Breath
Spoons Editorial
Posted by Spoonman on 01/31/04.

And it was unfortunate that they caught me with a spare moment - a spare moment when the adrenaline was flowing through my veins.

Usually I am not inclined to this sort of thing, but to quote one of my role models*, I rarely suffer fools gladly. It is, in fact, a pretty big flop to place one's faith in the ideals that are taught in our elementary schools. First, it is nothing short of childish to say "there would be no wars" as a result of people "doing unto others what they would have done unto themselves." Whoever thinks this obviously has no perception of the complex differences behind the ideologies of nations, or the causes of some of their most fundamental problems. Does "loving our neighbor" mean sacrificing our own success at the expense of others? Does it mean the Palestinians have to sacrifice their forefathers' land so that a relocated tribe of Jews has somewhere to stay while they wait for their Messiah to come? Happiness is not universal; it is subjective. Your last statement was probably the most accurate: "a utopia which will never be achieved." I have no idea what the reference to suicide bombers in Central Park is supposed to illustrate, except maybe a further breach of your own credibility as a free thinker.

Self esteem is probably one of the most overrated concepts of the late twentieth century, akin to cancer and electric cars - a hoax of ridiculous proportions. If a child is taught that everyone is/should be happy, and that there is no shame in losing - or even worse - if the child is not exposed to the concept of loss, then the world becomes a very harsh reality indeed. The fact of the matter is, people do try to step on each other; they have responsibilities and expectations placed on them, and if they do not realize why they are not being coddled, they fail miserably.
I will present to you an example in real terms that you may be able to relate to. As a sixth former, I see a lot of deterioration in the upcoming classes - lack of motivation, lack of respect for the faculty - a general downturn in overall quality. They are simply students I cannot imagine seeing around New Haven (except maybe the residential part hehehe) or anywhere else for that matter. The classes with which I find fault were the first products of the new administration at the elementary school which feeds into our highschool - an administration that changed the tone, so to speak, from that of strictness and high expectations to one that put heavy emphasis on things like sharing, caring, nurturing, and the like. As school is a child's first taste of the real world, I always suspected that it was wrong to make it too much like what home is for. School is essentially a job, or if you cannot view it that way, a machine. It's purpose is to transform those who enter it into people who will be respectful and just (although I'm not sure how you can treat someone with integrity.) I will say without trying to disguise it that I blame the downturn in the quality of the incoming classes almost entirely on the altered attitude at the elementary school level. Strictness teaches us to know our own bounds, and deal with others accordingly. This "sharing culture," destroys our nature. Where is the social advancement in telling a child that it is ok if he or she performed a sum or spelled a word incorrectly, or any other incident of the rancid destruction of the advancement of society by watering down what is required to be considered a worthwhile person? Where do you get off telling me that my future child, has some sort of obligation to share with a child whose parents have expectations that are so much lower, who took narcotics, experimented with free love, didn't complete algebra until the 11th grade, didn't go to college, and don't even have the means to understand why?

And on a purely aesthetic topic, the Lord of the Flies is an excellent book that shows us that IT IS OUR HUMAN NATURE to form warring societies, some democratic, some totalitarian, and the shear fact of the matter that a group of INNOCENT schoolboys went from pure, sharing, caring, into such poles of hatred when left to their own devices is proof of this which you would have recognized IF YOU UNDERSTOOD THE BOOK.

For someone who claims to "hate everyone, A-Z" and wants to put down the creation of literature that speaks out against your happy, ideal little world, I only have a few words. The Na... nevermind. I'll just say that I wish you'd cite some examples of all those Romantic writers talking about the childlike ideal, and I have yet to meet a five year old who "loves the anomolies [sic] of society." For a child, why the government doesn't just buy us all presents is an anomaly. Perhaps you wonder the same thing, however, this is a state to which I do not wish to return. I'm also not sure how you might "grasp the acceptance" of something, but here is an interesting statistic: since Michael Jackson became white, crime has fallen and people with college educations or pursuing higher education of any sort have have increased in number. Trailer park trash? Do you hate the poor too? If you want to be an Epicure, go pound amphetemines, or find some other way to enjoy this elusive universal happiness. I don't want a nap every after noon, and while I enjoy my mom's cookies, I happen to hate milk. Milk...maybe you picked it because it's WHITE like all your friends. Like all the "happy" people. You know, a poster is a great place to learn the meaning of life. Maybe I'll just stop going to church. How about instead of daydreaming and picking the lint of your black shirts, you learn how to complete the square, pass your math class, and lay off touchy feely stuff.

Gregor - we are the priestly caste.

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Spoonman @ 01/31/04
"I also have problems with the fact that this got billing over me in the listing under Kraut and Junk. I want top, or very bottom."


Spoonman @ 01/31/04
"The asterisk refers to an international investor speaking to an HBS student who had the gall to disagree with him."


FreakBurrito @ 01/31/04
"This stuff fuels the soul."


SaraH @ 02/01/04
"You assert her unfamiliarity with diversity. Is this fact or merely a preconceived notion?"


Spoonman @ 02/01/04
"Let's call it an 'a posteriori judgement'"


SaraH @ 02/01/04
"I see. I dunno, Spoon, this article looks a whole lot like, "I think I'm so good at making arguments that I am going to impress everyone by making an arument about a situation I know nothing about." I'm not sure you've fooled me."


Spoonman @ 02/01/04
"SaraHHH you have no idea what you're talking about. "Preconceived notion"? I was going to give you the benefit of the doubt for that one, but in all honesty, what you think is not worth my disdain."


Spoonman @ 02/01/04
"I fail to see exactly what it is I know nothing about...just like the object of this post, I was being more than a little obsequious, though I still don't regret any of it."


SaraH @ 02/01/04
"Yay. Good for you...it's all that matters anyway."


Spoonman @ 02/01/04
"hehe...yeah"


janedoe @ 02/01/04
"Relocated or RECLAIMING what belongs and is completely owed to us? (That point you made sucked.)"


Spoonman @ 02/02/04
"hey I might as well be Jewish too."


Spoonman @ 03/03/07
"The original post: I sit in the front row of my algebra class and everyday, so as not to look at my teacher's beamy,toothless face, I stare at the poster on the door which is titled "Everything I need to Know I learned in Kindergarten." This is the new anthem of my soul. The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you'd have done to you. If everyone did this, social workers would have no job (everyone would have self esteem since there was no bully in junior high to tear them off their pedestal by sticking their head in a toilet), there would be no more wars (how would G. Dubya Bush feel about a bunch of suicide bombers killing Americans in not only the Middle East, but in oh say...Central Park), There would be no class struggle, no racial barriers, but only a utopia...which will never be achieved. Call me the Martin Luther King Jr., but why can't we all just get along? Don't get me wrong, I hate most everyone A-Z, I hate everyone equally as well, but I am working towards over coming this hate. The first step to recovery is defeating denial. If we treated other people with the respect, justice, and integrity that we'd like to recieve, why we'd never have the creation of novels like Lord of the Flies or newsreports of murder and rape, just peace, love, and hair grease. The innocence of a child, held in high esteem of Romantic writers, hippies, and my Dad, is something that we should try to achieve before we bite the big one and go up to meet Heysouse. Five year olds have life down to a science: they hold no grudges, they are all accepting little cherubs (despite the few bellyachers.) They love the anomolies of society. The fact that we have to tell them not to talk to strangers does show their naive ways, but they are only naive due to the shape that society has forged itself into. We need to grasp the wonder, awe, and acceptance of our younger years to ensure that America does not crash and burn in a fire of video games, Michale Jackson, and trailer park trash. The life style of a child in kindergarten is ideal: a nap every afternoon, cold milk and warm cookies, games that teach sharing and selflessness, and lessons of life through the death of a seed in a styrofoam cup. If we lived are lives by the Golden Rule and incorperated these ideas, we would all be cheery, perky, and basically HAPPY. To think, I learned the meaing of life from a poster (which I credit heavily) today instead of 'completing the square'. My square is complete."



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