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A Child’s Christmas Gift of Freedom

Edward Curtin

Man is tormented by no greater anxiety than to find someone quickly to whom he can hand over that great gift of freedom with which the ill-fated creature is born.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Grand Inquisitor

It is heartening to know that there are young children still reading books. While a growing majority of parents have been seduced into destroying their children’s imaginations by placing them in front of screens, there are still holdouts who realize that if their children are ever to become free-thinking adults, they must grow up expanding their minds in the meditative space of beautiful literature on paper pages.

Only there will they find the freedom to dream, to stop and close their eyes as they travel through unknown realms of wonder.

I know young children who are doing that; my grandchildren are. They are doing a most dangerous thing: they are thinking. They are purposely cut-off from the madding crowd that is lost in the disorienting craziness of electronic cyberspace.

I have seen some children reading a book that has them thinking about the meaning of freedom, what it means to be an autonomous and courageous individual in a country in which brainwashing has been refined to a fine psychological art, and normality has been proffered as a great achievement by a corporate media serving as stenographers for the power elite.

They are learning a profound lesson: that the crowd is untruth, and that to be a person one must of necessity stand out and be a non-conformist, as Emerson said.

No, they are not yet reading Kierkegaard, Orwell, or Dostoevsky. They are reading a writer who sounds the same themes but speaks the language of 9-12-year olds, a supremely intelligent writer of beautiful prose who never condescends to write down to them.

They are reading Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, a book that makes a wonderful Christmas gift.

“You should read it, Papa,” my daughter said to me decades ago when she had read it. “You would really like it.”

Valuing her judgment and knowing she was asking me to share an experience she felt important to us both, I did just that. And I can gladly report that it is a book of profound importance, a beautiful and exciting “children’s” book for children of all ages.

I found in reading and rereading it that I better understood the pressures to conform, to give up the struggle for an essential self, that my twelve-year-old daughter and other young people were subjected to. Those pressures, aided and abetted by today’s nefarious high-tech social media and their promoters, have increased a thousand-fold.

It is supremely ironic that the pressures to conform that L’Engle wrote about in 1962, when the book was published, have become so much more intense because those who became adults in the following years became such conformists themselves by embracing all the high-tech gadgetry they have subsequently placed in their children’s vulnerable hands.

Books may help one become a self, but freedom’s just another word for most people of any era, who far prefer being part of the crowd and losing themselves in it. Today the place to get your children lost is in the electronic digital world of machines.

From L’Engle’s book, I came to see anew the meaning of love and respect for people – their sacred, inviolable dignity – that means nothing to tyrants of all sorts who manipulate and abuse people to satisfy their machinations.

Rather than just being obvious and crude, today these tyrants are part and parcel of a triumphant, therapeutic, celebrity, and propagandistic culture that advises:

Just relax and don’t fight and it will be much easier for you. Don’t stress. Live a jiffy lube life and roll smoothly along society’s straight and narrow way and never stop and step off to think.”

In other words, shrink to fit.

But their guile and bad faith is so sophisticated that their conformism is advertised as freedom and self-affirmation. “Don’t shrink to fit.” “Be yourself.” “Be Free.”

Every school child in the United States is urged to become “a critical thinker,” as they are molded to the rule of group think that dominates the nation’s schools. When all have achieved the pedagogues’ goal of “critical thinking,” there will be no independent thinkers among them.

Since 1962, A Wrinkle in Time has sold over 14 million copies. In its essence it is the story of Meg Murry, a young teenager who feels dumb and ugly and very different from her schoolmates, and who, as fate decrees, must set out on a long journey in search of her true self. “I hate being an oddball,” she says, “I try to pretend, but it isn’t any help.”

Her “problem” is that she is too straightforward and can’t, unlike so many of those around her, pretend to be what she isn’t, a phony actor. She values honesty over pretense, but finds this is not the way of the so-called normal world, where pretense and living lies prevail.

Luckily for her, however, she has a highly precocious and independent five-year-old brother, Charles Wallace, who loves and understands her better than she does herself, and whose support is instrumental in her finally coming to accept and celebrate her own uniqueness and how it is tied to the search for truth in all things.

As the story begins, Meg is confused and hurt because someone or something has caused her father, to whom she is extremely close, to disappear. She misses and yearns for him, but no one, including her mother, can or will tell her anything about his mysterious disappearance. Authority figures, such as the school principal, urge her to give him up for dead, something she adamantly refuses to do.

So with the help of Charles Wallace with his uncanny powers, they meet three wonderful and mysterious figures – Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. This trinity helps them travel through space and time to the planet Camazotz where their father, a scientist, is held captive by the malign force IT, a pulsing brain that has brainwashed all the inhabitants into being identical automatons with no wills of their own. On Camazotz everyone is comatose; it is a place where everyone has given in, where everyone is alike and no differences are allowed. The brainwasher, IT, the ultimate tyrant, has convinced people to hand over their freedom and wills for a painless existence. It tells the children:

For you, as well as for all the rest of all the happy, useful people on this planet,
I, in my own strength, am willing to assume all the pain, all the responsibility, all
the burdens of thought and decision.

Although Charles Wallace, together with the planet’s entire population, succumbs to IT, who “sometimes calls Itself the Happiest Sadist,” Meg never does. She learns to say NO, to refuse IT, who is, as her father tells her, “completely unused to being refused.” She sees through IT’s lies. Mrs. Who’s advice to her jumps off the page:

Vitam impendere vero (to stake one’s life for the truth). That is what we must do.
That is what your father is doing.

She finds that what she considers her faults – her inability to pretend, her anger, her stubbornness – serve her in good stead; rather than being taken in by IT’s lies, she sees through IT and discovers the truth about herself and society.

In the end Meg discovers that she possesses great inner strength. Not only does she refuse to be manipulated, but she discovers that her anger and love and care for the truth are what she must rely on; that she must take responsibility for her own life; and that if she has courage, all things are possible.

Only a comatose adult could miss how apposite this book is to the group thinking that dominates our society today, the torrent of lies spewing forth from the pressitute media, and to the problems plaguing young people, who are engulphed by a sea of electronic garbage that is destroying their ability to think and concentrate.

“To stake one’s life for the truth” has never been a popular pursuit. Truth has always been given lip service as lies have flown out of mouths apace. Today the United States and all its satellite countries throughout the world have become societies of lies and liars, and unless many Meg Murrys come along, the future is dark indeed.

Parents need to wean themselves and their children off their addiction to the electronic drugs that have destroyed their ability to think and concentrate long enough to understand that IT (Information Technology? How prescient!) controls them.

If not, I’m afraid the game is up and everyone will be swallowed by the mindless drivel of the entertainment complex that reduces everyone and everything to one-dimensionality and political correctness masquerading as freedom.

In his great essay “The Storyteller,” Walter Benjamin long ago wrote:

Boredom is the dream bird that hatches the egg of experience. A rustling in the leaves drives him away. His nesting places – the activities that are intimately associated with boredom – are already extinct in the cities and are declining in the country as well. With this, the gift for listening is lost and the community of listeners disappears.

We need boredom today more than ever. Gift your children with this most creative of experiences by eliminating the electronic noise that is turning them into Camazotzians.

It might lead them into a book, a place where freedom waits to be hatched, and they may take flight into a life devoted to seeking and telling truth in a country of lies.

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Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Dec 29, 2019 11:10 AM

The mind’s capacity to create conflict for itself or to induce conflict in itself from the pain or unhappiness of others as yet not self-differentiated from – is the belief and fear of having BECOME or of actuality BEING hateful, guilty, worthless, dangerous, shameful, evil, worthless, flawed, inadequate, lacking, disgusting.

This separation trauma literally splits the mind – as part of a personal and social masking that persists patterns from past experience into a developing of their recycling in new forms or resolving to re-cognition or healing the split.

Freedom to traumatise ourselves – and thus teach and induce it in others – is indeed a lack of balanced relational responsibility. The giving away or assigning of what we do NOT want is the pushing or projecting of hateful or unworthy sense of self onto others or world – so as to mitigate and overcome or escape it in externalised representations of escaped and thus unconscious inner conflict. As long as the conditions fit the needs of the attempt to ‘escape or forget or overcome inner conflict’ the conflict operates AS the relational manipulation – which may be a mutual joining in the escape and denial of a ‘hateful’ or unworthy sense of life.

This can also take the roles of leader or protector and follower or protected – where each is reinforced by the other and both are in truth engaged in self-evasions of which they are unaware – having ‘given’ them to their world AS their desired and accepted reality.

The controls that hold such a world will come naturally from the core belief in order, security and defence against threat. But the COST of such a ‘worldview’ is the identity investment in conflict, and its fundamental self-separation under tyranny that seems survival’s necessity to an order ‘too big to risk the failure of’ – lest ‘chaos of intolerable trauma rise to destroy us, and so the evils that we evaded become revealed as the dictate of our own ‘defences’ whereby the seeming lesser evils, grow in their demand for the sacrifice of any fruit of the order they are supposed to bring or protect. In other words an increasingly insane or meaningless and joyless sense of self and life and relationship.

The breakdown of an ‘identity structure’ or worldview can take many forms – as the separation trauma can be any configuration of emotional expression and block – both. And can persist in attempts to regain or force identity assertions of more complex self-evasion according to the capacity to find or align in generating support to maintain it.

But what identifies us truly is not self-asserting conditional demands or expectations seeking gratification.

Our being or indeed the felt quality of our being moving freely and extending to our world and our relations identifies us – and our world truly.

The idea of a consciousness as a structure THROUGH which Life knows itself one in ever new perspectives – is the creative channel or willingness of an embracing, guiding and supporting inspiration.

The idea of a blocked channel is that of a ‘self-conscious’ conflicted inhibiting self-judgement that gets in its own way – assigns the dissonance to guilt and projects the guilt as a distortion of the flow of communication of being – to then draw a distorted and conflicted reaction and reflection in others and world.

Being true to ourself is not something that can be done from the self-inhibiting mind of possession and control. Nor can it be balanced in expression by the removal or breakdown of such controls.
The idea of an ‘inside job’ is of someone already within what we wish to unlock or uncover and release to its true expression and relational fulfilment. This is that quality of our true being that never left its source and nature and abides within, regardless of our discarding, covering over or forgetting – amidst the mess and dictates of multiple and conflicting demands on our life.

The willingness to discern or hear and recognise the true of being is inverse to our identity assertions and demands. That is to say, we have made or invoked a voice for the protection of our self-image or personal by which to learn, adapt and survive our ‘world’ – but it can not and does not know who we are – and nor in its identification, will we meet and be met in wholeness of being.

To be truly seen and to be truly heard is to be truly accepted – without conditions of strings attached.
If we want to be accepted and loved or known for who we are than we have to give this – instead of giving away a false sense of self in judgements that seem self-protective but actually operate against ourselves and others – insofar as others accept and believe them as true.

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 27, 2019 9:39 PM

Somebody below mentioned Harry Potter. Never read any of that. Probably never will. But have seen the movies. Very uneven. And not exactly heartening moralistically. Remember that one where the kids get to learn transformation by turning rats into goblets? One gets it wrong and ends up with a goblet with a twitching tail. Quite horrible. I can’t believe none of the kids spoke up with “Isn’t this cruel?”

If you really want a responsible fantasy for kids, try Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea books. Her prose is far superior (going by the rather condescending opening to the first HP book) and the morality more moral.

As for HP, here’s a guy worth listening to:

Loverat
Loverat
Dec 27, 2019 10:28 PM
Reply to  George Mc

Brilliant clip. Gosh is this guy a reincarnation of Jack Dee? So funny.

George Mc
George Mc
Dec 28, 2019 12:26 PM
Reply to  Loverat

You could also try his take on “Top Gear”. I won’t overburden Off-G with links. Just type in the relevant terms on You Tube.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Dec 27, 2019 12:37 AM

Reading is only part of the overall picture. Behind the book is a wealth of knowledge about language, history and social attitudes which help us understand who we are and how we got here. There’s a frustrating tendency to not just simplify language but Bowdlerize our literature these days, a tendency that’s leading us into a cultural wasteland that would be eerily familiar to dystopian views of society depicted in books such as “1984”.

Capricornia Man
Capricornia Man
Dec 26, 2019 11:29 PM

A wonderful article, Edward. So timely and important.

I believe it was Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul who said that an obsession with information technology is one of the hallmarks of a corporate state.

A generation is growing up which is incredibly ‘tech savvy’ (to use the in-term) but almost illiterate. Can
barely read, can’t concentrate long enough to read a paragraph, let alone a book.

It won’t be able to think critically or independently and is, as you suggest, an easy victim for the presstitute media.

The former public broadcasters have become state broadcasters and are relentlessly pushing the mind-numbing propaganda of the permanent corporate state. The performances of the BBC and the ABC in relation to the recent UK general election are examples of that.

In a world where lying, and lying-by-omission, have been normalised by the powerful and their servants in media and politics, good books and great art have a critical part to play in preserving our ability to think clearly and rationally. I’m spending part of the festive season listening to a newly restored collection of the recordings of one of the greatest conductors of classical music of the twentieth century. Profound performances of real music which are a blast of honesty against the barrage of corporate media noise.

Loverat
Loverat
Dec 26, 2019 10:02 PM

Superb, thought provoking article for anyone who has kids or youngsters in their family.

One of the best I’ve read here.

Edward – aside from the suggestions in the article, I wonder if you’d comment on what you would do if you had a young relative (11″year old), as I do who is disengaged from the traditional subjects (maths, science) but has an amazing imagination, creative ability and awareness of her surroundings. On one hand she has to knuckle down on her development areas but how to draw out this ability in a climate where creativity and free thinking is not encouraged?
I just think many kids like this get lost in the system their talents never utilised.

Gary Weglarz
Gary Weglarz
Dec 26, 2019 6:31 PM

“Vitam impendere vero (to stake one’s life for the truth)” – indeed words to live by.

This essay brings back many distant memories. Being 16 years old and attending high school in rural midwest America in 1968 with the assault on Vietnam in full force and vocal support for this madness a badge of one’s very important – patriotism.

In the few short years of my adolescence since JFK was assassinated in 1963, MalcolmX, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy had all been very publicly murdered. For a society that now required a professed belief in a “magic bullet” – simply asking questions about any of this was a sure sign of subversion. “America, love it or leave it” – was the phrase used to shut down thought, questions and debate. No teacher in my small world would dare suggest there were any “moral” or “ethical” questions to be asked about the war in Vietnam, or regarding the morality of serving in the U.S. military there.

Meanwhile Cassius Clay (to become Muhammad Ali) was becoming a conscientious objector giving up fame and fortune and his heavyweight boxing title to instead follow his conscience – explaining to the incredulous media jackals – “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong.” My parents respected such integrity, many in my family and around the nation did not, considering him essentially a traitor to the only acceptable group-think of the day.

Those last two years of high school were rather brutal for me psychologically. I fit in nowhere. Not at the sports “pep” rallies, and certainly not in supporting the war. I took my Catholic christian teachings so seriously that I planned to enter the seminary after graduation. Yet our local priest was a vocal supporter of the war in Vietnam. So much so that my father dubbed him, and referred to him within our home, as: “our Nazi priest.” My younger brother, exhibiting a bravery I lacked confronted our “Nazi priest” repeatedly during one of the catechism classes the priest taught. Eventually our “Nazi priest” made a home visit to inform my parents that my brother would henceforth be forever banned from catechism so heretical and disruptive to group-think was my brother’s reading and interpretation of – “thou shall not kill.”

There was a book that guided me through all this madness and in retrospect it is interesting that it was not the bible. In fact in only a few years I would leave Christianity and religion behind in my own evolving development as an independent thinking person. However, I doubt I would ever have reached such a stage of moral and intellectual independence without one particular book – “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau.

I carried “Civil Disobedience” with me everywhere during my last two years of high school. I felt naked and exposed somehow if I didn’t have my tattered copy of Thoreau’s classic discussion of our responsibility to our own conscience over what we found to be the immoral dictates of the State. I took it with me from classroom to classroom, week after week for almost two years. I read it and I reread it countless times, and then referenced and thought about it quite obsessively I must say. It spoke to me and to my evolving personhood in a way that required something of “me” and which refused to grant the easy answer – that I might somehow legitimately bow to the immoral dictates of the crowd, the Church, or the State.

In refusing to pay his Poll tax Thoreau was jailed. When he was visited in jail by his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson asked, “Henry, what are you doing in there?” To which Thoreau replied famously, “Waldo, the question is what are you doing out there?” Such moral clarity that was not subservient to either Church or State provided an anchor for me in those last few years of my intensive State indoctrination in the form of my high school – “education.”

I carried that copy of Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience with me everywhere. It was like a talisman of some sort, containing an almost mystical power, something, integrity perhaps, moral courage, something that helped me feel my own moral integrity and strength and clarity. So much so that by the end of my high school years, in spite of religion rapidly disappearing into the rear view mirror of my adolescence, I knew that no matter what, like Muhammad Ali, I would not be going to Vietnam no matter the consequence. I will forever be grateful to an assemblage of paper and ink – a “book” of all things – for helping me become a thinking, reasoning, feeling human being instead of another devoted pawn of Church and State.

In writing this post I “Googled” Thoreau’s book and the quote below is the second “comment” I found associated with reading it:

(“it was unacceptable for me. I’m a junior in college and we had to read this book for English and i did not understand one bit.”)

– surely enough to make one weep.

Thank you Ed Curtain. Your writing somehow always inspires both thought and feeling. I appreciate that deeply Ed.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Dec 26, 2019 7:37 PM
Reply to  Gary Weglarz

I believe that Muhammad Ali observed that ‘No Vietcong ever called me nigger’.

Gary Weglarz
Gary Weglarz
Dec 26, 2019 7:42 PM

Actually richard that specific quote can’t, it appears, really found in any records from what I can discern, though it is one I’ve referenced myself multiple times over the years. The quote I mentioned can be referenced to an interview, and I also remember it clearly from my youth, which is why I used it.

paul
paul
Dec 31, 2019 7:00 PM
Reply to  Gary Weglarz

Reminds me of the conventional wisdom about the 1936 Olympics.
Hitler was supposed to have stormed off in a tantrum when Jesse Owens won the first of his gold medals.
Hitler actually stood up and saluted Owens and applauded. He met Owens subsequently, and Owens carried a photograph of the meeting in his wallet, of which he was very proud. Hitler shook his hand, but no US president ever did.
When he got home, he was just another nigger. He said that the Nazis treated him a lot better than his own people ever did.

In 1944, a black US fighter pilot was shot down after strafing ground targets in France.
The Nazis treated him just the same as any white officer.
When he was repatriated after the war, US military police were waiting on the dockside. As he walked down the gangplank, they were bellowing, “Whites on the right, niggers on the left.”
Welcome home.

Gwyn
Gwyn
Dec 26, 2019 11:24 AM

One of my favourite books is called ”The Other Side of Eden.” It’s about the Inuit. The author (Hugh Brody) explains in it that there’s a very low incidence among the Inuit of mental-health problems such as anxiety, and that this is due to the fact that they’re always extremely honest with each other (to the point of what would appear to us to be brutal honesty, because we’re unaccustomed to being so frank with each other).

The book also contains many beautiful ideas about the way society can be organised, including the Inuit view on egalitarian individualism, in which there are no ”leaders” in the way we would recognise, but experts whose knowledge can be consulted.

It seems to me that a dose of this honesty and this mature outlook on life would do us the world of good.

Berlin beerman
Berlin beerman
Dec 26, 2019 3:44 PM
Reply to  Gwyn

Nunatsiavut – you can travel there today and see the Inuit as they exist today…. but don’t forget to bring your passport – even if your Canadian.

Labrador is a cool place to take a family vacation to see and explore.

Gwyn
Gwyn
Dec 26, 2019 4:01 PM
Reply to  Berlin beerman

I’d never heard of ”Our Beautiful Land” before. Thanks for that.

Oh, and thanks for reminding me that I need to renew my passport, too…

Antonym
Antonym
Dec 26, 2019 2:18 AM

No need to go overboard in the zero Internet direction. Screen time is just another form of addiction, this time playing with the mind instead of the body.
Youtube Kids is well filtered for junk, and my daughter puts it down after some time saying: “it’s enough”. Of course middle of the road stories pop up with the highest views and thus top of the choices, but it can be a good tool to lead into fully self chosen stories = books. It can also stimulate the urge to learn reading and writing.

Internet was best about decade ago when it was freer – of control / freeks and commerce.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Dec 26, 2019 3:39 AM
Reply to  Antonym

I think you are missing Dr. Curtin’s pedagogical Feudalism in that he directs his progeny with an elite enculturative educational process that is didactic. The flotsam & jetsam underclass like us just get mainstream media mass programming as though we are B.F. Skinners’ pigions as opposed to Dr. Curtin’s so-called ‘gifted’ progeny that received specialized instruction via an Ivy League pedagogical technocrat.

Dr. Curtin practices pedagogical hegemony, white supremacist Eugenics, and elitism via wealth transfer & Ivy League despotism.

MOU

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Dec 26, 2019 3:40 AM

I meant nepotism but if shoe fits wear it, man.

MOU

Jack_Garbo
Jack_Garbo
Dec 30, 2019 1:19 AM

Who disturbed this brat? If we stay quiet he’ll go away…

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Dec 30, 2019 1:44 AM
Reply to  Jack_Garbo

You must be on a binge as you are responding to five day old news articles that were dead threads four days ago. Look at the date of the thread, and how late you are to respond to the thread.

You have taken ‘down a rabbit hole’ to new realms, JackA$$.

MOU

Jack_Garbo
Jack_Garbo
Dec 30, 2019 1:59 AM

This guppy is so easy. Don’t even have to bait the hook. He’ll snap at anything. Neglected children need attention.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Dec 30, 2019 2:48 AM
Reply to  Jack_Garbo

All replies to anything I post goes automatically into my inbox email window of which I’m usually staring at around this time of night. I always respond to most antagonisms because it is obviously you that need the attention, and retort.

So you really tied on a major bender this time, eh, Jack_A$$?

How does it feel to be drunk for five days and lose all touch from reality to where you are posting to days old threads in hopes of antagonizing someone into conversing with you?

MOU

Jack_Garbo
Jack_Garbo
Dec 30, 2019 3:01 AM

The twerp reveals his incipient alcoholism and childish name calling. I don’t drink, don’t celebrate Xmas (non-Christian) and name people as they act. So, you have a drinking problem and are lonely. Explains a little.

KarenEliot
KarenEliot
Dec 26, 2019 10:43 AM
Reply to  Antonym

And of course glove puppets

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
Dec 25, 2019 11:58 PM

And poetry as well.
Because it can cut to the quick.
https://genius.com/Conor-oberst-a-little-uncanny-lyrics

KarenEliot
KarenEliot
Dec 26, 2019 10:42 AM
Reply to  Fair dinkum

Big thumbs up for Conor. At his best when channeling his anger e.g. Desparecidos. As are we all.

Gall
Gall
Dec 25, 2019 11:41 PM

An amazing story!

I remember walking down Sunset Blvd one day where practically everybody including those allegedly “driving” were captivated by their “smartphones” (i.e. smartphones for dumb people) and I just happened to notice some young teenage girl walking down the street reading a book!

A real book with a cover and pages! At that point I figured there was some secret subversive underground antiestablishment movement going on. Why wasn’t this girl’s face buried in an iPhone like every one else? Now this article proves what I’ve been suspecting is true!

Seriously though there are so many good books and so little time to read it seems but we can try before they ban and burn them such as in Bradbury’s dystopian future Fahrenheit 451.

Mark D Birdsall
Mark D Birdsall
Dec 25, 2019 11:31 PM

Give them The Lord of the Rings. That’s what taught me those lessons. CS Lewis’ Narnia books also almost as good

anonymous bosch
anonymous bosch
Dec 25, 2019 10:26 PM

This is a deeply moving piece of writing through which the humanity of the author shines through. We need to reclaim our humanity in an inhumane world – but first of all we must cultivate the belief that we can all become beacons of light in this darkness – ultimately it is the conquest of evil by all that is good.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Dec 26, 2019 7:39 PM

Put your money on Evil-at least you know it’s trying.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Dec 25, 2019 10:24 PM

It is possible that Professor Curtin’s grandchildren will benefit by his enriched scholastic instruction early on in childhood but then again I am certain that secondary & tertiary education will most assuredly destroy their souls & sense of self before they get a chance to be the individualists that Professor Curtin hypothesizes they will be.

I know how much my university professors tried to instill a sense of lack of agency in all grads by the time they were writing their theses. We all know how the enculturative process works in reality, Professor Curtin. Can we imagine you will negotiate their seats in the finest elite schools that Ivy League money can buy in approximately 15 years?

I should think costs of favouritism would be estimated at approximately $10 million USD at that juncture if we are to follow the trend of inflation & tertiary ed, eh.

MOU

Willem
Willem
Dec 25, 2019 9:28 PM

You can even get more mainstream and it doesn’t even require reading. Singing can do just as well.

This Elton John song is very much liked and that includes by people of which I know that they have absolutely no interest in politics whatsoever

Still, they hate the place where the dogs of society howl (politicians, careerists, businessmen) and prefer the plough (working, thinking, getting along with yourself and your fellow men) over the penthouse (our society of mind numbing distraction, totally out of touch with nature).

In 1984, in one of the rare moments that Orwell describes that Winston Smith is happy, is when Winston hears a woman sing (‘It struck him as a curious fact that he had never heard a member of the Party singing alone and spontaneously. It would even have seemed slightly orthodox, a dangerous excentricity, like talking to oneself.’) And even though that song is (sometimes) ‘dreadful rubbish’ (similar to Elton John’s song, for what is ‘a horny back toad’), it has elements in it that makes the song to be remembered and sang again and again by people.

People are more alike than we are supposed to think. They are constantly trying to find ways to go beyond the yellow brick road.

Of course I am talking about

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DDOL7iY8kfo

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Dec 26, 2019 4:39 AM
Reply to  Willem

Bernie Taupin

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Dec 26, 2019 7:40 PM
Reply to  Willem

Reading aloud to yourself for a while each day is quite beneficial, too.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Dec 26, 2019 7:40 PM

Not the ‘newspapers’ of course.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Dec 25, 2019 8:27 PM

Lovely essay Edward. Merry Christmas to you and family.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Dec 25, 2019 7:21 PM

Soren Kierkegaard was abused by his caregiver in later adulthood. He was so blinded by his own existentialism that he failed to notice his abuser before it was too late.

Kierkegaard was an existential navel gazer with little awareness of his surroundings. And don’t forget to tell the kids that Orwell worked for the man, man.

MOU

Berlin beerman
Berlin beerman
Dec 25, 2019 7:03 PM

Please stay within your comfort zone……something that books like Harry Potter preach. How many children read these books ? Complete trash.

Reading the right books is key, just like living in the proper environment – meaning country, people, diet, learning, etc. Its actually quite simple to do however people are afraid to let go, constantly seeking order and being led to what appears as order when nature and the universe teaches the just the opposite.

Its through disorder that we achieve – well to some extent – the order.

Watching from a distance – when your society decides that it needs schools to be designed to minimize deaths in the event of a shooter…..what you call shooter architecture, you know its just too late.

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle
Dec 25, 2019 6:48 PM

It’s almost a form of abuse if youngsters do not to experience the immersive bliss of being locked into the thrilling world of page turning childrens stories.

Reading is not only an essential means of gaining full access to the culture you inhabit but a way of connecting with other readers made more curious by the power of writer’s imagination.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Dec 25, 2019 6:26 PM

The state is supposed to crush the will & creativity of children, Ed. That is their fiduciary duty & existential purpose. Polluting the minds of the youth early on is important for development in later life.

MOU

Barovsky
Barovsky
Dec 25, 2019 6:15 PM

Excellent Edward!