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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Suffer The Little Children ... Just a Tiny Bit

I’ve never liked children very much. In fact, it would be fair to say that fear and loathing are front and centre when I am confronted with one of the little parasites that the rest of the world identifies as a child.
It was many years ago that I reached the conclusion that I was born with a natural aversion to children, in much the same way that some people are naturally repulsed by spiders, say, or Julia Gillard, and nothing in the intervening years has caused me to shift from this belief.
Where others, confronted with a baby, disintegrate into gushing, slavering heaps of goochy-goo, I on the other hand, see a podgy blob with a hole at the top for screaming and spewing and a hole at the bottom for crapping and shitting … and shitting some more.
Toddlers are the same as blobs, but with the ability to shit and spew in multiple locations, children are a cross to borne and teenagers are plainly the spawn of the devil.

Being in the fortunate position of not having to suffer children of my own, I have thus far been able to luxuriate in the knowledge that I can freely treat the children of others with the contempt they deserve without the need to change game faces when confronted with my own.
That luxury however, is fast becoming a thing of the past because a new, sinister development is rising: not the determination of the country’s parents and teachers to volunteer for a lifetime of indentured servitude to the loathsome little ratbags, but that they expect the rest of us to join them.
The products of a decades-long drive to inspire kiddies to get in touch with their inner totalitarian are making their presence felt and it is becoming ever harder to sit on the sidelines.
When five-year-olds – supremely confident that retribution will not be forthcoming – disdainfully ignore your polite request that they stop ramming your leg with a shopping trolley, you know that the tipping point has been reached.
All you can do - especially when parents terrified at the certainty that it is they who will have to pay for your fascist attitudes harangue you for daring to question little Jihadeyn’s right to injure you - is hobble away and silently curse the fools who decided coal mines could function without child labour.
(The alternative, shoving little Kaydnce in the veg freezer and beating him about the head with a bag of frozen peas for five minutes is, sadly, no longer available to us.)

The thin end of the wedge was the neutering of parents and teachers by outlawing corporal punishment.
In ages past, if your father told you not to go down to the waterhole and poke a crocodile in the eye with a stick, he did so for a very good reason ie: the crocodile would eat you. Once we became all civilised and put the crocodiles behind bars, allowing little Dannyuhl to poke them with sticks in complete safety, fathers were free to concentrate on drinking beer, lusting after younger women and making fun of Collingwood supporters because the nurturing role had been handed to somebody else, that somebody else being the nation's teachers.
Teachers, by and large, didn’t generally treat recalcitrant kiddies to a death roll and wedge them under the roots of a tree to be eaten later, but the threat of a judiciously applied leather strap gave them a fall back position if all else failed to stop little Nikkee expressing his inner learner by smashing all of the classroom windows with little Jaysonn’s head.

Not that you would believe that if you had listened to the merry band of hand-wringing social engineers that seized control.
According to their lights, the parent who smacked Staycee for setting fire to her sleeping sister’s hair, or the teacher who gave Jhon six of the best for forcing the class geek to eat flies were barbaric criminals.
Years of virtually wall-to-wall State Labor Governments allowed the hand-wringers to place their acolytes in positions of influence; and so their lights bloomed and slowly, insidiously, condemned generations of parents to a life of gloom.
So, the wedge was created, but true insertion wasn’t achieved until stage two – making three-year-olds aware of their ‘rights’, was initiated.
Within no time, triumphant cries of “my teacher said you can’t punish me, ‘cos I can sue you and put you in jail” were ringing out across the suburbs.
Kids across the nation were coming home from pre-school with detailed instructions on how to insert the emergency number for their local Department of Social Services into every telephone in the house.
Armed with their United Nations charter tucked into the waistband of their Bananas in Pyjamas jim-jams, children discovered that the furry Lion King boot was well and truly on the other foot.

Parents were instructed to talk to their child, explain to them what they had done wrong and apply an agreed punishment.
This became: establish boundaries, but on no account tell your child it has done something ‘wrong’. If a child crosses a boundary, reward it child for its initiative.
Parents, who lets face it, are little more than financial backers these days have become like Julia Gillard: “great” negotiators who give away everything that isn’t nailed down to sustain the ridiculous notion that they are in charge.
“Remember, on no account must your child be told that it has done something wrong lest you inhibit its emotional development. Don’t set boundaries for your child, negotiate standards of behaviour and initiate rewards NOT punishments. Don’t be afraid to admit to your child that you are wrong; invite your child to set appropriate punishments for your behaviour – then deliver yourself and a signed confession to the nearest Federal Department of Hand-Wringing office.”

That pretty much took care of the discipline side of things, but there was still hope. We were breeding a generation of lazy, undisciplined, obnoxious, self-obsessed know-it-alls, but as long as the education system could hold the line, at least they would be well-educated lazy, undisciplined, obnoxious, self-obsessed know-it-alls.
Alas, fascist ideals like exams with actual results, school reports with actual grades and not allowing anybody into university unless they could tell the difference between a noun and a verb were abandoned for fear of inhibiting little Kamron’s emotional development.
“Open”, “agile” and “student-directed” learning are now all the rage.
This, as best as I can make out, involves letting hordes of five-year-olds loaf around on bean bags and play computer games while teachers sit around waiting for a child to volunteer to learn something.
No longer are children to be instructed by teachers. The instruction now travels the other way.
Apparently, it is all about developing Gymyma’s analytical skills and allowing her to be the best learner they can be, whatever that means.

I’m sorry, but if school teachers are sitting around waiting for little Jhimmie to indicate that he is willing to learn something then perhaps they should consider a new profession.
One which involves repeated use of the phrase “would you like fries with that?” seems appropriate, considering that that is the likely future they are condemning Jhimmie to.

Call me a fascist, but to me there are only two conclusions that can be drawn from the wave of ‘reforms’ to our education system over the last 20 years:
1)     teachers have given up fighting the reform-nazis and have been so beaten down by a system corrupted by hand-wringing social engineers, who still resent not getting the GI Joe helicopter attachment when they were seven, and have resigned themselves to careers as glorified nannies.
2)     teachers have wholeheartedly embraced the ‘reforms’ because it puts them on easy street.
Absolved from having to participate in fascist activities such as making sure little Kkarryn can spell her own name, they are free to read playtime stories from Green Left Weekly, show endless re-runs of An Inconvenient Truth and give little Konnrradd an elephant stamp when he manages to pick his nose without stabbing himself in the eye.

I really hope it’s the former, because if its not then we are fucked. We are fucked because if we don’t change our ways, in 20 years time our Federal parliament is going to be full of people just like Sarah Hanson-Young.
And if that doesn’t frighten you, nothing will.