After a test this weekend, hard evidence has emerged that people who get pleasure from running up and down mountains in the freezing rain are becoming less intelligent.
The 'high-level thinking' skills of fell runners are now on a par with those of 12-year-olds in 1976, when no massive military operations had to be mounted to save the lives of thousands of them. It has been found that then, most of them chose instead to stay at home or go to the pub on the worst weekend of the winter so far.
Various explanations have been offered for these findings, including computer games, and the SATs regime brought in by the government, which has tended to create a generation only capable of dealing with the test itself, and less able to make any spontaneous, intelligent choices. A generation of students who will pass the exam with flying colours, but cannot be trusted to put on their trousers or come in out of the rain, or not to put their hand in the fire. A generation so confused about pain and pleasure by the demand to win-win-WIN! and whose brains are robbed of 'self-control, inhibition and attention' that they are prepared to risk their lives in order to try to retain a scrap of individual identity and status as defined by our current sado-masochistic, no-pain-no-gain hero-culture.
Confused? Who wouldn't be?