April 23, 2021

NEWS YOU CAN USE? In Defense of Teenage Knife Fighting.

Who among us hasn’t come within a second or two of murdering someone else with a steak knife? My best friend in school, Bobby “The Blade” Simpson, used to throw shivs at the smaller kids in the music room. Did we need the authorities to step in when that happened? No, we did not. As MSNBC’s Joy Reid argued smartly on her show last night, pranks such as these were dealt with by our teachers — just as we all expected they would be. And if something went wrong? Well, that’s why we had substitutes.

In all honesty, I worry that this sort of helicopter policing is making us weak. Back in my day, the people who survived a good stabbing came out stronger for it. I learned a lot of lessons from my time in the ring: self-reliance, how to overcome fear, the importance of agility, the basics of military field dressing. And, given the turnover, I also learned how to make new friends.

Today, the free-range generation to which I belong is dying out — and, this time, it is not from the wounds inflicted by everyday teenage knife fights but because our politicians and activists simply cannot leave us be. From the time of the Colosseum, our civilization has had a tradition of lightly regulated, highly entertaining combat. Who are we, exactly, to think we know better?

Note to the left who are eager this week to defend teenage knife fighting: This is satire.

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