Today I decided to open the electronic version of the knitting circle at the high school, aka SAMO. It was early in the morning, the issue in question had already six responses. "It must be something really serious," you may wonder. You bet. A divorced parent went to pick up her two teens at a house that has a pool and a jacuzzi. The other parent had dropped the kids there. Neither really knew this horrible family, who were inside while the kids were enjoying themselves in their full underwear!
One parent in the electronic SAMO offered paralegal services. Another wanted to know more, hey, I want to know more and maybe have some fun over there, too.
These are 13-15 year-old kids. More damage is done making them feel bad about their bodies than letting them have fun in a jacuzzi. We are no longer in Kansas, Doh-Doh, we are in Santa Monica, the north side. If you are a prude, go check out who your kid is hanging out with. Maybe send the friends' parents a questionnaire, mark true or false:
1) We are living in hell under Bush because of Adam and Eve
2) Weed is the Devil's Seed and Tequilla is his drink
3) Touching is always bad
4) Action movies are always good when the USA wins
5) Movies about reality are inappropriate for teens. Example: Mystic River
A perfect test always has a tricky question, such as number 1. I don't give a hoot about drugs and alcohol, but I know kids in Brazil do go to college despite the social habit of alcohol and weed. In addition, kids in Brazil and in France are sexually active. I would rather my kid wait a while. I would hate to see him heartbroken and deeply involved while in high school. Touching is always good to the heart and the psyche, perverts excluded. People in the USA should touch more, not less.
The same way I mentioned pornographic wealth sometime back, there is pornographic violence. I don't know how so many adults think it's okay to go screaming, "Chop his head off, his head! Shoot his guts..." Maybe my hippie peacenick past gets irked by all of these violent action movies or horror movies or games from which our society is getting its kicks.
Once my husband and I had a discussion on R-films with a prim and proper lady. This was at the time everybody and his cousin was judging Michael Jackson. We rented Mystic River and explained the film to our son. We saw it and discussed what happened. The Ph.D. wanna be was horrified. It was okay for the kid to watch Alien because it is fiction -- get that? -- but Mystic River?
So, it's okay for the Net Knitting Circle never to have said a word about how my son was attacked, or offered solidarity to us, or the parents of the six never to have sent their apologies, even if anonymously. This was only violence, after all, six ganging on a kid at one in the morning, pelting him with eggs, mayo and maple syrup, and leaving him alone, after a short car chase. Who could have been driving these two cars?
My son is as American as une tarte aux pommes e bananas. We don't know to this day why he was singled out in tenth grade, no longer a freshman. He is the melting pot: from his father's side: France, Belgium, Martinique. From my side: Russia, Greece, Brazil and Portugal. He was born in Santa Monica, I was born in New York City. My dad in Penn.
When I went to live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was becoming an industrial giant. I got used to hearing the "Yankee go home" chant along with "Gringa." Never in my life would I have expected my son to be a victim of ethnic prejudice in his own country. "Don't be so French," some told him.
In 2006, in this hip and kewl town by the ocean, in California, in a public school, it is very hard to fathom how narrow-minded people can be passing judgment on others because of issues John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson had hoped to erase with the Civil Rights Act: color, national origin, race, sex, all these differences that make us more interesting, differences which, after we die, go into ashes and dust.
I hope the issues pending a decision of the Supremes are seen in a more democratic light, and I mean going along with the cornerstone 1954 decision Brown v. Board of Education (Topeka), which found inherent lack of equality in education in the USA then because the kids had to choose a school according to their race.
Many believe the people of color have received enough in this country. Even Brazilians, paradoxically brown in their majority, feel quotas for the poor African-descent folks to be unfair. There will never be reparation enough for those who were forced to board slave ships centuries ago, those whose ancestors hanged from trees, those who ate chitlins and pig tail and ears, the left overs of the left overs.
There will never be reparation for those who were separated from their families at auctions of human flesh. There will never be reparation for the urban people of color whose values have been corrupted by drugs or crime when they should have been in school learning.
As for all kids, they shouldn't be learning this bull of being ashamed of their bodies, but pride in achivement. Pride in being part of one race: the human race, which puts me to shame, at times. To better days, a good link from NPR on the present cases the Supremes are looking at: Seattle and Louisville.
And the Supremes are really busy; next is the legality of the NSA activities.