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Dear Children Who So Easily Submit to the Mob


Dear Children Who So Easily Submit to the Mob,

Jesus Christ! That is a sight to behold – a sight to bemoan. Thank goodness we were trapped in a rolling Volkswagen, safe from the indiscriminate reactions of youth unhinged. In the haze of prepubescent madness it seems even my camera lens was blurred, but the details are still discernible, thanks to zoom technology.

Fire! That is the root of this senseless behavior, the reason the upper balconies are seething over with raving track-suited chestbeaters, hooting and hollering with mob-drunk mindlessness, like some modern-day Lord of the Flies takeover. Most likely it was one of you teens who set that blaze in the first place – whether it was intentional or a poorly aimed firecracker we’ll never know. That’s how these things go; all that matters is that there was a spark.

No doubt by this time the remaining teachers have all been ‘taken care of.’ They never stood a chance against the lot of you – the coagulation of minds forms one sticky beast. But what frightens me most is how easily it happens – I’ve seen this sort of thing on a smaller scale in my own classrooms: one student draws too few lines in hangman and suddenly he’s overtaken by forty vindictive arms. Times like those I just slip quietly out the door; it doesn’t pay to step into a mob of budding ninjas. Of course, you can’t always escape, like when the children burst into spontaneous Queen – a most unnerving phenomenon. It happens electrically: one second they’re all jabbering in Chinese, and in the next thirty pairs of fists are pounding in unison upon desks – BUM BUM CLAP! BUM BUM CLAP! ‘We will, we will…’ Actually, they don’t know the words; but if there’s a class in session next door, chances are you’ll hear the desk banging pass along, through the walls, transferred by some visceral link. Somehow Freddy Mercury tapped into our most primal desire with that song – but most of us can control ourselves…

And that’s it: The only thing separating you from past generations is context. You at least have KFC and computer games to distract you. But just forty years ago a fever swept through the schools all over this country and wiped out the capability for individual, irrational thought – and we all know what came of that. Two thousand years of culture all but annihilated. All because of such gung ho submission to the whole, as though within you all is an instinctive draw to gather and form a collective human battering ram. And every time, then and now, there is something at the center – a bright, arcane symbol, welding you together. Remember, we all revolve around a sun already, but if you must find another, don’t let it blind you.

Sincerely,

This Ridiculous World

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