Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Thursday, September 3, 2015

"I had to kill you because you weren't obeying the rules"

...that's the English neurosis in relation to the law. Every culture is different in this regard. But you'll hear something like that from a motorist when you cross the street in the “wrong” place.

Or when you're a kid and get arrested for child pornography because you sexted your girlfriend, who herself distributed the image. (Today's news.) The spokespeople's justifications on the radio this morning exactly fit the rhetoric just described.

In a school system where, unlike in the USA (again, see my previous) you are no longer allowed to give your frightened pupils so much as a hug because you will be fired for sexual abuse.

In a school culture where the basic vibe is “There is no bullying, because we never talk about it.”

In a wider school culture of pervasive child sexual abuse (my old school is under serious investigation for it, e.g.).

The prurient obsession with naked bodies fused with the child-unfriendly culture results in really wrong violence.

          ***

If you visit from the USA, you will be amazed at how many parents behave to their kids in supermarkets. The way some parents yell at them would get you citizens' arrested or clocked over here. For instance, last time I was in Sainsbury's, last year: [a mother, yelling really loudly, child is crying, no one is looking because that would be impolite] “If you don't fucking [whatever the parent wants, I don't recall, probably “shut up”] I'm going to fucking smack your fucking face, fuck fuck this fuck that etc.”

The point being, her actions were condoned in silence. I think Mark Fisher's essay about the violence of boarding school (see earlier post) applies here, because surely this is a percolation from the still feudal culture of rulership.

It's really really vivid if you emigrated from the UK to the USA and have kids. The lack of playgrounds, the general contempt for children, the general vibe of not having kids is way better than having kids. The basic cruelty towards self that creates these beliefs, let alone cruelty to others.

In the land of Piglet and Moley. What gives?

England, land of discipline. You learned to say NO and you wield it very unskillfully, often. [Many American students have told me stories of being reduced to tears by their professor from or in England--and you know that many of the English are laughing at the American for having a pretty normal emotion reaction to being hurt. And probably they describe her as narcissistic because she hasn't developed sufficient scar tissue to act as ersatz psychic armor against, sorry Rog was right again, the dark sarcasm in the classroom.]

You skipped a step, England. You need to learn to say YES first. Before you learn discipline you need to learn generosity.

4 comments:

Unknown said...

I don't know; as another British expat living in the States I agree on British (middle / lower middle class?) child rearing, but I don't think Americans are the best counter model. There is a creepy fetishization of childhood experience that I repeatedly observe in the USA; a sad clinging and gaping at every cute word and gesture, bound up with a fear of aging, a commodified nostalgia and in its own way quite violent too because it is unable to acknowledge the otherness of childhood experience. Don't the French or Scandinavians have it better - to leave the world of the child to the child (think 'What Masie Knew', versus 'the Wonder Years')?

D. E.M. said...

Timothy, this world is so mad.
But you are wondrous withIn it.

jimillsung said...

Hi, would you be able to link me to the Mark Fisher article please? I've been looking back to older posts and could only find the one about the 'death of satire' and the humour of boarding schools. Had a google search and couldn't find anything either. Am I wrong and you actually meant the article about the death of satire? Thanks

jimillsung said...

Hi, would you be able to link me to the Mark Fisher article please? I've been looking back to older posts and could only find the one about the 'death of satire' and the humour of boarding schools. Had a google search and couldn't find anything either. Am I wrong and you actually meant the article about the death of satire? Thanks