Brian’s Column: Who ARE These People?

6. And what have they done with my brother!?
Brian R. Wright

[Link to Episode 5]

Note: These columns are a series, I will make into a volume of my memoirs. You may follow the links at top and bottom of page to go to preceding or succeeding episodes. The series starts here. {If the [Link to Episode <next>] at the  bottom of the column does not show an active hyperlink, then the <next> column has yet to be written.}

First, I’m going to hit you with yet another Bro and me image, mainly because the age is right, probably the summer before kindergarten, and we’re at my mother’s mother’s farm near Centerville, Iowa. With the Mighty Wonder Dog named Tuton— named by our step-grandfather’s sons after the conventional two-ton pickup truck of the time. [I promise, this will be the final cute childhood picture of my brother and me. Well, okay, at most one or two more. 🙂 ] You can see my brother, Forrest, on the right, simply adored that dog. Tuton was a great one, too, he would run after any vehicle that came rolling down the dirt road in front of the farm house, barking and carrying on something fierce. But was as gentle and friendly a pet as you can imagine. Grown manly men cried buckets when Tuton died.

I’m introducing this episode with another brother photo, because one of the most serious crimes of force against me as a child—almost as heartless as taking me away from my parents—was separating me from my brother. In Episode 4, I allude to that assault, in particular:

“… my parents see no real alternative but to enter me in the compulsory government school system, the entry point euphemistically called kindergarten—literally, ‘children’s garden.’

“… ‘Who are these strange people wanting to tell me what to know, what to do, ringing bells, enforcing naps, tying my behavior to a group, regulating my movement into strict confines, watching me all the time, taking me away from my brother (confining me by age), putting this so-called ‘teacher’ adult in front who tells me to raise my hand and stay in my seat, and so on?!

“Who died and made them king? Was I asleep when they came by to ask for my approval? Where’s my brother? ‘If you don’t mind, Mrs. Bland, I’m going to be on my way, I know where the door is, thank you. I can walk home from there. My parents will call your parents. Have a nice day.’ Whhhooooshhh! out the door…. No such luck.” Continue reading

Democracy Reaches the Kids! (2014)

Rekindling the joy of learning
by George Meegan

Democracy Reaches the KidsDemocracy Reaches the Kids! is a tour de force, a blockbuster, and a game changer. It delivers a blow to the ‘education industrial complex’ from which it will not recover, and we are all the better for it. One of the higher density books of ideas-per-page you’ll ever read. Meegan’s pace is quick and energetic, a rich tapestry of facts from all over the world—pertaining to education, both how it has been and how it can be. Taking it all in is like reading Future Shock by Alvin Toffler, though Democracy! shines with genuine compassion and focus. Where Mr. Toffler tends to overwhelm the reader with technology ahead of its time, Mr. Meegan shows us how to liberate our souls and become humanely connected to one another through life-learning.

So who is this guy George Meegan, coming from out of the blue? Per Wikipedia:

George Meegan is a British long-distance walker best known for his unbroken walk of the entire Western Hemisphere from the southern tip of South America to the northernmost part of Alaska at Prudhoe Bay. This journey on foot was of 19,019 miles (30,608 km) in 2,425 days (1977-1983) and is documented in his book The Longest Walk (1988). He has appeared often in the press including the Today Show three times, CBS Morning News and on Larry King Live. Meegan lives Internationally and has a wife, Yoshiko, in Japan. They have two children. He ran as an Independent candidate for the Gillingham and Rainham constituency for the 2010 General Election.

Reading further in the Wiki article, which describes Democracy!, you’ll see George’s self-identified life mission since finishing the Longest Walk has been to preserve culture and language, what he saw so many of during that Herculean journey 35 years ago. The book sprang from notes George gathered during the thousands of miles he traversed and the hundreds of communities that he called home for days, weeks, sometimes months and years. Continue reading

Book Review: The Truman Prophecy (2015), Excerpt #9

From Part 2: Toto, Curtain #7: ‘Botting’ Junior

Pod1[Excerpt from The Truman Prophecy, due for publication 12/25/15.]

Independent study, community service, adventures in experience, large doses of privacy and solitude, a thousand different apprenticeships, the one day variety or longer: these are all powerful, cheap and effective ways to start a real reform of schooling. — John Taylor Gatto

___________________4Q 2015

With a reluctance bred of long familiarity, yet firmly Troy Barlow came on board. He realized that TV and compulsory state schooling were the 1-2 sacred-cow PUNCH designed by the Men of the Power Sickness to knock out the last hopes of Independent humanity.

Troy, standing on the shoulders of giants of reform John Taylor Gatto and George ‘Longwalker’ Meegan, saw that the days of forced factory schooling for ‘the masses’ were coming to an end. Or… if not, the human race surely would. Continue reading