Normalising behaviour and killing creativity and passion. (Where it belongs)

Ooo, I love quoting meself and now I get a chance to quote a big slab! Actually I was a wood-duck and posted the thing below in “Writing”, when I meant to post it as a “Journal” entry. So its now where it was supposed to be. (Was scratchin’ me head how the hell Kim and Tania were commenting on something I couldn’t find in Journal entries!)

“Brian David Braun’s posts on the Biege is death! group on the theme of behaviour modifying drug promotion got me thinkin’. Actually, got me remembering a brilliant talk by Sir Ken Robinson at a TED conference. (Robinson is a big noise in British education and TED is a web site that’s a wet dream for smartarses.)

If you’d rather listen to Sir Ken instead of reading this then here is the link to Kenny’s TED talk.

Kenny covers the topic of education killing creativity. He uses the true story of a famous dancer in Britain who was hopeless at school. In a pretty extraordinary move by her mother, given it was back in the 1930s, she was taken off to a doctor to find out why she was incapable of concentrating on school work. The doctor heard the lass’s mother describe the “problem”, and the doc said he wanted to talk to the mother in private. He switched the radio in his room to a music program and told the 8 year old they would be back soon.

They were able to observe the “problem” child. The kid was on her feet inside a minute of them leaving the room and moving to the music. The doc’s comment to the Mum: “She’s not sick, she’s a dancer. Get her off to a dance school.”

Kenny points out in his talk that today, the girl probably would have been diagnosed with ADHD ”…but they didn’t know you could have that back then.”

Now, I have close friends with mental illnesses, illnesses that can make them functional wrecks, not just “difficult” or “too wild”; illnesses that mean they just can’t operate in a consistent way without medication. So I’m sure that there are times when drugs can achieve wonderful things. It’s the treatment of “difficult” behaviour with drugs that’s the scary bit.

Beigists (anthem: “normal is good, normal is good…oi oi oi”) don’t like “difficult” behaviour. They hate creativity that also includes difficult behaviour even more. Fuck ‘em I say.

My amateur theory is that back in the day when we were scrapping our knuckles on the ground and picking ticks off one another was considered having a good time, any behaviour that had you standing out from the group was treated as a threat to to the safety of the group. Roger, a million or so years of that evolutionary risk control habit is gunna be a hard one to throw. But I wonder how long it’s gunna take for us to work out that beigism is now completely unnecessary; time for us to evolve."

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