Thursday, January 21, 2021

RE-INVENTING PLAYTIME

 

A School Lock-out Opportunity

When considering the consequences of the apparent viral  attack on our society, parents naturally think of its impact on their child’s education. The school lockout, of course, exacerbates this. By way of reassurance, it is my belief that any long-term effect on a child’s education and prospects will be relatively trivial to zero– even for those children on remedial programmes.

However, I have been wondering whether the more serious impact is not on their learning, which can be caught up on, but on their play which is lost forever to their childhood. Although this observation is directed to all outdoor play activities - which have hardly existed in the last year! - my specific focus (this being a primary school blog) is playtime.

That happy time and most pupils’ favourite subject.

This downtime, switch-off and run about, is necessary for recovery and, somewhat counter-intuitively, for consolidation of learning. But such is the nature of modern childhood that playtime is also for many children, alas, their only exercise outdoors in their entire day. Even when the weather is nice!  And so, the viral lockdown in winter really is a lockdown, taking on the features of the gulag workcamp lifestyle that beckons from the permanent viral-bedevilled future we have been promised by vaccine manufacturers, WHO sock-puppets and billionaire philanthropist-destroyers.

While arguably the school lockout is good for enhancing children’s computer gaming, internet shopping, poptrash and porn searching skills, it is a catastrophe for their physical and mental health – and for all the subtle ways that this connects to learning, socialisation and spiritual well-being. Some of these effects may already be apparent to parents, with this worry spooling out into the future.

You see, you cannot just remove the spontaneity, socialisation and lung-bursting madness of playtime and replace it with NOTHING and expect no consequences for children. They need to chase each other, fall out and make up, and completely forget about lessons and adults for while in their own space under the sky; not just in order to learn better, but to be children in 4D. The lockdown takes this and gives them more future booth training for telesales and screen icon shifting.

But the seed that is planted will sprout to help normalise the 2D life indoors and its various avatars that define this real world replacement.3 Such thoughts that in time, rooting deep and spreading upwards, will grow to fill the little replacement target with guilt and woe and, eventually, metabolic disease- but don’t worry, they’re working on a jag for it.

Some parents will welcome this digital remodelling of our children, believing that it helps avoid the dangers of tripping while running or getting cold; and may imagine that the extra screen time gained helps make their children’ fit for the future’. They may see nothing concerning about Globalcorp’s full activation of pupil school i  accounts, and the brain rewiring that normalises this process of IT dependence, being added to the default convenience of later converting it to an adult account complete with the personality and marketing profiles built up (naturally, for their safety!) since childhood. It should be sad that your child is better able to answer who they have seen most on screen this week, than who they’ve been playing with at playtime.

Remote others will welcome this for other reasons - and not just because they’ve arranged it! Can you see them yet? You already know what they want- they tell you.

This digital solution also brings the advantage of freeing up the playground (now wasted space) for economic opportunities such as car parking, mobile phone masts, flat construction or a fracking pump.It’s hard not to see, then, this removal of playtime and its consequences as yet another portal we and our children march through unwittingly. It’s easy to exaggerate the effect of course, but just as easy to play it down or even ignore it. This is not the end of the world, and there is time to fix this problem. But it’s always later than you think.

Make sure your kid has their playtime outdoors, even if you have to be so uncool as to play with them yourself.

What think ye?


1. I accept that there is one. But perhaps not so much by an actual  virus. Lest any parents and older pupils are insufficiently worried about the virus’s impact, a recent newspaper headline put them right - DEATH IS ALL AROUND US - no doubt to allay their fears.

 2. Referencing P6 and P7; girls and boys respectively.

3. This being a part of the modern child’s lifestyle package containing; an i phone, high sugar drinks, carbohydrate as principle source of calories, computer games, digital socialisation and 20 hours plus TV per week synergistically combined with minus 20 hours outdoor exercise. Add drugs as required.

Friday, January 1, 2021

SAFE EUROPEAN HOME

 

for Auld Lang Syne

Reflecting on this year from the officially enforced, and perhaps too socially-distanced comfort, of your designated lockdown zone, you may find your mind’s eye seeking out the company of crowds and naturally consider the only gatherings of this year – the various, apparently spontaneous, international commiserations over the death of a saintly, pistol-whipping1 porn star unfortunately over-fond of strange powders. And the inevitable and justified attacks on the symbols of white racism (statues, public building, liquor stores, shoe shops, McDonald’s, street names, white faces) that caused his demise. Should, however, this reflection be too political for your maudlin mood, and you just prefer something mair auld lang syne, I attach the following little compilation of 1950s Scandinavian street scenes from what appears to be home movies. And you may imagine yourself there instead, enjoying your unjust privilege. Although there is no sound (other than a retrospectively added and poorly chosen soundtrack), it speaks for itself. It features Scandies of course (and thankfully a few fjallravens to maintain the special interest of wildlife connoisseurs) but we Scotch, as fellow North Euros, are in no wise excluded from recognising a common cultural past, and thusly seeing ourselves in the images. That is our former selves.

https://youtu.be/t0oxUeKIgIc        and here's a live link. (I'm not sure if I've done this correctly, tell me if so)



Perhaps I am projecting, but I feel a terrific sense of order and security radiating from the images, in that these places are safe in a way that does not exist anymore. Good manners too, somehow suggests itself. These are nice thoughts to enter the new year with, don’t you think.The city centre scenes are striking for how well-dressed people appear to be; dapper, polished and elegant are proposed as the correct adjectives. And slim. And White. Slim and White; Aye, there’s the rub.

Although easily within the span of many readers, the world depicted is as gone as Caesar’s Rome.2 For some oldsters this may evoke nostalgia, for the young however (and here I am thinking of White school children) raised in a world of images where their visual replacement is almost complete, I feel that these images will come as a surprise. And for ethnic others; they’ll be wondering where they are. I am especially curious about how older children, gas-lighted and bullied into beliefs about prejudice and patriarchy as their recent history, react to seeing just pale faces like their own in what are undeniably liveable countries, despite the absence of the cultural enrichments we now enjoy. For young males especially, seeing innocent images of ordinary White males who are not the buffoons, psychos and incompetents they know from TV, perhaps this would have a subtle power. Could these images evoke some atavistic impulse that could threaten the project to deprive European peoples of their heritage? I am sure that I am not the only one to think this.

I’ve politicised my viewing of these images, although we know watching them that such a perspective was not even conceivable to the original filmers – although arguably to the recent compiler. It is this very innocence of political agenda that gives them their subversive power and this is why they will be memory holed.  Our past, according to this corrected view, was narrow and dull, intolerant and corrupt, racist and anti-Semitic. No other memory will be allowed.

It is the perquisite of power to invent the past. And we are not to find a welcome there. In this future world auld acquaintance should be forgot and never brocht tae mind. Let us resist this for, evoking Rabbie, auld lang syne.

Hat tip to The Clash, from whom I stole the title.

What think ye?

 

1. Lest this causes a misunderstanding, we are not referencing a porno-style pistol whipping in the saint’s case, but actual pistol whipping (with a gun) of a pregnant woman he was robbing. I think ‘pistol-whuppin’ is the correct term.

2. And ha ha, for exactly the same reasons. Emperor Claudius shakes his head: Ego dixi vobis.