Thursday, March 22, 2007

117 Months

I suppose you could call this a journal entry.

For 117 months out of my childhood I had to sit in a classroom for close to eight hours a day. I didn’t have a choice about this; it was the law of the State of Wisconsin. And my parents couldn’t home school me because they were wage slaves.

I’m 32 years old now. And now that I’m in my thirties I’m really starting to realize and wake up to the effects of that 13 year process of schooling. Ran Prieur puts this well here:

I think the answer is that power isn't actually being taken but being blocked, in nonhumans by simply killing them and in humans by socialization that begins in infancy, punishing people for having a will of their own, for being aware, for channeling any bottom-up power, until by age 30 most of us are barely alive, almost as Philip K. Dick wrote: "Not a person but a sort of walking, hiding symptom of their way of life."

I’m reading A Language Older Than Words probably for about the fourth time. The book just keeps getting better the more times I read it. These two small sections jumped out at me this time around.

In order for us to maintain our way of living, we must, in a broad sense, tell lies to each other, and especially to ourselves. It is not necessary that the lies be particularly believable. The lies act as barriers to truth. These barriers to truth are necessary because without them many deplorable acts would become impossibilities. Truth must at all costs be avoided. When we do allow self-evident truths to percolate past our defenses and into our consciousness, they are treated like so many hand grenades rolling across the dance floor of an improbably macabre party. We try to stay out of harm’s way, afraid they will go off, shatter our delusions, and leave us exposed to what we have done to the world and to ourselves, exposed as the hollow people we have become. And so we avoid these truths, these self-evident truths, and continue the dance of world destruction. pg.2

He had a point. Newspapers lying to serve their own interests go back as far as newspapers themselves. The turn-of-the-century historian Henry Adams put it as clearly as possible” The press is the hired agent of a monied system, and set up for no other purpose than to tell lies where the interests are involved.”

Newspapers manifest the culture as a whole. Just as it is true that any father who would crush a child’s will would not be able to speak of it honestly, so, too, a culture that is snuffing out life on the planet would necessarily lie and dissemble to protect itself from the truth. Environmentalists lie, industrialists lie, newspapers lie. Parent’s lie, children lie. We all lie, and we are all afraid. Afraid to not know what is going on, and even more afraid of finding out. The opposite is true as well. Honest discourse is the first and most important step in stopping destruction. Pg.68

This is one of the main reasons I had to sit through all those hours in a classroom being cut off from beautifual and dynamic community of life. It was to perpetuate the lies!

Now I’m going to go sit quietly in the woods and listen to birdsong. Something I should have been doing over twenty years ago, or at least playing out there.

Why oh why wasn’t there someone around in my community to offer something like an Invisible school?

I hate this culture.

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