Socialism Is Theft

The troubles of youth have long been a staple of popular fiction.  In 19th-century fiction, wellborn young men borrowed against their future inheritance in order to pay for the wine, women, and song that red-blooded young men have always pursued.  In the mid-20th century, readers were titillated by tales of urban ethnic kids—Irish, Jewish, black—whose feelings of anomie led them into a life of senseless violence and amoral hedonism.  The 1960’s gave us the confused, squirrelly teens, who did not know how to become men—dorky kids such as Holden Caulfield or the manifestly homosexual Sal Mineo in Rebel Without a Cause.  The “confused teen” has remained the primary role for adolescent males—on or off drugs and with or without criminal records—but, compared with today’s instant-messaging kids, Sal Mineo was a paragon of machismo.

I think of my own happy childhood so long ago in the 1950’s—the endless days, stretching one into another, we spent in the woods or fishing or playing unorganized baseball: We boycotted Little League and all its pomps because it was too much like school, where self-important grown-ups tried to act as parents without accepting any of the responsibility.  I realize, now, that my childhood in the wilds of Wisconsin and my adolescence in South Carolina were not typical experiences, but even suburban kids in those days...

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