I studied PHILOSOPHY, and I never thought it marked me as much, but it did. Now I’m thinking between posting about The New New Deal (an article by Imprimis), Last Child in the Woods, a book by Richard Louv, in conjunction to the previous post about Deschooling Society (click to read for free), OR THE WORLDCUP!
But even soccer has its own psychology and philosophy, scenic fright, demoralization, teem effort, not giving up or giving up, the violence or fair play, aesthetics, the winner complex, the looser complex, different styles and approaches, good/bad referees,…in one word, WE LOST AGAINST SWITZERLAND, bu ah bu ah bu ah! And the MATH, ah, the math…8 groups of 4 teams, a first round in which each of the four teams plays the others and the two teams per group with more points advance, and if they draw in points you consider the goal average…well, a whole statistic, combination and calculus exercise.
A child on the streets of New York never touches anything which has not been scientifically developed, engineered, planned, and sold to someone. Even the trees are there because the Parks Departmente decided to put them there. The jokes the child hears on television have been programmed at a high cost. The refuse with which he plays in the streets of Harlem is made of broken packages planned for somebody else. Even desires and fears are institutionally shaped. Power and violence are organized and managed: the gangs versus the police. Learning itself is defined as the consumption of subject matter, which is the result of researched, planned, and promoted programs. It would be foolish to demand something which some institution cannot produce. The child of the city cannot expect anything which lies outside the possible development of institutional process. Even his fantasy is prompted to produce science fiction. He can experience the poetic surprise of the unplanned only through his encounter with “dirt”, blunder, or failure: the orange peel in the gutter, the puddle in the street, the breakdown of order, program, or machine are the only take-offs for creative fancey. “Goofing off” becomes the only poetry at hand.
Nature is imperfectly perfect, filled with loose parts and possibilities, with mud and dust, neetles and sky, transcendent hands-on moments and skinned knees. What happens when all the parts of childhood are soldered down, when the young no longer have the time or space to play in their family’s garden, cycle home in the dark with the stars and moon iluminating their route, walk down through the woods to the river, lie on their backs on hot July days (not in Australia) in the long grass, or watch cockleburns, lit by morning sun, like bumblebees quivering on harp wires? What then?
(…) Nature -the sublime, the harsh, and the beautiful- offers something that the street or gated community or computer game cannot. Nature presents the young with something so much greater than they are; it offers and environment where they can easily contemplate infinity and eternity. A child can, on a rare clear night, see the stars and perceive the infinite from a rooftop in Brooklyn.
I still owe you that post on the article titled THE NEW NEW DEAL by Imprimis publication, but it’s going to be for another time. Now I’m back to preparing materials for teaching Bible class next week, and to go to our splash park with our friends.