From firstname.lastname@example.org Tue Apr 27 10:17:36 1999 Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 10:17:11 -0400 (EDT) From: Chris Fanjul
To: Ben <@brown.edu> Subject: Re: Ben's thoughts (Littleton) i admit i haven't thought much about the whole littleton event.. i hear about it and maybe read some of the accounts, but it really hadn't hit anything in me till i read what you wrote... i'm not saying i'm a changed man, but it did make me think a little. "gosh, i'm not the only one that thinks school in general is going in the wrong direction." when something's not working, i will generally ignore it and find something that does work, but not everyone operates that way, and some people end up getting more frustrated and angry than i would ever let myself. i guess that's part of it... these kids were so angry that it becomes abstract to me, no matter how much i hear about it on npr. i could never kill anyone just cuz i didn't have a plush seat in the social hierarchy. ya, i've been lucky to also approach popularity (if asymtotically), but there were moments when just the opposite was true... i couldn't be more outcast. but that's in the eyes of those that have no love for you, and those eyes should not matter. those two guys went around shooting all the people that they thought didn't like them, but what they didn't realize, perhaps, was that they were together in it... the guy with the shotgun next to you is your friend. there's one, right? as for high school, it sucks and it must be changed. i am inclined to say that it will figure itself out as society at large figures itself out. we're in a wierd post-modern (whatever that means) confused time, and high school kids aren't the only ones shooting people up and down. but high school is different in some way... it's a developmental period more than, say, your mid-30's, and you're thinking and feeling a whole lot. i don't know what i'm getting at... it would be nice if society was not as unforgiving as it is, but it would also be nice if people realized that it's not all that bad... we've lost open spaces to relax in, we've lost connetion with our families, we've lost god in many ways, and all of these things can help temper the dispair, allow the soul to breath a bit. we are all alone in some way, and we must accept that, but we are also never alone, even if we've lost all family, friends, and gods. i don't know why i say this, it's just my optimism, my poetic sensibility saying "people are made to be together, and we're connected by much deeper things than we let ourselves see." society's got an attitude problem, but it's because we're scared of a lot of things, like being alone, when we don't really have to be. sigh... thanks for writting that up man... it was well done too. you'd think you'd been writting a lot recently ;) it'll be good to see you this weekend... i'm not sure when i'll be there (friday night or saturday morning), but let me know what you're up to, and i'll find you. in the meantime, enjoy the beautiful day outside. and thanks for helping me thru high school man ;) take it easy, chris
yet the more i think about it, the more angry i get, and the more i realize that maybe i took the wrong angle on this... there are stories out there that tell about kids in other schools getting picked on even more, and even expelled, for doing things like showing people a pocket knife, or wearing a trench coat, or playing quake. for christ's sake, what are people thinking? this is fucking rediculous! expulsion for a certain life style? my god, i'd be out on my ass by now if this happened four years ago. what gets me is that it's the "smart kids" (i use this term carefully, because most of the stories are told from the perspective of the persecuted - there are smart kids who are not outcast, but outcasts generally end up on the periffery because they either 1) are sick of the system - smart enough to look beyond it, or 2) don't give in to the system's edict of what fun is, and are smart enough to find other was. i guess those two look similar. anyway...). so school says "shit, stop thinking for yourselves!" wasn't there a thing back in the 60's - question authority - that people admire so much that they put it on bumper stickers?... yet people don't *really* expect anyone to do it. on a grand scale, if no one listened to laws set up to maintain society, we'd be in chaos, right? i'm not so convinced. laws originally came from things that were "good ideas", then people got lazy and and stopped being creative with their thinking. rules and laws are not the be-all-end-all. (i love the web... i can write this shit out here and not get persecuted... accept of course for swearing perhaps. one scarey aspect of all this is that it may reach into the web, to silence the people that say "fuck you" to the accepted view.) i'm a geek, i'm proud of it, i caught my share of grief, and i have my group of fun geek friends who played doom and wore black. i miss them, actually... at college either the idealism is lost, or converted to some sort of hope that now that we're older we can affect change instead of just ignoring what we don't like and having fun anyway. we're also on the verge of bein assimilated (as much as we deny or fight it), and so we're trying to learn the rules. that sucks, don't it? i don't know what makes me more mad - the fact that the rights of kids are being violated, that there are dumb people out there in control, or that i can't be back in high school now to either rise some hell or just band closer together and wait for the world to wake up and smell the smoking gun.