Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Wisdom of Floyd

The boys and I are huge YouTube fans.

We love to browse for funny or interesting videos. Like any new internet venue, it's quickly becoming overrun with spammers and teenyboppers, er..I mean...tweenagers...but you can still find just about anything you could possibly think of...Schweatty balls, men in knee breeches, and nostalgia galore.

Last night after a ballgame, we were gathered around my computer watching our latest "can't stop singing that song" music videos. Mine was "1234", a choice that was not looked upon with favor by my boys.

Pre-Pubescent One chose "Thanks for the Memories", a tune to which we all knew the words, and bobbed our heads in unison.

When it was Diminutive One's turn to choose, he asked to see the video for a song he had heard on the radio, but he didn't know the name, only the artist. Pink Floyd.

"How does it go?" I asked.

"We don't need no education. We don't need no sound control" he sang.

Then he quoted what was inarguably his favorite line in the whole song loudly, and with great gusto.

"HEY TEACHERS! LEAVE THEM KIDS ALONE!!"

I couldn't help but smile. If ever there was an anthem written for Diminutive One, that would be it.

I pulled it up and played it for them. And then the questions started.

"Why are their faces like that?"

"Why are they going to school in a factory?"

"Why are they jumping into a meatgrinder?"

"Why is he hitting that kid? Teachers can't do that!"

"Why are they breaking their desks?"


Pfffttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt.

I tried to formulate a response that would satisfy their curiosity without overwhelming them with a lot of details they couldn't process or understand. I paused the video and launched into what I hoped was an accurate and straightforward explanation.

"Well...you see...this whole video is just one big social commentary."

I lost Diminutive One right there, but Pre-Pubescent One looked intrigued.

"Really? About what?" he asked.

"Well, different people have different interpretations. Some people think the it's a metaphor for a tryannical government that wants to deny the people free will and the right to voice dissent."

"Hmmmmm." he said. He still looked interested, so I gathered he was following me.

"Other people think it's about a society that values conformity rather than individuality, and how it encourages people to follow blindly rather than thinking for themselves. How it's completing squelching any inclination or desire to be different."

Diminutive One piped in to ask once again why their faces were like that.

"The masks hide their identity so that nothing about them is distinguishable from the others. It obliterates their humanity. They become, just "another brick in the wall"

Diminutive One didn't get it. At 8, he's still very literal minded.

"Are their faces all burnt or something?"

Pre-Pubescent One rolled his eyes.

"Their faces aren't burnt, duh. Mom just told you why they're wearing masks."

"I don't get it." he said, clearly nonplussed about it.

"Honey...if you look at the bricks in a wall...are they different from one another? If you took the bricks out of the wall, and mixed them all up in a pile, would you know which one was which?

I saw the realization hit his eyes.

"OOOOHHHHHHHH! The KIDS are the BRICKS. They're mad because they don't want to be all the same. They have ideas and stuff."

"YES!!" I exclaimed, startling him a little.

"But it could be just about kids who don't like school, couldn't it?"

"Sure. It could. Sometimes, a songwriter wants the the listener to interpret the lyrics in their own way."

"I think it's about that."

"Then it is."

He looked extraordinarily pleased with himself. And so, in a manner that I'm sure Pink Floyd et al never really intended, (unless the pop culture academics are wrong and it really is about a kid who hates school) "Another Brick in the Wall" became Diminutive One's ode to academic disillusionment and malcontent.

For Pre-Pubescent One though...it became something different. It became a really salient example of the undeniable power of such a medium. It appealed to him and impressed him.

"Damn" he said quietly.

I gave him my best displeased mother look.

"Sorry Mom. But geez....that's just.....brilliant."

I assure you, he was in reference to the song lysrics and their metaphorical prowess, not my philosophical grandstanding.

He got it. That's really cool. But it's also kind of bittersweet, because it seems like just yesterday that I had to explain to him why we don't eat boogers. And I know that it won't always be so easy to answer his questions or impress him with my insight.

Pink Floyd = Cake Walk.

God help me when he wants to discuss Nietsche or Proust.

Disclaimer: The above conversation with Diminutive One has been abridged in order to preserve the sanity of the reader. Let's just say, the kid knows how to pummel an equine corpse with remarkable efficacy.

13 Comments:

  • At 12:41 PM, Blogger Avalon said…

    I am really impressed with the level of understanding from both boys. It is such an intangible thing for most kids in their age ranges to grasp. Aside from the fact that they are way cool to love the song itself.

     
  • At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I saw the documentary on the artist (Gerald Scarfe)who did the illustrations for the video your boys saw, it is called "the other side of the wall". I had the extreme pleasure to see Pink Floyd twice for "The Wall" tour. Your boys have excellent taste. And you did a great job of leading their discussion-- Socrates had nothing on you. Who needs Socratic methodology when we have BA! :D

     
  • At 3:27 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    That's just awesome.

     
  • At 3:34 PM, Blogger BARON.VON.TRUBE said…

    That Pink Floyd video has always been creepy. Thanks for the mental image of them willingly walking and falling into that meat grinder!

    THE BARON

     
  • At 6:55 PM, Blogger Mimi said…

    It was the part about boogers that did me in. Bittersweet indeed (the realization, not the boogers. I think).

    At least they ask you, right?

     
  • At 8:13 PM, Blogger Kelly said…

    One day I hope to discuss Pink Floyd with my children, beyond that Mommy went to one of their concerts during the Division Bell Tour and got quite high from the air around me.

     
  • At 9:47 PM, Blogger Oh, The Joys said…

    That IS just awesome as mamatulip said.

    Oh - are you LOVING Birth of Venus? I loved it.

    p.s. so sorry you missed Jen - she was as great as I imagined she would be.

     
  • At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Gurukarm said…

    A group of really funny videos to share with the boys: "Crazy Singer - Two Chinese Boys" - here's one: http://youtube.com/watch?v=gZyYjUKemhw - these two boys hysterically lipsynching to various boy band/bubble gum stuff.
    :-)

     
  • At 8:45 PM, Blogger Code Yellow Mom said…

    Love the, "Damn." :) I have to admit it's my favorite thing to sigh when I'm impressed with something, too.

    And I get the biggest head-banging-pretend-I'm-a-rebel kick out of that song, but couldn't have told my kids squat about it - you go! Way to make a little light go on in their heads and get them to think. Pink Floyd would likely be proud.

    Oh, and, "the kid knows how to pummel an equine corpse" - simply hilarious avoidance of a cliche. :)

     
  • At 8:05 AM, Blogger Suburban Turmoil said…

    I really love that video.

     
  • At 8:56 AM, Blogger jen said…

    very nicely done on the whole Floyd deal. seriously.

     
  • At 7:00 AM, Blogger Mom101 said…

    I absolutely love this post. I remember so well when that song came out, how I was in fifth grade, and trying to figure out what the hell it meant - but boy did we love that TEACHERS LEAVE THOSE KIDS ALONE line. I wish I had you there to explain it to me so well. What smart lucky boys you've got there.

     
  • At 5:33 AM, Blogger jchevais said…

    My dad was a musician (guitarist). He used to spend hours trying to figure out songs (rather than just buying the sheet music). This was one of his favourite songs and I'll always associate the song with him.

    Thank you for bringing back fond memories.

     

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