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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Horror story

While digging through old pennies with the kids the last couple of evenings, I've been trying to teach them a little history as we sort them out by decades. "That one's from the year you were born." "This one's older than Mom." "That's the year there was a big war," etc.

Tonight as I came across a 1984, I tried to think of how to tell them about George Orwell's novel, what it was trying to warn people about, how a lot of it didn't come to pass by 1984, but some of it did, and now even more troublesome things have happened. But I decided it was too heavy a story for them yet, and went with something like "They made a lot of pennies in the 1980s, because they changed the metal and people were keeping all the old ones." Which I'm pretty sure is true.

A little later, a reader sent me a link to this news item, which makes me think that maybe I had better get onto the Orwell topic with the kids pretty soon.

Comments (5)

Which all reminds me that soemone blew Tooth Fairy duty last night. Hope to find out this is yet one more reason why God invented Moms.

One of the major ways kids are knocked off-track up is by parents trying to shield them from the real world outside the family home; for example, bigotry is taught by parental edict stating some 'type' of humankind is inferior, and bad, whereas the 'type' the child is is superior and a better 'class' of person -- for instance, see LIARS Larson's upbringing and parental dogmatism.

The other way to treat kids is to allow and provide them exposure to the real world, and real world statements and events, then ADD the parental statements and guided events counterposed, side-by-side, and then give help and license to children to ken the difference themselves and adopt a preferred view themselves.

I mean, you, me, we all figured it out, and got it 'right,' ourselves, and we were children and mostly still are now (children).

About '1984,' it seems quite young children understand and recognize that lies and deceits exist, are in the real world, so it could be in that category that children readily 'get it' that a person saying something, (LIARS: "I don't hate myself"), while in fact doing the exact opposite, (every day LIARS rationalizes his antisocial psychosis as fair resort for his personal disadvantage in lacking information and failed world comprehension or faulty judgment of character, human nature), is a plain case to be filed in 'lies and deceits' which children already know exists. So in '1984': War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. -- those false tautologies are lies.

As for the newspaper article, saying that Texas government and Texans are above and do not have to obey the laws in America, is a lie.

Jack - The way I see it, you have a couple of options. One is to introduce them to Animal Farm, the kinder/gentler Orwell that kids can grasp. The message there is that "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

The other option is to start reading from the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as it was in effect when many of those pennies were minted. Aside from you/me and about 12 other tax geeks, I'm not sure anyone could grasp that badboy. The message there was that "all animals are equal, but the more equal animals will pay in the 90% bracket."

Whether you find it in an Orwell book or the tax code, life isn't fair. Shielding kids from life's inequities isn't a bad thing.

BTW - I love the "conspiraloon" call in the comments on the article.

Just pass the soma....

Hitchens, Goodbye to All That: Why Americans Are Not Taught


And God bless Howard Zinn.

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