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When was the last time anyone fought a bear?

Hold up!

See that little date above?

This post was published years ago.

My opinions have changed over time: I think it's quite fun to keep old posts online so that you can see how that has happened. The downside is that there are posts on this site that express views that I now find offensive, or use language in ways I'd never dream of using it today.

I don't believe in airbrushing history, but I do believe that it's important to acknowledge the obvious: some of what I've written in the past has been crap. Some of it was offensive. Some of it was offensively bad. And there's may be some brass among the muck (you can make up your own mind on that).

Some of what I've presented as my own views has been me—wittingly or unwittingly—posturing without having considered all the facts. In a few years, I'll probably think the same about what I'm writing today, and I'm fine with that. Things change. People grow. Society moves forward.

The internet moves on too, which means there might be broken links or embedded content that fails to load. If you're unlucky, that might mean that this post makes no sense at all.

So please consider yourself duly warned: this post is an historical artefact. It's not an exposition of my current views nor a piece of 'content' than necessarily 'works'.

You may now read on... and in most cases, the post you're about to read is considerably shorter than this warning box, so brace for disappointment.

A fascinating article by the Beeb comparing Baden-Powell’s Scouting advice to modern advice, which is made even more amusing by the comments which wonderfully suggest that old-school Scouting adventures made “real men”. Apparently, teaching kids to jump into icy lakes to retrieve lost loved-ones instead of calling the emergency services, or indeed teaching juniors to fight bears, would solve all societal ills including, but by no means limited to, shootings, stabbings, anti-social behaviour, and the existence of David Beckham. It’s clearly a delusion of my Guardianista liberal-mindedness that the latter isn’t the greatest threat to society of modern times.

Next week: Sending kids down coal mines “separated the men from the boys, and killed off the weak, useless, criminal scroungers who are the scourge of today’s society”.

Thank goodness the modern Scouting Movement isn’t run by these people.

This post was filed under: News and Comment.

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Comments and responses

Comment from Anonymous


    20.19, 01/08/2007

Sending kids down coal mines “separated the men from the boys, and killed off the weak, useless, criminal scroungers who are the scourge of today’s society”. True! So your point is?


Comment from Mort Karman


    18.35, 04/08/2007

The American frontiersman Davie Crockett, legend has it, “killed him a bear when he was only three.”
When I was in Cub Scouts (the junior Boy Scouts) we were told the way to graduate to being a Boy Scout was to “make a Brownie” (junior Girl Scout).
Today the scouts are out of favour in many places because of outdated ideas including trying to bar homosexuals from scouting (Supreme Court prevent that).
Today the in thing is to belong to a street gang and learn how to sel and use dope.
The gangs even have sort of junior gangs for the “little gang bangers”.
They actually do their drive by shootings on a bicycle (except in rural Oklahoma where they use a horse and bow and arrow).
I wasn’t in the scouts long. i just did not fit in. As a youth I was only interested in radio communications and photography.
I made it my life’s work and did not do too badly, but I was considered the equivalent of a “geek” today.
On the other hand, many of my classmates had photos of the famouse sexy female movie stars of the day posted on their walls. So far as I know, none of those fellows ever actually even got close to any of them.
I had pictures of Leica and Rollieflex and Linhoff cameras and Drake and Colins shortwave radios on my walls. I have owned, used and yes, even slept with and caressed, all of the above.
A highlight of my life was when, as a young newspaper photographer I got to take a photo of one of the kids who had tormented me in school as he was being led away by the police to the wagon for the trip to Sing Sing, New York’s maximum security prison at the time. Some of the cops were friends of min, so they let me get really close and say, “Hi,Billy


Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)


    15.42, 05/08/2007

I’m slightly concerned that you’ve owned, slept with, and caressed cameras and shortwave radios. Is that healthy? 😉


Comment from Mort Karman


    00.29, 06/08/2007

Simon, Have you ever heard of anyone getting an STD from holding a radio or a camera?
Honestly, I did not do drugs, or alcohol, not even sex (well, not too much, anyway) when I was growing up.
I just wanted to be a newspaper photographer.
My heroes were the photographers on newspapers like the New York Herald Tribune.
I followed their work like most youths followed the baseball and football players.
When I actually got to work at the NYHT and work with those people, it was like if a youth in Denver, Colorado got to play footbal with John Elway.
Very few people get to live their dreams.
I may be a decrepit old man now and perhaps a bit senile, but no one can take away my memories (though I sometimes loose them for a time) and I may not be rich in terms of money. But I had a good life.




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