H. L. Mencken was a brilliant man but he wasn’t free from prejudice and ignorance. His prejudice and ignorance about Puritanism made him say the following:
Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
The truth is, no merrier people ever lived in New England than the Puritans. They had celebrations, they made whiskey and enjoyed it, they got together to build houses and churches and other projects, and they made all kinds of jokes and had all kinds of fun; and they were highly entrepreneurial and courageous people. Now, if Mencken meant that they had a fear that someone may be having fun in sin and perversion, then he may be right. But then, the Puritans’ emotion was not fear but disgust and outrage.
But Mencken’s phrase is brilliant when applied to the right people. And our modern times show that the right people to apply it to are . . . the bureaucrats. A bureaucrat, we can say with Mencken, is one who is haunted by fear that someone, somewhere, may be having fun.
Especially children. Children shouldn’t have fun. It’s dangerous.
So say the bureaucrats in Brussels. Children in Europe will be banned from blowing balloons and whistles, or play with magnetic games, or even play with rattles and musical instruments. Such toys are unsafe. Even for those that are 13-years old.
Boredom is safer.
One wonders, why such half-way step? Why not go the whole length? Why not lock the children up in closets with nothing inside that may be dangerous for them?
Meanwhile, children can be aborted. Being dragged out of your mother’s womb and slaughtered like an animal is OK. Blowing a whistle is not OK. Also, in most European countries the compulsory school age for children is 6. School is safe. Balloons are not. While going to school, children can enjoy billboards with sexually explicit images which are legal in Europe. It is safe. But magnetic games are not. And girls in Muslim families can be raped and brutally beaten at an early age, and the judges say nothing. But making noise with a rattle is unsafe for a child.
For socialist bureaucrats, it is fun that is unsafe and prohibited.
Let’s hope Europe awakes and realizes that it is bureaucrats that are unsafe and must be banned.
And America too.