Saturday, May 05, 2007

Happiness 101.

Faced with rising unruliness and general bad behaviour from the vicious savages we laughingly refer to as 'young adults', the UK schools are being encouraged to teach happiness. Although, in our PC-riddled society, it's not called happiness any more. It's now 'emotional intelligence'. Therefore, if you're unhappy, it's because you're stupid. George Orwell should be elevated to the status of prophet.

There will be classes devoted to teaching our miserable little swines how to be happy. The 'how' is not clearly explained, but apparently scientists have discovered the secrets of happiness. As a scientist, I must say I was completely unaware of this. Perhaps it was one of those articles published on April 1st one year?

I assume those who fail this class will be thrashed until they cheer up?

Those with well-adjusted, non-deranged personalities will pay close attention. The dour faces of the future gangsters will remain as devoid of thought as ever. It won't affect them. If you want to make the schoolchildren happy, string up the bullies and the thugs. Bring back corporal punishment.

It sounds wrong, doesn't it? How can beating children make them happy? It's worth a try, I say, but there is a more sensible reason.

At school, I was never beaten, caned, belted, or suffered any other punishment. Was I some kind of golden child? Far from it. I, with others, discovered how to make explosives, but never tested them at school. We filled Bunsen burner tubes with water and put them back on the gas taps, we set fire to volatile chemicals by 'accident', we dissolved each others' gym kit with sodium hydroxide, and a hundred other things. I was thrown out of art class, I made several trips to the headmaster's office, but never received corporal punishment.

For one reason. Nothing I, or my associates, did at school was actually all that dangerous. We never bullied anyone else, we never picked on smaller children, we never answered back to teachers and we never hurt anyone. Not because we were half-hearted rebels. Because we knew that if we overstepped the mark, the headmaster had the right to hit us with his stick.

Today's spawnings know, just as definitely, that the teachers cannot touch them. They know how to shout 'Human Rights' if any teacher dares to defend themselves against the attacks of these poisonous little freaks. They know their parents will side with them, because those parents are just as dim and unhinged as the offspring they hatched.

We had thugs and bullies when I was at school. It was the threat of corporal punishment that kept them in check. When our feeble-minded politically-correct idiots took away that check, they gave the thugs free reign. The Mad Hatter's Tea Party that calls itself a Government continues to support those ill-conceived proposals and has now come up with this new 'solution' to the problem they created. The government like to refer to their 'think tanks'. It seems to me there's insufficient thought going on there to fill a thimble, never mind a tank.

We've just had local elections. Scotland and Wales had governmental elections. The current Labour administration have just received a sound beating. No matter how much spin they apply to the results, there it is.

So you might think they'd take a step back and consider the possibility that their lunatic policies might, in some small way, have contributed to this. Well, no. That would mean listening to the public, and Labour have grown accustomed to telling, rather than listening. They don't need to listen. They know what's best for we poor, common people.

They insist they will bounce back from these damning results.

As long as they continue to put forward ideas like this, I sincerely hope not.


Southern Writer said...

I disagree with you on this one. I DO agree that some of theses little hoodlums deserve a good spanking, but being a survivor of abuse, I don't think hitting is the answer. In most cases, it only teaches the child to hit back, often on someone smaller and weaker.

I'm not a parent (for that very reason), but I think the responsibility for the child should be put back on the parents -- both of them. I don't know if they're still doing it over here because I haven't heard about it in years, but at one time, they were charging the parents when the child did something illegal or immoral. When the parents can be jailed for not keeping the kids under control, I think they start making a bigger effort.

Many parents are also using humiliation to teach their children. Sometimes a parent will take their kid to a busy intersection and make them hold a sign that reads, "I am a thief," or "I stole a candybar," or whatever the crime was. It seems to work. Kids need to be taught they have to be responsible for their own actions. I still don't think hitting is the way to do it.

tom sheepandgoats said...

Schools teaching happiness seems as tenuous as schools teaching ethics. I recall reading a textbook with 4 criteria for reaching an ethical decision. #3 and #4 were....does the decision make you feel good about yourself and can you live with your decision.

The 911 terrorists, on the other hand, felt real good about themselves, though strictly speaking, they were not able to live with their decisions.

It's not that happiness and ethics and (thanks, SW) childrearing should not be taught. It's the assumption that schools are qualified to teach them.

In this country at least, maybe in yours, schools began not primarily to teach facts, but to break disfunctional social habits children pick up from the parents. That, and to acclimate children to be smooth cogs in the industrial world's machinery.

Romulus Crowe said...

SW - I see a distinction between abuse and discipline. Leaving welts or scars is going too far, but a clip across the ear doesn't hurt for too long.

The 'modern' humiliation techniques can do far more lasting damage psychologically.

You don't have to beat the kids, you just have to let them know that, if they go too far, you can smack them one and they can't go running to Human Rights about it.

As an example, when I was young, we'd never be cheeky to a policeman, or to anyone older than us. None of them ever cuffed me, but we knew they could. Modern kids know the police can do nothing at all to them.

If one of us went home and said we were cuffed by a policeman, we'd have been cuffed again. Now, kids go home and their parents phone the lawyers. Easy money. That's what kids grow up to believe now. Not that they'll get beaten for one word out of place, but the other extreme. They're untouchable.

If I see group of 10-year-olds bullying an 8-year-old, I can't step in to stop it. The 10-year-olds will report me as a child abuser. Their parents will be delighted - more easy money.

So yes, make the parents sort it out (not easy - they can also be arrested if they so much as raise a hand to their own kids) but also, shoot the lawyers. They're the ones who make it so attractive to sue for the slightest thing these days.

There should be a law against lawyers.

Romulus Crowe said...

Tom - there are some things that can't be taught. Happiness means different things to different people. Cats make SW happy, they make me nervous. Some people enjoy cricket. I find it extraordinarily tedious. Some people are only happy when they're too drunk to stand. I prefer to keep most of my brain cells.

Ethics, I think, can be taught providing the student has some concept of ethics to start with. The questions though - does it make you feel good and can you live with it? On that basis, most serial killers are fully ethical!

Our kids are force-fed 'racial equality'. I wasn't. I've taught students from all over the world at MSc and PhD level, and never given it a second thought. Well, that's not entirely true. I have noticed that the two MSc students who produced the best work, both produced publication-quality work from eight-week projects, were Muslim. Of the three best PhD students I taught, two were women. None of it mattered to me at the time. It still doesn't.

I wasn't force-fed 'racial equality', I didn't have it drummed into me day after day that some people are different, so I don't see any difference. Modern kids do. It's not their fault. They were taught that way.

Schools should stick to teaching things that can be taught, and stop trying to force kids' emotions into badly-defined moulds.

Next there'll no doubt be 'love lessons'. I hope they get a sixties hippy to teach that class. It'd be worth seeing!

John said...

I have nothing constructive to add, but I do love a good rant.

Romulus Crowe said...

John - stick around. This one's just a warm-up.

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