Thursday, February 5, 2009

A call for "boy skills" with funky multiplicity

via Mark Morford SFGate
"Kiss my Boy Scout -
Gays! Buddha! Stemware! Time to reinvent the Scouts for the new world"


...Let us, instead, champion a new version of modern youth. A new kind of well-rounded kid, and new kind of boys-only organization to compete with the withering BSA, and let the Scouts homophobe themselves to utter and well-deserved irrelevance.

We'll take the best of what the Scouts have to offer -- and I happily acknowledge, they do offer a wealth of valuable, time-honored "boy skills" -- and modify, overhaul, inject some life and color and funky multiplicity. You think?

Because the truth is, all that classic Boy Scout handbook stuff, the bits about knives and arrows and sharp things, plant identification and good citizenry and how to navigate a trail by moonlight? That's good stuff. Essential and practical indeed, especially as we prepare for a return to agrarian society defined by violent water shortages and global food riots and increased difficulty finding a decent Wi-Fi signal in the bunker. I'm honing my archery skills already.

What's more, I am certainly not one for the elimination of gender distinctions, for turning boys into emasculated emo-lumps and girls into asexual hairballs. And I'm guessing, neither are you. Just look at the wild success of two recent books, "The Dangerous Book for Boys" and "The Daring Book for Girls," basically clever rewrites of the Boy Scout/Girl Scout handbooks, but with far more range and humor and far less fear of rainbow flags and poetry.

So then. Our new group's manifesto Ð- let's call them "Danger Lads" or "Sons of Dionysus" or maybe just "Kid Rock" Ð- it shall include all the best of the old Scouts, essential concepts of honor, good stewardship, loyalty, how to start a campfire using only dried moss and a shoelace and the cracked screen of a broken iPod Nano.

And then, more. Better. Richer. A fluidity of ideology, an open-minded, fearless spirituality, a fundamental reverence and respect not just for nature and animals and cool handmade leather belts, but also for the boys' own bodies, and the bodies of others, and all the fascinating parts that make them go...

Read the whole item.

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