Vincent and I just got home from watching Waiting For Superman and I'm a bit worried about our children. Not just the ones we spawn, but our nieces, and if I think about it longer, every kid. It's funny to think a few years ago I really didn't have much time for children; they were just people, so if they were horrid or stupid I hated them as much as I do horrid and stupid adults. Then something changed a couple of years ago; I think a combination of my niece and meeting my person, and now I don't just like kids and want some, I feel responsible for them (to be fair to myself, I did always care about the poor ones, I just didn't care to hang out with them).
By a funny coincidence, I was thinking about this stuff today already after I found a playlist that I made for my niece on the ipod, and spent the afternoon listening to it. She was five when I made it for her and it was a heavy load for a kid; a call to arms, an education, an apology, a challenge (and then a roundabout message of hope), and I cried buckets while I made it, thinking about the shitty world we've made that she and her cousin (for whom I also made a playlist, but a little more welcoming; she was only 3 months old) have to try to live in. I truly believe that they will change it; she is doing so already, which was why I could give it to her when I did. I know now that once we've taken things as far as we can, we have to let go. I realised a few weeks ago that with all of the hurt and baggage I have from things that have happened to me, the world will be better when I'm gone too; when all of us who lived through any kind of discrimination will be holding the next lot back and we have to leave. It was a really sad thing to admit; that as hard as I try to escape things I didn't choose, they shaped me, sometimes in a way that makes me afraid or angry when I don't need to be, and that I can only do so much. And it means I'm not even close to the superperson (how had I not even thought about Nietzsche's ubermensch in all of this! I'm still just an ancestor!). Anyway, this is the playlist.
A Call To Arms For [her name should be here but I can't put it in case you're a paedophile]:
1. Bad Reputation - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
2. Career Opportunities - The Clash
3. Maggie's Farm - The Specials
4. London Calling - The Clash
5. I Won't Back Down - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
6. He's Misstra Know-It-All - Stevie Wonder
7. The Guns Of Brixton - The Clash
8. Redemption Song - Bob Marley
9. Sunday Bloody Sunday - U2
10. Born In The USA - Bruce Springsteen
11. Reason To Believe - Bruce Springsteen
12. This Land Is Your Land - Woody Guthrie
13. Blowin' In The Wind - Bob Dylan
14. The Times They Are A-Changin' - Bob Dylan
15. America - Simon & Garfunkel
16. Peace Train - Cat Stevens
17. Nest Egg - The Phoenix Foundation
18. Enjoy Yourself - The Specials
I haven't put links because if you're going to listen to this, it needs to be one song straight after another, and without the distraction of a video; it's a serious business. So are children, in case you didn't know. Even if you don't have any, don't want any, don't know any or just hate people in general, you owe them. As good as you can try to make yourself, they can be better. And even though it's depressing to think of what they're facing, it's pretty fucking exciting to think of what they might do.
Oh and PS Waiting For Superman starts off badly but stick with it; it's very good and makes you think noble things and then end up talking to your spouse about whether or not private school fits into your beliefs and how much easier it could be to have stupid children.
(Image from funnyhub.com)