Chad Love has reported for the likes of People Magazine, but he tired of stalking B-list celebrities and decided to spend more time hunting, fishing and reporting here on the absurdity of a culture that’s lost touch with the land.
If the way we raise a child is the truest and deepest measure of who we are, then I can’t help but think we are lost. How can you reason with a parent who would subject their child to this.
This is apparently what many American parents view as a constructive and wholesome childhood activity. Screw wading the creek to catch tadpoles or god forbid roaming the woods with a BB gun. No, let’s force our child, our baby, our seven-year-old darling, to climb into a ring and, in essence, kill or be killed. Show no mercy. Destroy your opponent. Let’s take away whatever tiny fragment of childhood innocence he may still possess so that we can get a few vicarious thrills out of it.
But I’d bet dollars to donuts a great many of these same parents would flat refuse to allow their children to pick up a gun or a bow, because in the bizarro world we live in that’s a sign of dangerous anti-social behavior, and we certainly don’t want to foster a culture of violence, now do we?
ESPN’s “Outside the Limits” recently aired an excellent look at the Youth MMA movement, archived here.
There was a lively and interesting debate on the Gun Nut blog a few weeks ago concerning the effect of youth sports on hunting and fishing. I came down squarely on the “It’s hurting the future of hunting and fishing” camp, but there were well-reasoned arguments to the contrary. I respect that.
The explosion in the popularity of “Youth MMA” however, is not worthy of any measure of respect or understanding. It is well and truly sick. How the hell did we, as a nation, get from the way boys (and girls, for that matter) used to spend their free time to something as twisted as this?
This weekend thousands of American parents will be taking their seven or eight-year old boys to what are in essence no-holds-barred cage matches. I’m taking my seven-year-old son perch fishing. If you care about what kind of person your child will grow up to be, maybe you should, too.