You Will Never Believe What Just Happened To Mary Poppins As Of 2013

Feel queasy in crowds…threatened in airports…tracked by cameras….battered by the news? Welcome to 2013.

Living through the Depression and World War II was not a cakewalk, but somehow back then there was this gut-deep feeling you were not alone. You were in these situations with others. Nowadays it takes a Boston Marathon bombing or a Newtown tragedy to bond people who otherwise neither know nor care very much about the person next to them. It’s a daily assault of gritty headlines from street gang violence, to city government corruption, to national political blood-letting, to smarmy paparazzi chasing, to global terror plots; and all too often you get the feeling there’s only a thin blue line between you and an encroaching jungle. Sometimes you don’t always trust the line itself, because its been drawn by faceless police and security forces who may be watching you as much as the jungle.

How in God’s name do you pull together all these desperate strands of fear in order to explain it all? To put some sort of label on this miasma of daily danger?

Sad to say I think I’ve found it for you. One brutish little example of just what the hell has happened to our once-upon-a-world. In the famous nanny college of Norland in England, they have recently changed curriculum. They have added a first-of-its-kind course in over 100 years of educating proper young women to become professional nannies for the rich-and-famous.

Their original curriculum, beginning in the fabled Victorian year of 1892, now offers a course in ‘Martial Arts & Getaway Techniques.’ As the headmistress puts it: “We want our ladies to know how to defend themselves, and if kidnapped how to escape for themselves.”

That thump you just heard was my heart dropping….!

Needless to say, the new course is extremely popular on campus. No, not because it sounds so interesting, rather because it seems so indispensable. And that my Millennial friends is a one-stop-explanation of the difference between my generation and yours. I would not presume any analysis; only a hopeful cheerio and good luck.

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