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Fatherlessness, the lack of natural fathers in children's lives
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Dangerous devices


Dangerous Devices
For Judges only, not for children

No consideration is more pondered than which came first, the chicken, or the realization that there was a marvelous way to make new ones.  Much of what spins the world, after all, are new ideas and the folks they impregnate who love to play with them. 

    There are wellsprings and there are irrigators.  As for ideas, my little daughter radiates them.  Her latest: an imaginary pocket man she carries with her who she sends out to scout a situation before she jumps into it.  In essence, he shows her the future.  All but blues musicians and poets would throw away their pencil holders for one of these. 

    Ideas are gifts.  Some wake us at night.  Many come from seeing slantwise something we thought we knew.  Others come when we tire of doing something over and over that does not work.  One such caused a pediatrician of thirty years, Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, to write a book [whose title is] “How to Raise a Healthy Child....In Spite of Your Doctor”. 

    Mendelsohn admitted to learning that years of vaccinating infants had done more harm than good to the innocent babies he had stuck.  Others followed his lead and discovered that vaccinating can impair the myelination process, so central to communicating signals from the brain such as ‘ it is wrong to aim a gun at your classmates ‘. 

    Ideas like the doctor’s are seen to be both profound and controversial to a world comfortable with its square edged horizon.  Proof of that is easy to find.  Just survey any pediatrician’s waiting room parents.  Ask them whether the rash of their children’s physical problems started soon AFTER their innoculations began.  After the headscratching, don’t be surprised if more than 90% say ‘why, yes !’. 

    Another work-related idea came to Mike Ward, a funeral parlor technician in Perth, Australia.  Diligent Mike collected and transported the deceased.  Too, his kind words offered a balm to many loving families.  They opened his eyes to the undeniable. 

    Many of his cases were suicides.  At first, years ago, he noted the ratio of men to women was four to one.  That gap increased over time to 6 : 1. Now, says Mike, it’s even higher.  What grieving mothers and fathers told him was that their suicidal sons had suffered divorce and loss of their home and children. 

    A kind and careful listener, Mike carried these stories with him as he carted off dead fathers.  Years of doing this keened his senses, opened him to receive an idea that he marches with every Wednesday. 

    On that day, along the front of the building that houses the courtroom where truckloads of now dead Dads lost their children, et. al., he protests the loss of the left living children and parents as having been due to an unthinkable process.  Mike is stunned by the blindness of judges to the carnage his caring hands have carted away. 

    Though Mike has no children, he sees shared parenting to be as rich with lifesaving potential as the Heimlich maneuver.  It is an old idea just waiting to be seen.  Mike is doing his part. 

    And the judges?  I must wonder how many of them would accept a gift of one of my daughter’s pocket men.  Perhaps I should send a box full of them to Mike as samples. 

That’s just an idea, though it does come with a simply-worded warning that must read: 

Caution: These devices are for judges only. 
Do not put them into the hands of children!

Spare them seeing that terrible day in the future when Mike must come to attend to their fallen father.  Spare us all!   

                                                        B.Koplen 5/22/99 

Barry Koplen can be reached by e-mail at poetscry@gamewood.net


  • Australian Suicide Statistics — much the same as elsewhere

  • Marital Breakdown and Suicide in Australia (contains references to studies in other countries as well)

  • Canadian Suicide Rates — Ever since the '20s the Canadian suicide rates for men have consistently been higher by a factor of four or more than those for women.  They reached an enormous peak during the Great Depression in the late twenties and early '30s, then fell again, to experience another sharp increase in 1945 and 46, and climbed once more following the 1968 Divorce Act Reform.  Along with the increasing vilification of men that began in the '60s, the suicide rate for Canadian men experienced a  prolonged, steep increase that has only lately abated somewhat.  Nevertheless, in 1971 the rates for men reached and then surpassed for a number of years the peak reached previously in 1930. It took until 1989 before the rates declined to that existing at the onset of the Great Depression in 1927.  For men, three-and-half decades of "women's liberation" have been a traumatic experience.  For the male victims of suicide it was a deadly experience.

  • USA Suicide Deaths, during the period 1979 to 1996 — of more than 500,000 victims, four out of every five were men.

  • Down and out, and nowhere to go (an excerpt from George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London)

  • Help lines

  • Poster: Save the Males

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Updates:
1999 06 24
2001 01 29 (format changes)