Archive for discipline

New Drugs Den

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2012 by javedbabar

Samuel’s gang met every night after school. Some came immediately, studious members came after homework, and laggards came after dinner. They rode bicycles to their den, a cave at the base of Mt Alba. Older kids sometimes “borrowed” cars to get there, and gave everyone rides home.

The police knew about these activities but were powerless. They couldn’t stop a child without a special warrant, which required extra paperwork. Also, there had to be a minimum of four cops present as witnesses, each later required to take a polygraph test.

Parents didn’t even try to discipline their children. A single complaint by a child led to their immediate arrest, a speedy hearing, and possibly prison. The result of all this was that children were allowed to run free and nowhere were they freer than in Samuel’s gang.

The first few weeks were exciting, but then kids began to get bored. “Let’s play games,” said Samuel. “We’ll start with wrestling.”

This wasn’t a popular choice, and no one volunteered to participate. Since the death of his friend Dale, Samuel had had no real competition. He could crush any other boy or girl in an instant.

One of the studious gang members said, “Okay, how about some word games?”

They played rhyming, guessing, and spying games and grew bored again.

“Who’s got some cards? We’ll play poker.”

They played poker, blackjack, gin-rummy and snap.

“Did anyone bring video games?

They crowded around Playstation 6, XXX-Box and Nintendo Wiiiii.

The modern world had made them bored. With so much available, always and everywhere, nothing was ever enough. Immersion in abundance became avoidance. They needed escape.

Gang attendance declined till Samuel hit upon a new idea, which was in truth an old idea. Toxins, the oldest pleasures known to man.

They began with drinking games, downing beers, wines, ciders and spirits.

Then came smoking games, with cigarettes, cigars and hookahs.

Then snorting games. Snuff, speed and cocaine.

Then injecting games. Morphine, heroin and amphetamines.

They all became drug addicts, which proved a nice earner for Samuel, and for his next layer of lieutenants. But he realized that to become a successful organization, his own house should be in order. Every night that week he locked everyone out of the cave, and made them go cold turkey, and chased the drug monster out.

But the monster returned. Samuel’s wholesale dealers were upset by their loss of earnings, and came looking. A fur-coated, trilby wearing thug asked, “Who is Samuel? The Boss wants a word.”

They didn’t know who they were dealing with. Samuel and his gang trapped and killed them and sold their cars.

The police suspected the gang’s involvement but could do nothing, and to be frank, were not inclined to. They thought, let the underworld clean itself.

Many years later, when Samuel was a grandfather and also a godfather, his grandson’s gang was in trouble. Samuel took care of the situation personally, but in the process was wounded mortally. He hadn’t been hit though. There were no traces of poison, nor knife or bullet wounds; no ropes or cement; no fire. How had they reached him?

Modern crime was no place for old men. It was a subtle arena. Electronic signals disrupted everything, communications in the outside world and nerve impulses within. He was no match for the new breed of robot dealers. Samuel’s last sensation was that of flashing ones and zeros, and high-pitched whirrs. This was against established protocols. Computers’ offspring were also out of control.

Bully Best Friend

Posted in Lucerne Village, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2012 by javedbabar

“You are! You are! You are!” screamed the boy in pain.

There was no dispute that Samuel was now leader of the gang. He was fair-skinned and blonde, ten kilos heavier, and six inches taller than most other boys, and all of them were afraid of him. He beat up boys and forced girls to kiss him. It made no difference if they were gang members or not, but gang members got off more lightly, with fewer bruises and bites.

Many parents complained to Samuel’s parents, but they shrugged their shoulders and said he was out of control; they didn’t know where he got it from. Besides, The Authority banned all forms of domestic discipline, so there was nothing they could do. The official guidance Samuel received at school was written only, nothing verbal, or, God forbid, physical discipline to counter his physical conduct. It barely dented his bad behaviour.

His Grandpa was a tough character, and was asked to have a word with him. Rather than acting as a good influence though, his Grandpa’s pep talks made him proud and pompous.

Things were set to get worse when Dale arrived at school. His parents had lived off-grid in an “undisclosed location” since his birth, and had home-schooled him till thirteen. The Authority had then threatened to lock them up, and take Dale away, unless they returned to “civilization”.

Dale was the same size as Samuel, but dark and hairy. Either they would fight each other in rival gangs, or together become twin terrors. It could go either way.

On his first day at school, Dale stood in front of Samuel in the playground. Samuel was a wary of this strange new boy, and rather than pushing him out of the away, he instead said brusquely, “Excuse me.”

“Excuse me, what?”

“Excuse me,” Samuel launched himself at Dale, screaming, “Pleeeease!”

They fought for ten minutes, resulting in a complicated stalemate, with both boys and then four teachers, tangled on the floor, before they broke apart, laughing. After this, Samuel and Dale become inseparable best friends.

They continued fighting each other for fun, much to the relief of others, who now became spectators rather than participants, cheering for one or the other combatant, often laying down bets. The Samuel-Danny fight became a popular ritual. Teachers bet on it too, and Miss Jewel and Mr Wong won $100 each.

“That shopkeeper charges too much money,” Dale said to Samuel. “He wants two dollars for chips when they’re one dollar everywhere else, and a potato costs ten cents to grow. He thinks we’re stupid. We should raid his shop.”

“We should smash it!”

“We should burn it!”

They decided to do all three things, and raided, smashed and burned it that night. The tied-up shopkeeper begged them to stop, each by name, and when they realized he recognized them, they smashed and burned him too.

The police came to school the next day to quiz teachers. Because of regulations, they were not allowed to quiz children. Samuel and Dale smirked at the back of the class.

A week later, the shopkeeper’s daughter saw Samuel and Dale and set her Rottweiler upon them. After a long fight, they killed the dog. Samuel only suffered cuts and grazes but Dale was bitten badly, and a few days later, died.

Samuel was withdrawn from school and stayed at home for two weeks. He went to visit his grandfather who lived beyond the swamp at the base of Mt Negra. He told him all about the gang, the fight, the shopkeeper and the dog. And most of all about how much he missed his best friend Dale.

His grandfather clipped his ear and said, “Don’t be such a wimp. You get that from your father, not from me, for sure. I had killed four guys by your age. Now go back to school and kick some ass.”

Ten Views of Teacher

Posted in Conceptual Art, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2012 by javedbabar

After covering myself in his PIA: Philosophy In Art class, Alex thought that students should cover himself – the teacher. The adults and teens may see him in different ways, like Hokusai found thirty-six ways to view Mt Fuji. Let’s see.

“Okay, everybody, what do you think of me?”

There was general silence – even more than there usually was in class when nobody said anything, but a proportion of students were fidgeting, whispering, texting, flicking through books, picking their nails, yawning and crunching candy.

They had all ceased activity and become quiet.

A girl put her hand up, slowly. It seemed that she felt responsible for the class. “We like you, Sir. We think you are a good teacher. We are enjoying your class. I’m sure we will give you good marks at the end of term…” She tailed off, running out of words.

Ah! thought Alex. So that was it. They thought he was concerned about his ratings. This was the crazy situation in schools these days, where teachers were forced to give poor students good marks for everything, so as not to disappoint them. Many students savaged good teachers because they made them work hard and enforced discipline. This could lead to their being sacked. Thank God he wasn’t a full-time teacher.

He said, “I don’t mean me as an individual. I mean me as a teacher. In how many ways can we view teachers?”

Light commotion resumed in class. The terrible silence was broken. A woman said, “Teachers provide education. They share their knowledge of subject matter on which they are experts.”

I wish that were the case, thought Alex. We’re generally just coping.

A man said, “Teachers provide both formal and informal teaching. Beyond their academic lessons, they show us how to speak to groups and behave as individuals.”

“My favourite teacher was my RS teacher,” said a woman. “He told me about God. He said that the word religion comes from religare – to connect. He said that religion provides a good way to engage with the world.”

A boy said, “A teacher is a coach. He or she gives you training that you use to improve your skills. I mean mainly in sports, but in everything else too.”

“Teachers are role models,” said a girl. “If they’re good, you want to grow up to be just like them.”

Some of the adult students were much older than Alex. They looked bemused.

“Teachers are leaders. They help you to advance in learning.”

“They must be disciplinarians. Their attitude must be that of in loco parentis – like absent parents. If you do something wrong, you should expect to be walloped.”

The teens looked horrified. This was not the way these days.

“Sometimes there are substitute teachers, just filling in. Their job is not to teach you anything, merely to avoid disaster!”

“What about teaching assistants? Are they sort of teachers too?”

Alex said yes.

An older woman stood up, grabbed her bag and prepared to leave the room. “This class is getting on my nerves,” she said. “Ten views of this! Ten views of that! The best teacher is no teacher. I am going home to think and learn things myself.”