For forty-two years now I’ve been gathering notes on Purpose, reasons for things: church, school, government … always in the larger contexts of reasons for existence, for life … for society.
Gotta add quick, no time to integrate first with my censored work: pk long having been recognized as intelligent, independent, and, therefore, correctly, an enemy of the state.
One reason for society’s monopolistic institutions, churches and schools are monopolistic in appetite if not in fact, is to isolate the young from their actual culture, to incubate them in culture which is not their culture. Put the 21st century child out in the desert with Moses (when he’s actually in Bensonhurst): or in Jerusalem with Jesus, or in a WWI trench with Owen or Sassoon: to read Lincoln while Nixon restructures the state.
Me, I started my reading only a little bit behind my culture: Hardy Boys and Tarzan not too long after they were popular. But then I’m assigned Wordsworth while I miss ee cummings, read Donne and Shakespeare while O’Neill is still alive and working. Put the kid in school, he’s out of mom’s way and out of the way of the man looking for work, put the man in college and he’s out of the way of whichever go-getter is destroying the earth that year.
Gee, you know, whatever skulduggery is intended by the culture’s owners, keeping the young side-railed, they may actually be the only thing keeping us alive! Imagine if every Billy the Kid had guns ready to hand:
Kill a Mexican, then sleep on the corpse. Billy wouldn’t get any sleep, some Mexican, some Apache, some kid from the Bronx would kill him before his first snore.
(Similar title: Out of Step Together.)
Don’t think you know anything about Billy the Kid until you’ve read Jorge Luis Borges, Universal History of Infamy.
Fiction, yes, but I trust it.