That’s not the best photo of my grandson, Miles. But it is the most recent and sometimes timeliness is better than aesthetics.
“Do you know that it takes 45 minutes to hard boil an ostridge egg?” I ask my 15 year old grandson, Miles.
“Why should I know this fact?” He asks.
“You might be on a game show and be asked that very question.” Karl offers from the other side of the room.
This is how my grandson is distracted from doing his Home School assignments.
“Who said ‘…life would be short, nasty, and brutish?” I asked Miles.
“Never heard of it.” He admits.
So I google and read this to him.
…a quotation from Thomas Hobbes’Leviathan, or the matter, forme, and power of a commonwealth, ecclesiasticall and civill, 1651. The fuller quotation of this phrase is even less appealing – “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”. Hobbes described the natural state of mankind (the state pertaining before a central government is formed) as a “warre of every man against every man”. In the book he outlines the ‘incommodites’ of such a war:
“Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of Warre, where every man is Enemy to every man; the same is consequent to the time, wherein men live without other security, than what their own strength, and their own invention shall furnish them withall. In such condition, there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.”
I did not tell him I’m sharing this with him because there are so many wars that have been going on through his short life. It will be something I’ll return to from time to time.
“Dude! Philip K. Dick wrote ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ the basis of ‘Blade Runner‘, also ‘We can remember it for you wholesale’, which was the basis of ‘Total Recall‘. ” Then I realize from the blank look he’s giving me he’s never seen those movies so he’s most likely never seen ‘A Scanner Darkly‘ or ‘Minority Report‘.
How can I even begin to explain ‘Cthulhu’ and the weird fiction of H.P. Lovecraft? I’m working my way through the entire collection of Lovecraft via my Kindle. It’s free folks, go download it for 99¢. A lot of folks are all giddy fans of ‘Cthulhu’ and have never read one Lovecraft short story. But I digress.
“I think your mother sheltered you from some input.” I said.
“What would I have done without my bad influence friends.” Miles laughs.
“Now you have your bad influence Grandma.” says I.
Miles relayed this story of a school assembly that addressed the topic of bullying. It went from school bullies to cyber bullies and at one point mentioned the “Grandma Rule”. If you were going to write something online would your Grandmother approve if she saw it.
“What if one’s grandma swore like a sailor?” Miles observed, “Would that rule even apply?” Hey WTF are you talking about? Hah!
“Only if you used your other grandmother as the measure. If you use me as a measure you need to be asking yourself ‘Is this weird enough?’ and then ask yourself ‘Would Grandma Stone think this was weird enough?’ then it’ll work.” By then Miles, Karl, and I were laughing our fool heads off.
Miles is getting more done doing his online Home Schooling here, even with the distractions. Yesterday he learned what defenestration meant and in the explanation learned a bit of French. Plus, he got a laugh when I mimed the defenestration of a miscreant. It is good to have one’s grandson laugh.
When I was 15 I was already going steady with the man who would be my first husband and father of my two older sons. Keeping Miles relatively innocent is just that – relative. It depends on who is the relative. Hah! Old joke.