Monday, December 04, 2006

The Crazy Years

Science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein often mentioned the "Crazy Years" in his stories when writing about alternative timelines. It's been obvious for quite a while that we're living in those Crazy Years.

The following anonymously-authored piece was sent to me by a friend, and has nothing to do with Heinlein. But it is certainly indicative that we are indeed living in those Crazy Years he often alluded to. For all the craziness of the 1960s and 1970s, they were serene compared to today. What a difference a generation makes.

Scenario: Jack pulls into school parking lot with rifle in gun rack.

1973 — Vice Principal comes over, takes a look at Jack's rifle, goes to his car and gets his to show Jack.

2006 — School goes into lockdown, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1973 — Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends. Nobody goes to jail, nobody arrested, nobody expelled.

2006 — Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.

1973 — Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by Principal. Sits still in class.

2006 — Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his father's car and his Dad gives him a whupping.

1973 — Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

2006 — Billy's Dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. Billy's sister is told by state psychologist that she remembers being abused herself and their Dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.

Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some headache medicine to school.

1973 — Mark shares headache medicine with Principal out on the smoking dock.

2006 — Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario: Mary turns up pregnant.

1973 — Five high school boys leave town. Mary does her senior year at a special school for expectant mothers.

2006 — Middle School Counselor calls Planned Parenthood, who notifies the ACLU. Mary is driven to the next state over and gets an abortion without her parent's consent or knowledge. Mary given condoms and told to be more careful next time.

Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.

1973 — Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.

2006 — Pedro's cause is taken up by state Democratic party. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he can't speak English.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.

1973 — Ants die.

2006 — BATF, Homeland Security, & FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is banned from all commercial flights.

Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Teacher hugs him to comfort him.

1973 — In a short time Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2006 — Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

Image: A simpler time?

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  1. "And to those who say it was never so, that America's not been better, I say you're wrong.
    And I know because I was there.
    And I have seen it.
    And I remember."

    Bob Dole, August 15, 1996

  2. I don't know that I miss the seventies much (given that my babysitter turned out to be a mass murderer and all), but tell you what, i remember that sadistic pri

  3. In the last scenario, you forgot "running is forbidden on the playground". They've actually done that.

  4. This could have been lifted from Andy Rooney on one of his less creative days.


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