Wee Frill


The fourth lesson I teach is emotional dependency. By stars and red checks, smiles and frowns, prizes, honors, and disgraces, I teach kids to surrender their will to the predestinated chain of command. Rights may be granted or withheld by any authority without appeal, because rights do not exist inside a school – not even the right of free speech, as the Supreme Court has ruled – unless school authorities say they do. As a schoolteacher, I intervene in many personal decisions, issuing a pass for those I deem legitimate and initiating a disciplinary confrontation for behavior that threatens my control. Individuality is constantly trying to assert itself among children and teenagers, so my judgments come thick and fast. Individuality is a contradiction of class theory, a curse to all systems of classification.

Here are some common ways in which individuality shows up: children sneak away for a private moment in the toilet on the pretext of moving their bowels, or they steal a private instant in the hallway on the grounds they need water. I know they don’t, but I allow them to “deceive” me because this conditions them to depend on my favors. Sometimes free will appears right in front of me in pockets of children angry, depressed, or happy about things outside my ken; rights in such matters cannot be recognized by schoolteachers, only privileges that can be withdrawn, hostages to good behavior.

6 Replies to “Wee Frill”

  1. Wow, does this open my eyes. I have been wondering how come so many of my fellow “Yanks” have such an affection for “facism” lately.
    Our education system indoctrinates us during our tender years so that we are preprared for “the system” in our adulthood. How sinester!
    We used to apply the same system at the psychiatric hospital I worked at. If patients were “good” , we would reward them with at walking pass,
    or special snacks. In the US, you get a tax break and and a SUV. Halleluja!

  2. Again, this fellow seems to me to be pointing out the bloody obvious. “Our social order stifles individuality! GRRR!” Well buddy, humans are primates, and primates function within a social system that rewards strength and dominance and pushes down weakness. Anyone who’s spent any time on a school yard knows that.

    Read Desmond Morris’ ‘The Naked Ape’ and you’ll see. Yes, it really, really, sucks for those at the bottom but I think the first step in subverting these ‘evil’ human traits is by acknowledging that they exist. They hold us in their sway but we can overcome them if we understand them and the reasons they’re there.

    Again, the churchie crowd is repulsed by the notion that we may be cousins to the poo-flinging ape and reject the notion of a hard-wired human nature. That’s why they’re constantly making rules the rabble can’t live up to. That’s how THEIR very HUMAN social system works. “Follow our rules! Oh wait, you can’t? Well you’re inferior! Down the social ladder with you?”

    The same with other human organizations, i.e. school. My solution is to recognize our animal nature THEN we’ll be able to build on top of that a human system that really is fair. Once again we’re playing a game, life, that few know the rules too. We blame the dice instead of finding and reading the rule book.

    “I ain’t no Monkey’s uncle! They’s aminals an’ i’z a man! Now where’ them Negroes we need to lynch!”

    Those people think they know the meaning of life when its ME that knows everything!

    Now eat your vegetables.

  3. Yeah I used to have a copy of Naked Ape when I was like, 20 or something. Like so many books I didn’t finish it.
    Anyway, sometimes I wonder, if I were educated in a one-on-one, classless environment, would that have not prepared me for the social ‘caste order’ that exists in the workplace? Because really, apart from reality tv shows, I haven’t been much exposed to the bullying and social scrutiny that I had to deal with in high school. I mean it still exists, I see it day to day on the bus or other gatherings of people (not so much bullying as just judgments being made), but I wonder if it’s something that can be avoided, or if it’s something that would worsen, by drastically changing the public education system. Here I am not talking about the hard chain of command with teachers & faculty, so much as the loose but more emotionally visceral chain of command among the students. Clearly I need to read more of this book.

Comments are closed.