jeudi, janvier 19, 2012

Wouldn't it be funny, says my son

We're on the train, heading through Philly, on our way to a chess tournament.

Can there are anything more peaceful and, frankly, nerdy, than a chess tournament?


So the kid looks out at the Market Street bridge, over which people are walking -- minding their own business.

"Wouldn't it be funny if the bridge blew up?" says Mr. C.

Possibly he doesn't see the body parts everywhere, and all the blood. Maybe he doesn't hear the spectral ambulances.

Maybe he just thinks that blowing things up is a lot of fun.

He is not a violent person, my son. In fact, he's the youngest member of a group of earnest Amnesty International members who meet at Wegman's the first Wednesday of each month..

I drive him there, eating dinner as he talks about human rights abuses and prisoners of conscience.

Yet he is an expert on many of our most terrible recent wars. He can quote military strategy at the drop of a hat.

One of his favorite sayings is one attributed to General Patton: "The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his."

How can such an irenic young man be so bloodthirsty?

Is it nature? Nurture?

A boy being a boy?

Perhaps it's just testosterone.

Now we've got a routine going.

He says: "Wouldn't it be fun?"...

And I finish the sentence with something like "if the lampost outside blew up"?

At which point the kid says, admonishingly:

"Mom, don't be so violent."

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