Morning Ed: Society {2016.03.16.W}

Ghost in the Shell turns 20. The meta of it all was really kind of lost on me, but holy crap it was gorgeous then and is gorgeous now.

Hunter Schwarz found a pretty fatal flaw that undermines the supposed realisticness of House of Cards. More seriously, though, I don’t like that news organizations lend themselves to these movies and shows at all.

Per Sara Lipton, sticks and stones may break some bones but words’ll sometimes get other people killed.

Young people are choosing not to DARE to be scared.

Life after Viral Fame. As we laugh and laugh, some of them end up contemplating suicide. Haha.

MEP Daniel Hannan argues against gender-bending Shakespeare because we should let Shakespeare’s women speak for themselves. Meh. Shakespeare has been so prevalent for so long, I support all sorts of experimentation. Fiona Laird agrees.

Vox examined the causes of death in Shakespeare. A lot of stabbings, it turns out. I’d love some cable network to do a production of every single Shakespeare play as an ongoing series.


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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10 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Society {2016.03.16.W}

  1. Dare: duh. Although I always liked the wrecked car outside of the schools the cops periodically put out. They never did that at my school. I always wanted to stop in and ask if it was actually a wreck caused by drugs/alcohol and was the driver a student in the school. I doubt it was in all cases.

    Viral Fame: Meh, Just like Leela’s boil, it’s all soon forgotten. Word of wisdom: don’t say stupid stuff around cameras.

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    • When I was a lad coming up on drivers license age, there were lots of cars without seat belts or many of the other safety features in use today. The local magistrate in the small Iowa town where I lived gave minors with a moving violation a community-service sentence. They spent Friday and Saturday evenings at the mortuary that ran the ambulance service until they made a run to a drunk-driving crash out on one of the country roads. I’m sure that such — especially the oft-reported instructions “Go pick up that arm and put it in the body bag” — would not be tolerated these days.

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  2. Did DARE and other scare them straight programs ever work? What I remember from being a kid and teen was that they were so ham-fisted that you would need to have the stars aligned to get kids to take them seriously. My parents thought the war on drugs was dumb so the stars were not aligned in my case. They even encouraged Saul and I to try marijuana when we were in college. Prohibitionists might have been better served with more subtle tactics but they tend to be the type of people incapable of anything less than sledge hammer.

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    • Much like pregnancy prevention programs, there is a huge discrepancy between programs designed to accomplish the stated goal and programs designed to make persons of a certain inclination feel good. Hectoring kids for their own good is always good clean fun, but ought not be confused with altering their behavior, except for inducing eye-rolls.

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      • A friend of mine posted a news article on Facebook about how a Christian anti-masturbation spokesman got caught masturbating in public. Part of the man’s act involved appearing in a dolphin costume and speaking to teenagers about the dangers of masturbation. Knowing teenagers, I can’t imagine that even very religious teenagers would find this particularly convincing. At best your going to get a well-deserved eye-roll and at worst, the mascot would be throttled for stupidity.

        It was the same with alcohol back in the 19th century. The drys would fill elementary school textbooks with all sorts of nonsense about what happened if you had even a single drink. I imagine that there was a lot of disillusionment when a boy, and it was much more likely to be a boy rather than girl back than, had his first drink and nothing really that bad happened. The feeling is that would were lied. Its the same with anti-drug or anti-sex education today.

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        • I imagine that there was a lot of disillusionment when a boy, and it was much more likely to be a boy rather than girl back than, had his first drink and nothing really that bad happened.

          That is almost certainly the reason that students that have been through DARE are *more* likely to have substance abuse problems later.

          Children who, throughout their life, been told that drugs and alcohol can lead to a downward spiral (Which is pretty much how all *media* portrays them, and how a lot of parents talk to kids) make reasonable users of those things, and tend to shy away from them even if they see others using them.

          Children who have been told that the slight amount of them will ruin your life see someone using them and *not* having a ruined life, and decide it’s all a lie. And I don’t mean ‘decide’ on a conscious level, this isn’t some sort of rebellion thing. They don’t shout ‘I have been lied to all my life!’ and run out and buy a crack pipe.

          It’s that they have been taught to think about drug danger in a fundamentally wrong and stupid way, and when that is, obviously, proven wrong, they have no other way to think about the dangers of drugs. So, uh, they don’t think about the dangers. At all.

          Interestingly, DARE *is* reasonable efficient at reducing tobacco use, precisely because it *doesn’t* treat a single use of tobacco as the apocalypse, but instead just points out the health problems, and the fact it turns into a giant money-sink and time-sink with no benefits. This…seems to actually work. (Along with the fact that, while they may see perfectly functional smokers, something like half of them seem to always be trying to quit, so smoking is clearly not some fun thing.)

          DARE also doesn’t treat alcohol that way, but doesn’t seem to have much effect on alcohol use, IIRC. Probably because there are fewer obvious reasons *not* to drink for teenagers…in fact, there actually aren’t *any*. As far as we know, there’s really not a good reason for teenagers *not* to drink. (There’s a good reason for them not be drunk all the time and pickle their brain, but that applies to any age.) Our attempts to stop them is a societal thing, not anything backed up by medical science.

          I don’t give DARE any actual credit for telling the truth about tobacco and alcohol, though…it’s pretty clear DARE isn’t lying about those solely because it would be impossible for them to present all people who smoked or drank alcohol as instant degenerate addicts. Not only would students see through that in a second, but many parents would get pretty pissed about their depiction. If DARE thought they *could* present completely idiotic and misleading information about alcohol and tobacco use (And, thus, ultimately, cause more kids to use those)…they would!

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          • You need to be a really heavy drinker to experience the long term downsides of alcohol use. Its really hard to avoid the long term downsides of tobacco use though unless you get lucky. DARE would probably love to go anti-alcohol in the way that the 19th century Dry advocates could. It wouldn’t work these days.

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  3. Shakespeare: If I recall correctly, PBS (most likely in conjunction with the BBC) did a series of the complete Shakespeare plays back in the 1980s. My recollection is that the productions were workmanlike, rather than inspired.

    Personally, rather than obligatory productions of Shakespeare’s lesser works, I would rather see productions of the better plays by his contemporaries. I would happily pay to see a good production of Doctor Faustus or of Every Man in His Humour or of The Knight of the Burning Pestle. These are revived occasionally, but not nearly so often as Timon of Athens is dragged out for no better reason that it has Bill’s name attached to it.

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  4. We didn’t get DARE at my high school, we got David Toma

    A whole day of lecures about drugs, followed by group sessions where kids who had never seen a joint talked about their fears of the asprin bottle. A great day to ditch school and get stoned down by the creek…

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