Mark A. Carter

THOUGHT CRIME: imaginary grenades,
and a totalitarian future

World famous Canadian Science Fiction writer Mark A. Carter gives his two cents worth about imaginary grenades, seven year olds, thought crime, and freedom of speech.

I read an article in The Huffington Post recently entitled "Colorado 7-Year-Old Suspended For Throwing 'Imaginary Grenade' During School Recess" 02/05/2013 by Sara Gates. And I said to my wife, "This is dangerous on so many levels."

From the outset, just so you know, I have developed a great disrespect for public school teachers; whereas, I once revered them. Why? They are morons.

I no longer trust public school teachers to "inculcate by precept and example" as they are tasked to do.

Frankly, the schools that we send our children to every day are nothing more than the public baby sitting service for parents who have both been forced to work in order to survive in this ruined economy. It would be better for the children and for society itself if they were home-schooled. With a computer in every home, there is no reason why long distance learning or on-line classrooms, as they have had in Australia for decades, couldn't be a reality in North America as well. And I would rather have a computer, with infinite patience, teach my child in the safety of his home, rather than a weirdo teacher who tokes up on weekends pass over my child in a crowded classroom five days a week. But that would put all the brown nose teachers out of work. Je suis désolé.

Let's face it, there is little difference between prisons and schools. I was a bad one, in my own time, for making my Great Escape, for literally digging under the fence in preschool and making a break for it. But having listened to Principals talking, during the insane period when I was actually employed as a public school teacher, I recall the viewpoint that students were to be kept in school for the money that each head count garnered. Moreover, where adolescents were concerned, it was important to keep them in school so they would not procreate all over God's green Earth. What utter delusion is that? That's like trying to cap an erupting volcano.

Also, the regimentation of classroom teaching is designed to break students of their creativity and individuality. It is designed to transform absolute rule followers into automatons who, when the population surges, can be sent off to the slaughter of so-called war against a fabricated enemy, to thin the human herd.

So, when I read about the insane decision of the teaching staff at Mary Blair Elementary School in Loveland to suspend grade two student and seven year old Alex Evans for throwing an imaginary grenade during recess, it made me think of three things: First, guns are out of control in the United States. But instead of dealing with dangerous, violent, and unstable people wielding actual weapons, these wackadoodle teachers are coming down on a seven year old for wielding his imagination. Second, are these teachers really concerned with gun violence or are they using the recent hypervigilant climate in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School slaughter in Newton Connecticut as an excuse to quash the imagination of a young individual just as they have forced so many children to take methylphenidate to control their so-called attention deficit disorder? It's the only way to have quiet little school-bots. Isn't it? And third, isn't Alex's imagination protected?

I would think that Alex's imagination is protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution. Isn't this a freedom of speech issue? Moreover, and on an extremely frightening note, isn't this getting into the realm of science fiction? This sounds like the "future crime" seen in the film Minority Report. I realize that gun violence is the recent cause célèbre. But after its fifteen minutes of fame, as Andy Warhol put it, it too is doomed to fade as the next crisis steals the spotlight in a culture immersed in disaster, sex, and violence. But punishing people for merely imagining is a dangerous precedent and must be quashed before we lose what limited so-called rights we have been granted.

What's next? Are we to have sensors placed in every home to monitor our thoughts? Is that going to be the next thing? If I can imagine it, it will happen. Remember, science fiction is predictive. Isn't it bad enough that there are cameras watching us in every store and at every street corner, and that computers now have cameras in them that can be turned on remotely to allow the government to view us in our homes without us knowing. Yes, Virginia, Big Brother is indeed watching you right now. Read George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. But if we start to monitor thought patterns and to arrest people for using their imaginations, we are doomed.

My recommendation is that you twits lay off the Cannabis. You're all getting a little too Rocky Mountain high, with apologies to John Denver, while teaching. And it's making you paranoid.

The first to go will be the writers. It's what Adolf Hitler did. In order to control people, he killed writers and burned their books. Why? Books are dangerous. They give people ideas. Read Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 to see his take on a future society where the ideas written in books are not allowed and all books must be burned by firemen. But if the powers that be start to monitor our imaginations, they would have us all locked up or killed. Welcome to the future. It is here now. And it is not free. It is totalitarian.

As for me, with my vivid imagination, my thought crimes would have me incarcerated for eternity. After all, in Tellusian Seed, I kill God. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

But my final point is this: Does a balanced person do the dreadful things they sometimes imagine? No. Sometimes, like me, these imaginings are channeled into creativity. Sometimes they are channeled into sports. Usually they are nothing more than thoughts in passing as we try to unravel and to comprehend the insanity of the world around us. But for children, an imagination is an essential part of play. So, let Alex play.

As for the teachers and for Valerie Lara-Black, the Principal at Mary Blair Elementary School, I would like to line you all up against a wall, roll up your sleeves, and inject you with a dose of common sense since you obviously don't have any. As Voltaire so aptly put it, "Common sense is not so common." What you so-called academics also need is some serious psychiatric treatment because you have a few screws loose. Personally, I would not trust my children with you in loco parentis because you have demonstrated poor judgment.

Either that or you have all been exposed to Bozo Rays courtesy of Babylon Five. Maybe there's something in the mountain water.

Perhaps, as I stated at the outset, you're just morons.

Read: Bug-Eyed Monsters
Time Warp

Now you know.

from the imagination of Mark A. Carter - writer

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