CSotD: This Changing World

Granted, David Rowe is an Australian and not a proper Brit, but I take some comfort in not being the only person who has had enough of all this, and, after all, she is on his money. IMHO, he’s right on the money as well.

I saw a promo for live coverage of the Queen’s catafalque and, while I suppose a curtain might move in the breeze, “live” coverage seemed a bit of an oxymoron.


Still, as Pat Chappatte — who is not even somewhat British — observed, there are lessons to be taken from her life, we’re just not certain what they are.

She was, to be sure, a very nice young woman who drove trucks during the war, but it’s not clear that she had any real historical impact beyond a fairy tale element of keeping Britain from falling apart.

And now suddenly everybody seems sure that Charlie is going to screw it all up, so it’s obviously not a belief in the power and prestige of the monarchy. They’re furious that he acts like he’s the bloody King.

They all seemed dutiful enough back in the days when kings had people’s heads cut off and their lands confiscated. Now they get in an uproar if he wants a tray of pens moved out of his way.

Wat Tyler and Guy Fawkes must surely be rolling in their graves. Get some live coverage of that.


Anyway, if there is a lesson in all this, it seems best presented by another Aussie, Cathy Wilcox.

I suppose it’s easier to be a monarchist from 10,560 miles away, but, then, it’s also easier to be an anti-monarchist at that distance. A cat may look at a king, but a kangaroo doesn’t even have to.


Meanwhile, Alex plays with changing times on the London business scene, which reminds me to toss a few masks in my luggage before I head for the AAEC Convention next month. The pictures from SPX showed everyone wearing them and the pictures from the NCS Convention showed nobody wearing them and you never know where you’ll end up.

The strip mostly reminded me of taking a job at a newspaper in 1999. About two weeks in, a fellow in khakis and a polo shirt walked in, put some papers on a colleague’s desk and asked me how it was going, then said, “Oh, we haven’t met.”

Turns out he was the publisher, and neither wore a tie nor expected anyone else to. It was glorious for a year or so, until we were sold to Lee Enterprises, who ordered him to make some draconian cuts, instead of which he packed up and left and they replaced him with someone who would. And did. Repeatedly.

I stuck around as long as I could take it and today the newspaper appears to have one-third the circulation it had when I bailed.

If I could find my old necktie, I’d use it to wipe away a tear for them.


Lee Judge (KFS) notes another venue where things are changing, and if Wat Tyler and Guy Fawkes are mystified by what’s happening in Britain, Paul Hornung and Pete Rose must also be astonished to see things for which they were suspended now becoming central to sports.

I’ll confess to some prejudice: I was a baseball fan until I found myself stuck in a newsroom full of fantasy league players. I gave it a shot but found that having bets scattered throughout the league left me in the position of occasionally (as in “often”) rooting against my own team.

Moreover, I never heard anyone say, “Did you see that catch?” anymore. Instead, they were toting up their statistics, seemingly indifferent to the game itself.

Fortunately, football didn’t seem infected, until fairly recently, when NFL Network and others began full one-hour shows for delusional people who think they own football teams. Now Draft King has been announced as “The Official Daily Fantasy Partner of the NFL.”

This is because having people pay $400 for a pair of tickets, two hot dogs, two beers and two t-shirts to see a game live really isn’t enough. We need them pissing away their money at home, too.

There are, of course, wonderful inducements to give it a try, like getting $200 to bet for free if you just put up $5 of your own. This is based on the same theory that says everybody who goes to Vegas wins and that those enormous glittering casinos spontaneously arise from the sands of the desert.

Fortunately, the Watchdog Press is on the job, looking out for the best interests of its readers.


Besides royalty and neckties and love of the game and other anachronisms, Mt. Pleasant (Tribune) harkens back to a day when part of Physical Education involved learning about personal hygiene.

We were not only given time to shower after gym class, but we were given orders to shower after gym class, and any teacher in a roomful of 12-year-olds knew what a gift that was, if only by comparing gym day to non-gym day.

Times changed, however, and there’s no time in busy schedules for such sanitary fol-de-rol. Nobody has calculated the cost to taxpayers of having the paint blister off the walls from the stench of unshowered kids, but it may be one more reason teachers are being driven away.


And then McKee and Sligh come back with a second shocker in the same story arc, and, as a parent and grandparent, I have no reason to think they’re wrong.

But when I took a mandated Coaching Effectiveness Program to be a youth league coach nearly 40 years ago, one thing they emphasized was to never use laps or pushups as punishment. Exercise and fitness, they reminded us, were the point of sports, not the drawback.

Warm-ups are crucial for injury prevention — a habit best acquired before puberty changes that rubbery cartilage into pullable tendons — and endurance is the key to victory.

And victory, and teamwork, are fun, which is why we were supposed to stretch and run with them, not stand in the middle blowing a whistle.

Punishment? Fitness isn’t punishment.

Fitness is how you avoid punishment.


10 thoughts on “CSotD: This Changing World

  1. “one thing they emphasized was to never use laps or pushups as punishment”

    Too bad they’re not around to emphasize not to punish kids by making them read.

  2. Loved the misdirection gag in Alex not just because it’s funny but because it resonated personally.
    Wore a tie for decades operating my insurance office under the theory of it better to err on the side of being overdressed than under. Then the insurance company marketing reps started showing up looking like they’re heading to the golf course after the visit.I was becoming a fuddy duddy ,like a man a generation ahead of me, a downtown character, who never stopped donning his fedora decades after they were out of style.
    Hey, anyone needs a couple dozen ties?Some are pretty cool.

  3. Had a recent discussion with some friends about gym class, and specifically the enforced mass nudity and showering that went along with. I gather PE isn’t like that anymore, and none of the people in the discussion were sorry. The idea that a bunch of 13-year-olds need to see each other naked always struck me as some sort of cruel Victorian boys’ school holdover. It’s junior high, not boot camp.

    I didn’t remember it being especially traumatic but many people do. I was surprised by the number of now-women who said so–I’d expected bad feelings among former boys getting eyefulls of each others junk, but the women’s perspective made sense after I spent half a second thinking about the wide range of development girls experience at that age, from “None” to “13-Going-on-30.”

    I also had a friend whose life was ruined by a PE shower, where he had a tragically timed erection. He was the talk of the school the rest of the day and gone the next. Vanished. I never knew if he fled on his own or was shipped off by school administrators “for his own good.” Last I heard, 15 or 20 years ago, he was homeless and living on the streets. One class, one mandatory shower. I haven’t mourned the passing of the humiliating ritual since, no matter how stinky the kids get.

  4. Brian, I never showered after PE; I think a couple of kids did when I was in the 7th grade (1972), but most didn’t. I was the fat kid who didn’t know how to play football, so showering would be yet another P.E. humiliation. Another reason not to shower was that anything you left out would most likely get stolen, so it would be go to the locker room, strip naked, lock your locker, walk to the shower, shower, go back to your locker, get your towel, dry off, then put your clothes back on. We had ten minutes, in theory.

    I heard a story somewhere of a girl getting her first period while she showered after P.E. The girls did not treat her kindly, and there was some kind of brouhaha at Prom Night.*

    *Subtlety works better here than most places, but I should probably mention that yes, I know where I heard the story.

  5. Oddly enough, my showering experience was the opposite. In high school phys ed, at summer camp and in college, communal showering was a given and I think we felt putting too much significance into it would be weird. We did have a classmate with a no-shower excuse but we also suspected he had some glandular issues and he was a friend and we didn’t much care.

    The girls had shower stalls, and when we were the away team, we used their lockerrooms, which just slowed things down, but we knew their developmental issues made it sensible. Besides, girls were supposed to be sensitive. We weren’t.

  6. Gosh – I’ve gone most of the week not seeing the dead Queen except for a few minutes on the PBS Newshour, where she was featured along with Zelenzky, Putin, the federal courts, etc. Do you guys have to get up and walk across the room to change the channel ?

  7. The crowds have been a constant topic on MSNBC between other segments. Not on NFL.TV. But all over Twitter and Facebook and in podcasts and in a lot of political cartoons, w/ or w/o corgis. TV isn’t a huge part of my media mix.

  8. I don’t know if it was intentional or coincidental, but the no-showering seems to have begun when ‘body sprays’ because popular. TOO popular, IMHO. I worked in a high school library for 30 years, and could smell the body spray on those who’d just had PE. Hubby worked in elementary school library, where the young ‘uns hadn’t yet begun using body spray. Don’t know which was worse.

  9. Because there weren’t enough junior high schools in my town as the tail end of the baby boom was that age, my age group went through “split shift” from 7th grade to 9th. Class periods were only 35 minutes long, including P.E. Our communal shower involved walking briskly past the shower heads, holding our towels above the spray, while Coach Brown or Coach Falaschi monitored us from a raised platform in the center of the room.

    Very ineffective, and in retrospect, more than a little creepy.

  10. Of course, your mileage may vary. Had a friend in college who went to a Christian Brothers school where one brother stood outside the shower watching. He rubbed his hands to the extent where the kids called him “The Fly.”

    However, while several of my summer camp counselors were gay, they weren’t pederasts. It wasn’t an issue.

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