It’s called doubling down. First, a teacher at the Park Elementary School in Baltimore flips out, because 7-year-old Josh Welch bites his strawberry tart, trying to make it look like a mountain—but it ends up looking (sort of) like a gun. The teacher reports Josh, who is then suspended for two days.
Now, an assistant principal at the school has sent a letter to parents offering counseling to kids who may have been upset by the incident. I kid you not. “…If your children express that they are troubled by today’s incident…our school counselor is available to meet with any students who have the need to do so…”
What happens when a little kid shows up in the counselor’s office and says he’s angry at the lunatic teacher who upbraided Josh Welch? Does the school suspend that little kid, too?? Does the counselor try to convince the kid he was really upset because he saw a danish bitten into a few right angles?
“You see, Jimmy, this is classic case of displacement. You think you’re bothered by the teacher. But really, it was that tart. Do you get it? Your agitation may be sign of ADHD. I’m going to refer you to a psychiatrist. He can give you medicine. It’ll make you feel better.”
Park Elementary school isn’t retreating from their suspension of Josh Welch. They’re doubling down. And what are the parents of the students doing ? Nothing. They’re knuckling under. They’re shrugging it all off. Why? Let’s see. Oh yes. They’re rank cowards.
And do you think their kids realize that? Are you kidding? Of course they do. The kids are registering how easily their mothers and fathers are copping out. The kids see there’s a robot-setup at work. The school does something that makes no sense at all. A kid is being punished for no reason at all. And the parents are taking it. The parents are mush.
It’s all a joke, yes. The strawberry tart. The gun shape. But beyond that, the two-day suspension of Josh Welch wasn’t a joke. And nobody cares.
This is the real lesson the school is imparting. “See, we can do anything we want to. We can do the most ridiculous thing in the world. And nobody will lift a finger to stop us.”
Now the kids think, “What else can we be suspended for? Suppose we don’t like those tarts and don’t eat them? Can they kick us out for that? If a shoe lace is untied? Can one of the prison guards report us to the principal?”
Good work, parents. You’re teaching your children invaluable lessons. You’re showing them all sorts of things. A few of you are even asking your kids, “Were you upset by the strawberry tart gun? If you were, you can go to the school counselor and tell her how you feel.”
And that look your kid is then giving you? That stare? Do you know what it means? It means he’s lost faith in you. He knows. He knows you have no courage. He knows you have no balls. He knows you’re useless when it comes time to stand up and be counted. He knows you preach one thing but do another. He knows you don’t really care.
At that point, he can do one of two things. He can grow up to be just like you, which you understand, at some level, is a terrible choice. Or he can go the other way and opt for the courage of his convictions, in which case you’ve lost him. He’ll never be as close to you as he was.
You can’t like either choice, if you have the guts to think about it. But you don’t have the guts, do you? You made your own choices a long time ago. You surrendered.
“Oh, well,” you say, “this is foolish. It was just a stupid little episode with a pastry. Ha-ha. Everybody knows it’s silly.” Yes, they do. But it’s moments like this that change things.
Kids aren’t as stupid as you are. They look around, they size up what’s happening, and they come to conclusions. They make and break their own futures based on what they conclude.
You parents could come together and march into the school and into the office of the school board and say, “Enough.” You could threaten to pull your kids out Park Elementary and put a serious crimp in the school’s state and federal funding.
Better yet, you could yank your kids out of Park and start your own school. Or you could home school.
But that would be inconvenient, wouldn’t it? You’re so busy these days, and the school baby-sits for five hours a day.
And it was just a pastry. Why get riled up? This, too, shall pass. Yes, everything always passes. But in the wake of those moments, subterranean decisions are made. No, its not like a war with bombs falling. No, it’s not mass starvation. But where you live, it’s real. It happened. And you skated. You closed your eyes and thought about something else.
You’re good at that. Most of your kids will become good at it, too. And that’s what you want for them, isn’t it? The ability to skate and slide and glide past what we used to call Character.
Character is old-fashioned. It doesn’t exist anymore. It’s an ideal that doesn’t fit into today’s world, because we have no more individuals. We only have groups and communities, and in that atmosphere other traits are valued.
The traits you’ve cultivated. You’ve been imparting the substance of your lesson plans to your kids ever since they could crawl. And now, when the school provides you with the opportunity to break out and wake up and turn it all around, you do the predictable thing. You step away.
Do you want to know where all this leads? You don’t, but I’ll tell you anyway. The population of this country will melt down into one great glob of goo. This collective will look to whatever is defined as leadership, and the collective will follow along without hesitation.
Chances are good your child will be a molecule of that Unity. So congratulations. You’ve made your statement. You’ve succeeded with all your adjustments to reality.
The tart that wasn’t a gun and didn’t look anything like a gun was a gun. Ignorance is strength. 2 plus 2 equals five. Bad is good. You’re a teacher. You’re hired. You’re in. When you think about it, the school is doing exactly what you want it to, isn’t it? Secretly, you approve.
I’m not talking about tarts or guns now. I’m talking about that Something you gave in to many years ago. You may not be able to name it, but you know what it is. You worship it every day of your life. You may go to church on Sunday, but this Something is what you really bow down to.
It’s really very mild. It’s pleasing, in a way. It puts you in the driver’s seat, as long as you agree to allow the car to drive itself. It’s more automatic than any gun ever invented. It pings your nervous system and your brain. You receive the signal and you do what’s expected of you. And therefore you fit in. You have your place. And really, it doesn’t matter what particular action or what particular silence is expected of you. It only matters that you go along.
The school issues its edict, and you must follow. The more absurd the edict, the more significant the test. That’s the point. How can the system be checked unless it gives absurd commands? You understand that crucial point and you concur.
It’s not enough to ring a bell and see a dog drool because he expects to be fed. That’s just step one. Anyone can accomplish that. You need to ring the bell and have the dog drool because he’s been taught the moon is made of cheese or a tart is a gun. Then you really have something.
And this is what you want. You want to feel the security that comes from knowing the system is tight and fully operative from top to bottom. It can make ANY command and people will respond as expected.
Then your worship of obedience is vindicated. You know everyone else is on the same page. There are no leaks. You were right all along. This is the only way to live life.
The author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com