Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sociology 101: What Would Laura Ingalls Do?

 We avoid political discussion on this blog, but don't think of this post as being political.  It is simply to give remedial instruction to those in government who don't know what in the world they are doing, and harming our country  in the process.  We have all seen the news reports about State Department spokespeople who are wondering out loud to the world how we can stop terrorism. One of them even suggested that the terrorists just need jobs, for crying out loud.  I guess the people in charge now have all been brought up and schooled in this new era where kids are not allowed to fight back against a bully. Self esteem, time-outs, and conflict resolution are words they live by. It wasn't always that way; it used to be that kids were expected to fight back against a bully.

I learned it in the first or second grade from our teacher, Miss Leona Kos, because she read most of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books to us. She started with Little House in the Big Woods, and finished most of the series before they closed Franklin Center School when I finished Second Grade. This book, Farmer Boy, is about Almanzo Wilder's childhood.  He grew up, romanced Laura Ingalls, and they lived out their lives together. A story that came back to me recently lays out the solution for dealing with bad men, and I was able to go right to the story in our library, though I heard it more than fifty years ago.  A group of bullies beat up and ran off every school teacher hired for the school Almanzo attended, and today they are coming for the new teacher...
"After a long time Mr. Corse called him to the desk, to see if he could read the lesson now. Almanzo knew every word of it, but there was a lump in his throat that would not let the words out. He stood looking at the page while Mr. Corse wainted. Then he heard the big boys coming.

Mr. Corse stood up and put his thin hand gently on Almanzo's shoulder. He turned him around and said: "Go to your seat, Almanzo."

The room was still. Everybody was waiting. The big boys came up the path and clattered into the entry, hooting and jostling one another. The door banged open and Big Bill Ritchie swaggered in. The other big boys were behind him.

Mr. Corse looked at them and did not say anything. Bill Ritchie laughed in his face, and still he did not speak. The big boys jostled Bill, and he jeered again at Mr. Corse. Then he led them all tramping loudly down the aisle to their seats.

Mr. Corse lifted the lid of his desk and dropped one hand out of sight behind the raised lid. He said: " Bill Ritchie, come up here."

Big Bill jumped up and tore off his coat, yelling: " Come on, boys!" He rushed up the aisle. Almanzo felt sick inside; he didn't want to watch, but he couldn't help it.

Mr. Corse stepped away from his desk. His hand came from behind the desk lid, and a long, thin. black streak hissed through the air.

It was a blacksnake ox-whip fifteen feet long. Mr Corse held the short handle, loaded with iron, that could kill an ox. The thin, long lash coiled around Bill's legs, and Mr. Corse jerked. Bill lurched and almost fell. Quick as black lightning the lash circled and struck and coiled again, and again Mr. Corse jerked.

"Come up here, Bill Ritchie," He said, jerking Bill toward him, and backing away.


Bill could not reach him. Faster and faster the lash was hissing and crackling, coiling and jerking, and more and more quickly Mr. Corse backed away, jerking Bill almost off his feet. Up and down they went in the open space in front of the desk. The lash kept coiling and tripping Bill, Mr. Corse kept running backward and striking.

Bill's trousers were cut through, his shirt was slashed, his arms bleeding from the bite of the lash. It came and went, hissing, too fast to be seen. Bill rushed, and the floor shook when the whiplash jerked him over backwards. He got up swearing and tried to reach teacher's chair, to throw it. The lash jerked him around. He began to bawl like a calf. He blubbered and begged. The lash kept on hissing, circling, jerking. Bit by bit it jerked Bill to the door. Mr. Corse threw him headlong into the entry and slammed and locked the door. Turning quickly, he said, "Now, John, come on up."....and more hilarity ensued before all the big boys were driven out of the school. (Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Illustrated by Garth Williams, Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York, 1933; 1953 illustrated edition)

The thing that those in government can't seem to get through their head is that if someone's stated objective is to kill you; to destroy you, there is nothing to negotiate. Do you negotiate to convince them to kill you later, or only kill you a little at a time? People like that intend to use force to do what they will to you, and trying to talk them out of it is laughable. A good friend of mine was a mechanic in the Air Force during the Korean War.  He was stationed overseas, and a bully was transferred into his outfit. That guy would harass men until they would take a poke at him, and then he would beat the crap out of them. One day my friend was working on an engine, and the bully came up behind him and started his harassment routine.  My friend kept working and didn't say a thing. The bully finally gave up and turned to go. My friend  grabbed that guy around the neck with his arm as soon as he turned, and he told me, "I choked him 'til he soiled himself. And I never had any trouble out of him again."  I don't know just what they teach people in Ivy League schools so they can go into government jobs as diplomats, but it is obvious to me that they would be would be helpless against a schoolyard bully if you sent them back to the third grade. I mourn for our country. ("I mourn for our country." is spoken frequently by Grouchy Old Cripple.)

1 comment:

Merle Morrison said...

Yeah, it's pretty sad what passes for higher education these days; even worse in the Ivy Towers....

Merle