Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Rule #1: You do not talk about Knife Club

The latest response to knife crime is to censor pupils from talking about it:

"The exam board is writing to schools to advise them to destroy the copies of the anthology - and says it will send replacements not containing this poem."
Get that? Our own fear of encouraging The Bad Things is actively preventing us from thinking about how to get rid of them. In other words, We Are Scared of Trying To Solve The Problem.

In a way, this isn't new - governments have taken the same stance on hacking tools, for example; tools are dual-use, and can be put to defensive and offensive objectives. A risk-and-fear-driven culture has meant that these tools have generally tended towards being banned, or controlled to the point of being effectively banned.

The difference here is that we're not talking about tools. We're talking about talking. Words, therefore, are seen to have the same power as artifacts, and the pen is just as mighty as the sword.

Both pen and sword are nothing but temptation, and therefore must be removed from sight.

Of course, the irony is that not talking about something just makes it all the more inspiring, tempting, arcane and curious. Hushing up talk of violence will lead to more actual violence, in the same way that a culture that represses talk of sex leads to more sex-based marketing, and more teenage pregnancies. We have elected not politicians, but an attitude, and that attitude is driving us underground more and more every day.

To be honest, I'm getting to the point where I can't be arsed to rant about this crap any more. Britain England needs a serious makeover if anyone with half a brain is going to take it seriously. We are bankrupt fiscally, emotionally, and philosophically, and this void has been filled with notions of material gain and covering your own arse. That the FTSE 100 is still hovering around the 5500 mark shows just how much we've come to rely on optimism and delusion rather than pragmatism.

Is it worth getting angry about a class of people that just spit in the face of good advice? I can't help but think that good energy is being wasted arguing and ranting, when it could be spent on coming up with a more solid, more satisfying way of life.

3 comments:

RedYetiDave said...

Utter idiocy.

> "I'm getting to the point where I can't be arsed to rant about this crap any more"

With you there.

> "I can't help but think that good energy is being wasted arguing and ranting, when it could be spent on coming up with a more solid, more satisfying way of life."

See Steven Covey on circle of concern/circle of influence

Hmm - that link is a rather heavy handed précis. The whole site is a bit odd in fact but it has the right diagrams...

I'd add that Covey stresses concentrating only on what you can influence. By doing that you will find what you can influence expands. If for no other reason than people come to think of you as someone who can get things done and therefore ask you to help.

Scribe said...

For some reason the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin is in my head. If the rulers don't know what to do about something, and can't be arsed to pay for people that can do something about it, then steal their fecking kids.

I'm pretty sure there's more analogy to it than that, but it's not worth over-thinking.

RedYetiDave said...

"it's not worth over-thinking."

Nope - again with you on that. I'll get the large sacks and rope.