Thursday, August 02, 2007

Kids today are wimps

So Mattel has to recall 967,000 toys in the U.S. (and 1.5 million worldwide) that were made in China because they are covered in lead paint. Well, you get what you pay for. Companies decide that it is better to get goods from countries like China that sell their goods on the cheap, but then you end up with poison dog food, poison toothpaste, and toys covered in lead paint. I could go on and on about how this just proves that if you want products that meet your minimum standards for quality, you should get them from a country that has some regulations. Not to mention the fact, that our economy might be better if we employed our own instead of farming everything out to other countries. But what really comes to mind is how kids today are wimps. I mean they are playing with toys that look like this:

These toys are made out of cheap soft plastic and have no sharp edges. What are kids going to learn from that? The world is full of sharp edges! My toys were hard and often made out of metal or fiberglass. It was spectacular when the sit-n-spin broke. It went from a fun, spin-'till-you-throw-up toy to a deadly weapon in an instant. The sit-n-spins they make today bend when you try to spin. How can you get yourself dizzy enough to puke on something that you can't even spin on? No fun there.

One of the big debates from my childhood was the whole Big Wheel vs. Green Machine controversy. We would have races to see which one would go faster. We would race down big hills and often wipe out because the Big Wheel had no brakes and the Green Machine's brakes would throw you off if you were going too fast. I guess kids have to ride their cheap plastic Big Wheels and Green Machines wearing a helmet on flat surfaces.

All of this talk of helmets leads me to bikes. When we went to ride our bikes, we weren't reminded to wear our helmets because we didn't have them. We were simply told to be home before dark. Now kids have to be loaded up with helmets and padding just to get on a bike. They look like Ralphie from A Christmas Story. Truth be told, I can't drive a car when I am wearing a hat. I know that sounds crazy, but it is true. So I bet I can't ride a bicycle with a helmet on. I would have been screwed. Besides the only serious scar I have from bike riding is on my elbow. Wearing a helmet wouldn't have stopped that. But I am guessing that the helmet would have impaired my bike riding so my injuries probably would have been much worse.

A few years ago, they repaved the roads by The Pineapple Parents' house and left that weird gravel top that eventually wears down. Some of the neighbors were complaining because it posed a danger to their bike riding kids. I don't think my parents ever whined about the crappy roads when I was a bike riding kid -- and the roads were a lot worse then. These whiners had the same dangerous toys that I had and they grew up to be whiny wimps. What went wrong? No doubt their kids are on the fast track to wimpiness.

Of course, we didn't have cable with thousands of channels, tons of video games, or the Internet to dull our minds. We had to entertain ourselves. Without these electronic Prozac devices we had energy to burn and our parents preferred we went outside to do that. When you get sent outside to play, you have to get creative. Riding your bike and playing on the swing set has its limits on fun. You have to make up games. This often led to things like pretending to be Evel Knievel, jumping off of the refrigerator (flips were encouraged) and other dare devil stunts. Do kids today watch Dora the Explorer and then go out side to compare helmets before they ride their bikes under the watchful eyes of their smothering mothers? I can't imagine them building forts and jumping ramps on their bikes. The Pineapple Parents have a neighbor that paid someone to come and put special soft stuff under the playscape so their kids wont fall in the dirt. Personally, I thought it was a rite of passage to get that little scar under your chin from jumping off the swing and landing badly.

Now I'm not suggesting that parents put their kids in harm's way. My parents never did. But then again you need to figure out that the stove is really hot and that rotten plywood you found in the creek does not make a good bike ramp on your own. I told my cousin over and over that she would get hurt if she jumped of the fridge, but she didn't believe me until she landed on her head. The first couple of jumps she did easy tricks like Texas Ts. It was the flip that got her. After she hit her head, she was done jumping off of the refrigerator. See, lesson learned. No parents had to tell her not to do that again. Her kids may have those crappy soft plastic toys, but they also play tackle football in the living room. She encourages this behavior. I know this because I have seen the videos. Her kids are not wimps.


Jill said...

That's why I hate the toys with all those lights and noises. They dont learn to do anything. Although I had to take the wooded blocks (which were hard to find) away from my grandson cause he threw them at his sister.LOL! Do you remember when WalMart proudly pushed the fact that they Bought American? Try to find something made in America at WM now!

Evil Spock said...

What we are doing is trying to prevent natural selection. If you can't do a wheelie or and endo without cracking your skull, you shouldn't be able to breed.

Our gene pool will be so diluted, that the alien overlords will have a cakewalk once they invade.

pineapple said...

jill: maybe taking away those blocks was a bad idea because now the only thing your grandkids have to play with now are crappy, lead covered toys from china. I'm not really sure what they have at the walmart because I try to avoid shopping there, but I'm not suprised they have bottom of the barrel goods.

evil spock: if we don't get some chlorine for that pool quick like, we will have to scare the alien overlords off by lobbing lead covered dora the explorer and elmo toys at them. but thank god everyone will have helmets.

Andi Shay said...

I am proud to know you.

Yes, I too had lots of metal toys with sharp edges.
The kids of today are total wimps and I am not looking forward to having to deal with them when they are adults.

There are so many coddling parents out there, I just don't get it.

mad said...

I didn't have any toys when I was a kid. I guess that explains a lot.

pineapple said...

andi: you are no wimp, my friend! and you are so right, they are going to make lousy adults.

mad: that explains everything.

Rebecca said...

As the downer...I didn't wear a helmet for 5 minutes last year & ended up with a "traumatic brain injury"! Helmets make a lot of sense for regular riders in the US (adults are the only ones riding around main roads for transportation, right?). No problem without a helmet as a kid & I didn't worry about it in Europe, but...

pineapple said...

reba: i love you doll! and for the record I'm not against helmets, just the coddling. you are no wimp, girlfriend!

Anonymous said...

Conservatives used to be the ones insisting that we "buy American." Now it seems to be more of a liberal sentiment. What happened?

pineapple said...

I remember when Barbara Mandrell was doing ads for American's Freedom Fabric. But I don't think it was a conservative vs. liberal idea. she was just showing us that American products were made out of polyester. That's when American corporations trying to get us to buy their product instead of the crappier, cheaper version from another country. Now everything is outsourced so that when you "buy American" you are actually buying Chinese (or whatever country). But it doesn't matter if it is a conservative or liberal idea because until the corporations start hiring Americans to make American products we get to buy food and other products that are dangerous. But I don't think the decline in childrens' toys and the increase in wimpiness is a result of outsourcing or buying Chinese products. Kids are coddled too much. They live in a world that is padded, has no sharp edges, and no imagination.