As the Left continues to dominate popular culture, the Right obsesses in its quest to develop a Purity Test that will, at long last, eliminate everyone from the conservative cause. The latest surprise potshot was taken at that long-time stalwart of conservatism, the Boy Scouts of America.
Right, you’re thinking, normally it’s the Left who tries to destroy the most successful organization that emphasizes belief in God and country for adolescents: you’re not gay enough. You’re not foreign enough. You’re overly predatory on innocents. You’re too pro-life. You know, the usual.But recently, champion of the anti-Left, Steven Crowder, put his high-kicking foot straight into his own mouth by reacting to a Washington Times piece without doing the slightest research whatsoever. His outrage? The Boy Scouts prohibit shooting water guns at one another. Had he done research, he’d have realized two things: the person he quotes in not in anyway ex cathedra on scouting but a blogger expressing his thoughts, and more importantly: this has long been the case.
Okay, Katherine Timpf of NRO has also failed to ask anyone involved in scouting, so let the Czar not just blame Crowder for over-reacting.
Full disclosure: the Czar’s sons have been involved in scouting for years, and the Czar happily serves on a Troop’s parents’ committee, and is deep into the reality of what scouting is. So he will explain, having done the research that these essayists evidently cannot.
The Boy Scouts of America have long held to the tradition that projectiles of any kind, even thrown objects, must never be directed toward another person. This didn’t just pop up, even though it has explicitly appeared in the most recent manuals. It has nothing to do with safety: it has everything to do with organizing groups of adolescent males.
Let the Czar be perfectly blunt about this: scouting is inherently inclusive. Kids will an incredible array of disabilities make it into scouting and, hey what do you know, succeed at it. And scouting isn’t easy: scouts in our troopin nearly every troopare taught to shoot rifles accurately, hit a variety of targets with compound and recurve bows, perform high-levels of first aid, cut with and throw knives, build fires from wet piles of nothing, sleep in a hand-made shelter below zero degrees, and swim, clothed, under ridiculously difficult conditions. They can make meals from bizarre ingredients found outside, ride horses through obstacles, navigate a canoe only by stars, hike over 50 miles equipped only with a day pack, and kayak rapids.
Can you? Scouts can: in fact, they publicize what they must do to earn the merit badge. These things aren’t easy, and they are strictly and exactly gradednot by friends or family or neighbors, but by strangers selected by the council for their specific expertise in recognizing ability. Fail to finish just one requirement and sorry, kid, maybe next year.
And you’re bitching about water balloons being prohibited? The Czar welcomes all you badasses to spend a weekend living like a scout. There is no tougher program as carefully developed and wide-reachingand don’t forget, you’re talking about 11 to 17-year-olds, not 22-year-old guys running obstacle courses in the mud.
So if scouts are so damn toughand they arewhy can’t they do a little combat with water pistols?
Because scouts are inclusive, and because they are 11-to-17 year olds. Again, let the Czar be blunt here: you let a bunch of adolescent males around water pistols, and within minutes they will relentlessly attack the weaker members of the troop. It’s what boys do.
And what happens then? The socially weaker boys, who have by all accounts accomplished just as much as the stronger ones, quit scouting. And then a healthy troop of 24 boys becomes 23. And then 22. And then the troop has no new members coming in: it happens, and it happened to boys the Czar personally knows. No one wants to stay in scouts when all the other boys are assholes.
That’s the unfortunately reality. And scoutingwhich actually knows what the hell it’s doinglong ago identified the single cause of that: boys going all Lord of the Flies on each other. Eliminate things like water guns, laser tag, water balloons, and replace them with group wilderness survival training, and the boys actually help each other, rather than chase each other out. The Czar knows two kinds of ex-scouts: those that went on to accomplish great things with what they learned, and those who left scouting because the local troop was a mismanaged group of jackasses. Since the 1980s, scouting has been stressing the former, and shutting down the latter.
Okay, the Czar gets Crowder’s position: he’s a nerd jock. He’s the kind of basketball stud who struts up and down the high school lockers of his personality preening that those kids aren’t good enough to make the team he just joined. And jocks are ultimately like any other kind of nerd: they don’t want you to accept them; they want to keep their numbers small and cozy so they can make fun of everyone, develop their own lingo, and pretend that makes them cool. Got it.
Crowder would do well to meet some boy scouts. Hell, better yethe can volunteer his time like so many of us do and teach the boys some survival skills. He might suddenly find that eliminating the tools that encourage boys to turn on one another, and replacing them with team rock climbing skills, multi-mile cycling circuits, camping, and patriotic ceremonies makes them a lot tougher than an upper-middle-class kickboxer. Or he can hang out with his buddies and squirt water at each other in many ways. Whatever.
The Czar also adds that water pistols aren’t allowed in the MMA for exactly the same reason they’re prohibited in scouts: they aren’t appropriate for the job at hand. But if your sole scouting research consists of reading a misquoted blogger, you probably would never realize that.
Also, Crowder attempts to demean the boys by dismissing them as Girl Scouts. Okay, maybe this time Crowder would like to get his ass kicked by the Girl Scouts who spent their own money to replace every American flag stolen from a cemetery on Memorial Day?
Crowder may be creating a new purity test for his rabid followers, but he’s failed a big one already. What a putz.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.