Why Dodge Ball Is Good For You...
May 18, 2001 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Why Dodge Ball Is Good For You... You roll your eyes at the ceiling and hoot like Limbaugh: Ah, the terrors of life in a prosperous, powerful, peacetime society! In a nation rich enough to be morally incoherent and given to media vapors, language inclines to hysteria. Murder ball? Killer ball? Really? People with no experience to teach them otherwise are dumb enough, self-indulgent enough, to equate recess with the intifada.
posted by racer271 (14 comments total)
Once more, we see the hardest working, brightest, most ethically sophisticated, least violent (truth, despite the "post-Columbine" b.s.) kids and teenagers in 20 years becoming the most hassled, put upon, distrusted, censored, repressed and vilified generation in history. What did these kids do? They had the misfortune of being the children of the most indulged and self-centered parents in history.

Good GAWD, baby boomers! Get over yourselves! Crackdowns on Ecstasy because it causes OVERHEATING?? Give me a break. Making skateboarding illegal? Busting up raves? Boycotting Marilyn Manson? Forget me - GIVE YOUR KIDS A BREAK!!! They've earned it.

I work with these kids (17-24 year olds, for the most part), and they are far more sophisticated than my generation ('80s) and are far smarter and more savvy than their parents believe. They're intelligent, they're tough, they work hard, they think critically, they're not crybabies, and they have the stones to do great things if only they could get out from under the burden of their elders' foolish fears and schizophrenic, flavor-of-the-month reactionarianism.

Jesus pleezus, let the poor put-upon mofos play some dodge ball for chrissakes. Are we that mentally deficient that we can't tell the difference between murder ball and murder? Maybe - but our kids can tell the difference, and they are laughing at our foolishness.

posted by UncleFes at 2:14 PM on May 18, 2001

I was waiting for the dodge ball forces to regroup and defend this great game.
posted by zebra_monkey at 2:22 PM on May 18, 2001

Dodgeball always struck me as an incredibly stupid activity to begin with. Baseball banned the practice of hitting a runner with a ball in the 1880s (it was called 'soaking'); if kids want to throw a ball at each other, play kickball, where the throwing has some context. Just throwing at some poor sap against a wall seems pretty dumb to me; let the kids who feel a need for agression put on the singlets and learn how to freestyle wrestle or something.

posted by MikeN at 2:22 PM on May 18, 2001


you want to put our kids in SINGLETS?!?!?!


(this bit of overreaction was brought to you by Rocket Kitty, Inc.)
posted by jcterminal at 2:26 PM on May 18, 2001

Doublets are twice as good.
posted by rodii at 3:37 PM on May 18, 2001

Murder ball? Killer ball?

posted by christian at 5:58 PM on May 18, 2001

I always loved dodgeball, though at school we played a different version, whereby all the balls were placed in the middle of the gym and two teams of students at either side. It began as a race to see who got to the balls first (and if you were slow, who got it in the balls first.)

While the standard team sports were fun enough, who the hell wouldn't prefer dodgeball to, say, jumping rope? Or doing sit-ups? Or running two miles?
posted by Danelope at 6:29 PM on May 18, 2001

Everyone knows dodge ball will kill you.
posted by jessamyn at 7:20 PM on May 18, 2001

Don't have a link for this, but yesterday morning I saw Katie Couric interview some teacher in an elementary school somewhere in America. She was explaining that children don't really need recess. That she wanted to turn recess into something more "educational." So there'd ultimately be no use of playground equiptment at all. All "play" would be supervised and controlled by teachers. No free time whatsoever. These are no doubt the same people who want to demonize games like dodge ball. The same people who every year keep making summer break shorter and shorter. It must suck to be a kid today.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:36 PM on May 18, 2001

People have always planned ways to maximize learning time, and everyone is always saying that "it's not like it was when I was a kid" blah blah. There's been nazi-teachers since Day One, if they get rid of recess I'll vote for home school.
posted by zebra_monkey at 10:25 PM on May 18, 2001

It must suck to be a kid today.

Yeah, all that getting up at the crack of dawn to help with the farm chores is really far too much work for those poor sensitive childrunn.
posted by kindall at 11:58 PM on May 18, 2001

UncleFes, good commentary. I guess I hadn't given it a lot of thought, but it did make me think about the cumulative effect of these kids having to suffer under the "burden of their elders' foolish fears and schizophrenic, flavor-of-the-month reactionarianism" Many of us older adults even find ourselves slack-jawed at the stupidity of these things.
posted by SteveS at 7:31 AM on May 19, 2001

I'm all for sympathizing with those living under the yoke of post-hippie, self-involved baby boomers, but to imagine that this generation of young'uns is somehow either "worse", "more put upon", "diabolical" or whatever other smear you'd like is just silly. People have been saying this since kids started drinking and having sex in the back of the family's Plymouth, or since they weren't going to church every Sunday.
posted by zebra_monkey at 2:18 PM on May 19, 2001

Oh, buddy.

Next thing you know, they'll be outlawing pens and pencils because they may "stab someone."

::rolls eyes::
posted by Redgie at 8:27 PM on May 19, 2001

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