Monday, February 06, 2012

Safety Third! Carrie Bradshaw Visits the Playground

I was hanging out with Bam and his 3-year old daughter at the playground - a new experience not least because I'm unfamiliar with modern playground features. Everything to climb is low to the ground - a landing pad made of spongy rubber. There wasn't a tire swing or see-saw, not even a swingset. It's as if all elements of potential danger were carefully excised.

"Back in my day", the playground was full of swings, jungle gyms, high bars. I used to hang from my knees upside-down and fly off in cherry drops to the ground - concrete. Kids got rowdy and there were sometimes bruises or goose eggs or you got your head cracked open like Duane Emery did once after a series of spinners on the tire swing.  That's how lessons are learned: trial and error.

Today as more and more we assume the trial and remove the error from the playground of life, how do you learn, judge or gauge, based on your personal experience? "Safety First" is a terribly antiseptic, and I'll argue corrupt, way to exist. It's not just helicopter parents, but helicopter society that nannies with its seatbelt laws and multi-million dollar rewards for being stupid enough to spill scalding coffee onto your vagina. Not your fault! Blame McDonalds!
Is it a massive leap to suggest that such a preciously pampered population might lack accountability for its actions? Perhaps the flagrant behavior of, say, Wall Street lenders, is not your garden-variety "greed" but rather the result of myopic human beings unable to differentiate between opportunity and fucking everything up.

Even a beast with eyes on the opposite sides of its head can see the big picture, but do we cover one eye so securely that the other is allowed to selfishly do all the seeing?

As we buffer and baffle consequence, is the bed we're making not looking a lot like the jungle gym?


Dtown-Blog said...

Do you know that this is one of my favourite all-time posts? I read it outloud to friends of mine and we end up in stiches. It's just so true :)

Jesse Archer said...

Thanks BABY!