Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

From home school to home college?

After reading this, I’m not sure that I’ll be joking next time I mention that prospect to my kids. Does anyone not see the problem here?

[Founding Boink editor Alecia] Oleyourryk said that for her and her peers, the question is not why pose nude, but why not? After all, they grew up watching Madonna (“All she was was naked all the time”), parsing the finer points of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and flipping through Calvin Klein ads: sexual imagery was the very wallpaper of their lives, undergirded by a new frankness about how to protect oneself from pregnancy and disease. “Condoms. They’ve been rammed down our throats ... since we were old enough to start contemplating training bras,” wrote a Boink contributor in an essay called “Fall Fornication Must-Haves,” which apparently included crotchless bikinis and a Swarovski-crystal-encrusted dildo called the Minx.


Of course, posing naked for a sex magazine is not exactly like making Phi Beta Kappa or playing the lead in the school play. For one thing, it’s generally not something you write home about, though Oleyourryk insists that her parents have been supportive of her venture. (“As much as they could be,” she said. “I was raised very Catholic, but they live in today’s world.”)

Meanwhile, over at Harvard, the sex magazine has a faculty sponsor, Marc Hauser, who "would like to see the magazine take a more belletristic bent, reviewing controversial books, perhaps — ’You think of Lolita,’ he said — and examining what might be called sexistential questions. ’Nowadays, what constitutes porn?’ Hauser mused. ’What does a 21-year-old think porn is? I, as a parent of an 18-year-old, would like to hear that view.’” It turns out that what Harvard undergrads have to say about sex (at least for publication) is quite banal, perhaps because they’ve been immersed in sexual imagery nearly forever.

And then there are the social networking websites:

[Harvard H Bomb editor Ming] Vandenberg described a social landscape changed irrevocably by the rise of networking Web sites. After meeting someone, it’s now de rigueur to check out his or her profile — a collage of pictures (often risqué) and preferences — on MySpace or “I have a BlackBerry — so immediately,” Vandenberg said. “You might run into someone at a party, and then you Facebook them: what are their interests? Are they crazy-religious, is their favorite quote from the Bible? Everyone takes great pains over presenting themselves. It’s like an embodiment of your personality.” Except for the die-hard holdouts who refuse to participate in these networks — “They’re treated like pariahs, people will just harass them until they join,” Vandenberg said — to attend college now means to participate in a culture of constant two-dimensional preening, for males and females alike. In this context, posing for a sex magazine can seem like just another, more formalized level of display.

Note the apparent disqualifiers: someone who’s "crazy-religious," or, worse yet, someone who’s not a virtual exhibitionist.

I wonder what this old guy thinks of all this?

Discussions - 26 Comments

I like the idea of home schooling. And if I’m fortunate enough to find the right gal, and have my own kids, I intend to home school them.

But this is too much. Education is to prepare one to enter society, amongst other things, other important things. But this idea seems almost anti-social. This is almost quasi-Amish. And thus it’s too much. It’s effectively heretical.

The latter part of that comment doesn’t jive with the sexual explicitness of the lead post. But when I meant quasi-Amish, I meant the banishing if one doesn’t participate in group behavior, the harassment, the coercion. So what we’re seeing is universities places of conformism. Which is slightly heretical.

There is safety in the herd, and there is hardship being outside.

Did you take a look at the face of the editor, Ming something. She’s been around the block, that one has.

There’s loads of money in porn. These people want to cash in.

Another set of questions for parents to ask the college admissions people: Is there a sex magazine on campus, does it have a faculty sponsor, and is it sufficiently belletristic?

What a statement that one comment was, about college now being "a culture of constant two-dimensional preening."

And these are the leaders of tomorrow. They’re the ones who are going to have to find the nerve and the wits to handle the rising challenge of China, not to mention they’re going to have to be the ones to fend off the predations of islam.

"I was raised very Catholic...," what the hell does that mean................?

When I took a quick look at the story, the first thing I thought of was the Weimar Republic.

Ok, and if they finish university and refuse to get married and reproduce nice little Young Republican children, what then to control them? Chastity belts? And I love how the Lewinsky scandal is Clinton’s fault. It’s not as if he wanted anyone to know about it, understandably enough. It was the GOP that scraped that one out of the dumpster and the gutter and hung it on the line in the town square for the public to be exposed to, in every gory detail.

And I love how the Watergate scandal is Nixon’s fault. It’s not as if he wanted anyone to know about it, understandably enough. It was the Democratic Party that scraped that one out of the dumpster and the gutter and hung it on the line in the town square for the public to be exposed to, in every gory detail.

I *believe* the top of the bat handle on this one has been grabbed by Oleaginous Screed...for now.
What a depressing, depraved, "oh-my-God" report in the NYT! The inmates are truly running the asylum.

My experience is that homeschooled kids really need to get some distance from their parents when they hit college. They’ve felt altogether too much love, and they have to get over expecting such "high maintenance" treatment from the whole world.

I’m not sure why or how you’d want to draw a comparison between the Lewinsky scandal and the Watergate scandal in this context. If the idea is that the sexual morality of American collegians has eroded partly because of the Lewinsky sex scandal, then how does Watergate compare? Has anyone suggested that because of Watergate, America’s youth suddenly participated in a wave of nighttime break-ins, wiretapping, and dodgly slush funds? Watergate involved crimes connected with the highest political office. Those who would respond that adultery is also a crime, I would just say, okay, if you honestly, really want to go that route, let’s use similar sleazy Linda Tripp and Ken Starr methods to shake out every officeholder who engages in adulterous affairs, for the good of the country. Right? I wonder how Rudy G and Newt would fare. Those aren’t exactly names from the past, are they?

Another flaw in Screed’s copycat comparison is saying that Watergate was dredged up by the Democratic Party. Actually, I think it involved a security guard at the Watergate and the D.C. Police dept. I don’t think they were employed by the Dems, were they?

Unfortunately, Screed had something on his palms, so he lost his grip on the bat.

Jim: The comparison is apt because Pres. Clinton a) disgraced himself, his family and his office by his behavior with Ms. Lewinsky THEN committed perjury while testifying under oath about it. He was impeached for his behavior, and should have been convicted and removed from office. And Nixon was right to resign before being impeached (and likely convicted) for his tawdry, politically unnecessary and illegal actions.

I don’t know that I’d fully agree with Peter’s assertion that home school kids have "felt altogether too much love".....but emphatically agree that they need to "get some distance from their parents when they hit college". Mainly because we homeschooling parents don’t have the tools (or the time or the temperament) to give them a good collegiate education or experience. And, yes, they do need to "feel the un-love" the world has to offer in such abundance. Plus, my boys *really* want to play D-1 basketball and our driveway just doesn’t cut it as the appropriate venue for their future on-court exploits.......
Kate: If you’re listening, do you coach basketball as well as you teach literature? Can we talk??

Nope. Not buying it. Comparison isn’t apt, because no one has claimed that Nixon’s behavior had some resulting negative impact on society, as conservatives claim about the effect on society from Clinton’s revealed affair. Additionally, Nixon’s crimes weren’t simply immoral "dirty" acts of a personal nature. Watergate was a scandal, of course, but it wasn’t of a tawdry, tabloid nature, to be pulled from Clinton’s personal "gutter" and trash dumpster. Watergate didn’t involve scraping stains on a dress, it involved an investigation of what, under any circumstances, is a crime. Reading about Watergate didn’t bring sleazy images to mind, as did the GOP capture of the dress and such.

And, as I pointed out, it wasn’t the Dems that brought Nixon’s crimes to light, it was a security guard and the police. Further, I believe it was a Republican, Sen. Howard Baker, who asked "What did the President know, and when did he know it?" So, after the appropriate authorities caught Nixon’s crew in the act, it was a unified team that worked, appropriately, from there.

"[Clinton] should have been convicted and removed from office."

That’s an opinion, and one that Congress and the American public obviously didn’t agree with.

On love, to Gary: Some homeschooled kids clearly think that God made them so special that they have the right to have loving devotion lavished on them by their college professors. And that’s creepy...The Bible says we have to love everyone--but not in that way.

Conservatives aren’t in to control. That’s a fetish for the Left. Always has been too.

Jim, did you actually look at the story? Did you even bother checking out the H-Bomb’s website?

Check out their website!

PETER, those home-schooled kids might have done better playing more organized athletics. When someone fires an elbow at your face, and you’re picking yourself up from the mud, it has a certain, shall we say, "grounding" effect.

Check out once more the movie starring Pat O’Brian and Ronald Reagan, KNUTE ROCKNE, ALL-AMERICAN. The script points out how important athletics are to social assimilation.

My home-schooled kids are competitive swimmers. Does that count, or does my son have to play football and my daughter soccer? (FWIW, she encountered a trash-talking 8-year-old in the 25 butterfly finals at the league championship. Wish I could say that she whupped her, but all she could muster was a close second.)

On a slightly different subject, is there an exception as well for Reformed homeschoolers, since we tell them all the time that all have sinned and fallen short of the grace of God?

JK, a kid can get a valuable lesson in a pick-up basketball game. But I think for boys physical sports is a must. A game like Rugby and football, {both of which I played at league level} allow men to understand the passions that lie within them. THUS, enabling them to understand the types of passions that swirl in others. I never stepped on a rugby pitch or football field without serious butterflies, without nervousness. But within about ten minutes, I was looking to decapitate somebody. And I’m not a big man. If you saw me, you would never think that.

I absolutely loved football practice. I loved hitting, I loved trying to hit someone as hard as I could. It was fun. It was the most fun sport I ever played. Though pick-up basketball was fun too. There are educational aspects to all that, which are slightly different from those lessons learned by competition, such as racing, throwing and swimming.

Jim wrote: "[Clinton] should have been convicted and removed from office."
That’s an opinion, and one that Congress and the American public obviously didn’t agree with.

Jim: It’s both an opinion and a fact. Clinton was guilty as charged. Even his supporters who cared to consider the facts grudgingly admit that. But, alas, the craven Senate didn’t have the balls to do its duty.
As to your observation that the American public didn’t agree with my opinion...Well, you’re correct. That’s another happy reason why I’m a republican, and not a democrat. Both lower case. The Senate’s failure to convict was another chipping away at American Exceptionalism. The blessed thing (American Exceptionalism) is a GIFT, and can be lost or squandered. I’d argue we’re well along that course.

Jim: Apologies for appearing to attribute MY quote to you. I obviously said Clinton should have been convicted and removed from office. Your response in disagreement follows mine. I’ll get this "cut and paste" thing down someday....

Peter: On balance, which kids come to your classroom better apt for learning: publicly-schooled, privately-schooled, homeschooled, or......."other"?
Joe K., same question.
My soon-to-be-homeschooled-again kids *will* be serving Joe margaritas on the pool deck in 10 days or so...I’ll ask him to report back after that experience....
Dan: I agree with you. Unfortunately, making that happen nearly robs my wife and I of any life of our own for ~10 months of the year! Championship game for my 13-yr old son’s AAU basketball team in an hour and forty minutes. We’re playing the mighty "Dawgs", with whom we’ve split games so far this season. Go "Force"!
First ever wrestling tournament for my 9-yr old son next Saturday morning. He changed sports when it became obvious that for him (and his hyper-agressive nature) "guarding his man" in basketball usually meant "tackling" his opponent. We think he *may* have found his niche in wrestling.......


I’m looking forward to the margaritas, but I can’t imagine my son picking up a ball sport. After six summers of competitive swimming, he’s finally figured out what it means to compete and try to beat the next guy. I will say this, however: he’s not afraid of a physical confrontation when he’s defending vulnerable friends against bullies.

Joe: Bring your kids! Your son (and daughter) can show my kids better swimming techniques, and my kids can introduce yours to the pleasures/thrills of jumping horses....and shooting hoops. This freedom to travel (for "educational purposes", of course!) is one of the beauties of homeschooling! And I agree, it doesn’t take participation in a "ball sport" to teach the lessons of standing up to bullies.

I think JK and Gary misconstrued my point. I didn’t suggest physical sports as a way of enabling a kid to stand up to bullies. I suggested that physical sports are instructive for many of life’s lessons.

Swimming, running, jumping and throwing are competitive sports. And they teach the lessons that competition will teach. But physical sports, involving frequent violent contact at speed, {soccer doesn’t really count here, and I played soccer too, so I can offer an opinion, having played football, soccer and rugby, but not lacrosse} offer lessons beyond those offered by competitive sports.

Here is a lesson that men like Curt Schilling, maybe a future Hall of Fame pitcher, have learned. The value of the brush back pitch. The brush back is a fastball delivered at the hitter’s chin. It’s a scary proposition. And it’ll get your heart going all pitter-patter.

Outside of the game, the idea seems outlandish, take a hardball and throw it 90mph at somebody’s face. But within the game, it makes perfect sense.

Physical sports also enable men to deal with cheap shots, WITHOUT crying to international organizations. Usually cheap shots are answered in kind, in spades, on the spot. It’s the gridiron version of Orwell’s suggestion on what to do if somebody comes and drops a bomb on your house, "you drop TWO on his house."

There are many lessons that could be mentioned, but that’s way beyond my willingness, for that would take a while, and a good deal of typing.

But I would suggest go watching Ronald Reagan in KNUTE ROCKNE. It addresses many of the issues, for there was a time when football was on the verge of being banned.

I’d like to encourage readers to click on the link to "this old guy" that JK inserted at the end of his post. Wonderful profile of a man on a {good} mission.

I avoided the tangental comments above, but I just would like to point out that, to date, public nudity has been a complete washout in the destroying-western-civilization department. Indeed, it has no record of traumatizing young minds, at least by itself. Just sayin’.

Uhh, public nudity? I must be spending too much time indoors. I live in Manhattan, and it’s not even an infrequent sight. Where’s all the public nudity I’ve been missing?

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