Thursday, 8 December 2016

Enemy Of The State

‘Good morning, Class.’

(Dutifully, but pleasantly; all:) ’Good morning, Teacher.’

‘And how are my fine young lads and lassies on this fine day.’

(ditto) ‘Fine, Teacher.’

‘That’s good.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.’  (Titters from the well-schooled class in this opening routine.)  ‘And do I have a fine subject for you today…Pay attention now.  This is going to task you to your General Science limit.’  (The class settles down to pay attention, used to this teacher's style.)  '"Bears in the wild do not get cancer, but they do in captivity.”  Discuss.’

(A thoughtful silence.  Then, one student, quickly, as if they are schooled in trying to beat each other to the comments, and the uncovering of the answers for the day’s quiz:)  ‘They don’t like captivity.’


‘So, it makes them sick.’

‘A promising start, on this fine morning in your young and promising lives.  And just how does it make them sick.’


‘I know!’

‘Speak, o learned one amongst us peasants.’

‘So do I!’

‘First person in line.  Because…’

‘Because their minds are connected to their bodies.’

‘Good.  Which is called…’


‘Good.’  (Writes the word on the board.)  ‘But more specifically, the high-falutin’ scientific term of…’

‘I know!  Psychosomatic.’

‘Very good.’  (Writing the words on the blackboard.)  ‘Psycho - mind.  Mental.  Like you lot.  Somatic - soma.  Body..  Of the body.  The connection being through…what we’ve already beens given, by our young budding Nobel Prize winner in the third row…’


‘Good.  Now.  What is ‘biochemstry’ made of?’

(Momentary silence; then:)  ‘Chemicals.’  (Titters from the rest of the class.)

‘What a brilliant mind we have functionibg for so early in the morning.  Like, for example…or ‘as,’ for example; though this isn’t your English class for the day…’


‘Raging right before our very eyes.’  (Writes the word on the blackboard.)  ‘Anything else?’

‘Vitamins,  Minerals.  Enzymes.’

‘Good.  Collectively called…’

(Thoughtful silence; then a response:) ’Nutrients?’

Very good.  (Writes the words on the board.)  'Nu-trients, as in nu-trition.  Say it.'

(All:) 'Nu-trients as in nu-trition.'

(Still writing) 'Say it again.'

(All:) 'Nu-trients as in nu-trition.'

(Finishes writing, looks at the results for a moment; then:) ' ...'So, we have an answer, in the form of s cascade - remember that word from a previous class?’  (Assents.)  ‘ - a cascade that we call ‘psychosomatic’.   Effects from the mind to the body.  So, that’s one way that bears can get cancer in captivity…’  (Looks thoughtfully at the blackboard for a moment longer; then:)  ‘Any other way?’  (Thoughtful silence from the class.)  ‘Considering that we have just been talking about ‘nutrients’… Hint.  Hint,..’ 

‘Got it.  From their diet.’

‘How so.’

‘From things in their diet.’

‘Very good.   We hear a lot about that, don’t we.  Things in our diet that can cause cancer…Any other way?’

‘…Got it.’


‘Things not in our diet.’

‘Hallelujah!  A true scholar!  Right here amongst us!’  (Laughs and cheers and high fives, as the Teacher draws some arrows, with emphasis, on the board.)  ‘Various vitamins and minerals, and enzymes from ‘living’ food, are the fuel for the body’s' (underlines the 'soma' part of the word 'psychosomatic') 'machinery, animal or human, that keep it running smoothly and in a healthful manner.  Firing on all cylinders, as it were.'  (Looks at his handiwork for a moment.  Then:)  ‘Now, about this cascade…is it all just one way?’

(Thoughtful silence; then:)  ‘No. ‘

‘How not so.’

‘Because, um, we eat nutrients in our daily lives.’

‘Which affect us, how.’

‘… - Um, physically.’


‘Got it!  Mentally!’

‘And a box of Snickers to Dr IQ in the second row!’  (Curious snickers.)  'Sorry; before your time.  I forget what era I'm in, sometimes...'  (Then, drawing on the blackboard:)  'So, this ‘cascade’ can go…this way, too.’  (Arrow showing the reverse pattern as well, from ‘soma’ to ’psycho’.)  ‘From the body to the mind.  And our emotions, as being linked biochemically’ (underlining the word on the board) to our bodies  So, we can get, from our diet - to say, depending on our diet, the likes of cancer.   And we can also get, from our diet - depending on our diet - the likes of……Anybody…’

‘Mental conditions.’

‘You lot have just saved me from a mental condition.  I am truly blessed to have the likes of you in this class.  No - to have you in this class.’   (Cheers for themselves.  Teacher puts down the chalk, turns to face his class.)  ‘You are living - and I use the word generically - at a time when your - our - society has lost sight of some fundamental facts of life.  It certainly has not lost sight of the basic meaning of that term, in the form of the sexually hyped and hyper environment that you kids swim in daily.  But I mean, in terms of such fundamental facts as how important our food is, not just to our bodies.  But to our minds.  And our emotions.  So that it is actually a sin - yes, there is such a thing; though that’s another subject - it is actually a sin, in terms of our communication processes, that our society ’teaches’ us’ (makes quote marks in the air) ‘that if we are tired all the time, take a pill; or if we are depressed, take an anti-depressant.  When our ‘antidepressants’ and such are naturally in our food.  And so forth, and so on.  And on.  And on…’  (Teacher goes thoughtful for a moment; then:) ‘You kids have it rough, to work your way through this social screen that your ‘elders’ have concocted to keep you from knowing your true natures.  But all the tastier the victory for you, when you manage to do the job that you have been given to do, in life.  Which is, to set all things right.  Here.

‘And on that note, I bid you adieu, for this fine day in your young lives.  Spend the rest of the hour studying Chapter Nine.  I need to recharge my batteries.  Anybody have an apple for the teacher?  Oh, I’m sorry  - you lot wouldn’t know about that sort of thing. That was before your time.  In a simpler time…’

(Teacher goes to his chair behind his desk, as the class open their books.  Then:)


(Teacher, already starting to be far away:) ‘What?’

‘I was just wondering…’


‘…if all this has anything to do with, er, ‘gender identity’ issues…’

(Teacher reflects for a moment what to say to that query.  Then:)  ‘No; well, except for the whole matter of hormones.  Which have been skewed by environmental factors, affecting the pregnant female’s body, and thus affecting her developing fetus.  So yes, to the extent of biochemistry being involved.

‘But on all that - another time, perhaps.’

(Various cries:)  ‘Yes1  Yes!’

(A sigh, and a wan smile)  ‘Maybe.  But I’m already in enough trouble as it is.

‘You see, the state has put surveillance cameras in every classroom in the country now.  And we teachers are being monitored, for every thought we put in your fertile little minds.  And for the way that we water those seeds.  And this state doesn’t want anything upsetting their apple cart, as it were.  

‘Especially if it’s a competitor’s apple cart headed for the teachers.  As payment for their giving the likes of you guys some food for thought.’ 



P.S. Especially in the light of the following post; from today, December 9 (a day that should also live in infamy):

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