In those days, most people read newspapers, whereas today, most people do not. What caused this change? One big factor, of course, is that people are a lot stupider than they used to be, although we here in the newspaper industry would never say so in print.
If Charles Lindbergh, flying with no instruments other than a bologna sandwich, managed to cross the Atlantic and land safely on a runway completely covered with French people, why are today's airplanes, which are equipped with radar and computers and individualized liquor bottles, unable to cope with fog?
The first animals to be successfully domesticated were dogs, which were a big help because they would bark all night and fetch thrown sticks, thereby freeing humans from having to perform these tedious yet vital tasks.
So when I open the door on Halloween, I am confronted by three or four imaginary heroes, such as G.I. Joe, Conan the Barbarian and Oliver North, who would look very terrifying except that they are three feet tall and facing in random directions. They stand there silently for several seconds before an adult voice hisses from the darkness behind them: "Say 'Trick or treat!
U.S. News Organizations observe the anniversary of September 11 with investigations about the nation's continuing vulnerability to terrorism. First, the New York Daily News reports that two of its reporters carried box cutters, razor kinves, and pepper spray on fourteen commerical flights without getting caught. Then ABC News reports that it smuggled fifteen pounds of uranium into New York City. Then Fox News reports that it flew Osama bin Laden to Washington, D.C., and videotaped him touring the White House.
Far too often, we fathers avoid the subject because it's so awkward. The subject I am referring to is: buying gifts for women. This is an area where many men do not have a clue. Exhibit A was my father, who was a very thoughtful man, but who once gave my mother, on their anniversary, the following token of his love, his commitment, and-yes-his passion for her: an electric blanket.