Safe for Children

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / Social Order / Civilization (NoHier) / Politics /
@ K. 2013 03 08

We must make the internet safe for children. A decade before we’d said we must make the library safe for children.

Women are softies when it comes to appeals to the safety of children. But so are men. Even women who lack the usual dose of nurturing instinct will conceal their shortage the moment they realize that that instinct is being appealed to. So: if the appeal is that a porn-saturated world wide web is not a wholesome place for children to surf, the appeal is half-won at the outset.
Me, I get my dander up more readily to oppose censorship than I do to protect toddlers. That is not to say that I am indifferent to children. But I do ask:
Are highways safe for children? Are oceans safe for children? Is wilderness safe for children? How about the chem plant? … Are schools safe for children? Are hospitals safe for children? Is the mall safe for children? How about safaris?

Should we nuke all the animals before the hunting party gets started so there’s no possibility of our toddler facing a trapped boar in the woods?

The wolf has her pups in a den. The wolves strive to keep the den safe for the pups. The wolves do not take the pups along on the hunt. If mom is nursing them, maybe she shouldn’t go either.

Lynching parties in US history would often take the children along. The lynching party did not regard their children as being in danger from their quarry. Where the children taken along for their education? To some extent yes: Here, kid: here’s how we white Christians treat n-words (Bowdlerizing K. 2016 07 31). But the main reason was that the children provided the lynchers with a probable excuse. Once the adults started to fire their victim’s shack, the victim was quite likely to object: to say something the lynchers could choose to make him regret. What the hell you doing? could be answered by howls of He cursed! He cursed in front of our children. String him up! (Introduced in Stalking Horse: Why Are We “Christian?)

If you don’t want your kid to read Huckleberry Finn, don’t give him Huckleberry Finn; but don’t keep it out of the library so someone else can’t read it.

Safety of Children is and should be a prime concern for any society: for any species. Without the kids, we’re all dead men walking: on our way out. That’s why wolves make dens and people build nurseries. Make the nursery as safe as you can, then keep the kid out of the kitchen: until you judge that he is competent to avoid the dangers of the kitchen. Keep the kid out of the workshop, out of the factory, off the street. But please, don’t ever try to make the world safe for children. Or the library, or the university, or the internet.

And when you hear appeals for children’s safety, consider the possible motives of the speaker. Is child safety their concern? Or are they using child safety as a stalking horse for some other agenda?

Back in 1972 the left Village anarchists saw my literature for the Free Learning Exchange, invited me to their meetings. The gal who first called me came later to call herself Mercury. That’s now the only name I remember for her anyway. Mercury later invited me to speak on this and that radio show, to join this or that panel discussing this or that. One time we went up to Hunter College for … I don’t remember what the meeting was supposed to be about. I spoke first. I talked about freeing information. Deregulating it. Allowing it to be as complete as the public itself wants to make it. Don’t certify it. Don’t recommend it. Don’t edit it. Just keep it. Allow it to complete itself. Make it available. And then also keep records of feedback on the information: This place is diseased. That guy is a serial killer. This guy is for real. …. Then get out of the way. Let people make their own judgments.

As usual, I don’t think anyone understood a word I said, not even the anarchists.
Some gal then stood and talked about how many children were being abused in their homes. She wanted to go into those homes and take the children away.

Did she personally want to adopt four thousand kids from Harlem? Feed them, clean them, teach them to read, kiss their booboo? No. She didn’t want to personally kidnap any of them, clean any of their bottoms. She wanted the City to do it! The state. The Fed.
I said, “Kidnap the kid personally,   or mind your own business.”

Mercury said something to the woman, I don’t remember exactly what. I don’t think anyone wanted to hear any more of what I had to say. That’s OK: I’d already said it.

The woman wanted collective action. She seemed to trust unnamed groups; to mistrust (also unnamed) individuals.
I wanted the woman, I wanted all of us, to mind our own business. What is our business? Will there ever be a consensus? How long would such a consensus last?

I don’t want to oppose individuals’ decisions as to what their business is, except in one on one combat: Put that down! It’s not yours! I do however find that it’s way past time to oppose most groups’ decisions (is that an oxymoron?) as to what their business is.

Anyway, think about it: what is your business?

Keywords: safety, children, censorship, stalking horse
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About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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