Thursday, November 15, 2007


MINDWEND


Driving down the mountain last night in the 5:30 darkness I had to wend my way through hundreds of junior-high kids in their Russo-Japanese war military uniforms mobbing the road from their school, and as I was wending my mind wended too, wondering if these kids ever connected with the short-lived military victory implied in their 100-year-old uniforms, and then it said: these kids are getting out of school at 5:30? After dark? Then it remembered that that never happened when I was a kid; back in those days (how can only yesterday be history?), school events happened strictly in school time, never in life time (apart from some pleasurable activities like sports games and dances); anyway, I bet these kids can really read and write and do math and know history (such as their government chooses to teach it) and geography, and they sure didn't look grumbly or complainy about the long hours they'd just put in, they didn't look down-in-the-life like their fathers do heading home from an office at 11 pm, they were having a good time, brief as it might be, things are gonna get harder for them, in Japan it gets pretty dog-eat-dog in high school and beyond, but they're up for it, looks like; then down at the station the guys, now out of sight of school, precisely lowered their pants to mid-hip so as to look like US rapper wannabee imitations of ghetto kids imitating beltless high security prisoner icons of multiple felony coolness, so cultures aren't all that separate anymore, or as discerning as we like to think, bet these kids can't read or write as well as their parents, then this morning I saw a couple of older kids by the art college spraying each others' spiked hair red before going to class and I thought that maybe from now on kids will do what they want with their lives and it's gonna get dark a lot earlier than anyone expected, though that view may just be an increasingly functionless byproduct of my antique education, like my fountain pen...



2 comments:

Tabor said...

I guess that is what us elders can do. Watch and marvel at the cultural evolution of our species. I tend to want to protect and impart great knowledge while others of my age just want to observe and let things work their way forward.

Bob Brady said...

Oh tabor, definitely keep on imparting that knowledge; those who can grasp it will take it straight to heart and pass it on as you have...