Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

It’s the end of the world as we know it, but I don’t feel fine!

Stating that the world’s gone to hell coming from a neo-atheist such as myself seems almost a hyperbolised comment. But here’s the deal: I’m sitting in today’s staff meeting at the junior high school where I teach, and our principal is giving us the skinny on a group of students who have been suspended. One of these twelve year olds pulled a knife on one other twelve year old Friday and then, on Tuesday, the same offending twelve year old and a couple of his mates attacked the same kid, getting him to the ground and laying in with their feet. Honestly, this whole situation could’ve been lifted from the log book at one of my squad briefings when I worked in a federal maximum security prison! Adding further sensationalism to the scene, there was a shooting in a Montreal college where one victim was killed and twenty other’s wounded before the police killed the shooter, and a similar situation today down in the U.S. as a school!

Every day I see a whole lot of children who come from families who don’t give a damn, and observe them making the transitions from victim to predator, and I know that it is many of the kids that I’m trying to save today that will be attempting to sell drugs to my daughter in 8-9 years time. Man, I grew up in a pretty poor neighbourhood and yet what we had in terms of trouble can’t hold a candle to what’s coming down today in our communities. I don’t know where we should be laying blame – there’s so much to choose from ranging from the deterioration of the family unit because both parents need to work to pay the bills, whether it’s the cult clowns we call celebrities and the crap they espouse, violent video games – certainly these are all factors. I hate to sound like the parents of my generation who blamed crime and suicides on the evil music of Ozzy Osbourne and Iron Maiden, because, examining these artists proves the label false. Jay-Z, G-Unit, etc. is a different story – Ja Rule and his Murder Inc. and all this mythical gangsta shit has far more credence in contributing to the fall of western civilisation.

As a teacher, my heart breaks every day as I see students digging themselves deeper into a hole. Sure, it’s not all doom and gloom, despite the tone of my missive here, but as a parent and someone who believes in the power of youth I am overcome with both melancholy and fear. The whole things is so ugly: the choice of continuously reading and hearing about horrendous acts performed by young folks, or the fear of living under the rules that someone in the political elite deems necessary to have some kind of control. Curfews, censorship and police states aren’t the answer, nor is preaching religion and other propagandist hypocrisies. We do need to take back our communities and our schools and our cities and make them safe. We do need repercussions and a justice system as opposed to the largely legal system we now pay homage to. We need to educate and stop empowering groups by making excuses for how their ancestors were taught or if they came from a shitty family. Essentially, from my experiences in the Correctional Service and through years of travel and social examination, can conclude that we are empowering others to be hooligans, failing to support a cure by providing a crutch to keep people dependent. The problems – the real problems – never really get addressed because we are bound by political correctness or are so far gone that we’ve left our thinking with all the obscure dates we had to learn back in grade school. Crazy when we spend a fortune on armies to help others in distant lands when we have so many problems at home – how many hot lunch or after school programs could a tomahawk missile buy?

I’m also troubled at how many folks have wardrobes made up largely of camouflage these days. Look at a Bass Pro or Cabela’s catalogue at the camo pj’s, drapes and bedding and ask yourself if this isn’t playing a role in how the minds of the next generation are developing? Kids want this shit, but it’s parents who buy it – think about it. I guess that this is the problem: everyone pretty much can breed, but not everyone can raise a family. Myth buster: parents, raising your children is your job! Teachers are there to facilitate cognitive development – we’re life skills and thinking coaches, so you need to do your part and sitting them in front of the television or video games are not the solution to the rest of their waking hours!

It’s the end of the world as we know it, but I don’t feel fine!


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