Planet Nerf, Part 2

 By Shamus Aug 25, 2006 15 comments

From Fox News: Some Playground Equipment Targeted by Child Safety Groups. Wherein we read some tofu brain saying:

If children are the most precious commodity we have, then we don’t understand why people don’t make the play areas safe for children to grow up on. [...] Getting hurt on a playground is not a rite of passage to be an adult.

Which makes it sound like our playgrounds are a crucible of rusty iron spikes, whirling blades, and Indiana Jones-style rolling boulder traps.

So playgrounds are now too dangerous. Riding bikes is too risky. TV rots their brain. Video games turn them into murderers. Sitting around all the time makes them obese. Clearly the only way to keep our kids safe is to place them into some sort of suspended animation until adulthood, when we can thaw them out and dress them in kevlar for a walk to the public library.

Just for the record: I saw this coming like Hally’s comet.

1515 comments. (Fifteen is the smallest natural number with seven letters in its name.)


  1. Ubu Roi says:

    Right, so kids should grow up without any knowledge of what it’s like to skin a knee, or take a bad fall. So the first time they’re in a dangerous situation as an adult, they have no clue how to behave.

    Heinlein referred to the very similar juvinile justice theories beginning to make headway when he wrote Starship Troopers (the novel, not that excreble movie). To the best of my memory it went something like this: “How would you house-train a puppy? Would you scold it? Put paper down in the corner? Rub the puppy’s nose in the poop when the dog didn’t use the paper? Maybe even whack the dog lightly when it disobeyed? Or would you just watch it go all over the floor, and talk to it nicely when it made messes? Until one day you realized it was a year old and still pooping anywhere, so you get a gun out and shoot it dead.”

    Nobody’s suggesting sharp corners and rusty equipment in playgrounds, but trying to “child-proof” playground equipment is just stupid, and the equivilent of the above, in terms of teaching kids to care for themselves as adults.

  2. This is the 17th post since the last post which discussed anime (unless we count referencing anime in the article on the defence of Firefly).

  3. Heather says:

    Pete, he would probably be doing an anime post if work weren’t taking all the time in which he might possibly concieve of watching an anime. I have watched moer recently than he has. I am still waitin for him to get caught up so we could try to watch one together.

  4. BeckoningChasm says:

    He was probably going to write about anime, but tripped and fell on a playground. The next article will probably be about how dangerous dinner utensils are.

    8-)

  5. Pete, he can and should write about whatever he wants to write about. He doesn’t owe us anything. Stop being a jerk.

  6. ubu roi says:

    I wasn’t aware this was a strictly animé blog…. I hope that was just a joke that everyone took the wrong way.

  7. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    No mtter what you do kids will find a way to hurt themselves. It’s just how it is. Like all things it is up to the descresion of the partents as to what a child is exposed to. My dear friends have a 2 year old who spends the entire day tallying up bonks on the head. no matter how many pillows the mother puts around his play areas ( she really does) he WILL fall in the one unprotected area and smash his head. he then proceeds to laugh about it most of the time. All of this reminds me of a story about your eldest child. One time before you guys moved to Mass. and you still lived in the apartments on whitestown rd. Rachel fell in you office at the time and hit her head off the wall. In an attempt to stop the crying before it started, you said BONK in a fun and joking manner. It worked the tear duct dam held its place and Rachel all but forgot about her minor accident. The only problem was she thought it was too funny and proceeded to “BONK” her head on the wall again on purpose. YAY daddy invented a new game. You see fun always holds precedense over injury in a childs mind. So while getting hurt on a playgound isn’t a right of passage into adulthood, getting hurt period is. I cherish every bee sting and bloody nose I ever got. and wouldn’t trade those IMPORTANT life lessons for all the free candy in the world.

  8. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    mmmmm…. candy

  9. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    and if you start watching any anime it had better god damn well be the Full Metal Alchemists of mine that you have. There is so much important stuff to see on those 3 discs

  10. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    mmmmmm… Full Metal Alchemist

  11. HC says:

    This is another illustration of why emoticons were born – inflection doesn’t travel well over the internet.

    I think. Perhaps it was meant in grim solemnity.

  12. MOM says:

    Make the playground equipment as safe as you can. But pleeease don’t address all the parents who are NOT making a living redesigning playground equipment as though they are negligent and unintellegent. Does he imagine he is the first person to care about children? No, I think he is trying to create a need for his product with my, er, every mother’s staple, GUILT.

  13. Acksiom says:

    Yeah, I mean, it’s not like we already s3lxauly muitalt3 over 1 million children in this county annually or anything.

    Oh wait — we *do*. And not only that, but we do it out of nothing more than stark, blatant, gender discrimination and human tissue profiteering.

    Color me significantly less than unimpressed with these ‘playground safety’ folks’.

  14. KelThuzad says:

    You actually PAY ATTENTION to ANYTHING Fox News says?

  15. Musoeun says:

    On the other hand, a Nerf planet would be almost as cool as a Lego planet. Just saying.

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