In an age in which early education was weighed down by the brutal shadow of conditioning and behaviorism, I believe that my generation was either surprisingly stubborn or incredibly ignorant. Our adult behavior is the opposite of everything pounded into our tiny young heads by public education.
My elementary school days were entirely engulfed by the grand nihilism of the 80's. Popular political issues of the day bled into our lessons through the influence of the elected. I wonder if this is true today?
We grew up in the shadow of an enemy superpower, and were always told that the world could be obliterated by nuclear war at any second. "In the event of a nuclear attack, get under your desk and cover your head with your hands." Yeah. That will work.
There was a lot of education centered around food, the food groups, nutrition, that sort of thing. When we got home, most simply dove into ramen noodles and welfare cheese. There were a lot of anti-drug initiatives, and those did not work at all. They tried to teach us to read. I have known a some illiterate adults in my time, and would volunteer to teach them, but am too afraid of coming across as condescending to ask.
This reminds me of a story. One of our dealers over the years was a kid we had gone to school with named Jay. Jay looked like Johnny Depp on steriods, possesses a speaking voice rhythmic and hypnotic enough to lead a cult. However my more educated friends used to call him the monkey king, though never to his face. This is why.
One day, we came to his house to make a purchase. He always answered the door with a loaded gun ready., he was always afraid of some old enemy or the police coming after him. Jay put his piece down on a nightstand and went back to sit on the pot-green couch. There were a variety of junkie kids hanging around, sitting in a rapt circle as Jay talked his game. After lecturing his throng to not drop out of school, he caught a roach on the floor (Roaches own half that city, and win all major elections)
To the doomed insect, Jay said "That's the thing about life, nobody gives a fuck". He threw it in the fish tank and used the laser pointer to have fish he trained tear it apart.
We walked with him into a back room, which housed a statue of what looked like a cross between a monkey and a homeless person, sitting on a plaque with a word written on it.
"My dad gave me that when I was a kid. It says DRAWN, because he said I was always drawn. You have to have something to try for." I am not sure if he was talking about being Drawn toward a goal or Drawn as in "drawing". Jay was a decent artist.
Either way, on the dirty plaque he was talking about upon which squatted this bizarre neanderthal creature, scrawled in large, block letters, was the word "DARWIN". That is why some of my friends called him the monkey king.
Last I heard Jay had married a rich girl, and lived in a mansion basement where he has installed an assortment of deadly traps in case of a police raid. In all his paranoid endeavors I wish the monkey king the best.