Thursday, April 12, 2007

PC Enablers

On the other end of the spectrum, in the pre-emptive censorship category, is a ludicrous decision by the Knothole Club of Greater Cincinnati little league baseball organization to ban “negative” chatter in their games.

What does it mean? If you’re a kid in Cincinnati and want to issue the timeless “Hey batter batter, swing!” you can expect a warning for a first “offense” and a one-game suspension for a second.

KCGC President Dave Eppien: "If you’re saying 'Swing, batter,' and this poor little kid is swinging at everything, he feels bad and maybe he turns to the catcher and gets mad. Honest to gosh, I didn’t have any trouble doing this."

I’m not sure he goes far enough. If the poor little kid batting will now no longer swing at pitches out of the strike zone, maybe the poor little kid pitching can no longer get him out, he feels bad and gets mad. Perhaps a rule that any pitch is a strike is needed.

But wait, now the poor little kid batting may not be able to reach base, and he feels bad and gets mad. Maybe we need a rule that…wait a minute, that’s going to make the pitcher mad again. What do we do now?!?

This is all a symptom of the idea that kids should always be led to believe that whatever they do is ok, it’s all good, you’re a success! It’s the wussification of our youth. What happens is that kids do not learn how to fail, which I would argue is among life’s most important formative lessons.

If the first time you experience failure is in college, or worse, in the competitive job market or on the job, how are you going to deal with it? Maybe, just maybe, if some idiot bureaucrat hadn’t legislated away baseball chatter you might have (gasp) been lured into striking out on a bad pitch. At which point you might have worked to learn how to overcome such obstacles and become a more disciplined and thus better hitter.

And maybe this experience teaches you that adaptation and hard work can help you prepare for and overcome other tough situations, leading you to become emotionally stronger and more resilient as you make your way through life’s inevitable minefields.

But not if the Dave Eppiens of the world have anything to say about it.



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