Yesterday I played some Goaltimate with my son and his friends and a nearby park. This park is frequented by a lot of folks walking their dogs and sits adjacent to an elementary school that my kids once attended. It was 4PM when we went out there and we played for two hours, taking frequent breaks for water as we had only one sub per team and it was hot as hotcakes out there. Humid too. Anyway, the remarkable thing about our presence there in my mind was that we were the only damn people there pretty much. A couple of dog walkers and a couple of teenagers went by but that was it. The playground stayed mostly empty. There were no kids less than 12 anywhere. What gives? I mean its fucking summer and I know there are some little kids in the area. And some medium sized ones too.
Sure, its probably just that mommy and daddy both work and they send their kids to daycare or grandma's. Or it might be that per capita we have not as many of these types of children around. But I really think that here in the land of constant beautiful daytime the kids spend most of their times huddled around electronic campfires of one type or another. Couple that with the rampant ubiquitous paranoia that seems to have gripped the age and voila, no kids are alone with their dreams anymore. The boogy man doesn't just come out at night anymore, he drives a panel van during the day and tries luring helpless suburbian offspring into lurid dens of genital perversion. Or worse, they might end up on a milk carton.
I fucking ran wild as a kid. I was riding my bike to school at 7 or 8, a latch key kid by the same. I communicated with my folks by landline. I never ever had any perve try to fuck with me. No broken bones. No arrests until 18. No felony convictions to this day. It just seems that these "helicopter parents" as they call them are such a bunch of pussies that we end up living in these suburbian enclaves of bad imagination, trying to "protect" our charges from monsters of our own furious and hallucinatory design. Bad shit happening is always top level news, and if any predator or rapist nails a white girl its a fucking national story. Meanwhile the places of darker hue get drive-by talleys and back page reports that are code for "gangs" which means "what the fuck do you expect to get in the ghetto anyway, those people are animals." Anyone born after say 1978 as far as I can tell has about a one in four chance of knowing a damn thing. The Reagan revolution guarenteed that these cloven hooved progeny have lived in a bubble of such a red hue that they can't see certain colors because those rods and cones have been burned out by the overdose of bad imagery that is the legacy of our media age.
The Goaltimate kids play without adult supervision most of the time. They screw around, play hard talk shit, suggest impossible anatomical mixings and question their friends masturbatory habits. They don't do drugs, or drink. They get ridiculously high grades. And they are not as integral a part of the overarching average of coersion and control that those kids stuck at home or stuck at practice often are. Freedom might happen for a few of them. Few of the safe kids have much of a chance at freedom at all.