Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Worst Thing in the World

In the good old SCA, we have a custom of the "No shit, I was there" story. Stories of bravery, valour or the sophomoric and self-destructive insanity of one's friends.

Here's mine.

I was there and remember the day the world ended.

Melanie Philips writes this week about
an underclass which is a world apart from the lives that most of us lead and the attitudes and social conventions that most of us take for granted.

But it is an underclass which affluent, complacent, materialistic Britain has created.

An underclass composed of whole communities where committed fathers are so rare that any child who actually has one risks being bullied.

Where sex is reduced to an animal activity devoid of love or human dignity, and boys impregnate two, three, four girls with scarcely a second thought.

Where successive generations of women have never known what it is to be loved and cherished by both their parents throughout their childhood.

How can such women know how to parent their own children?

These children are simply abandoned in a twilight world where the words "family" or "relatives" lose all meaning, as the transient men passing through their mothers' lives leave them with an ever-lengthening trail of "step-fathers" or "uncles" who have no biological connection with them whatsoever.


The people who are really culpable are all those who, intoning the mantra of "alternative lifestyle choice", have defeated every attempt to shore up marriage and the traditional family.

In its place, they have deliberately and wickedly created over the years a legal and welfare engine of mass fatherlessness and child abandonment, resulting in a degraded and dependent underclass and a lengthening toll of human wreckage.

To his great credit, David Cameron seems to have grasped much of this.

He has consistently said he will support and promote marriage and has spoken strongly about the need for stable and secure family life, as he did once again at the Tories' spring conference over the weekend.

I've been reading about the problem in Britain with "youth crime". How it is such a big shock to all the experts and professional heart-bleeders.

It really remains a puzzle to me why anyone us puzzled by any of this.

I know perfectly well what happened and why.

No shit, I was there.

I'm not sure if the history of the Divorce Cataclysm really adequately takes into account the speed with which the change came. It came at us like a tidal wave while we all just stood on the beach watching helplessly. I have always liked movies about the end of the world, ("Huh. No shit!" I can hear you saying.) Remember that MFTV thing, Deep Impact, where an asteroid hits the earth? I always think of that scene where the reporter-girl is standing on the beach with her father watching a thousand foot high wall of water rushing at them at a hundred miles an hour. It is no wonder to me who lived through it that nothing was done about it, or even written about it, until it was too late.

Melanie Philips writes about a couple of sociologists Norman Dennis and A.H. Halsey, who produced a book "Families Without Fatherhood (Civil Society)" in 1992.



Is that really the first time anyone in this country noticed that the world had ended?

I know what a lot of Catholics say about the legalization of contraception (eugenics movement anyone?) but I really think the civilizational apocalypse started when we decided it was not necessary for married people to remain married. Trudeau, of course, decided that things in Canada would move along more smoothly if he got all the bits and pieces of the apocalypse into one year and so we had the Divorce Act - which, unsurprisingly, came in the Great Year of 1968 - immediately followed by the Omnibus Bill legalising abortion, in case anyone was left in any doubt as to what Divorce was meant to lead to.

Didja catch that?

1968. And it took decades for anyone to notice and start writing about what the fall out was. Was it because everyone was just having such a great time sleeping around that we were too busy to see what was going on?

I was two and three when the Acts were passed. By the time I was in school a few years later the wave was only beginning to build offshore, but it picked up speed and strength pretty quickly.

In the early part of the Divorce Wave, which started about the same time I was starting school most of the kids I knew were born to married parents. When I was in early elementary school, the first generation of hippies hadn't broken up with their first "partners" (as we call them now) and even in the hippie free school ("Sundance"... I kid you not) I was pretty much the only kid in school who had "visits" with daddy. This lasted until we, the first generation, made it to the fifth grade. In those days the partner turn-over rate was a lot slower. "Relationships" lasted years, sometimes as many as four or five and marriage was still fairly common. It would be another ten years at least before these vestigial conventions were abandoned and the turn-over was reduced to the few months or weeks we're enjoying now.

By the time I was in junior highschool ("middle school"; grades 8-10) I knew almost no one whose parents were still together and the partner turn-over meant that most of the mothers and all of the fathers were on "partner" number three or four.

Of course, abortion tidied things up quite a bit, but there was still plenty of flotsam bobbing around in the filthy waters. We, the early generation, were offered courses on the weekends at the Y with titles like "The Divorced Kids Group" (yes, that was the actual title, from memory) where the kids could come and shaaaaare how they felt about their universe coming abruptly to a halt and the lights going out.

This was short lived, however, since the people running it quickly learned that the kids had a disconcerting tendency to say things that really ran counter to the Great Plan. After that early blip, there was nothing until I was in my 20s and I started noticing articles appearing in the Emancipated Womens' Magazines about the kids who just, for some reason,




arsed. ...

about anything.

Who were in a state of near catatonic apathy and hopelessness, had no plans, had no hopes, no aspirations and were filled with cynicism and loathing for everything their parents cared about. It was about this time that the suicide statistics started to be really alarming for kids born after 1965.

Melanie writes about an entire generation, now branching into three or four generations, who simply made no plans for the future, who knew that everything their elders said to them was a lie, that no other human being could be trusted, unless it was to trust them to be self-serving and callous. That in any case, no one would help them in whatever aspirations they may briefly entertain.

Underlying this was a deep well of rage and hatred for what had been done to them.

So, actually, no.

Not all that surprised by the "youth crime" problem.

Got a pretty good idea where it is headed too.

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