Curtis Dahlgren
October 9, 2003
60-second seminar on "turning back the clock"
By Curtis Dahlgren

Two analogies that describe today’s teenagers:

(A) Scientists have discovered a tiny creature that lives in the lips of a North Atlantic lobster; it is unique because its brain completely disappears at the onset of adolescence and doesn’t reappear until adulthood.

(B) A farmer was driving a horse and wagon down the road with a colt trotting along trying to keep up with his mother. After a few miles, the farmer noticed that the colt had gone through a gate on the left side of the road and was now on the other side of a high fence with no gate in sight.

The first version shows middle school students being turned over to teachers and school officials at their most vulnerable time. And psychologists tell parents that, once kids reach age 13, any attempt by a parent to influence them won’t have any affect one way or another (but drugs from the school nurse are a sure thing).

The second analogy shows the colt flexing newfound independence and going through a gate on the left. This often occurs at the onset of adolescence, but sometimes the brain doesn’t disappear until age 18 or 19 during the freshman year of college. And, as Thomas Jefferson once noted, few in their after years have occasion to revise their college opinions.

The brain sometimes never reappears, but in the horse-and-wagon story, the farmer simply turned around and went back to the gate the colt had wandered through and recovered it. To him it was common sense. As a frequent visitor to the American West, I can visualize that scene right down to the worn-out cowboy boots nailed to the tops of a few fence posts.

Those of us who haven’t forgotten our nation’s cultural roots are accused of being “overly simplistic” and of trying to “turn back the clock”! Well, when daylight savings time ends, turning back the clock is “a good thing” and, if your colt has gone through a gate on the left, you just turn around and go back. No need for “parenting experts” to nag us about “how do you know the colt’s way isn’t just as good as your way?” Doing the right thing at the right time eliminates the need for “grief counselors” in the school later!

Don’t look for a mass movement any time soon for “going back” to Leave it to Beaver families though. That kind of family doesn’t provide any income for public employees in law enforcement or corrections, for courtroom stenographers or bailiffs, for lawyers or judges, for parole officers or psychologists, for remedial education tutors or psychiatrists.

Follow the money.

I can remember when my county’s “Human Services” department consisted of the sheriff and one volunteer who worked with a handful of “delinquents”; now it has its own multi-million dollar court house annex. And no one with “simplistic solutions” need apply for work there.

What’s really hilarious is that, despite the obvious mushrooming of social problems under modern philosophies of education, parenting, and the media, today’s crop of kids weaned on Darwinism believe the unspoken doctrine that they are the most highly evolved generation in the history of the planet!

A college student was once lecturing Ronald Reagan that the older generation couldn’t possibly “understand” the younger because “we have TV, computers, space travel” etc. Reagan interrupted him and said, “Yes, and we invented those things!” My own father was born before the Wright brothers ever got off the ground, and he saw the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show and heard Teddy Roosevelt speak in person. He quit school after the eighth grade, but he could read and write better than most college freshmen today.

Not all “progress” is PROGRESS if you get the drift. More about “evolution” in my next column, but there’s a joke going around the Internet that sums up where society stands at the moment. A lawyer had just picked up his new Lexus, and as he parked in front of his office to show it to his partners, he opened the door and a truck ripped it right off. With his voice-activated cell phone, he called 911, and an officer arrived within a couple of minutes to see the lawyer ranting and raving about his car and how “it will never be the same” and so on.

The cop says, “How can you lawyers be so materialistic? Why can’t you notice the things that really matter?” The lawyer of course says: “How can you say such a thing at a time such as this?” And the cop says, “Don’t you realize your left arm is missing? The truck took it right off when he hit your car.”

The lawyer goes, “OH MY ---- WHERE’S MY ROLEX?” Follow the money.

[I have no idea if Rolex has one “L” or two; but I know that hell has 2.]

© Curtis Dahlgren

Comments feature added August 14, 2011

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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in the frozen tundra of Michigan's U.P., and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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