed to accept it.

     

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  44.  
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    fakey mcfaker, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 8:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: It is pointless...

    "It will also be amusing to see YOU decrying the changes you will see later in your lifetime"

    I already am. I find it highly amusing.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 8:37pm

    Re: Re: how do we get around this stuff?

    I note the sloppy thinking equating all this resistance to change with "religious zealots" and "conservatives"...

    I would like to point out that the basic definition of conservatism is an opposition to change, a wish to "conserve" things as they are and oppose change.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 8:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: how do we get around this stuff?

    You believe the that everyone falls into some pre defined category from which assumptions can be made.

    So, now you're telling him what he believes? Interesting. Is that kind of like "when I want your opinion, I'll give it you you"?

     

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  47.  
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    timstevens (profile), Jun 13th, 2009 @ 8:55pm

    Wexler hopes to be important...some day

    When I lived in Florida, Wexler was trying to be one of the "up and coming democrats to watch." Problem was he was always clobbered by either his TV opponent or his own stupidity.

    Case in point was when he appeared on the Colbert Report and was quickly shown to be a fool. Remember the "fun things with cocaine and prostitutes gag?" Good 'ol Wexler!

    Just as young males make the case for not allowing any teenager to drive a car, Wexler is a good example of why congressmen need "spokes-holes" and "handlers." Always trying to shove their foot into their mouth and then their head up their butt.

     

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  48.  
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    trollificus, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 10:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: how do we get around this stuff?

    True enough, and I would not exempt them from the charge of being resistant to change.

    My point was that the validity of that charge against conservatism should not blind people to the many ways so-called progressives show their preference for top-down, central-control "solutions" to percieved problems.

    And of course, as was tendentiously pointed out, any effort to make such a point suffers from the vague, nearly useless nature of any labels that use the simplistic left/right, liberal/conservative axes.

    Of course, when you see the unity of Nader/Buchanan on trade or John Gray/Naomi Wolfe on the consumer society, those supposed dichotomies look more like points on a circle...

     

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  49.  
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    trollificus, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 10:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It is pointless...

    Heh. Cool.

    Me too.

    And I don't try to tell people that the things I disapprove of represent some kind of apocalypse*. No matter how hard some people try to distress me with appearance and behavior, I know (even if they don't or pretend not to) they are just people under the WoW makeup, tats, furry costumes and/or facemetal**.

    *-and I'm guessing you don't either. That's what I liked about PaulT's point: That the people responsible for these quotes have something to gain by demonizing change, or aspects of change, or perceive that they have something to lose by not demonizing it.

    **-and yes, I've worked/associated with kids of all these 'types', and got along with them. Once they overcame their smallminded prejudices. lol.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 10:39pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I sort of want Mike to answer - because there are plenty of things that were unacceptable before and are still unacceptable today, and likely will be unacceptable tomorrow."

    What does that have to do with the puritans crying wolf every time something they don't like comes along?

     

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  51.  
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    CleverName, Jun 14th, 2009 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: how do we get around this stuff?

    Yes, you are correct.

    I should've prefaced the sentence with something like:
    "From reading your post, apparently ..."

     

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  52.  
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    Robb Topolski (profile), Jun 14th, 2009 @ 7:02am

    Typo in the Title

    Polticians should be politicians.

    Great collection, thanks!

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2009 @ 7:11am

    Here, let's add a great quote:

    For years, many news sources would pretend that no other websites existed and all news would start and end on their own domain. However, over time, people are realizing that just because you link off-site, it doesn't mean that the people will leave and never come back. In fact, some have found the opposite reaction. People pay more attention to sites that link around, because they feel they're getting a wider spectrum of coverage - and not just the one publication's point of view. It's the basic "filter" argument. Many people don't want to surf around the entire web, but prefer to have a single source filter it for them. Open minded publications are realizing this, while others still insist that they can pretend to be the only publication online.

    An amazing comment from 2003. Oh how times change.

     

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  54.  
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    The original anonymous who posted that quote, Jun 14th, 2009 @ 8:12am

    Wow Mike, thanks, I never thought you'd find it amusing enough to repost! And yeah, sorry I forgot to mention the source, it was Wired indeed (for most of the quotes). With all due respect, I'd like to remain anonymous (just in case you'd want to pay me in gold coins :)

    But here's another amusing snippet for you. Quoting by hear, since I don't have it written down, nor do I remember the author (other than the vague notion that it's one of big names in sci-fi):

    "The evolution of a man's views on new discoveries/technology:
    * age 0-18: that's how it has always been!
    * age 18-35: that's new and exciting!
    * age 35-onwards: that's a violation of an existing order, and must be destroyed!"

    Given that most, if not all, of our (and the world's, too) politicians are in the third group... you see where I lead. ;)

     

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  55.  
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    Lohocla, Jun 14th, 2009 @ 8:32am

    today vs yesterday

    Some of it has merit, most don't realize it because taken literally, most of it seems pretty absurd.

    Yesterday = People used to live in a "community" mentality..good or bad, people were together.

    Today = Internet/Telephone connect us to people all over the world, yet most of us dont know the 2nd or third thing about the person living next to us.

    Yesterday = parenting was performed by parents

    Today = kids are pawned off onto whatever platform keeps them occupied long enough for parents to do whatever they want...xbox, internet, telephones etc.

    Yesterday = personal responsibility was expected..you do something stupid, you took it on the chin and learned.

    Today = personal responsibility forgotten, Mommy gov will make the bad thing go away, even if it is something someone else has no problem with and enjoys.

    Yesteray = Mom and Pop stores reigned supreme...you could go to 10 different stores and eventually find just the thing you were looking for (right size, color, capacity whatever). Not only that, except for the cheapy toys from china and electronics from japan, just about everything was made in the US.

    Today = Mom and Pop stores went the way of the dodo...you could go to 10 different stores looking for "just the right thing" and have go settle for "what they have" because they all have exactly the same products and everything is from china.

    Absurd observation: Our store sells "USA" bracelets that are Red White and Blue and have the US flag on them....and a big tag hanging off "made in china".

    No wonder people are disillusioned.

    Lohocla

     

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  56.  
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    Michael L. Slonecker (profile), Jun 14th, 2009 @ 9:52am

    While not a political quote, I am quite fond of the following quote that in my view generically reflects may of the quotes contained in the article

    "In case you're worried about what's going to become of the younger generation, it's going to grow up and start worrying about the younger generation."

    Roger Allen

     

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  57.  
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    Michael L. Slonecker (profile), Jun 14th, 2009 @ 10:02am

    Mr. Masnick,

    Merely for your edification, as a general rule I do submit posts on professional blogs using my complete name. Now seems to be an appropriate time to follow my general rule on your site. No more "AC" or "MLS".

    As for my "avatar", I use it merely in a humorous vein. I could use a photo, but for some reason I like the painting "The Scream" so much better.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 14th, 2009 @ 10:36am

    Re: Wexler hopes to be important...some day

    Case in point was when he appeared on the Colbert Report and was quickly shown to be a fool. Remember the "fun things with cocaine and prostitutes gag?" Good 'ol Wexler!

    I have to admit that I actually found that Colbert bit amusing and endearing, showing that he wasn't a usual stiff politician. I don't think it's shown him to be a fool at all.

     

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  59.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 14th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re:

    That as much as things change people remain the same.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2009 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: how do we get around this stuff?

    Of course, when you see the unity of Nader/Buchanan on trade or John Gray/Naomi Wolfe on the consumer society, those supposed dichotomies look more like points on a circle...

    Or points in multidimensional space.

     

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  61.  
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    Bettawrekonize, Jun 14th, 2009 @ 9:56pm

    Re:

    I actually agree with this, I tend to avoid sites that filter other viewpoints or links to them, and as freedom loving citizens we need to make sure that Intellectual property laws (and other nonsense laws) don't take away our basic freedoms.

     

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  62.  
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    JC, Jun 14th, 2009 @ 11:03pm

    Love it

    "confined to prostitutes and adulteresses"

    In other words... "confined to the women we have sex with" God forbid our wives act like that.

    Times don't change, just the date.

     

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  63.  
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    JC, Jun 14th, 2009 @ 11:18pm

    Here is a far older quote, that is very similar

    The world is passing through troubling times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress.
    - Peter the Hermit, 700 AD

     

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  64.  
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    Cabalamat, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 12:30am

    The disturbing material in Grand Theft Auto and other games like it is stealing the innocence of our children and it's making the difficult job of being a parent even harder ... I believe that the ability of our children to access pornographic and outrageously violent material on video games rated for adults is spiraling out of control. -- US senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, 2005

    "Oh look, a bandwaggon, let's jump on it"

    Is there anything Clinton wouldn't say, wouldn't do, if she thought there was votes in it?

     

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  65.  
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    dcx2, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 5:20am

    Re:

    The funny thing is that it's easier for a minor to get into an R-rated movie without a parent, than it is to buy an M-rated game without a parent. The video game industry is doing a better job of policing themselves, statistically, and they still get the shit end of the stick.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 6:24am

    Re:

    I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly disrespectful and impatient of restraint.
    - Hesiod, 700 BC

    Our earth is degenerate in these latter days; there are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; every man wants to write a book and the end of the world is evidently approaching.

    - Assyrian tablet, 2800 BC

    We live in a decaying age. Young people no longer respect
    their parents. They are rude and impatient. They frequently
    inhabit taverns and have no self control.
    - Egyptian tomb, 4000 BC

     

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  67.  
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    hegemon13, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 6:49am

    Political speech

    "All child drug addicts, and all children drawn into the narcotics traffic as messengers, with whom we have had contact, were inveterate comic-book readers..."

    Well, we have seemed to learn one thing, at least. Modern politicians have learned to avoid ridiculous absolutes like the one above, which will inevitably come back to damage their credibility.

    That said, I think the truth is in the balance between the quotes and the point of this article. I do not believe that media alone is responsible for the "downward spiral" of society, but it is definitely part of the influence. Seeing violence on TV or a video game will not make someone go out and commit a violent act. However, a general attitude of acceptance, and even glorification, of violence grows up around constant exposure to real violence.

    Does media violence have a similar, though less potent, effect? I don't know. I can say that I watch more than my share of violent horror movies, and the violence does not bother me at all. But the moment I see real blood, especially my own, I get all queasy and light in the head. That effect has actually gotten worse, not better, as I have gotten older. So for me, at least, I would say that simulated violence definitely does NOT translate into real-life desensitization.

    I think the problems with violent and sexualized media are more ambiguous. They don't cause an immediate, compulsive change in an individual, but they do slowly transform the collective society mentality to accept the previously unacceptable. What is yesterday's "edgy" quickly becomes tomorrow's "banal."

     

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  68.  
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    chris (profile), Jun 15th, 2009 @ 6:50am

    "It is said that what is called the Spirit of an Age is something to which one cannot return. That this spirit gradually dissipates is due to the world's coming to an end. In the same way, a single year does not have just spring or summer. A single day, too, is the same. For this reason, although one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation."

    -- Hagukare

     

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  69.  
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    Plato, Jun 15th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    the crotchety are as old as time

    The Republic >> Adeimantus - Socrates:
    Then, as I was saying, our youth should be trained from the first in a stricter system, for if amusements become lawless, and the youths themselves become lawless, they can never grow up into well-conducted and virtuous citizens.

     

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  70.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 9:33am

    I love this post! Found my way back via the recent post on the German author... but then I got here and felt like something was missing. I guess it was never here, but:

    http://techdirt.com/articles/20090628/1613445386.shtml

    You should add the quote about chess from that post to this list!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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