Thursday, 27 November 2008

Running around in the wake of punkings

I wonder if those who set themselves up as the arbiters of all reason know what an empty conceit moderation is, and throwing it around like it means something often shows an empty head posing as a wise one.

Why do people think that a mythical standard of moderation can stand in for depriving children of playgrounds, the closure of public sports facilities such as swimming baths, removal of park wardens and others who's pride in their work helped to keep the balance of rules and regulations that made streets safe enough for children to play 'unsupervised'?

Children do not require encouragement to run around and play unless their natural enthusiasm for moving themselves around has been compromised or derailed by obstacles placed in it's path. Provide space and they will play. Helping to lay the foundations of competence that adult fitness is often partly based on. There's also the emotional stability that is promoted by being able to express yourself physically along with the emotional release, and feelings of being free and unencumbered.

The absence of this can cause a drift into a similar release, sex. Not necessarily wrong, but sometimes coming to it for certain needs can affect the ability to feel and be more at the centre of ones desires-rather than feeling unbalanced by them- therefore more prone to someone else inveigling themselves into that centre. Thwarting their ability to, just let go, day after day, is a denial of their spiritual expressiveness.

The hollowing out of certain aspects of civil society that enables children to be free to explore their environment and learn to manage acceptable risk to the point where the lawless, the severely damaged, and those whom parents fear will prey on them. Encroach on the balance of the streets, helping to push children either indoors or in the closely supervised activities of purely adult design. As opposed to their own.

We in society seemed to have kept voting for this and are oh so shocked at what we claim are it's effects, the ones that often are we ignore and wring our hands wondering why we have so many children with 'bad nerves' it couldn't be down to us, it must be what they eat or better still the 'lazy' children themselves, never the 'liberation' of our desires, for the overweening triumph of our favoured love object; the motor car.

Disconnected, meaningless and frankly disingenuous lectures in 'moderation' waste the opportunity to address these issues. And decide on a better balance between our desires and the needs of young humans to grow and develop the skills they need to survive and thrive in this world. They will not take down 'no ball game' signs, or bring the roads back under the control of children playing football when there were few enough cars.

Progress is progress, I'm not saying that it doesn't bring benefits, I can understand the joy and sense of freedom the car has brought, ironic really when you consider that it's replacing the joy and sense of freedom of children with those of adults, but those are decisions we've made and we must deal with the downsides, not tout banal fatuity's and thinking it's OK to be upset by the consequences, real or imagined.

We know play is the work of children, it still is even if we decide that some kids aren't worth making provision for. Don't expect that to come for free. The cost could have been calculated but in the fug of classism, consequences are overlooked. And the overlooked must 'take responsibility' trying to somehow absorb and hide decisions made to disregard their needs.

Trying to shield the conscience by blaming and shaming, oh those people are so immoderate that's their trouble, won't substitute. They don't count, they're not worthwhile enough, then you are disgusted by what might be evidence of impact, rather than putting up your hands and saying, let's learn from this and sort it out and move on, knowing better the value of things we instinctively knew were valuable and realising there are costs to denying that value even to those ascribed lesser value than the convenience of others.

It should not be the duty of those who's needs are not considered important to have to try and outrun the extent of that disregard.

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