Despite all of the family activity over the past several months, there have been a number of significant conversations with the kids, singly or together. There’s so much happening in our society – well, that’s nothing new but the nature of it is far more important than other issues – that these conversations have to happen. There are moments when any of them will look at me with the cocked head pose of Laddie, the Wonder Spaniel – blah, blah, NSA, blah… – but there are also moments when the monologue shifts to a dialogue and it’s then that the real education can occur, that time when what is learned in school is fleshed out in the real world and the family values are further transmitted.
Decide what you believe is the most important for them to know and work from there. For me, there are several large issues that come together into one overarching monstrosity of a theme. Issues such as the legalization of marijuana, the ongoing failure to reform the financial system, the growth of the surveillance state and campaign finance reform are seemingly unrelated on one level but tightly intertwined on another level. Each is part and parcel of the coalescence of a corporate and political structure – fascism in it’s simplest form – that seeks to maintain itself at the cost of the individual’s rights and liberties. The legalization of marijuana is, on one level, a purported triumph for individual liberty but the system’s willingness to alter decades of law and policy in the interest of yet more tax revenue is the worst form of cynicism. We’ve talked for years about an equal opportunity system that pays no credence to race, gender or creed and congratulations to us – we’re now well down the road to a system of governance that doesn’t give a good goddamn about the color of your skin, your gender or what you believe so long as you feed the system via votes, tax revenues or payments for stays in private correctional facilities.