By Max Dropout

You turn to the black board-designated page in your text book and some wordy scenario awaits; you are immediately propelled into one of the most depressing choose-your-own-adventure scenarios you’ve yet to encounter, where as some poor work a day dolt you’re cornered by snarling by a snarling mortgage, student loans, the IRS, and general living expenses incurred by some odd number of children. They’ve hemmed you into a corner with an ocean of paint between you and the answer. You must accept the the fictitious character’s conundrum though and settle into the role, for your entire future depends on it. And once you’ve solved the problem, you turn the page, and once again a similar fate awaits your character. By the time you get to page 1008 four months later, the redundancy has pummelled you into an unconscious state of acceptance. You’ve been conditioned right out of your ambition.
But have you ever wonder though if the gifted classes’ word problems involve scenarios with higher incomes, in ground pools, and better neighborhoods? Perhaps you must fit the variable of an immigrant maid into your division problems.

Tragically, when it comes to modern academics, education has become a secondary detail. Instead of striving to produce worthwhile citizenry, it merely provides enough information to get by in life without becoming a liability to the system. It has evolved into some Pavlovian meat grinder; a meet-and-greet with a battery of cogs and gears. By the time you’ve rubbed your palms raw with hand shakes, and your right shoulder’s been eroded by a decade of daily back patting, you’re only capable of supporting yourself until your inevitable death, while compulsively dowsing your latent dissatisfaction through consumption.

Playground politics only evolve. The props change. We trade the intricacies of a jungle gym in for the complex contents of a desk. We find concrete beneath our soles instead of sand’s give. Things really don’t change, though. The elementary years are nothing but models that condition us into adapting to the life we now know.

Quite recently in our society, the validity of consequence has come into question. Slowly, the obtuse edges of the world have been force-fitted with child-safety tips, while certain doors are now childproof. In case you haven’t noticed, even adults have trouble getting the goddamn lids off of certain things these days, figuratively speaking of course. Anything offensive is sanded down out of view and therefore never questioned. PC idealism occasionally buries whatever elements of reality it deems too abrasive for consumption; but as certain instances which have come to pass in the last few years have proven, reality will inevitably exhume itself and hunt you down and have its revenge on the ignorant. The Columbine tragedy is one specific incident in which the consequences of ignoring reality yielded dire but necessary consequences.

For some children, the proposition of pain as an ultimate consequence for misdeed is enough to detour them from committing certain misdeeds. Personally, that never did the trick for me. I was aware that pain was a fleeting thing, and I was always the sort of child who was prone to laughing fits while I was being disciplined. They’d hit, I’d laugh; they’d strike harder the next time, and my guffaw would only get louder. However, I was aware that there were certain sorts of danger that could lead to dire harm… I knew what trauma, death, and mutilations were. This knowledge prevented me from putting myself in positions where I might turn up molested or missing fingers.

As a child, I wasn’t allowed any sort of conventional pets — I never had an interest, and the few birds in the backyard were enough to sate my curiosities in lower life forms. When most kids had dogs, I had a pet lemon tree. I remember the day it was stuck in the ground. I loved the tree dearly and at the age of four I ascended to its highest bow where I would look down into the street or the hospital yards and watch the patients do their medicated shuffle. Of course, instincts keep us careful. Some fears are natural. But accidents do happen. Pets are an excellent conditioning tool and illustrate consequence like nothing else really can. If a pet is mistreated it will lash out with a claw, tooth, or beak. If they are ignored they grow hungry, or ill, and this can lead to the direst consequence of all.

I was never bitten, nor did I ever lose my tree. I never saw it cut down in it’s prime. But I did learn a valuable lesson one day. Accidents will happen, as you know. All I can recall clearly was my Ked slipping off of a branch and toppling headfirst toward the grass below. I battered a few branches with my body, but I don’t ever remember hitting the ground.

The next thing I remember was lying on my grandmother’s couch with a fierce pinching in my neck. My grandmother hovered over me with a pair of tweezers and an expression of concern as she pried a large lemon thorn out my neck. I was in pain, that much I can recall. The specifics of that pain elude me. However, I recall being explained to that if I were not more careful the landscapers would get rid of the tree. If I fell again I might not be as fortunate. I might perhaps break my fool neck and die. The idea of death had been gradually injected into my consciousness from the day I set foot into my grandmother’s home. The concept of it happening to me was a new one though.

As children, nothing touches us, or at least this is what we believe. We live life detached, as mere observers. It can be the most beneficial time of our lives, when we can realize the potential of what we’ve got, without the understanding or perception of boundaries really getting in the way of our ambitions. It is precisely the time when our ambitions do develop.

Carefree is one thing — Ignorant is another. Carefree is ideal, but in a world where parents are seldom fit to protect children from their defenselessness during their formative strides it’s hardly realistic. Many modern parents who are willing to spend time raising their children protect them by sheltering their consciousness rather than through education.

When someone on television gets shot in the face, rather than explaining: “See Billy, the ramifications of such an action are vast and very permanent. It hurts like a motherfucker and both parties involved are in big trouble. One dies. Never comes back. Never breathes. Never sees mommy or daddy again. The other goes to prison and wishes he had been shot in the face. Prison is not where you want to go Billy. See, shooting a person in the face is wrong — also, try to avoid being shot in the face. My point being, don’t give people a reason to shoot you in the face. Some people react in ugly ways to your behavior and you will ultimately pay. Case in point, the man on that screen lying on the concrete. Sure, what that other man did was wrong, but bad things do tend to happen, regardless of whether they are right or wrong. All you can do is try to avoid being unjust in every sense. That way you don’t do the shooting and don’t GET shot. Oh by the way, sure it may be only fake but it is a depiction of WHAT CAN happen to you if you don’t treat others humanely… Parents attempt to silence the source, which seeks to inform their children.

Frank depictions of actual consequence, or even lack thereof, are only dangerous when they are NOT ACCOMPANIED by a conscientious narrative, which should be provided by a parent. You do your child an injustice every time you cup your palms over their senses. Children have a very shallow sense of what is right and what is wrong these days. At an early age I understood sexuality in all of its facets, I understood what death and pain were. I understood the consequences of jumping off the roof of my house or setting my penis on fire and all without experiencing either scenario. I had them explained to me, with the exception of the penis incident. I was just being colorful there.

These days, the people who happen to have kids don’t want to be parents, guides, or guardians. They have been reduced to providers imprisoned by the underlying fear of their own children’s potentially harmful deeds. This same fear has perhaps severed what was once a symbiotic bond between child and parent; parents now rely on technology television and the internet as a surrogate that relieves parents of their social responsibility to their children as mentors. Now, if something goes awry with a child, we blame television, music, and films instead of the parent that failed their child as a life teacher.

The FCC is an antiquated and puritanical organization made useful by modern parents who don’t actually want to do their job when it comes to educating their children in realistic terms about matters such as sex, violence, and humanity. The media have become scapegoats for inept adults, while the FCC’s censorship, passed off as “regularity measures” have molded art into a dull shape.

It’s now 2004, and what we consume gets safer every day. We blame porn for rape. We blame Marilyn Manson’s laughably trite shock tricks for schoolyard shootings. We even blame McDonalds for getting us fat. And as we know, blame is synonymous with “lawsuit.”

It’s unbelievable that we live in a country that wantonly breeds sophomoric mentalities by censoring sex, nudity, and violence in spite of the fact that they are very much a part of reality. I’m not sure what the FCC’s goal is, but preventing me from hearing the word fuck hasn’t stopped me from using it. Is there any reasonable adult out there who thinks little Timmy’s going to turn into a depraved serial rapist if he sees Janet Jackson’s titty on NBC? Vivid reality is a fleeting element of modern entertainment, and yet it hasn’t slowed down teenage pregnancy. It hasn’t stopped children from killing one another. It has not curtailed the youth from drinking, doing drugs, or engaging in behavior that the FCC would deem objectionable if depicted on television. In short, censorship has failed this generation as much as parents have.

Why are children shooting each other in schools? Some would blame violence on television or the overt nihilism in the lyrics of KMFDM. However, the main reason why kids shoot other kids probably has more to do with the fact that they’re all assholes and probably deserve to get shot.

The most significant yet overlooked casualty stemming from the Columbine shootings would be several forms of art and their respective mediums of broadcast. The lethal stigma of blame has been placed upon media, television, and music because of these crimes, and as a result the noose of censorship has only tightened.

The fascism of the FCC is partially responsible for the deaths of these children, as it has created a vacuum into which parents feel comfortable relinquishing their children. In this bubble, there is no harsh glimpse of reality, and therefore parents are seldom presented with questions that make them feel uncomfortable. Without the brutality of our reality one simply cannot derive a sense of compassion or any regard or value for human life. Today’s child exists without any sense of decorum or ethics. They are soulless husks capable of donating only suffering and pain once they exit this bubble, as their senses have been dulled past the point of understanding the trauma they can cause. These children are dying because they must, and are as good as dead the second they draw their first breath. The wave of teenage genocide that occasionally makes headlines is not only natural, but also the only way to solve the problem. With every burst of violence, children of little worth are lost. It is not so much a tragedy as it is a necessary correction of parental neglect.

Records and movies aren’t the problem. The very essence of gun control is. Removing freedoms isn’t going to change people’s minds and motivations. Every day of my life, I go outside and it’s only a matter of time before somebody pisses me off. There are a lot of people I’d kill if I could, and it isn’t morality that prevents me from doing them in. It’s the threat of hassle by the cops. It’s the thought of how inconvenient getting my ass marauded in a state penitentiary is that keeps me from killing. A ban on guns is a hysterical measure that only suggests that we have lost trust and confidence in humanity. Further, any law that restricts our freedom to do anything, be it good or bad, is an abuse of our system of government. We’re supposed to responsible for ourselves. Instead, it seems our senators have become our keepers… and this perception is partially responsible for the systematic deconstruction of basic freedom.

It is fear that dictates our actions… fear of getting caught. Idealistically, though, it is sympathy that should rule our lives. If you advocate gun control, you’re merely allowing the elimination of another sharp edge so junior won’t bash their brains in, should they tip over while roaming about unattended.

Why not ban inept parents? A sinister urge is an urge nonetheless and simply ridding another means of destruction is really just a way of painting over the disrepair. Under that thin smattering of white latex, the crack is still there and will eventually surface again even wider than before. Why don’t we actually focus on trying to figure out why a child picks up a gun, and correct that? And any child that has a reason to pick up a pistol probably has a valid reason to do so…

When all is done, and every last shell has been picked up, you will find absent in your conditioning centers those responsible for provoking a natural and violent reaction, as well as the products of ill parenting. Since fear has become the ultimate conditioning tool, casualties are not only unavoidable, but entirely necessary.

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