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  1. 11 Jan '10 00:03
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/normantebbit/100021822/a-shortage-of-grit-youre-telling-me/

    ....

    There is certainly plenty to blog about. For example, here in the midst of the coldest winter since global warming began, we find ourselves short of grit. Well, yes, but what worries me is not the shortage of grit for the roads, but the near total lack of that grittiness for which we Brits were once renowned.

    ....

    When I was at school in a less than fashionable working-class suburb of London before the Second World War, I knew plenty of kids whose fathers had been unemployed during the great slump, but I did not know any whose fathers had never worked in their lives. I did not know anyone who had been mugged, or even anyone who knew anyone who had been mugged. I soon learned that not every one was growing up in an ideal family, but I did not know anyone who had several half brothers and sisters, all by different fathers.

    Every one of my classmates could read and write and manage basic maths by the time we were nine or ten years old, and none of us would ever set out to disrupt a class except as a bit of harmless fun. For such an act, or for being plain silly, we might have our hands caned or be kept in for half an hour after school, but we seemed to suffer no lasting traumatic harm. Oh yes, and none of us was obese.

    So what has changed and why? Is it television, mobile phones, prosperity, computer games (and I have heard each of those held to blame)? For what it is worth, I do not blame Lord Beveridge or Clement Attlee. Would that we had a leader of any party to compare with him. So who or what is to blame? To be fair, it did not all start to go wrong in 1997, although I certainly think that poisonous vine Tony Blair has had a hand in it all.

    Or is there nothing to worry about at all? Certainly it is not all gloom. I dropped my wallet in the street on Saturday and it was picked up and returned intact.

    No doubt some of you have your theories, too.
  2. 11 Jan '10 00:03
    is the old dude right or not?
  3. 11 Jan '10 02:35
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    is the old dude right or not?
    Yeah, I would tend to agree, although I don't think it is a uniquely British problem.

    The fact that, in the developed world certainly, each subsequent generation starts at a much better economic position than the previous tends to breed an air of selfishness and entitlement that perhaps our parents and grandparents never experienced. They have never experienced true hardship and it is this hardship which I think can lead to a better social cohesion which is severely lacking in today's developed world. Although, in the past, people had far fewer material posessions, they seemed to be happier with what they had. I remember my father telling me how happy he was when he was a kid, at getting a pencil and an orange for his Chritmas presents. Nowadays, if a kid doesn't get the latest mobile phone or computer or the wrong brand of trainers, then it is the end of the world. They know the cost of everything but don't know the value of anything.

    I also think that children nowadays are overly protected from the real world. And they also seem to have more rights than adults. I have several friends who are female teachers who tell stories of being verbally abused face to face by big, strong schoolboys and not being able to do anything about it. Or not being able to break up a fight because there can be no physical contact. Or if, on a school trip, a kid falls and cuts his/her knee, the teacher is somehow responsible for this. It's ridiculous.

    I could go on ranting, but I'll leave it there for now.
  4. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    11 Jan '10 02:46
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    is the old dude right or not?
    Basically, yes. I suggest you read Andrew Marr's History Of Modern Britain - there's a 5 part TV documentary version of it too. Also have a look at a fascinating 5 parter from Australia (although each documentary is only about 15 or 20 minutes long) called The Decadence of Modern Life. Rather bleak but very thought provoking.
  5. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    11 Jan '10 02:52 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    here in the midst of the coldest winter since global warming began, we find ourselves short of grit [...] for the roads, but the near total lack of that grittiness for which we Brits were once renowned.
    "...David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire, [said in 2000] ultimately British children could have only virtual experience of snow. Via the internet, they might wonder at polar scenes - or eventually "feel" virtual cold. Heavy snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unprepared. "We're really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time," he said [in 2000]..."
  6. 11 Jan '10 02:52
    Originally posted by The Snapper
    Yeah, I would tend to agree, although I don't think it is a uniquely British problem.

    The fact that, in the developed world certainly, each subsequent generation starts at a much better economic position than the previous tends to breed an air of selfishness and entitlement that perhaps our parents and grandparents never experienced. They have never e ...[text shortened]... ible for this. It's ridiculous.

    I could go on ranting, but I'll leave it there for now.
    No, that same problem is here in the US......... and I am to blame for some in the way i raised my own kids. It was too easy for them at times.
    Now though, it seems they are sucking it up, so maybe all is not lost.
  7. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    11 Jan '10 03:02
    Originally posted by Hugh Glass
    No, that same problem is here in the US...
    This issue conjures up images of morbidly obese diabetics driving to the mall in sports utility vehicles dressed in shell track suits to buy 2-for-1 boxes of doughnuts and swinging by the doctor's to get pills that make their penises hard, while their feral children go into hyperactive routines because their teeth-rotting snacks are full of E-numbers and they've been away from their Playstations for more than 30 minutes.
  8. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    11 Jan '10 05:16 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/normantebbit/100021822/a-shortage-of-grit-youre-telling-me/

    ....

    There is certainly plenty to blog about. For example, here in the midst of the coldest winter since global warming began, we find ourselves short of grit. Well, yes, but what worries me is not the shortage of grit for the roads, but the near total lack ...[text shortened]... urday and it was picked up and returned intact.

    No doubt some of you have your theories, too.
    The guy is talking about the Great Depression. Of course it was different. Poverty in a terrible economy is much different than poverty in a strong economy with lots of wealth concentrated at the top.

    In the Depression there was nobody to rob.

    Remember the Roaring 20's? Ciudad Juarez of today is the Chicago of the 20's.
  9. 11 Jan '10 09:56
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    is the old dude right or not?
    Right without a doubt but, as several others have pointed out, this phenomenon is not exclusively British although it has gathered pace under the decadence of Blairite rule.
    All civilisations in the past have shown such signs of decadence before collapsing under the weight of teir own rotteness, thus making way for others to rise and eventually fall in their turn.
  10. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    11 Jan '10 10:13
    Originally posted by Sartor Resartus
    Right without a doubt but, as several others have pointed out, this phenomenon is not exclusively British although it has gathered pace under the decadence of Blairite rule.
    I don't think social and socio-psychological trends have too much to do with politicians, frankly. I think the 'decline' we are talking about here has more to do with TV producers, advertising agencies, the wholesale loss of things like deferred gratification and functional attention spans. To put it down to mere technocratic figures like Blair and Thatcher, I think, miscalculates exactly how deep this change goes and what causes it.
  11. Standard member spruce112358
    Democracy Advocate
    11 Jan '10 10:48
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    is the old dude right or not?
    I'm wary of "we were tougher back then" claims. My parents always told me they walked barefoot in the snow for MILES to get to school because they were MOTIVATED and for Christmas they got ROCKS and they were GLAD to have them because they APPRECIATED things back then.

    Ya.

    Any statement that starts "The problem with kids today..." means some old geezer wants to wax lyrical about his youth.
  12. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    11 Jan '10 11:04
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    Think it made a difference?
  13. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    11 Jan '10 11:16
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    I'd say banning corporal punishment didn't make the slightest bit of difference, apart from providing a useful red herring. I was caned at school -- the only thing it taught me was to be more careful and not get caught. Also, when I got bigger the canings didn't hurt much, so it'd have taken some serious physical abuse to 'teach me a lesson'. (I'm a pillar of society now.) Plus, correct me if I'm wrong, girls were never subjected to corporal punishment, and teenage girls are one of the fastest expanding delinquency growth areas, are they not?
  14. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    11 Jan '10 11:28 / 1 edit
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    This consequence is that adults use violence on children?
  15. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    11 Jan '10 12:25
    Originally posted by FMF
    This consequence is that adults use violence on children?
    And Tony Blair sees no dissonance between his unrepented lying and pukeworthy public 'Christian values'. Meanwhile, punk preceded the demise of corporal punishment. No future?

    I'm having trouble following the gist of this discussion, though. The truncated OP seems to be an attempt to establish a conversation about 'the youth of today', perhaps with a nod to the malaise afflicting 'society at large'. Narrowing the focus to Great Britain: what seems to be the problem, all in all?