never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

middle schools

synopsis: all 11-14 year olds in this country are out of control, even (especially?) rich kids.

1900-1931: if you got to go to school, you sat in a class with 60 other immigrants. as far as the school was concerned, you weren't that much different from the other irish (or italian, or polish, etc) kid down the block, so if you didn't want to be there, they were happy to give your half of a seat to someone else.

1932-1944: when you weren't at school, you were collecting tin or growing tomatoes in the backyard. your teacher graded you on your penmanship well into semi-adulthood.

1945-1968: you were wearing a uniform and you weant to church every sunday. your dad beat your ass even in the absence of a good reason for doing so. acting mildly moody and disaffected was enough make you a serious iconoclast.

1968-1996: you were aware that the adults in your life ultimately had nothing on you, but you kept it to a minimum because the lurking threat of parental violence still held water for your generation.

1996-present: anarchy, backed up by lawsuits from your self-righteous parents.

i'm with ben - the new avante-garde is civility. you live in a society. tell me when we can get this started.

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