Pete Lee

Monday, May 16, 2005

Arms are, apparently, not for hugging

I tend to think that Oregon has a leg up in certain ways over other states. For instance, we were a blue state during the presidential elections, thanks to people like my friends' old, wealthy, white, Catholic, Republican fathers, who voted for Kerry because they tired of Bush's antics. Or maybe it's because we've long permitted the shipment of wine to residential addresses, bypassing the beer/liquor/wine distribution cartels. Or, despite Oregon's political differences, a greater appreciation for good agricultural and environmental practices than other places.

Unfortunately, my appreciation for our fair state dimmed upon reading an AP wire entitled "Hugging Ban Sparks Dispute at Ore. School." (Original article.)

History is a sage mistress, and tells us that a return to Victorian-era ideals is hardly a good idea (see "The Importance of Hugging" in Howard Bloom's book, The Lucifer Principle). The perenially vitriolic George Carlin groused about how parents hold their kids less: "Touch the little prick every now and again--he'll thank you for it later."

These days, parents are bent out of shape about one letter drugs, drunk driving, and trans-fatty acids. And by all means, I'm not saying that they shouldn't be concerned. Of all the social problems we face, is a ban on hugging really a good use of our time?

Where are we going when parents are raising their children with some demented suburbian ideal of peace through mental, physical, and emotional disassociation with others? Do we want our kids to have no appreciation for self-determination and a mode of living that craves approval by "The Man" (Homeland Security, fashion magazines, large corporations, big pharma).

We all too easily forget that our country derived its early energy and influence from dialogue and challenge to the dominant paradigm--even to the point of lawlessness. Lest I be accused of being a pinko commie (my background hardly backs that), I'd note that those early challengers were the men who signed The Constitution, and the many immigrants that followed.

My advice to the school: more hugging, less Animal Farm.


  • Wow, how sad is that? Unless it is a school that has a reason to support limited boundaries for therapeutic reasons (like the ones I have worked in), there is NO reason on earth this should be happening. I'd prefer for kids NOT to turn out like cold robots. Wait, is this a secret part of Bush's lame abstinence only teaching in schools? Is it coming to Ptown next? What an ass.

    By Blogger Sarah, at Monday, May 16, 2005 11:48:00 PM  

  • Well, east of the Cascades, things tend to get a little conservative. Did I ever tell you the story of my friend's dad who wore his Klan shirt to her graduation?

    Though I'd say Bend is one of the more liberal of the eastern Oregon cities, because of the resort and the outdoorsy people. However, deep in it's heart (somewhere around Klamath Falls), the east side of Oregon sucks a whole bag of dicks and should be avoided unless you are driving really fast through it.

    By Blogger Pilar Cruz, at Tuesday, May 17, 2005 3:02:00 AM  

  • I doubt any of this stuff will be coming to P-town--we really are more progressive here than the midwest.

    And, I would also add: where the HELL are the parents in teaching them about sex ed, birth control, abstinence, etc.? What I really want to know: what percentage of parents (across SES strata) are talking to their kids about this, and what are they saying??

    The Klan shirt thing is just plain scary. Eeeeech.

    By Blogger PeteLee, at Tuesday, May 17, 2005 2:12:00 PM  

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