Casualties of Saaaaaafety

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Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety has cost us a lot – and not just money.

It has sucked almost all of the the fun out of driving – especially for those who were born after the Safety Cult established itself as mainstream state religion.

The Millennials, god help them. And us.

It happened during the ’90s, when strange rituals which had previously been practiced by a few neurasthenic people – fearful of everything – became state policy, enforced upon everyone.

These things are now unquestionable dogma.

For example, cossetting kids in saaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety seats for the duration of every drive.

Every drive has thus become a time-consuming chore for the parents – no more just getting in and going – and aversion training for the kids.

It is no accident that people who grew up after the Safety Cult went mainstream – the Millennials and up – don’t much like cars or driving.

Why would they?

From their earliest memory onward, a drive was not an exciting adventure but a kind of prison bus ride. The child forcibly strapped in, by inevitably impatient hands; he struggles a bit, perhaps – at first – and is scolded. He learns it is pointless; that he is helpless.

The bindings are pulled tight, skin is pinched, clothes bunched.

It cannot be comfortable.

If there’s something in the child’s pocket, he can’t get to it now. Untied shoes remain untied. He flails, futilely.

Whatever he’s wearing, he must continue wearing, whether he is hot or cold. All he can do is yelp for help.

The child is denied even the freedom to take his own jacket off – or put it on – according to his own desire and without having to plead for an adult Authority Figure to allow him to do so.

The child isn’t permitted to do more than look around – a little.

He can’t rotate his body to look behind him – and so is denied (and will never know) the view of the world receding that was once known to every American child.

Even looking to the side is difficult because of the way the child is harnessed.

Anything of interest is out of reach.

If he drops his book or toy, he must do without unless someone – an adult Authority Figure – deigns to hand it back. Which they probably won’t because they’re up front and also strapped in – though their bindings are self-applied, at least.

All the child can do is stare – and wait. His fate – everything – is in the hands of others.

He has no control over anything. He is dependent on the whims of others. He probably can’t even scratch where it itches – and forget sidling up close to his sister or brother to whisper a secret which the parents up front can’t overhear.

Imagine it. How stultifying it must be.

The child who has grown up in Safety Culted America has never experienced the wonder of laying upside down across the seat and looking up at the tree branches and sky. Nor of peering under the seats to see what treasures might be there; nor of putting his ear to the floorboard in order to hear the muffled whoosh of the road, perhaps to feel the warmth of the exhaust pipes beneath.

There is no gamboling out of the car the moment mom or dad puts it in Park. The child must wait while the laborious process of uncinching is undertaken. The child is denied the hallowed rite – now anathema – of proceeding ahead of the adults. Of rushing up the stairs, to knock on the door of their friend’s house and disappearing within before mom or dad can even get out of the car .

Youth is speed governend, chained to age.

No more clambering over the seat tops to ride in between mom and dad – or in one of their laps. Heaven forbid. The windows are up, the switch out of reach – probably remotely disabled, just in case. The child is not allowed to stick his hands out to feel the wind anyhow – and forget his head.

Instead, the child is cinched firmly into the saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety seat, very much like Hannibal Lector, strapped to the hand truck for his interview.

Except, of course, the child hasn’t eaten anyone.

But preventing cannibalism isn’t the object. And neither is saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety

Those of us who grew up before the Safety Cult took over are still here. How can this be? We were not strapped down like living luggage, could scratch where it itched and tickle our sister or whisper to a friend  . . . and didn’t die, since we’re still here.

We also loved going for a ride – and so, cars.

And yearned to drive them, as soon as we possible could – because of the freedom a car incarnated. Get in and go! Anywhere we liked, free to do as we pleased.

All gone now, and probably planned that way.

. . .

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  1. Great piece. You raise a really good point about these restraints and mobility being early associated with authority, permission and lack of choice.

    One of my first memories is being in the back window of my mom’s Nova while she drove around to get me to fall sleep. Rolling Stones on low volume on the radio, treetops and clouds through glass. It’s a memory I will always cherish.

  2. G’day Eric, these are still the good old days if you are in the right places. Yes I remember scrambling over the back seat in the parents Renault wagon and XD Falcon wagon… for our kids:
    Their younger life saw remote work and home schooling. Back of a Landcruiser in the middle of nowhere. They climbed all over the cargo rack with the 2nd spare on the roof. Checked the oils, filters and belts with me each morning. Got excited as we went past 22 degrees on the inclinometer going up crazy rock tracks on mountains in western Tasmania, back diff slipping and LSD catching. Learning to ride bikes without trainer wheels on the limestone tracks of the Nullarbor plain. Putting in the newfangled dongel into the computer next to a mobile tower, to talk to their teachers 3000km away from the back seat of the car and do their lessons, with a Tiger snake right outside! Putting the diesel Cruiser in 2nd and letting the eldest just idle it around paddocks, herding sheep. The 4 wheelie motorbikes. The go-cart with it’s VW aircooled motor. The youngest idling an XR6 around the farm tracks… Surfing remote beachbreaks, picnic packed and on the beach.
    It has got better as they got older. Teaching manual for L plates in V8 Aussie Muscle car. Driving the same roads as you see in the original ‘Mad Max’, including the bridge part. Running the 4wd along a beach – some places are still free – and letting the young one just go for 15, 20km, keep the revs and momentum up, let the tyres down to 20 or 15psi. Stopping to surf, having dolphins go right past. What an opportunity. Doing the long country drive – thousands of km, with them as co-driver. Just like I did with Dad. Watching this massive arid land change over the course of a day or two or three – inland, away from our cities which are inexorably locked to our coastal plains by the sheer unpredictability of our ENSO climate. And taking a drive around the hallowed racetrack at Mount Panorama, Bathurst (it’s a rural road when not in race mode, people live there too!) in our travels, the kids driving the very road on a thousand Playstation simulations. It’s steeper in real life. And traffic comes at you from the other way! What a view from Skyline…

    • I did a campervan relocation from Melbourne to Perth several years ago with my middle son. Across the Nullabor we saw a flat wide salt lake. I took the van out onto the salt after determining it was safe, and did some burnouts on the dry lake. My son videoed the event from his phone. What a great time we had doing something naughty!!!

    • Ah, the “sunlit plains” are a “vision splendid” as Clancy would say.

      Get out of town and off the interstate in Montana, and it’s not much different.

  3. You have written some great pieces, Eric. IMO this is the best one yet. Bring back so many memories of stuff we used to do, all the stuff you wrote about, and then some. Tickles me pink!

      • eric, a fellow I work with who is 72 and I were speaking of how things were when we were growing up. They were tough times in west Tx. No one was wealthy or even well to do. The greatest part was family though. You knew you’d see all your cousins at least 3 times a year and maybe more. I’d see my local cousins as much as I could stand..

        One first cousin lived in Corpus Christi so we only saw them once for the most part, maybe twice and then those unexpected times of a death in the extended family.

        My father’s parents were dead, grandma from tuberculosis although I suspect it was really Lupus since my father had it and tuberculosis he caught while being stationed with way too many other soldiers in Kansas. Granpa died getting out of his truck, being hit by a drunk and taken down the road a ways along with his truck door.

        My maternal grandmother and grandfather were sorta like second parents to us kids. My grandmother Could be a PITA but generally wasn’t. My grandfather never said an unkind word to me and taught me more than I can remember. He was a muleskinner in WWl, the war to end all wars…..for the people of this country, just not for the ones who controlled them.

        I could understand why he was a muleskinner. Never saw anyone who could handle horses and mules and just about anything the way he did. Other people used hotshots to load cattle, he used a soothing voice and a twig. He was NEVER mad, put out if cattle broke the fence and ate the peanuts but not mad. I reckon he’d seen enough killing to last several lifetimes. When something had to be killed he called me except for chickens which my grandmother dispatched with a coathanger….instantly. I’d love to have chickens so I could eat yard hens but we live in a place where the varmints vie with each other for every cat, duck, chicken, guinea and anything else. Damn those yard hens were good eating, bearing little resemblance to what you buy at the store.

        I spent a lot of my life riding in the back of a pickup, a fine and dandy place as far as I was concerned. Going down dirt roads you could reach out and grab the vegetation and hence learn what to grab and what not to grab.

        Most everything you ate originated locally, often in the back yard and the other part of the block that held cattle, goats, horses(we didn’t eat), chickens, ducks and guineas and of course plenty of free ranging neighborhood dogs and cats. Dogs rarely had collars since everyone knew them by sight. Dogs were real opportunists and waited for the kid not paying attention and nab his snack, whatever that might be.

        We lived on the edge of a tiny town and summers were whatever you could think of to do. Bicycle rides from the baseball field after practice to the drug store for these huge root beers in stainless milkshake mixers and the pharmacists and staff were cheery. While others generally talked their way through those times I always grabbed the latest Mad Magazine which I’d buy and take home to read every single word including the ads in the back.

        Going to the creek and catching perch, bass, catfish and crawdads while avoiding water moccasins at all costs. They were large, fast and aggressive and not to be trifled with unless you had a distinct advantage which was not common.

        Back then it seemed girls were encouraged to be witless. I enjoyed the ones who didn’t fall into that category except for the very mature good looking ones…..the ones every male enjoyed from grandson to great grandfather.

        I remember getting one flat-top haircut and swore to never again….and didn’t. What PITA with the combing and waxing and bs. I did love the barbershop where the barber treated you more like a man and you could read Soldier of Fortune the entire time. We had those stupid nuclear bomb drills in school, afeared of them godless Russkies. The barbershop had the same sign on the wall as in school but when it got to the point of “put your head between your legs and close your eyes(what the hell did that accomplish?)”, the one at the barbershop said “Put your head between your legs…..and kiss your sweet ass goodbye”. Lots of salacious bs at the barbershop too and sometimes someone would remind everyone there there was a child in the room…..often to a rousing laugh.

        Talk about child labor laws. Nobody in Texas had ever heard or dreamed of them. I was overjoyed when I was 12 and was “big enough” to haul hay. It was one of those jobs you soon realized nobody was big enough to want to do it for a living.

        But long before we had a DL we drove pickups, tractors and everything else. I was lucky to have a Jeep to drive sometimes. We drove pickups to towns 60 miles away long before we had DL’s and raced our cars on the big race tracks they had as opposed to smaller towns with much smaller tracks. My Chapparal C4 was badass but my best friend had a home made F1 car that sported a 6V motor for 12 V track. It would haul ass. We experimented with various tires and made our own traction enabling “pookie” that would often result in making the car jump completely off the track if you “gassed it hard” from a start.

        We had fishing holes out the wazoo, some of which were off-limits and we had to walk a couple miles to get to but were worth it. I couldn’t tell you how many times we’d be fishing and hear a pickup coming through the pasture. It was time to leave as soon as you could grab your tackle box and haul ass through the pasture. Getting back to the pickup was often a challenge with various cacti you had stuck in various places and shirts ripped off by mesquite trees. Once in the pickup and moving, it was all laughs while we pulled thorns and staunched wounds. Too many good times to count and the bad times have a way of becoming distant memories that make them seem not as bad. Life was short back then for adults and children so we took not a lot for granted. But man, were we ever free. I admit I learned to fake illness to get out of school and got better the older I became. In high school I took the courses I liked and got sick or just didn’t show for the others. Probably I learned to despise Paul Harvey but had to hear him every day at lunch. What a bunch of propagandized prattle. He as gung ho for the Vietnam war but suddenly had a change of heart. His son was my age and after the Tet offensive, he began to question the morality and every other part of it. Funny how envisioning your son die in a shithole across the world “to fight Communism” seemed to be a little more bullshit of a line every day. I kept getting invites and I kept finding more ways to avoid those invites. I didn’t get 5 deferments like Dick the Cheney but the one I had for college served me well until the lotto of which I got somewhere over 300, good enough to go to the patch and seek my fortune. Just now I thought of the book “Childhood’s End”. hhhmmmmm

          • dread, thanks much. Had to listen to 6 Days on the Road too.

            As an aside, we once discussed somewhere how animals knew what they did and how they could seem to read your mind…..from any distance. We had a dog with the ultimate dog name, Buck, and he was so intune with me he did some uncanny things countless times. I’d be off trucking and the wife would call. She’d ask where I was and I’d tell her. Which way you going? she’d ask. Well, about 15 minutes ago I decided to head to the house and took the turn to come home. She’d say, Ok, that explains it, Buck jumped up and has been running all around and telling me something. That scenario played out countless times and at times when she wasn’t expecting me and I’d just make a decision to come in for whatever reason. Dog IS man’s best friend. He knew more than the wife.

  4. Hi Eric.

    Long time reader, first time commenting.

    Touching article, filled me with melancholy. You sparked such fond memories from my childhood, spending my summers in my mother’s home town, riding to the cottage in the back of a station wagon with 6 or so cousins, while uncle expertly navigated the roads at 100 mph, hanging our heads out the windows if we were lucky enough to ride in the back seat (just got a flashback of the hair whipping and the violent resistance of the wind against the face), playing around, maybe being scolded once in a while (deservedly). Nobody got hurt. Nobody worried. No laws were broken. This would be during the early 1970’s, when I was 10 years old or so.

    We never understood how free we really were.

    I fear for the future, but yet feel hope, as I believe liberty will prevail eventually. All this literature, such as your blog Eric, will find a way to live on and eventually exert its rightful influence.

    Maybe I’m being a bit optimistic.

    Hopefully we reach ‘Peak Stupidity’ soon.

    • Thanks for the kind words, LL!

      One of my earliest memories is of riding with my mom and dad in their big Oldsmobile – which had a mile-wide speedometer, with the 40,50,60 bunched in the middle and then 70… 80… 90… 100 stretching out to the right. My parents would rock the Olds to 90, 100 with all of us cheering; none of us wearing seat belts. I remember looking under the hood of that big green monster and seeing the gold-painted engine and the sticker on the air cleaner that read Rocket 455, with the Oldsmobile symbol…

      • Must have been a 70 model. They would hit 100 just a hair faster than 120 and beyond. They weren’t much on handling and stopping but they’d run with the big dogs, hell, they were the big dogs.

          • eric, we were watching a movie yesterday, a story that took place in the 70’s, and they had beautiful period cars. There was that really nice brown color Buick Riviera parked at the curb, looked like it had just been bought. I couldn’t help myself. I said, Damn, what I’d give for that car now. Radials and better shocks, an OD tranny and hit the road . Wouldn’t that be a great ride? The wife just sits there, says nothing. It did nothing to diminish my enthusiasm.

    • We used to … Gasp! … Ride in the back of the pickup truck. I’m not sure if adults are even allowed to do that anymore. No seatbelts back there.
      I am lucky not to be a member of Generation Strapped In. I was a libertarian from about age 5; I just didn’t know what it was called. I did not – and still don’t – like being treated like a child. Today, they would call that “oppositional-defiant disorder” and prescribe a whole formulary of pharmaceuticals. Life for my poor mother was hard enough without having to tie me up every day.

      • Amy, that’s some sick stuff. I’ve heard some forced drug horror stories from the generation that’s now in their early 20’s and 30’s. The people who do this should be shot, period. Drug a child so they don’t “act up”. WTF are children supposed to do. When I started school, there was a lot of physical activity interspersed with learning. You could concentrate better when you had a lot of oxygen in your blood and you need a bit of a break physically. It made sense back then and still does.

        One of the main differences was we ate good food, not junk loaded with HFCS and Roundup.

        • I know. It’s terrible. I don’t have kids but I would fight that tooth and nail. I don’t think kids are any rowdier than in the past. Schools just seem to demand more of them, more, harder subjects of study and more seat time and less tolerance for normal childlike behavior, especially from boys. They want them to be like Japan.
          I think we can’t do that though. Americans are descended from adventurers and explorers, people who wouldn’t stay put and wouldn’t follow rules. Japan is not. I think ADHD is in our blood. We should embrace it, not squelch it.

  5. I’m always happy when I see a kid sitting on daddy’s lap driving in my neighborhood or kids in the back of a pickup. It doesn’t happen all that often but it’s nice to see. The airbags are the biggest danger.

    What still stuns me is when I hear a “man” whining about teens driving too fast or kids riding their bikes/skateboards in an adventurous manner. I wouldn’t have married my husband if I’d ever heard him say doing wheelies on a bike was dangerous. I knew a kid that broke his wrist doing a wheelie – a cast was like a bonus as a kid.

    Man, there was nothing more fun than riding in the rear-facing seat in the back of my aunt’s station wagon, waving at cars, making faces, punching each other and being well out of her arm reach. Good times.

    • Even back in the middle 80’s things weren’t so bad. A friend and the wife and I had been dove hunting and not seen much of anything. We had a tribe size cooler of beer and we’d done our best on it. We’re going down a dirt road and see a green Fury with a spotlight coming. Getting close…..slowly since we might have been doing 15 mph, he turned on his red spotlight and then off. We just pulled up beside each other. We’d already put out guns and gear up and were enjoying burning one and drinking one.

      Game warden got out and asked if we’d gotten any birds. Nope, we said, nothing going on. Seeing nothing in our pickup besides the beers between our legs he was fairly mollified but asked to see in the cooler. Since we’re dyed in the wool about not littering, everything we had drunk, and only what was left of those 3 beers survived, he opened the lid and it was stacked to the top with empty bottles. He closed the lid and said “Yall have a good evening” to which we replied the same.

      Let’s fast forward to these days. Game wardens are merely children and they’re state police too of which they’re way too obliged to tell you. That scenario wouldn’t turn out anywhere near the same now, in fact, they are downright abusive. Probably what none of them realize is that old pocket on the door in a Silverado has a Comabat Commander in .38 Super lying there. And that brings me to a license check back then. This deputy was wearing a Combat Commander and I complimented him on it. I then pulled mine and showed him the mods I’d made to it. it was a good conversation and he handled it and looked it over liking the straight mainspring housing I’d substituted for the arched one. I took it back, dropped the mag and ran the round out of the chamber and let him feel the trigger. A spark was lit and he was already thinking of removing rounds from the mainspring and the other things I’d done to the trigger group. Imagine that now……..sickening.

      • Great story, Eight – because it brought back memories of similar ones. Like this one:

        In the summer of 1987, one of my friends swung by the townhouse where I was living with four other friends. He came in his primer gray ’74 Chevy, which he’d been turning into something more than the the grocery getting grandma car it had been when it was new. Time for a test ride. But first, a few beers. My friend had already had probably several. Well, we eventually pile into the car, I am riding shotgun. At the intersection to the main road, Brandon – my friend – lights ’em up and goes fishtailing to glory… right in front of a local cop. Who of course pulls us over. Now, here is a primer’d old heap with a loud 350 (headers, glasspacks) full of young guys with long hair and empty beer cans. What does the cop do? (Mark my use of italics.)

        Brandon apologies – tells the cop he was eager to show us (his friends) what the car could do, that we all lived just a mile or so back that way…

        The cop looks us over. He decides Brandon is too lit to drive, ascertains that I am okay to drive and tells me to take the car – and my friends – and get the hell out of there and not do it again.

        I swear to god.

        Not even a ticket.

        This was when there were cops – for the most part, normal dudes who could discern a crime from a statutory “violation” and were generally not order-barking psychopaths, aka armed government workers.

        • Lots of stories like that from my teen years in the 80s. We all got caught drinking by the river. Cops made us dump out the beer, collect the empties and go home. Friends even got caught with weed and the cops would just take it away from them. I was once called to go to the jail and get my younger brother, who was age 16 and trashed. No charges or anything … just come and get him. He can’t drive.
          Now, they go to jail. Even stuff like acting up at school, fighting, smoking, or now, vaping, gets turned into a federal issue.
          That’s my theory on why we have school shootings, suicides, teens wigging out and needing meds, etc. They are over-managed, over-enforced, over-protected, authority figures nagging at them 24-7, under pressure to be perfect. Most of them don’t rebel anymore. They’re cowed and dependant and compliant. The ones who aren’t just blow up like a pressure cooker. Who can blame them?

    • Gee skedaddle you must be nearing retirement age. We had a 63 Studebaker wagon with the rear facing seat and 6 of us would fight over who got to sit in back and see the cars coming at you, feeling the breeze with the open roof, no gotdam seat belts. Coming back on a trip with 13 people crammed into the car, 4 adults, 9 kids. All of us made it to today. Riding in the back of an open pickup, 70 mph going around curves and up and down hills. Going down a snow and ice covered steep hill onto a frozen lake, feeling the sled careen around with the impact on the ice. Being a passenger in a horse drawn buggy going down a steep hill with Grandpa yelling at the horse to go faster as we approach a wooden bridge………….
      We were so lucky and free to live life to the fullest. Now…………………….

    • I could never do the way-back seat. I did it once, and got really sick, which led to another adventure, puking in the breakdown lane!

      Besides I always wanted to be in the front seat anyway. Listening to adults talk and sucking in that second hand smoke.

  6. Eric, stop, you bring a tear to my eye!
    Born in 1970, remember all that riding well.
    How the hell today would one take children say 8- 12 hrs drive? It would be to torture.
    It was torture then, four kids piled into the back of a station wagon, seat down, trying to sleep in the sun, candy stuck in the hair, farts etc.

  7. Well said Eric! There is yet a remnant – brave souls who have not yet bowed the knee to the forces of conformity.
    “Equality and Safety.” The two most sinister words in our vocabulary.

  8. Safety is to women what race is to minorities: A wedge issue.
    To the purveyors of hate and discontent, spell that Soros, Bloomburg, Pelosi and other such thugs, safety is the perfect issue to destroy our culture. These creatines have weaponized the unspoken fears of the gynocracy and its cuckolded white knights. If you cannot see the giant solipsistic influence that women represent, then you are hopelessly ass over elbow down the rabbit hole of the Matrix.
    Women and their fears are the natural heirs to the same process that destroyed the black culture for the benefit of judaizers.
    In addition, and at the behest of the same basic financial interests, anything that makes our automotive sector more expensive drives the debt creation that the money mongers thrive on. Dressed up as Capitalism (who could criticize that ?) usury is depleting the US capital market as it funds all the safety “improvements” mentioned in this article.
    Women love bling, and we all know what the money mongers seek.
    Shame on Tucker Carlson for any mention of this sad state of affairs !

    • Hi Jack,

      It’s interesting, this business of saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety. I know some men – otherwise “rugged” and “manly” – who suffer from the same hysteria as women I have known. For example, my friend who is an expert marksman, fabricator and welder… who recoils in horror from “speeders.”

      Then there is a woman I know very well let us say. She is extremely feminine in every way – and loves fast cars and driving fast and pretty much everything that makes a person feel alive. I assure you she does not have any man parts anywhere! 🙂

      So, this is a hard to grapple with issue in terms of it being sex-based. I think it’s based on the ancient enemy – cognitive dissonance; the inability to think conceptually/abstractly; to discern the principle of the thing and apply to particulars.

      • this is the result of a feminine society. the sickening cry of safety reminds you of the old hag always puking out…your gonna lose your eye doing that. the so called men are no better having bowed to crazed man hating women. tough talking guys in a gun store want to bomb ragheads and shoot you over a parking spot then go home and get ordered around by their wives. woman controlled society has given us millions of useless boys that don’t wanna work
        Eric do not know what is wrong with your site but now when I comment I have to fill out name email a real pain in the ass

        • Men are still rational, the system has changed to where work does not have the meaningful rational benefits it once did.

          When there is a body of people that can vote themselves resources those who produce the resources lose their value to as individuals. There’s no need to reach a bargain with them as individuals. Simply have government confiscate the resources.

          What happens when you work for something and it is confiscated? If it happens enough times you stop working.

          Look what we see happening to men today. Their wealth, their resources plundered through the government and its courts. Why work? Most men can live alone on very little. The reasons to produce a surplus no longer exist. The surplus itself is taken by the state and redistributed.

        • “Eric do not know what is wrong with your site but now when I comment I have to fill out name email a real pain in the ass”

          It makes it a lot more fun if you keep typing different names and waiting for people to figure it out – LOL

      • Eric,
        it’s a statistical distribution. You’re looking at the edge a couple three standard deviations out. Jack is looking at the mean and to left of the mean.

        For every Sabine Schmitz type there are probably a 100 or 1,000 or maybe even 10,000 safety mom type women.

  9. well none of this nonsense when I was a kid I’m 51. I accidentally opened the door while my mom was driving in town and tumbled to the asphalt. Bounced around a bit was fine. I’m a natural claustrophobe would have likely hated these seats.

    • I was riding in the back seat of a 50ish Studebaker, laying down, when Mom pushed the brakes and the pedal went to the floor. Got thrown to the floor, but no damage.

  10. This made me remember how we would lie in the back of the station wagon on road trips. Never mind safety seats, we didn’t even use seats at all! Then my parents bought a van and had it “customized” with a bench in the back and seats in the middle that could spin around. I don’t even know if there were seat belts. I sure don’t remember ever using them. I remember moving around a lot in that van while my dad drove. I didn’t really realize until just now how different things used to be in that regard. I can hardly imagine how horrible it would have been to have been forced to be strapped in as a child.

    • I did this in my grandmothers station wagon in the 90’s. We all climbed in the back and played cards while she drove us to the grocery store, that still had charge accounts, and we were never pulled over either. Granted this was in a small town but still.

    • That is how the driverless car was sold years back. A rolling living room where you could eat, sleep, have sex, whatever.

      No chance today. Those raised in booster seats will have the same experience once they go driverless. If we ever get there.

    • Krista, we had a big cooler(aluminum, damn good)and I rode that thing for years in the back of the station wagon…..and that was usual rather than the exception. I rode, along with other kids, on their coolers in the station wagon. We were way back there where adults didn’t want to strain too much to see what we were doing. A funny thing about that, the father driving could see us in the rear view and never said a word, no matter whose father. It was always the mother turning her head and making sure we didn’t have, as Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen so eloquently said,…..”too much fun”. Well, I ain’t never had too much fun and this was one time few had “too much fun”. It was a great time at the Armadillo World Headquarters.

    • My dad was a self employed plumber who dropped 4-6 kids off at grade school every morning in his Dodge van back in the 60s and early 70s. We sat on top of toolboxes or boxes or water heaters, anywhere we could sit.. The rattling of tools and parts ever present. And yet we all made it to school.

      • Hi Joe,

        I grew up more or less the same way. Remember walking home from school? Asking the bus driver to just stop “here” and let you off… and she did?

        We had a “smoking arcade” at my high school. An area for the kids to hang out and smoke. This was the ’80s. Yes, really. I didn’t hallucinate it.

        • I remember walking home from school a few times. Due to construction of I65 and I465 roads. Took the shortcut across the construction site. 1 day I took a shortcut through a yard next street over. Next I remember a huge dog, mouth wide open, front paws on my shoulders and growling angrily. I screamed as loud as I could and the dog ran away. Took me 4 hours to stop shaking. Never told Mom either.

  11. This made me think of something that lifted my spirits a little bit. In the rural mississippi neighborhood that my parents have lived in since about 2005, kids almost all have dirt bikes, atvs, and side by sides.

    There is one young man, who is probably 15 or 16 now, who has been driving a side by side around the neighborhood since he was 6 or so to go fishing and visit friends. He always was more attentive and courteous than most adults.

    One other thing. Several sheriff deputy’s live in the neighborhood and actually never harass any of the kids.

  12. Hi Eric,

    Poignant and beautifully written article. I remember years ago waiting in the cattle chute prior to boarding a plane and seeing a family with three kids in front of me. It struck me that they were being conditioned to think of this as normal, that this conditioning was the actual intent of security theater and that the culture of independence was doomed.

    BTW, I know I’ve mentioned her before but anyone interested in the soul deadening effect on children produced by the safety cult should check out Lenore Skenazy and the foundation she created.


  13. IDC what the law is, once my kids are 3-4, gonna ditch the baby seats and think of excuses if an AGW pulls me over

    I sat in the front seat multiple times as a child and I’m still alive today.

    Gonna make sure they’re in badass sports cars too, and off-road with them as well

    • Zane,

      So you’ll “just” subject them to sensory deprivation for three or four years?

      You planning on keeping them in a cage at the house for that time as well?

      Why not have them fitted with special glasses at birth? Make sure the pattern matches the upholstery of the back seat.

      Don’t forget the ThudguardTM and ear plugs. Wouldn’t want them exposed to any harmful decibels.

      And protective gloves. No more of that
      “You gotta touch the stove to learn they say
      Get burnt and learn that way”

      I’m not trying to insult you Zane.

      But we have gone from a generation of kids whose moms would slam on the brakes so we bounced off the metal dashboard to the epitome of mollycoddling.

      The first few years are the most important. It’s no wonder the autism rate is soaring higher than a 737 MAX can get on takeoff nowadays.

      But I will pick on 8, there’s a tough old bastard who won’t quit and doesn’t let adversity get in his way.

      I can tell his mom let him fall off the ironing board a time or two. 🙂

      • Autism is something more on order of chemical/biological damage.

        Can lighter damage be made worse with safety mom upbringing? Maybe. But the cause for today’s rates is still most likely something being done to the masses or exposure to something now that wasn’t done before.

        • Brent,

          “Autism is something more on order of chemical/biological damage.”

          Granted I probably/might be full of crap.


          I’m going with Occam. My hypothesis is that the sensory deprivation interferes with and retards the chemical/biological development of the human brain.

          I know it screws up adults. I’m positing that it is worse with undeveloped brains. Perhaps orders of magnitude worse.

          Think about it from a baby’s perspective. A crib with bars to sleep in. A play pen(itentiary). The wind up swing with three point safety harness. On to the rear facing car seat…

          Frankly, I’m surprised that the lot of today’s children aren’t walking around like Jack Nicholson at the end of One Flew Over The Cuckoos Neat.

          • I don’t think your hypothesis more simple considering that as experts interfere with infants using a supposition of uniformity more and more children end up with problems. That would seem to indicate that we are dealing more so with a problem of genetic variability combined with the introduction of toxins and biological interference. That would be the simple explanation. How children are treated is so widely variable with no common thread yet shown it doesn’t seem as simple as this legislated uniform exposure to a varied population of individuals.

            • Brent, since 2005 the amount of microwave in the US has been computed in something like a trillion, trillion, a word I don’t retain, but it’s huge. There is a definite like between microwave and cancer, esp. in children and plenty of anecdotal evidence microwave contributes greatly to autism….and many other problems. Children are so much more susceptible it’s not really measurable and pollution such as you say, chemical is replete even in the water. Glyphosate is in every human in the US and many other countries. Never mind though, Monsanto says it isn’t so…..

              I got a big dose of it today in that it has rained two days previous and the wind blew 60+ mph today, so much that we had to slow to 20 mph on US 180 because of lack of visibility to blowing sand/dirt. Working in a caliche lot particles were large enough to hurt blowing off it. Plenty of Roundup in all of it.

    • Children are put in the backseat because the claymores in the dash will kill them. Back in the day there wasn’t an explosive device in the dash. The laws for putting children in the backseat were created because government couldn’t admit it was wrong about the standard for airbags. Then that caused the problem of children being left in cars so government created more laws.

  14. In the 70s my sister and I rode in a pickup camper all over the east coast. We rode in the top bunk that had a large window facing forward No parents.the truck did not have a pass thru.It was great fun.I still have fond memories of that thing. Later dad got a fifth wheel trailer. We also rode in that thing.

  15. Eric,

    If you were to subject a child to such sensory deprivation in a non mandated environment you would be severely punished.

    And rightly so. It is the perfect definition of retardation.

    And when a kid is left to cook in an Easy-Bake Volvo, it is dismissed as an accident if the chef holds a position in government.

    I think you should edit this to show the reality of the rear facing retardation seat. The ones that the very young and most susceptible to confinement are forced to endure.

    Perhaps a paragraph or three about how those who graduate to forward facing retardation seats can have a video screen in front of them as preparation for a lifetime of cellphone/tracking devices.

  16. Yes Eric,,, I have seen these children strapped in while the family dog was having a great time watching things go by with his head out the window. We used to pile in the back of pickups standing up looking over the cab. Do that today and you might get tasered by an AGW. I used to stick a small fan Mother bought me and watch it whirl in the wind while daydreaming of the great things I was to do as an adult.

    One of my favorite things as a kid was the Soap Box Derby. Man you should have seen all the self made race cars. Made my own,,, no kit and I wasn’t strapped in. Never won but it was pure fun. Today they don’t get much mention.

    I could go on but I’ll just say it’s terrible what parents and CorpGov are doing to the children these days. Hell even Dodge Ball is illegal in today’s feminine coddled world. I think I would rather be killed doing some of the stuff I did as a kid than grow up in this dull, boring,,, saaaaaaaafty world where Mummy only hands me a IThingy to keep me occupied and quiet and no Daddy to help me build my Soap Box race car.

    Kudos on the article!

    • +1! Some of my best memories are of riding with my little league football teammates in the back of Coach Bert’s pickup to our game every Saturday morning. Hell, my parents didn’t even go half the time, much less “helicopter” all over me to keep me safe. I also had some pretty spectacular crashes while doing some crazy crap on my bike as a kid and my pretty staid parents never said a word. However, for some reason, I am much more annoyingly protective of my own kids. Damn those generational cycles!

      • In high school we put the cattle racks on the Ag pickup and mats from the gym and rode hundreds, nay, thousands of miles over the years attending local, regional and state judging contests. Nobody including our parents thought twice about it. We rode on US 80 to what would some day become I-20 while it was under various stages of construction. Nobody even thought about it I could tell. It’s just the way it was.

        We attended a couple regional meets and had enough teams to take the fast Dodge school bus. The Ag teacher would use the throttle which made it go much faster than the accelerator pedal. We’d all be cheering as we topped 85 and would it make it to 90? Well, not quite but close. We had a ball in a big tin box hauling ass down the hiway. Some of the local meets the teachers would get together and pal around and send us back with one of us driving the bus. Hey, it’s just 60 miles in west Tx, what could happen. Not much except a great deal of fun with 12-15 teenage boys doing what they would in a school bus with one driving. I owe my ag teacher(who I still see occasionally)more than I can say for having “too much fun”.

  17. Born the first year of millenial eligibility, and of an older mother, I got to experience the wind in my face and passing of the trees as I peered upward. I whispered secrets to my brother, scratched all the itches, took off what ever garments bothered me. I sat in my father’s lap and got to “drive”. I learned to shift gears at the age of 7, sitting between he and my brother in the truck. Seat belts were merely a suggestion, or a shiny hot or cold toy. There were races to the front seat, and fights over who gets to press down the cigarette lighter for mom. Much as I would love to be a mother, I would not wish to ever put my child through these rituals. My hands would be for hugs, teaching, and leading adventures, not for bondage. Sadly, our government won’t allow me to parent the way I see fit, so I choose not to pass along the skills, love, and high quality genetics I have. Shame for the world. I’ll keep it to myself, and remember fondly how much fun I’ve had throwing caution to the wind. Thanks, eric.

    • “I choose not to pass along the skills, love, and high quality genetics I have”

      Some say that’s what the ruling class wants. I am not sure if it is part of their eugenics program or not. If it is the desired part of it or not.

      • If the elites really wanted well-bred humans, they wouldn’t have created welfare programs that encourage undesirables to breed like rats.

        They want a strong welfare class for control. Control is the name of the game.

        • Well, they do have a pretty good game going killing off certain demographics before (or shortly after!) they are born.

        • “If the elites really wanted well-bred humans, they wouldn’t have created welfare programs that encourage undesirables to breed like rats.”

          Because it serves the shorter term goal of eliminating the resistance to the desired utopia. A weaponized underclass is very useful to break and diminish the middle class and keep them running to government for protection.

          • Well-engineered humans for offspring, well-engineered servants to do the work.

            Inbreeding is always a potential problem for the elites. That’s why the house of Windsor has been encouraging the sons to marry commoners of good stock. Even to the point of killing the wife after diversifying the gene pool a bit. That current scandal with the Hollywood Starlet and her daughter getting into the ivy league under false pretenses is part of the plan too. No way any admissions officer would have let one of us ugly people get away with those shenanigans. But the cute girl would make a good wife to a future rich boy, so she gets in.

            It might be distasteful now, but if they work out the bugs in the code, keeping the family fortune safe and only going outside for alliances might be pretty nice. And they like the idea of “homo-superior” being their legacy.

            Breeding a working class who won’t get all “upity” when you shackle them to the plow -hell, breed it into their nature, well, who wouldn’t want that? The race is on between the gene splicers and the robotics engineers. Right now, as far as we know, the robots are ahead. But I’m 100% sure there’s someone in a lab somewhere working on “fixing” humans. We’ll just never know about it until after it happens.

            • RK,

              Actually DARPA has been reported to be working on changing the axis of soldier’s ears to allow stereophonic hearing. Like in the raptors.

              The Huxley families were biologists, specifically ornithologists and huge fans of eugenics.

              Fabian socialism, one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’s controllers.

            • What you are looking for is “The Time Machine” by HG Wells. The book, not the films. The films don’t dare tell the story that was written. In the actual story the Morlocks and Eloi evolved from the working and ruling classes. The products of generations of separation and eugenics. So the films are dumbed down enough just to make sense but not convey the warning to the so-called elite that the story really is.

              I don’t quite grasp why the college story is such a big deal. Didn’t everyone know that’s how it worked or did they just shrug it aside as a conspiracy theory? I figured out how that worked long ago. Also once I started working with people who had kids I began to figure out that my entire school life I was competing with parents as much or more than other kids. The new building donation has been part of comedy and drama for decades upon decades. Also Gerald Celente has the some of the best terms for it and its been in his stuff for decades too. Never mind other analysis of the ruling class.

      • it definitely is, global depopulation via low birth rate is well underway

        they don’t want or need useless eaters, on “their” planet. only 3 million rulers and 500 million mongrolized slaves


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