Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Boy Growing up in the 1950s

First of all, there were a lot less people in the 1950s in the United States. Los Angeles County area wise and city wise was similar to now but in San Diego County the area between Escondido and Oceanside and Encinitas was relatively undeveloped except on the ocean.

I was living in Vista at age 5 and then El Cajon both in San Diego County. I finished Kindergarten there and started first grade in Tujunga which is up against the mountains in Los Angeles County near Sunland. Then at age 8 I moved to Glendale, California where I lived until my last year of High School.

Life was very different then than now for a boy. There were no color TV's (that worked well), no cable tv for the most part, no home computers or internet. However, we still had fun with our BB guns, car and airplane models, .22 rifles and pistols, bicycles, hiking, swimming and reading comics.

By age 4 to 6 most boys were expected in many ways to be as responsible as men. Today most boys are infantalized like only girls used to be then. But then, we were trained even as babies to be ready to fight and die for our country. Especially after World War II (I was born 3 years after World War II) this was true.

There was a complete difference in the way boys were raised and girls were raised. It had been pretty much like this for thousands of years. I think the main reason the all began to change in the late 1960s was basically two reasons: The birth Control Pill and nuclear Weapons. This might sound strange to you but nuclear weapons changed everything. First, everyone thought we were all going to die. But instead of all of us dying we stopped having big wars instead because a big war meant the end of all human beings on earth.

The second big change was the birth control pill which came out in public in 1960. It began immediately to change the lives of young women so they could not get pregnant if they had sex. This upset a lot of women who didn't have this freedom before and it totally rocked the social mores as the birth control pill moved around the world. I don't think people anywhere on earth have completely come to terms with these changes yet in a social sense anywhere even now almost 50 years later. The generation about 5 years older than I were 18 in 1960 that saw the most beginnings of this change to America. I was 12 in 1960 and I remember reading about how shocked everyone was about this in the Reader's Digest at that time.

By age 4 to 6 years old boys like me were expected to be basically grown up. If we weren't grown up we would be knocked down until we acted grown up. We were expected to carry our weight and be able to shoot straight with a gun by age 8, so many times my friends and I would compete as to who was the best shot with a .22 rifle, BB gun, Blowgun, Slingshot, Bow and Arrow etc. Being proficient with weapons was what it was about to protect your family and to feed your family in an emergency by shooting deer or rabbits and such. This history and tradition for boys and men goes back through multiple types of weapons thousands of years unbroken.

I believe if this is ever lost that civilization will end. This tradition is the only one that prevents despots like Hitler and others. The civilian population of earth must always be armed in order to prevent chaos and warlords. People who believe otherwise I don't believe have ever studied history or studied what happens to people who can't protect themselves for thousands of years. People must protect themselves. Whenever it is assigned completely to police or armies they become corrupt and turn against the populations eventually. This is a historical fact. The only way to prevent these kinds of problems is with an armed populace. more later.

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