Thursday, March 08, 2007
Life Under Late Capitalism
The assignment my six-year-old got in his first grade classroom:
Complete the story of the duckling and the alligator.
The alligator ate the duckling and the alligator lived happily ever after.
The grade his teacher gave him:
Check plus. And a smiley face.
For a long time I tried to conceal from my toddler the fact that some animals ate other animals: “Do you see the polar bear and the fish playing?” Now, though, at the advanced age of three, he is quite interested in food chains, and serenely confident that he is at the top of them.
I find it even tougher to explain “chicken,” Matt. At two and a half, I don’t think my little girl has made the connection between her friends at the Staten Island Zoo and her lunch. My wife tried just to say “white meat” for a while but it didn’t last.
Is it sufficiently scholarly/critical of me to just post a big
in response to this?
Channeling Jameson from the post below, we could examine the way the generic finality of happily-ever-after papers over the foundational horror of the resolution.
My toddler, by contrast, relishes grim stories. In Peter Rabbit, for example, she loves Mr. McGregor. I wondered whether she grasped what the McGregors had done to Peter’s father, so we discussed it once, and she seemed to get it. Now, when we read the opening pages, it’s she who explains to me that Peter’s daddy is DEAD, because they ATE HIM.
Did the teacher actually write out the words “Check plus. And a smiley face.”? Now that might have been postmodern.