Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by Mike Crumpton, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. Given the battering some senior members of this board who have "been there done it and got the 'T' shirt" from some who are in the earlier stages of bass playing I thought you all might enjoy this by the sometimes curmudgeonly and right wing Roger Scruton, who despite his reputation does have a point? He is refering (I think) exclusively to British society but given some of the fracas on this board it struck a chord with me.

    The full text (and where other views are linked to) is at

    The loss of respect in our society has a simple cause, which is that respect is no longer taught.

    Children are encouraged to think that they are the equals of their parents, their teachers and people in authority.

    They are not taught to address adults correctly or to defer to adult opinion. Insolence is seldom punished, and certainly not given the stigma that it deserves.

    The respect-free playground leads to the respect-free adult community. You see this especially on the BBC, in which news programmes, chat shows and interviews are conducted entirely without deference towards the knowledge, culture or social standing of the people who appear on them.

    The purpose of interviewing some public figure is not to gain instruction but to catch him out; the purpose of discussing some difficult issue is not to resolve it but to generate a heated exchange.

    It is regarded as wholly permissible to make personal remarks and ad hominem arguments, and the normal titles to respect, such as knowledge, expertise and high office, are deliberately brought down to a level where they can be laughed at.
  2. Mike, I completely agree with you that respect is no longer taught. I teach in an alternative high school and see this every day. Two of the major contributors IMHO are: Reason #1) we see way too many parents that want to be "best friends" with their children instead of parents in an authority roll. Then when the kids get to be 14/15/16 years old, they can't figure out why they are so out of control. These kids have no respect for us as teachers/adults and think we should treat them as equals.

    Reason #2) we went through an educational phase for many years where the primary/elementary schools were going to build the students' self-esteem and make them feel good about themselves. This was accomplished by making sure that the kids only experienced successes and never any failures. In my opinion, this was not a good thing because I was raised to believe that you learn from your mistakes/failures. These kids now think they can do no wrong and that nothing is ever their fault. They are masters of excuse making. Funny thing is, I heard somewhere once that the people with the healthiest self-esteems are to be found in prisons, convicted of the most violent crimes--go figure :eyebrow: .

    I agree that respect definately needs to be brought back in our society.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    Shelly :)
  3. mpm


    May 10, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Teaching for autonomy without emphasizing (and reinforcing) the concomitant responsibilies that comes with autonomous behavior is an egregious miscarriage of the educational process. We are a society that revels in the self, not the group.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree with all that has been said so far - but I actually think it's gone further than that - so a lot of parents I see in town, at the park etc. are actually deferring to their kids and putting the children's wishes first above anybody else's - no matter how anti-social that may be - i.e. trashing public property or causing annoyance to others....:meh:

    I think it's a case of parents being bored with their lives and looking to their children to provide entertainment and stimulation, rather than being potential human beings who need to be taught how to live....

    A simple - maybe innocent, example from yesterday :

    So I was on the bus (double decker) and a very young girl (pre-school) got on with parents - she told them she wanted to sit upstairs at the back , despite them saying - no they didn't want to - they gave in to her wishes very quickly.

    Then she said she didn't want to sit down, but wanted to run about - gatting in the way of all other passengers and being a danger to herself, when the bus stopped sharply or went round a corner.

    It was clearly dangerous to be standing up - but her parents said nothing about this and just carried on asking what she wanted all the time -what treats, where to go etc. etc.

    They were completely focused on doing whatever she wanted regardless of anybody else or even her own personal safety or simple good sense!

    Thing is - what does this teach children? And it's not one isolated incident, I see this every day...
  5. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I didn't know Tony Blair sits around and plays Oasis tunes on guitar.
  6. JayR


    Nov 9, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    My girlfriend (also a bass player) works at a child care for a local gym (starving college student-ness.) She deals with stuff like this constantly, I'm always hearing stories, along with "Let's never have kids." Her approach to dealing with other people's spoiled children who refuse to listen to her is rather interesting. Apparently she had problems with some kid running around and climbing all over everything and throwing stuff and not listening to anybody, who then proceeded to climb on top of a counter and start jumping around. The dialogue then went like this:

    "Get down from there or you'll hurt yourself."
    "Suit yourself"
    (at this point, the kid starts jumping up and down and screaming at her, then falls off the counter and skins his knee and starts crying.)
    "And now we know."

    Sometimes, I know this is a little cold, but I wish people would just let evolution do its job and not try and stop the kids who want to eat paint chips and put their fingers in the electrical socket.
    Does that make me a calloused bastard?
  7. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    You know Bruce, I'm not sure about Britain, but in England, stalking a family is considered illegal.


    That said, I do agree. JayR -- your girlfriend certainly knows what she's doing. Sometimes kids just have to learn the hard way.
  8. bpclark


    Apr 30, 2003
    West Central, OH
    Incorrect Answer:
    Correct Answer: "Watch me."
    (at this point the spoiled brat is physically removed from the counter, shown who's boss by the adult and starts crying.)
    No, it shows that you're inexperienced and ignorant about children. I have not met a child that would not put paint chips in his/her mouth or stick a finger in the socket unless they were taught not to. Children are born knowing nothing and are curious learning machines who will do all sorts stupid stuff trying to figure out the world around them. It is the parents DUTY to instill the discipline and values that will eventually turn them into worthwhile human beings.

    If the world worked as it should, your girlfriend really should have been able to take the problem kid to his parent and tell them to teach their kid some manners or don't come back. Unfortuneately, her employer would probably not allow that for fear of losing money even though it's really in the long-term best interests of the kid.

  9. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Bpclark, you don't seem to understand the reality of working with children. Physically removing them from anywhere is just about the single fastest way to get your ass out on the street with no job.

    Also, telling the parent to teach the kid manners just assumes that they somehow just happened to forget to do so earlier in the child's life. This is not the case. They just neglect the concept because they themselves lack discipline, etc. I've seen this stuff happen every day throughout school, and it gets worse in the elementary schools every year. It IS the parent's duty to instill discipline, yes -- but that does assume that the parents themselves have it as well.

    When a kid is being that damned insolent, he's got to learn life the hard way. There's only so much you can do before you can't (legally) do anything else.
  10. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Hey Durrl, where's that great popcorn pic?
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I know you're joking - but seriously when it gets to summer round here - I really wish I could get away from all the disfunctional families!!

    2 or 3 weeks on the Mediterranean cost is not enough!
  12. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    I notice that self-identified parents have not chimed in.

    Parenting is about unconditional love. It's hard to thread that through your head until you've been there. It's different from loving your sweety or even your spouse. It's different from loving your music. It's different because part of being a human is learning to test the limits placed on you. Lots.

    When my beloved fifteen-year-old son is a surly know-it-all I have to remember that he's doing his job and remember that I did the same thing. (You did, too.) Even if I do not take each and every opportunity to point out the fallacies of his thinking and the self-centeredness of his actions, things will be thrust upon him to bring the point home, sometimes painfully. It happned to me. It happened to you.

    The same goes for my beloved seven-year-old daughter -- golly, what a full-time mischief she is! It is a challenge to express love and joy to somebody who is spreading ketchup around the house while shaking her ass at you and yelling, "Daddy is a hipp-ee!" at the top of her lungs while you're on the phone with a client. (No, I'm not a hippee.)

    Sorry. I digress I do-guess. My real response to all of this stuff boils down to two points which have become mantras in my life. 1) Ya gotta choose your battles or you're battling all day and night. That's not a good life and it's not good parenting. 2) I am a lucky Dad. I've got great kids. I am not worthy of them. I try anyway.

    Everybody else has great kids too. My two points may not be the best response. It may not be the right response. Frankly, it's the only response I am capable of providing at this point and it will have to do.
  13. bpclark


    Apr 30, 2003
    West Central, OH
    I understand alright, which is why I prefaced with "if the world worked as it should." But you can't tell me it is better to let a child fall off a counter than to remove him. Getting skinned up as in the case cited is one possibility, another is getting a broken neck. If I am in a job where doing the right thing could get you terminated, then I should be prepared to take that risk when the situation warrants or get a different job.

    You are right here, my point is that it at some point that those of us that are doing the right thing need to send a wake up call to those who aren't. Some neglect it , some have never been taught, some are lazy, and some just don't give a d**n. My wife is a high school teacher and I hear the stories on a daily basis. And it does seem to be worse every year. I think because too many people in the position to do or say something, don't for fear of losing their positions or being labelled as insensitive or mean. After all, who wants to be unemployed and unpopular?
    I'm actually a big believer in the School of Hard Knocks (pain can be a great teacher), but you are implying here that it's legal for a daycare provider to allow a child to fall off a counter to potentially serious injury because the child is a PITA. I believe that would be considered child endangerment and can get you jail time where I live. The legal (and ethical) thing to do would be to remove the disruptive kid from the situation and let the parent know that their kid's behavior is unacceptable.

  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    With all due respect I would disagree - I can quite clearly remember how my parents taught me and I can see very clearly how different that was from what parents are doing with their children today - I don't see anything hard to understand about it ?

    It's quite clearly down to the fact that parents today are not teaching their children to respect any kind of authority, while my parents and their contemporaries, did!

    I suppose the world has changed - my parents lived through WWII and being bombed by the Nazis - now that I would challenge anybody who hasn't been through it, to understand!! :(

    Their views were shaped by that and the responsibility they were given (and felt very strongly)to bring up a new and better generation to replace all those who died and didn't come home... :(

    Nowadays I see people with no sense of responsibility who are just out to buy as much stuff as they can and cram in as many experiences as they can....:meh:
  15. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Sam: So true. And amazing how few people understand this.

    Interesting thread. If past history is any indication, it will eventually degenrates into a nasty shouting match between those who believe in beating children ("it never did me any harm!") and those who don't. I think I'll sit it out.
  16. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I don't think that you have a binary choice here. I was taught all about repect and authority and never had a hand laid on me.
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Agreed entirely - my parents explained things to me and told me why - my Mother took me to the library long before I went to school and let me read what books I liked, but she always taught me respect for public property and for others around me.

    There has been a lot about this in the Newspapers/Radio/TV here lately, as Tony Blair is introducing tougher policies on anti-social behaviour. What I have noticed that in the sample cases they bring it's often about single-parent families where there is no Father present or the sort of families I see regularly, where both parents are working long hours and don't treally have time to teach their children respect!

    In both types of case, it's pretty obvious what's happening and there's no "mysterious" thing, that can only be understood by parents !!
  18. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I strongly disagree with the above. :eyebrow:
  19. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Why so testy?

    If I were your parent, would you rather go to your room or let me see how hard I can hit you? :smug: