RW238 - A Muck Component

This week, Dan and John talk about:

The show title refers to John going down into his ravine with all of his clothes, having them all smell mucky after a while.

Raw notes
The segments below are raw notes that have not been edited for language, structure, references, or readability. Please do not quote these texts directly without applying your own editing first! These notes were not planned to be released in this form, but time constraints have caused a shift in priorities and have delayed editing draft-quality versions to a later point.

John wanting to see the water in his creek, footwear during the rainy season, Top Sider boat shoes (RW238)

It is the rainy season in Seattle and John noticed frustratingly that it rains during the night a lot, which a lot of people probably are psyched about, but night time is John’s time and he has this creek that he is monkeying with and he wants it to rain during the day so he can be down in the creek in the day, watching the water tumble through all the little obstacles he has built for it. Lately it starts to drizzles all day, but at 7pm, which in the North is after sunset, it starts to rain and pours all night, and John can hear the creek, he goes down with a flashlight and looks at the creek, but it is just not the same.

Today it is supposed to be a big rainy day and John can go down and get in the creek. It is a cold wintery Northwest muddy clay-based creek, and John’s clothes are all starting to smell like a creek bottom because rather than have one set of creek-mud clothes that he keeps in smell-proof cabinet somewhere he just goes down into the creek every time he wants to, which is every day, and he is wearing whatever clothes he has on and they all are starting to smell like the creek and if you dig in the mud, if you are in the muck with your mucky boots and you wipe your mucky hands on your pants, pretty soon the pants start to smell like muck.

Autumn has come and normally at a certain point before now John transitions out of wearing Sperry Top Sider boat shoes with no socks and into Blundstones with wool rag socks that he wears all winter. It used to be Red Wings with wool rag socks, but he is having a hard time giving up the boat shoes this year and he keeps just putting them on and wearing them out.

Years ago in 1984 John was in Anchorage, shopping at the Nordstrom's half-yearly sale, which was a half-off wintertime sale of men's stuff that used to be a social event. You would go to the store and there would be the strata of kids that were going to buy their clothes at Nordstrom, but had to wait till the half-yearly sale. Everyone was at Nordstrom! There were several years there where the Nordstrom half-yearly sale seemed like it was going to become more of a social event than a school clothes shopping event. It a Nordstrom they all knew very well, it was a local Northwest company at the time, there were a couple in Seattle, there was one in Anchorage, it was the nicest store in Anchorage.

During the height of the preppy 1980s phase there were a pair of Sperry Top Siders that were red, which is a statement shoe! John immediately went and bought them because if he was only going to get one thing in this whole store, it was those shoes because they are going to turn everything into something else that it couldn't have been otherwise and ever since then John never not had a pair of red Top Siders. He is looking at a pair right now, sitting there on the floor. Several years ago he saw a pair of orangey pink, like peachy.

When it starts to rain and gets cold and you are headed out the door to go to some swim meet or some pumpkin patch, then suede peachy Top Siders with no socks is the wrong footwear choice. There are a lot of people listening who probably think suede peachy Top Siders are always the wrong footwear choice, even in the middle of summer! That is where people disagree. But John needs to pivot and get into his winter plumage and he needs to dedicate maybe two sets of clothes that are creek bottom clothes and not wear other stuff down there because he is ruining stuff.

John asked the people on his Patreon what kind of content they wanted to see, and a lot of people said that the fact that he is off Instagram is the thing that is the worst because that was fun: ”Why don't you show us pictures of your creek?” He tried several times to go down in the creek and photo-document it in a way that he could show everybody what is all happening, but unfortunately the camera flattens things too much. The creek is a very dynamic environment, it is very three dimensional down there, and when you take a picture you don't really get the depth. He has tried to make videos. He should go down with a 3D VR headset and walk all around and make a Google Map of it.

Maybe John should invite little tours of 5 people to come down in the creek and help him pick up big rocks that are too heavy for him to pick up himself. It could be a prize that someone could win! It is a very natural environment that is very topographical and you can't get a backhoe in there, not even one of those little ones that the CAT Company makes, you couldn't go down there on a mountain bike. He could you use chains on the back of his Bronco and toe the rock out if you could put the Bronco in a position that was the way you had any leverage in the direction you want to go. You could use a pulley system, but building a lean-to would be the issue. There are many very big trees in the ravine, but they all are mature and they all seem like if you wrapped a chain around them you would pull them up by the roots and then you would have a 100 foot tree falling in a direction that you shouldn't.

John doesn’t want to use any of the trees as a come-along. It would be nice if the ravine was full of glacial anomalies, giant rocks that had been left behind, but the giant rocks are all buried under 15ft of leaf litter that has fallen in the centuries. John is going to work this out over the winter because the team from King Conservation has come and they have started their project of transforming his ravine into a native wildlife habitat and John is very close to having to relinquish all control. He is going to have to get all this done tout de suite (immediately), get five burly people down here to help him throw these rocks around before it is too late.

How is it going for Dan? (RW237)

There were a couple of tornadoes earlier in the week in Texas, but not where Dan lives. This is the start of the time of year when it is wonderful to live in Texas, where it is nice out, the weather is amazing, this is what they wait for all year. Today the high is going to be in the mid-70s, which is beautiful and sunny, there is a nice breeze, the lows are going down into maybe the low-50s, upper-40s at night, which is really great, and that is for a few days and it is going to get a little warmer. When it is like this you finally get to wear clothing that looks good, you don't have to worry about a million layers and you can just enjoy being outside. He hopes that it not in a week will go back up into the 90s again.

Dan’s kids are good, they are doing great.

John’s daughter’s school history and current situation (RW237)

John’s child is doing good. She is in Montessori and they don't have homework. Her Montessori school is small, and it had a bumpy period during COVID, maybe too small to absorb any major kerfuffles and there were a couple of major kerfuffles. Good teachers moved away and they didn't transition to online very quickly or well at first, some parents moved away and the school shrank right to the bleeding edge of whether or not it was a viable school. John has struggled to find the right school for his kid her whole life. The first issue was that he and her mother lived in different houses across town from each other. They always put her in the schools that were closest to her mother's house.

Her mother grew up as a hippie and her mother's mother kept her maiden name, so there was a conversation right around the time the baby was born about the last name of the child and John said, speaking as a feminist, that this child was going to have his last name and he was not going to play around with her having her mother’s mother's father's last name. Yes, we are all hippies here, but let's get real. There were just some things here that John was going to make a stand. If she wanted to really tilt against this windmill they could work it out, but John was not going to be soft about it.

She agreed and John was glad that they didn’t have to come to blows over that. Then briefly she thought maybe she would just change her name to John’s last name because why does she have her grandfather's last name? None of these names mean anything! She was adopted by her stepfather at one point, but didn't take his name or anybody's name, but she got some old dead guy's name. John said that would be all the better! Let's party over here! John’s last name doesn't really mean that much. Just some guy that came from some guy, but you got to pick something!

John admires people who try and solve this problem by creating a new last name, which is great! It is what it probably should have always been, except it is hard to keep a family Bible or whatever, but we don't do that anymore. If John were 23 and was getting married, he would say: "Yeah, why don't we just call ourselves the Voltrons?” If tomorrow John announced that his new name was Johnny Voltron, people would go: ”Huh!” The more famous you get, the more frequently and strangely you change your name: Prince changed his name to a symbol to get out of a contract or something, P Diddy is always changing his name to different things, Kanye just changed his name to Ye. Cher or Madonna have just that one name.

These days everybody is free to ride their machines and not get hassled by the man. In the moment when their daughter was born they were shoring up some first principles because they weren't married and they were having a kid together and if they were married it would have been a conversation they had a long time before, but a big part of the event of the birth of their daughter was very loaded with other people's expectations of what it means to have a child out of wedlock and what that means for everyone and whether or not John as a musician and someone that had not really held a traditional job as an adult and prior to that had not really held a traditional job and prior to that had not really held a traditional career of any kind was going to be there and be dependable, someone that you could put your faith in?

John’s daughter was born in March and John started Roderick on the Line with Merlin in the fall. They did that Back to Work together that spawned Roderick on the Line in August or September. Prior to her birth John was not a podcaster, he didn't have an Internet life, he was not really connected to nerd culture yet, he was just a musician and his band was on hiatus. Twitter was there, so he had become somewhat of am early Twitter person, but it was not making any money for sure. It was all frightened because John’s daughter's mother was always a professional woman, she had a professional career, she was a solid citizen and remains a solid citizen.

All these questions were getting resolved in a way that married people work out up front, which is the danger of marriage: You think you have worked it all out up front and none of those questions aren't in play anymore, but of course they are constantly in play, just that married people lean on the certificate or the vow until it is too late and you get to a place where you are like: ”Well, wait a minute. What about the vow?” - ”Well, I have been evolving for ten years! The vow? What are you even talking about? You haven't upheld that vow for 1 minute!” - ”Oh, no!” John doesn’t have that luxury around here because they have to make new vows all the time.

Putting her in school next to her mother felt like just as much the right thing to do as John’s insistence that she have his last name. She was going to go to the school in her mother's district, even though her mother works and John is the parent of record in a lot of cases, he is the one that drops her off and picks her up, or the one that less often drops her off because that is early morning, but he picks her up and he is the parent that goes in for the events. When she was in a cooperative preschool where you had to spend at least 1-2 days a week sitting in a very small chair, participating in the screaming chaos of a room full of 2.5-3.5 year olds. John was the boots on the ground.

After the cooperative preschool they found her a different preschool and for Pre-K there weren't a lot of good options, so they enrolled her in a wonderful little school called Giddens, a private school that was Pre-K through 5th grade in an old church. All the parents were super-cool, hip, and beautiful, and the kids were all wonderful. There was a church and next to the church there had been a Catholic school that had been transformed by Mary Giddens into an alternative elementary school with 10-15 classrooms ages Pre-K to 5th grade. I wasn't a huge school, but it felt like a school inside. There was an auditorium, there was a lunch room, there was an office and a nurse's office, all this stuff.

She really thrived there, but it was extremely expensive and not conveniently located for anyone. They are public school people and she should go to public school and they enrolled her in public school in Montlake Elementary, which had the feeling of a small private school because it is a very old school from the 1890s, which is old for Seattle, in a little enclave close to the University and the only people that really live around there are either people that commute to Bellevue and work in software or commute to the University and work in education. It is probably not very much bigger than Giddens and it felt diverse, but also small and you really knew who everybody was, you knew the soccer coach, you knew the music teacher, the art teacher was the sister of a friend of John’s, and she wasn't just the art teacher, she was in the arts scene and her brother is a prominent member of the arts community. Wow, this is Seattle, but a small microcosm!

But then they moved to the suburbs and other people move to the suburbs for the schools and they left their cute little school behind and the school was just not that good and she had a bad experience of it, which was really hard to tell how much of the bad experience was the school and how much of it was just a people clash, but what is a school if not people? John picked her up at school the other day and the principal came out and he said: ”Hey, how is it going? Is she a discipline problem? Ha ha!” and he got very serious and said: ”She is very loud!” He knows her well, John knows her well, and he said: ”Ha ha, yes she is!” - ”She is very loud and assertive!” and he was kidding, but also not kidding. ”Well, she sure is! From the time that she was one years old, she has been loud and assertive and a long time ago I stopped thinking that I had anything to do with it or could do anything about it!”

The craziest thing about raising a kid where you are like: ”Well look, I am the parent here! I am surely able to create this child so that she fulfills my dreams and expectations of what my child will be!” - ”No! Your child is a person who is themselves from very young age!” and John spent a lot of time saying: ”Sweetheart, maybe if you asked them to play rather than told them to play?” - ”Yeah, yeah, yeah!” - ”Okay. Well, good luck! Have fun, sweetie!” They ended up putting her in this Montessori school, which seemed that maybe that is the solution. Her mother went to hippie schools in Bellingham, where they all rolled around in the dirt and pretended to be salmon. Her mother is very comfortable with that environment and John just feels like: ”Wow, a Montessori school on the edge of town. The school is not very big. Is this really…?”

Dan considered putting his son in a Montessori as well, but his son is like a German Shepherd in the sense that if left to their own devices they go feral and they need to have a lot of structure, discipline, and authority, not oppressive authority, but they need to respect the authority that is in place, and if he was left to his own devices he would not do anything. He would consume YouTube and that is really what he would love to do that. Dan’s daughter could probably make it in a Montessori school, but they both thrive if there is some kind of routine and structure around them, they both do really well with that.

Maria Montessori was an Italian educator and child thinker who did have this philosophy, everybody got a freaking philosophy about childhood and early child development and education, these are all 20th century phenomenon. From 500,000 years ago to 1900 the philosophy of children's education was: ”Teach the child to do a job!” A lot of their listeners are in education or in social work or child development, and there are a lot of opinions out there, definitely John’s experience on the Internet earlier this year in conversations around childhood education and how you teach a child (see the beandad incident), he heard a lot of opinions and a lot of very strongly held opinions.

Everybody having an opinion about education (RW237)

A lot of the education stuff and social work stuff and childhood stuff has taken on the theories, people feel very strongly about them, and they have taken on the vibe of religion for a lot of people because they feel like they know how to educate a child, they know how children's minds work, they know how children's souls work, and they are very scared to do it wrong, but they also think that this is how we make a better world. We don't make a better world by changing our own behavior, we make a better world by changing our children, which is a very materialistic mentality of the world, a very nihilistic mentality in a way, because the suggestion is that we cannot change ourselves. I cannot make the world a better place by changing me, the only hope is that the children will be better.

John is repulsed by that in two ways: One of them is: ”No, you do better! You try harder! Don't put it on your kid! Don't put it on the way you teach your kid! That is not where your hope is. Your hope is: Get off your ass and do better!”, but the other thing is having raised a child or being in the process of raising a child, that there is no school or system or philosophy that is going to have really very much affected all on your kid. Your kid comes into the world by God's grace and God is a fucking prankster and God puts kids on the Earth and they are themselves and here they are. With God of course John means science.

But here they fucking are! From the time that she arrived on this planet, of all the people you know, is there one that would be more down in the freaking dirt of trying to figure out who she is and: ”Wow, this is a great opportunity to raise a child to be this thing, or this other thing!” This is what John’s parents did, they were going to correct their parents’ mistakes, which is what all parents try to do and certainly all middle-class parents and all parents that have a theory of education. A lot of it goes along with that 1960s/1970s thing of: ”School just squashes kids!” You hear it all the time from people: ”Schools are just designed to create workers!” - ”Okay, maybe? Sure!”

Schools are just basically desperate and the whole idea of educating children is a desperate Hail Mary: What are we doing? There are more books about it than there are stars in the heavens, but it is all theory, it is all guesses, and in a lot of ways it feels like religion to people because they have just as much passion about a thing that they cannot see or know or measure as they do their Lord and fucking Savior, and it is based on just as many ghosts in the wallpaper. John has come up against it his whole life because he was raised in that era and that environment when educators, social workers, psychologists, all believed they had the key and they were applying those new philosophies and dictums.

They weren't even new at that point. Some of them were 70-80 years old, and John was completely underserved by every single adult and every single thing they tried. No-one listened to him! No-one saw him for who he was! There was no system and still is not any system that could have taken him as a child, understood him and appreciated him, and educated him the way that he preferred to have him come out the other side himself in its finest form. Every single thing! 30 years in school! Everything was wrong! And it was not for lack of trying! Every single person he encountered scrambled, and through every piece of pocket change they could find into the change counting machine of ”try to educate this boy”.

John is deeply suspicious of it and he is deeply suspicious of anybody that tries to tell him that they know the way, anybody that tries to tell him they have got the system, he is deeply suspicious and hostile to them! They are full of shit and there is nothing more full of shit than other kids parents, except people that don't have kids that want to give parenting or education advice. Most things in public life that are full of shit John just waters off a duck's back, they fly over him: ”Sure, Okay, fine!” He is very engaged in government and in civic life, but he also knows that opinions are like assholes and everyone is a fucking asshole! Every time a new bunch of taxes are proposed, every time the Seattle City Council has a new spade of civilization shaping laws that they think are going to make everything better and you can just see a mile away: ”This is just going to fuck it up worse, but you do you!”, local governments, local voters.

With the education thing, John is watering off a duck's back that stuff, too. He goes to the PTA meetings, he goes to the things, he doesn’t even roll his eyes, although you can hear them rolling around in his head, he doesn’t visibly roll his eyes, he doesn’t get into arguments with people because ultimately his daughter is his responsibility and when she comes home at night they can talk about what happened at school and try to make sense of it, but he is not sending her to school hoping that school is really going to do anything beyond just put information in front of her, and then they are going to work it out. John also needs to listen to her and figure out what she needs, and that is hard to do because she is a little kid. They don't know what they need!

John’s daughter being constantly dissatisfied (RW237)

Talking to her the other day, she has been going through a phase where she is dissatisfied by everything and they talk around it a lot. People throw the thing at her: ”Why are you dissatisfied? You have everything, you should acknowledge your privilege!” The way they used to do it with John was: ”The little kid in China doesn't have enough to eat!”, but that is just an earlier version of ”acknowledge your privilege”. There are starving children in China, but it has been hyped up and now people load up shotguns and shoot it at each other.

She is very aware of it, it makes perfect sense, and she will say: ”I feel very guilty because I know there are kids that have less than I do, and I feel awful about it, but I also don't want to eat the green beans!”, or whatever it is, or: ”I had a bad day today, and when I say I had a bad day today, people tend to say: Why are you complaining? You are a very privileged girl! I don't feel like it is okay for me to have had a bad day. I feel bad both because I had a bad day and feel bad because I don't feel like I am allowed to have a bad day!”

They talk a lot about it and John tells her that the thing is that it is okay to have a bad day, everybody has a bad day, having a bad day is unrelated to whether or not you have green beans or not. There are people who a component of their bad day is that they also didn't have enough to eat and that is a thing to be always mindful of, but it is not actually related to you and your bad day. It is a thing we need to be conscious of as we go through life and what it does is allow us to have empathy. We should never look at someone and say: ”God, why are they so X, Y or Z?”, that is not how we look at other people because we don't know what their bad day consists of. But your bad day is yours! You don't need to feel bad about it. It is not related to that. People make that connection, and it is a wrong connection to make.

The other day in talking to her he said: It feels like every day you have a series of experiences, but when you bring your day home to me and tell me about it you list all the things that went wrong. Do you feel like there is a corresponding list of things that went right, and you are more interested in the things that went wrong or those things that went wrong stand out to you more? Could you also have a list of things that went right? How would you think about that? And she said: ”Well, it is easier for me to be dissatisfied!” They talked about it several times and last night she said: ”All day, whenever something was going wrong, I tried to think of the way that it was going right!”

She is working on it, but she said: ”The part of me that was looking at it going wrong said…”, and this is the first time she has ever indicated that she had voices in her head or that she had a conversation internally, John has looked for it for her whole life, but has never heard any indication of it. Last night she said: ”I tried to think of all the things that were going right and the part of me that saw the things that were going wrong thought that I was being corny!” - ”Tell me more about that!” - ”It just sounded like the voice that was trying to find all the good things was a little kid voice, like: ’Everything is good!’, and I felt like that was a very corny voice.”

”Do you feel like the voice that is telling you that things are a drag is more real or more wise or smarter?” She talked a little bit about the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other, but then she started to question John: ”Well, what if things are bad?” - ”Well, things can be!” - ”What if I want to be upset?” - ”You have every right to be upset if you want to be upset!” Her take now is that she is just unsatisfied, and John didn't feel that way at 10, but he did feel that way at 27, and he felt that way at 37 and 47, he recognized the mind, and he is also always working on how to look at the fact that his refrigerator is empty and see it as a positive opportunity to fill it with good food. John’s house is a mess, it is a great opportunity to clean it!

Also just internally: John wants to have the voice in his head that says: ”You know what? You are doing good. You are a good guy, you are doing good, you are trying to help people, you are trying to be a good thing in the world, you don't always succeed and a lot of the stuff you do is not trying to be good or bad, you are just trying to get from here to there, or you are just trying to get the bills paid and that is neither good nor bad and you shouldn't judge yourself constantly. Let it go! Just be glad!” and then that voice in him is: ”God, you are so corny! Don't you see that you are not good? That you are not doing what you could? You are not doing enough!”

John’s daughter doesn't have a: ”You are not doing enough!”, but she definitely looks at John and goes: ”You are not doing enough because you haven't taken me to Wild Waves!” - ”If I took you to Wild Waves every single day, would that be enough, or on the third day of Wild Waves would you find a reason that it wasn't good? I can tell you right now that the first day of Wild Waves you would find a reason it wasn't the best day at Wild Waves!” Trying to feed that maw, trying to throw hams into the dissatisfied volcano mouth: ”Here is another ham. Will you please stop erupting?”and there are not enough hams in the world to keep that volcano from erupting. It thinks it wants hams, but it doesn't want hams. Trying to talk to her about it at age 10!

John wishing someone would have told him in High School that he is going to be okay (RW237)

John has known for a long time that there was an opportunity somewhere in High School for an adult with vision to have pulled him aside and have said: ”I am going to speak honestly with you for five minutes and then never again, but for five minutes I am going to tell you that you are fine, you are going to do fine, you are smart, you are considerate, and you have empathy! Beyond that, there is nothing the schools can really do for you! You are smart, so keep reading books, keep trying to do good, get through school, but school isn't for you. Being educated is for you, it is just unfortunate that you have to go to school, that you are forced to go to school because it is not for you, but you are going to be fine! Not doing well in school, not fitting in in school, not being what all these grownups want you to be doesn't matter. It is not important!”

Dan thinks that kids should hear that every day. He is try to express the same thing to his kids: ”I am not supposed to tell you this, but none of this matters! This doesn't matter! None of this is important! I know you have to do it for the teacher, but do you as a human being really need to do it? No! Your student self needs to do it because you have this short term goal of finish 8th grade, but do you really need to do it? No! You need to sleep, you need to eat, you need to move, but this thing is temporary. It doesn't really matter! It is not real. It is a construct!”

This isn't how we live as adults, and it is not just a question of: When you are an adult, you get to eat ice cream, but when you are an adult you get to explore the world, and this has nothing to do with it. School is just a place where grown-ups are trying to make the world a better place by fucking with you. If that grown up in 1982 had said: ”Okay?” and held out their hand for John to shake, and they shook hands and then they had said: ”Okay, now I am back to being grown up in this world and you are in big trouble, Mister!” *wink*, John would have gone: ”Wow! Okay! Got it!” He might have even done better in school, but it felt rightly like every adult in the world was gaslighting him constantly because it was so obvious that none of this was real and no one ever said it, not in any book he read, even.

There were a lot of books where the main character of the book was like: ”None of this is real!”, but Holden Caulifield doesn't win! (from The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger). There is very little triumph. Every once in a while you get a Salvador Dali or something: ”He definitely didn't think the world was real!”, but most of the time, the people you hear from, even the ones who were like: ”I did it my own way and got into Harvard!” - ”Harvard, though? You went through the aperture of Harvard, so you actually did the thing that they say! You made it more real by virtue of saying that you did it your own way, but in the end all that did was get you to Harvard!”

One of the smartest guys John knew in High School was a kid named James Swainson. He came from a poor family, they lived in a trailer park, and in Alaska that can be cold and you are living on the edge because sometimes the wind is strong and will pick up a trailer and move it 150 yards, just picks up and flies! James was so smart and he was Punk Rock because that felt like the place that you went if you were smart and poor, and Punk Rock did a number on him, the drugs and the particular version of Punk that was popular at the time, which wasn't just antiauthoritarian, but nihilistic.

Eventually it became clear even in High School that although James was one of the smartest kids, he was first out of the orbit of smart kids as the smart kids prepared to go to College and James realized that was financially not an option, but also socially it wasn't because he was Punk now and little by little he fell out of the side door, went his own way, and lived exciting and ultimately drugs are a problem, they were for John, but watching the smart kids from John’s High School go onto their lofty heights, James is just as smart as any of them, even smarter, and the world underserved him. There was no way he was going to fit into High School, and he didn't have John’s middle class resources to not fit into High School and somehow still get through life to the point that he could plant his feet somewhere.

The number of times John could have OD:ed is as long as his arm and he didn't and a lot of that is luck. There was something in him that always believed that there was a place for him in the world, not just a place where he was propping up some wall, but his own place. A part of him right now is embarking into that period of his daughter's life where he has heard a lot of stories from other parents. He has a good friend right now who is going through something very traumatic with his teenage daughter, where her health is on the line, and it is all mind war stuff, culture, mind, body terrors.

John is watching his kid take the first step towards: ”You don't have an uncomplicated mind!” What a gift that would be to have a kid who was just like: ”I love Soccer, and I love K-Pop, and between Soccer and K-Pop I am covered!”, while John’s kid is like: ”Soccer sucks, and K-Pop sucks!” - ”Okay! Shit! I know the feeling!” There is no simple: ”Sit down, honey, and let's have a talk about positivity!” that is going to get anywhere close to the heart of that. John is not trying to make her better than he was, and the world is not going to be a better place if we teach kids well. We can’t address climate change and inequality by choosing a good elementary school, or by hammering these ideas into kids.

John doesn’t know what he is doing at all, he is trying to challenge her on one hand because she doesn't have YouTube, but she would wake up every day and eat goldfish and read Archie comics until nightfall. If he said: ”Give me those Archie comics, those are empty calories!” she would hand them all over and then she would go read Garfield. ”Garfield?” - ”All these Garfield books belong to you, so who are you to tell me you can’t read Garfield? They are all your Garfield books!” - ”I had Garfield books ironically!” - ”You did not! You loved Garfield!” - ”All right, I loved Garfield! Give me those Garfield books! You can't just read Garfield books!” and she would hand them over and then she would find his phantographics collections of 1950s Peanuts comics and she would read those and eat goldfish until the sun went down.

Just reading 1950s Peanuts has probably given her as much of an education as the entire Montessori program because she often will reply to him in a voice that feels very familiar and then he will realize that is exactly what Lucy Van Pelt would have said to Charlie Brown in that same situation, and sometimes she speaks to him in the voice of Charlie Brown. ”How do you have this much neurotic energy? We don't live in New York City! How do you have the neuroses of Woody Allen?"

To a certain extent she is using both Charles Schultz’s and John Davis’ information and go: ”What would Garfield say here?” Well, Garfield, at this moment would knock a pan of lasagna off the kitchen table and blame it on Odi, or right now Lucy would charge Charlie Brown $0.05: ”Oh, no, what have I done? Should I have given her more positive comics? What even are those? Oh, wait! The dark girl voice in my head goes: Ugh, those positive comics! Yuck! They are so corny!”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License